June - Reading 18

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    As we continue our reading of 2Kings we see the prophecies of Elijah against Ahab fulfilled through Jehu. Though Jehu is a Divinely ordained king that carries out God's Will, he carries his instructions even further for his own political gain. Beginning in verse 10:11 he carries out his massacre beyond God's command. He is also quite skilled at using deceipt and treachery to bring about his ends. Even after God commends him on his accomplishments, Jehu does not destroy the golden calves built by Jeroboam in 1Kings.
    I wish to point out that all through this Book as the people do not turn fully back to God, the warnings of Leviticus and Dueteronomy are beginning to come to pass. The kingdoms have divided, the people have turned to idols, the leaders have intermarried with foreigners and so we are seeing the consequences manifest themselves. In verse 10:32, we see the population going into negative growth. The final punishment will be the expulsion of Israel from the Land of Canaan.
    Meanwhile, down in Judah, Athaliah upon the death of her 22 year old son begins to destroy the royal family. This is a significantly evil act in that this attack is made upon the house of David with whom God had made the Messianic covenant. One son, Joash, is snuck out by his aunt, Jehosheba, in order to survive. The boy is annointed king at the age of seven and the wicked Athaliah is killed by the gaurd ensemble at the Temple.

    In Luke we see the calling of Matthew, or as Mark and Luke call him, Levi. Levi was a tax collector which made him despised by the locals. He was a Jew working for the Romans taking money. It just didn't get much lower!

    The reading in Phillipians this evening is very inspiring but very difficult to follow. We will never be "perfect as Christ is perfect" but our duty is to strive for this. To do this without complaining and arguing is a difficult task. I would also cite that the drink offering to which Paul refers may be in reference to the possibility of his possible martyrdom from his present imprisonment. The reference could also mean his entire ministry.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture 9/28/03

    Philippians 2:12-30

    Last week we moved from Paul’s accounting of the events in Rome where he had made his jail a pulpit to the first two exhortations of this Epistle, both concerning unity. The first was unity in the face of adversity; the second was unity within the church. Today we will explore Paul’s third exhortation towards the Philippians and his next three examples of good Christian character from those who display humility: himself, Timothy and Epaphroditus.

    2:12-13 Third Exhortation: Working Out Their Salvation:

    Paul moves directly from his second exhortation towards unity using the Supreme example of Christ to his third exhortation of working out one’s own salvation. In the whole of our lesson today, these two verses likely deserve the most discussion. For Paul to call anyone to “work” for salvation seems contrary to the Pauline thought of “faith apart from works.” Therefore, we must examine closely what the Apostle’s intent is in his phrasing.

    As we discussed last week, the “encouragement” or “consolation” from verse 2:1 that we as believers have in Christ points towards the obligation that we have as being Christ’s representatives here on Earth. It was also stated that there are three phases of salvation in Pauline thought. The initial point of regeneration when the sinful man repents and accepts Christ is termed “Justification.” This was the crux of Paul’s argument built in Galatians 2-3. For Paul, Justification was a legal term meaning the acquittal from past sins.

    The third phase of Salvation in Pauline thought is the joining with Christ upon our death. This is the reward and the passing into Paradise that we receive as reward for our faith. This is Glorification.

    In verse 12, however, Paul is speaking of the present daily struggle of the Christian believer. Remember that for Paul, faith incorporated belief, loyalty and obedience to God. This aspect of the salvation experience is commonly referred to as “Sanctification.” One will not find the word “sanctification” very often in the New Testament, but its synonym of “make holy” is quite prevalent. The Justified believer who is working toward reward at Final Judgment is in need of controlling his own free will in order that the Holy Spirit may work through him. This "“work” is the striving towards a goal.

    The means to this end has already been discussed in the Letter. We attain the goal through self-abnegation (a restraint or limitation of one's own desires or interests) and sacrificial service. This is the unity we attain when we strive to have the “mind” of Christ. We do not attain it through empty boasting and self-serving actions.

    Other Passages that give specific instructions on working out our own salvation include: John 6:27-29; 2Peter 1:5-10.

    2:14-18 The Example of Paul Poured Out As a Drink Offering

    It is important to note that we are not only to “do” but rather to “do all things” in the right spirit. Compliance with Paul’s imperative to work out our salvation is to be done without grumblings and questionings (KJV - murmurings and disputings). Grumbling implies discontent within a congregation and questionings refers to arguments, debates or wranglings. The term may even be referring to court litigation. These terms, grumblings and questionings, refer to a self-serving, self-assertive temper that is the direct opposite of the Mind of Christ.

    Paul does not view the Philippians, nor himself, nor us for that matter as perfect but to be blameless and perfect is the goal of the Christian. Christ Himself set this as our goal in Matthew 5:48. The crooked and perverse generation of which Paul speaks has always been in this world. It is rather ironic that we who live in this day and age read these words written in the first century with the same relevance. The irony is further asserted in that Paul is using the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:5! God’s people have always been in the world but not of it. Christ’s prayer in John 17:15 incited God’s aid for us in this endeavor.

    The Philippians’ efforts toward perfection by emulating the Mind of Christ would give Paul just reason to boast on the Day of Christ, that is to say, the Final Judgment. Paul’s labors, part of which were the reason for his imprisonment, had put him in a position of potential martyrdom. Remember from chapter 1 that Paul did not seek death nor life but only wished that either course would glorify God and promote the Gospel. In the face of this potential martyrdom, Paul viewed his death as a “libation”, a sacrifice that would accompany the Philippians’ offering of faith. Paul did not want pity or sorrow at his death, but rather that they all rejoice at this further promotion of the Cause of Jesus Christ.

    continued
     
  4. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
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    Tonight, I have discovered the best way for me to use your commentary and lesson - READ IT FIRST - this way some background understanding is in my head before I start to read...... I have always read the passages first and then your words.
    It was easier tonight [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 7/4/04 continued

    2Kings 10:1-11 The Assassination of Ahab's Progeny and Supporters

    The three deaths of Ahaziah, Jehoram and Jezebel were just the beginning for Jehu. In Samaria were 70 (probably a round number) male descendants of Ahab remaining. Jehu sent a letter telling the city's leaders to set the most apt of the princes on the throne to defend the city from his attack. Naturally, the reputation of Jehu had spread throughout Israel and the leaders wisely presume that if two established kings could not defeat the commoner, the son of Nimshi, then how could an unseasoned royal heir hope to resist his onslaught? They sent a return letter informing Jehu that they would not appoint a king but would do anything that he told them to do. Jehu sends a second letter then saying that if they are indeed on his side, they will bring the heads of the 70 sons to him in Jezreel within 24 hours. The wording of the message was somewhat ambiguous. The "heads" of the seventy sons could have meant the leaders among the princes or even those leaders who were raising the royal princes. The terrified Samarian elders, however, took the message literally, probably as Jehu had hoped they would, and massacred the princes, sending the heads to Jezreel. They did not, however, deliver them themselves as ordered, likely because they feared for their own lives. Upon the arrival of the heads, Jehu orders that they be put in two piles on either side of the city gates. As a footnote, later Assyrian rulers used this same type of display as an act of terrorism in their campaigns.

    In the morning, Jehu stood before the people of Jezreel and absolved them of any wrongdoing. He freely admits that he is responsible for the assassinations of Ahaziah, Jehoram and Jezebel, but because of the ambiguity in his communiqué, he can lay the blame of the deaths of the seventy royal heirs on the Samarian leaders. In verse 10 Jehu indicates that his actions were of divine sanction as spoken through Elijah. In accordance with this, he then slaughters the remaining descendants of Ahab in Jezreel but he then goes a step further. Out of his own political ambition, he also massacres Ahab's chief men, close friends and priests (KJV - great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests). The Lord speaks of this incident through His prophet in Hosea 1:4.

    2Kings 10:12-14 The Assassination of the Judahite Princes

    Jehu now leaves Jezreel heading towards the capitol city of Samaria. En route at the town of Betheked he encounters 42 men who were kin to the now deceased Ahaziah. Upon learning their identity, he orders that they be taken captive and he executes them at the well (KJV - pit) in the town.

    2Kings 10:15-17 The Assassination of Ahab's Descendants in Samaria

    Still continuing towards Samaria, Jehu now encounters Jehonadab, a leader of the order of the Rechabites according to Jeremiah 35:6. Though we know little about this order outside of Jeremiah 35, we do know that they were extreme separatists sworn to a life of nomadic, desert life. Such a religious sect would certainly have been in sympathy and support with Jehu's blood purge of Baalism in Israel. Jehu invites Jehonadab onto his chariot to witness his campaign from the best seat in the house and rides on to Samaria.

    Once there, he continued his massacre destroying every relative left of the apostate dynasty in the city.

    2Kings 10:18-27 The Assassination of the Devotees of Baal

    The final account of the bloody purge of Baalism begins with Jehu using deception to meet his ends. He feigns by royal decree that he, too, is a worshiper of Baal and invites all of the priests of the false God together in Samaria for the supposed purpose of a sacrificial ceremony. To insure that none would be missing, he ironically places a penalty of death on any not in attendance. In order to clearly identify the priests, he had the temple quartermaster supply them with special vestments that would identify them. Jehu and Jehonadab the Rechabite now enter the temple and Jehu instructs the attendees to make sure that there are no worshippers of Yahweh present. While this was probably received well by the priests, for the reader it is a foreshadowing of what is to come. When the ceremony begins, Jehu makes a burnt offering and then he and Jehonadab exit. He gives a signal to 80 select troops stationed at the doors to go in and slay the Baal worshipers. The guards carry out their orders and then remove the idols of Baal in order to burn them. Having accomplished that, they then demolished the temple and turned the site into a public privy.

    In this way, Jehu purged Baalism from Israel.

    2Kings 10:28-31 The Deuteronomic Evaluation of Jehu

    It is almost a shock to the reader that Jehu's reign gets such a poor review in the end. We see clearly now that he was more motivated by political ambition than a true love of God. He continued in the sins of Jeroboam and let the golden calves in Dan and Bethel remain. The Lord did however reward Jehu for doing what was in the Mind of the Lord by allowing his dynasty to last four generations. While this was a qualitative judgment, it should not be undermined. This was the longest lasting dynasty in the Northern Kingdom's history spanning nearly 100 years and including Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, and Zechariah.

    2Kings 10:32-36 An Excerpt from the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel

    The historian at this point interjects an overview of the failing political success of Israel. During Jehu's reign, Aram, under the reign of Hazael, dominated Israel. The whole of the Transjordan territory was lost until Jeroboam II recovered it. As the Assyrians in the east gained more power and territory, Jehu refused to ally himself with Hazael and 19th century archeologists even discovered an obelisk from the time of Shalmanesser III depicting Jehu kneeling before the Assyrian conqueror, the only pictoral representation of a Hebrew king ever discovered. The inscription on the obelisk reads: The tribute of Omri; I received from him silver, gold, a golden supla-bowl, a golden vase with a pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king and wooden puruhta (meaning unknown).

    http://www.bible-history.com/assyria_archaeology/archaeology_of_ancient_assyria_archaeological_discoveries.html

    http://www.dabar.org/McCabe/Assyria/Jehu-Shalmenezer2.jpg

    Sunday School lesson 7/11/04

    2Kings 11-12

    As we continue our hurried study of 2Kings we turn our focus now to the Southern Kingdom of Judah and its capitol city, Jerusalem. The Omridian/Ahabian dynasty has been completely quashed in the Northern Kingdom by Jehu's bloody revolt. The historian now conveys to us the filling of the power vacuum left by the assassination of the latest Judean king, Ahaziah.

    Athaliah was introduced to us in chapter 8 as the wife of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, and a "daughter" of Omri, literally the daughter of Ahab and, presumably, Jezebel. Interestingly, her name means "the time of the Lord" or "the Lord exalted" so there is a hint that Ahab had retained a limited loyalty to God at the time of her birth. In this Passage, however, we see pure blind political ambition that in no way exalts God.

    2Kings 11:1-3 Athaliah's Seizure of the Throne

    Upon hearing of the death of Ahaziah at the hand of Jehu and his troops, Athaliah begins her own rebellion in order to secure the throne for herself. By this time in the account, the royal family in Judah was probably little more than a remnant. According to 2Chronicles 21:4, Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, had murdered all of his brothers when he ascended to the throne. Jehu had captured and slain another 42 members of the royal household in chapter 10 of the present Book at Beth Eked. 2Chronicles 22:1 tells us that marauding Arabs had slain the brothers of Ahaziah before this time. Therefore, Athaliah's only challenge to the throne would be her own grandchildren. This attempt to annihilate any successors, however, was an attack on the house of David. Complete success would not be possible because God had made a Covenant with David in 2Samuel 7:16 in which David's house would remain forever. To the original exiled audience of the Historian this would clearly have been perceived as a messianic prophecy. Therefore Athaliah's plan was an assault on God's redemptive plan, a fact of which the Historian reminded us in 1Kings 8:25-26.

    Verse 2 introduces us to a new character in the narrative: Jehosheba, the daughter of Jehoram and sister (possibly half-sister) of Ahaziah. It is a common motif in the Scriptures for a woman to save a child for God's purposes. The first example to come to mind may be Jochebed, the mother of Moses, but even Christ had to be secreted away to Egypt to escape Herod the Great's campaign against the Hebrew male children. Jehosheba rescues one of her nephews, a baby named Joash, and hides him initially in a bedroom and then eventually in the Temple where the boy remained for six years undiscovered by his power hungry grandmother, only yards away from her on the hill of Zion.

    2Kings 11:4-12 The Coronation of Joash

    In verse 4 we are abruptly introduced to Jehoiada, as he calls together the military commanders, mercenaries and royal bodyguards in order to make a covenant with them. Again, 2Chronicles fills the picture out for us in chapter 22 telling us that Jehoiada was the high priest, Jehosheba's husband and in 23 listing the names of the commanders and also including the Levites and family leaders in the conspiracy to come. After gaining a pledge of loyalty from his audience, he reveals Joash to the crowd. That Jehoiada was able to gain the allegiance of such a large assembly of conspirators testifies to the fact that no one was very pleased with Athaliah's reign. At Jehoiada's command, the company of military personnel stationed themselves around the seven-year-old boy and the Temple and guarded him in shifts.

    Evidently, Jehoiada had selected the time for the changing of the guard on the Sabbath for the coronation. In this way, he retained the division going off duty and the two coming on without raising any suspicions. In verse 10 we see him give these men the spears and shields that had been King David's. Interestingly, we are told in 1Kings 14:26 that Egyptian forces plundered the Temple during the reign of Rehoboam. Like the young Joash, the weapons of David had been successfully hidden within the Temple walls.

    Jehoiada now brings out the boy and places a crown on him. He also presents him with "the covenant (KJV - testimony)." Though we can not be certain of exactly what this document was, scholars have suggested that it may have been the Ten Commandments, the entire Torah, or a document dealing specifically with the covenant duties of the king. 2Samuel 10:25 would make the third option most plausible, to my thinking. The coronation, like that of Jehu, brings about a loud ovation from the onlookers.

    2Kings 11:13-16 Athaliah's Execution

    Hearing the commotion from within the Temple, Athaliah comes to investigate. Upon seeing the newly coronated young king, she let's out a cry of "Treason!" The irony here is obvious. Athaliah had commited her own act of treason against Judah, the House of David, and God. The priests command that she not be put to death in the Temple as commanded in Exodus 21:14. The guards take hold of her and take her out the Horse Gate of the Temple grounds and kill her in the courtyard of the king's house.

    The Historian makes no deuteronomic evaluation of Athaliah's reign suggesting that he considered her an usurper to the throne who never gained true regal status.

    2Kings 11:17-21 The Renewal of the Covenant

    For the first time since the reign of Solomon, Judah was in a position to turn from the apostasy that had plagued them. Jehoiada made a covenant between God, the king, and the people that they would be God's people. This renewal of the Sinaitic Covenant echoed the words of Moses in Exodus 19 and ushered in the possibility of a new beginning for Judah. In the spirit of this renewal, the temple of Baal was demolished and his priest, Mattan, killed. After the demolition of all idols and refuges of Baalism, the people took Joash, the newly coronated boy king from the Temple and established him on the throne in the king's house.

    The chapter ends with a reaffirmation of Joash's age, which should be understood in context with verse 12:1.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture 9/26/04 continued

    Luke 5:27-32 Association with Outcasts

    Traditionally, Levi has been identified as Matthew as the parallel account in the Gospel of Matthew uses the name. Mark and Luke both use the name Levi with Mark identifying him further as "the son of Alphaeus," a designation shared by James the Less. Both Mark and Luke list Matthew as Disciples but do not use the name Levi in their rosters of Mark 3 and Luke 6. The variance is somewhat puzzling and not completely satisfied by modern scholarship. The texts give no evidence of a name change as occurred with Peter, but the possibility does exist.

    In any case, Levi is introduced to us as a tax collector (KJV - publican). In the days of Christ, men holding this position were viewed as traitors to their own countrymen and were ostracized as surely as adulterers. To work for the Romans, especially to be taking money from their own people, was an abhorred practice. Jesus, however, approaches Levi as he sits in his tax booth and gives the simple command: Follow Me. Though the command is brief, it carried a great implication. Levi was being called to leave a lucrative position of responsibility and follow Jesus with no guarantees. To put one's faith in Christ still carries with it a risk that the flesh must overcome.

    Luke's Gospel puts special emphasis on Jesus' relationship with tax collectors. To do business with them was one thing, but to eat and drink with them was quite another. The "sinners" mentioned by the Pharisees and scribes in verse 30 were those who lacked the means or the zeal to observe the enormous amount of religious traditions necessary for religious purity in the Jewish system under the Pharisees and their ilk.

    Jesus' answer to their criticism is easily read as sarcastic. Jesus says that He did not come to call the righteous but the sinners. The use of the term righteousness mocks the Pharisees' view of themselves. Instead they could not recognize how morally bankrupt they actually were and in the Eyes of God Pharisee, sinner, and tax collector were all in need of salvation. Only those who recognize themselves as sinners are able to hear and answer the call. The ones who see themselves as holy do not recognize it and are left in darkness.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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