June 29 – Daily Notes – Amanda

so close

Oh dear sweet Azariah, you almost had it! In today’s 2 Kings reading Azariah realizes, as should have been very clear by now, that partial faithfulness is actually not faithfulness at all. Azariah seems like a good king and does a lot of faithful things, but he draws the line at destroying worship implements of other gods, which would have helped protect his people from worshipping other gods. Partial faithfulness is also partially unfaithful.

2 Kings 15:1-16:20:

  • 1 – Azariah was also known as Uzziah, who we’ll hear about in the book of Isaiah.
  • 4-5 – Though Azariah was faithful in a lot of ways, he did not destroy the opportunities for the Israelites to worship other gods. His punishment was leprosy.
  • 12-13 – Shallum was no longer in the same family as the previous kings.
  • 16 – This kind of terror and violence was foretold by Elisha. Because Israel had strayed so far from God, Hazael of Syria and others were able to get in and cause total chaos and destruction. Elisha and God were not pleased by these consequences, but they knew and warned that Israel’s sins would lead them to this type of harm.
  • 37 – Not only had Israel split in two (Israel and Judah) politically, but now Israel has joined forces with Syria to attack Judah. Remember, that Israel and Judah are all descendants of one family.
  • 10-16 – King Ahaz, the new king of Judah, builds an alter replicating the one in Assyria. This is not an altar to God, but to one of the Assyrian gods. The king of Assyria then dictates what types of offerings the people of Judah should offer.
  • 19 – After each king’s profile it says that the rest of what that king did is written in a different book. The writers of 1 and 2 Kings only included what the king did in relation to God and the covenant the Israelites had with God.

Acts 19:13-41:

  • 13-20 – The Ephesians had seen Paul cast out evil spirits and some people wanted to do the same by using magic. It backfired and caused a lot more people to follow Jesus.
  • 23-27 – It is no new thing that people are persuaded to be unfaithful in order to secure or grow their finances.
  • 32-34 – A case of mob mentality.
  • 35-41 – The mob is disassembled, but the issue is not resolved.

Psalm 147:1-20:

  • This psalm is a series of urges to praise God followed by reasons why he is worthy of praise.

June 28 – Daily Notes – Amanda

good listener

Good listening is a rare skill these days. We mostly listen just enough to jump in with our next point. Like today’s proverb says, real skill in listening comes when we listen to what the other person is saying simply to hear and understand them, not to then quickly offer our own opinion.

2 Kings 13:1-14:29:

  • 4 – Jehoahaz repents in order to have relief from the constant attack of the Syrians.
  • 5 – This “savior” was not the Messiah. This was someone who saved them from military attacks. It is uncertain who this was.
  • 14-19 – Elisha gives Joash the opportunity to end their thumpings by Syria, but he does not complete the job and is limited to a temporary break in defeats.
  • 21 – This is told simply to display the amount of God’s power Elisha possessed.
  • 22-23 – Though Syria heavily oppressed Israel, the Israelites were not completely banished by God. The writer is telling us that at this point in history, the full covenantal curse (all the consequences of breaking their covenant with God) would come to fruition.
  • 3-6 – Amaziah was a faithful king, but not quite as faithful as David. He avenges his father’s death according to Moses’ Law.
  • 9-10 – In his reply, Jehoash refers to himself as a cedar – a revered, strong, established tree, and to Amaziah as a wimpy thistle.

Acts 18:23-19:12:

  • 24-28 – Apollos had not yet been baptized in the Spirit, and still needed a little refinement in his teaching. The believers took him under their wing to help him grow in his faith.

Psalm 146:1-10:

  • 3-6 – We tend to place our trust in everything but God because we can see and touch them, but there is no salvation apart from the Lord.
  • 7-9 – Very reminiscent of Isaiah 61, which Jesus quotes in his first sermon in the temple found in Luke 4.

Proverbs 18:2-3:

  • 2 – This is one of the key skills in listening. Listen to understand the other person, not to make your next point.