2 Kings 1:1-2:25
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Today we begin the book of Second Kings!
Date: Sixth century B.C.
Content: Second Kings covers a period of approximately 250 years during which time two national tragedies occurred. In 722 B.C. the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians, and in 586 B.C. the southern kingdom of Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians. The reigns of the various kings are described in some detail with care being taken to show the spiritual significance of what they were doing. Throughout this whole time of good and bad kings, war and peace, prosperity and ruin, God is seen to be at work, in particular sending prophets to preach his word and warn of judgment to come.
Theme: God’s control over the affairs of men and nations is constantly seen throughout this book. The rulers of men may think they are in control, but even the enemies of God’s people fit into God’s plan by executing judgment upon the wayward nations of Israel and Judah. It must be stressed that sin invariably brings judgment upon the people and righteousness brings God’s blessing. Second Kings also shows that God never sends his judgment without a warning first; in this instance, the warning came through the prophets who were sent. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” pp. 6-7) More commentary on Second Kings is at these 3 links –
https://bible.org/seriespage/1-introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah (Introduction to Elijah)
2 Kings 1 today... wow... Elijah is not to be messed with when he is sitting on top of that hill! Elijah asks a very poignant question twice in this chapter - "Is there no God in Israel?" This is a question each of us will need to ask in our lives at some point - "Is there or is there no God in my life?" Hopefully we've already answered this question affirmatively. It's a sad state of affairs to imagine a country without God. It is a sad state of affairs to imagine our own lives without God.
Today in 2 Kings 2 we read about Elijah going up to heaven in the whirlwind! Elijah was taken to heaven without dying. He is the 2nd person in scripture to do so - Enoch was the first (see Genesis 5:21-24). Jesus of course was also taken to heaven in bodily form after His resurrection from the dead (see Acts 1:9). Below is Italian artist Giovanni Battista's (1683-1754) painting of Elijah's whirlwind scene:
Okay, so 2 Kings 2 verses 23 & 24 are some of the most unique verses in the Bible no doubt... "Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. "Go away, you baldhead!" they chanted. "Go away, you baldhead!" Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them." Zondervan's NIV Study Bible has some good commentary on these verses as follows: "The youths from Bethel no doubt assumed that Elisha was going up to Samaria to continue Elijah's struggle against royal apostasy. Some believe that the youths, in their mocking, were telling Elisha to ascend to heaven as Elijah had done. By calling Elisah "baldhead" the youths from Bethel expressed that city's utter disdain for the Lord's representative, who, they felt, had no power. Elisha pronounced a curse that gave warning of the judgment that would come on the entire nation of Israel should it persist in disobedience and apostasy."
Worship Video: Today's readings reminds me of the beautiful song by Josh Wilson called "Before the Morning."
Are you awaiting the Morning dawn in your spiritual life? Click here for a new day!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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