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Bible Pathways - May 4, 2009


May 4

2 Kings 9

Highlights In Today's Reading:

God calls the young man the prophet (9:4). The task? To anoint Jehu as king of Israel. Why (9:7-10)? God often calls, anoints, and sets apart (Ps. 4:3; see John 15:16). Prophecy of Jezebel's death is fulfilled (II Kin. 9:30-37; see 9:10). Ahab's descendants in Jezreel are all executed (10:10-11). Jehu's 28-year reign ends (10:34-36).

Because of the wicked influence of Ahab and Jezebel, Baal worship was prominent in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. But, because of the marriage of Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram to Ahab and Jezebel's daughter Athaliah, it had also become popular in the Kingdom of Judah. Jehoram reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked in the way of . . . the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the Lord (8:17-18).

During this serious spiritual decline the Lord was preparing Jehu, a military commander of the Northern Kingdom (9:5), as His instrument of judgment (I Kin. 19:16; II Kin. 9:6-10). Jehu first killed Jehoram, King of Israel, and then Ahaziah, King of Judah (II Kin. 9:23-27). Then Jehu had Jezebel thrown out of a window and trampled her body with his horses; and, as had been foretold by the prophet, the dogs ate her body (9:33-37).

Jehu zealously executed all who remained of the family of Ahab in Samaria (10:1-17). He zealously destroyed Baal worship in the Northern Kingdom (10:18-28). But Jehu did not execute the wicked Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel and mother of King Ahaziah.

There was some good about Jehu and his 28-year reign over Israel (10:28,30). He had bragged to Jehonadab: Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord (10:16). But, there was also much that was wrong with him (10:29,31). After gaining security as king, we read that Jehu took no heed to walk in the Law of the Lord God of Israel . . . for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin (10:31).

To abolish the golden calf worship of Jeroboam would have possibly led the Northern Kingdom to return to the True Temple of God for worship (I Kin. 12:26-30), which could have led to a United Kingdom. Jehu did not take that risk. His zeal for the Lord and his reformation were but a partial turning to the Lord — just enough to achieve his own ends. It is possible to be used of God and never be in complete submission to Him.

Our decisions should never be based on the protection of our self-interests but on our commitment to the Lord's interests. Then we can trust the results to God for no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11).

Thought for Today:

There is no substitute for complete submission to the will of God or complete obedience to His Word.

Christ Portrayed:

By Elisha who sent one of the sons of the prophets with oil to anoint Jehu (II Kin. 9:1-6). Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to anoint believers (John 14:16-17; 16:13; Acts 1:8; compare I Sam. 16:13). The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth (lives) in you (I John 2:27).

Word Studies:

9:23 treachery =b> treason; 9:30 tired her head =b> adorned her hair; 10:3 Look even out the best and meetest =b> Select the most capable; 10:27 draught house =b> public toilet.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Lt. Col. Walter & Penelope Swanson and Helayne Abrams •Staff: Rita Guerra • Country: Lebanon (4.3 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Arabic and French • Limited religious freedom • 55% Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni); 41% Christian (Maronite, Orthodox, Melchite, Protestant, Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac); 3% Druze; 1% Others (Jewish, Baha'i, Alawi, Jehovah's Witness) • Prayer Suggestion: Realize that prayer is one of the ways God uses to strengthen you in the power of His might (Eph. 6:18).

Optional Reading: Romans 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:15

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