II Kings 10-12
The two nations, Israel and Judah, continue to put down and set up kings.
In Israel, Jehu finally gets rid of the house of Ahab and Jezebel, the darkest rulers in a nation which should have known God.
As usual during these times, everything seems so gory. And as usual, I relate these things to our current day battle against demons and forces of darkness in heavenly places.
Jehu cut off the heads of all the heirs of the evil king. I think of totally destroying the influence demonic forces have over me.
If there is an area in our lives where we once had trouble keeping holy, we should totally eradicate that influence from us. For instance, if you once had trouble with alcohol or drugs, then certainly don’t partake of them at all – and even stay away from those who may influence you to do so.
If pornography was a problem, then don’t even look at the magazines in the grocery line. If you once had trouble with gossiping, stay away from gossipers. That’s what I call “cutting off the head of the king”” in our lives. Not allowing the devil to bring temptation to us in areas that were once weak.
Even though Jehu eradicated the Baals, “he still didn’t walk in the law of the Lord with all of his heart; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam.”(10:31) So from that time, the Lord began to cut off portions from Israel.
After the evil Athaliah tried to usurp the throne of Judah, a holy child, Joash, was hidden from her. When he was seven years old, this young boy became king of Israel.
He had a mentor, however, who told him what to do. Jehoida the priest “made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, that they should be the Lord’s people, also between the king and the people.”(11:17)
They definitely weren’t perfect, but some at least were trying to be God’s people.
The flame was dim, but at least there was in the earth a flame of God’s purpose to eventually bring His Son. I’m thankful for that.
John 1: 29-51
John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, so surely he had seen Him as they were growing up. However, John obviously didn’t realize that He was the Son of God until the day He was baptized.
God had told John that “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.”(v.33) So when the Spirit descended like a dove and remained on Jesus, John recognized Him as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”(v.29)
All of those centuries when the Jews were sacrificing animals God was teaching them that some day He would provide a perfect Lamb to be sacrificed. John recognized that the time had come. Jesus was the Lamb of God. It gives you chills, doesn’t it?
Jesus deals with lots of imagery. When Nathanael comes to Jesus, amazed that He has seen Him under the fig tree, Jesus has quite a reply. He says, “You shall see the heavens open and angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”(V.51)
Do you recognize what He is saying? Do you remember when Jacob had the dream of a ladder into heaven with angels ascending and descending? He said this is truly the “House of God and the gate of heaven.”(Gen. 28:17) It’s a portal into heaven – a ladder with angels ascending and descending.
Jesus says that He is the ladder into heaven. He is the portal. He is the Way that we can get there. And he is the way that we can partake of God’s presence while we are here on earth.
Meditate on this for a while. Jesus is the only ladder set up by God for us to partake of His presence and power.
It’s so significant to get this. I pray that you do.