2 Kings 10-12
Jehu and Joash are two of Israel’s best kings in terms of their faithfulness and example to the people. Interestingly, they both reigned at about the same time and they both came to power through violence.
Jehu recognized that Baal worship had become a wild cancer to Israel and that it had to be eradicated. It could not simply be discouraged or outlawed or punished. It had to be completely destroyed, so he kills all of the Baal worshipers in the kingdom.
Joash becomes king at the mighty age of seven. In reality, Joash is a puppet regime for the priest, Jehoiada, at least for the first portion of his reign. As an adult, Joash continues to pursue God by rebuilding the broken down parts of the Temple. Clearly, Jehoiada was a great mentor and leader for both the young boy-king and for the nation of Israel.
The phrase “as for the other events and achievements of king so-and-so’s reign, are they not recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel/Judah” occurs after the life of every king. Some people believe this is referring to the biblical books of Kings or Chronicles. I am not sure that makes sense though. Kings and Chronicles both tell
the stories of the kings of Israel AND Judah. However, Kings seems to indicated that there is a book for Israel and a book for Judah. My personal opinion is that the books we have in the Bible focus on the relationship between each king and God and the nation of Israel and God during that king’s reign. I believe there are other history books that we don’t have that give other detailed accounts of how each king ruled. It would be very fun to read them someday, so if you are interested in forming an archaeological dig team to excavate Samaria, let me know.
Paul spends 18 months in Corinth. He knows the people there very well. It’s one of the longest stops he has on his mission journeys, so it’s no wonder they get two long letters written to them later. The good news about staying that long is that you have a great amount of success with many different groups of people. The bad news is that once you leave there is a baby church with many different groups of people. More to come on Corinth and their epistles later.
My favorite part of this chapter is the charge brought against Paul. Remember that most accusations brought against Jesus or other Christians is that they (1) claim that Jesus is king and Caesar therefore isn’t, (2) have blasphemed against God, or (3) are being disruptive and upsetting everybody. This time, they take Paul into a Gentile court and accuse him of “persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to our law.” THAT’S IT! That’s the best they can do. I don’t know if Paul is doing a better job of communicating to not get accused of those things or if the Gospel is just so popular in Corinth that they can’t really bring a real charge against him. It’s probably a combination of both, but either way, the governor could not care less. So who gets beat up? Of course, you blame the person who brought the bad charge and the poor prosecution. Paul simply keeps proclaiming the Gospel all the way back to Antioch.