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In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel : 37 and the carcase of Jezebel

37 In the portion where Naboth was shall be as dung upon the stoned. So surely will sin not gu face of the field in the

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unpunished. tion of Jezreel ; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

This history teaches that the divine anger, though sometimes delayed, pursues alike wicked princes and wicked subjects. We are also instructed to remember, that those who become companions and imitators of the wicked are involved, sooner or later, in the same judgments with them. Such is the unerring superintending providence of the Most High ; such the truth of his word ; such the exact measure of his justice ; such the sure accomplishment of his will.

The twelfth Sunday after Trinity.

MORNING. 2 Kings X. "AND Ahab had seventy sons

"The miserable sentence denounced in Samaria. And Jehu wrote against Ahab's posterity, though deletters, and sent to Samaria, divine threatenings may be for :

layed, is now to be executed. The unto the rulers of Jezreel, to time forborne, but they will at last the elders, and to them that be surely accomplished *. brought up Ahab's children, saying, Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour ;

look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house. But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Bebold, two kings stood not before him : how then shall we stand ? “And he that was

3 Thus fickle are the wicked! over the house, and he that

Whilst Ahab and Jezebel lived, the was over the city, the elders Samaritans were their friends ; but also, and the bringers up of no sooner does Jehu seize the throne

, the children, sent to Jehu,

than they transfer their friendship

to him ; and in token of sincerity, saying, We are thy servants, betray to death the posterity of their and will do all that thou former friends. The good man is shalt bid us; we will not

the faithful friend. make any king : do thou that which is good in thine eyes. Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take

ye

the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to

In 1 Kings xxi. 29, we read that even upon Ahab's imperfect repentance, the Lord deferred his vengeance; thereby proving that He breaketh not the bruised reed, nor quencheth the smoking flax.

Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being serenty persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up. And it

7 The same hands which aided in came to pass, when the letter

Naboth's murder, at the instigation came to them, that they took of Ahab and Jezebel, are now imthe king's sons, and slew brued in the blood of their posterity.

Who then can sin, and think to seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent

escape the sure anger of his God? him them to Jezreel. And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning. The work was of God, according * And it came to pass in the to his word. Of all which was foremorning, that he went out,

told, nothing fell to the earth lost or

unfulfilled. Jehu thus intimates, that and stood, and said to all the

he was only the instrument in the people, Ye be righteous: be- hand of Heaven to fulfil its own just hold, I conspired against my vengeance, and therefore not chargemaster, and slew him : but

able with cruelty. who slew all these? Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the Lord spake concerning the house of Ahab : for the Lord hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah. So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left bim none remaining. And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way, Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye! And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah ; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen. And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men ; neither left he any of them. And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him : and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord. So they made him ride in his chariot.

And when he came to Sa- 17 This sad judgment was a just maria, he slew all that re- punishment for the idolatry and mained unto Ahab in Sama- grievous offences of the sufferers. ria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah. And Jehu gathered all the

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people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little ; but Jehu shall serve him much. Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests ; let none be wanting : for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall he wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal. And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.

And they proclaimed it. And Jehu sent through all Israel : and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another. And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments. And Jebu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only. And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him. And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them ; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword: and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal. And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day. Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Beth-el, and that were in Dan. And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 31 But brought in again that false worship of

Jehu, as ungrateful as wicked, Jehu took no heed to walk the true God, which had been introin the law of the LORD God duced by Jeroboam, in the golden

calves of Dan and Bethel. of Israel with all his heart : for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. In those days the Lord began to cut Israel

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short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel ; from Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan. Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? And Jehu slept with his fathers : and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead. And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.

May we learn to shun the idols of our own hearts, and to serve God continually ; seorning a half-service, and a half-obedience. May we live to the Lord our God with all our hearts, and with all our minds, and with all our strength.

EVENING. 2 Kings xviii. Now it came to pass in the

10 the merciful providence of God! third year of Hoshea son of which raiseth up the best of Judali's

kings to meet the worst times, that Elah king of Israel, that He

he might save his kingdom from the zekiah the son of Ahaz king peril of idolatry at home, and the of Judah began to reign. danger of war from foreign foes. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign ; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He

5 How happy the sovereign who, trusted in the Lord God of rising above the allurements of pleaIsrael; so that after him was sure, bends every power to promote none like him among all the the honour of God, and uphold his kings of Judah, nor any that true religion. The brightest glory of were before him. For he

a prince is zeal in the service of God. clare to the Lord, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. And the LORD was with

7 When God is with us, all is well. him; and he prospered whi- Our light affliction, which is but for thersoever he went forth : a moment, worketh for us a far more and he rebelled against the exceeding and eternal weight of king of Assyria, and served glory*.

We may be in difficulties even then, as was the good king Hezekiah. Even he struggled vainly against his tribute to the Assyrian. But in the

him not. He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Heze. kiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of el, Samaria was taken. And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and the cities of the Medes: 'because they

12 The temporal prosperity and adobeyed not the voice of the versity of Israel were according to Lord their God, but trans- their obedience or disobedience. The gressed his covenant, and all record is for our learning. Nations, that Moses the servant of the collectively, can be rewarded or LORD commanded, and would

punished only in this world. Let

us then of this nation take heed; not hear them, nor do them. and having the covenant, not fail of Now in the fourteenth year

its conditions, lest we fail of its of king Hezekiah did Senna- blessings, and perish in our sin. cherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house. At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field. And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the houshold, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder. And Rab-shakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

extended sense of the term, Hezekiah prospered ; for God, though be delayed blessing, was working for him a far more glorious deliverance.

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