Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
2 Kings 25:22-26
Questions & Observations
O. (Lamentations 5:7): Jeremiah, who wrote this (Jeremiah does not identify himself, but tradition holds that he is the writer- Rob), is obviously suffering, but we see that he still has his wits about him because after his complaints in v. 5:1-18, he praises the Lord … briefly. I wanted to point out that in v. 7, Jeremiah is blaming the Israelites ancestors for all of their present suffering. My first thought was, “Excuse me, God has been warning you over and over again — through you, no less — that the idol worship had to stop or Judah would see doom. And, it didn’t stop. But, in reality, their ancestors are the ones who set the precedent. Of course, they could change their ways, but as we have discussed before, change is hard and what your ancestors taught you is engrained. So, in all fairness, the ancestors deserve their fair share of blame. (I’m not trying to approve or disapprove of God’s actions here. I know better!) The subject of being so engrained in your world that you can’t leave it all to follow Christ came up in a speech that the headmaster of my daughters’ school, Rev. Bob Ingram, gave at their convocation chapel this past week. He discussed having a hardened heart. Check it out at:
http://www.genevaschool.org/wp-content/uploads/08.22.13-Opening-Convocation.Ingram.pdf. When I think of a hardened heart, I think of pharaoh not letting the Egyptians go because God hardened his heart, which pretty much means he was stubborn and prideful. In another example, in his speech, Rev. Ingram brings up the wealthy man in the NT who followed Jesus and obeyed all of the laws. He asked Jesus what more he could do. Jesus told him that there was one thing left: to sell his possessions, give it to the poor and follow Me. He couldn’t do it. That is how our hearts are hardened today. We can be good Christians and do everything that society tells us to do, but can we give our entire lives over to Jesus? There is a family in one of my daughter’s classes that are interviewing to be missionary directors or something like that in South America. Here they are, both have great jobs, their daughters are in an awesome school, they have family close by, but they listened to God’s calling. The husband had heard God call him to mission work. He finally told his wife and she said, “OK.” I’m not saying that we all need to do mission work, just that we need to listen to God and give ourselves to Him. I always put myself in other people’s shoes and compare myself — a self-defeating habit I’m trying to squash — and think that maybe I should take in a foster child or go on a mission trip. Well … not that it’s a bad thing, but God hasn’t called me to do that. He did call me to do this blog and I think that I have mission work in my future. You?
O. For a quick look at Obadiah, go to: http://biblesummary.org/obadiah/1.htm
Q. (Obadiah 1:19-21): I guess this is why God has scattered the remaining Israelites — so they will inhabit all of the surrounding nations?
A. It appears to be part of the way that God has ensured the survival of His people throughout the ages.
Q. (2 Kings 25:25): Why did Ishmael kill Gedaliah and all of those with him?
A. There could be a number of factors at play here. First, he might have been loyal to Zedekiah and avenging his capture. He also might have been an ally of Ammon, which was mentioned, whose people may have pushed him to kill the ruler. A third possibility is that he was angry at Gedaliah for encouraging the people to submit to Babylon and killed him in a desire to continue the revolt against Babylon.
Q. (Jeremiah 41:1-18): Is there any importance to Ishmael killing Gedaliah?
A. Not especially. I’m not aware of any particular way that this affects the “downstream” action. From here, we will focus on the captivity in Babylon through Ezekiel, Daniel, and Ester, and begin the restoration of the nation via our other writings.