Old Testament: 2 Kings 8:1-9:13
2 Kings 8: 1 – 6 One “Lucky” Gal
Elisha knew that a seven-year famine was coming so he warned the Shunammite woman whose son he had raised. She absconded. After seven years, Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, happened to be telling the king about Elisha and all his deeds including the story of the Shunammite woman. (Either the story here occurs before Gehazi incurred the leprosy or his type of disease did not require isolation.) The woman showed up in the middle of the conversation to ask the king for her land and house back. The king was so impressed that she got everything back again including all that was harvested off her land.
2 Kings 8: 7- 15 Hazael Raising
Elisha traveled to Damascus where rotten King Ben-hadad was ailing. Ben told Hazael to bring a gift to Elisha and ask if he would recover or not. Hazael met Elisha with forty loaded camels and asked him if Ben-hadad would recover. Elisha told Hazael to tell that he would recover though the Lord has shown Elisha that Ben-hadad would die. Then Elisha stared Hazael down until he was embarrassed. Then Elisha broke down and cried. “What are you crying about?” Hazael inquired. Elisha said it was because he knew what Hazael was going to do, set the Israeli fortifications on fire, kill the young warriors, smash little kids to pieces and rip up pregnant women. Hazael asked how he could do such things since he was nothing in the kingdom. Elisha answered that Yahweh had shown him that he’d end up king of Israel.
Hazael returned to Ben-hadad and told him he’d recover. The next day he returned and soaked the king’s covers in water and smothered him with it. The Hazael became king.
2 Kings 8: 16 – 23 A String Of Kings, Pay Attention
This chart may help you follow all the kings being discussed in the blogs. Try clicking on it to expand it.
Five years after Joram starting reigning in Israel, Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat became the king in Judah. He was thirty-two years old and reigned for eight years. He was as evil as any of his predecessors. He was married to the daughter of the evil Ahab/Jezebel duo. We have mentioned what happens when someone good marries someone bad or an unbeliever. Jehoram “did evil” as if he was in the line of Jeroboam and Ahab. But for the sake of David, Yahweh did not destroy him.
During this time, the land of Edom broke from Judah so Jorah with his troops from the northern kingdom attacked but were surrounded and had to retreat.
Then Jehoram died and Ahaziah took over in Israel, the northern kingdom. Ahaziah was only twenty-two years-old at the time. He was only king for one year. His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri, a former king of Israel. He acted like his kin, doing as much evil as he could just like Ahab, whose son-in-law he was.
Ahaziah of Israel became an ally with Joram of Judah against Hazael, the king of Aram. The Arameans wounded Joram so that Joram had to retreat to Jezreel to try to heal up. Ahaziah went there to visit him.
2 Kings 9: 1 – 13 Je-Who?
Elisha asked one of his seminary students to anoint Jehu as king over the northern kingdom of Israel. He was to go Ramoth-gilead and get the job done and then abscond quickly back out the door and not let it hit him in the rear.
When the student got to town, the army commanders were sitting around yapping. So the young prophet asked Jehu to step inside. Then he poured the oil on the head of Jehu and told him that he would strike the relatives of Ahab. He said that he would decimate them like Yahweh had taken care of the houses of Jeroboam and Baasha before him. He said the dogs would have Jezebel for lunch in Jezreel and there wouldn’t be enough of her left to bury. Then he did his best Jesse Owens imitation and was gone.
Jehu came out to the other commanders and one of them asked if everything was OK, why the “madman” had come to visit. Jehu said that they all knew why the man had come. They asked to be told more. Jehu said, “He came to anoint me as king.” Then they all hurried to rip off their cloaks on the stairs and blew a trumpet to announce his ascendancy to the throne.
New Testament: Acts 16: 16 – 40
Acts 16: 16 – 40 Fortune-ate
Luke and Paul were headed to the Temple but a slave-girl was trailing them and yelling, “These guys are God’s slaves and proclaiming the way of salvation to everyone!” She made her master money by telling fortunes. She did this for quite a few days and finally Paul got irked. He turned around and addressed the spirit in the girl, “In the name of Jesus Christ, come out!” And it did.
When her employers saw they were going to lose a fortune, they forcefully brought Paul and Silas to the people in charge of the market. They accused them of breaking Roman customs since they were Jewish.
The crowd there got into a dither and the chief magistrates had Paul and Silas’ clothes ripped off to beat them with rods. After they had beaten them pretty badly, they had them thrown in prison. The guard was told to hold them securely so he had them placed in an inner jail with their feet clamped in stocks.
About midnight the two of them were praying and singing hymns with the other prisoners listening to them when an earthquake shook the joint down to its foundation. It caused all the jail doors to open and everyone’s chains to come undone. When the jailer woke up and saw what had happened he drew his sword to off himself. But Paul cried out for him to stop since all the prisoners were still in the jail. Lights were brought in and the jailer fell at Paul and Silas’ feet, asking what he needed to do to be saved.
Paul and Silas told him that he needed to believe in Jesus and that he and his entire household would be saved. Paul preached to everyone in his house. The jailer cleaned Paul’s and Silias’ wounds and then he and his whole family were baptized. The jailer fed everyone and was one very happy gardarme.
At daybreak the chief magistrates sent some policemen to release Paul and Silas. The jailer relayed the words to Paul and Silas and told them they could go in peace. Paul said, “Huh? They beat us in public with no trial, threw us in prison and now tell us to go in peace? I don’t think so. After all, we’re Roman citizens! Tell them to come themselves and escort us out!” The policemen went back to the magistrates who became very afraid when they heard they had beaten and arrested Roman citizens. So they went themselves and pleaded with Paul and Silas to leave town. Next stop was Lydia’s place. They encouraged the Christians there and then left again.