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2 Kings 8-10

DAILY DEVOTION
 
FOR
 
MONDAY, OCTOBER 14

 
 SCRIPTURE: 2 Kings 8-10
AUTHOR: Jeremy Witt

We see Elisha taking care of the Shunammite woman and her family again in chapter 8:1-6 as God has told Elisha of another drought that would last for 7 years.  She left as instructed by Elisha and when she returns back, God providentially had Elisha’s old servant, Gehazi, talking to the king and restores the woman’s land back to her.  Faithful and obedience to the LORD will be honored and blessed.  This woman looked after Elisha and God provided for her and her family in a difficult situation. 
 
As we are moving throughout this devotion, I am amazed at the similarities of our reading to current events.  The times that we have read of transitions over the last months and now we are reading of Aramean or Syrian kings.  Elisha meets an official for the king, Hazael.  The king, Ben-hadad, is sick and wishes to know if he will recover.  The LORD tells Elisha what to say and what is to come, and Elisha tells Hazael of how he will be king and hurt Israel in 8:7-15. 
 
The next set of verses is a perfect example of how easy it is to get confused at times in Kings and Chronicles.  Judah gets a new king and his name is Jehoram.  Israel’s king is Joram but in some places, it is given at Jehoram as well.  This is where the details are important to remember.  We have to remember that Judah has Jerusalem as its capital and is in the south.  Israel has Samaria as its capital and is in the north.  So here we are having to pay attention to know who is who.  Jehoram reigns in Judah for 8 years and then his son Ahaziah is king and reigns one year.  Ironically the reason Ahaziah died was due to aligning himself with King Joram of Israel.  As we read in chapter 9, Ahaziah and Joram will both die from Jehu (9:14-29)
 
Similar to how Elisha foretold Hazael that he would be king of Syria, Elisha meets a commander named Jehu and tells him that he would be king.  However, the difference is that Elisha anoints him as king over Israel.  He will be God’s instrument to punish the family of Ahab and Jezebel.  Jehu will be recognized as one of the better kings of Israel, but the author of 1-2 Kings will point out that Jehu continued to worship the golden calves set up by Jeroboam.  Jehu was obedient to the LORD for the most part however his obedience was tied to his convenience.  Rather than worshipping the LORD at his temple, Jehu went to the convenient location of the golden calves as Jeroboam did.  He did not make the sacrifice of time/effort/obedience to God’s law. 
 
This is one of the things about our culture that is the same.  We are guilty of only being obedient when it is convenient.  We say things like, “It is okay for us to worship the LORD at the lake” or “I can worship at the hunting blind.”  Maybe it is “we can worship God wherever we are” which is somewhat true but do we worship wherever we go?  One of the biggest reasons we need to worship together is that when we worship together, we encourage each other or even help one another.  Seeing someone else responding in faith challenges us to do the same thing.  Witnessing someone else choose to make Jesus their Savior and LORD encourages us.  Sharing a message from God together bonds us to one another as we live life together.  We miss that when we choose convenience over worship and sacrifice.
 
Chapter 10 is Jehu fulfilling the prophecy of Ahab’s family being wiped out.  It is bloody, it is cunning, and we see that God’s Word can be trusted.  It may not happen as quickly as expected or in some cases faster than expected, but God’s Word can be trusted.  We even see Jehu’s obedience and zeal is getting rid of worshippers of Baal and the priests.  Did you notice how careful Jehu was to protect those who worshipped the LORD in 10:23? 
 
There is more to unpack here but space is limited.  God will not tolerate false worship.  He will serve justice to those who lead others to false worship as Ahab and Jezebel did.  He will make sure to keep His Name holy and remove the unholy as was done with the worshippers of Baal.  That was supposed to have happened as the Israelites took the land under Joshua but they were not fully obedient.  They chose convenience over obedience as well.  How do you see this being done today?  Are you or your family guilty of doing this?

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

2 Kings 5

DAILY DEVOTION
 
FOR
 
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10

 
 SCRIPTURE: 2 Kings 5
AUTHOR: Jeremy Witt

I am pulling a Josh today (HA ha) and only doing one chapter.  In fact, I will do that tomorrow, because these two chapters are some of my favorites in the Old Testament, especially tomorrow’s chapter 7.  Do you have those chapters or sections of Scripture that just speak to you or have spoken to you more than most?  If so, I’d love to know what they are.  Email me at and share it with me.
 
Our main character in chapter 5 is not a Jew.  He is an Aramean or in modern-day Syria.  He is a military leader who had one of the worst diseases of that time in leprosy.  Being a leper typically made one an outsider.  For the Jews, lepers were to live outside the city and quarantine themselves from others.  I do not know how the Arameans handled things, but the Jews had to yell, “unclean, unclean” as others approached and no one dared to touch a leper or touch something that they had touched.  However, Naaman appeared to be treated better than the Jewish lepers in that he was highly esteemed by the Aramean king and was a successful military leader. 
 
Historically, Israel/Judah and Aram or Syria have been at odds.  We see this in verse 2 that they raided Israel.  Because they had taken captive a girl, Naaman heard about Elisha the prophet who could heal leprosy.  When Naaman discovered this, he went to the king and asked for permission to go to Elisha for help.  The king helped and sent a letter to the king of Israel.  This was the proper protocol to send someone into another country for safe passage.  Verses 5-7 give us the details of this event.  The king of Israel is Joram or Jehoram.  Keep this in mind tomorrow as Israel and Aram will be at war. 
 
Naaman’s appearing in verse 8 was not viewed positively by King Joram, but through the Holy Spirit and possibly some folks within the palace who shared with Elisha (most likely priests), Elisha was aware of Naaman’s arrival and the purpose of his coming.  Elisha sends word to the king to send Naaman to him, which we read happens in verse 9.  However, pay attention to the end of verse 8.  Do you see how Elisha reminds the king of a prophet in Israel?  The king is not a fan of Elisha.  He isn’t a yes man.  The king has followed in the ways of his forefathers.  We will see how the king views Elisha more in our next chapter. 
 
As you continue reading the chapter, I want you to notice Naaman’s attitude.  Pay attention to him and then notice how his officers kept him grounded in verses 9-14.  Do you see a change in Naaman after he does what Elisha instructed?  What did that change do in Naaman’s attitude? (verses  15-19)
 
Pride and arrogance are two things that keep us from a lot of good.  It nearly cost Naaman from healing.  What has pride done in your life to keep you or someone you love from something good?  It may be relationships that could have been restored but pride/arrogance kept that from happening.  Just like Naaman had, we need people in our lives who can speak to us and call us out on those things.  What if Naaman did not have those officers who had his trust?  Who in your life has that trust?
 
The chapter ends with Elisha’s assistant who allows greed to cost him.  He is greedy, selfish, and lies in the moment and it costs him.  Moments of weakness can come out of nowhere and destroy the good that we have been working on.  It not only impacted Gehazi, but it impacted his family.  We will see Gehazi in the coming chapters, but he will not be with Elisha.  What has moments of weakness cost you?  It causes us to ponder if, “what if I hadn’t . . . “
 
Something to think about isn’t it.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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