1956.) 2 Kings 11

October 31, 2016

The Boy King, Joash

2 Kings 11   (NIV)

Athaliah and Joash

1 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family.

Athaliah was the daughter of wicked Ahab and Jezebel, and had been given to King Jehoram of Judah as a bride. Both her husband and her son were kings of Judah. New King Jehu had killed her mother and all of Ahab’s line, so Athaliah decided to return the favor and tried to kill all of David’s line.

2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. 3 He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.

2 Chronicles 22:11 tells us that Jehosheba was the wife of Jehoiada, the high priest. Josephus says that the child and his nurse were hidden in a room where spare mattresses were kept!

4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the LORD. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the LORD. Then he showed them the king’s son. 5 He commanded them, saying, “This is what you are to do: You who are in the three companies that are going on duty on the Sabbath—a third of you guarding the royal palace, 6 a third at the Sur Gate, and a third at the gate behind the guard, who take turns guarding the temple— 7 and you who are in the other two companies that normally go off Sabbath duty are all to guard the temple for the king. 8 Station yourselves around the king, each of you with weapon in hand. Anyone who approaches your ranks is to be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes.”

Jehoiada chose the Sabbath for the day of the coup, because that was the day when the guards changed their shifts and they could assemble two groups of guards at the temple at the same time without attracting attention.
–David Guzik

9 The commanders of units of a hundred did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men—those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty—and came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 Then he gave the commanders the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of the LORD. 11 The guards, each with weapon in hand, stationed themselves around the king—near the altar and the temple, from the south side to the north side of the temple.

12 Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king.

King George VI on May 12, 1937, United Kingdom

Deuteronomy 17:18 says that the king should have his own copy of the Scriptures, and here we see that Joash got his. This is the basis for the British practice of presenting the monarch with a copy of the Bible during the coronation service.

They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”

Josiah is Made King II KIngs 22:1

13 When Athaliah heard the noise made by the guards and the people, she went to the people at the temple of the LORD. 14 She looked and there was the king, standing by the pillar, as the custom was. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her robes and called out, “Treason! Treason!”

Remember, the new king is her own grandson!

15 Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops: “Bring her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be put to death in the temple of the LORD.” 16 So they seized her as she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds, and there she was put to death.

Her epitaph could be similar to this one from the Old West:

“He had six bullets but he needed seven.”

Or perhaps something on this order:

Erected to the memory of

John Macfarlane

Drowned in the Waters of Leith

By a few affectionate friends.

Or:

“Here’s all we have to say about her–
The world is better off without her.”

17 Jehoiada then made a covenant between the LORD and the king and people that they would be the LORD’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

Then Jehoiada the priest posted guards at the temple of the LORD. 19 He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards and all the people of the land, and together they brought the king down from the temple of the LORD and went into the palace, entering by way of the gate of the guards. The king then took his place on the royal throne. 20 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace.

21 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign.

2k11-joash-crowned

Isaiah 11:6 (ESV)

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “I’m a Child of the King” sung by The Happy Goodmans. Sorry, I just can’t help it! Every so often I have to have some good old gospel music — and who better than the Goodmans?

_________________________

New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
The Boy King.    http://www.bibleschoolresources.net/southernkingdom/joashcrownedking-cp.gif
coronation Bible.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/coronation-bible.jpg
Joash crowned king, priest in red robe.    http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/Divided%20Kingdom%20Artwork/images/joash_crowned_king.jpg
tombstone.    http://www.spraypaintstencils.com/a-zlistings/tombstone-stencil.gif
Joash crowned, priest in blue tunic.   http://ubdavid.org/bible/know-your-bible4/graphics/6_joash-crowned.jpg
  http://www.jesuslovesyoutoday.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/2_Kings_11.197151930_std.jpg

1955.) Psalm 83

October 28, 2016

ps83-known

Psalm 83 (NIV)

A song. A psalm of Asaph.

Study the psalm in two parts:

   ·    Verses 1 – 8:  what the enemies of God and Israel are doing

   ·    Verses 9 – 18: what the psalmist wants and prays that God will do

1 O God, do not remain silent;
do not turn a deaf ear,
do not stand aloof, O God.

“It is so difficult sometimes to go on living day by day without one authoritative word; and we are prone to rebuke Him for silence, that He is still, that He holds His peace….But God has not kept silence. The Word was manifested. In Him the silence of eternity was broken.”

–F. B. Meyer (1847-1929) British Baptist pastor and evangelist

2 See how your enemies growl,
how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”

ancient and modern coins of Israel

ancient and modern coins of Israel

“In all the annals of recorded history there has never been a people so encircled by foes or as persecuted as the Jews have been. Yet surprisingly, the Jews have prospered. In 1836 a world census indicated that there were then three million Jews living in many countries. A century later, in 1936, in spite of severe persecutions in which many Jews were killed, particularly in Russia, a second census indicated that the Jewish world population had risen to sixteen million, an increase of thirteen million in a century. The Nazis killed more than six million Jews, but today there are more Jews in the world than before the Nazi era. The only explanation for this growth is that the hand of God has been on this people and that he has blessed them.”

–James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000) pastor of Tenth Pres in Philadelphia for more than 30 years and a teacher on The Bible Study Hour radio program

5 With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you—

6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them
to reinforce Lot’s descendants.

9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor
and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession
of the pasturelands of God.”

ps83-remember

Asaph encourages himself by remembering the times in the past when the Lord has upheld his people. 

–Gideon destroyed Midian; the story is in Judges 6-8.
–Oreb and Zeeb were princes of Midian. People from the tribe of Ephraim killed them; the story is in Judges 7:24-25.
–Gideon killed Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian, in Judges 8:21.
–Sisera and Jabin come from another story, in Judges 4:1-24. Jabin was king of Hazor, and Sisera was the leader of his army. A woman, Jael, killed Sisera as he hid in her tent.
–Two judges of Israel destroyed Jabin’s army at the River Kishon.

13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, LORD,
so that they will seek your name.
17
May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD—
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

p83-mountains

Asaph ended this Psalm with an unexpected turn. After praying for the destruction of Israel’s enemies, he prayed that they would be thoroughly humbled (fill their faces with shame) so they would be led to seek Yahweh.

This Psalm began with a plea that God would not remain silent, and ends with the idea of His fame and glory going out to all the earth. 

–David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Your Grace Is Enough” — written by Matt Maher and sung by Chris Tomlin.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
 Psalm 83:18, globe.   http://prophecynewsreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/psalm-83-366×366.jpg
coins.   http://www.israel21c.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Israel-coins-268×178.jpg
Remember your people.   http://images.slideplayer.com/15/4565096/slides/slide_6.jpg
 Psalm 83:18, mountains.   http://alittleperspective.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/psa-83-18-ww-wall-9x.jpg

1954.) 2 Kings 10

October 27, 2016

2k10-ahab-blood

2 Kings 10   (NIV)

Ahab’s Family Killed

1 Now there were in Samaria seventy sons of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel, to the elders and to the guardians of Ahab’s children.

These seventy descendants of Ahab are no doubt eager to keep the throne in the family! And they are in the capital city; Jehu is not.

He said, 2 “You have your master’s sons with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons. Now as soon as this letter reaches you, 3 choose the best and most worthy of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne. Then fight for your master’s house.”

4 But they were terrified and said, “If two kings could not resist him, how can we?”

Jehu:  he who is to be feared. He had already killed King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah.

5 So the palace administrator, the city governor, the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants and we will do anything you say. We will not appoint anyone as king; you do whatever you think best.”

6 Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side and will obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel by this time tomorrow.”

Now the royal princes, seventy of them, were with the leading men of the city, who were rearing them. 7 When the letter arrived, these men took the princes and slaughtered all seventy of them. They put their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel.

After the despicable affair of Naboth’s vineyard, Elijah went to King Ahab and announced to him that every male of his descendants would be killed. Ahab repented and God postponed the fulfillment of that promise until the time of Ahab’s son.

8 When the messenger arrived, he told Jehu, “They have brought the heads of the princes.”

Then Jehu ordered, “Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”

9 The next morning Jehu went out. He stood before all the people and said, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these? 10 Know, then, that not a word the LORD has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The LORD has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed everyone in Jezreel who remained of the house of Ahab, as well as all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor.

This is one of the cases where the term “overkill” really does apply. The prophet Hosea says so:

Hosea 1:4-5 (New Living Translation)

And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”

12 Jehu then set out and went toward Samaria. At Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 he met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”

They said, “We are relatives of Ahaziah, and we have come down to greet the families of the king and of the queen mother.”

14 “Take them alive!” he ordered. So they took them alive and slaughtered them by the well of Beth Eked—forty-two of them. He left no survivor.

15 After he left there, he came upon Jehonadab son of Rekab, who was on his way to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, “Are you in accord with me, as I am with you?”

“I am,” Jehonadab answered.

“If so,” said Jehu, “give me your hand.” So he did, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot. 16 Jehu said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD.” Then he had him ride along in his chariot.

17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all who were left there of Ahab’s family; he destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD spoken to Elijah.

"The Destruction of the House of Ahab" by Michelangelo, 1511 (Sistine Chapel, Vatican)

“The Destruction of the House of Ahab” by Michelangelo, 1511 (Sistine Chapel, Vatican)

Servants of Baal Killed

18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his servants and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.

20 Jehu said, “Call an assembly in honor of Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other. 22 And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them.

23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look around and see that no one who serves the LORD is here with you—only servants of Baal.” 24 So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: “If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life.”

25 As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it. 27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.

“Demolition of the sacred stone of Baal” by Michelangelo, 1511 (Sistine Chapel, Vatican)

28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29 However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.

He got rid of Baal, but he kept the golden calves. Spurgeon says of Jehu here — “Hating one sin, he loved another.”

30 The LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” 31 Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.

32 In those days the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael overpowered the Israelites throughout their territory 33 east of the Jordan in all the land of Gilead (the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh), from Aroer by the Arnon Gorge through Gilead to Bashan.

34 As for the other events of Jehu’s reign, all he did, and all his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?

35 Jehu rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son succeeded him as king. 36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

_________________________

Music:

Time for something a little more uplifting than the deaths of kings and queens and false prophets!  HERE  — Let’s sing about God!

“How Great Thou Art”  sung here by Daniel O’Donnell.

_________________________

New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Ending Ahab’s Line.    http://www.elimbcc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/blood1.jpeg
heads in baskets.     http://www.bible-topten.com/murder7.jpg
Michelangelo — Ahab.    http://www.christusrex.org/www1/sistine/16-Ahab.jpg
Michelangelo — Baal.    http://www.wga.hu/art/m/michelan/3sistina/8medalli/03_61ms.jpg

1953.) 2 Chronicles 22

October 26, 2016
Saving the baby!

Saving the baby!

2 Chronicles 22   (NLT)

Ahaziah Rules in Judah

1Then the people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, Jehoram’s youngest son, their next king, since the marauding bands who came with the Arabs had killed all the older sons. So Ahaziah son of Jehoram reigned as king of Judah.

2 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri. 3 Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. 4 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done. They even became his advisers after the death of his father, and they led him to ruin.

5 Following their evil advice, Ahaziah joined King Joram, the son of King Ahab of Israel, in his war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. When the Arameans wounded Joram in the battle, 6 he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he had received at Ramoth. Because Joram was wounded, King Ahaziah of Judah went to Jezreel to visit him.

7 But God had decided that this visit would be Ahaziah’s downfall. While he was there, Ahaziah went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had appointed to destroy the dynasty of Ahab.

2chr22-black-obelisk

Jehu was a commander in the Israelite army who had accepted a charge from Elijah to seize the throne and eliminate Baal worship from Israel (2 Kings 9:1-10). Apparently there was widespread discontent with Joram’s rule, since Israelite troops readily took Jehu’s side (2 Kings 9:11-20). At Jezreel he killed Joram (2 Kings 9:21-28) and then went on to consolidate his power by killing Jezebel, the entire family of Joram, the ministers of Baal and 42 relatives of Ahaziah of Judah (2 Kings 9:30-10:28). No one was left to oppose him. Now bereft of allies, however, Jehu submitted to Assyria. He paid tribute to Shalmaneser III, as is recorded in the Black Obelisk from Nimrud, discovered in Iraq in 1846 (as pictured above:  Jehu kneeling before Shalmaneser).

–notes from The Archaeological Study Bible

2chr22-jehuobelisk_artistdepiction

When the ancient Assyrian Cuneiform inscription was translated the biblical world was shocked. The inscription reads, “The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears.”

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/07/top-ten-biblical-discoveries-in-archaeology-%E2%80%93-9-jehus-tribute-to-shalmaneser-iii/

8 While Jehu was executing judgment against the family of Ahab, he happened to meet some of Judah’s officials and Ahaziah’s relatives who were traveling with Ahaziah. So Jehu killed them all. 9 Then Jehu’s men searched for Ahaziah, and they found him hiding in the city of Samaria. They brought him to Jehu, who killed him. Ahaziah was given a decent burial because the people said, “He was the grandson of Jehoshaphat—a man who sought the Lord with all his heart.”

“The final movements of Ahaziah are difficult to trace but may perhaps be reconstructed as follows: he fled south from Jezreel so as to hide in Samaria. He was brought to Jehu, who fatally wounded him near Ibleam (between Jezreel and Samaria); he fled by chariot northwest to Megiddo, where he died (2 Kings 9:27); and his body was carried by Ahaziah’s servants to Jerusalem (2 Kings 9:28), where they buried him.”

–David F. Payne

But none of the surviving members of Ahaziah’s family was capable of ruling the kingdom.

Queen Athaliah Rules in Judah

10 When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of Judah’s royal family.

The King of Judah, Jehoshaphat, had married his son, Jehoram, to Athaliah, the morally bankrupt daughter of Israel’s wicked Ahab and Jezebel.  Politically, this alliance should have minimized the differences between north and south.  Theologically, however, it threatened the Lord’s guarantee that Judah should continue as a state at all.  And the end result is the death of all of Jehoshaphat’s descendants save one.

11 But Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and stole him away from among the rest of the king’s children, who were about to be killed. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. In this way, Jehosheba, wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, hid the child so that Athaliah could not murder him. 12 Joash remained hidden in the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land.

“This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”  While Athaliah thinks she has everything under her control, there is a baby in a small bedroom in the temple, and God is caring for him! And God is caring for you just as tenderly as he is caring for that little boy in the temple!

_________________________

Music:

And how can this story of little Joash not remind us of baby Jesus? Both sons in David’s royal line — both hidden away from a monarch intent on killing them — both purposed to bring people to God.  HERE  Mariah Carey sings “Jesus, Oh, What a Wonderful Child” and I hope you’ll be humming this cheerful number all day long!

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
saving the baby.    http://www.deafmissions.com/inc/devotions/1158994800.jpg
Black Obelisk and artist’s reproduction.       http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/07/top-ten-biblical-discoveries-in-archaeology-%E2%80%93-9-jehus-tribute-to-shalmaneser-iii/
baby boy.    http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/infant-boy-under-blanket.jpg

1952.) 2 Kings 9

October 25, 2016

“Queen Jezebel being punished by Jehu” by Andrea Celesti

2 Kings 9   (NIV)

Jehu Anointed King of Israel

1 The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets

According to Jewish tradition, this young prophet was Jonah.

and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. 3 Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!”

The current king Joram is the son of Ahab; Ahab’s dynasty is about to come to an end.

4 So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. “I have a message for you, commander,” he said.

“For which of us?” asked Jehu.

“For you, commander,” he replied.

6 Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head

2k9-jehu-anointed

Jehu was a commander in the army of Israel, under King Ahab and his son, King Joram. Jehu was previously anointed as a future king of Israel, who would overthrow the dynasty of Omri and Ahab (1 Kings 19:16-18).  Yet that was a long time previous to this, and now he is anointed again to show that the time of fulfillment of the previous prophecy was now at hand.  He was anointed, but was not to take the throne immediately.  Both Saul and David were anointed as King over Israel before they actually possessed the throne.
–David Guzik

and declared, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the LORD’s people Israel. 7 You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD’s servants shed by Jezebel. 8 The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’”

As my mother used to say, “What you put into the lives of others — comes back into your own.” That is bad news for Ahab and Jezebel.

Psalm 7:14-16 (NLT)

The wicked conceive evil;
they are pregnant with trouble
and give birth to lies.
They dig a deep pit to trap others,
then fall into it themselves.
The trouble they make for others backfires on them.
The violence they plan falls on their own heads.

Then he opened the door and ran.

11 When Jehu went out to his fellow officers, one of them asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this maniac come to you?”

“You know the man and the sort of things he says,” Jehu replied.

12 “That’s not true!” they said. “Tell us.”

Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.’”

13 They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah

14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth Gilead against Hazael king of Aram, 15 but King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him in the battle with Hazael king of Aram.) Jehu said, “If you desire to make me king, don’t let anyone slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16 Then he got into his chariot and rode to Jezreel, because Joram was resting there and Ahaziah king of Judah had gone down to see him.

17 When the lookout standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troops approaching, he called out, “I see some troops coming.”

“Get a horseman,” Joram ordered. “Send him to meet them and ask, ‘Do you come in peace?’”

18 The horseman rode off to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

“What do you have to do with peace?” Jehu replied. “Fall in behind me.”

I have read a couple of different ways to interpret Jehu’s response:
1)  What difference does it make to you?  Why do you care?
2)  How can you talk peace when it is obviously time for war and revolt?

The lookout reported, “The messenger has reached them, but he isn’t coming back.”

19 So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

Jehu replied, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”

20 The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.”

My father used the expression “driving like Jehu” to describe anyone driving too fast!

21 “Hitch up my chariot,” Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”

“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”

Jehu is overthrowing the current king for the right reasons.

23 Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, “Treachery, Ahaziah!”

24 Then Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart and he slumped down in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to Bidkar, his chariot officer, “Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when the LORD spoke this prophecy against him: 26 ‘Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, declares the LORD, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the LORD.’ Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the LORD.”

Jehu sees himself as fulfilling the word of the Lord against the house of Ahab. And so, at last, Naboth receives justice.

27 When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him, shouting, “Kill him too!” They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there. 28 His servants took him by chariot to Jerusalem and buried him with his ancestors in his tomb in the City of David. 29 (In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king of Judah.)

So Jehu has killed the kings of both the Northern Kingdom/Israel and the Southern Kingdom/Judah. All in a day’s work.

Jezebel Killed

30 Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out of a window.

Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.
–Jane Austen

31 As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, “Have you come in peace, you Zimri, you murderer of your master?”

32 He looked up at the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. 33 “Throw her down!” Jehu said.

So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.

The desecration of her body shows their complete disrespect for her.

34 Jehu went in and ate and drank. “Take care of that cursed woman,” he said, “and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” 35 But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. 36 They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. 37 Jezebel’s body will be like dung on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’”

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Music:

From Revelation 2:20, we learn that Jezebel’s name is used as a synonym for great evil:

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

From Wikipedia:

The name Jezebel came to be associated with false prophets, and further associated by the early 20th century with fallen or abandoned women. In Christian lore, a comparison to Jezebel suggested that a person was a pagan or an apostate masquerading as a servant of God.  By manipulation and/or seduction, she misled the saints of God into sins of idolatry and sexual immorality, sending them to hell.   In particular, Jezebel has come to be associated with promiscuity.  In modern usage, the name of Jezebel is sometimes used as a synonym for sexually promiscuous and sometimes controlling women.  In his two-volume Guide to the Bible (1967 and 1969), Isaac Asimov describes Jezebel’s last act: dressing in all her finery, make-up and jewelry, as deliberately symbolic, indicating her dignity, royal status and determination to go out of this life as a Queen.

From 1951, Frankie Laine sings “Jezebel.”  HERE.

If ever the devil was born,
Without a pair of horns
It was you,
Jezebel, it was you.

If ever an angel fell,
Jezebel,
It was you.
Jezebel, it was you.

If ever a pair of eyes,
Promised paradise.
Deceiving me, grieving me,
Leavin’ me blue.
Jezebel, it was you.

If ever a devil’s plan,
Was made to torment man,
It was you,
Jezebel, it was you.

It would be better I had I never known,
A lover such as you.
Forsaking dreams and all,
For the siren call of your arms.

Like a demon, love possessed me,
You, obsessed me constantly.
What evil star is mine,
That my fate’s design,
Should be…. Jezebel?

If ever a pair of eyes,
Promised paradise.
Deceiving me, grieving me,
Leavin’ me blue.
Jezebel, it was you.

If ever a devil’s plan,
Was made to torment man,
It was you,
Night an’ day, every way.
Jezebel, Jezebel,
Jezebel.

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New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Celesti.    http://www.wga.hu/art/c/celesti/qjezabel.jpg
Jehu anointed king.   http://www.howgodprovides.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/jehu-anointed-king.jpg
A time for war . . .     http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/4/43/A_Time_for_War_A_Time_for_Peace_cover.jpg
Jehu riding his horse.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/jehu2.jpg
eye makeup.    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2654/3757478700_81d2ae79f2_o.jpg
Jezebel being pushed.     http://www.free-stories.net/images/jezebelbiblestory.jpg

1951.) 2 Kings 8

October 24, 2016

“The Abbott Family Farm,” Scott Township, PA, painted by Austin Wooster in 1875

2 Kings 8   (NIV)

The Shunammite’s Land Restored

1 Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” 2 The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years.

3 At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to appeal to the king for her house and land. 4 The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, “Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.”

Some Bible commentators believe that this event may have happened before the events of chapter 5 and Gehazi contracting leprosy; other commentators wonder if perhaps Gehazi had been healed.

5 Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land.

Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 The king asked the woman about it, and she told him.

Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”

So the family farm can stay in the family. As an Iowa farm girl myself, I am glad!

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Music:

HERE  is an old faithful — “God Will Take Care of You.”  I can remember my mother singing this sweet song as she worked in the kitchen or the garden.  Sung by Plumb (real name Tiffany Lee), a Christian music artist from Nashville.

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Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad

7 Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill. When the king was told, “The man of God has come all the way up here,” 8 he said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the LORD through him; ask him, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”

9 Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a gift forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus. He went in and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”

10 Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless, the LORD has revealed to me that he will in fact die.” 11 He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep.

12 “Why is my lord weeping?” asked Hazael.

“Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites,” he answered. “You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women.”

13 Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?”

How our perverse pride assists us in underestimating the evil we are capable of!

“The LORD has shown me that you will become king of Aram,” answered Elisha.

14 Then Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. When Ben-Hadad asked, “What did Elisha say to you?” Hazael replied, “He told me that you would certainly recover.” 15 But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king’s face, so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king.

Jehoram King of Judah

King Jehoram of Judah lost some of his borderlands because he followed the evil ways of the kings of Israel.

16 In the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat began his reign as king of Judah. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 18 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. 19 Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the LORD was not willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever.

20 In the time of Jehoram, Edom rebelled against Judah and set up its own king. 21 So Jehoram went to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he rose up and broke through by night; his army, however, fled back home. 22 To this day Edom has been in rebellion against Judah. Libnah revolted at the same time.

23 As for the other events of Jehoram’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 24 Jehoram rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.

Ahaziah King of Judah

25 In the twelfth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. 27 He followed the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family.

2 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV)

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

28 Ahaziah went with Joram son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram; 29 so King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramoth in his battle with Hazael king of Aram.

Then Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to Jezreel to see Joram son of Ahab, because he had been wounded.

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New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Wooster.    http://www.abbott-lavalle.info/photos/farmpainting-572.jpg
Iowa map.    http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/usa/iowa/map/
King Jehoram.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/jehoramofjudah.jpg
King Ahaziah’s family tree.     http://www.kjvtoday.com/_/rsrc/1307679740578/home/forty-and-two-years-old-or-twenty-two-years-old-in-2-chronicles-222/Ahaziah.jpg

1950.) 2 Kings 7

October 21, 2016

2 Kings 7   (NIV)

(Remember, the king has just complained that all the troubles of the nation — the military siege against them, the famine weakening them — are from the Lord.)

1 Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

After the king’s disbelief, Elisha gives the king good news of God’s mercy arriving soon!

2 The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”

As I have said before — often we think we are so smart, when it is really just simple disbelief.

“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”

The Siege Lifted

3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate.

Lepers were not allowed into the city (Leviticus 13:45-46). Jewish tradition says these four men were Gahazi and his three sons — the Gehazi who was given Naaman’s leprosy after Elisha had healed him.

They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

Proverbs 28:1 (NLT)

The wicked run away when no one is chasing them,
but the godly are as bold as lions.

8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

"The four lepers looting the camp of the Syrians" by William Brassey Hole (

“The four lepers looting the camp of the Syrians” by William Brassey Hole (1846-1917)

9 Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” 11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

12 The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’”

This poor king is so in the habit of finding the negative that he just cannot see a good side! He travels a road looking for potholes, rather than enjoying the scenery! His limitation prevents him from understanding the real meaning of the message; he chooses to cling to his interpretation of the news, rather than the divine facts of the matter.

13 One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”

At least he has an adviser who can help him see a possibility here . . .

14 So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.” 15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said.

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Music:

Paul Wilbur sings a song that matches up beautifully with today’s story!  HERE  is “The Shout of El-Shaddai,” which may have been what the Arameans heard!

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17 Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. 18 It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

19 The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!” 20 And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

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New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
Isaiah verse.    http://i42.tinypic.com/2196mnq.jpg
Hole.   https://www.explorethefaith.com/concrete5/files/2714/1777/8276/The_four_lepers_looting_the_camp_of_the_Syrians_by_William_Brassey_Hole_1846-1917_courtesy_of_Orientalism_in_Art.jpg
pothole.    http://theexpiredmeter.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/pothole.jpg