26 June 2010

Jun 26

Reference links:
Old Testament

Today is a bloody, bloody day. Jehu kills King Joram of Israel as well as King Ahaziah of Judah in his quest for the throne of Israel. He then kills everyone who might be a threat to him: any relative, friend, or associate of Ahab, the former king. Some of the gruesome highlights. Jezebel, the wife of Ahab and mother of Joram, was killed like this:
So they threw her out the window, and her blood spattered against the wall and on the horses. And Jehu trampled her body under his horses’ hooves.
Next, he has all of Ahab's sons killed and their head sent to him and placed in heaps.
Now the seventy sons of the king were being cared for by the leaders of Samaria, where they had been raised since childhood. When the letter arrived, the leaders killed all seventy of the king’s sons. They placed their heads in baskets and presented them to Jehu at Jezreel.
The final gruesome highlight is the massacre of the followers of Baal. Jehu gathers all of the priests and followers of Baal for what he claims will be a huge sacrifice. He then traps them all in the temple of Baal and his men murder them all.

The amount of death and destruction wrought by Jehu must have been sickening to behold (at least for one with modern sentiments). Even if Joram was corrupt and terrible and even if this was supposedly of fulfillment of God's prophecies against Ahab and Jezebel, I just cannot like Jehu after he led such a bloody, compassion free rebellion. Fortunately, I don't think I am expected too since after all of this he
did not obey the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.
New Testament

Paul and Silas continue to go around preaching. Some of the Jews and gentiles in the cities where they preach accept them. Others are jealous and cause trouble for them.

Paul then continues onto Athens where he preaches to the council there. He seems to have received a more friendly reception there, quite possibly because the people of Athens were much more open to new ideas and discourse.
It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.
As usual, Paul convinced some of them and not others. Paul shows that he has a much better understanding of the human mind than Jesus did. Instead of starting with a condemnation of those he was trying to persuade, Paul started by complimenting them:
Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
When I was in Athens with my family, we visited the Areopagus, where this group met. While we were there we saw a man dressed as Paul reciting some scripture (I am guessing this passage). Biblical LARPing!

Psalms and Proverbs

Today's psalm has lots of nice lines, but somehow fails to come together as a coherent whole (in English translation, at least).

I do like today's proverbs, even if I do often have problems using few words:
A truly wise person uses few words;
a person with understanding is even-tempered.

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.