2 KINGS 10:32-12:21 | ACTS 18:1-22 | PSALM 145:1-21 | PROVERBS 18:1
Jehu’s time has come and gone as king of Israel, and now his son, Jehoahaz, succeeds him as king. On the other side, Ahaziah’s mother, Athalia, takes matters into her own hands when her son Ahaziah is killed. So power-hungry is this woman that she orders the entire family to be put to death, including Ahaziah’s own infant son, Joash. Well, Ahaziah’s sister seems to be a sensible one, and smuggles the child out of harms’ way.
Seven years later, this very boy is crowned king, thanks to the planning of the priest of the day, Jehoiada. Joash is installed as king and rules for forty years, a period of time during which he repairs the temple and seems to do right by God. But his end is not a peaceful one; he is killed in cold blood by his own officials, and his son, Amaziah, succeeds him.
Turning now to our reading in the book of Acts, we find an account of Paul’s missionary journeys. Paul goes to Corinth where he spends time with friends, Aquila and Priscilla, who share a passion for both the gospel and the same trade as Paul, i.e., tentmaking.
Paul persists in preaching the gospel to the Jews in the synagogues, and while some are receptive, others are not. The ones who are not are usually the trouble-makers, and there seem to be a good number of these folks in the city of Corinth.
Paul is charged, as usual, with blasphemy, and this time, the people take their complaints to the Roman proconsul in town. This man, Gallio, however, is not interested in trying Paul or anyone on matters concerning theology, and throws the case out.
From here, Paul departs to Syria, then to Ephesus and then back again to Antioch. Paul is a busy man—this is his mission, and he is serious about carrying it out.
Turning now to our psalm for the day, we find a long one that bears a theme not uncommon in the psalms: praise and thanksgiving, and an affirmation of God’s goodness. Some verses that would ring true today to the believer even as they did to David, the psalmist, are these:
The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
14 The LORD upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
Finally, one verse from the book of Proverbs that serves as a litmus test for friendship:
An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.