“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”
DAY 13: AUGUST 4
1 KINGS 12 – 2 KINGS 13:25
The back-sliding of Israel and Judah is vividly on display in today’s reading. I haven’t done a head count, but I’m pretty sure if I compared the number of kings who “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord” with those who “did right in the sight of the Lord”, there would be more doing evil than doing right. What happened to the children of Israel to make them turn from God and embrace demons?
- A bit of a theme is developing of women leading men astray. We saw this in earlier readings all the way back to Adam and Eve, but it’s here again, most prominently with Jezebel leading Ahab astray. What is it with so many strong and beautiful women that they turn from God to follow demons, and what is with men that they are so easily swayed by these women? Is it just their beauty, or is there something else involved? I ask this as a woman. I sincerely ask this as a woman. I thought the children of Israel had set up a patriarchal social order? I thought women were considered inferior to men and incapable of ruling? And yet time and time again in scripture we see them ruling over their husband-kings, and not for the better.
- Always a joy to read about Elijah and Elisha! They were both so matter-of-fact about slaughtering the demon-channeling prophets and getting ‘er done all in a day’s work. We have baalim worshipers today that bend the knee to Baal, only they go by the name of BLM supporters. (BLM = BaaLiM.) Steer clear of that temptation wrapped up as an alleged social justice virtue. God will deal with it and all those who follow it, after he gives them due time to repent. Nonetheless, it’s yet another clear indication of how far we’ve fallen as “former Christian” nations and how blind people are nowadays to the devil’s work.
- Lots of miracles in this reading, especially by Elijah. Love how he made fun of the Baal prophets (the only way to deal with them) when Baal was M.I.A. no matter how much they cried out and cut themselves to get his attention. And how Elijah drowned the altar in water to make it impossible for any kind of natural fire to take hold. It was like Elijah saying to the Baal prophets: “See? I give you a head start and you still lose, and then I make it impossible for myself, but I still win.” He rubs their noses in their failure, and then he slaughters them. That’s how examples were made in those days. And it worked, because the people (other than the Baal prophets) who witnessed this miracle repented and acknowledged that God was Lord.
- The Spirit of God stayed strong in the prophets even when most of God’s people strayed from him. God says he’ll never leave or betray his children; it’s his children who leave and betray him, and he lets them go. Those who choose to remain God makes stronger and stronger with his Spirit. It’s like they get the portion of his Spirit that the others rejected.
- The scripture in this reading mentions several times that the same material is also presented in Chronicles, which we’ll start to read tomorrow. Chronicles goes into more detail about those who “did right in the sight of the Lord”, including, of course, David. (yay! :D) The repetition helps in both the teaching and learning processes, and the greater detail fleshes out what we already know about these kings. Not just today’s reading but many sections throughout the OT make reference to and reflect other sections in the OT, and the NT does the same. In fact, much of the NT doesn’t make much sense without at least a passing acquaintance (such as what we’re doing now) with the OT. How many prophecies about Jesus have you found so far in the readings? Always a little jolt of pleasure to come across those!
- Remember that, for centuries, people were not only discouraged but prevented from reading the OT by the same organization that today considers itself to be the “one true church”. The so-called dark ages was a concerted effort on the part of the papacy to keep people literally in the dark about the Bible by keeping them illiterate, so that the only things they learned about Jesus and God were from the papacy. Reading through the OT, we can see why the papacy didn’t want their people to read the OT – because many of the things that the papacy did and Roman Catholics were taught to do are in direct violation of what God told his people to do. You’ll see more of these direct violations in upcoming readings.
Hold your Bible tight and cherish every word! We are greatly privileged to live in an age and a nation where we can openly read and discuss God’s Word, but this privilege will likely be revoked in the years to come. Some people bury money and gold; some people hoard food and water (and toilet paper); and yet others stash away seeds. But we, as born-again believers, need to prepare for a day when Bibles will be outlawed. If you prep for nothing else, prep for that.
The schedule for the BIBLE READ-THROUGH on PDF is directly below: