June - Reading 21

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening –

    Tonight we read of the final king of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, Hoshea. 2Kings 17:7-23 gives the theological reasoning of why the Northern Kingdom fell. As the commentaries for the past month have pointed out, despite a few moments of semi-redemption, Israel had turned into a nation that just did not honor the God that had brought them out of captivity, so now back into captivity they go. This exile will last for nearly 200 years. Judah will hold its integrity for another 150 years but they too will come to their period of exile and this will last until Israel is restored in the Book of Ezra.
    Also notice the way in which the Assyrian Empire reorganized and emigrated people around. Tonight we witness the founding of the Samarian nation that would later be despised by the Jews and from whom the characters in the Good Samaritan and the Woman at the Well will be descendent.
    I found a timeline of the Old Testament that may illustrate where we are at in our studies at this link: http://chaos1.hypermart.net/old/tot.html
    Look around 700 BC and you will see the capture by Assyria.
    I want to back off a little bit here and comment on the construction of the textbook that we refer to as “the Bible.” For anyone who may have joined our reading later in the year, the Old Testament is not arranged chronologically but is rather arranged in groups of like Books. The breakdown goes like this:
    5 Books of Moses (Genesis – Deueteronomy)
    12 Books of History (Joshua – Esther)
    5 Books of Poetry (Job – Song of Solomon
    5 Major Prophets (Isaiah – Daniel)
    12 Minor Prophets (Hosea – Mallachi)
    During the time of which we have been reading, some of the prophets whom we will read later in the year had been doing their works. Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Jeremiah all lived during these times so it will be important to cross reference back to these sections when we read those Books.

    Our passage in Luke seems to correspond to the Sermon on the Mount as we read in Matthew 5. There are a few discrepancies that we need to address here between these passages though. For one, Matthew puts the setting on a mountain whereas Luke describes the setting as a “flat place.” It may be that Christ spoke from a plateau, which would fill the criteria for both passages. Another theory to consider is that Christ repeated this message several times in His ministry. We can support this hypothesis by seeing that the account in Luke is shorter than the passage in Luke, but both begin with beatitudes and end with the lesson of the wise and foolish builders. Further, Luke cites other points made in Matthew 5 later in his Gospel, i.e. 11:2-4; 12:22-31, 33-34.
    I looked up the commentaries that were posted on the beatitudes in Matthew way back in January. Here they are: http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=33;t=000024

    Last night I thought that the folks who designed our reading plan had broken Phillipians oddly for last night, tonight and tomorrow. After reading the passage I can see their reasoning. What a great passage! So much of a tremendous statement of faith in four short verses. Paul uses the analogy of the Christian life to an athletic contest often in his writings. This was a definite “eyes on the prize” statement.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. ATeenageChristian

    ATeenageChristian
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    IMO, the scripture from Luke is a scripture we should read everyday. It talks about loving our enemies. Jesus knew that man would not love his enemy. From my personal experience, loving our enemies is crucial to our survival. Jesus also commanded us to "love our neighbor as thyself."

    The verse from Philippians just talks about waiting for Christ. We know Jesus is coming back, but we know not the day or hour. In my Christian science fiction book, Jesus comes back to claim all the Christians in 3 galaxies. Jesus wanted all of us to spread the gospel everywhere. The Psalm verse is a wonderful praise song to God. Good Scriptures today Clint! Keep em' coming! ;) ;)

    [ June 22, 2002, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: ATeenageChristian ]
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture 10/5/03 continued

    Philippians 3:12-16

    The Threat of False Perfectionism


    Paul clarifies his position stating that he has not reached perfection. To the contrary it is a goal for which he still strives. The legalistic system of the Pharisees gave him a false sense of perfection. This attitude could easily transfer to the Christian community as we judge ourselves by a code of some sort. We, like Paul, can never merely rest on our laurels. We touched upon this point in James 3:2. We, as Christians, must always strive forward in our spiritual progress.

    Paul’s reference to “what lies behind” is more likely in reference to his life up to that point following his conversion as opposed to his life as a Pharisee. “Forgetting” is not the obliteration of his memory of past events, but rather like a runner in a race, not looking back toward the track already covered, but forward to the tape at the finish line. His former achievements were not going to consume him and thwart his efforts toward fuller maturity. Paul then calls on others who are more spiritually mature to be like-minded with him on this point.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 8/1/04

    2Kings 16-17

    As the 8th century BC moves to its later half, the Northern Kingdom of Israel and its southern sister, Judah, move further away from God and closer to the final covenant curse. The war machine of Assyria to their east gains momentum under the leadership of Tiglath Pileser III and has begun to crush the northern borders of Israel. Likewise, Rezin of Aram (Syria) has begun a campaign against Judah. Chapter 15 concluded with the reign of Jotham, a qualitatively "good" king on the throne of the Southern Kingdom, ending and being succeeded by Ahaz, the most evil king yet coming to power. The Historian's focus remains on the Southern Kingdom as our lesson opens today.

    2Kings 16:1-4 Ahaz King of Judah

    The dating of the reign of Ahaz is a bit more troublesome to scholars than some of our previous assertions. The numbers do not fit as neatly and we are forced to make allowances for coregencies and different evaluations at which the reign actually starts as a sole kingship. The most reasonable explanation is that Ahaz became a "senior" coregent with his father, Jotham, at age 20. Otherwise, his son, Hezekiah, was born when he was only 11 or 12 instead of 14 or 15 as in 18:1-2. The sixteen years in which he reigned noted in the Scriptures may be in reference to the years following Jotham's death. This would help the Biblical dating of the reigns of Rezin and Pekah line up better. It appears that the dating of Ahaz's reign is chronicled in several different manners throughout the text but our best guess by modern reasoning is that we are now looking at the year 735 BC with Jotham still living and Ahaz, now twenty, becoming a full coregent.

    As a side note, in 1996, a clay "bulla" mysteriously turned up bearing the inscription, "Belonging to Ahaz (son of) Yehotam (Jotham), King of Judah". This signet impression was used to seal a papyrus document and is the first of two seal inscriptions to date that we can positively attribute to a king of Judah. Those who are in the know about these things are quite confident that it is genuine.
    http://www.robert-deutsch.com/articles/1.shtml

    The deuteronomic evaluation formula to which we have become so accustomed introduces us to Ahaz. There is no mention of any good in this man as the Historian tells us that he "walked in the ways of the kings of Israel." This is likely in reference to his espousing paganistic religions and practices such as baalism rather than the worship at the golden calves in Dan and Bethel. However, his most heinous apostasy was the introduction of having his children "walk through the fire." This heathen practice has been the center of some debate over the centuries. It is believed by some that these rites involved having a child walk between two fires or heated hands of an idol as part of a very debased service. Others contend that this rite was actually a ceremony in which a child was sacrificed, the most heinous crime one could possibly imagine. In any case, it was done to appease a pagan God and went directly against the warnings of Moses in Leviticus 18:21 and Deuteronomy 18:10.

    The Historian continues to list Ahaz's sins concerning the pagan practices of sacrificing and burning incense at the high places and under large trees, a common symbol for pagan deities. All Of these acts had been condemned by God through Moses and demonstrated Ahaz's infidelity towards God.

    Ahaz is an interesting character in that his father and grandfather had shown good traits and Judah had grown under them. However, we can speculate that it was the life of ease into which he had been born coupled with the state's allowance of the high places to remain that had sown the seeds for Ahaz's full blown apostasy.

    2Kings 16:5-9 The Alliance with Assyria

    The audience had been introduced to Rezin, king of Aram in 15:37 and he now enters the story in full. He and Pekah, the king of Israel marched against Judah and besieged the city of Jerusalem. In Isaiah 7:6 we learn that their motivation was to place the son of Tabeel on the throne in order that they would have another ally in their anti-Assyrian coalition. They were not successful, however, as God would not allow the Davidic lineage to be destroyed and even though Ahaz was a wicked man, Jerusalem stood. The campaign did however allow Rezin to recapture the important port city of Elath, captured by Azariah of Judah a mere two generations before.

    Ahaz, however, did not trust his fate to God even though the prophet Isaiah told him to stay calm (Isaiah 7:3-6). Instead he sent a message to the Assyrian ruler, Tiglath Pileser III asking for his aid. He then looted the treasures of the Temple, (evidently somewhat restored by his father, Jotham, and grandfather, Uzziah, after Amaziah lost his battle with Jehoash who then looted the Temple) as well as the royal treasuries and gave them to the conqueror. The Assyrian complied with his plea and his bribe and marched onto Damascus, the capitol of Aram, capturing it and killing Rezin.

    2Kings 16:10-18 The Removal of the Altar and Further Pillaging of the Temple

    The Historian now continues to cite specific instances of Ahaz's unfaithfulness. With the new alliance between Judah and Assyria established, Ahaz travels to Damascus in order to meet with the Assyrian conqueror, Tiglath Pileser III. While there he sees a pagan altar of which he writes the specifications and sends them to the priest, Uriah (KJV - Urijah), commanding that he build a duplicate for the Temple in Jerusalem. This alteration of the Temple décor was more than an architectural fancy on the part of Ahaz. This was a demonstration of his allegiance to Assyria. Uriah quickly constructed the altar and had it waiting for Ahaz upon his return. The priest's involvement with this clearly unsanctioned act demonstrates that it was not just Ahaz and his cabinet that had fallen away from the Lord's instructions, but the clergy as well.

    Upon his return, Ahaz approached the new pagan altar and made sacrifices on it. The specific offerings listed are significant in two ways. (1) The offerings made were of the sweet savor type, symbolizing a believer's fellowship with God. (2) With the exception of the drink offering, these were the same sacrifices Solomon made on the sanctioned bronze altar at the dedication of the Temple in 1Kings 8:64. These acts showed the false piety of Ahaz.

    Ahaz then commands Uriah to use the new, larger altar for the sacrifices of all the people and has the original bronze (KJV - brazen) altar moved to a secondary position. He also mentions the "king's offering" which is mentioned nowhere else in the Old Testament. As the Geneva Bible duly notes, Ahaz has now instituted his own proceedings and abolished the commandment and ordinance of God. The bronze altar he would use for divination and pagan sooth-saying.

    The evil king does not stop there but continues to alter the Temple furnishings by removing the stands on which the altar had set and lowering the bronze sea that sat in the Temple by removing the bronze bulls that supported it. He also altered the king's entrance to the Temple and removed the Sabbath canopy through which the priests entered. All of these acts demonstrated Ahaz's deepening apostasy and growing deference to the king of Assyria.

    2Kings 16:19-20 The Death of Ahaz

    The Historian abruptly concludes the account of Ahaz with the familiar referencing to an outside source and the mention of his burial. There were no redeeming characteristics to report. The new king of Judah, Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, ascends to the throne.

    The Historian's account here in 2Kings is further enhanced with a study of 2Chronicles 28 and Isaiah 7-12. The Christian may be quite shocked at first to see Ahaz's name listed in the genealogy of Christ as accounted in Matthew.

    2Kings 17:1-6 Hoshea the Last King of Israel

    With a final glance at the Northern Kingdom, the Historian now relays to us the history of Hoshea. Though he ascended to power in what we speculate to be 732 BC by the vehicle of assassination, he is described as evil, but not as evil as the other kings of Israel. Since there is no mention of the sins of Jeroboam, perhaps this means that he lifted the embargo against worship in Jerusalem or that he at least did not force the worship in Dan and Bethel.

    Hoshea had originally been subdued by Tiglath Pileser III, who died in 727 BC, and was succeeded by his son, Shalmaneser V. A tribute probably established at the time of 2Kings 15:29-30, had been paid to the throne of Assyria until Hoshea's reign. Additionally, he called for aid from the king of Egypt. Shalmaneser responded by capturing and imprisoning Hoshea and besieging Samaria, a strongly fortified city, in the year 725 BC.

    After three years, in December of 722 BC, Samaria fell and the Israelites were marched off into bondage.
    http://www.anova.org/sev/atlas/htm/069.htm

    2Kings 17:7-23 The Deuteronomic Evaluation of the Fall of Israel

    This section of the Historian's account is easily tied to the warnings issued by Moses in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. God had graciously emancipated the Jewish nation from Egypt centuries before. He had sent them prophets to warn of their impending doom if they did not repent. He had repeatedly sought to reconcile the wayward children of Israel to Himself, but all to no avail. They worshipped foreign gods, a direct violation of the First Commandment and the most basic stipulation of the Mosaic Covenant. The text requires little commentary. The sins of Israel were manifest both to the original audience and the modern reader.

    In verse 19 the Historian notes that Judah was guilty of the same transgressions and reveals the fate of that nation that will be expounded upon in the coming chapters. Israel's punishment came from a just God. Though mercy is an attribute we assign to God through the Scriptures, justice requires that punishment be administered to the rebellious and disobedient if repentance is not met. This fact did not escape Paul's evaluation of Israel's history and he warns the Christian of the same in 1Corinthians 10:11-13.

    2Kings 17:24-41 The Resettlement of Samaria

    The events of chapter 17 conclude with the telling of the history of the land during the exile. The importation of immigrants from Babylon is the origin of the Samaritan race, a bane for the Jews in the New Testament but one of the earliest foreign mission fields for Christ in John 4.

    2Kings 17:24-28 The Teaching of the Law of God

    The "king of Assyria" referenced in verse 24 is most likely in reference to Sargon II, who succeeded his brother, Shalmaneser V, though later Assyrian leaders continued the repopulation of Samaria, a fact spoken of in Ezra 4:2, 9-10. Though the Israelites had been moved, Palestine was still the Promised Land. The heathens that moved into the area did not fear the Lord and as a demonstration of His sovereignty and that the exile of the Israelites had been a punishment, He sent lions to kill some of the new settlers. Lions had always been present in Canaan as we see in several Passages of Scripture, perhaps most memorably in the story of Samson. However, with the sudden depopulation of the area coupled with the abundant supply of human carnage in the wake of the wars may have allowed their population to explode. The new settlers recognized this as a sign that they were not pleasing the God of that region and so they sent for priests of Yahweh to instruct them. Remember that in this time it was a common belief that deities were regional and the God of Abraham had not communicated with these foreigners.

    2Kings 17:29-34a The Need for Purity of Worship

    The king conceded and sent a Hebrew priest back to Samaria in order to instruct the people. The priest, however continued the apostate form of worship in Bethel and this half-hearted doctrine grew into the people forming a polytheistic system of worship. The Historian notes several of the pagan Gods in verses 30-32, most of which appear to be deliberately misspelled or mocked in their misnaming. That the Historian notes that the Samarian settlers continued to worship false deities "to this day" in verse 34 gives further information towards the dating of the Book. The Samaritans later after the exile rejected idolatrous practices and began to follow the teachings of Moses.

    2Kings 17:34b-40 Failure to Respond to the Lord's Instruction

    At this juncture, the Historian has obviously shifted his attention back to the exiled Israelites as the instructions he is recounting never applied to the Samarians. Therefore, it is more accurate to relate this Passage to 7-18 as a reiteration of the cause of the exile.

    2Kings 17:41 Samarian Amalgamation of Yahweh and Other Gods

    The chapter concludes with a final look at the Samarians and the adulterated religious practices that would persist in the territory of the now conquered and disassembled Northern Kingdom. The conditions described in this verse would persist for nearly two centuries before the Jews were brought back from their captivity in the east.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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