2 Kings 8:16-9:37
Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, became king of Judah. At the same time, Joram was king of Israel in the North. I fully approve of first names beginning with ‘J’, but this period can become a little confusing.
Judah had been doing relatively well in the eyes of the Lord while Jehoshaphat was king (1 Kings 22:43) but Jehoram walked in the way of the evil kings of Israel. He married a daughter of the notorious King Ahab and ‘did evil in the eyes of the Lord’ (2 Kings 8:18). However, God still did not destroy Judah in memory of King David and to preserve it for the birth of Jesus.
The regions of Edom and Libnah rebelled against Jehoram and set up their own kings. Jehoram failed to counteract these rebellions. His country became smaller and smaller.
Jehoram was succeeded by his son, Ahaziah, who teamed up with the king of Israel, Joram, to fight the Arameans, reigned over by Hazael, at Ramoth Gilead.
The prophet Elisha organised a coup. He instructed a fellow prophet to anoint Jehu as king over Israel and to then run away quickly. It was Jehu’s destiny to clean up Israel by destroying the house of Ahab and killing Jezebel. Jehu was a competent soldier even though he drove his chariot ‘like a madman’. He shot Joram, king of Israel, through the heart with an arrow and fatally wounded Ahaziah, king of Judah, in his chariot. Joram had repeatedly asked Jehu through messengers, if he had come in peace. There could be no peace until the idol-worship instigated by Ahab and Jezebel had been purged from the land (2 Kings 9:22).
Jehu then went to Jezreel to confront the queen of evil, Jezebel. She met an unfortunate end. She was thrown down from a window by her eunuchs, trampled by horses and eaten by dogs. It had been prophesied that she wouldn’t be buried (2 Kings 9:37).
Jehu had a dynamic, if somewhat brutal, start to his reign. Things looked more promising for Israel’s future if he managed to keep purging the evil from the country.
There was now a major conspiracy to kill Paul. More than forty Jews vowed not to eat or drink until they had ambushed and murdered him. Paul’s nephew informed both Paul and the Roman commander about this plot.
Paul appeared to have a lot of freedom in jail. He could receive visitors and call on the centurions to run errands for him. God was still protecting Paul. Prison was the safest place for him while his life was so threatened. Jesus wanted Paul to testify in Rome and was influencing people to safely transport him there.
The commander transferred Paul to Caesarea guarded by four hundred and seventy Roman soldiers. Paul was held in Herod’s palace by Governor Felix, until his accusers arrived.
Jesus restored us in God’s eyes when he died on the cross (Ps.80:7).
He is our Good Shepherd, who leads us as his flock.
We were at war with God due to our sins and our future was death. Jesus made peace with God on our behalf, through the shedding of his perfect blood and opened the way to eternal life, where God’s face will shine upon us forever (Ps.80:3).
We were born again through the waters of our baptism to be adopted children of God.
Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Image: Rijksmuseum, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons