Day 103 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Second Kings and Psalms.
2 Kings 8 – This chapter started with another miracle of Elisha and the story of the woman and her son having everything restored to them.
The rest of the chapter continues to tell of the downward spiral of the kings.
2 Kings 9 & 10 – A difficult but important aspect of the gospel is that good news for God’s people will constitute bad news for those who don’t belong to Him. In these verses, God brings His promised judgment upon the house of Ahab for its sins, exterminating the royal family that had excelled beyond all others in the promotion of idolatry and the persecution of God’s servants.
As Believers, we live as aliens and strangers in a world to which we do not belong, often under rulers and authorities hostile toward God and His people. We are reminded here, however, that our Lord will return at the time He knows is best and will put an end to those who stand in opposition to Him, as he did to Joram in this text. Our enduring hope of such judgment upon evil can help us to persevere in difficult times.
But as we witness the judgment of Joram and the extermination of his family, we should also remember that we deserve the very same judgment because of our own sins. Were it not for the fact that another King would come and take upon Himself the judgment that we deserve, we would be lying dead next to Joram in the vineyard of Naboth.
King Joram died for his sins and for the sins of his father, but King Jesus died for our sins in order that we might know His Father. It is only by God’s grace that we have escaped this judgment. So we must not despise those around us who persist in the sins of Ahab and Joram, but rather declare to them the hope God has granted to us through our own forgiveness.
Jesus has changed the bad news of our judgment into the good news of our salvation.
How does this truth lead you to trust Jesus more?
2 Kings 11 – A theme that runs across the pages of Scripture is the crisis of the “seed” (or “offspring”) of promise (Genesis 3:15). Cain kills Abel, so God provides Seth. Abraham is promised offspring, but Sarah is barren. Miraculously, Sarah gives birth to a son, Isaac, but God commands Abraham to kill him (Genesis 22). Next we find that Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, is also barren. In Egypt, Pharaoh orders all of the male children to be killed at birth (Exodus 1). Here, in this text, we discover that almost all of the royal line of Judah was destroyed by Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah.
The crisis of the seed of promise highlights the ongoing cosmic antagonism (stretching back to Genesis 3) between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. These crises should sharpen our focus on God’s preserving, redemptive work to provide for and protect the line of the seed of promise. The Lord may provide a ram as a substitute (Genesis 22), or faithful midwives who refuse to follow the command of the pharaoh (Exodus 1), or, in this case, a faithful sister who hides the one last son.
Events of this kind ultimately point forward to the climactic crisis of the Seed of promise: Jesus, born under a decree of death as in the days of Egypt, but saved from Herod’s infanticide by the intervention of his heavenly Father. Finally, on a hill named Golgotha, this royal Seed was sent to be sacrificed just as God sent Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah. This time, however, no substitute was provided. Jesus was the substitute. Yet God intervened again and resurrected this Son, who now reigns with the Father as our Mediator.
The crisis of this Seed of promise is the means by which God’s people have come to experience the forgiveness of sin, the hope of eternal life, and the restoration of fellowship with the God who created us for His glory and good pleasure.
How does seeing that these Old Covenant stories point us to the New Covenant (and Jesus the New Covenant keeper) help you understand the purpose of the Old Testament better?
Psalm 103 – This hymn of praise reflects on the faithfulness and goodness of God, who delivered Israel from Egypt under Moses. It calls people to praise God for His continued acts of merciful forgiveness and sustaining grace. The psalm’s theme is announced at the outset: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Indeed, these benefits are astonishing!
All of the blessings are grounded in the constancy of God’s covenant faithfulness to His people. Even when God disciplines His children, we “He does not deal with us according to our sins,” but instead casts our sins as far away as the east is from the west.
Although our lives are frail and fleeting, God and His love are everlasting. In light of such magnificent mercy and such covenant faithfulness, all of creation are invited to stand in awe and give praise to His name.
What incredibly good news this Psalm proclaims! How does it remind you of God’s unfailing love for you?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
All links you need to be a part of this are here – Thru the Bible in 2018.