9:24 But Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart, and he sank down dead in his chariot. They had some radical (Brave Heart) warriors in those days! Can you imagine what Olympics would have looked like with these strong warriors (like David's men who could strike down hundreds of warriors in a single day)? I bet people in early centuries were healthier, stronger, and faster than today.
The OT sure is gory. I can't imagine living in those days, seeing all the blood, death, decapitated heads, Philistine foreskins, burned babies, etc.!
10:28 In this way, Jehu destroyed every trace of Baal worship from Israel. I love Jehu's apparent devotion to truth and obedience. At times, he displayed a single heart for God and we see how one man under God's power can make a huge difference. He teaches me to hunt down and destroy every remnant in me that opposes God-to be ruthless and brutal with them. If not, they will overtake me, as they still overtook Jehu in areas where he did not finish the job.
10:29 However, as for the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin, from these Jehu did not depart, even the golden calves that were at Bethel and that were at Dan (NASB). This verse is a bit strange. After all Jehu did to demonstrate his hatred of idol worship, I wish we had more information about why he still worshiped the golden calves.
10:31 But Jehu did not obey the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. Again, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. Jehu had every opportunity to go down in His-Story as a faithful follower to the end, but he blew his chances. While we rejoice about how he got rid of so much idolatry in Israel, we groan with remorse that he was unable to do the same in his personal life. Jehu obeyed God externally but he still cherished sin internally. There's a word for this: hypocrite.
17:11-12 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed... I'm convinced that if you really want to discover who God is and discern His truth in the ways that matter, one must be like the Bereans who examined the Scriptures in depth daily:
My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5
17:26-27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us... So much of my life I've believed that people's lives are more random. But here we clearly see that God has written a firmly established story that each one of us are born into. As I always say, we are all actors in a great story or a great play.
17:22-34 This is an excellent example of Paul's sensitivity to the Greek culture of his day. They were intellectuals, highly developed in arts and philosophy. Rather than insult their ignorance of God, Paul uses their understanding of an unknown God to be a bridge to sharing the Gospel. He was very clever!