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The First Time Is the Best Time

Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 24


But the Levites did not act quickly. (2 Chronicles 24.5)


Devotional Thought: When I was raising my children (Are we ever done with that task?), they - like many children - had a tendency to delay their obedience.  Often it led to their getting into trouble, and I would say, "Why didn't you obey Daddy?  When Daddy tells you to do something, the first time he says it is the best time to obey."  Over the course of time, that became simply "The first time is the best time!"


In 2 Chronicles 24, King Joash "decided to restore the house of the Lord. And he gathered the priests and the Levites and said to them, 'Go out to the cities of Judah and gather from all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that you act quickly'" (vv. 4-5).


But, for whatever reason, "the Levites did not act quickly."  They had been instructed specifically about what to do.  They were given the resources, the time, and the authority to carry it out.  Yet they delayed.  They thought that they knew better than this young whippersnapper of a king.  After all, he was only king because they had protected and preserved and promoted him.  That didn't impress King Joash.  I can imagine him saying, "The first time is the best time."


The story goes on to show how those who once were spiritual leaders were unable to  keep Joash from wandering from his faith.  These postponing priests and lagging Levites "lost their voice."  They no longer held places of influence and effectiveness.


Would the story of Joash ended differently had the priest and Levites obeyed the first time?  We don't know, but what we can be certain of - when it comes to us obeying God, "The first time is the best time."


Prayer: Lord, help me to obey you completely and quickly.  May I not be a postponing priest or a lagging Levite, but may I follow the spiritual wisdom that says, "The first time is the best time" to obey you.  Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 78:40-49

40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!

41 They tested God again and again and provoked the Holy One of Israel.

42 They did not remember his power or the day when he redeemed them from the foe,

43 when he performed his signs in Egypt and his marvels in the fields of Zoan.

44 He turned their rivers to blood, so that they could not drink of their streams.

45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them.

46 He gave their crops to the destroying locust and the fruit of their labor to the locust.

47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamores with frost.

48 He gave over their cattle to the hail and their flocks to thunderbolts.

49 He let loose on them his burning anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels.

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