Monday, June 26, 2017

June 26: 2 Kings 9:14 – 10:31; Psalm 144; Proverbs 17:27-28; Acts 17



Overview

            2 Kings: In Israel: Jehu and his army went to Jezreel where king Joram was recovering. He was spotted by the guard and Joram sent messengers to find out if they were coming in peace. When they reached Jehu, he told them to join him. The watchman said the leader was driving his chariot like a madman so it must be Jehu.
            Joram and Ahaziah, king of Judah who was visiting Joram, both went to meet Jehu in their chariots. Joram asked if it was peace and Jehu said there could not be peace because of the evils of his mother Jezebel. Joram and Ahazaih tried to flee but Jehu shot Joram with an arrow. Jehu dumped Joram’s body in the land that had been Naboth’s vineyard to fulfil the prophecies. He went after Ahaziah and his men wounded him so that he died.
            Jehu then went to Jezreel and saw Jezebel with her painted eyes in her window. He called to the eunuch’s who were with here and they threw her out the window. The horses trampled her and all they could find to bury were her skull, feet, and hands.
            Jehu then had the elders of Samaria either anoint one of Ahab’s 70 sons king and fight him or kill them all. Because Jehu had killed two kings already they decided on the latter. Jehu then told the people they were innocent because he had conspired to kill Ahab and his line according to Elisha’s prophecy. However, the elders of Samaria weren’t innocent. Jehu then killed all of Ahab’s house and his great men until there were none left. On his way back to Samaria, he met Ahaziah’s relatives. He killed them all.
            He then met Jehonadab and took him to see his zeal for the Lord. At Samaria, he finished killing Ahab’s family. He then told the prophets of Baal to assemble and they would have a great assembly to worship Baal. Prophets came from all over Israel. When they arrived they went into the house of Baal. Jehu made sure there were no prophets of the Lord among them. He then had his men go in and kill all the prophets of Baal, destroy its pillar, and the temple.
            Jehu fulfilled the prophecies against Ahab and the Lord told him his descendants would reign for four generations. However, Jehu still sinned as did Jeroboam.
            Psalm: David praises that Lord for training him for war. The Lord is his loving God, a fortress, shield, deliver, and refuge. God has subjected peoples under David.
            David ponders what man means to God because we are so short lived.
            David asks the Lord to come down and show his might in thunder and lightning to scatter his enemies and deliver David from nature, foreigners, and liars.
            David will sing a new song to God because he gives victory to kings and rescues his servant, David.
            David proclaims a benediction upon Israel to have strong and good-looking youth, abundant food, and animals. He asks for peace in the streets. He declares that the people who have God as their Lord are blessed.
            Proverbs: People who are careful to keep from talking too much and are even-tempered are wise. Even a fool seems wise when he keeps quiet.
            Acts: Paul and his companions arrived in Thessalonica and taught in the synagogue on three Sabbaths. He explained how the Messiah had to suffer, rise from the dead, and he is Jesus. Some were convinced along with many Greeks including leading women. However, the Jews were Jealous and formed a mob. They couldn’t find Paul so they dragged Jason and other Christians before the authorities claiming they were turning the world upside down and were opposed to Caesar because they said Jesus is king. The authorities were disturbed by the claims but made them post bond and let them go.
            Paul and Silas quickly left and went to Berea. They taught in the synagogue and the Bereans were more noble than the Thessalonians. They checked the Scriptures to see that Paul was correct. Many believed but Jews from Thessalonica came and stirred up crowds in Berea.
            Paul then went to Athens alone. While he was waiting for Timothy and Silas, his spirit bothered him about all the idols in the city. He spoke to people in the synagogue and market place. Some of the philosophers took him to the Areopagus so they could find out about his teaching because it was strange to them. Paul started with the observance of their idols and that they had one to an unknown god. He told them that what they thought was unknown he would make known. He started with God as Creator and sovereign over all mankind and nations. He quoted from their poets and then told them that God overlooked their past ignorance but commands everyone to repent. God has fixed a day when he would righteously judge the world by the one he appointed. He proved he would do this by raising him from the dead. When they heard about the resurrection, some mocked, some wanted to hear more, and other believed.

What Stood Out

            2 Kings: “And the Lord said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel’” (2 Kings 10:30).
            Psalm: “Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord” (Ps 144:15).
            Proverbs: “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” (Prov 17:28).
            Acts: “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

Insight

            2 Kings: Jehu was a king-killing machine. All he did sounds terrible and the ugly thing is that this kind of killing occurs in the world more often than we think. When we see these things happening in the world, we don’t have God’s commentary on them so are at a loss to understand why. However, Jehu’s massacre was predicted by the Lord. In fact, the Lord even rewarded Jehu for doing what he did. That can only emphasize how evil Ahab and Jezebel were along with their children and the prophets of Baal.
            Psalm: We may not face the problems David did; not many will be blessed in the way he was either. But we can count on being blessed when God is our Lord. What does it mean for God to be our Lord? I think Jesus made it plain. If we want God to be our Lord, then we must do what he says (Luke 6:46). We want to be the opposite of Ahab and Jezebel. We don’t even want to be like Jehu because he may have been zealous for the Lord and obeyed as long as he got to wipe out people, but he didn’t remove the golden calves that Jeroboam established to make Israel sin.
            Being blessed isn’t always having prosperity either. Jesus said we are blessed when we are persecuted (Matt 5:11-12). Why is that? It is because we are doing what he wants and the world is in opposition to what the Lord wants. Our reward will be in heaven, not necessarily on this earth. Jehu’s reward was temporal, I doubt he had much of an eternal reward.
            Proverbs: A person who is careful about saying too much is usually a wise person. When a person doesn’t brag, it is usually because they are self-assured and don’t need others to exalt them. So, when a fool is quiet, it is assumed he may be wiser than the is. On the other hand, maybe he is learning wisdom and has recognized is own pride as sinful. The latter is a good approach for all of us.
            Acts: I love the Bereans. I tell everyone who reads my blogs or books that they need to be like the Bereans. They didn’t blindly accept what Paul had to say. They went to the Scriptures to make sure he was telling the truth and being accurate about the way he taught from Scripture. Whatever I’m teaching, I encourage you to do the same. It is nice to have someone trust what I say, but if I’m wrong you are in trouble. If I’m right then it should be taken to heart and make a difference in your life. When you check out my teaching, then you are in God’s word and that is what makes the difference.
            Paul had an interesting encounter with the philosophers of his age. They aren’t much different from some of our modern philosophers. They think and they reason. They formulate ideas and then create methods of proofing their ideas. Some of them even use mathematical formulas to verify their theories. When Paul talked about God as Creator, it was familiar territory. They could relate but probably had multiple concepts in their minds as he spoke. Then he dropped the bombshell. This God raised someone from the dead. Whoa, that’s not possible. It isn’t scientific. It doesn’t compute with our observations or our formulas. The same thing happens today. We are up against philosophies that have already made up their mind that the resurrection of Jesus is impossible so they stop dead in their thinking when it is mentioned.
            Note that some people wanted to hear more. Others believed. If you want to cut to the quick of a spiritual engagement, just tell them that Jesus is raised from the dead. The ones the Lord drawing to himself will either want to know more or will believe.

Application

             I want to be zealous for the Lord, but not like Jehu. He didn’t stay faithful and get rid of the golden calves. I also want to be like the Bereans who make sure their teachers are accurately using Scripture.

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