Today: Psalms 80:8-19; Acts 24; 2 Kings 10 & 11
The main purpose of the Old Testament for Christians today is to establish a foundation for the coming of Christ. We learn so much about God and how He thinks and works as He chooses His people and leads them.
Many of the things that happened to the Israelites in the Old Testament are physical representations of what is spiritually true today. In Psalm 80, Israel is described as a vine transplanted from Egypt. God “cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.” (v.8-9) This vine imagery points to Jesus, who called Himself the true vine. (John 15:1)
During the time that Asaph wrote this Psalm, the Israelites were going through a dark time when they had been defeated, captured and exiled from their homeland. Asaph implored the LORD, “Return to us, God Almighty!” (v.14) Then he prophesied the coming Jesus Christ, not once but twice… “this vine, the root Your right hand has planted, the Son You have raised up for yourself,” and again, “Let Your hand rest on the Man at Your right hand, the Son of Man You have raised up for Yourself.” (v.17)
It was God’s plan all along to send His own Son, the Man at His right hand, who would offer salvation to the entire world, who would “restore us” and make God’s “face shine on us, that we may be saved.” (v.19) Hallelujah, Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice!!
The Jewish elders and their crooked lawyer delivered untrue, trumped up charges against Paul to Felix, the Roman Governor. Paul had not stirred up riots or incited any trouble as they claimed. His actual “crime” was holding an opinion contrary to the thought police of the time. The Jews were the ones who rioted and stirred up the trouble and then blamed Paul for it. Now they were appealing to the higher authorities attempting to “cancel” him. They brought along plenty of friends who “joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true.” (v.9)
Paul gave his defense but it fell on deaf ears. Felix was a typical politician. He didn’t care about truth or innocence. He was only in it for the money and “was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe.” (v.26) People haven’t changed very much in the past 2000 years!
2 Kings 10-11
Every single prophecy God had given through Elijah concerning the house of Ahab came true. It required much bloodshed and horrors at the hands of Jehu. Jehu also rid all of Israel of Baal worship through more slaughter and deception. God can use anything He likes to bring about His will… God’s wrath is not pretty.
The sham Queen Athelia was surpassed in evil only by Jezebel. She destroyed her entire family and fraudulently ruled the land for six years. But God protected the rightful king, Joash, son of Ahaziah, and established him as king when he was only seven years old.