1 KINGS 20:1-21:29 | ACTS 12:24-13:15 | PSALM 137:1-9 | PROVERBS 17:16
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Ahab’s reign continues. Ben-Haddad, the newly appointed king in Aram attacks Samaria but Ahab defeats Ben-Haddad. Following this, he makes a treaty with Ben-Haddad.
Next, a prophet condemns Ahab for sparing Ben-Haddad’s life. Still further down the line, we see Ahab sulking because a vineyard that he wants from someone named Naboth is out of his reach, but his crafty wife Jezebel arranges it so Naboth is falsely accused and stoned to death clearing the way for Ahab to possess the vineyard.
Suddenly, Elijah appears on the scene to tell Ahab he will pay for all the evil he has done in his day. I guess Ahab hasn’t seen the last of this one prophet.
But the next thing we see is a very contrite Ahab going around in sackcloth and ashes which causes the Lord to have second thoughts about him! Quite frankly, this is a most disjointed passage, but we can only hope that things will make better sense as we move along.
Turning now to our reading in the book of Acts, we find the account of Saul—known here for the first time as Paul—and Barnabas’ first missionary journey overseas to Antioch, a city on the coast in modern day Turkey which will soon become the cradle of Gentile Christianity.
Prior to this, there is an account of a meeting with a sorcerer on the isle of Cyprus, a man who calls himself Bar-Jesus, but one whom Paul rebukes harshly for being a fake.
Next, our reading of the psalms gives us a line from Psalm 137 which was popularized by a band called Boney M in the 1970s. The inspiration for their hugely popular and catchy tune came from these verses within this psalm:
1By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
This must long have been the song of the Jewish diaspora through the centuries until they were returned to their modern homeland called Israel only in the middle of the twentieth century.
Finally, a verse from the book of Proverbs that speaks to the irony of the foolish possessing wealth:
16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom,
when they are not able to understand it?
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.