“Not Your Normal Jehu” – One Year Bible Reading – June 26

Old Testament: 2 Kings 9:14-10:31

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2 Kings 9: 14 – 26  Dog-gone!

Did you think it was difficult to keep the kings names straight up till now?  Notice here that we have a king named Joram.  He is the same man as Jehoram in the KJV .  This Jehoram/Joram is not the same person as the Jehoram who succeeded Jehoshaphat.  Got that?  Here is the chart again to help you tell your players:

Kings Israel and Judah

There came a man named Jehu to assassinate Joram.  As we last left Joram, he was in Jezreel nursing his wounds from the battle with Hazael of Aram.  It turned out that Amaziah, the king of Judah, was visiting Joram at the time in Jezreel.   The watchman could see a horseman and his company coming towards them.  Joram sent out a horseman and then another to find out what was going on.  The watchman reported that neither was coming back and that it looked like it was Jehu coming towards them because he was a reckless driver.

Both Ahaziah and Joram went out to meet Jehu.  It turned out they were in the field of Naboth when they came together.  Remember Naboth?  He was the one who owned the field that Ahab had coveted.  When Joram saw Jehu he said to him, “Is everything cool?”  Jehu said, “How could everything be cool when you’re mother is a whore and a witch?”  When someone talks like that, you know things are not good.  Joram did a U turn and yelled to Ahaziah, “We’re in trouble!”  Jehu drew his bow and let Joram have it right in the heart.  Joram sank down in his chariot.  Jehu had him thrown into Naboth’s vineyard, knowing that it fulfilled a prophecy about Ahab’s progeny.

Ahaziah saw what was going on and took off.  Jehu had him shot in his chariot, too, and he died on the way to Megiddo.  He was taken to Jerusalem and buried.

Jehu went to Jezreel where Ahab’s wife, Jezebel lived.  She put on her makeup to try to seduce her assassin.  Maybe she didn’t realize she was grandmother with a twenty-three year-old grandson and wouldn’t be successful seducing anyone.  Anyway, as Jehu approached she called him a “Zimri” who was a king who had murdered his predecessor about fifty years earlier.  Zimri only ruled for a week and then committed suicide so Jezebel may have been insinuating that it’d be best to make peace and align with her.

Jehu looked up at her in the window and asked if there was anyone on his side up there.  Several of her eunuch servants were more than willing to toss her out.  And they did.  Jehu rode his horse over her a few times to make sure she was dead.  He entered the house to have his first meal as king and then remembered that Jezebel was a queen and deserved a royal burial.  He sent down a crew to take of the burying her but there wasn’t much of her left.  There was just a skull, a couple feet and a couple hands.  Every other part was eaten by local dogs which fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah that she and her husband’s blood would be lapped up by canines (1 Kings 21:23).  Both she and her son, Joram, had died on the field she had so fiendishly stolen from Naboth.

2 Kings 10: 1 – 17   Not Your Normal Jehu

Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria.  Jehu invited them to all go to Samaria to have the best of them fight each other to take over his father’s throne.  The officials of Samaria, seeing that Jehu had already offed two kings, asked Jehu what he wanted.  Jehu said to send him the heads of all seventy of Ahab’s heirs.  So they sent him the heads in baskets that Jehu dumped in them in two heaps at the gates of Jezreel.  Jehu announced to his people that it was all the will of the Lord as expressed in the prophecy of Elijah.  Then Jehu killed all the rest of Ahab’s descendants in Jezreel.  Not one of the forty-two them survived.

Jehu traveled to Samaria and on the way he came across some relatives of Ahaziah, who had been the king of Judah that he had offed.  The group said they were coming to visit Ahab and Jezebel.  Jehu had them taken alive and then killed at the pit of Beth-eked.  He also tricked another of Ahab’s relatives to get into his chariot but he really was taking him to Samaria and offed all of Ahab’s relatives that were there.

2 Kings 10: 18 – 31  My Aching Calves

Jehu tricked all the Baal worshippers to assemble by announcing he was going to worship Baal more than Ahab had.  When all the Baal worshippers arrived at the temple of Baal, Jehu told one of the attendants to bring  special robes for everyone.  He told the attendant not to allow Yahweh worshippers to enter only Baal worshippers.

Jehu had surrounded the place with eighty men and told them that if anyone let any of the people inside to escape, he’d have to pay with his life.  The worshippers offered their burnt offerings to Baal and when they were done, he sent his men in to kill them all.   They burned the pillars of the house and completely broke it down so that it was later used as an outdoor bathroom.

In all his zeal, Jehu failed to get rid of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan which were erected by Jeroboam who was the first king of Israel and started all the false worship in that kingdom.  Despite that, Yahweh commended him for getting rid of all the Baal worship and the family of Ahab.  He promised to keep one of his descendants on the throne of Israel for four generations.  In the end, Jehu would have to be judged an idol worshipper just like his ancient relative Jeroboam.

New Testament:  Acts 17:1-34

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Acts 17:1-9   Bailing Out

Paul and Silas stopped over at Thessalonica because there was a Jewish synagogue there.  Paul “reasoned” on three Saturdays there with lots of rock music and choirs and testimonies of famous Greek soccer stars.  Just kidding.  He just “reasoned” with them (v.2) using the Bible that Jesus had to suffer and then rise from the dead.  Some of them grasped what he was saying and believed.  Some of the local Greeks and leading women also believed.

Many of the Jews got jealous and went so far as to form a mob and stirred everyone up.  They went to the house of Jason and demanded that Paul and company be brought out.  When they couldn’t find them, they dragged Jason before the city authorities.  The charge was that Paul and co. had “turned the world upside down” and now were in their town.  They supposedly were opposing the “decrees of Caesar” and saying there was another king, Jesus (v. 7).  That stirred things up even more.  Jason and his group had to pay bail to get freed.

Acts 17:10- 15  Berean Brains

In contrast, at Berea, everyone was opening their Bibles and checking out everything Paul was teaching.  But the Thessalonians heard about it and came to stir up trouble in Berea, too.  So the fellowship sent Paul out but Silas and Timothy stayed to teach.   Paul went as far as Athens and then Paul called for Silas and Timothy to meet him.

Acts 17: 16 – 21  Brushing Up On Greek

Paul could feel his spirit gurgling up within him in Athens at the sight of so much idol worship.  Paul gave the gospel in the synagogue but also out in the mall with whoever would listen to him.  Epicureans were hedonists and the Stoics were just the opposite.  Paul talked with both groups.  They thought he was “babbling” (v. 18) and was preaching some kind of foreign gods.  They brought him to the Areopagus so he could explain everything to them because it didn’t make any sense to them.  The Areopagus is basically a rock formation in town that was used for people to express their views.  People in Athens liked hearing about new philosophies.

The Areopagus with the plaque of Paul’s sermon.

250px-Ariospagos

Murder cases were heard here and perhaps also religious disputes were settled which would explain why Paul was invited to speak there.  The Areopagus was also called Mars Hill.

Acts 17: 22 – 34    Mars Hill Sermon

Paul told the Athenians:

1)  Paul could see they were religious

2)  Paul saw their altars and one had the inscription, “to an unknown god”

3)  Since they worshipped an unknown god, Paul was there to let them know who the God was

4)  He is the God who made all of heaven and earth and everything in them and does not live in human-made temples

5)  He doesn’t need anything from anyone because He is the one who gives life and breath to everything else

6)  He made humankind from one man (Adam) and determined how they would spread out from Him

7)  He is not far from anyone since we move and have our being in Him

8)  Some of the Athenian poets had written about Him, saying, “‘For we are indeed his offspring'”

9)  Since we are children of God, it only makes sense that God also has a personality and is not like a rock or a piece of gold or something man made up

10)  This God overlooked man’s ignorance in the past but now calls everyone to change their thinking

11)  The reason He is calling for a change of thinking is because there will come a day of accountability to Him

12)  The judging will come by a single man Whom He raised from the dead

When they heard of the concept of the Resurrection from the dead some poo-pooed it but others wanted to hear more.

Paul absconded but some left with him and believed.  Dionysius the Areopagite was one and another was Damaris, a woman, along with some others, too.

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