Thoughts and Reflection
Today in the bible readings we meet Ahaz one of Judah’s worst kings. Ahaz makes molten images for the Boals and even burns his sons as an offering in false worship. He foolishly leads the people into war and Judah is defeated.
We also read about Elisha and the widow. This is similar to the miracle when Elijah multiplied the flour and oil for the widow of Zarephath and her son to save them from the famine. Elisha multiples oil for a widow and her two sons and thus saves them. We also meet a Shunammite couple and they have no children. they have longed for a child. Elijah tells her that she will have a son by the same time the following year. When he is fully grown, he falls ill and dies while working with his father.
Why would God bring her a child and then have him die? Why would he take away this blessing? We know that God is one of the living and the dead. Her son will be restored to her. Luckily Jesus has revealed that death is not the end.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
2 Kings 4
1 The wife of a member of the prophetic brotherhood appealed to Elisha. ‘Your servant my husband is dead,’ she said, ‘and you know how your servant revered Yahweh. A creditor has now come to take my two children and make them his slaves.’
12 He said to his servant Gehazi, ‘Call our Shunammite.’ He called her and when she appeared, Elisha said,
13 ‘Tell her this: “Look, you have gone to all this trouble for us, what can we do for you? Is there anything you would like said for you to the king or to the commander of the army?” ‘ But she replied, ‘I live with my own people about me.’
21 She went upstairs, laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door on him and went out.
27 When she came to the man of God there on the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi stepped forward to push her away, but the man of God said, ‘Leave her; there is bitterness in her soul and Yahweh has hidden it from me, he has not told me.’
28 She said, ‘Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say: Don’t deceive me?’
29 Elisha said to Gehazi, ‘Hitch up your clothes, take my staff in your hand and go. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; if anyone greets you, do not answer him. You are to stretch out my staff over the child.’
31 Gehazi had gone ahead of them and had stretched out the staff over the child, but there was no sound or response. He went back to meet Elisha and told him. ‘The child has not woken up,’ he said.
34 Then he climbed on to the bed and stretched himself on top of the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes to his eyes, and his hands on his hands, and as he lowered himself on to him, the child’s flesh grew warm.
38 Elisha went back to Gilgal while there was famine in the country. As the brotherhood of prophets were sitting with him, he said to his servant, ‘Put the large pot on the fire and cook some soup for the brotherhood.’
39 One of them went into the fields to gather herbs and came on some wild vine, off which he gathered enough gourds to fill his lap. On his return, he cut them up into the pot of soup; they did not know what they were.
41 ‘Bring some meal then,’ Elisha said. This he threw into the pot, and said, ‘Pour out, for the company to eat!’ And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
44 He served them; they ate and had some left over, as Yahweh had said.
2 Chronicles 28
2 He followed the example of the kings of Israel, even having images cast for the Baals;
3 he burned incense in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, caused his sons to pass through the fire of sacrifice, copying the disgusting practices of the nations whom Yahweh had dispossessed for the Israelites.
4 He offered sacrifices and incense on the high places, on the hills and under every green tree.
5 So Yahweh his God put him at the mercy of the king of Aram, who defeated him and took large numbers of captives, carrying them off to Damascus. He also put him at the mercy of the king of Israel, who inflicted heavy casualties on him.
6 In a single day, Pekah son of Remaliah killed a hundred and twenty thousand in Judah, all of them prominent men, because they had abandoned Yahweh, God of their ancestors.
8 Of their brothers, the Israelites took two hundred thousand captive including wives, sons, daughters; they also took quantities of booty, carrying everything off to Samaria.
9 Now there was a prophet of Yahweh there by the name of Oded, who went out to meet the troops returning to Samaria and said, ‘Look, because Yahweh, God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah, he put them at your mercy, but you have slaughtered them with such fury as reached to heaven,
13 and said to them, ‘You must not bring the captives here, for we have already sinned against Yahweh and you propose to add to our sin and guilt, although our guilt is already great, and fierce anger is hanging over Israel.’
15 Men nominated for the purpose then took charge of the captives. From the booty they clothed all those of them who were naked; they gave them clothing and sandals, provided them with food and drink, mounted on donkeys all those who were infirm and took them back to Jericho, the city of palm trees, tho their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria.
16 This was when King Ahaz sent asking the king of Assyria to come to his assistance.
18 while the Philistines raided the towns in the lowlands and in the Negeb of Judah, capturing Beth-Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco and its dependencies, Timnah and its dependencies and Gimzo and its dependencies, and settled there.
19 For Yahweh brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, since he behaved without restraint in Judah and had been unfaithful to Yahweh.
20 Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria attacked and besieged him; but he could not overpower him.
23 For he offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him. ‘Since the gods of the kings of Aram’, he thought, ‘have supported them, I shall sacrifice to them, and perhaps they will help me.’ But they proved to be his and all Israel’s downfall.
26 The rest of his history, his whole policy, from first to last, is recorded in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
3 Sons are a birthright from Yahweh, children are a reward from him.