November 13th: Bible Meditation for 1 Chronicles 1–2
Bible Readings for November 13th 1 Chronicles 1–2 | Hebrews 8 | Amos 2 | Psalm 145 The books of Chronicles are very similar to the books of Samuel and Kings, so that we will read many of the same stories we just finished reading over again during the next few weeks. And yet, the books of Chronicles are doing something very different than what we saw in the previous four books of the Bible. We are not merely reading a second-hand retelling of the same stories. Rather, we are looking at the same stories from a fresh vantage point: where everything that we have read so far looks backward to trace the downfall of Israel and Judah into exile, Chronicles now retells the story by looking forward to the renewal that Yahweh would bring his people through the coming Messiah. What this means practically is that, where the books of Samuel and Kings meticulously documented the sins of Israel and Judah, the books of Chronicles focus largely on the positive elements of Yahweh’s people and of the mercy Yahweh shows to his people again and again. It isn’t that the books of Chronicles are trying to sweep Israel’s sins under the rug but rather that the two tellings of these stories serve different purposes. The books of Samuel and Kings serve to provide undeniable prosecutorial evidence that Yahweh was justified in sending his people into exile, but Chronicles charts a path forward for the people of God beyond the exile. This helps to explain why 1 Chronicles begins with the genealogies of the very first humans to walk the earth. Through lineages, the author of the Chronicles retraces the ancient stories of Adam and Seth, Noah and Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, and Jacob/Israel leading up to David. These genealogies preserve for us many of the names of Yahweh’s people that we do not find elsewhere, but they also take us back (in brief) through the rich history of how Yahweh has led his people all the way from the beginning. Furthermore, these genealogies tell us the stories in the simplest possible format: in a list of names that drive us back to the stories as written elsewhere. The goal here is not so much to provide us with new facts but to reframe the whole story of Yahweh and his people, starting at the beginning. Ultimately, the stories we read in the books of Chronicles will provide substantial direction in understanding who Jesus would be. Primarily, Samuel and Kings gave us a picture of what Jesus needed to save his people from, but Chronicles will show us what Jesus needs to save his people for. That is, in the stories to come, we will see a fresh vision for the role of the king and for the worship of Yahweh’s people, and through both of those, we will gain some glimpse of how King Jesus will reconcile us to glorify, worship, and enjoy God forever. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 13th: Bible Meditation for 1 Chronicles 1–2 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
13 Nov 2021
November 12th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 25
Bible Readings for November 12th 2 Kings 25 | Hebrews 7 | Amos 1 | Psalm 144 In 2 Kings 24, we read about the beginning of the captivity of Judah to the Babylonians. Ominously, that chapter ended with this sentence: “And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon” (2 Kgs. 24:20)—that is, he refused to pay tribute to Babylon any longer. In today’s reading from 2 Kings 25, we read about the remaining devastation Yahweh faithfully brings to his people, along with the glimmer of gospel hope that this passage provides. Nebuchadnezzar brings swift and sudden destruction in response to Zedekiah’s rebellion. The Babylonians besiege Jerusalem, slaughter the sons of Zedekiah, break down the walls of Jerusalem, loot the temple of any remaining precious metals, and then burn it to the ground (2 Kgs. 25:1–17). Nevertheless, the story doesn’t end with the total annihilation of Yahweh’s people. Rather, the book of 2 Kings ends with a short report about Jehoiachin—the wicked king whom Nebuchadnezzar carried off to Babylon during the second deportation of Judah (2 Kgs. 24:8–17). Despite his unbelief and hardness of heart, we cannot forget that Jehoiachin is a rightful king of Judah in the line of David himself. So, when we read that Jehoiachin is released from prison and that he receives food from Nebuchadnezzar’s table at the end of 2 Kings 25, we learn something critical: Yahweh has not abandoned his covenant promises to David. Yahweh had promised that David would never lack a man from his own body to sit on the throne of Israel, and here Yahweh preserves the life of this heir of David even in exile. The real value of this preservation of the line of David becomes apparent with some of the first words of the New Testament. There, we discover that Jechoniah (another name for Jehoiachin) is the ancestor of Jesus himself (Matt. 1:11–12). Yesterday, we looked at how Yahweh’s faithfulness meant that he would send his people off into exile if they disobeyed, just as he had promised. But, we also see that Yahweh is faithfully keeping his promises to show covenantal mercy to his people by preserving the lineage of David through this exile. And through this line, Yahweh would eventually raise up his own Son to deliver his people from their deepest bondage—not to the Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, or even the Romans, but to the tyranny of sin, death, and the devil. Despite the winding, wayward nature of the sinful Israelites, Yahweh lays a path story by story, generation after generation, toward the coming of his Son. No suffering, defeat, or discouragement can throw Yahweh off of his eternal plans and decrees—not the Babylonian exile, not the crucifixion, and not even the challenges we encounter today. The question, then, is this: if God’s plans and purposes stand forever, do you trust him with the uncertainty of your own life? Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 12th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 25 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
12 Nov 2021
November 11th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 24
Bible Readings for November 11th 2 Kings 24 | Hebrews 6 | Joel 3 | Psalm 143 Once Josiah dies, Yahweh lifts his temporary restraint and sends his people off into exile because of their sins (2 Kgs. 24:3–4). During the reign of Josiah’s son Jehoiakim, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon makes Judah his servant—that is, he forces them to pay him tribute in exchange for peace (2 Kgs. 24:1). But also, Yahweh sends bands of Chaldeans (i.e., Babylonians), Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites against Judah to begin to destroy the nation, bit by bit (2 Kgs. 24:2). Furthermore, we read that this is also the time of the first deportation, when Nebuchadnezzar carries off the best and the brightest from Judah, including Daniel and his three companions (Dan. 1:1–7). This, however, is only the beginning. During the reign of Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin, Nebuchadnezzar leads Babylon against Judah once again. This time, he ransacks the temple, stealing all its treasures and vessels—the vessels that Solomon himself had made (2 Kgs. 24:13). This also marks the second deportation of Judah, when Nebuchadnezzar carries away the remaining officials, mighty men, craftsmen, and smiths in Judah—including King Jehoiachin himself—leaving only the poorest of Yahweh’s people to remain in the Promised Land (2 Kgs. 24:14). In Jehoiachin’s place, Nebuchadnezzar sets up Jehoiachin’s uncle Zedekiah as king in Judah (2 Kgs. 24:17). Previously, in 2 Kings 17, we saw Yahweh send the northern nation of Israel off into captivity, but here Yahweh begins the process of sending the remainder of his people off into exile as punishment for their sins and rebellion. We should not think, however, that Yahweh is being petty or trying to get even with Judah—rather, Yahweh is executing the terms of the covenant he made with them. He had promised Israel blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (Deut. 28), and that is exactly what Yahweh gives to his people here in 2 Kings 24. In fact, what we see here is an example of Yahweh’s faithfulness. Yahweh made promises that he would act in a certain way, and he keeps his word completely. We who live in the new covenant, however, have different promises—namely, that Yahweh will be faithful to lavish his steadfast love upon us perpetually, not because of what we have done, but because of what Jesus has done for us. Although 2 Kings 24 is a warning against persisting in our sin, this passage also underscores that Yahweh keeps his promises and that we can therefore have confidence that he will keep the good promises that he has made to us. Is your faith a vague feeling that things will turn out okay in the end, or is your confidence rooted in unshakable faith that God will keep his promises to you in Christ Jesus? Brothers and sisters, let us believe the promises, because God is faithful to keep them. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 11th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 24 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
11 Nov 2021
November 10th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 23
Bible Readings for November 10th 2 Kings 23 | Hebrews 5 | Joel 2 | Psalm 142 In 2 Kings 23, we read a detailed account of the main reforms Josiah implemented in Judah. This chapter documents the sheer greatness of Josiah as king that we began to talk about in yesterday’s meditation, but it also shows the limitations of one of Judah’s greatest kings. Josiah’s reforms on the worship of Judah include stopping some things and re-establishing others. So, Josiah stops the extensive false worship that his father, Manasseh, had established in Judah. He destroys vessels used to worship false gods (2 Kgs. 23:4) and then he deposes priests (2 Kgs. 23:5), tears down the houses of cult prostitutes (2 Kgs. 23:7), and defiles altars, high places, and pillars used for worship (2 Kgs. 23:8–15). Finally, to fulfill an earlier prophecy, he sacrifices the priests of the high places and burns their bones on their own altars (2 Kgs. 23:20; see 1 Kgs. 13:2). Josiah also re-establishes the observance of the Passover feast, which had not been kept properly since the days of the judges or during the days of the kings (2 Kgs. 23:22–23; cf. 2 Chron. 30). Josiah’s reinstatement of Passover signifies an important return to the true worship Yahweh had commanded. And yet, for all of the good things Josiah does in Judah, he is unable to stem the tide of Yahweh’s wrath against Judah. Yahweh promises his wrath will not come during Josiah’s lifetime (2 Kgs. 22:20), but Yahweh also resolves yet again that “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there” (2 Kgs. 23:27). Then, after Josiah’s tragic death in battle with King Neco of Egypt (2 Kgs. 23:29–30), Josiah’s two sons Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim both commit evil in the sight of Yahweh (2 Kgs. 23:32, 37), turning the nation back toward the idolatry that Josiah had worked so hard to eradicate from Judah. Through the story of the Bible so far, we have seen the utter failure of every measure introduced thus far to reform Yahweh’s people. Neither the giving of the law (Ex. 32), nor the reception of the Promised Land (Josh. 24:19), nor the judges (Judg. 21:25), nor even a godly king like Josiah is capable of transforming Yahweh’s people or of turning away Yahweh’s wrath. And yet, despite the utter failure of Judah to circumcise their hearts, we see the groundwork laid for the entrance of God’s own Son who would turn away Yahweh’s wrath by bearing it himself, and who would transform the hearts of Yahweh’s people by pouring out his Spirit. This is the point in Judah’s story where the darkness will become greatest, signaling the nearness of the dawn. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 10th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 23 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
10 Nov 2021
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November 9th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 22
Bible Readings for November 9th 2 Kings 22 | Hebrews 4 | Joel 1 | Psalms 140–141 Josiah is the final great king of Judah. Despite being the grandson of Manasseh, who was Judah’s most wicked king, Josiah’s heart is inclined to Yahweh all the days of his life. Josiah even goes so far as to remove the high places in Judah (2 Kgs. 23:5, 8, 13, 15, 19, 20), something that not even the godliest kings of Judah did (1 Kgs. 15:14, 22:43; 2 Kgs. 12:3, 14:4, 15:4, 15:35).1 Josiah is given one of the strongest commendations received by a king throughout all the books of 1 and 2 Kings: “And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left” (2 Kgs. 22:2). Josiah’s most significant reforms come as a result of directing the priests to use money given to the temple to make repairs, and it is in the midst of this work that Hilkiah, the high priest, finds the Book of the Law (2 Kgs. 22:3–8). Hilkiah gives the book to Shaphan, the secretary of the king, who reads the book aloud in the presence of King Josiah (2 Kgs. 22:10). When Josiah hears the words of the Book of the Law, he tears his clothes as the word of Yahweh reveals to him the full seriousness of the sins of Judah. Josiah commands his officials, “Go, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us” (2 Kgs. 22:13). Josiah’s repentance models for us the goal of true ministry. While many desire for religious experiences to be primarily positive and encouraging, Josiah sees the magnitude of his people’s unrighteousness condemned by the Book of the Law, and he mourns the great wrath that has been kindled because of their sins. It is only in his humble repentance—not through shallow positivity regarding his condition—that Josiah finds Yahweh’s favor (2 Kgs. 22:18–20). What is your response to the word of Yahweh? Does it cause you to mourn your sin and to flee to Christ in faith, trusting in his salvation alone for your sin? Where our sin—and therefore, Yahweh’s wrath—is great, our Savior Jesus is greater, so that all those who look to him in faith will be saved to the uttermost. Follow in the footsteps of Josiah by throwing yourself completely on the mercy of Jesus. 1 The only exception was Hezekiah, who had also removed the high places (2 Kgs. 18:4). Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 9th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 22 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
9 Nov 2021
November 8th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 21
Bible Readings for November 8th 2 Kings 21 | Hebrews 3 | Hosea 14 | Psalm 139 The reign of Manasseh is the anvil that breaks the camel’s back. While Judah has enjoyed several good kings along the way—including Manasseh’s own father, Hezekiah, who sought Yahweh’s deliverance from the threat of the Assyrians—the southern kingdom has also experienced their share of wicked kings. It is not, however, as though Manasseh is another moderately evil king in Judah—rather, Manasseh exceeds even the worst of Judah’s worst kings, going so far as to burn his own son as an offering, seeking omens and fortune-telling from mediums and wizards, setting up carved images in the temple, and shedding innocent blood (2 Kgs. 21:6–7, 16). Because of all this, Yahweh evaluates Manasseh as having “done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him” (2 Kgs. 21:11). But where Yahweh in the past has extended mercy on top of mercy, extending the longevity of Judah for the sake of David or for the handful of Judah’s kings who walk in the righteousness of David, Yahweh now pronounces that his mercy has come to an end. As he looks upon all the evil that Manasseh has done, Yahweh solemnly declares, “Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle” (2 Kgs. 21:12). Because Yahweh’s people have consistently forsaken him since the day he led them out of Egypt, Yahweh will now bring his judgment against them (2 Kgs. 21:13–15). Even Manasseh’s grandson Josiah—one of the most godly kings Judah ever had—will only delay Yahweh’s judgment rather than averting it altogether (2 Kgs. 22:20). At every turn, Yahweh’s people have been consistently incapable of circumcising their own hearts to love Yahweh with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Therefore, Yahweh’s judgment must come to bring his people to nothing, where they will languish not only under the Babylonians but also under the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, and eventually the Romans. But it is there, in the midst of judgment, that Yahweh kicks off his greatest act of mercy, covenant love, and redemption, because only when things are at their absolute worst will Yahweh send his own Son to avert his wrath altogether. Jesus will do this, of course, not by reforming the people of God for a season but by bearing Yahweh’s curse, judgment, and wrath in himself so that we might go free. At heart, you and I are no better than Manasseh. The difference between him and us lies not in some superiority in us but in the superiority of God’s mercy toward us in Jesus Christ. Repent from any sins that might lead you deeper in the path of Manasseh and turn with your whole heart in faith toward Jesus Christ, the Son of God who loved you through his own death. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 8th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 21 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
8 Nov 2021
November 7th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 20
Bible Readings for November 7th 2 Kings 20 | Hebrews 2 | Hosea 13 | Psalms 137–138 In 2 Kings 20, we see Hezekiah displaying two contradictory attitudes toward prayer—on the one hand, he prays fervently for God to save him, but on the other hand, he doesn’t even try to pray for the salvation of his descendants after him. First, God again here relents from the disaster he promises to Hezekiah, as we have seen at several points in the history of God’s people (e.g., Ex. 32:14, Num. 16:50). It does not appear that Hezekiah had sinned in some way so as to incur God’s judgment but rather that Yahweh had shown him his looming death in advance so that Hezekiah could set his house in order (2 Kgs. 20:1). This doesn’t mean that Yahweh always turns from bringing about certain outcomes—even Jesus prayed three times unsuccessfully that he not have to go to the cross (Matt. 26:44)—but when God prompts us to turn to him in prayer, he has a way of reassuring us that his grace is sufficient for us, and that his power is made perfect in our weakness, even when we continue to suffer (2 Cor. 12:9). In the matter of seeking mercy for himself, Hezekiah entrusts himself fully to Yahweh and finds salvation. In the second story in 2 Kings 20, however, Hezekiah does not come away looking so good. After Hezekiah shows all the glory of Judah to the envoys from Babylon so that “There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them” (2 Kgs. 20:13), Yahweh sends Isaiah to Hezekiah to promise him that all those things will be carried off by the Babylonians. There is much to discuss about why Hezekiah would give the Babylonians unfettered access to all of Judah’s glory, but today, we will simply focus on his selfish response once Isaiah delivers Yahweh’s word. Rather than repenting and asking Yahweh to relent from the disaster he had promised, we read that “Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, ‘The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.’ For he thought, ‘Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?’” (2 Kgs. 20:19). Where Hezekiah had sought Yahweh’s mercy in the matter of his own life, he now selfishly cares nothing for the welfare of the generations to come in Judah whom the Babylonians would carry into exile. In prayer, God gives us the ability not only to advocate for our own safety and well being but also to intercede with God on the behalf of others so that we may bear their burdens. As Jesus went to the cross, he did pray for himself, but he also prayed for you who would believe in him based on the testimony of his apostles (John 17:20). How might Jesus reshape your prayers to be more like his and less like Hezekiah’s? Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 7th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 20 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
7 Nov 2021
November 6th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 19
Bible Readings for November 6th 2 Kings 19 | Hebrews 1 | Hosea 12 | Psalms 135–136 In 2 Kings 19, Hezekiah responds to the threats of the Assyrians at the doorstep of Jerusalem in two ways. First, he immediately seeks out guidance from the prophet Isaiah about whether Yahweh will come to Judah’s aid. Second, he spreads out the letter recorded from the words of Sennacherib before Yahweh, praying that Yahweh might save Jerusalem so “that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone” (2 Kgs. 19:19). A part of us wishes we could have the same recourse that Hezekiah does, with the ability to ask a prophet when we need critical guidance from the Lord in our lives. This, however, overstates what old covenant believers received and overlooks what God has given his people today. First, we should not think that such revelations were frequent in the days of the Old Testament, as though the people of God had full access to prophetic insights whenever they contemplated major life decisions. The vast majority of the time Israel, like us, had to pray, seek to obey Yahweh, and then to make choices based upon prudence and wisdom. Receiving such clear insight into God’s will in a specific situation was exceedingly rare. Second, we should also remember that the Israelites did not have more of God’s word but less. Under the old covenant, God’s people did not have the full revelation of God’s word that we have on this side of the coming of Jesus Christ and the writing of the New Testament. Where Israel might have received specific guidance on a few critical points in history, they were not shown the big picture. In fact, Peter tells us that in Christ, we have been given access to revelation that even angels long to know (1 Pet. 1:12). Third, we have assurances that Israel did not have. Yahweh’s relationship with Israel was built upon a covenant so that Yahweh would provide blessings if Israel obeyed, but Yahweh had also promised to curse Israel if they disobeyed (Deut. 28). From Hezekiah’s perspective, he really does not have any assurances that Yahweh will provide salvation in the midst of this situation, but he nevertheless throws himself upon Yahweh’s mercy in faith. We, on the other hand, have the promise that God is working all things together for our good (Rom. 8:28), since Jesus himself has taken our covenant curses upon himself in our place, clothing us in his own righteousness so that God promises to bless us—even if he brings significant suffering into our lives as a part of working all things together for our good. How, then, do you respond to hardships, suffering, and persecution in your own life? Follow the example of Hezekiah to spread out the threats to your life before the Lord, trusting that God will glorify himself and seek your good for the sake of his Son, Jesus Christ. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 6th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 19 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
6 Nov 2021
November 5th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 18
Bible Readings for November 5th 2 Kings 18 | Philemon 1 | Hosea 11 | Psalms 132, 133 & 134 The words of the Rabshakeh of Assyria (the great commander of Assyria’s army) in 2 Kings 18 offer a masterclass in Satan’s strategies to lead us to doubt Yahweh’s goodness toward us. To start, he twists Hezekiah’s obedience in removing the high places by suggesting that those might have been Yahweh’s high places, saying, “But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the LORD our God,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed?” (2 Kgs. 18:22). Then, he fabricates the idea that Yahweh himself had commanded Assyria to destroy Judah: “Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it’” (2 Kgs. 18:25). These are such compelling arguments to the people within the walls of Jerusalem in the moment that the leaders beg the Assyrians to speak in Aramaic rather than in the language of Judah to avoid frightening the common people in the city (2 Kgs. 18:26). The Rabshakeh refuses, however, continuing to stir up fear with his lies. In the same way, Satan often twists our obedience by arguing that we have not actually pleased God, and Satan tells us that God remains angry with us. Then, when we attempt to fight back by reminding ourselves of God’s word so that we can drown out Satan’s word, our adversary simply takes a different tactic—and he has many—to lead us to question God’s character. How then do we fight against Satan in the middle of doubt? The best instruction to help us fight Satan’s lies comes in the example of Jesus, who faced a direct confrontation with Satan in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1–11. There, Satan offered exactly what Jesus wanted—food in the midst of forty days of fasting, reassurance that he was indeed God’s Son, and all the kingdoms of the world—in exchange for Jesus’ obedience and worship. Each time, Jesus defeated the devil with Scripture, demonstrating not only what it looks like to know Scripture (since, indeed Satan also quoted Scripture in this encounter) but also what it means to know God through the Scriptures. Jesus wasn’t confused by Satan’s suggestions that God was withholding some good thing because Jesus knew his Father’s character through the Scriptures. Jesus didn’t quote Scripture as though he were saying magic words; rather, he was citing the evidence that God wasn’t who Satan said he was. Tomorrow, we will see how Hezekiah himself responds by turning to God’s word, but today, ask yourself this question: How well do you know God through the Bible? Do Satan’s words hold influence over your mind and your emotions, or have you saturated yourself with God’s words so that your thorough understanding of God’s character gives you the ability to stand firm against Satan’s lies? Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 5th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 18 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
5 Nov 2021
November 4th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 17
Bible Readings for November 4th 2 Kings 17 | Titus 3 | Hosea 10 | Psalms 129, 130 & 131 The dark day finally arrives. In 2 Kings 17, we read of the doom of the northern ten tribes of Israel, whom Yahweh sends off into exile at the hands of the Assyrians. The relatively mild wickedness (2 Kgs. 17:2) of Israel’s final king, Hoshea, becomes the straw that breaks the camel’s back. In Hoshea’s ninth year, the Assyrians capture Israel’s capital, Samaria, and then carry the Israelites into exile (2 Kgs. 17:6). The bulk of the text focuses not on the exile itself but on the reasons why Yahweh sends Israel into exile: “All this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods” (2 Kgs. 17:7). Israel had forsaken their covenant Lord, choosing instead to obey other gods, despite the fact that Yahweh had warned Israel and Judah “by every prophet and every seer, saying, ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets’” (2 Kgs. 17:13). Assyria’s method for keeping their conquered enemies subjugated involved dividing them and mixing them with various other peoples whom they had conquered. So, not only did Assyria carry the Israelites off into other cities, but Assyria also imported people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim to inhabit the Promised Land instead of the Israelites (2 Kgs. 17:24). Eventually, some Israelites will return to the Promised Land, intermarrying with these foreign people to create the people called the Samaritans—and this tragic history is what stands behind the racial animosity of Jews toward Samaritans during the days of Jesus. While the downfall of Israel is important in its own right, it also serves for us as a foreshadowing of the final judgment day of all humanity. The Lord’s patience is great, but his judgment day does come. When Jesus came the first time, he came with patience, meekness, and humility, warning all people to repent from their sins and to believe upon him for salvation. But when he comes again, he will come riding on a cloud in glory (Matt. 24:30), possessing all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18), and on that day, he will come to judge once and for all. Beloved, do not live today so that you will shrink from him in shame at his coming (1 John 2:28). Instead, repent of your sins and believe upon Jesus so that on that day you may be transformed in an instant to be like him, since, with joy, you will see him as he is in his full glory (1 John 3:2). Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The post November 4th: Bible Meditation for 2 Kings 17 appeared first on Free Daily Bible Study.
4 Nov 2021