Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • All Things Working To the Glory of God: Stephen’s Martyrdom +

    God works in mysterious ways– Read More
  • God's Love For Us +

    The well of love God has for us is deeper than our imaginations can grasp-- Read More
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Don  Carson;+2-kings+11

2 Kings 10–11; 2 Timothy 1; Hosea 2; Psalm 119:97–120

IN THE TWO DESIGNATED PASSAGES for this day we find a study of two grand-mothers.

The first is Athaliah (2 Kings 11). She is the utterly vile mother of Ahaziah, the king of Judah who was killed by Jehu (as we saw yesterday) in the mayhem precipitated by the insurrection in the northern kingdom of Israel. One could imagine a lot of different actions that a queen mother might take on learning of the assassination of her son. Athaliah's reaction is to kill her entire family. She so commands the palace guard that her dead son's children and grandchildren are wiped out, save for her infant grandson Joash, who is saved by an aunt (who herself may have been killed) who hides him with his wet nurse. Thus Athaliah secures power for herself.

A few years later, when Joash is still but a lad of seven, Jehoiada the priest arranges to bring the child out and have him declared the rightful king, protected by military units loyal to Jehoiada and his determination to preserve the Davidic line. When Athaliah discovers the plot, her cries of "Treason!" (2 Kings 11:14) ring a little hollow. For the sake of power, this evil woman was willing not only to commit murder (not a rare thing), but to murder her children and grandchildren—a much rarer thing, immeasurably more callous—and now she charges with treason those who call her to account.

Contrast the mother and grandmother briefly mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:5. Timothy's grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice are women of "sincere faith," according to Paul, and they have passed this heritage on to their son and grandson, Timothy. How they did this is not detailed. But judging by patterns laid out elsewhere in Scripture, the least they did was display personal example and provide concrete instruction. They passed on both the teaching of Scripture and the pattern of their own "sincere faith"—not only the pattern of their own walk with God, but the integrity that characterized their lives as a result. Indeed, hidden in this passage lies hope for men or women in mixed marriages. According to Acts 16:1, Timothy's mother Eunice was both a Jewess and a Christian believer; his father was a Greek, apparently a pagan. The Christian influence prevailed.

Not all women are as evil as Athaliah; not all are as faithful as Lois and Eunice. Among both men and women, however, are not a few who, in home, at work, even in church, are much more interested in power than in anything else. They may not stoop to murder, but they will lie, cheat, and slander to gain more authority. They will face God's judgment. But blessed are those whose sincere faith stamps the next generation.

Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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  • Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson +

    Eugene Peterson’s book, Eat This Book gets its name from Revelation 10:9-10 when John asks for the scroll containing God’s Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Storytelling +

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Separated Unto the Holy Ghost (Andrew Murray) +

    Below is chapter 3 from the book, Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, a South African "Now there were in the Read More
  • The Human Body and Spiritual Growth: Dallas Willard +

    In Christian Educator's Handbook on Spiritual Formation, edited by James Wilhoit of Wheaton College. "Spiritual formation" is the process through Read More
  • January 28 Devotional: Oswald Chambers +

    Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14 Read More
  • Coupla Things by Julie Moore +

    It has occurred to me that maybe more people would read my blog if the posts were shorter. I'm not Read More
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