Today you should read: 2 Kings 13
Today’s passage catches us up to speed on the reign of two Israelite kings that were in power during Joash’s (Judah’s king) life. These kings – Jehoahaz and Jehoash (a lot of J’s going on here, tough to sort out in our non-Hebraic minds) were interesting fellows. Each of their epitaphs were probably similar to what is written about them in verses 2 & 11: “He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and followed the sins of Jeroboam…” Such tragic verses about men who were supposed to be the spiritual AND political leaders of the Lord’s people.
There was a glimmer of a shining moment for Jehoahaz, though, in verses 4 and 5. In the midst of his poor, sinful leadership, he turned to the Lord. This would prove to be temporary, but it was vital for God’s people:
Then Jehoahaz sought the favor of the LORD, and the LORD listened to him, for he saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Syria oppressed them. (Therefore the LORD gave Israel a savior, so that they escaped from the hand of the Syrians, and the people of Israel lived…) 2 Kings 13:4-5 ESV
Jehoahaz was not the best king in Israel’s history. Neither was Joash or Jehoash. It wouldn’t prove to be Solomon, or his father David. While in some form or another these men proved to be momentary “saviors” for Israel (v.4-5), they would pale in comparison to the One who is to come. His name is Jesus, and He is a worthy King. He’s the true “King of Glory” described in Psalm 24. And He’s the King that all of Heaven and Earth will bow to one day:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12 ESV
Posted by: Todd Thomas
Today you should read: 2 Kings 12
At first glance this seems like an ordinary passage from 2 Kings. You have a king who does right, or at least mostly right, in the eyes of the Lord. He commissions the temple to be repaired and was trained and taught by Jehoiada, the priest. The amazing part of all this is the last verse in chapter 11.
“Joash was seven years old when he began to reign” 2 Kings 11:21
Seven! That is crazy. For any parents out there of kids about that age could you imagine your child ruling over a nation? Many parents can’t even see their kids cleaning their rooms, much less cleaning up a nation of idolatry, but that is exactly what we have here. Joash brought calmness and peace to the nation and he worked to restore worship of God in the land.
In today’s world kids are sold short. We say things like, “They are just kids” or “They have short attention spans.” We underestimate and undersell our kids. If you look throughout the bible you will see many of the heroes of faith were just kids. People like David, Mary, Daniel, Esther, Jeremiah and, of course, Joash were all young when they did great things for God. Here is a link to some amazing things young kids are doing right now.
My challenge question to you today:
Why can’t your kid do that?
Why can’t your son or daughter be like Joash? Why can’t they do something great for God? It takes work and training. Joash had Jehoiada the priest to train him up. With your help and your guidance and example, your kids can do amazing things. Not just play sports or run and play, which aren’t bad, but they can do incredible things to make an eternal impact. We just need to fuel them and let them loose.
Posted by: Robbie Byrd/strong>
Today you should read: 2 Kings 11
Thanks for being a faithful reader of JumpStart. I’m so blessed to see how God has used it in so many lives. Take a moment and recommend it to someone you know who may be struggling to get into God’s Word consistently.
Let’s do something different today… let’s start by reading the first two verses of tomorrow’s reading…
Joash began to rule over Judah in the seventh year of King Jehu’s reign in Israel. He reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba. All his life Joash did what was pleasing in the lord’s sight… 2 Kings 12:1-2a
As you know – Israel is not consistent in serving and following God. Under one reign of a king they do great – only to be followed by another king who leads them to worship pagan idols. UP and DOWN – BACK and FORTH. But remember – Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership! So leaders matter!
Choices also matter! People want you to believe that life is nothing but a series of chances – that we have no real control. That’s simply not true! Life is not a series of chances – it’s a series of choices and each builds on the other.
In today’s reading we read about someone who made a choice… Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram. She risked her life to save the life of little Joash. That one simple decision lead to 40 years of God’s people doing things God’s way.
Often little choices – things done in an instant – have BIG results. A dad choses to lead his family to church… a mom prays for her husband… a single person says no to sinful sexual activity…
So what’s that mean to you and I today? A couple of things…
- We must watch the little things because they affect big things.
- We must walk in the Spirit, so we’ll know what’s right.
- We must follow God’s Word as a guide to our lives.
- We must chose well – because choices build.
I wonder what choices we’ll be faced with today? I wonder what we’ll do? I wonder what will come of it? Chose well.
Posted by: Tim Parsons
Today you should read: 2 Kings 10
So this is a great way to start the day, a series of mass killings. Today’s chapter gives us 2 stories of death and then a conclusion to Jehu’s life and reign. The first story is one of taking out the competition. Jehu knew any one of Ahab’s sons could make a claim to the throne and cause him trouble so he took them out. The second story is one of returning to the Lord. Ahab was a big follower of Baal but Jehu knew that was wrong and he took out all the worshippers of Baal and his temple. The conclusion shows us a conversation between Jehu and God in which God commends Jehu for what he has done and tells him that his family will reign for four generations.
What does this mean for you and me? What can we take away today? I think we can see 2 things for us in today’s passage if we look carefully.
- Sin has grave consequences.
This is a running theme in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. When we sin against God it doesn’t just fizzle away. Sin brings consequences. They may not be outwardly apparent or immediate but they are there and they will come. There is forgiveness for those sins but we still have to deal with the repercussions of them.
- We have to follow through with our devotion to God.
Jehu had a zeal for God and did a lot but he stopped short and didn’t finish as strong as he could have and it cost him. In verse 29 we see Jehu didn’t turn from worshipping the golden calf idols. He turned from one idol but not all idols. Right after this God tells him he would have his family reign for four generations. What would God have said if he would have gone the distance and turned from all idols? Who knows, but what we can know is that when we don’t follow through in our devotion to God we miss out on blessings He has for us.
Posted by: Robbie Byrd
Today you should read: 2 Kings 9
In this chapter, a man named Jehu was anointed as king over Israel. He was to go and take out Joram, the acting king of Israel, who was too closely connected with the evil Jezebel. Jehu went and did what he was told to do and took out Jezebel as well.
Something stuck out to me today when I read about the young, unnamed prophet coming to Jehu and anointing him king of Israel. The prophet went to Jehu, poured oil on his head, told him he was to be the king and then left. Immediately after that, one of the servants asked Jehu who that madman was that came and talked to him and poured oil on his head. Jehu said the prophet delivered these words from the Lord: “I have anointed you king of Israel.”
Jehu had previously been anointed to be king over Israel a long time before this (see 1 Kings 19:16-18), and here he is anointed again probably to show the fulfillment of the earlier prophecy. Regardless, of why he was anointed again, one thing that seems to be clear is that the Lord said He had anointed Jehu king of Israel.
That’s what jumped out at me today. The Lord said something was to be true of Jehu and that something happened. When the Lord speaks something to someone, you can trust that it is going to happen. When God says I am to do something, I must act out on what He says. There may be people who think I am crazy, or as if I have heard a lie from a madman, but I want to be obedient to Him when He speaks to me.
I know that’s not the main point of chapter 9, but that spoke to me today. What’s He speaking to you? Is He telling you that something is true about you and you can act out on it? Is He telling you to go and do something in particular?
Posted by: Rich Duffield
Today you should read: 2 Kings 8
Four chapters ago we saw the power of resurrection and new life. In today’s Scripture we see how God uses the testimony of that resurrection and new life well beyond the initial life change. The prophet Elisha warned the shunammite woman and her family that a famine was coming to sojourn somewhere for 7 years. The woman and her family did so immediately. 7 years later the king is having a conversation with Elisha’s servant about all of the great things God did with Elijah in including the resurrection of the shunammite woman’s son. All of a sudden the woman and her son appears before them to request her house and land back after staying in the land of the philistines for several years.
It’s amazing how God can use a testimony of salvation and new life well beyond the experience and we need to remember that God wants to use our stories of new life today. Many people can’t wait to tell about their life change with Jesus when it first happens, as they should. However what happens years later when that newfound passion and zeal wears off or when we’re going through a hard time? It was seven years that the shunammite woman had to get up, leave all that she knew and live in an uncomfortable living environment before returning back not knowing if she could even get her home and land back. However people are still talking about her son’s miraculous resurrection and the power of new life when she returns and God uses it to affirm them of what He has done in the past and blessed her with her home and land again.
God still wants to use our testimonies of life change and the power of Jesus’ resurrection in others lives today. Maybe you’ve been going through a season of sojourning or you have just lost that original joy you received in salvation. However God is not through with you. The apostle Paul shared his testimony until the day he was beheaded and we need to share ours until the day we die. People yearn for and need that life change and CPC we are living proof of it by the blood of Jesus.
Who can you share your story of life change with this week?
Posted by: Erik Koliser