December 24, 2016

2 Chronicles 21:2 - 23:21 - 
Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, had six brothers.  His father lavished them with gifts.  But Jehoram was Jehoshaphat’s firstborn son and he gave him the kingdom of Judah.  But when Jehoram had taken over his father’s kingdom and had secured his position, he killed all of his brothers...Jehoram was 32 when he became king and ruled in Jerusalem for 8 years.  He imitated Israel’s kings and married into the Ahab dynasty.  God considered him an evil man.  But despite that, because of his covenant with David, God was not yet ready to destroy the descendants of David...

Since Jehoram had abandoned God, the God of his ancestors, God was abandoning him...   He had brazenly led Jerusalem away from God, seducing the whole country.  One day he got a letter from Elijah the prophet stating that “Because you have not kept  to the ways of Jehoshaphat your father and Asa your grandfather,.. leading Judah and Jerusalem away from God....why you even killed your own brothers, all of them better men than you!--God is going to afflict your people, your wives, your sons, and everything you have with a terrible plague.  And you are going to come down with a terrible disease of the colon, painful and humiliating....after about two years he was totally incontinent and died writhing in pain...there were no tears shed when he died--it was good riddance!  They buried him in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.  

The people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, Jehoram’s youngest son, king...He was 22 years old when he became king, but reigned only one year in Jerusalem.  His mother was Athaliah, granddaughter of Omri....God also considered him evil, related by both marriage and sin to the Ahab clan....He...went with Joram, son of Ahab into war against Hazael king of Aram.  Joram was wounded and taken to Jezreel....Jehu, son of Nimshi, whom God had already authorized to destroy the dynasty of Ahab,...sent out a party looking for Ahaziah...They found him hiding in Samaria and hauled him back to Jehu.  And Jehu killed him...But there was no one left in Ahaziah’s family capable of ruling the kingdom.  When Athaliah, mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she took over.  She began massacring the entire royal family.  Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s son, Joash, and kidnapped him from among the sons slated for slaughter.  So Jehosheba, Ahaziah’s sister -- she was also the wife of Jehoiada the priest, saved Joash for the murderous Queen Athaliah.  He was there with her, hidden away for 6 years in the temple of God.  Athaliah, oblivious of his existence, ruled the country.

In the 7th year, the priest Jehoiada decided to make his move and worked out a strategy with certain influential officers in the army....These officials dispersed throughout Judah and called in the Levites from all the towns in Judah along with the heads of families.  They met in Jerusalem.  The gathering met in the Temple of God.  They made a covenant there in The Temple.  The priest showed them the young prince...then divided the priests and Levites into thirds prior to all the people gathering in the courtyards of the Temple...Then the priest brought the prince into view, crowned him, handed him the scroll of God’s covenant and made him king....Athaliah, hearing all the commotion, the people running around and praising the king, came to the Temple to see what was going on....Jehoiada the priest ordered the military officers, “Drag her outside -- and kill anyone who tries to follow her!” ...So they dragged her out to the palace’s horse corral and there they killed her.  

Jehoiada now made a covenant between himself and the king and the people: they were to be God’s special people...Jehoiada turned the care of God’s temple over to the priests and Levites, the way David had directed originally....Then he got everyone together...and escorted the king down from the Temple of God, through the Upper Gate, and placed him on the royal throne...

Revelation 17 - 
One of the Seven Angels who carried the 7 bowls came and invited me...In the Spirit he carried me out in the desert.  

I saw a woman mounted on a Scarlet Beast...A riddle name was branded on her forehead:  GREAT BABYLON, MOTHER OF WHORES AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I could see that the woman was drunk, drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, drunk on the blood of the martyrs of Jesus...

It was God who put the idea in their heads to turn over their rule to the Beast until the words of God are completed.  The woman you saw is the great city, tyrannizing the kings of the earth.”