Reading for Today:
2 Chronicles 21:1–22:12
2 Chronicles 21:11 led Judah astray. Undoubtedly he was influenced by his marriage to Ahab’s daughter (v. 6) and was influenced in the alliance just like his father (2 Chr. 18:1). They had not learned from Solomon’s sinful example (1 Kin. 11:3, 4). His wicked wife, Athaliah, later became ruler over Judah and tried to wipe out David’s royal line (2 Chr. 22:10).
2 Chronicles 21:12–15 Elijah, best known for his confrontations with Israel’s Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kin.17–2 Kin. 2:11), confronted prophetically Jehoram’s sins of idolatry and murder (21:13). The consequences from God’s judgment extended beyond himself to his family and the nation (21:14,15). This event undoubtedly occurred in the early years of Jehoram’s coregency with his father Jehoshaphat and shortly before Elijah’s departure to heaven, ca. 848 B.C. (2 Kin. 2:11, 12).
Psalm 83:4 cut them off. The hostile nations, under Satan’s influence, repudiated God’s promise to preserve forever the nation of Israel (Gen. 17:7, 8; Ps. 89:34–37).
Acts 17:18 Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. Epicurean philosophy taught that the chief end of man was the avoidance of pain. Epicureans were materialists—they did not deny the existence of God, but they believed He did not become involved with the affairs of men. When a person died, they believed his body and soul disintegrated. Stoic philosophy taught selfmastery—that the goal in life was to reach a place of indifference to pleasure or pain. babbler. Literally, “seed picker.” Some of the philosophers viewed Paul as an amateur philosopher—one who had no ideas of his own but only picked among prevailing philosophies and constructed one with no depth.
Acts 17:28 in Him we live and move and have our being. A quote from the Cretan poet Epimenides.
Acts 17:29 the offspring of God. A quote from Aratus, who came from Paul’s home region of Cilicia. not…like gold or silver. If man is the offspring of God, as the Greek poet suggested, it is foolish to think that God could be nothing more than a man-made idol. Such reasoning points out the absurdity of idolatry (Is.44:9–20).
DAY 13: How did Paul address the philosophers of Athens?
In preaching to them Jesus and the resurrection, Paul was brought to the Areopagus (Acts 17:19). This was a court named for the hill on which it once met. Paul was not being formally tried; only being asked to defend his teaching.
Paul immediately mentioned the inscription on one other object of worship: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. The Athenians were supernaturalists—they believed in supernatural powers that intervened in the course of natural laws. They at least acknowledged the existence of someone beyond their ability to understand who had made all things. Paul thus had the opportunity to introduce them to the Creator-God who could be known. When evangelizing pagans, Paul started from creation, the general revelation of God (14:15–17). When evangelizing Jews, he started from the Old Testament (vv. 10–13).
Declaring to them the “God, who made the world” (v. 24) flatly contradicted both the Epicureans, who believed matter was eternal and therefore had no creator, and the Stoics, who as pantheists believed God was part of everything and could not have created Himself. And adding that “He has made from one blood every nation of men” (v. 26) also confronted them directly. All men are equal in God’s sight since all came from one man, Adam. This teaching was a blow to the national pride of the Greeks, who believed all non-Greeks were barbarians. “And has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” God sovereignly controls the rise and fall of nations and empires (Dan. 2:36–45; Luke 21:24). God is responsible for establishing nations as to their racial identity and their specific geographical locations (Deut. 32:8) and determining the extent of their conquests (Is. 10:12–15).
God’s objective for man in revealing Himself as the creator, ruler, and controller of the world was that they “should seek the Lord” (v. 27). Men have no excuse for not knowing about God because He has revealed Himself in man’s conscience and in the physical world (Rom. 1:19, 20; 2:15).
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.