We each have to decide for ourselves! We each need to make the choice! We can’t just go part way! We can’t just partially do it! We have to be in or out! We have to choose to obey or not! It’s time to choose! Choose wisely!
Ahab’s Last Stand
1Three years remained without war between Aram and Israel. 2Then it came about in the third year that King Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel said to his courtiers, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead is ours, yet we are still doing nothing to recover it from the hand of the king of Aram?” 4Then he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramot-gilead?” Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 5Jehoshaphat said further to the king of Israel, “Please inquire of Adonai for a word first,” 6So the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about 400 men, and asked them: “Should I march against Ramot-gilead to battle or should I refrain?” They responded, “Go up, for my Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.” 7But Jehoshaphat said: “Is there no longer a prophet of Adonai here that we may inquire of Him?” 8The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Yes, there is still one by whom we may inquire of Adonai—Micaiah son of Imlah—but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, only evil.” But Jehoshaphat said, “May the king not say so!” 9So the king of Israel summoned one of his eunuchs and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah quickly.” 10Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at a threshing-floor at the entrance of Samaria’s gate. All the prophets were prophesying before them. 11Now Zedekiah son of Chenaanah made himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says Adonai: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed!” 12Then all the prophets were prophesying so, saying, “Go up to Ramot-gilead and triumph! For Adonai will deliver it into the hand of the king!” 13Meanwhile the messenger that went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly declaring favor to the king. So please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14But Micaiah said, “As Adonai lives, what Adonai says to me, that will I speak.” 15Now when he came to the king, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we march to Ramot-gilead in battle or should we refrain?” “March and triumph!” he answered, “and Adonai will give it into the hand of the king.” 16But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to speak to me nothing but the truth in the Name of Adonai?” 17Then he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills, as sheep without a shepherd. Then Adonai said, ‘These have no master; let each of them return home in peace.’” 18And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he wouldn’t prophesy good concerning me, only evil?” 19Micaiah then continued, “Therefore hear the word of Adonai. I saw Adonai sitting on His throne, with all the hosts of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left. 20Then Adonai said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ One suggested this and another that, 21until a certain spirit came forward and stood before Adonai and said, ‘I will entice him.’ So Adonai asked him, ‘How?’ 22And he said: ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said: ‘You shall entice him and shall prevail also—go and do so.’ 23Now therefore, behold, Adonai has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and Adonai has decreed evil upon you.” 24Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah approached Micaiah, struck him on the cheek and said, “Which way did the Ruach Adonai pass from me to speak to you?” 25Micaiah replied, “Behold, you will see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide.” 26Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and take him back to Amon the city governor and to Joash the king’s son, 27and say, “Thus says the king: ‘Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him only bread and water until I return safely.’” 28Micaiah then said, “If you ever return safely, then Adonai has not spoken through me.” And he added, “Did you hear, all you people?” 29So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah marched to Ramot-gilead. 30Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into the battle, but you, put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into the battle. 31Now the king of Aram had commanded his 32 chariot commanders saying, “Do no single combat with anyone, small or great—except the king of Israel.” 32So when the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “He must be the king of Israel!” and they turned aside to do combat with him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 33When the captains of the chariots realized that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34But a man drew his bow aimlessly and struck the king of Israel between the lower armor and the breastplate. Then he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I’m wounded.” 35The battle raged that day, and the king remained propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. But he died at evening—and the blood ran out of the wound into the bottom of the chariot. 36As the sun was setting, a shout went throughout the army, saying, “Each man to his town, and each man to his land!” 37So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. 38Then they washed the chariot at the pool of Samaria where the harlots washed and the dogs licked up his blood—just as was the word of Adonai that He had spoken. 39Now the rest of Ahab’s deeds and all he did, including the ivory palace he built and all the cities he fortified, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40So Ahab slept with his fathers, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place.
Jehoshaphat of Judah
41Now Jehoshaphat son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king, and he reigned 25 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43He walked in all the ways of his father Asa, not straying from them, but doing what was right in Adonai’s eyes. 44However, they did not take away the high places, and the people continued to sacrifice and burn incense on the high places. 45Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. 46Now the rest of the deeds of Jehoshaphat along with his might that he showed and how he warred, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 47He expelled from the land the cult prostitutes remaining from the days of his father Asa. 48There was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 49Jehoshaphat made Tarshish ships go to Ophir for gold, but they never went, because the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 50Then Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants sail with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat refused. 51Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and his son Jehoram became king in his place. 52Ahaziah son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 53But he did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes and followed the way of his father, and the way of his mother, and the way of Jeroboam son of Nebat who caused Israel to sin. 54For he worshipped Baal and bowed down to him, vexing Adonai God of Israel, like all his father had done.
–from 1 Kings 22
How far will you go in your belief? Will you live out the sanctity of life? Will you value life? It’s good to know what you believe and what the truth is but we need to be able to go beyond that and share love! Just as Jesus did, we need to be able to shine hope and grace into the lives of the broken people around us! We can’t just be throwing our moral views around without love or else we become as Paul warns us to be just noise. God designed and created each of us on purpose for a purpose, to God none of us are accidents nor surprises for He is personally involved! God created people and set them up differently then the rest of His creation. God set people over other creation of earth! It’s important to have a biblical worldview or else life becomes about whoever has the most power is right rather than there being any absolutes. It becomes a slippery slope about the value of life if you don’t have the right view, for even when science proves there is life, then the measure changes. Is it when there are brain waves that life begins? Well science shows us that it begins at 6 weeks. Is it when the heart starts to beat? Well science shows us that it beings at 3-4 weeks after conception. In God’s plan and God’s Word we read that life begins at conception when the two parents DNA combine and God breathes a spirit into it. It wasn’t after you were born, for we read “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
So let’s make sure we have the right perspective! The right vantage point! Let’s make sure we have the right attitude! Let’s make sure we walk in God’s mercy and grace and are willing to share it! Let’s make sure that we are not loud gongs, but are speaking in love as Jesus spoke in love. Drawing people closer to God rather than pushing them away from God because of rules and regulations! Let’s not about the morale high road, it’s about loving people and loving God and allowing God’s grace to draw them in and be changed/transformed through the love of Christ that saved us too.
Jehosaphat Restores Judah to Torah
1Jehoshaphat his son became king in his place and took firm hold of his position against Israel. 2He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons throughout the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured. 3Adonai was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the first ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baalim 4but sought the God of his father, and walked in His mitzvot rather than the deeds of Israel. 5So Adonai established the kingdom in his hand, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat so that he had great riches and honor. 6His heart was devoted to the ways of Adonai. Furthermore he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah. 7Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials—Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah—to teach in the towns of Judah. 8With them were the Levites Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-adonijah and with them Elishama and Jehoram the kohanim. 9They taught throughout Judah, having with them a Torah scroll of Adonai. They went throughout all the towns of Judah and taught the people. 10Now the fear of Adonai fell on all the kingdoms of the lands around Judah, so that they did not make war with Jehoshaphat. 11Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute. The Arabs also brought him flocks—7,700 rams and 7,700 he-goats. 12So Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful. He built forts and storage cities in Judah 13and carried out extensive work in the cities of Judah. He had men of war, valiant warriors, in Jerusalem. 14These were their appointees according to their clans. From Judah, captains of thousands: Adnah the commander with 300,000 valiant warriors; 15and next to him Jehohanan the commander with 280,000; 16and next to him, Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to Adonai with 200,000 valiant warriors. 17From Benjamin: Eliada a valiant warrior with 200,000 men armed with bow and shield; 18and next to him Jehozabad with 180,000 equipped for war. 19These were the men who served the king besides those whom the king stationed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.
from 2 Chronicles 17
Let’s allow the love of God to shine in and through us! Let’s allow God’s grace and mercy to fill up those God sends into our paths! Let’s be peacemakers! Let’s be ambassadors of God! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the world around us! Let’s not push them away, let’s draw them into the hope that comes through a relationship with Jesus before it is too late! Sharing the truth that sets people free! Sharing truth that breaks the lies of the devil’s chains! Sharing words to name things so that they lose power for there is no name higher than the name of Jesus so by naming it we take away the power, the fear, the shame and replace with the hope that comes from Jesus!
Mother, Child, Dragon, and War
1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2She is pregnant—crying out in birth pains, in agony to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: a great fiery red dragon that had seven heads and ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads. 4His tail sweeps away a third of the stars of heaven—it hurled them to the earth. Now the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that whenever she gave birth he might devour her child. 5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away to God and to His throne. 6Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God so they might take care of her for 1,260 days. 7And war broke out in heaven, Michael and his angels making war against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought, 8but they were not strong enough, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down—the ancient serpent, called the devil and satan, who deceives the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Anointed One, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters—the one who accuses them before our God day and night—has been thrown out. 11They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives even in the face of death. 12Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you with great rage, knowing that his time is short. 13Now when the dragon saw that he had been thrown to the earth, he stalked the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14But the woman was given two wings of the great eagle, so that she might fly away from the presence of the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is taken care of—for a time, times, and half a time. 15And from out of his mouth, the serpent spewed water like a river after the woman, in order to sweep her away with a flood. 16But the earth came to the aid of the woman. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth. 17So the dragon became enraged at the woman and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring—those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yeshua. 18And he stood on the shore of the sea.
–from The Revelation 12
Jesus paid it all! None of us are good enough except by the grace of Jesus! He took the penalty! He took the charges! He overcame the grave and defeated eternal death in order to open up the door so that when we choose to follow Him, we can be saved and get to spend eternity in heaven with God rather than in hell apart from God! Jesus told us to remember Him every time we come together breaking bread! Let’s not forget that we’ve been bought with a price – the body and the blood of Jesus – who gave it all that we can choose Him and glorify Him! Let’s be humble and be servant leaders! Consider how much God loves you! Consider how much Jesus had to go through because of that love! For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son!
The Day before Pesach
1Now the Feast of Matzah, which is called Passover, was approaching. 2The ruling kohanim and Torah scholars were searching for a way to do away with Yeshua, for they were afraid of the people. 3Then satan entered into Judah, the one from Kriot, one of the twelve. 4And he went away and talked with the ruling kohanim and officers of the Temple guard about how he might deliver Yeshua over to them. 5They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6So he agreed and began looking for a chance to hand Yeshua over to them without a crowd. 7Then came the day of matzah when the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8Now Yeshua sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so we may eat.” 9Then they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?” 10And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters. 11And say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 12And with that, he will show you a large upper room, fully furnished. Make preparations there.” 13So they left and found just what Yeshua had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
The Seder in the Upper Room
14When the hour came, Yeshua reclined at table, and the emissaries with Him. 15And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16For I tell you, I will never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17And when He had taken a cup and offered the bracha, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18For I tell you that I will never drink of the fruit of the vine from now on, until the kingdom of God comes.” 19And when He had taken matzah and offered the bracha, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you. Do this in memory of Me.” 20In the same way, He took the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you. 21But look, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. 22For indeed, the Son of Man is going as has been predetermined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” 23So they began to discuss among themselves which of them it might be who would do this thing. 24But there was also a quarrel among them about which of them is considered the greatest. 25And Yeshua said to them, “The kings of the nations have mastery over them, and those exercising authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26But with you, it is not so. Rather, let the one who is greatest among you become like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who reclines or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines? But I am among you as one who serves. 28“You are the ones who have remained with Me in My times of testing. 29And just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, so I grant to you 30that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you shall sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31“Simon, Simon! Indeed, satan has demanded to sift you all like wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33But Simon said to Him, “Master, I am ready to go with You even to prison and to death!” 34But Yeshua said, “I tell you, Peter, a rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” 35And He said to them, “When I sent you out without a money pouch and travel bag and sandals, you didn’t lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36Then He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money pouch must carry it as well as a travel bag. And whoever does not own a sword must sell his cloak and buy one. 37For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me: ‘And he was counted with the lawless.’ For what is written about Me is being fulfilled.” 38But they said, “Master, look here! Two swords!” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
Yeshua Prays at the Mount of Olives
39And Yeshua came out and went as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. 40When he reached the place, He said to them, “Pray that you will not enter into temptation.” 41And He pulled back about a stone’s throw from them, got on His knees, and began to pray, 42saying, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. 44And in His anguish, He was praying fervently; and His sweat was like drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45When He rose up from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46And He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation.”
47While Yeshua was speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judah, one of the Twelve, approached Yeshua to kiss Him. 48But Yeshua said to him, “Judah, with a kiss you betray the Son of Man?” 49When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Master, shall we strike with the sword?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the kohen gadol and cut off his right ear. 51But Yeshua answered and said, “Stop this now!” And He touched the man’s ear and healed him. 52Then Yeshua said to the ruling kohanim, officers of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a revolutionary? 53Every day I was with you in the Temple, yet you did not lay a finger on Me. But this is yours—the hour and the power of darkness.” 54Then they seized Yeshua and led Him away and brought Him into the house of the kohen gadol . But Peter was following from a distance.
Denied Three Times
55Now they had lit a fire in the center of the courtyard and sat down together, and Peter was sitting among them. 56Then a servant girl saw him sitting at the fire. She looked straight at him and said, “This one was with Him too!” 57But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I don’t know Him!” 58A little later, another saw him and said, “You too are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59And about an hour later, another began to insist, saying, “Certainly this fellow was with Him, for he too is a Galilean!” 60But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” And immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61And the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.’ 62And Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Beaten by Roman Soldiers
63Now the men who were guarding Yeshua began mocking and beating Him. 64They blindfolded Him and kept asking Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who hit You?” 65And reviling Him, they were saying many other things against Him.
Brought Before the Council
66As it become day, the elders of the people gathered together, both ruling kohanim and Torah scholars, and they led Him away to their council, saying, 67“If You are Mashiach, tell us.” But Yeshua said to them, “If I tell you, you will never believe; 68and if I ask you, you will never answer. 69But from now on, the Son of Man is seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70Then they all said, “Are You then Ben-Elohim?” And to them He said, “You say that I am.” 71Then they said, “What further need do we have for testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth!”
–from Luke 22