Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 16 - 2 Kings 9

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Kings 9. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The "company of the prophets" was kind of a school, almost like a modern day seminary, where people prepared to be teachers and spokespeople for God.
  • Ahab and his wife Jezebel (verse 7) and their family (verse 8) had been leading the nation of Israel away from God and into evil worship of a false god named Baal. They were destroying the nation, and the spiritual lives and futures off the people. The orders Jehu receives (verses 7-10) may seem harsh, but God declares them the just punishment for what they've done. This also fulfills what God had said would happen, through Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:16-17 and 1 Kings 21:21-24).
  • As long as there was idolatry and witchcraft in the nation, the people were being led into lies, and there could be no true peace (see verse 22). The evil had to be addressed.
  • The prophecy Jehu refers to in verses 25-26 is found in 1 Kings 21:18-24
  • Jezebel calls Jehu "Zimri" as a reference to the man who, years earlier, had assassinated the king Elah and taken his throne (see 1 Kings 16:8-20).
  • Jehu, in verse 36-37, refers to the prophecy God had given Elijah about Jezebel's fate (see 1 Kings 21:23).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The people back then were seeking peace, through idolatry and witchcraft. They thought that worshipping gods of their own making (idolatry), and seeking to know and control the future through the power of people (witchcraft) would bring them peace, but it couldn't (verse 22). Today, people try to do the same. We think we'll find "peace" through worshipping gods of our own making (prioritizing things like success, popularity, money, security) and by knowing and controlling the future through our own power. But that can never lead to the peace of mind we want. Only God can give that. Jesus said, in John 14:27, "I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid."
  • Her whole life, Jezebel refused to acknowledge God's authority or submit to the Word of God. But at the end, she had no choice. Her death demonstrated the authority of God, and happened exactly as His' word said it would. In the same way, every person's life will eventually end up acknowledging God's authority. The Bible says about Jesus in Philippians 2:9-11, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Where are you seeking peace? Do you feel like you need a certain level of income, or amount in retirement, or a spouse or child, or promotion to have peace of mind and heart? Nothing in this world can give you true peace, only Jesus can. Take a minute to pray and ask God to help you to realize that and live that way.
  • Where in your life are you not acknowledging God's authority and submitting to His Word? In the end, you will. And it will be much better for you to do it sooner than later. So ... why not now? It may seem intimidating, or something about it may seem unappealing, but when you do it, you will be so glad you did. And at the end of your life and headed into eternity you will be SO glad you did.