Monday, September 24, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Maccabees 10:1-50 and 2 Timothy 4

1 Maccabees 10:1-50 – The port city of Ptolemais (Acca) is taken by Alexander Balas (Epiphanes). King Demetrius sends Jonathan a conciliatory letter to prevent him from joining up with this Balas against them. He gives him authority to raise an army (militia). Jonathan takes charge in Jerusalem and begins to rebuild the city. King Alexander hears of what Jonathan is doing and approaches him, to make friends with him. He offers to make him “high priest” of his nation. Jonathan then starts arming his people.

Demetrius hears of all this and likewise sends a message to Jonathan, reminding him of the pledge not to join with their enemies and releasing him and his people from an array of obligation to the empire. He also expands the territory Jonathan would have control of including the port city itself. He even offers to pay for reconstruction of the sanctuary.
Jonathan, however, refuses to accept these offers because they don’t trust Demetrius and think of all the bad things he did to them. They decide in favor of Alexander Balas. It winds up in a military confrontation which Alexander LOSES but in which Demetrius is killed.

2 Timothy 4 – Timothy must continue to preach the message that lies at the core of their faith. “The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear” (4:3).

Paul is in prison as he writes this letter to Timothy, and he says, “the hour has come for me to be sacrificed; the time is here for me to leave this life” (4:6). He feels he has done his best to run the race well. He prays that Timothy will be able to come to see him soon. He asks for him to bring the coat he forgot when he was in Troas – so personal a note! He asks Timothy to bring the books he left as well. He warns him about specific people. He sends personal greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and conveys the greetings of others who are with him.

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