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Mar 6, 2015

90 Day Challenge – Day 65

Sarah Christmyer

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Bible Time Period: Divided Kingdom

Israel split into rival kingdoms and fell into idolatry: help me to choose your kingship over other loves.

Reflection

God will ultimately punish the people of the kingdom of Israel (those in the north) for their apostasy by removing them from the Land of Promise.  In chapter 10, watch as God begins to reduce the size of their territory.

In these chapters, Jehu is anointed king of Israel and is appointed to destroy the house of Ahab (recall that the “house” of Ahab refers to his dynasty.  That word was used in the same sense when God promised David He would build him a “house” that would stand forever).  In chapters 11-12, king Jehoram’s earlier choice of a wife (remember yesterday’s reading) leads to a deadly turn and the near destruction of the line of David.  Young king Joash is a bright light in the history of the southern kingdom of Judah.

Today’s Reading

II Kings 9-12

Today’s Question

How is the line of David saved?

Join the discussion below!

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  • What trust and faith we can have in God when reading this pasage. While I feel very lost in the past couple of chapters of Kings, the message to me is clear that God is always present, even in the most dire of situations and even when there is only a flicker of hope left. For here, we see Him choose Joash to preserve the line of David. Joash, a small flicker of light preserved in an otherwise dark world. A flame that God promised he would not extinguish and here he shows it yet again. Lord, please help me to see the flicker of light you always provide, even though it may not be obvious at times. Help me to focus on that 1% of hope rather than the 99% of things I can choose to worry about and be anxious about instead. And please, always remind me that you are present even when I initially may fail to see you. For I know that if I am loyal to you, you will be there for me, and that flicker of light, no matter now small, will never ever be extinguished.

    • Yes I can see the flicker of Hope. But I am reminded also that the temples of Baal also remain. We also need to keep the Temple of the of the Lord repaired so it outshines the Temples of Baal. Today is the second day of the Forty Days for Life campaign. Let us pray that the temples of Baal (Planned Parenthood) where the lives of innocent children are sacrificed daily are torn down

    • “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle” St Francis of Assisi.

  • I love the story of how Joash is saved. He is secretly taken away by the sister of Ahaziah, there is some virtue in the left in the family of David. Joash is raised in the temple under the guidance of Jehoiada, the high priest. These are moral people thus the line of David is not only saved but purified. Joash has a hard road ahead of him. The temple is in disrepair and people still worship Baal. But Joash does his best. Israel is on the road to salvation. But the people just don’t get it. Some continue to worship Gaal. And to make matters worse the enemy is at the borders.

    • I agree, Barbara Ann. Just for clarification, though, you mean Judah, the southern kingdom, not Israel, the northern kingdom, right?

      • You did catch me there I did mean Judah I also meant Baal not Gaal Israel is on the fast track to Sheol. I guess I need stronger coffee in the morning

  • Sanctuary in the house of the Lord! This makes me think of how protected (spiritually) we are through the Sacraments we receive, especially Baptism, the Eucharist and Reconciliation. We are sanctified for the Lord, and protected for the Lord’s good purposes, just as Joash was.
    A key phrase for me was from 10:31, the death of Jehu of Israel: “But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart, since he did not desist from the sins which Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.”
    Please pray for a friend of mine (also a former co-worker in the parish I left a year ago), as she is disenchanted with the diocese and the political machinations we witnessed. She is thinking of attending an Episcopal church instead. I asked her to consider finding another parish, as I have, where she can be fed; where she can fully, actively and consciously participate in the Eucharist and be joyful again. I reminded her that the Spirit is alive and will prevail and that she needs the Sacraments for continued strength.

    • Hi Fisher. Amen! “The Spirit IS alive and will prevail and she needs the Sacraments for continued strength.”

      I am so fired up… I just got a book called “When the Spirit Comes in Power” by Peter Herbeck, “rediscovering the charismatic dimension of the Christian life”. According to Pope John Paul II, the charismatic dimension is the “present, vital action of the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of each member of the Church.”

      I will pray for your intentions and for your friend. The biggest mistake I made, years ago, was to stop going to church. As a teenager I started going to Baptist meetings. My mother said I could go as long as I continued to go to Mass in the Catholic Church. But the experience left me feeling like it was just too hard “to be perfect” so I felt like, why even try? The irony was that my own parents didn’t go to church with us. I was told, “when you’re 18 you can do whatever you want”. The youngest of five children, I watched my siblings as one by one, they turned 18 and stopped going to church. So I thought that was what I was SUPPOSED to do. BIG MISTAKE! We MUST keep God present in our hearts and in our lives every single day. We MUST receive Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Eucharist.

      I pray that your friend doesn’t turn away. As this 90 Day Challenge teaches us, there is good and bad in every single person on earth, ever since the beginning of creation. Faith is a relationship with Jesus. Relationships are an ongoing process.

      “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you… But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:16-17, 26-27)

      • Wow, Marianne! Thanks for such a well thought out response. I am going to have to get that book. I feel like part of the frustration is that the priests don’t always trust the Holy Spirit in the laity. In this age, where initiatives like charismatic renewal and new evangelization are being promoted, there is a rise (slow, but hopefully steady) in adult faithful education and encouragement. But the problem is this: the Holy See can encourage and exhort the faithful until kingdom come (literally?!) and it won’t amount to a hill of beans if the parish priests are not educated and encouraged to enable the laity.
        We Catholics are uniquely conditioned not to challenge Church authority, which means on a local level primarily. The

        • We have just been told that if our Deacon is present the bidding prayer reader must stand down and let him read them. Is this generally the case? I have never heard of it before.

          • What is a bidding prayer reader? Is this the person who reads the intercessions after the Creed? Is so, then yes, this is generally the case.

        • I guess egos get in the way on all levels, in all walks of life. It’s ironic that many priests don’t have the level of faith that we’d expect. I remember a deacon telling me that many priests don’t believe in spiritual warfare. There will always be naysayers. We cannot let this deter us. Well, with the Holy Spirit on our side, we cannot fail!

          “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ… But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. (1 Corinthians 12:12, 24-26)

  • I enjoy reading the various posts because I have to admit that some of these chapters are difficult for me to follow, especially in the alternating between those in the north and those in the south. And especially when you see that not everybody is all good or all bad (just like all of us). Just when I think I’ve found somebody to root for, he sins (just like all of us). So I appreciate the dedication of those of you who can successfully navigate through this part of the study, and break it down for the rest of us!

    I just stumbled on a pretty good chart that may be helpful:
    http://ldolphin.org/kings.html

    What struck me in today’s reading was 2 Kings 9:14-24. Twice Joram sends his horsemen out to meet Jehu and asks, ‘Is everything all right?’” Jehu said, “What does it matter to you how things are? GET BEHIND ME.” The third time, Joram goes out to see Jehu personally, and when he asks, “Is everything all right?” Jehu replied, “How could everything be all right as long as all the harlotry and sorcery of your mother Jezebel continues?”

    This reminds me of when Jesus foretells of his death and resurrection and Peter says to Jesus, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” (Matthew 16:22-23)

    Is this a stretch? Am I misinterpreting? Or is Jehu condemning the influence of Satan and the evil of idolatry in man’s heart, just as Jesus (at that moment) saw how Satan wanted to thwart God’s plans?

    I stumbled on this web site which talks about the contrasting actions of Jehu:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/04/08/feedback-god-condemn-jehu
    Pertaining to “life application”, the article says, “Jehu’s actions provide an example for us today. There are many people who think they are serving the Lord and they work with great zeal in trying to accomplish God’s work. Saul, later known as the Apostle Paul, was the same way before his conversion (Philippians 3:4–6). However, in the case of both of these men, their hearts were not right before the Lord. Even though Jehu was zealous to end the worship of Baal in Israel, he allowed idolatry to continue in Bethel and Dan. Saul was so zealous in trying to accomplish God’s work that he persecuted Christians. We must learn a lesson from these people. It doesn’t matter how hard we work for the Lord if we aren’t truly obedient to His Word. May we always be careful not only to do the Lord’s work, but to do His work in His way and in His strength.”

    Sorry this is so long! I’m off today and have done nothing so far but prayer, reading, journaling and lectio divina. “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

      • I thank YOU, Avila, and everyone who shares their revelations with us. Praise the Lord that we have the gift of each other to lift us up…

    • I am glad that you are spending the Day Praying and find those great links for us. Thank you

      • Thanks Barbara… me too! After a long tough winter, I really need it. So it was very refreshing and therapeutic. Now I’m heading out for “Dinner with the Pope”. Well, not literally, but a bunch of us are going to meet at a local Italian restaurant to discuss Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter “LUMEN FIDEI”.

      • No problem, Mike! I had the opportunity to see Jeff Cavins present the Timeline in a Day a couple weeks ago. I have to say, the Bible Timeline Chart really helped me to understand some of the “history” that I never “got” before, with its layout and the color-coded time periods. The key to the colors really helps to put into perspective what was going on in that particular time period. You see who are the kings from the north and the south, and where the prophets fit in. And so much more. I missed the full timeline study the first time around, but my group plans to repeat the study.
        Here’s a link to get the chart:
        http://ascensionpress.com/products/great-adventure-bible-timeline-chart

        I appreciate all of the comments you guys and gals have been posting throughout this study. We’ve learned that Jesus has truly been present since The Beginning. Thank you all!

        “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.” (Ephesians 1:17-18)

  • As Barbara Ann said, it was a woman (the wife of a priest) who saved Joash’s physical life. He was kept safe in the temple and protected by the priest. Our parish priests protect our spiritual lives through the Sacraments and we go to Church not just to celebrate the Mass but to receive our soul food for the journey until we can next join in the celebration of mass. Like Joash, we grew up and live amongst Baal worshipers, and we also need the protection of priests and the Church to help us stay on God’s path and draw us back when we wander off.

  • With much help from Jesu in the cleansing of Israel in the Northern Kingdom I read and reread chapters 11-12 missed how Line of David was spared. Therefore once I read the responses already sent it help me capture the section of the boy who was hidden.

  • So much pain has run through salvation history – it is almost a burden to continue to study knowing that there is more upheaval to come and so little to come out of it. The Lord has threatened so often, chastised, punished with wartime failure and so many deaths that his commandments and resolutions must be followed. I am always saddened to see the weakness of man so prominent and eagerly demonstrated.

    In these readings we see once again Reboboam is greedy for all of Israel but still has a small glint for the Lord: however, he chooses to not follow the way of the Lord but to following Solomon’s footsteps and worship pagan gods and practice idolatry. There is no one to challenge his rule except his brother Jeroboam who was in Egypt. Knowing that Reboboam – the lamp holder for the Israelites – has already been undermined by Jeroboam through the prophet Ahi’jah the Shi’lonite. Jeroboam will return to rule over the Northern 10 Tribes and that Reboboam’s lamp will become more and more dim as a beacon for the House of David.

    We see a slight flicker of hope in Jeroboam’s heart in versus 25+ in chapter 12 when he bemuses the desire to have his people know God as part of the House of David and to be able to worship in Jerusalem but he quickly dismisses this thought and decides the golden calves in Dan and Bethel will work as well as the Lord God.

    The House of David is being held together by a piece of tattered cloth and it’s showing stress at the seams that it may be torn asunder. These readings leaves us with little hope that the House of David will survive the foul leadership of Reboboam and the faithless leadership of his brother Jeroboam. A point in history that we much rely and trust the Lord.

    • It is very difficult to continue studying knowing how circular history is, how short memories are, how weak the flesh is, etc….I encourage myself by repeating over and over that”God has won the war; we must continue in our battles.” I must say, too, that I do not believe so little comes out of it….Suffering for Christ (in all forms, especially persecution and injustice as we see from the beginning of Salvation History and to this very day) is redemptive and salvific. VERY hard to keep in mind in the midst of suffering, but looking back, as we do to the Old Testament, there are a myriad of applications and 35 ample to strengthen us.

  • Athaliah, a descendant of King Ahab, tries to eliminate the Davidic royal line, but Jehoiada the priest and his wife, Jehosheba, intervene in Judah’s politics to reinstate the Davidic dynasty and renew the covenant between Yahweh and His people. By ‘Kidnapping’ the kings son and hiding him, they wait for time to pass and at the right moment present him and make him, at age 7, the new king.

  • The line of David is saved because of the bravery of Jehosheba, who saved Joash, and kept him hidden until he became the King of Judah. Athaliah was so angry when her son Ahaziah was killed that she killed all the royal family. It’s hard to believe that it was Ahaziah’s sister who was also the daughter of King Joram of Israel, who hid the child. It is so difficult to keep all the names and how they’re related to one another straight. I was so glad I found Marianne’s note from last year, with a website listing all the Kings of Israel and Judah, how long and where they reigned. Joash saved the lineage of David with his goodness as King. He showed the people how loving God and trying to take care of the temple was following the right path to God’s love.

  • Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah took and spirited away Joash along with the nurse. He was concealed from Athaliah allowing him to live. He then took the reigns of King at the age of seven.

    Still a lot of lives were taken within these reading leaving me with a heavy heart. It just seem to easy to want to take others lives.

    During the time Joash was king he did right by The Lord and was guided by Jehoaida.

  • Athaliah mother of Ahaziah had all the royal family killed but Jehosheba hid Joash and when he was 7 he was made king-as Jehoiada the prophet had Athiah killed and Joash set up as king. saving the line of David.

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