Maccabees Bible Study Part 11
Chapter 11 begins with great betrayal, a common theme in the Old Testament. After giving his daughter to King Alexander, King Ptolemy of Egypt begins to get greedy and wants to take Asia and grow his kingdom. Knowing Demetrius’ hate of Alexander and the Jewish people, he gave his daughter to Demetrius as part of an alliance. Then he marches into Asia and takes the throne while Alexander is away. Alexander was defeated by Ptolemy and the latter died three days later making Demetrius sole ruler of all three kingdoms. Once again, he tried to make peace with the Jewish people and this time his terms were accepted. Everything seemed at peace in the kingdom but we all knew that wasn’t going to stand.
Demetrius would prove untrustworthy when he grows distant from Jonathan and doesn’t fulfill his promise of reward after winning in battle. So along comes Trypho with Alexander's youngest son Antiochus. They align themselves with the Jewish people and appoint Jonathan to the high priesthood as well as gifts of gold. Jonathan would later go to war with Demetrius and be abandoned by his entire army except for a few men and would miraculously win the battle.
This chapter offers two great lessons, one being when things seem settled and normal, don’t expect them to stay that way. We shouldn’t only praise God in the storm but during the sunshine too. Jonathan’s relentless faith allowed him to invoke the help of God and defeat any battle put in front of him. We also see God has favor on people who do the right thing. Jonathan not once after being crossed and betrayed fought out of vengeance, rather he seeks what’s best for his people, God’s people. Don’t put your trust in man but rather God.
For Friday, please read chapter 12 and 13.
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