2 Kings 6:1–7:20, Mark 15:16–47, Proverbs 6:20–27

Today's Reading

November 20: Rejected and Despised by Men

Today's Devotional Reading


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2 Kings 6:1–7:20

LEB

Elisha Recovers a Lost Axe Head

6 Then the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Please look; the place where we are living before you is too cramped for us. Let us please go to the Jordan and each bring from there one log that we might make a place there for us to live.” Then he said, “Do so.” Then a certain one said, “Please be prepared and go with your servants,” and he said, “I will go.” He went with them, and they went to the Jordan, and they cut down the trees. It happened as the one was felling the log, that the iron ax fell into the water. He called out and said, “Oh, no! My master, it was borrowed!” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” So he showed him the place, and then he cut off a stick and threw it there and made the iron ax float. Then he said, “Pick it up for yourself,” so he stretched out his hand and took it.

Arameans Plot to Take Elisha

The king of Aram was fighting with Israel, so he consulted with his officers, saying, “My camp is at such and such a place .”Then the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Take care while crossing over to this place, because the Arameans are descending there.” 10 So the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God said to him and warned him, so he was on guard there continually .

11 Then the heart of the king of Aram was stormy because of this matter, so he called his servants and said to them, “Can you not tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel ?”12 Then one of his servants said, “No, my lord the king, but Elisha the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel things that you speak in your own bedchamber .”13 Then he said, “Go and see where he is so that I can send and capture him.” Then he was told to him, “Look, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent horses, chariots, and an oppressing army there. They arrived at night and surrounded the town. 15 The attendant of the man of God arose early and went out, and look, the army was surrounding the city with horses and chariots. His servant said to him, “Oh no, my master! What shall we do?” 16 And he said, “Don’t be afraid, for more are with us than are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Yahweh, please open his eyes that he may see,” and Yahweh opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw, and look, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 They came down to him, and Elisha prayed to Yahweh and said, “Please strike this people with blindness,” so he struck them with blindness as Elisha had spoken .19 Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way and this is not the city. Come after me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” Then he brought them to Samaria.

20 It happened at the moment they came to Samaria, Elisha said, “O Yahweh, open the eyes of these that they may see,” so Yahweh opened their eyes, and they saw, and look, the middle of Samaria! 21 Then the king of Israel said to Elisha when he saw them, “Shall I kill them? Shall I kill, my father?” 22 And he said, “You shall not kill. Would you kill those whom you took captive with the sword or with the bow? Put food and water before them that they may eat and drink and then go to their master.” 23 So he made a great feast for them, and they ate and drank; then he sent them, and they went to their master. And the bands of the Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.

Besieged Samaria Resorts to Cannibalism

24 It happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Aram assembled all of his army and marched up and laid siege against Samaria. 25 There was a great famine in Samaria, and behold, a siege was against it, until the head of a donkey went for eighty shekels of silver, and one fourth of the measure of the dung of doves went for five shekels of silver. 26 It happened that the king of Israel was crossing over on the wall, and a woman called out to him, saying, “Help, my lord the king!” 27 He said, “No, let Yahweh help you. How can I save you? From the threshing floor or from the wine press?” 28 The king said to her, “ What is the problem ?” Then the woman said, “This woman said to me, ‘Give me your son, and let us eat him today, then tomorrow we will eat my son.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate him, and I said to her the next day, ‘Give your son that we may eat him.’ But she had hidden her son.” 30 It happened that when the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes. Now he had been walking on the wall, and the people saw, and behold, sackcloth was over his flesh underneath. 31 Then he said, “May God do to me and thus may he add, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!” 32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house and the elders were sitting with him, and the king dispatched a man from before him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Did you see that this son of a murderer has sent to remove my head? Look, when the messenger comes, close the door; and you must hold the door closed against him .Is not the sound of the feet of his master behind him?” 33 While he was still speaking with them, suddenly the messenger was coming down to him, and he said, “Look this trouble is from Yahweh. Why should I wait for Yahweh any longer?”

Elisha Prophesies Hope for Relief

7 Elisha said, “Hear the word of Yahweh: ‘Thus says Yahweh, “At this time tomorrow a seah of wheat bread flour will sell for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel in the gate of Samaria.’ ” Then the officer on whom the king relied answered the man of God and said, “Look, even if Yahweh is making windows in heaven, could this thing happen?” And he said, “Look, you will be seeing it with your eyes, but you shall not eat from it there.”

Four Lepers Report the Departure of the Arameans

Now four men who had a skin disease were at the entrance of the gate, and they said to each other , “Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, ‘Let us go into the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; but if we sit here, we shall die. So then, come, let us fall into the camp of the Arameans. If they let us live, we shall live; but if they kill us, then we shall die.” So they got up at dusk to go to the camp of the Arameans. They went up to the edge of the camp of the Arameans, and look, there was no man there! Now the Lord had caused the camp of the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots, the sound of horses, and the sound of a great army. So they said to one another , “Look, the king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us!” So they got up and fled at dusk and left their tents, their horses, their donkeys, and the camp as it was, and they fled for their lives. When these who had the skin disease came to the edge of the camp, they went into a certain tent and they ate, drank, and took from there silver and gold and clothes. Then they went and hid them, then returned and came to another tent, and they took from there and went and hid them.

Then they said to one another , “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news! If we are silent and wait until the light of morning, we will be punished . So then, come, let us go and tell the house of the king.” 10 When they came, they called to the gatekeepers of the city and told them, saying, “We came to the camp of the Arameans, and behold, there was no man or the voice of a man there! Only the horses and the donkeys were tied up, and the tents were left as they were.” 11 Then the gatekeepers called and told it inside the house of the king. 12 The king got up in the night and said to his servants, “Please let me tell you what the Arameans have done to us. The Arameans know that we are hungry, so they went out from the camp to hide in the field, saying, ‘When they go out from the city, we shall seize them alive and go into the city.’ ” 13 Then one of his servants replied and said, “Please let them take five of the remaining horses that remain in the city; behold, they are like all of the multitude of Israel that remain in it; they are like all the multitude of Israel who have perished. Let us send and see.” 14 So he took two charioteer horsemen, and the king sent after the camp of the Arameans, saying, “Go, find out,” 15 and they went after them to the Jordan. Look, all of the way was littered with clothes and equipment which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. Then the messengers returned and told the king.

Prophecy Fulfilled

16 So the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. A seah of wheat flour went for a shekel and two seahs of barley went for a shekel according to the word of Yahweh. 17 Then the king appointed the officer he was depending on over the gate, but the people trampled him and he died, according to that which the man of God had said, which he spoke when the king came down to him. 18 It happened as the man of God spoke to the king, saying, “Two seahs of barley shall be sold for a shekel and a seah of wheat flour for a shekel at this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria.” 19 Then the officer had replied to the man of God and said, “Look, even if Yahweh is opening the windows in heaven, could this thing happen?” And he had said, “Look you are about to see it with your eyes, but you will not eat from it.” 20 So it had happened to him; the people trampled him in the gate and he died.


Mark 15:16–47

LEB

Jesus Is Mocked

16 So the soldiers led him away into the palace (that is, the governor’s residence) and called together the whole cohort. 17 And they put a purple cloak on him, and after weaving a crown of thorns they placed it on him. 18 And they began to greet him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 And they repeatedly struck him on the head with a reed, and were spitting on him, and they knelt down and did obeisance to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him, and they led him out so that they could crucify him.

Jesus Is Crucified

21 And they forced a certain man who was passing by, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), who was coming from the country, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place Golgotha (which is translated “Place of a Skull”). 23 And they attempted to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his clothes among themselvesby casting lots for them to see who should take what. 25 Now it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him was written, “The king of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.29 And those who passed by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! The one who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself by coming down from the cross!” 31 In the same way also the chief priests, along with the scribes, were mocking him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he is not able to save himself! 32 Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe! Even those who were crucified with him were reviling him.

Jesus Dies on the Cross

33 And when the sixth hour came, darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)35 And some of the bystanders, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is summoning Elijah!” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Leave him alone! Let us see if Elijah is coming to take him down.” 37 But Jesus uttered a loud cry and expired. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion who was standing opposite him saw that he expired like this, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” 40 And there were also women observing from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome, 41 who used to follow him and serve him when he was in Galilee, and many other women who went up with him to Jerusalem.

Jesus Is Buried

42 And when it was already evening, since it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the council who was also himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, came acting courageously and went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate was surprised that he was already dead, and summoning the centurion, asked him whether he had died already. 45 And when he learned of it from the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And after purchasing a linen cloth and taking him down, he wrapped him in the linen cloth and placed him in a tomb that had been cut from the rock. And he rolled a stone over the entrance of the tomb. 47 Now Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was placed.


Proverbs 6:20–27

LEB

Commandment and Instruction as Guardians

20 My child, keep the commandment of your father,

and do not disregard the instruction of your mother.

21 Bind them on your heart continually;

tie them upon your neck.

22  When you walk , she will lead you,

When you lie down , she will watch over you,

and when you awake, she will converse with you.

23 For like a lamp is a commandment, and instruction is light,

and the way of lifeis the reproof of discipline,

24 in order to preserve you from an evil woman,

from the smoothness of the tongue of an adulteress .

25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart;

may she not capture you with her eyelashes.

26 For the price of a woman, a prostitute,is the price of a loaf of bread,

but the woman belonging to a man hunts precious life.

Warning Against Relations with a Married Woman

27 Can a man carry fire in his lap,

and his clothes not burn?


November 20: Rejected and Despised by Men

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional


In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus’ crucifixion and death occur in stages of mockery and humiliation. The story is propelled by those who scorn—the soldiers, the chief priests and scribes, and even those who pass by. Jesus is spat on, stripped of His clothing, and mockingly forced to wear a purple robe with a crown of thorns. Throughout, He silently receives His undue punishment.

It’s not until Jesus nears death that Mark slows the narrative: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ (which is translated, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” (Mark 15:34).

These words have been spoken before, and this pain and humiliation has previously been told. In Psalm 22, the psalmist cries out to God in the midst of being mocked and scorned by his enemies. The song of lament relates the bitter anguish the psalmist experiences at the hands of enemies. “He trusts Yahweh,” the psalmist’s enemies jeer, “Let him deliver him because he delights in him” (Psa 22:8). The psalmist says he is “poured out like water” in his weakened state (Psa 22:14). His clothing is divided and given out by casting lots (Psa 22:18).

The psalm doesn’t end here, though. It ends with the psalmist proclaiming God’s deliverance to all the nations and to future generations: “Descendants will serve him. Regarding the Lord, it will be told to the next generation. They will come and tell his saving deeds to a people yet to be born, that he has done it” (Psa 22:30–31).

Jesus’ words reveal Him to be the ultimate sufferer. It wasn’t until His death that He was acknowledged for who He was. The Roman centurion proclaims it: “Truly this man was God’s Son!” (Mark 15:39). The Servant who obediently came to die has delivered us. He has done it.

In what ways do you feel forsaken by God? What difference does it make to know that Jesus also cried out in His godforsakenness?


Rebecca Van Noord is the managing editor of Bible Study Magazine. She has developed content for several Bible reference products, including Lexham Bible Dictionary and Faithlife Study Bible.


Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.


Proverbs 6:20

Verse of the Day bible.faithlife.com