Today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 9:14-10:31; Acts 17:1-34; Psalm 144:1-15; Proverbs 17:27-28
God had vowed to avenge the murders of His prophets by Jezebel. In today’s reading God accomplishes this through Jehu who first kills Joram, the son of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kings 9:24).
Joram died on the plot of land that Jezebel had wickedly obtained from Naboth (2 Kings 9:25) fulfilling the prophecy that God would repay Ahab on that very plot of land. Notice that Jehu is doing just what God told him to do (2 Kings 9:26). Sometimes what God asks us to do isn’t pleasant. But we should do it anyway out of obedience and reverence for Him.
Jehu also kills Ahaziah who was Ahab’s grandson (2 Kings 9:27). The wicked Jezebel is killed also in the exact manner God had predicted (2 Kings 9:33-35).
Notice that several times in this passage in 2 Kings 9 that someone asks Jehu if he comes in peace. Each time his answer is the same. There can be no peace as long as we allow sin to rule our lives. We must rid our lives of sin to the extent possible and replace it with the presence of God. Then we will have peace.
In this culture the desecration of a dead body was worse than death itself. God not only took Jezebel’s life, He allowed her body to be treated in the worst way possible bringing even more shame on her legacy.
In 2 Kings 10:1-31 Jehu kills more of Ahab’s family, again in accordance with God’s command. God did not kill these people for no reason. They were evil. They would have spread their evilness throughout Judah and Israel. God’s purpose in taking their lives was to protect the rest of Israel from future ungodly leadership. Ahab was the most evil king Israel ever saw. His offspring would have been at least as bad. So God left him without any survivors (2 Kings 10:11) just as He said He would.
Here we see that our physical lives are not as important as we might think they are. God is less interested in us living a long life on this earth than He is in having us live a strong spiritual life and being with Him in heaven.
Jehu destroys the temple to Baal in 2 Kings 10:20-27 and converted it to a public toilet. There could be no greater dishonor to a false god.
It appears that Jehu was a king who was right with God. And although God does commend him for all he did (2 Kings 10:30) Jehu did not follow God with all his heart (2 Kings 10:31). Apparently Jehu did these things for his own glory. Many people have a head-knowledge of God and expect to be rewarded for doing certain things. But this is not true. God wants our hearts, not our heads, to be completely devoted to Him.
Biblical prophecy, especially the Old Testament, can be a strong witness in leading people to Christ as we see in Acts 17:3. The Bible contains many specific prophecies about Jesus (and other topics). Fulfilled prophecy is one of the best pieces of evidence to prove the existence of God.
God calls on Christians to impact the world. This is exactly what Paul and Silas did in Thessalonica – they “upset the world” (Acts 17:6). We are not here to enjoy the world. God wants us to change the world.
Its interesting that the accusers understand that Jesus was a king (Acts 17:7). Not enough Christians today understand this.
The behavior of the Bereans in Acts 17:11 is a good example to follow. They were open minded and didn’t just believe what they heard. They researched it to see if it was true. Non believers are well-advised to do the same today.
Paul is willing to preach anywhere. He preaches in both the synagogue and in the marketplace (Acts 17:17). God should not be constrained to just a church on Sunday. He wants us to tell people about Him wherever we are.
The story of salvation through Jesus Christ is certainly not mainstream – it is not how most people expect to get to heaven. Yet it is true. That is why people need to hear it. The novelty of the message often piques an interest (Acts 17:20).
In Athens some people laughed at Paul but others showed an interest (Acts 17:32). Not everyone will receive the gospel message seriously. That should not discourage us. Their attitude is between them and God. Some people will believe (Acts 17:34). But that too is the work of God.
No matter how troublesome life gets at times, God is our protection (Psalm 144:2). He always loves us and provides for us, even though we are nothing compared to Him (Psalm 144:3).
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