Spiritual Rants: June 27 “That’s Athaliah, Folks!” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 2 Kings 10:32-12:21 Acts 18:1-22 Psalm 145:1-21 Proverbs 18:1

Old Testament: 2 Kings 10:32-12:21

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2 Kings 10:32-12:21  That’s Athaliah, Folks!

Yahweh was cutting off portions of Israel as He allowed Hazael to defeat the Israelites of the northern kingdom.  The Gadites, Reubenites and Manassites were all defeated.

Here is the chart again of all the kings of Israel and Judah.

Kings Israel and Judah

 

Jehu died after reigning for twenty-eight years.  Jehozhaz was up next.

When Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, saw that her son had been murdered, she killed any relatives with claims to the throne.   Ahaziah’s sister took Ahaziah’s son, Joash, away and hid him so he wouldn’t be killed.  He was hidden for six years while Athaliah was reigning as Queen over Judah.

The priest at that time was Jehoiada and he protected Joash.  He had Joash crowned king over Judah.  When Athaliah heard all the ruckus she went to the Temple and saw her son standing there looking like he was the king, which he was.  She screamed, “Treason!”   Jehoiada commanded the captains in the army to bring her out and kill whomever followed her.  When she got as far as the front of the king’s palace she was put to death.

Everyone was happy that there was a new king and that the Queen had been offed.  Joash (aka Jehoash) was only seven years old when he became king which was the seventh year of Jehu’s reign in the northern kingdom. Joash lasted for forty years which was one of the longest reigns of any king in Israel or Judah.  Joash followed his priest’s lead but still allowed sacrificing on the high places.

Jehoash (aka Joash) called for donations to repair the Temple.  Jehoiada, the priest, use a secured chest with a hole in it to keep the money so no one could embezzle the funds.

Hazael, the king of Aram, came against Gath and took the town.  He next moved toward Jersusalem but Joash bought him off by giving him the valuables and gold in the Temple.  Hazael retreated.

Joash finally was killed by a conspiracy of his servants.  His son, Amaziah took over.

New Testament:  Acts 18:1-22

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Acts 18:1-22  Getting Crispy

Jews were forced out of Italy so as a result Aquila and Priscilla ended up in Corinth in Greece. It just so happened that fellow-tentmaker, Paul, was there at the same time.  Paul was again trying to “reason” with the Jews and Greeks in the synagogue.

Silas and Timothy came down to Corinth from Macedonia which enabled Paul to devote himself completely to preaching Christ.  The Jews there resisted the movement of God and “blasphemed” (v. 6) so he shook his garments out at them in disgust and left.  He decided to concentrate on just Gentiles from that point on.  He went to the house of a man named Titius Justus who was a believer and lived close to the synagogue.

The leader of the synagogue, Crispus, along with his entire household trusted Christ and many Corinthians then followed suit and were baptized.  The Lord spoke to Paul one night in a vision and told him that he didn’t have to be afraid to speak out because no one was going to harm him in that town but, in fact, many would believe.  Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and half teaching the Word to whoever could.

At one point the Jews got really mad at Paul and brought him before the Roman judgment seat accusing him of persuading men to worship God against the law.  Paul was about to defend himself when the fella in charge, Gallio, told the Jews to take care of the problem themselves.  Gallio said he was only in charge of taking care of crimes and misdemeanors not religion.  And he kicked them out.  So they took Sosthenes, who was in charge of the synagogue, and beat him!  Gallio didn’t care.

Paul decided to move on by sea and took off for Syria, above Israel, with Priscilla and Aquilla.  Paul had taken a vow and was not cutting his hair but decided to have it cut in Cenchrea.  At Ephesus he left Priscilla and Aquilla and tried to reason with the Jews in the synagogue there.  They asked him to stay even longer but he wouldn’t do it.  He said maybe he could return sometime if God let him.  Then he landed at Caesarea and said “hi” to everyone at the church there.  Then went back to his home base at Antioch in Greece.

 

Psalm 145:1-21   Hymn By David

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Psalm 145:1-21  Gud ‘Un

All of the rest of the psalms are hymns with the last psalm, 150, acting as a doxology for the entire book of psalms.  This psalm is again written by David.  It is the last psalm attributed to David.  It is in the form of an acrostic like we have seen before, most notably in Psalm 119.  But in this psalm, though each verse begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the letter nun is missing.

No one really knows why the nun line is missing.  Perhaps, the Jews would have nun of what was in that verse.  It has been found in one of the copies of the Hebrew and is translated in the NIV and the HCSB.

Way back when I was in college, I used to work in one of the sororities as a houseboy.  I served tables and cleaned up the kitchen.  When I told a particularly good joke, one of the other houseboys would say, “Gud ‘un.”  By that, he meant, “Good one.”  He was trying to sound like a hick.  I tried to say it but couldn’t get it right until he spelled it for me.

This psalm spells out God’s goodness for us so we can have “gud ‘uns,” that is good days.  Study it and apply it.  You will have more good days.

We sing a song in our church based on the first three verses of this psalm.  Those verses state that God is the greatest.  He is so great that we can’t even understand how great He is.  You might think that it is unnecessary to tell God how great He is.  But ask your wife, husband, or kids sometime if they know that you think they are great.  Then ask them if they like hearing you say it.  My daughter is always asking me if I love her.  I tell her that I told her I loved her when she is born and if anything ever changes, I’ll let her know.  But then I tell her I love her anyway.

All of the generations of the Jewish people have extolled God and declared His mighty deeds (vv. 5-6).  After all, they wrote the Scriptures that extol God’s greatness!  Those who love God will enjoy getting together to remind each other of God’s greatness (v. 7).  In this time period, we call that the church.

Do you remember that God is not like us?  We have a “short fuse.”  God is slow to get angry (cf. Exod. 34:6; Ps. 103:8).  He expects us to model him (cf. James 1:19).

Whenever I feel down, I try to remember that God is good (v. 9).  He only wants and allows good for me (cf. Rom. 8:28; James 1:17).  Things seem to get better after that.  When we realize that, it is easier to give thanks for all things (v. 10, cf. Eph. 5:20; 1 Thes. 5:18).

Strangely, when Jesus came offering the kingdom to the Jews when He came the first time, the Jewish leadership clearly rejected Him (v. 11, cf. Matt. 26:65-66; 27:20-23; Luke 9:22).  But a time will come when everyone will speak of the glory of Christ’s kingdom that will last forever (vv. 12-13).

The nun verse was found in the Qumran.  It can be found between verses 13 and 14 in the NIV and HCSB.  It says, “The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”  It’s possible that someone making a copy added it in so there’d be a nun verse.  It’s also possible that it’s original.  In this psalm it seems a little redundant.  The entire psalm indicates that God is reliable and can be trusted.  Psalms 25 and 34 are partial acrostics so missing a verse in an acrostic form is not unheard of.  I report.  You decide.

Even if we stumble, God will pick us up (v. 14, cf. Ps. 37:34 NIV).  Verse 15 reminds me of a picture of little baby birds chirping and looking for food when their mama comes back with worms.  God takes care of the sparrows and He takes care of us, too (cf. Matt. 6:24-33; 10:29).  God provides for everyone and everything (v. 16, cf. Matt. 5:45).

God is absolutely perfect and pure (v. 17).  Anyone who asks for eternal salvation and forgiveness of sins will be granted their prayer (v. 18, cf. John 3:16; 2 Pet. 3:9).

Not long after I was saved, I met a youth pastor from Lon’ Geye-land, as he called it.  He told me that God would give us the desires of our hearts according to Ps. 37:4, “Psa. 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”  He had always wanted to play professional basketball and got to do it for a short time.  God had given him the desires of the his heart.  I wanted to be a DJ and got to do it for a short time at a contemporary Christian radio station.

Verse 19 echoes Ps. 37:4.  God first of all cares that we have a heart for Him.  Secondarily, he will grant some of our other wishes.  He loves us.

He will ensure that we make it to Heaven (v. 20, cf. John 6:39; 10:27-29).  If the Holy Spirit dwells in believers and is joined to our spirits (cf. Rom. 8:9, 16).  That being the case, if our bodies give out, the Holy Spirit has to return to Heaven from whence He came.  And He has to bring our attached spirits with Him!  We have to go to Heaven when our bodies kick out!  The Holy Spirit draws us!

On the other hand, He will ensure that the wicked are punished.  The wicked are the ones who have rejected Christ (cf. Rev. 20:11-15, Luke 10:16; John 12:48; The GWT).

Some day every knee will bow before Christ (v. 21).  What a great day that will be!  Can you believe that you will actually be standing there and will see Christ on His throne in the Millennium?  Allowing for a seven year tribulation period, it could happen as soon as seven years from this moment!

Until then, if we meditate on the goodness of God, we can have good days as we praise Him for His goodness.  When we enter into the Millennium, every day will be a “gud ‘un”!

Proverbs 18:1    A Cult Above?

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2 Corinthians 6:17, quoting Isa. 52:11, says, “ . . . COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.”  The gist is that Christians should lead clean lives and thus be different from unbelievers.

Some Christians have taken a legalistic meaning of this verse and impose their own unbiblical standards and judge other brothers and sisters accordingly.  It allows them to feel superior.  Of course, that was the major sin of Satan, pride.  It is the preeminent sin of cult leaders and false teachers and their followers.

That same sin is manifested in unbelievers.  However, they separate themselves from righteousness and sometimes form their own sinful cliques.  Their lifestyles don’t make any sense but wisdom is not anything that causes these people to stumble.  I was watching a documentary today that included an interview with an eastern mystic.  He had something hanging off his nose, strange clothing, and a shaved head.  I wondered if he realized how he looked to others.  He certainly was separated from the rest of the human race.

 

Choose Life: Scripture:  Acts 18:10  NASB    “Word!”

“ . . . for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.”  Acts 18:10

This was one of those Scriptures that lifted off the page for me aka a rhema or a personal word from God.  I was reading along and wondering if I should be starting a church in the town we had been living in.  We were traveling forty-five minutes to an old, historic church we had been called to. Here comes Acts 18: 10 but I still wasn’t sure.

The normal way to know God’s will, the way I teach it, is to consider if circumstances, Scripture, and having a peace from the Holy Spirit all line up (see blog Three Lights Of Guidance).  Sometimes, God will impress us with something special like having a Scripture raise itself off the page to get our attention.  He does special things in special circumstances.

Our little church start has not really grown to gargantuan proportions so I tend to doubt if I’m really in God’s will.  But one wintry, cold night, when I was particularly discouraged, I could hear a knock at the door downstairs.  A few minutes later, my wife came up with the gift of a book with a photo-copied page from a daily devotional.  The Scripture at the top of the page of the devotional?  Acts 18:10.

Be open to God speaking to you in any way He wants.  He usually speaks through circumstances, Scripture, and a peace from the Spirit.  Sometimes, He can lift a Scripture off the page.  But don’t expect it too often and it will never be anything that contradicts the normal reading of Scripture or breaks your fellowship with God.  Or is impossible.

Are you listening for God?

 

If you are, you will find that you have chosen life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:  

Kids today have a peculiar way of saying “Amen.”  Sometimes they just make a funny gesture with their fingers and say, “Word!”

Every day we should be living with a sense that we have God’s approval.  It’s like He’s flashing us the sign for “Word.”  Of course, if you’re living according to His Word and are studying it, you’ll be alright.

Is there anything you are doing that you don’t think conforms to His Word?  The Scripture says that anything that we do from doubt is wrong (cf. Rom. 14:23; James 1:5-8).

A pastor friend of mine has a motto: “When in doubt, do without.”

 

 

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   That’s Athaliah, Folks!

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