Kings and killings. Being king during the time of the Kings was very harsh. Because of kings' pride wanting to rule and not listen to the Lord, they often were brought to their knees either in death or submission.

Day 168 (June 17): Judah judged, Ahaziah rules Judah, Jehu gets Israel, Jehu kills two, Jezebel dies, Jehu kills Ahab’s family, Baal’s priest

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
2 Chronicles 21:8-20
2 Kings 8:23-29
2 Chronicles 22:1-7
2 Kings 9-10:17
2 Chronicles 22:8-9
2 Kings 10:18-31

(852-841 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Chronicles 21:8): The Edomites were not a part of Israel or Judah, right?  Were they a vassal state also, like Moab?  They wanted freedom from paying tributes to Judah?

A. Yes.  Israel/Judah became powerful during David and Solomon’s reigns, and took on several vassal states.  But as the power decreased down the line, these servant peoples began to revolt against their ruling nation.

Q. (21:16): It seems ironic that God is waging a war against His Own people.  But, if we want to think deeper, He is actually trying to rid them of evil and reestablish himself.  He needs to show them who is king and who will provide for them.  Are the wicked kings too proud to admit someone is more powerful than they are?  They shouldn’t, they are worshipping other idols.  I don’t understand if they are going to worship something, which they do, why deny God?  They know of His power, yet they belittle it.

A. In Israel, this whole mess began, as the end of the reading told us, with Jeroboam building the golden calves in order to prevent the people from worshipping God Himself.  Every king since then has followed suit, either by doing evil, or like Jehu, not correcting the original error of having set up idols.  Essentially, this is really an issue of control and power.  These kings are capable of controlling these other “gods” and using their “power” for their own purposes, but God will not be so easily manipulated.  The unwillingness to submit to the true God’s demands is at the heart of the corruption you have been seeing.

Q. (2 Kings 9:3): Why should this prophet have to run after anointing Jehu as king of Israel?  This scene is humorous.

A. He was telling the commander of a king’s army to commit treason against that king, and could not know for sure how he would react.  If the commander refused the order, he likely would have killed the prophet.

O. (9:13): We don’t see any deliberation here from Jehu about being anointed.  He took the task by the horns and ran with it.

Q. (9:19): Jehu is saying, “Follow me and you’ll see peace?”

A. He is stalling for time and not lying about his intent by saying he comes in peace when he really does not.

O. (9:30-37): The witch is dead!  And the people said, “AMEN!”

O. (2 Kings 10:27): A toilet?  Now that’s some humor!

Q. (10:31): What, after all of that work for God he is going to follow Jeroboam?  I thought Jehu was going to be a really good king.

A. Relative to the other kings of Israel at the time, he was.  That’s why his family got to rule for the next three generations.

For further study: Pride and ruin, https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/what-does-the-bible-say-about-pride.html

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— 2 Kings 11:1-3
— 2 Chronicles 22:10-12
— 2 Kings 11:4-12
— 2 Chronicles 23:1-11
— 2 Kings 11:13-16
— 2 Chronicles 23:12-15
— 2 Kings 11:17-21
— 2 Chronicles 23:16-21
— 2 Kings 12:1-16
— 2 Chronicles 24:1-22
— 2 Kings 10:32-36

Ahab and Jezebel. Jezebel schemes to kill man and take over his vineyard.

Day 163 (June 12): Ben-Hadad’s second attack, Ahab condemned, Jezebel tricks Naboth, Judah, Israel join forces against Ramoth-gilead

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
1 Kings 20:23-22:9
2 Chronicles 18:1-8
(857-853 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Kings 20:23-34): Did God have a purpose for the conflict between Ben-Hadad and Ahab?  Was this God’s planning or was it just two kings rivaling?  The Bible tells us that Ben-Hadad wanted Israel’s riches?

A. While on some level it is just rivaling kings, God is attempting to get Ahab’s attention by giving him military victory and foretelling this victory through these anonymous prophets.  It works, to a degree.

Q. (20:35-43): This story is troubling.  Why would anyone, especially a prophet, tell someone to hit them and why would the guy do it?  Then, the guy dies because he wouldn’t hit the man.  And in v. 42, is the prophet telling of Ahab sparing Ben-Hadad?  If so, that means Ahab must die?

A. Yes, this is an odd story.  The striking thing and the penalty for not doing it are indeed troubling.  But the larger story it the prophet disguising an injury to get close to the king.  When he is there, he uses a very similar technique to how Nathan tricked David back in 2 Samuel 12: He gets the king to inadvertently confess his sin, and reveal the guilt he should have known about.  In this case, it was sparing the life of Ben-Hadad, which would have cost him his own life, but his later humility and repentance spares him this fate.  His sin still cost him his dynasty, however.

Q. (21:8-10, 25): I don’t think there is any woman in the Bible more evil than Jezebel!  Where did she come from anyway?  From v. 25, we can see the meaning in the nickname “Jezebel.”  Ahab seems to struggle between his faith for God and being swayed by Jezebel.

A. She was the daughter of a foreign king — we don’t know exactly where, the guess is what is now known as Tyre — who was given to Ahab to seal an alliance between the king and Ahab’s father Omri.  That’s about all we know, other then she was apparently quite a powerful influence on her husband.

Q. (21:17-24): Getting eaten by dogs is mentioned several times here.  That’s just a major insult?

A. Dogs were unclean animals in this era, and packs of wild dogs roamed outside of cities, scavenging and eating things that didn’t get properly buried or processed, like bodies.  To be eaten by dogs would mean that you did not receive a proper burial, which as we mentioned was a major deal at the time.

Q. (21:28-29): Good for Ahab that he humbled himself and God spared him.  But, his descendants still get the punishment?  Will they have a chance to redeem themselves too?

A. Oh, that would be no fun to tell you.  You’ll see.

Q. (22:6-7): Here Ahab summoned 400 prophets and asked them if he should go into battle.  They said, “The LORD will give the king victory.”  But then, Jehoshaphat asked if there was a prophet of the Lord there.  But weren’t the 400 prophets that he already asked God’s prophets because they answered with the Lord’s name?

A. They were not prophets of God, even if they used His name.  They were some sort of pagan religious officials, but they understood that using God’s name would make their message well received.  They are basically “yes” men.  So you can probably see why Jehoshaphat asked for a “second” opinion.

Q. (2 Chronicles 18:1-8): This account sure starts out more picturesque than the 1 Kings 22 version.  It’s nice to see Judah and Israel bonding together!  Will this continue?

A. To a certain extent, but in a few chapters, it won’t matter anyway.  Stay tuned!

For further study: Lessons for today from Jezebel, https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/6-ways-to-not-be-a-wicked-jezebel.html

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— 1 Kings 22:10-28
— 2 Chronicles 18:9-27
— 1 Kings 22:29-35
— 2 Chronicles 18:28-34
— 1 Kings 22:36-40
— 1 Kings 22:51-53
— 2 Chronicles 19
— 2 Chronicles 20:1-30