Bible reading for October 26.
2 Kings 7.
"Then they said to one another, 'We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king's household.'" (2 Kings 7:9)
DAY OF GOOD NEWS. This chapter concludes the story begun in the previous chapter. Samaria has become desperate by the famine caused by the siege of the Syrian army. The unnamed king, likely Joram (cf 8:16), is wearing sackcloth (to symbolize repentance) but is also blaming Elisha for the situation. Elisha proclaims God's word that conditions will completely reverse overnight (v 1). A second pronouncement is made to the captain who said it would be impossible (v 2). (His unbelief reminds me of 2 Peter 3:3-10.) God's word comes to pass just as it was pronounced (vv 16-17). This is a reminder that God's pronouncement regarding the future is not merely foresight of "what will happen" but it is the prophetic statement of how God plans to bring about his blessing and judgment. History is the unfolding of God's plan and purpose, not our own.
HOARDING OR HERALDING? We, like the lepers, realize our desperation and so we go the Lord, since truly there is nowhere else to go (John 6:68-69; Acts 4:12). We, like the lepers, have received so much abundance -- yes, food, but much more: forgiveness, peace with God, healed relationships, God's presence and care, adoption, answered prayer, an eternal inheritance, a loving community, every spiritual blessing, eternal purpose, new desires, new strength, all the promises of God, and knowledge of the future of human history! Should we not share this? Should we not do what we can to make this known? "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns'" (Isa 52:7). And Paul said, "For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Cor 9:16) Who will you talk to this week about the gospel?
1 Timothy 4.
"Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching." (1 Timothy 4:13)
BAD TEACHING WHICH SOUNDS GOOD. Not all false teachers promote immoral or sensual living. Some false teaching promotes the opposite, namely, asceticism and rejection of what God has created (vv 1-5). This gives the appearance of godliness and sacrifice (Col 2:23), but actually fosters pride. True godly living involves giving thanks for what the Lord has given us, and using the creation in a biblical and prayerful way. Timothy is to teach and to model sound doctrine to the church (vv 6-16). Not just by teaching truth, and not just by practicing godly living, but both were necessary.
REFLECT. Pray for your pastors and elders, for there is a never-ending fount of bad teaching and bad living that springs up in every church. Church leaders need wisdom to spot false teaching before it takes hold, and to know how to address those who promote it. Pray for what your church leaders need, including self-discipline, insight, patience, courage, and gracious speech.
Image credit. Photo above by Kenny Sexton on Unsplash, location: Iceland. We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. One recommended resource is NETBible.org, a ministry of bible.org.