Tag Archive: Israelites


“It is not at all surprising that Amos is rebuked by Amaziah, the high priest, for it is, after all, the selfish religious establishment which has led the people into this institutionalized and meaningless form of religion.”

Read: Amos 7:10-17

“The wickedness against which Amos speaks is also seen in the political chaos which comes following Jeroboam’s death.”

Read: 2 Kings 14:28-29, 2 Kings 15:8-18

Era of Uzziah and Jotham in Judah

“King Uzziah, also known as Azariah, has reigned over Judah with great success.  But his good fortune is about to go to his head, and he will suffer serious illness for his presumptuousness.  Uzziah’s illness will necessitate a co-regent to run the day-to-day affairs of state.  Uzziah’s son Jotham is a good leader, but he is not the religious man needed by this materialistic, immoral, unjust, and complacent people.”

Read: 2 Kings 15:5, 2 Chronicles 26:16-21

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

 

The Prophecies of Amos

“God calls a lowly shepherd to prophesy against several nations, but principally against Israel.  Amos comes to Israel at a time when Jeroboam’s great military successes have brought unparalleled prosperity, and with it selfishness, greed, and immorality.  Although he comes to the center of calf worship at Bethel, he does not attack idolatry as such.  He concentrates instead on rebuking both Israel and Judah for the meaninglessness of their worship, whatever its form.  He calls for consistency in one’s religious exercises and daily ethical conduct, and cries out against a people who honor deity with their many sacrifices yet refuse justice and mercy to the oppressed and needy.”

Read: Amos 1, 2, 3 & 4

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Obadiah’s Prophecy Against Edom

“The history of God’s miraculous working in the affairs of Israel and Judah is the context for the prophecy of Obadiah, perhaps the first of several written prophecies later collected in Scripture.  Little is known about Obadiah except that his name means ‘servant of God.’  Obadiah has two concerns: first, the haughty pride of the Edomites, and second, their quickness to aid those who would destroy Judah.

This matter is a particularly sensitive one to the descendants of Israel.  It is important to remember that the Edomites are the descendants of Esau, with whom Jacob (Israel) had struggled for supremacy.  In the centuries since the brothers themselves reconciled, there has been much friction between these nations.

Obadiah predicts that Edom will reap what it sows and will itself be brought to ruin.  History will confirm the accuracy of the prediction.  In addition to its immediate relevance, the prophecy stands as a warning to all enemies of God’s people, especially those who ought to be ‘brothers.'”

Read: Obadiah

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Ahab & Jezebel

“Two of the most wicked people who ever lived just happen to be married to each other — King Ahab of Israel, already described as the most evil king to rule Israel, and his wife, Jezebel, whose name even centuries later will be used to describe a treacherous woman.  Ahab, however, is now seen in one of his best lights, as Israel is attacked by the Syrians of Aram.  In an effort to get Ahab’s attention, God gives him the victory, only to rebuke him for what is an uncharacteristically merciful act on Ahab’s part.”

Read:1 Kings 20, 21, 22:1-28, 2 Chronicles 18:2-27

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

“Ironically, even under such a king as Rehoboam it is the nation of Judah which remains somewhat faithful to God.  In the north, Jeroboam quickly leads Israel into idolatry, and over the next 25 years Israel will prove to be so wicked that even self-proclaimed prophets of God will be seen lying to each other.  The Levites, and others who are righteous in Israel, are forced southward to join with the people of Judah.

Civil conflict will last for years, as will wars with foreign enemies, who are quick to notice the vulnerability of this once-unified but now-broken people.  And Judah, as well as Israel, will turn its face to idolatry.”

Read: 1 Kings 12:33-34, 1 Kings 14, 2 Chronicles 11:5-12 & 11:18-23, 2 Chronicles 12,1 Kings 15:1-8, 2 Chronicles 13

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

The Divided Kingdom (Ca. 930-725 B.C.)

Division Between Israel and Judah

“Just as Solomon experienced a rise to unprecedented  heights of personal prosperity and security, only to fall victim to moral weakness and political conflict, so too his kingdom, in the hands of his son Rehoboam, is headed toward certain disaster.  Rehoboam will cause rebellion among the people of Israel.  Only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin will remain with Rehoboam, while the rest of Israel will appoint a man by the name of Jeroboam as their king.”

Read 1 Kings 12, 2 Chronicles 10, 2 Chronicles 11:1-4 & 11:13-17, 1 Kings 13:1-32

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

“David calls all the leaders together for a national convention, where he addresses them regarding the need for unity and mutual support, particularly in the building of the temple.”

Read: 1 Chronicles 26:12-32, and chapters 27, 28, 29

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

The National Convention

“David moves to provide a smooth transition of government from himself to Solomon.  Realizing Solomon’s youth and inexperience, David takes great pains to organize his governmental officials and religious leaders.  At both the beginning and the end of the convention, Solomon is presented as the king-designate to follow his father on the royal throne.”

Read: 1 Chronicles chapters  23, 24, 25 and 26:1-11

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Two Major Calamities

“A famine befalls Israel as a consequence of the late King Saul’s attempt to exterminate the Gibeonites — a violation of the agreement of protection made years earlier by Joshua and the nation of Israel.  The incident teaches something about the relationship between moral and physical evil and also the significance in God’s eyes of sins long forgotten by man.

The second is death-causing pestilence brought on by David’s decision (somehow incited by Satan) to number his army.  With the nation of Israel basically secure at this point, David’s motive for ordering such a count could perhaps be seen as selfish ambition for aggressive expansionism.  Even now, David’s redeeming quality is his genuine sorrow for his sins and his willingness to confess them.  It should also be noted that David has forgiven Saul and the many others who have wronged him in the same way that God forgives David.”

Read: 2 Samuel 21:1-14, 2 Samuel 24/1 Chronicles 21

Preparations for Building the Temple

“David now makes preparation for the building of a permanent temple.  The site he chooses, a simple threshing floor, is not a surprising one in view of his most recent experience.  It must grieve David to realize that he himself will not erect this magnificent edifice of worship.  Yet he cannot help but play some part in its inception, and thus he begins to organize the project.”

Read: 1 Chronicles 22, Psalm 30

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Read: 2 Samuel 19:5-43 and chapter 20

The Daily Bible doesn’t give commentary on today’s reading.  What I find interesting, yet not surprising, is how fickle people can be.  Most of Israel was following the rebel leader Absalom, until God thwarted that plan and sent Absalom to his death resulting in the crowds quickly spinning on their heels, wanting David back as their leader.

Isn’t it interesting how easily swayed we can be by the ebb and flow of a crowd…to fit in… to be part of a majority?  As Christ followers, we are not to follow the majority.  Like the Israelites, ‘God’s chosen people’, we are to be set apart, to obey and live for Him…but also like ‘God’s chosen’, we can be so fickle.

“…We must obey God rather than men.”   Acts 5:29

But not the “wise woman” of Abel at the time of Sheba’s rebellion.  One unnamed woman speaks out apart from the crowd cowering inside the city of Abel where Sheba found refuge.  Awaiting the onslaught and ruin of their city from the forces of Joab just outside, this woman braved the warriors and bargained with Joab to save the city.

Because of her bravery and her willingness to obey God by speaking out, she singlehandedly saved the innocent inhabitants and ruin of her city…throwing Sheba’s head over the wall instead.

Joab_and_the_wise_woman

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