~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Kings 23:31-25:30 ~ Acts 22:17-23:10
Psalm 2:1-12 ~ Proverbs 18:13
Old Testament - Wow. Two sad legacies that Kings Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim leave behind in 2 Kings 23 verses 32 & 37 - "He did what was evil in the LORD's sight, just as his ancestors had done." That's it. That's their legacy. Sad.
In today's readings we are introduced to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The readings move at a fast pace in 2 Kings 24 & 25. However, later this year in the Bible we'll get many more details leading up to the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile - particularly when we read through the prophets. Very sad readings today in 2 Kings 25 verse 9 when the Temple of the Lord is burned in Jerusalem!
The book of Second Kings closes out today with hope for Israel's royal line to continue through King Jehoiachin, who is exiled in Babylon. With God there is always hope! More to come on the fall, exile, and restoration of Israel in our readings later this year.
New Testament - We can see Paul's wisdom at work in today's Acts readings. First he shares at the appropriate time that he is a Roman citizen - by birth - which means he cannot be punished until proven guilty. Then, before the High Council he wisely throws out in Acts 23 verse 6 - ""Brothers, I am a Pharisee, as were all my ancestors! And I am on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead!" This instantly divides the Pharisees and Sadducees at the council - and allows things to get heated enough that the soldiers take Paul out of the council for his safety.
Psalms - Psalm 2 today is a very prophetic and Messianic Psalm. This Psalm is frequently quoted in the New Testament in reference to Jesus as God's Anointed and the great son of King David. The word "Messiah" comes from the Hebrew word for "anointed one". And the word "Christ" comes from the Greek word for "anointed one". (as we read Anointed One in verse 2 of this Psalm today)
Verses 11 & 12 in this Psalm are encouraging and also a strong warning for us at the same time- "Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God's royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of your pursuits--for his anger can flare up in an instant.
But what joy for all who find protection in him!" I think the closing sentence should be a huge encouragement to us. If we are seeking to love God and Jesus and other people with all of our hearts, mind, strength and souls - God knows it. And he will provide eternal protection for us. Yes, there will be suffering in this life - but joy can be found in knowing that we will have an eternity to spend with God and his royal son.
Bible.org's commentary on Psalm 2 is at this link.
Proverbs - Proverbs 18 verse 13 is a great reminder to actually listen to people instead of immediately espousing our own wise advice! :) Listening... it sometimes seems to be a lost human skill these days... Are you listening? Who are you listening to? Are you listening to God?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!