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2 Kings 9:30–10:36 (LEB)

Jezebel Loses Her High Position

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, so she painted her eyes with black eye paint and adorned her head and looked through the window. 31 Now Jehu had come in the gate, so she said, “Is it peace, O Zimri, murderer of his master?” 32 When he lifted up his face to the window, he asked, “Who is with me?” Two or three eunuchs looked down to him. 33 So he said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled her. 34 Then he came and ate and drank, and said, “Please take care of this cursed one and bury her, for she is the daughter of a king.” 35 When they went to bury her, they could not find her, except the skull, the feet, and the palms of the hands. 36 They returned and told him, and he said, “This is the word of Yahweh which he spoke by the hand of his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘On the plot of ground of Jezreel, the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel.’ ” 37 So the dead body of Jezebel became dung on the surface spread on the field in the plot of ground of Jezreel, so one cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”

Jehu Continues Purging the House of Ahab

10 Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria, and Jehu wrote letters, and he sent them to Samaria to the officials of Jezreel, to the elders and to the guardians of Ahab, saying, “Now, when this letter comes to you and your master’s sons are with you, the chariots are with you, the horses, a fortified city, and weapons, then you must select the best and the most suitable from the sons of your master, and you must place him on the throne of his father, and they must fight for the house of your masters.” But they were very afraid, and they said, “Look, two kings could not stand before him; how can we stand?” So whoever was over the house, and whoever was over the city, and the elders and the guardians sent to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants; all that you say to us, we shall do. We shall not make anyone a king. Do what is good in your eyes.”

Then he wrote to them a second letter, saying, “If you are for me, and you are listening to my voice, take the heads of the men of the sons of your master and come to me at this time tomorrow at Jezreel.” Now the sons of the king, seventy men, were with the leaders of the city who were raising them. When the letter came to them, they took the sons of the king, and they killed seventy men. Then they put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel. Then the messenger came and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” and he said, “Put them in two piles at the entrance of the gate until morning.” It happened in the morning that he went out, stood, and said to all of the people, “You are righteous. Look, I conspired against my master and killed him. But who killed all of these? 10 Know then that the word of Yahweh will not fail which Yahweh spoke concerning the house of Ahab; Yahweh has done what he spoke by the hand of his servant Elijah. 11 Then Jehu killed all of the remainder of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all of his leaders, his close friends, and his priests, until there was no survivor left for him.

12 Then he arose and went and came to Samaria. On the way, he was at Beth-Eked of the shepherds, 13 and Jehu met the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah. He asked, “Who are you?” They said, “We are the brothers of Ahaziah; we came down for the peace of the king’s children and the children of the queen.” 14 Then he said, “Seize them alive!” So they seized them alive but then slaughtered them at the cistern of Beth-Eked, forty-two men. He did not allow any of them to survive.

15 Next he went from there and found Jehonadab the son of Recab to meet him. He greeted him and asked him, “Is your heart right with me as my heart is with you?” Then Jehonadab said, “Yes, it is. Give your hand!” And he gave his hand and took him up to him on the chariot. 16 Then he said, “Come with me! Look at my zeal for Yahweh!” So he let him ride in his chariot. 17 Then he came to Samaria and killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria until he wiped them out, according to the word of Yahweh that he had spoken to Elijah.

Jehu Purges the Baal Worshipers

18 Then Jehu assembled all of the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will worship him greatly. 19 So then, summon to me all of the prophets of Baal and all of his servants and his priests; no man should fail to come, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come shall not live!” Now Jehu was acting with cunning in order to destroy the servants of Baal. 20 Then Jehu said, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal!” So they proclaimed it. 21 Jehu sent word through all of Israel, and all of the servants of Baal came; there did not remain a man who did not come. They came to the house of Baal so that the house of Baal was filled from wall to wall. 22 He said to the one who was over the wardrobe, “Bring out clothing for all of the servants of Baal.” So he brought the clothing out for them. 23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Recab came to the temple of Baal, and he said to the servants of Baal, “Search and see that there is none of the servants of Yahweh here with you; only those who serve Baal.” 24 They came to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed for himself eighty men outside, and he said, “The man who lets anyone escape from the men who I am entrusting to you, he will pay with his life!”

25 It happened that when he finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the royal guard and to the officers, “Come and kill them; let no man go free!” So they put them to the sword, and the royal guard and the officers threw them out, then they went up to the citadel of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought out the stone pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them. 27 So they broke down the stone pillars of Baal and destroyed the temple of Baal and made it into a latrine until this day. 28 So Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.

29 Only Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat by which he caused Israel to sin; namely, the calf-shaped idols of gold that were in Bethel and Dan. 30 Yahweh said to Jehu, “Because you have done well by doing right in my eyes and you have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart; therefore, sons of the fourth generation will sit for you on the throne of Israel.” 31 But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of Yahweh God of Israel with all his heart; he did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam by which he caused Israel to sin.

32 In those days, Yahweh began to reduce Israel, so Hazael defeated them in every territory of Israel, 33 from the Jordan eastward: all of the land of Gilead, the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer which is on the Wadi Arnon and Gilead and Bashan. 34 Now the remainder of the acts of Jehu and all that he did and all of his powerful deeds, are they not written in the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Israel? 35 So Jehu slept with his ancestors, and they buried him in Samaria, and Jehoahaz his son became king in his place. 36 Now the days which Jehu had reigned over Israel were twenty-eight years in Samaria.


Galatians 1:1–2:21 (LEB)

Greeting

1 Paul, an apostle not from men nor by men but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead, and all the brothers with me, to the churches of Galatia. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins in order to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

A Different Gospel

I am astonished that you are turning away so quickly from the one who called you by the grace of Christ to a different gospel, not that there is a different gospel, except there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed! As we said before, and now I say again, if anyone is proclaiming a gospel to you contrary to what you have received, let him be accursed! 10 For am I now making an appeal to people or to God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.

Paul’s Defense of His Apostleship

11 For I make known to you, brothers, the gospel that has been proclaimed by me, that it is not of human origin. 12 For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard about my former way of life in Judaism, that to an extraordinary degree I was persecuting the church of God, and trying to destroy it, 14 and was progressing in Judaism beyond many contemporaries in my nation, because​ I was a far more zealous adherent of the traditions handed down by my forefathers.

15 But when the one who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me in order that I would proclaim the gospel about him among the Gentiles, immediately I did not consult with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away to Arabia and I returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and I stayed with him fifteen days, 19 but I did not see any others of the apostles except James, the brother of the Lord. 20 (Now the things which I am writing to you, behold, I assure you before God that I am not lying.) 21 Then I came to the regions of Syria and of Cilicia, 22 but I was unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ, 23 and they were only hearing, “The one formerly persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith that formerly he was attempting to destroy,” 24 and they were glorifying God because of me.

Paul’s Ministry Recognized by the Jerusalem Apostles

2 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking along Titus also. Now I went up there because of a revelation and laid out to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles, but in private to the influential people, lest somehow I was running, or had run, in vain. But not even Titus who was with me, although​ he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. Now this was because of the false brothers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, in order that they might enslave us, to whom not even for an hour did we yield in subjection, in order that the truth of the gospel might remain continually with you. But from those who were influential (whatever they were, it makes no difference to me, God does not show partiality)—for those who were influential added nothing to me. But these, when they​ saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcision, just as Peter to the circumcision (for the one who was at work through Peter for his apostleship to the circumcision was at work also through me for the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John—those thought to be pillars—acknowledged the grace given to me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, in order that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcision. 10 They asked only that we should remember the poor, the very thing I was also eager to do.

Paul Confronts Peter at Antioch

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was condemned. 12 For before certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles, but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he​ was afraid of those who were of the circumcision, 13 and the rest of the Jews also joined in this hypocrisy with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with them in their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not being straightforward with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of them all, “If you, although you​ are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Justified by Faith in Christ

15 We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles, 16 but knowing that a person is not justified by the works of the law, if not by faith in Jesus Christ, and we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified. 17 But if while seeking to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also have been found to be sinners, then is Christ an agent of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I build up again these things which I destroyed, I show myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, in order that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ, 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, and that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not declare invalid the grace of God, for if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died to no purpose.


Proverbs 7:1–9 (LEB)

Warning Against the Strange Woman

7 My child, guard my sayings;

store my commandments with you.

Keep my commands and live,

and my teaching like the apple of your eye.

Bind them on your fingers;

write them on the tablet of your heart.

Say to wisdom, “you are my sister,”

and you shall call insight,intimate friend.”

In order to guard yourself from an adulteress,

from the foreigner who makes her words smooth.

For at the window of my house,

through my lattice, I looked down.

And I saw among the simple,

I observed among the youth,

a young man lacking sense,

passing on the street at her corner,

and he takes the road to her house,

at twilight, at the day’s evening,

in the midst of night and the darkness.


November 22

We’re fine with the idea of God being our savior, but we’re not always keen on the notion of letting Him transform every area of our lives. We often emphasize sharing the gospel, but do we consider the reality of the outcome?

It’s a question Paul poses to the church in Galatia. Typically, when Paul opens a letter to a church, he follows his greeting with a prayer of thanksgiving for the members of the community. But in his correspondence with the Galatians, he skips the niceties and opts for a biting remark, signaling that something is drastically wrong.

“I am astonished that you are turning away so quickly from the one who called you by the grace of Christ to a different gospel, not that there is a different gospel, except there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ” (Gal 1:6–9).

Paul’s message is especially cutting because the Galatians knew better. Paul himself had preached the gospel to them. After he left and false teachers infiltrated the community, the Galatians veered off course. Instead of holding to the true teaching or even testing these teachers’ claims against the gospel message, the Galatians adopted a new, counterfeit gospel.

Paul interrogates the Galatians, who may have been affected by the teaching of people who wanted them to adopt Jewish legal requirements, asking, “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal 3:2–3). The simple gospel had been cluttered by attempts to remain obedient to the law. The believers were no longer living in the Spirit.

We are prone to push aside the lesson in this passage by claiming that it’s specific to that context, but we might be guilty of this very fault. Do we think of becoming a Christian—getting saved—as the end of the journey? The reality of the gospel should affect all areas of our lives, which can now be used to give God the glory. Our entire lives—our thought processes, our ideals and theologies, our relationships—should reflect Christ and be shaped by the Spirit. The gospel isn’t for one moment. It’s going to transform everything.

Have you, without realizing it, turned from the gospel? What area of your life needs to be transformed?


Rebecca Van Noord is editor-in-chief 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.