20 June 2010

Jun 20

Reference links:
Old Testament

Today we read a kind of weird story about a bunch of prophets. King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah want to wage war against the King of Aram. They ask the prophets whether or not they should attack, and the prophets say yet. Then ask one more prophet, Micaiah son of Imlah, and he says they should not attack (after sarcastically saying that they should).

Then Micaiah implies that God intentionally mislead all of the other prophets so that Ahab would go to war and be killed:
Then Micaiah continued, “Listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who can entice Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?’
“There were many suggestions, and finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I can do it!’
“‘How will you do this?’ the Lord asked.
“And the spirit replied, ‘I will go out and inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies.’
“‘You will succeed,’ said the Lord. ‘Go ahead and do it.’
The whole setup here is bizarre. Prophets being misled, God using such roundabout ways of killing Ahab, God taking advice from a bunch of random spirits. All very strange.

In any case, the kings go to battle, and Ahab dies despite hiding amongst the common soldiers. The rest of the reading is taken up with the descriptions of more kings. Jehoshaphat of Judah  was pretty good but not great. Ahaziah of Israel was terrible.

New Testament

Paul gives a history of the Israelites to bolster his case that Jesus is the Messiah and then gives a little of the history of Jesus. This is all to make the point that through Jesus people can be saved. Not a super interesting day.

Psalms and Proverbs

Some more good proverbs, especially the second one.
A friend is always loyal,
and a brother is born to help in time of need.

It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt
or put up security for a friend.