Sunday, June 25, 2017

June 25

2 Kings 8:1-9:13; Acts 16:16-40; Psalm 143:1-12; Proverbs 17:26

In 2 Kings 8 & 9, we read the ending of several stories we’ve been following.

First, we again meet the Shunammite woman who built a room on the top of her house for Elisha to stay in (2 Ki. 4). She and Elisha have stayed in touch and when Israel was suffering from a famine, he sent her to the land of the Philistines for her family’s survival. Now, seven years later, she has returned, and ‘coincidentally,’ just as Gehazi is telling the king of Israel (this has to be wicked Ahab) about her and how Elisha had raised her son to life.  At that moment, she appears in the court, asking for her land to be returned to her (2 Ki. 8:5). Talk about coincidences! Need I mention that, yes, she gets her land restored! And the income on it from the last seven years (vs. 6)!

Next, we see the fulfillment of the assignments that the LORD gave Elijah back in I Kings 19 (see OYB blog post here), when He told Elijah that his life was still worth living and that he had work yet to do. Elijah had appointed Elisha as instructed (I Ki. 19:16).

Now Elisha goes to Damascus—note that this isn’t even Israel’s territory—and appoints Hazael as the next king of Aram—what authority does Elisha have over a king of Damascus (2 Ki. 8:13)? Then, Elisha sends one of the young prophets from the prophets’ school to complete the third and final part of the Elijah’s assignment: he will “anoint Jehu king over the LORD’s people Israel” (2 Ki. 9:6). And it will be Jehu who will eradicate the line of Jezebel and Ahab. Elijah, though no longer living on earth, will finally get his full vengence against Jezebel and her prophets of Baal (vs. 8; see also tomorrow’s reading).

Psalm 143 wonderfully brings together the thoughts of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

            v. 1      O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
v. 5      I remember the days of long ago;
            I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
            v. 8      Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
                        for in You I have put my trust.
                        Show me the way I should go,
                        for to you I lift up my soul.

If God so cared for the woman from Shunem, if God fulfilled the prophecies he spoke to Elijah, if he released Paul and Silas from prison (Acts 16:39), will He not care for us?

- Nell Sunukjian

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