Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 136

The scriptures read are 2 Kings 22-24, Psalm 113 and Acts 28.

2 Kings 22-24. Josiah becomes king and after hearing the book of the covenant of God (either the whole Torah or maybe just Deuteronomy) really cleans up Jerusalem. All pagan objects of worship are removed from the temple and all worship of foreign gods is ended. And he reinstitutes the celebration of Passover for the first time since Israel had a king!

Unfortunately, Josiah dies in battle against the pharaoh Neco. The remaining kings of Judah are a bad lot and eventually God lets Babylon take the city. All the top people and skilled workers are taken into exile. King Nebuchadnezzar installs a puppet king named Zedekiah. But the puppet revolts.

Psalm 113. Praising God especially for his support of the underdogs of society.

Acts 28. The use of "we" shows that Luke was among those shipwrecked. The natives are friendly and help the castaways. But when Paul has no ill effects after being bitten by a venomous snake, the Maltese think Paul is divine. When Paul starts healing people, everyone flocks to him.

Paul makes it to Rome, stays in a private house with his guard and for 2 years conducts an active ministry. Then what? Does he get acquitted and fulfill his plans to go to Spain? Or is he executed by Nero after those 2 years? Why do we not get any account of Paul's martyrdom? I can only conclude that Paul was still alive when Luke finished the Book of Acts. Perhaps he wrote his gospel and its sequel as part of the documents for Paul's defense. Anyway, we've finished the narrative portion of the New Testament.    

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