Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 27: 2 Kings 10:32 – 12; Psalm 145; Proverbs 18:1; Acts 18:1-22



Overview

            2 Kings: In Israel: Jehu reigned in Samaria for 28 years. The Lord slowly took away parts of Israel as Hazael of Syria advanced. Jehu died and Jehoahaz, his son took over.
            In Judah: Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, killed off all the royal family when she found out her son was dead. But Jeshosheba, Ahaziah’s sister hid Joash. He was hidden for six years while Athaliah reigned over Judah.
            In the seventh year, Jehoiada the priest made careful arrangement with the captains of the guard to protect the king when he was revealed. So they brought out Joash, crowned him and gave him the testimony and proclaimed him king.
            Athaliah heard the noise and went to the house of the Lord and saw the king standing by the pillar according to custom. People were rejoicing. She tore he clothes and claimed teason. Jehoiada had the guards take her out and kill her and anyone who followed her.
            Jehoiada made a covenant with the Lord, king, and people to be the Lord’s people. The people went to the house of Baal and tore it down, broke its altars, and killed its priest. The people rejoiced and there was peace in Jerusalem after Athaliah was killed.
            Jehoash (alternate spelling of Joash) was seven when he began to reign. He reigned 40 years. He did right in the eyes of the Lord because of Jehoiada’s instruction. However, the high places still remained.
            Jehoash told the priests to make repairs to the house of the Lord with the taxes they received. By his 23rd year, the priest hadn’t done any repairs. So he told them to stop taxing the people and taking donations and they would not be responsible for the repairs. He made a chest with a hole in the top and put it by the entry to the temple. People put money in it and they used the money to pay supervisors to repair the temple and make utensils for the temple.
            Hazael, king of Syria took Gath and was going to march on Jerusalem. Jehoash took the treasures out of the house of the Lord and sent it to Hazael so he went away.
            Some of his servants conspired against Jehoash and killed him. Amaziah, his son took over.
            Psalm: This is David’s Psalm of praise. He will praise the Lord every day because he is his king. The Lord is great and no one can know how great. All generations will tell of his acts. He will mediate on his works. They will tell of his deeds. He will tell of his greatness. They will tell of his goodness and righteousness. The Lord is gracious and merciful. He is good to all and has mercy.
            All of the Lord’s works give thanks to him and his saints bless him. They speak of the glory and splendor of his kingdom, which is everlasting.
            The Lord upholds those who are weak and in trouble. He provides all creatures with food and their desires. He is righteous in all ways and near to those who call on him. He satisfies the desires of those who fear him and call on him for salvation. He saves those who love him but not the wicked, he destroys them.
            David will praise the Lord and asks for everyone to join him forever.
            Proverbs: A person who keeps others at arm’s length is selfish, looking out only for himself and that isn’t wise.
            Acts: Paul went to Corinth and stayed with Aquila and Priscilla. They were all tentmakers. He tried to reach Jews and Greeks in the synagogue on the Sabbaths. When Silas and Timothy arrived, he was able to spend more time in the word and witnessing. They rejected him so he went to the Gentiles and started teaching in Titus Justus’ house next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue and others believed and were baptized. The Lord appeared to him and told him to keep on preaching because he would not be harmed and the Lord had many in the city who belonged to him.
            However, Jews brought an attack against him and took him to court. They claimed he was persuading people to worship God in a way that was against the law. Gallio, the proconsul didn’t let Paul speak but told he Jews to that there was no crime. If it had to do with their own law to settle it themselves. He kicked them out of court. The Jews then seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue and beat him while Gallio paid no attention.
            After a long time, Paul and companions left for Syria along with Priscilla and Aquila. Paul was under a vow so he cut his hair. He stopped at Ephesus and reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews. They wanted him to stay but he left and said he would return if God wills. He came to Caesarea, said “hi” to the church and then went on to Antioch.

What Stood Out

            2 Kings: “And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, that they should be the Lord's people, and also between the king and the people” (2 Kings 11:17).
            Psalm: “He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them” (Ps 145:19).
            Proverbs: “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment” (Prov 18:1).
            Acts: “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people” (Acts 18:9-10).

Insight

            2 Kings: Athaliah was so evil and greedy for power that she even had her own grandchildren killed. It is hard to imagine that someone would do that. It just goes to show how bad she was and her rule must have been terror for everyone in Judah. Yet the Lord keeps his promises in spite of what man or Satan wants to do. If she had succeeded, then the promises of succession to the throne of David would have stopped with Ahaziah. Satan would have succeeded and God proven unfaithful. But that’s not the way it happened because Jehoash was saved and the godly priest, Jehoiada, made sure he was crowned and then made a covenant with the Lord to be God’s people. As long as Jehoiada was alive and instructing Jehoash, the nation followed the Lord.
            When things look bleak on a world or national level, we need to remember that the Lord has many Jehoiadas who are doing his will. God’s plan can’t be thwarted and it isn’t over until the Lord determines it is. We may be living under an Athaliah or under a Jehoash, but the Lord is sovereign, not man and not Satan.
            Psalm: This is a great reminder for us to praise the Lord. We can praise him for all his attributed, what he has done, for is provision for all out needs, and for his salvation. However, there is some conditions in that salvation. Psalm 145:19 says he fulfils the desires of those who fear him and save those who cry out to him. This isn’t a blank check to get anything we want. If we truly fear the Lord, then our desires will line up with his desires for us. We will be asking for the righteous and godly things he wants us to be doing and having. The very first thing on that list of desires is for salvation. Obviously, if we don’t fear the Lord, we don’t want salvation. Thankfully, he gives us the desire to want salvation or we would still be lost in our sins.
            Proverbs: A person who doesn’t want to get close to other people is only being selfish. He doesn’t want to get hurt, he doesn’t want to use up his time or resources on others. That isn’t wise in many ways. When he is in need, who will help him? When he needs comfort, who will comfort him. When he stands before the Lord in judgment, the Lord will say he never knew him because he kept himself from Jesus just as he kept others away from himself.
            Acts: When Paul arrived in Corinth, the pattern of persecution changed. Rather than being run out of town within days or a few weeks, Paul was there for a year and half. The reason is that the Lord had many people in the city that belonged to him. It took that long for Paul and the disciples he made to reach them. God promised him that he didn’t need to be afraid because no one would attack him or harm him. Even when persecution did come, it was brought before the proconsul and he would not even hear the case. The weird part is that the Jews beat up the synagogue ruler and there is no mention that he was a Christian.
            It goes to show that the Lord will make sure his chosen ones will be able to hear the gospel. He will protect those who are sending it when it is within his plan and he will let them be persecuted and even stoned when it is in his plan. We can’t second guess God. When he gives a reason for something, we can trust what he says. When he doesn’t we can only speculate.

Application

             I want to be a person like Jeshosheba, or Jehoiada who does the right thing when a situation gets tough. I also want to be a person who will praise the Lord for all his attributes and have my desires be his. I don’t want to be a person who isolates himself because of selfishness, however I tend to be more of that kind of person than I would like.

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