What we are reading this week (beginning Wednesday, February 10, 2020):
• 2 Kings 3-9
• 1 Chronicles 24-29 ~ 2 Chronicles 1
• Job 33-39
Week 46. The end draws nigh!
Notes on 2 Kings
We will see the ministry of Elisha, as he lives out the “double portion” given to him from the Lord as he requested. His intervention in the battle between the combined forces of Israel and Judah against Moab shows the very peculiar ways of the prophet.
The godly but clueless Jehoshaphat foolishly agrees to go to battle with Ahab’s son Joram. Elisha tells the Israelite king, “If I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay attention to you” (3.14). Then he calls for a harpist, and gives them a prophecy that would require they simply wait for the enemy to come right to them, unprepared for battle. God fights and wins this battle for them in an amazing way.
In chapter four, we see several miracles, with precursors to what we will see in the ministry of Jesus. He raises the dead, and then feeds one hundred with twenty loaves (as Jesus will feed five thousand with five).
In chapter five, Elisha is called to heal Naaman, a commander of the army of Aram that was a fierce opponent of Israel. The events are triggered by the advice of a young girl who had been kidnapped and was living as a slave, yet remembered the man of God (5.2-3).
Ghazi was the attendant to Elisha as the prophet had been to Elijah. But at the end of chapter five, he forfeits his destiny (19b-27).
Elisha continues to do amazing things in chapter six. Ghazi is left unnamed in this chapter (6.15, 17; unless he has been temporarily displaced), but we will see him in chapter eight again. In this famous account, where the Lord afflicts the enemies of Israel with blindness, the army is that of Naaman who just received healing from leprosy in the previous chapter. We see again in this chapter the horses and chariots of fire, this time coming to protect the people of God.
Elisha does not have the invaders put to death, but sets up a big dinner party for them and sends them on their way. Yet this same group comes back again (6.24), and lays siege to Samaria. Things get pretty dire inside the city gates, but God again fights the battle for them and in chapter seven they experience an astounding victory yet again.
This same enemy, Aram, still elicits counsel from Elisha when the king falls ill. See 8.7-8.
In Judah, Jehoshaphat’s wicked son Jehoram replaces him, and Judah will have several nasty kings in a row.
In chapter nine, we come to the account of the zealous and reckless Jehu. You can’t tell if he had any spiritual life in him or not, but he made a mess of the idols and their priests and worshipers in Israel. He was the wrecking ball of God.
Notes on 1 Chronicles
In chapters 24-27, we are given lists of those in various ministry and governmental positions. This reading is tedious along the lines of genealogies.
We don’t know who wrote the Chronicles, but some scholars think that Ezra did. He did so, they surmise, after the exile in order to encourage the people. Along with that, there was the need to establish order and make accurate records of everything. This detailed accounting here would be consistent along those lines.
David badly wanted to build the Temple, but God said no, it would be his son. He made Solomon’s job so much easier by designing the entire structure and putting everything into writing for him (28.11-19).
In chapter 29, David contributes enormously out of his own personal wealth for the construction (29.3), and then offers a prayer as only he, the man of God, could do.
Notes on 2 Chronicles
We see Solomon asking for wisdom to lead God’s people in the first chapter. Even the wisest man made unwise choices. The first crack is seen in 1.14, where he begins to accumulate chariots and horses, against the command of Deuteronomy 17:16.
Notes on Job
The young man Elihu continues on his discourse uninterrupted through chapter 37. He gives some amazing insights on the Lord. Here are a few of my favorites:
Why do you complain to him that he responds to no one’s words? For God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one perceives it. (33.14-15, followed by some examples)
God has no need to examine people further, that they should come before him for judgment. (34.23)
Should God then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent? (34.33a)
He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion? (36.27-29)
The Lord appears in chapter 38, speaking out of the storm that had been anticipated (e.g., 28.26, 36.29, 37.2-15).
He first off begins rebuking Job. He talks about the wonders of his creation, first addressing the foundations of the earth, morning, the sea, light, the weather, the stars; then he moves to descriptions of animals and their ways beginning toward the end of chapter 38 and going all the way through 39.
You can see that he is quite proud of his creation!