June 26

2 Kings 9:14–10:31

Jehu conspired again Joram, king of Israel. Not only was a he furious chariot driver (2 Kings 9:20), he was also a furious man. Jehu killed the king of Israel (Joram), the king of Judah (Ahaziah), Jezebel (the king’s mother and epitome of evil in the land). Jehu had the sons of Ahab killed, heaping all seventy heads up into mounds at the gates of the city. He then spoke to the people:

2 Kings 10:10 (NKJV) “Know now that nothing shall fall to the earth of the word of the LORD which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the LORD has done what He spoke by His servant Elijah.”

His conspiracy started with a personal word  from the LORD and you may have noticed allusions to God’s prophetic word along the way (2 Kings 9:3-10, 25-26 36).

One day (and along the way to that day) we will discover that ALL of God’s Word will surely come to pass, not one word will fail (Joshua 21:45; 1 Samuel 3:19; Mark 13:31).

Jehu went on too kill the brothers of King Ahaziah, and to slaughter the rest of Ahab’s family and supporters. He even schemed a plot to rid the land of the worshippers of Baal.

Now, just in case someone reads this and thinks that we can do the same thing Jehu did to those who don’t worship God, please understand the context. This is Israel, under the Old Covenant. This is Israel who was at one time was a theocratic nation. Their political covenant was unique, it was one of a kind for them alone. Under their civil law, such activity was justified, but it isn’t any longer. The Old Covenant has been replaced with the New.

None of us like to read of bloodshed, but it’s important to keep in mind and consider the blood shed by the family of Ahab and others.

Warren Wiersbe, “Why was God so severe in His judgment? Because those leaders had turned the people away from the Lord and had polluted the nation. God had special work for His people to do (Gen. 12:1–3), and they could not do it if they were unfaithful to Him.”

We read the closing words of this transition of power:

2 Kings 10:30–31 (NKJV) “And the LORD said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.’ 31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.”

Jehu cleansed the land of the worship of Baal and was used by God to execute justice, but he didn’t walk according to the law of the LORD. The idolatry of Jeroboam (which Jehu followed) used the name of the LORD, but did not use the Word of the LORD, or the priests of the LORD, and even molded calves as the image of the LORD. There are many people who say they love God or believe in Jesus – but they live according to their own standards. No one can love God without submitting to His Word (the Bible).

Warren Wiersbe, “After displaying all that zeal, Jehu should have set the example in his devotion to Jehovah, but he did not. A nation does not become righteous simply by removing evil; it must also establish godliness.”

Acts 17:1-34

The missionary team continues to travel – Thessalonica, Berea, and then on to Athens. Paul’s custom was to find a Synagogue and reason with the people, explaining and proving from the Scriptures that the Christ had to suffer, die for our sins, and rise from the dead; that Jesus is the Christ, and by faith in Him, were saved and set free.

In Thessalonica a great multitude believed, but the Jews became envious – ah, there’s that ugly word again! Imagine that, they were envious of the crowds that came to hear the message of truth. The same thing happened in Antioch of Pisidia (Acts 13:45).  You might remember that envy is the real reason they handed Jesus over to Pilate (Mark 15:10).

Let’s beware of envy – that bitter, ugly, hideous resentment when others are blessed or preferred! May we be blessed and rejoice when others prosper!

In their opposition to the gospel is the most wonderful accusation:

Acts 17:6b (NKJV) “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”

Oh Lord, please help us to be guilty of the same thing as these missionaries, please help us to turn the world back to You.

The persecution simply moves them on to Berea, where the people have been examples to the Christian world throughout the ages in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures to make sure that their preachers and teachers were lining up with God’s Word.

Persecution again moves Paul – this time to Athens where he reasoned in the Synagogue, witnessed in the marketplace with whoever happened to be there, and even preached in the Areopagus – an ancient version of social media. This is where the philosophers hung out, where new things were explored, and they relished in novelty.

Wiersbe comments, “How like our world today! The quest for novelty overshadows the search for reality.”

Paul lectured at their level.

Personally, I believe it was a great message, some have even called it a masterpiece of tact and teaching, but there’s a chance it had too much philosophy, intellectualism. Paul may have even trusted in his message and delivery. The only reason I wonder about this sermon, is because there didn’t seem to be a lot of fruit in Athens, an not only that, when Paul arrives in Corinth, he determines to preach something different, a very, very simple message – just Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).

The above map is from the website: thebiblejourney.org (link to map)

Psalm 144:1-15

David praises God before the battle, during the battle, and after the battle.

Before the battle God trains us for war (Psalm 144:1).

During the battle God is everything to us and for us. He’s our lovingkindness, our fortress, our high tower, our deliverer. Even though we’re nothing but bad, small, and insignificant in comparison to God, He values us and is mindful of us all individually (Psalm 144:2-3).

David cares about Israel nationally and it’s refelected in his prayers.

David knows the impact upon our children for good – a godly nation, leading to a godly generation.

Psalm 144:12 (NKJV) “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style.”

David even cares about the health of the nation financially, it’s economy (Psalm 144:13-14).

It’s all dependent upon how we’re doing spiritually. Is our God the LORD? The God of the Bible? If so, we will be blessed beyond measure!

Psalm 144:15 (NKJV) “Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!”

Proverbs 17:27-28

Simple words, but so life-changing. A knowledgable and understanding man only speaks what’s necessary.

How we need to be careful with our words…much more quiet at times. Loose lips lead to arguments and strife. The New Testament version of Proverbs 17:27 is:

James 1:19 (NKJV) “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

Have you ever noticed that quiet, calm people are often seen as wise? Some are, and some may not be. It’s better to be silent and have people think you’re a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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