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Archive for June 10th, 2016


2 Kings 10:1-11: Deception – Part III

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Metropolitan Museum: Etsucan Chariot detail

The Metropolitan Museum: Etruscan Chariot detail

The Wise and the Foolish

We have reflected on Ahab and Jezebel and their fall into corruption caused by their envy of Naboth’s vineyard. Today we see what happens to the seventy princes, their legacy.  There is no plan, no ally, no fortification that can withstand truth, light and life.

It is unsettling to read about the terrible events that take place as retribution for evil or of the clearing away of what follows upon the heels of deception.  Today we read about the end of an evil reign and if we celebrate love as Jesus teaches, there is no joy at the downfall of former foes.  He shows by example how to ask intercession for those who both love him and jeer at him.  Jesus is willing to speak to the wise among us who hear his words, believe, and act.  Jesus also speaks to the foolish among us who hear his words and continue to ignore his call.

Ahab and Jezebel lived a life governed by self; their end and the end of their children is certainly a lesson in how our best laid plans go awry when God is not a part of them.  We might look at two verses in particular: [They] have the chariots, the horses, a fortified city, and the weapons . . . The seventy princes were in the care of prominent men of the city, who were rearing them.  Ahab and Jezebel laid every possible plan, made every conceivable provision. They “hard-wired” their legacy; yet all disappears because the walls of their city were an illusion and their strategies futile.  They thought of themselves, their whims and their comfort first and only.  They believed that they had built their legacy on thinking and behavior that was everlasting.  Today we see that their plans were finite; they and their children came to an ugly end.  We might also remember two verses from Psalm 20: Some rely on chariots, others on horses, but we on the name of the Lord our God.  They collapse and fall, but we stand strong and firm.  (Psalm 20:8-9)

To be wise, to be foolish: the choice always lies before us.  To build on a firm foundation, to build on sand: the work is always before us.  To act out of self-interest, to act out of love for others: the action is always before us.  We may choose the path of Ahab and Jezebel and see our princes slaughtered.  Or we may act like Christ to be open and vulnerable to suffering . . . to be open to eternal joy and hope.

Adapted from a favorite written on December 4, 2008.

For more reflections on Jezebel, enter her name into the blog search bar and explore. 

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