Copy of Today's Readings: 2 KINGS 13 | Ezekiel 3 | 2 Corinthians 11
Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Kings 14
In 2Ki 14, "a last opportunity for the nation presented itself, as in Israel and Judah there reigned three able sovereigns in Amaziah, Uzziah, and Jeroboam II. The weakness of surrounding nations was their opportunity. A vigorous struggle broke out to raise the nations from the depression into which it had fallen. Syria and Edom were reduced. The borders were extended, the struggle partly successful. But it was frustrated by calamities beyond human power. The kings conquered their enemies, but not themselves, and thus failed in the struggle for complete independence. Those whose pride makes them too eager to fight may get enough of it in quick order. Many would have honour and wealth enough, if they but know when they had enough. But the prosperity of Israel under Jeroboam was a delusion and a snare. Two prophets raised their voices in warning and rebuke. Hosea and Amos, sounded forth their stern, harsh language, revealing the true state of the ecclesia. Hosea was a citizen of the north, for he speaks of the land (Hos 1:2) and 'our king' (Hos 7:5). The rough shepherd Amos was from Judah. He beheld with indignation the soft luxury and abandoned life in the northern kingdom. He gives a frightful picture of an apostate, licentious and decadent Israel. It was the 'last days' of the Davidic monarchy, and little time remained before the divine judgment came upon both northern and southern elements of the nation" (GE Mansfield).
Reading 2 - Ezekiel 4
In Eze 4, the total of 430 days (390 for Israel: v 5; and 40 for Judah: v 6) seem to represent a complete period of affliction, of 430 years (cp Gen 15:13; Exo 12:40).
The complete interpretation of these symbolic numbers and periods of time may yet elude us. However, there are some significant dates worth noting:
There is a period of 40 years for the Exodus: from the leaving of Egypt (approximately 1446 BC) to the entry into the Land of promise (c 1406).
And from thence, approximately 390 years would measure from the entry into the Land (1406) to the coming of the kingdom in the person of Saul (1016).
Then again, 390 years would be the time period from Saul (1016) to 13th Josiah (626 BC), and a remaining 40 years from the 13th Josiah to the actual fall of Jerusalem (586) at the hand of the Babylonians, which Ezekiel witnessed.
After the Kingdom of Judah, then, 390 years would take us from the fall of Jerusalem (586 BC) to 196 BC. And 40 more years (196 BC to 156 BC) would take us to the desecration of the Temple, and the ensuing Maccabean war.
After the dividing of the kingdom, between Israel and Judah, the North and the South, then, 390 years would measure from the 4th of Rehoboam (2Ch 12) to the time when the Temple was burnt in the 19th of Nebuchadnezzar (Eze 33:21). This would be approximately 982 to 592 BC.
Reading 3 - 2 Corinthians 13:5
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you -- unless, of course, you fail the test?" (2Co 13:5).
To "fail the test" here comes from the Greek "adokimos" -- which elsewhere is translated "reprobate" (Rom 1:28; 2Co 13:5-7, 2Ti 3:8; Tit 1:16), "castaway" (1Co 9:27), and "rejected" (Heb 6:8). It is used to describe a counterfeit coin, deficient as to weight or quality of metal. It is also used, figuratively, to describe a cowardly soldier who fails the test of battle; a candidate rejected for office; and a stone rejected by the builders. In each case, that which is "reprobate" has promised something by its outward appearance which it cannot deliver! It has, perhaps, a "name to live", but it is dead -- like clouds that promise rain, but give none; and like stars in the heavens that appear fixed, but prove to be "wandering stars", or meteors.