Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 25, II Kings 10:28-36 The reign of Jehu ends

So we see in the end that Jehu wasn't much better a king than his predecessors.  He was obedient in the task to eliminate Ahab's house, but God never said that He approved of the method.  Jehu was a military man who became king and a politician.  He was arrogant and self serving to the end, so common of so many politicians through history.  He singled out Baal worship to be removed yet maintained worship of golden images.  I wonder if perhaps he looked at the Baal worshipers as a possible political enemy to be removed.  Even though God called him directly, Jehu never sought after God or His ways. Because Jehu was obedient in some things, his family is promised the throne for four generations.  Perhaps a chance for one of his descendants to redeem the family and extend the reign. But this reinforces the idea that God only rewards obedience.  We must remember several things, first that God does whatever He wants for His reasons and it does not depend on us.  That Jehu was living under The Law which was a system based on performance and sacrifices. That today through Christ we are no longer constrained by the law but we receive grace.  If God's blessings are tied to performance under The Law then there is no grace. Certainly I would not expect someone who worships golden images to receive the blessings of God but that's above my pay grade. The bible does plainly tell us what it is God wants, through history that same idea resonates.  To do what is just, to love mercy, to walk humbly before God.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24, II Kings 10:18-28 The slaughter of Baal worshipers

Again we must remember that much of the scripture is an account of history and not everything is directed by or approved of by God.  Here is a mixture of both right and wrong.  Certainly according to The Law the worshipers of Baal were condemned to die but the way in which it was done is evil and filled with deceit. Jehu has his own ambitions and uses The Law as a tool to his own means. His actions in the temple speak loudly about his character, that he was able to perform the rituals of Baal worship while maintaining the the charade shows that he truly was not following The Lord.  There were other kings, more in Judah than Israel, that stopped the worship of Baal but we're told they simply tore down the temples and burned the poles, nothing like the slaughter here. All of Jehu's actions here are based on lies, anytime you feel the need to lie about anything to anyone you're doing something wrong.

Friday, September 23, 2016

September 23, II Kings 10:1-17 Sometimes zeal can go too far

God prophecied through Elijah that Ahab's family would be wiped out, now since Jehu was given this task he approaches it whole heartedly.  But he goes too far.  We don't know anything about the 70 sons in Samaria, the fact that the people around them were willing to cut off their heads could mean they were evil as Ahab or that they were afraid of Jehu. Some believe that at this meeting Jehu slaughters thse too, but I dont read it that way.  Later when he meets up with Ahaziah's kin folk his zeal has gone too far as these may not have been of Ahab's family. Sometimes one can get carried away in the task and lose perspective. Jehu probably thought he was simply doing God's work, so many times people can get caught up in what they think is God's work and stray off course. Another argument for being part of a small group to keep each other accountable.

Today's workout, Push intervals
Step, push-up, grapevine, squat, jump-rope, triceps, lunge, shoulder press.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

September 22, II Kings 9:14-37 Jehu's bloodlust and the end of Jezebel

God told Jehu to kill off all of Ahab's family, here in this chapter we have a more abbreviated version of some of the events, II Chronicles 22 gives more detail. Knowing what Joram and Jezebel did they deserved to die, I may not agree that an arrow in the back is the right way to execute justice.  I sort of like how Jezebel fell (pun intended).  She was an evil woman who ruled for a log time, but at the same time no one evil person can rule unless they have others to help or simply do nothing.  That's true in all of history, no matter whay evil ruler we may think of they always had followers that enabled them.  That these eunuchs finally tired of her and took action I think was fitting.  I at first wondered about Ahaziah since he was king of Judah, and wasn't a good king there either.  As it turns out he was Ahab's grandson so he too was to be executed.

Today's workout, 20:00 any cardio. I biked 4.5 miles

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September 21, II Kings 9:1-13 Jehu the son of Nimshi

Actually Jehu was the grandson of Nimshi but in many places in the Jewish histories he's called the son. Curious that we know little about Nimshi, actualy all that we know is he was the father to Jehosaphat and grandfather to Jehu. Yet there must have been something significant about the man to be noted here and in other places. There are today a lot of people in history who are known simply by a single name, both fameous and infameous.  I get the feeling that Nimshi was a good guy, his name means rescuer.  Looking at the rest of the text, Israel has now been a seperate kingdom for about 100 years and all of the kings have been bad. Maybe Jehu will be different. Stay tuned.

Today's workout, Pull intervals.
Step, pull-up, hop, hamstring curl, climbers, row, step-over, bicep curl.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 20, II Kings 8:16-29 Should believers and non believers marry?

That question comes up from time to time, there are some clear teachings through the scriptures but I wouldn't limit it to marriage. Believers and non believers should not be yoked together anywhere. As we finish this chapter we look at two of Judah's kings and we're told that both did evil before God. We're also told that part of the reason was the influence of Ahab and his daughter.  Ahab was an Israelite who married Jezebel for politics.  We know that Jezebel brought idolatry to Ahab and he practiced it.  His daughter brought it to Judah 
when she married Jehoram. And Ahaziah was friends with Ahab and walked in his ways.  We see countless examples of how the practices of the pagans have enticed God's people away and few the other way. It's mainly because we have a natural tendency to be rebellious, it takes very little to push us over the edge. Nonetheless each person is responsible for themselves. For that reason it's important that believers and non believers not be equally yoked together. Certainly we can work together toward a common goal but be very cautious about being a partner or spouse.

Today's workout, Cardio intervals.
Step, grapevine, windmill, jump rope, climber

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, II Kings 8:7-15 Always remember that men are inherantly evil

This section seems pretty hard to take.  The prophet sees what will happen because God has shown it to him.  Some ask why God didn't stop it from happening.  The same argument or question that's asked after any great war or disaster. The answer is that no-one knows, but God is still God and He's still good.  My only thought is that God made us totally free to choose, and sometimes those choices come from evil people who effect the world around them. As to God not protecting Israel, or any other nation today. Was Israel living for God?  Is there a single nation today in the world that is living for God?  The majority of humanity wants to deny God until a disaster and blame Him, we can't keep Him out of our lives and then expect Him to come rescue us when things go wrong.

Today's workout. Push intervals. 
Step, push-up, grapevine, squat, jump-rope, triceps, lunge, shoulder press.