Old Testament: 2 Kings 13:1-14:29
2 Kings 13:1-13 Jehoahaz, Joash aka Jehoash, Jeroboam again
Here is the chart of the kings again.
Jehoahaz became king after Jehu. He reigned for seventeen years. As most of the kings of Israel, he is described as having done “evil in the sight of the Lord” and was like the first king of northern Israel, Jeroboam. Yahweh was not pleased with them and kept allowing them to be punished by Hazael of Aram and his son, Ben-hadad.
Jehoahaz pled for mercy from Yahweh to given them relief from their oppressors. Yahweh sent Israel a deliverer (v. 5) but the people of the northern kingdom continued in the same sin of worshipping idols. Jehoahaz’ army dwindled through battle to only fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers.
After Jehoahaz, his son Joash aka Jehoash became king in the northern kingdom. He was in charge for sixteen years. He also “did evil in the sight of the Lord” (v. 11). He acted like his forefather, Jeroboam, in allowing idol worship. The northern kingdom doesn’t seem to be able to shake that stuff. The sins of the fathers are truly passed down . . . In fact, his son reigned after him and his name? Jeroboam, the same as the first king of the northern kingdom.
2 Kings 13:14-25 Oh, Shoot!
Elisha incurred a terminal illness so King Joash came to him. Joash was concerned about the fate of the northern kingdom. Elisha told him to take his bow and arrow and shoot. Elisha said it was the Lord’s victory arrow because he would defeat the Arameans. Then he told Joash to strike the ground with his arrows and he struck the ground with them three times. Elisha was really angry and told him he should have struck the ground at least five times. It would have taken that many attacks to totally annihilate the Arameans but he only struck three times.
Then Elisha passed away and was buried. An amazing miracle followed. The grave diggers noticed a raiding party of Moabites about ready to attack so they just threw the body of a man into the grave of Elisha. The dead man’s body touched the bones of Elisha and was revived and stood up!
During the days of Jehoahaz, Hazael of Aram continually harassed the northern kingdom but Yahweh spared them because of his covenant going all the way back to Abraham. When Hazael finally died, Ben-hadad took his place and Jehoash (Joash) was able to take back all the cities Hazael had won in battle. Joash (Jehoash) defeated him three times just as Elisha had indicated.
2 Kings 14:14-29 Leave well enough alone!
Amaziah reigned in Judah, the southern kingdom following his father Joash (aka Jehoash but not the same one as in the northern kingdom!). He was only twenty-five when he took over and was in charge for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. He did pretty well spiritually as king but not as good as David. He allowed all the same idol worship that his father Joash had. Once he was firmly in control of the government, he slayed his father’s assassins. He wouldn’t off the sons of the slayers, though, according to the law of Moses (Deut. 24:16).
Amaziah won a huge victory, beating the Edomites in the Valley of Salt leaving 10,000 causalities and then also took in another city in Edom.
Amaziah challenged Jehoash of the northern kingdom to a fight. Jehoash said something about a thorn bush and a wedding but what he meant was that the southern kingdom should chill. Just because they had beaten Edom didn’t mean they could be beat against the north. They should just stay at home and bask in their glory and leave well enough alone.
Amaziah decided not to take Jehoash’s advice and suffered the consequences. Israel beat Judah so badly that the southern soldiers all ran back to their home towns. To add insult to injury, Jehoash captured Amaziah, then tore down the wall in front of Jerusalem. He stole all the gold and silver out of the Temple and the palace. He also took hostages and went back to his home base in Samaria.
Jeroboam then took over for Jehoash in the northern kingdom. (See second paragraph down.)
Azariah aka Uzziah took over for Amaziah in Judah. Amaziah was assassinated after he fled to Lachish when he heard about the plot on his life. He was returned to Jerusalem for burial. Azariah was only sixteen years-old when he assumed leadership of the country.
Meanwhile, in Samaria, Jeroboam became king in the northern kingdom. (This coincided with the fifteenth year of Amaziah’s reign in the south.) He was known as Jeroboam II so as not to be confused with the original king of Israel and the original propagator of evil and idol worship. He fulfilled the prophecy of Jonah (yea, that Jonah!) by restoring the border of Israel and actually acquired Damascus and Hamath by taking it from Judah. He was king for forty-one years which is a longer reign than any other king of Israel. Though Yahweh was not pleased with the spirituality of the northern kingdom, He protected them through the rule of Jeroboam II.
When Jeroboam II died, Zechariah took over.
New Testament: Acts 18:23-19:12
Acts 18:23-19:12 Missionary Trip, Take 3
After spending time at his home base of Antioch in Greece, Paul moved on to the Galatian and Phrygian regions encouraging all the disciples in the churches there.
A man who had been a disciple of John the Baptist showed up in Ephesus. He was Jewish but Alexandrian by birth. He was well-taught in the things of the Lord and was teaching in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they corrected some his doctrine in points and tightened up his theology. He wanted to go to the Achaia area in Greece so he was sent out by the fellowship. He was able to correct the Jews regarding Jesus by using the Old Testament Scriptures.
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul was in Ephesus and came across some disciples of John The Baptist. They had been baptized by John but they didn’t know anything at all about the Holy Spirit. Paul clarified their understanding of the baptism of John versus the baptism of Jesus and then they were baptized by immersion in the name of Jesus. Paul laid his hands on them and when he did, they began speaking in languages they hadn’t learned and began prophesying. There were twelve of these men.
Paul started preaching in the synagogue in Corinth and he kept it up for three months. Again, he was “reasoning” with them and teaching about the kingdom of God. Some of the Jews were belligerent so Paul moved to the lecture hall of Tyrannus. He taught there for two years with the result that all of the Jews and Gentiles in the Asian province in Turkey heard the Word of God.
Amazing miracles were being done by God through the Apostle Paul. Even his handkerchiefs and parts of his clothing were used to heal people and cast out demons!