What do you do when you don’t know what to do?


Do what you know how to do!

You are at a crossroads and need to make a decision, what do you do?

You are at a decision point in your life and need to decide, what do you do?

You are hearing about the state of the world and need to decide where you stand, what do you do?

You are hearing about wars and rumors of wars, you are hearing about natural disasters including floods and fires, what do you think it means, what do you do?

You are hearing about the threat of the end of the world, what do you do?

Who do you believe? What do you believe? Where does your hope come from? Where does you help come from? Where will you turn? Where can you turn? How will you decide? How will you know real from fake? How will you know true from false? What do you do? How do you know?

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. What do I do? I turn to God and pray. I trust in Him with all my heart. I lean not on my own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge Him. Worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything. I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I ask, I seek, and I knock.

How about you? Don’t be deceived! Don’t get mixed up or confused between the world’s way and God’s way!


What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Turn to God’s Words for answers, for me I choose a devotional at the beginning of the year (or whenever I finish the previous reading) which brings me through the Bible and allow God to speak to me throughout the year through His Word because He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, nothing comes as a surprise and so He is able to speak to me right where I am at with and through His Word found in the Bible. My current reading is coming from Read the Bible for Life 4 + 1 Plan. I pray so that the Holy Spirit can point me in the right direction and cover me with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 305 of 312)

  • Nehemiah 12
  • Zechariah 3
  • Zechariah 4
  • Acts 26:12-23
  • Revelation 19:11-21
  • Psalms 143

Can you never get too far away to be able to turn back to God. You may have gone on your long journey away or apart from God. Why not turn back to God today?

Will you try to rush things or are you willing to work through it at a normal pace? Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and allow Him to renew your strength? Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and listen to what He has to say?

Will you start with purifying yourself before you start trying to go around and purifying others?

Will you use the tools and instruments God has given you to use to accomplish His will and His purpose?

Will you give thanks? Will you be generous in your life?

Will you choose to listen and trust God’s Word which is true and desires that you have life and life more abundantly rather than the lies and deception of the devil who is trying to rob, kill and destroy you?

We can trust in God because it is not by force nor by strength but by the Spirit of God that all things are possible. In God’s power nothing can stand against it.

Will you speak to what God has done in and through your life when people ask of you?

Will you tell or speak or testify to what God has done in and through you?

We need to turn back to God and ask for forgiveness for the things we have done wrong.

‘I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do. ‘

Acts of the Apostles 26:20

Are you ready for the return of Jesus as He comes from heaven for the final battle? Will do decide before it is too late to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

‘Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.” Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.’

Revelation 19:11-21

Will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to spend eternity apart from God with the devil?

Ask God who will hear your prayer and is faithful.

Don’t lose hope or paralyzed by fear because of the darkness around you. Turn to God and don’t be stuck in depression but instead start to do God’s will and for His glory forgive others and pursue God and His righteousness.


So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

Beware of wolf in sheep’s clothing.


So you are walking out God’s purpose and plan for you life. Now you get faced with a new situation. How do you respond? If it sounds like an offer that is too good to be true, will you turn to God for wisdom? If it sounds like it could be a setup, will you turn to God for wisdom? If it sounds normal or expected, will you turn to God for wisdom? Can you tell which one it is? It may be harder than you think. What if they are lying or misleading you? Without asking God and following the prompting and direction of the Holy Spirit, you can be mislead and tricked into a deal that could haunt you for the rest of your life. So don’t assume, turn to God instead. Don’t accept, turn to God instead. Ask, Seek, Knock! Then do what God prompts and instructs you to do instead.


Today’s reading starts with the book of Joshua:

‘Now all the kings west of the Jordan River heard about what had happened. These were the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who lived in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea as far north as the Lebanon mountains. These kings combined their armies to fight as one against Joshua and the Israelites. But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua, loading their donkeys with weathered saddlebags and old, patched wineskins. They put on worn-out, patched sandals and ragged clothes. And the bread they took with them was dry and moldy. When they arrived at the camp of Israel at Gilgal, they told Joshua and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land to ask you to make a peace treaty with us.” The Israelites replied to these Hivites, “How do we know you don’t live nearby? For if you do, we cannot make a treaty with you.” They replied, “We are your servants.” “But who are you?” Joshua demanded. “Where do you come from?” They answered, “Your servants have come from a very distant country. We have heard of the might of the Lord your God and of all he did in Egypt. We have also heard what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River—King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan (who lived in Ashtaroth). So our elders and all our people instructed us, ‘Take supplies for a long journey. Go meet with the people of Israel and tell them, “We are your servants; please make a treaty with us.”’ “This bread was hot from the ovens when we left our homes. But now, as you can see, it is dry and moldy. These wineskins were new when we filled them, but now they are old and split open. And our clothing and sandals are worn out from our very long journey.” So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord . Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. Three days after making the treaty, they learned that these people actually lived nearby! The Israelites set out at once to investigate and reached their towns in three days. The names of these towns were Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. But the Israelites did not attack the towns, for the Israelite leaders had made a vow to them in the name of the Lord , the God of Israel. The people of Israel grumbled against their leaders because of the treaty. But the leaders replied, “Since we have sworn an oath in the presence of the Lord , the God of Israel, we cannot touch them. This is what we must do. We must let them live, for divine anger would come upon us if we broke our oath. Let them live.” So they made them woodcutters and water carriers for the entire community, as the Israelite leaders directed. Joshua called together the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you lie to us? Why did you say that you live in a distant land when you live right here among us? May you be cursed! From now on you will always be servants who cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.” They replied, “We did it because we—your servants—were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses to give you this entire land and to destroy all the people living in it. So we feared greatly for our lives because of you. That is why we have done this. Now we are at your mercy—do to us whatever you think is right.” So Joshua did not allow the people of Israel to kill them. But that day he made the Gibeonites the woodcutters and water carriers for the community of Israel and for the altar of the Lord —wherever the Lord would choose to build it. And that is what they do to this day.’

Joshua 9

Today’s reading then continues into the book of Isaiah:

‘“But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one. The Lord who made you and helps you says: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, O dear Israel, my chosen one. For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank. Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord .’ Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’ Some will write the Lord ’s name on their hands and will take the name of Israel as their own.” This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock—not one!” How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame. Who but a fool would make his own god— an idol that cannot help him one bit? All who worship idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen—mere humans— who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame. The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool, pounding and shaping it with all his might. His work makes him hungry and weak. It makes him thirsty and faint. Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine. He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain. Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it! He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.” Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. “Rescue me!” he says. “You are my god!” Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?” The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”

“Pay attention, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the Lord , made you, and I will not forget you. I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing. Shout for joy, O depths of the earth! Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and is glorified in Israel. This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer and Creator: “I am the Lord , who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth? I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools. But I carry out the predictions of my prophets! By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’ and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt; I will restore all your ruins!’ When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’ they will be dry. When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”’

Isaiah 44

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament with the book of Matthew:

‘Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?” Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.’

Matthew 26:36-56

Today’s reading continues into the book of Philippians:

‘Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!’

Philippians 3:1-11

Today’s reading then closes in the book of Psalms:

‘O Lord , hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord . Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked. Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil. You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers. Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. Lead me in the right path, O Lord , or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery. O God, declare them guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord ; you surround them with your shield of love.’

Psalms 5

Will you allow fear to make you do something deceiving? Will you trust in God rather than fear men?


Are things getting tough? Are you starting to worry or be anxious about it? Is it triggering fear? Is the fear making you do something that is untrue?

Let’s start today’s reading in Genesis 26 with Isaac.

‘A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar. When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.” But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah. Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” “Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied. “How could you do this to us?” Abimelech exclaimed. “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.” Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”

When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham. Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.” So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them. Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.” From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord . He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.

One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander. “Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.” They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the Lord has blessed you!” So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together. Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace. That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. “We’ve found water!” they exclaimed. So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means “oath”). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”). At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.’

Genesis 26

Do you realize that you lies and deception triggered out of worry and fear has the chance to actually cause other to do wrong? Do you realize that you are setting others up to fall into a trap or pit? Trust God! Take hold of the golden rule to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. We have each been created on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose. Let’s continue to read from our devotional into 1 Chronicles 23.

‘When David was an old man, he appointed his son Solomon to be king over Israel. David summoned all the leaders of Israel, together with the priests and Levites. All the Levites who were thirty years old or older were counted, and the total came to 38,000. Then David said, “From all the Levites, 24,000 will supervise the work at the Temple of the Lord . Another 6,000 will serve as officials and judges. Another 4,000 will work as gatekeepers, and 4,000 will praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have made.” Then David divided the Levites into divisions named after the clans descended from the three sons of Levi—Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

The Gershonite family units were defined by their lines of descent from Libni and Shimei, the sons of Gershon. Three of the descendants of Libni were Jehiel (the family leader), Zetham, and Joel. These were the leaders of the family of Libni. Three of the descendants of Shimei were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. Four other descendants of Shimei were Jahath, Ziza, Jeush, and Beriah. Jahath was the family leader, and Ziza was next. Jeush and Beriah were counted as a single family because neither had many sons.

Four of the descendants of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were set apart to dedicate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices in the Lord ’s presence, to serve the Lord , and to pronounce blessings in his name forever. As for Moses, the man of God, his sons were included with the tribe of Levi. The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. The descendants of Gershom included Shebuel, the family leader. Eliezer had only one son, Rehabiah, the family leader. Rehabiah had numerous descendants. The descendants of Izhar included Shelomith, the family leader. The descendants of Hebron included Jeriah (the family leader), Amariah (the second), Jahaziel (the third), and Jekameam (the fourth). The descendants of Uzziel included Micah (the family leader) and Isshiah (the second).

The descendants of Merari included Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died with no sons, only daughters. His daughters married their cousins, the sons of Kish. Three of the descendants of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth. These were the descendants of Levi by clans, the leaders of their family groups, registered carefully by name. Each had to be twenty years old or older to qualify for service in the house of the Lord . For David said, “The Lord , the God of Israel, has given us peace, and he will always live in Jerusalem. Now the Levites will no longer need to carry the Tabernacle and its furnishings from place to place.” In accordance with David’s final instructions, all the Levites twenty years old or older were registered for service. The work of the Levites was to assist the priests, the descendants of Aaron, as they served at the house of the Lord . They also took care of the courtyards and side rooms, helped perform the ceremonies of purification, and served in many other ways in the house of God. They were in charge of the sacred bread that was set out on the table, the choice flour for the grain offerings, the wafers made without yeast, the cakes cooked in olive oil, and the other mixed breads. They were also responsible to check all the weights and measures. And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him. They assisted with the burnt offerings that were presented to the Lord on Sabbath days, at new moon celebrations, and at all the appointed festivals. The required number of Levites served in the Lord ’s presence at all times, following all the procedures they had been given. And so, under the supervision of the priests, the Levites watched over the Tabernacle and the Temple and faithfully carried out their duties of service at the house of the Lord .’

1 Chronicles 23

We each a have a purpose and should pursue it. We shouldn’t be comparing our purpose to others because we have each been given a purpose that was set in place with purpose and for a purpose. So let’s take hold of God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Let’s do what God leads us to do through His Word and His Spirit so that in and through it all He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Today’s reading continues into John 7.

‘Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked. So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.” The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”’

John 7:14-24

So we need to get to the heart of the matter. We need to consider the motives behind the things we do and avoid doing. We need to take hold of the leading and directing of the Spirit and walk by faith rather than allowing the lies of the enemy of our soul to rob us of the incredible joy and peace that comes from God. Let’s look beneath the surface in order to better understand. Let’s look beneath the surface so that we can take that understanding do live out our lives by faith giving God all the praise, the honor, and the glory. Today’s reading continues into Galatians 3.

‘Dear brothers and sisters, here’s an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children, ” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.’

Galatians 3:15-29

So let’s not go it alone. Let’s receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts so that we can be saved and born again. Let’s live our lives by faith in Jesus – new creations, the old is gone and the new has come. Let’s live our lives by faith demonstrating how we are lead by the Spirit and saved by grace through faith so that none of us can boast because it is not us but Christ in us that is making the difference. Let’s take hold of the promises of God and live out our today by the strength and courage and boldness that comes by faith in Jesus and allowing the joy of the Lord to strengthen us each and every step of the way. Jesus made a way when there wasn’t a way. Jesus came to break the power of sin and death over us. So we no longer need to fear but rather we can live in belief of God and allow Jesus working in and through us to lead us and guide through this life and into eternity where we will get to see Him face to face in heaven.

As we close, let’s meditate on today’s Psalm from Psalms 18.

‘I love you, Lord ; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the Lord , who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord ; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dark rain clouds. Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him and rained down hail and burning coals. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals. He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused. Then at your command, O Lord , at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. The Lord rewarded me for doing right; he restored me because of my innocence. For I have kept the ways of the Lord ; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. I have followed all his regulations; I have never abandoned his decrees. I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. The Lord rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence. To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud. You light a lamp for me. The Lord , my God, lights up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. God’s way is perfect. All the Lord ’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord ? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. I chased my enemies and caught them; I did not stop until they were conquered. I struck them down so they could not get up; they fell beneath my feet. You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet. You placed my foot on their necks. I have destroyed all who hated me. They called for help, but no one came to their rescue. They even cried to the Lord , but he refused to answer. I ground them as fine as dust in the wind. I swept them into the gutter like dirt. You gave me victory over my accusers. You appointed me ruler over nations; people I don’t even know now serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they submit; foreign nations cringe before me. They all lose their courage and come trembling from their strongholds. The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted! He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he subdues the nations under me and rescues me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents. For this, O Lord , I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name. You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever.’

Psalms 18

What type of legislators are there?


I know there are some who go in with a servant leadership heart and desires to serve the people that elected them. I know there are some that seek God’s wisdom in every decision they need to make. I know there are some that God uses for big initiatives. I know there are some that have a good heart and allow God to use them for the greater good. They are supposed to be a blessing to us based on what it says in the bible.

I also know there are some who are unjust. I know there are some who put on a certain persona because they think it is more about them and less about their job to serve the people. I know there are some who believe they are above the laws and look to work their way around it. I know there are some who act whatever way will help them advance. There are some who are in it for the money and the power. There are some that have said they believe one thing but then later turn on something that is foundational for their own purposes.

So be aware of the character of the people who are there. Be aware and discerning about the people who are trying to get into positions of leadership. Pray for wisdom about their true intentions. As election season approaches we need to be even more discerning about the character of the people who are running for election. Party doesn’t necessarily speak to the reality of what they believe. Former politicians aren’t immune either and sometimes it isn’t until they are out of the government that we discover where they really stood.

Could you vote for someone who is a liar? Could you vote for someone who is a cheater? Could you vote for someone who is an abuser? Could you vote for someone who would sell out the country? state? province? county? city? Could you vote for someone who is disobeying the laws? How could you trust they would enforce them?

Just like with everything in life, we will be given choices and we have to choose. In some cases people consider there to be 3 choices – (1) Vote for person 1, (2) Vote for person 2, (3) Don’t vote. Do you realize that option (3) gives up your say in the process and that in many cases it means the person you wanted least could win? The process says one of them will win. So do you want to help choose or have to deal with the consequences?

Are you a legislator? What type are you? What is your character? How do you view the role? Is it a blessing where you get to serve people? Is it a power grab where you get to wave authority over people?

Beware the consequence you are setting up the country for…

Take heart that there is a group who are just and walking aligned with God!


Today’s reading begins on this topic in Isaiah 10…

Oy to Unjust Legislators

1Oy to those enacting unjust decrees and recording corrupt legislation, 2to deprive the helpless of justice and rob the rights of the poor of My people, so that widows may be their spoil and orphans their prey! 3What will you do in the day of visitation, when desolation comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth? 4One can only crouch among the captives or collapse among the slain. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched.

Assyria, the Rod

5Oy to Assyria, the rod of My anger— the club in their hand is My indignation! 6I am sending it against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My fury I am commissioning it, to take spoil and plunder, to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7Yet that is not what Assyria intends, nor is that what he is thinking about. Rather his heart is to destroy, and to cut down nations—only a few! 8For he says: “Aren’t all my princes kings? 9Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus? 10As my hand has reached the kingdoms of the idols—with more graven images than Jerusalem and Samaria— 11as I’ve done to Samaria and her idols, won’t I also do to Jerusalem and her idols?” 12Therefore it will come to pass, when Adonai finishes all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glorying of his haughty eyes.” 13For he said: “By the strength of my own hand I’ve done it, and my own wisdom, for I am shrewd! I abolished the borders of peoples, and plundered their treasures. As a mighty one I cast down inhabitants. 14My hand found the riches of the peoples as a nest—like gathering forsaken eggs, I have gathered the entire earth. Not a wing fluttered, not a beak opened or chirped!” 15Should the axe boast against the One who chops with it? Should the saw magnify itself against the One who wields it? It would be like a rod waving the One who lifts it, or like a staff hoisting up the One who is not wood! 16Therefore will the Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot, send leanness among his fat ones. Under its glory He will kindle a burning like a blazing fire. 17So the light of Israel will become a fire, and its Holy One a flame. He will burn and consume its thorns and briers in one day. 18Both the glory of his forest and his fruitful field, he will consume, both soul and body. It will be like a sick man wasting away. 19The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few, a child could record them.

A Remnant Will Return

20Yet it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel— those of the house of Jacob who escaped— will never again depend on the one who struck them down, but will depend upon Adonai, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21A remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. 22For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed. Justice overflows. 23For a complete destruction, as decreed, will Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot make throughout the whole land. 24Therefore thus says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot: “O My people dwelling in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria, though he strike you with the war-club, and lift up his rod against you, as Egypt did. 25“For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent, and My anger will turn to their destruction.” 26Adonai-Tzva’ot will stir up against him a scourge, as in the slaughter of Midian at the Rock of Oreb. As His staff was over the sea, so will He lift it up, as He did in Egypt. 27In that day his burden will be taken off your shoulders, and his yoke off your neck. Indeed, the yoke will be broken because of fatness.

Assyria Advancing

28He has come to Aiath, and passed through Migron. At Michmas he deposited his supplies. 29They have crossed over the pass. They have taken up lodging at Geba. Ramah is terrified; Gibeath-shaul has fled. 30Shriek your cry, daughter of Gallim! Listen, O Laish! O poor Anathoth! 31Madmenah has fled. The inhabitants of Gebim take cover. 32This very day he will halt at Nob. He shakes his fist at the mountain of the Daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33Behold, the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot will lop off the branches with terror! So the tall ones will be cut down and the lofty ones laid low. 34Yes, He will hack down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon with its majesty will fall.

–from Isaiah 10

We need to call on Jesus! We need to lean on Him! We need His wisdom! We need His truth!

Ask the Holy Spirit to be your counselor and your guide! Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your path! Lean not on your own understanding but allow God to straighten your path!

The Branch From David

1Then a shoot will come forth out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch will bear fruit out of His roots. 2The Ruach of Adonai will rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and insight, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Adonai. 3His delight will be in the fear of Adonai. He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor decide by what His ears hear. 4But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the poor of the land. He will strike the land with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5Also righteousness will be the belt around His loins, and faithfulness the belt around His waist.

Messianic Age of Shalom

6The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the yearling together, and a little child will lead them. 7The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox. 8A nursing child will play by a cobra’s hole, and a weaned child will put his hand into a viper’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Adonai, as the waters cover the sea.

Second Return from Diaspora

10It will also come about in that day that the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek for Him, and His resting place will be glorious. 11It will also come about in that day that my Lord will again redeem— a second time with His hand— the remnant of His people who remain from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12He will lift up a banner for the nations, and assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13Ephraim’s envy will end, those hostile to Judah will be cut off. Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim. 14They will swoop down on the Philistine slope to the west. Together they will plunder the children of the east— laying their hand on Edom and Moab, the children of Ammon obeying them. 15Then Adonai will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea. He will wave His hand over the River with His scorching wind, and will strike it into seven streams, and let men walk over in sandals. 16So there will be a highway for the remnant of His people who remain, from Assyria, as there was for Israel in the day they came up out of the land of Egypt.

–from Isaiah 11

We don’t need to put our hope in government because they don’t have all the answers. We don’t need to put all our trust in government because they don’t have all the power. We don’t need to give them all the authority or power – we can delegate it for a period of time, but we then need to help them stay accountable!

God’s Word shows us the way! God’s people should be taking care of the people! Rather than delegating taxes to try to take care of everyone, imagine if everyone tithed and gave to their church the impact it would have on the local community. God’s instruction manual is available (the bible)! God’s roadmap is available (the bible)! God’s love letter is available (the bible)!

Wells of Salvation

1In that day you will say: “I will give You thanks, Adonai, for though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2Behold, God is my salvation! I will trust and will not be afraid. For the Lord Adonai is my strength and my song. He also has become my salvation.” 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4In that day you will say: “Give thanks to Adonai. Proclaim His Name! Declare His works to the peoples, so they remember His exalted Name. 5Sing to Adonai, for He has done gloriously. Let this be known in all the earth. 6Cry out and shout, inhabitant of Zion! For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

–from Isaiah 12

Want the truth? Do you really want it and not just trying to trip up or trick someone? Turn to God! Ask Jesus to give you wisdom for your situation! Have you been born again? Have you joined God’s family (been adopted into it) by asking Jesus into your heart and asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Will you believe what God has to say? Will you believe what God’s Word speaks? Will you believe the words of Jesus? Even without seeing it, will you believe it?

Do you know why Jesus came?

A Pharisee Comes Seeking Truth

1Now there was a man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jewish people. 2He came to Yeshua at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You, a teacher, have come from God. For no one can perform these signs which You do unless God is with Him!” 3Yeshua answered him, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus said to Him. “He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” 5Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be surprised that I said to you, ‘You all must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

The Father’s Love Revealed

9“How can these things happen?” Nicodemus said. 10Yeshua answered him, “You’re a teacher of Israel and you do not understand these things? 11Amen, amen I tell you, We speak about what We know and testify about what We have seen. Yet you all do not receive Our testimony! 12If you do not believe the earthly things I told you, how will you believe when I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has gone up into heaven except the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life! 16“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. 18The one who believes in Him is not condemned; but whoever does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not put his trust in the name of the one and only Ben-Elohim. 19“Now this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and men loved the darkness instead of the light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 21But whoever practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be made known that his deeds have been accomplished in God.”

The Living Word, Source of Life

22Afterwards, Yeshua and His disciples came to the land of Judea. There He was staying with them and immersing. 23Now John also was immersing at Aenon near Salim, because much water was there and many were coming and being immersed; 24for John had not yet been thrown into prison. 25Now an argument came up between John’s disciples and a Judean concerning purification. 26They came to John and said, “Rabbi, the One who was with you beyond the Jordan, the One you testified about—look, He is immersing, and all are coming to Him!” 27John answered, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but rather, ‘I am sent before Him.’ 29The one who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the best man rejoices when he stands and hears the bridegroom’s voice. So now my joy is complete! 30He must increase, while I must decrease.” 31The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaks. The One who comes from heaven is above all. 32And what He has seen and heard, He testifies to that; yet no one receives His testimony. 33Whoever receives His testimony has certified that God is true. 34The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Ruach without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has given everything into His hand. 36He who trusts in the Son has eternal life. He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

–from John 3

 

It’s time to decide…


Which way will you go? Who will you follow? How will you live? What will that look like? Where will that take you? When will you choose? When will you decide?

It’s time to decide!


If the people before you were heading the wrong way, will you follow? If the people before were heading the wrong way, will you turn around and head in the right direction? It’s now in your hands so choose wisely!

1Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. 2He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 3He walked in all the sins of his father which he had done before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to Adonai his God, like the heart of his father David. 4Nevertheless, for David’s sake, Adonai his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, raising up his son after him and establishing Jerusalem. 5For David did what was right in Adonai’s eyes and did not turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 6As there had been war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life, 7so there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. The rest of the deeds of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 8Then Abijam slept with his fathers so they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place.

Asa Starts Out Right

9In the twentieth year of King Jeroboam of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah. 10He reigned 41 years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11Now Asa did what was right in Adonai’s eyes, like his father David. 12He also expelled the male prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13Also he deposed his mother Maacah from being queen mother, because she had made an abominable image as an Asherah pole. So Asa cut down her image and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14But they did not take away the high places. Nevertheless Asa’s heart was wholly devoted to Adonai all his days. 15He brought into the House of Adonai the consecrated things of his father as well as his own consecrated things of silver, gold, and utensils. 16Now there was war between Asa and King Baasa of Israel all their days. 17King Baasa of Israel marched against Judah, and he built up Ramah to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to King Asa of Judah. 18Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasuries of Adonai’s House and the treasuries of the royal palace, and delivered them into the hand of his officials. King Asa sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, son of Hezion, king of Aram, who resided in Damascus, saying: 19“Let there be a treaty between me and you, as it was between my father and your father. I have just sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with King Baasa of Israel, so that he may withdraw from me.” 20So Ben-Hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, conquering Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah and all Chinneroth, as well as all the land of Naphtali. 21When Baasa heard it, he stopped fortifying Ramah and remained in Tirzah. 22Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—none was exempted—and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber which Baasa had built. Then King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah with them. 23Now the rest of all the deeds of Asa, all his might, all he did and the cities that he built—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and his son Jehoshaphat became king his place.

End of Jeroboam’s Line

25Nadab son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of King Asa of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26He also did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, walking in the way of his father and in his sins that he caused Israel to commit. 27Then Baasa son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasa struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging Gibbethon. 28So Baasa slew him, in the third year of King Asa of Judah, and became king in his place. 29As soon as he became king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not spare Jeroboam anything with breath until he had destroyed him, just as was the word of Adonai that He spoke by the hand of His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and caused Israel to commit, by which he utterly provoked Adonai, God of Israel. 31Now the rest of the deeds of Nadab and all he did—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 32So there was war between Asa and King Baasa of Israel all their days. 33In the third year of King Asa of Judah, Baasa son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, reigning 24 years. 34He did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and followed the way of Jeroboam and the sin that he had made Israel commit.

–from 1 Kings 15

Will you start strong? Will continue strong? Will you finish strong? Trust God in and through it all!

Asa’s Reforms Bring Adonai’s Rest

1Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of Adonai his God. 2He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. 3He commanded Judah to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, and to obey the Torah and the mitzvah. 4He also removed the high places and the incense stands out of all the cities of Judah. So the kingdom remained untroubled under him. 5He built up fortified cities in Judah, for the land was untroubled and he was not engaged in warfare during those years because Adonai had given him rest. 6Then he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is still ours because we have sought Adonai Eloheinu. We sought Him and He has given us rest all around.” So they built and were successful.

Appeal to Defeat the Cushites

7Now Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah who bore shields and spears and 280,000 from Benjamin who bore shields and drew bows. All of these were valiant warriors. 8Then Zerah the Cushite marched against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots. When he arrived at Mareshah, 9Asa went out to meet him and they arrayed for battle in the valley of Zephath at Mareshah. 10Then Asa cried to Adonai his God and said, “Adonai, there is no one like You to help in battle between the mighty and the powerless. Help us, Adonai Eloheinu, for we rely on You and in Your Name we have come against this multitude. You are Adonai Eloheinu! Let no man prevail against You.” 11So Adonai struck down the Cushites before Asa and before Judah. The Cushites fled 12and Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So many of the Cushites fell that they could not recover because they were shattered before Adonai and before His army. They carried away very much spoil. 13They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the terror from Adonai came on them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much spoil in them. 14They also attacked the tents of herdsmen and carried off many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

–from 2 Chronicles 14

Stick with God! Don’t stray from Him! Build up your relationship and trust in Him! Don’t turn away from Him! Walk through life with Him! Be patient! Be obedient! Be true! Finish strong and receive the reward!

Prophets Encourage Further Reforms

1The Ruach Elohim came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2He went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Listen to me Asa, all Judah and Benjamin. Adonai is with you as long as you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will spurn you. 3For many days Israel was without the true God, without a teaching kohen and without Torah. 4But in their distress they turned to Adonai, the God of Israel, and sought Him, and He was found by them. 5In those times there was no shalom for anyone coming or going, for there were many conflicts among all the inhabitants of the lands. 6Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. 7But you, chazak! Do not let your hands be slack for there is reward for your labor.” 8When Asa heard these words as well as the prophecy of the prophet Oded, he took courage and removed the abominations from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns that he had seized in the hill country of Ephraim. He also repaired Adonai’s altar that was in front of Adonai’s entryway. 9He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, as well as those dwelling with them from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon—for many had defected to him from Israel when they saw that Adonai his God was with him. 10So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11On that day they sacrificed to Adonai 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep from the spoil that they had brought. 12They entered into a covenant to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. 13Whoever would not seek Adonai, God of Israel, would be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14They also made an oath to Adonai with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets and with shofarot. 15All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their will and He was found by them. Then Adonai gave them rest all around. 16He also deposed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from being queen because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her abominable image, crushed it and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17Though the high places were not removed from Israel, still Asa’s heart was completely committed to Adonai all his days. 18He brought into the House of God his father’s consecrated articles, as well as his consecrated articles of silver and gold, and utensils.

–from 2 Chronicles 15

Keep your eyes on God! Remember His faithfulness! Turn to God first for answers, as you did when you first believed! Don’t allow fear to be the motivation or driver! Fear Not, Just Believe! Don’t be fooled! Don’t be tricked! Don’t allow pride to get in the way of all God had planned! Stand firm! Put on the full armor of God! Finish strong!

Asa Backslides

1In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasa of Israel marched against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from leaving or coming to King Asa of Judah. 2In response, Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the House of Adonai and from the royal palace, and sent them to King Ben-hadad of Aram who lived in Damascus saying, 3“Let there be a covenant between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Look, I have sent you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with King Baasha of Israel so that he may withdraw from me.” 4So Ben-hadad consented to King Asa’s request and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel. They ravaged Ijon, Dan, Abelmaim and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 5When Baasa heard, he stopped building Ramah and stopped his work. 6Then King Asa took up all of Judah to carry away the stones of Ramah and the timber with which Baasa had been building—with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah. 7At that time the seer Hanani came to King Asa of Judah and said to him: “Because you have depended on the king of Aram, and not depended on Adonai your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. 8Were not the Cushites and the Libyans a mighty army with many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on Adonai, He delivered them into your hand. 9For the eyes of Adonai range throughtout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are wholly His. You have acted foolishly in this matter. Indeed, from now on you will have wars.” 10Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the prison for he was enraged at him for this. Also Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. 11Behold, the acts of Asa, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12Now in the thirty-nineth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet. His illness was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek Adonai but physicians. 13Finally Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14He was buried in his own tomb, which he had hewn out for himself in the city of David. They laid him in his resting place, which was filled with sweet spices and various blended perfumes and they made a very large fire for him.

–from 2 Chronicles 16

It’s time to choose before it is too late! It’s time to ask Jesus into your heart and to start that relationship with Him! It’s time to be filled up and encouraged by Him and begin the journey as the new you, as the new creation with the old gone and the new, born again! It’s time to choose to be different! It’s time to choose to make a difference! It’s time to live out a life of faith that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory! It’s time to choose life! It’s time to choose now in order to get to experience the greater things of God!

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

1Then I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2I looked, and behold, there was a white horse. The one riding on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him. He went out as a conqueror so he might conquer. 3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 4Then another horse came out, fiery red. The one riding on it was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. He was given a great sword. 5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” And behold, I saw a black horse. The one riding on it held a balance scale in his hand. 6Then I heard something like a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius—but do no harm to the oil and wine!” 7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature saying, “Come!” 8Behold, I saw a horse, pale greenish gray. The name of the one riding on it was Death, and Sheol was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword and by famine and by plague and by the wild beasts of the earth. 9When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those slaughtered for the sake of the word of God and for the witness they had. 10And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “O Sovereign Master, holy and true, how long before You judge those who dwell on the earth and avenge our blood?” 11Then a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants was complete—their brothers and sisters who were to be killed as they had been. 12I saw when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as black as sackcloth made of goat’s hair, and the full moon became like blood. 13The stars of heaven fell to the earth like a fig tree drops unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14The heaven ripped apart like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from their places. 15Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the military commanders and the rich and the mighty and everyone—slave and free—hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16And they tell the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

–from The Revelation 6

How much pain do you want to suffer? How much pain do you want to endure?

It’s time to choose! It’s time to decide!

 

 

 

Don’t let your eyes wander! Don’t get tripped up!


There are many temptations out there. There are many slippery slopes we can find ourselves on. There are many deceptions trying to trip us up.

Let’s not grow wearying in doing what is good! Let’s key our eyes from wandering and leading us into trouble! From a glimpse to a look to a stare…the progression can be troubling if we don’t get a hold of it and get life under control.

Protect your character! How will you live to demonstrate your character? Don’t get tripped up and escalate what happened from bad to worse!

Consider what happened to David and Uriah as an example and a warning…

David Commits Adultery and Murder

1Now it came to pass at the turn of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his officials with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the children of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. 2One evening David rose from his bed and strolled on the roof of the royal palace. Then from the roof he saw a woman washing—a very beautiful woman. 3So David sent someone to inquire about the woman, and he reported, “Isn’t this Bath-sheba, daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4Then David sent messengers and took her when she came to him, and he lay with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness). Then she returned to her house. 5The woman conceived and sent word to David saying, “I’m pregnant.” 6So David sent a message to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the troops fared, and how the war was going. 8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” When Uriah left the royal palace, a present from the king followed him. 9But Uriah slept at the door of the royal palace with all his master’s servants, and did not go down to his house. 10When they informed David saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Haven’t you come from a journey? Why didn’t you go down to your house?” 11But Uriah answered David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my lord Joab and the officers of my lord are camping in the open field. Should I then go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As you live and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will send you off.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. The next day, 13David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk. But in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his master’s servants, but did not go down to his house. 14So in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah’s hand. 15In the letter he wrote, “Put Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle and withdraw from him so that he may be struck down and die.” 16So it came to pass, when Joab was besieging the city, that he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew that valiant men were. 17Then the men of the city came out and attacked Joab, and some of the troops of David’s officers fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died. 18When Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war, 19he charged the messenger saying, “When you finish reporting all the events of the war to the king, 20if it happens that the king’s wrath flares up and he says to you, ‘Why did you come so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know that they would shoot from the wall? 21Who killed Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth? Didn’t a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you come so close to the wall?’ Then you will say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead, too.’” 22So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to report. 23The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the open field, but we drove them back as far as the entrance of the gate. 24Then the archers shot at your troops from the wall, and some of the king’s officers fell dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite died, too.” 25Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Don’t let this matter upset you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Press your attack against the city and overthrow it!’ So tell him, chazak!” 26Now when the wife of Uriah heard that her husband Uriah had died, she mourned over her husband. 27When the time of mourning was over, David sent someone who brought her to his palace. So she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done was evil in Adonai’s eyes.

–from 2 Samuel 11

Would you rather live out life well or deal with the consequences of your choices and decisions? God’s got a plan! God’s plan is good! He can even take what the devil planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good. You can’t trick God! God knows and sees what is taking place! How will you release it? How will you find forgiveness? How will you find hope? How will you get things straightened out? Will you do something before it’s too late? Will you do something before someone else finds out and reveals it? Turn to God! As Jesus for wisdom! And do what God tells you to do!

Nathan Confronts David

1Then Adonai sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said to him, “There were two men in the same city—one was rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had an exceedingly huge flock and herd, 3but the poor man had nothing at all, except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished, and it grew up together with him and his children. It ate from his own morsel and drank from his own cup, and nestled in his bosom, and it was to him like a daughter. 4Now a traveler came to the rich man, but he was unwilling to take one from his own flock or herd to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Rather, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man that had come to him.” 5Then David’s anger blazed hot against the man and he said to Nathan, “As Adonai lives, the man that did this deserves to die! 6So he must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did such a thing and showed no pity.” 7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: It is I who anointed you king over Israel, and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your bosom, and I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. Now if that were too little, then I would have added to you so much more. 9Why then have you despised the word of Adonai by doing such evil in My eyes? Uriah the Hittite you have struck down with the sword, and his wife you have taken to be your wife, and him you have slain with the sword of the children of Ammon 10So now the sword will never depart from your house—because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11“Thus says Adonai: Behold, I am going to raise up evil against you from your own household, and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12Indeed you have done it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and under the sun.” 13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against Adonai.” Nathan replied to David, “Adonai also has made your sin pass away—you will not die. 14However, because by this deed you have made the enemies of Adonai greatly blaspheme, so even the child born to you will surely die.” 15Then Nathan went to his house. Then Adonai struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David and he became very sick. 16David therefore sought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in and lay all night on the floor. 17The elders of his household stood beside him in order to get him up from the floor but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18Then it came to pass on the seventh day that the child died. But David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he didn’t listen to our voice. So how can we tell him that the child is dead? He might do something terrible!” 19But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead. So David asked his servants, “Is the child dead?” “He is dead,” they said. 20Then David got up from the floor, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the House of Adonai and worshipped. When he came back to his own palace, he asked for food, so they set food before him and he ate. 21His servants asked him, “What is this thing you have done? You fasted and wept while the child was still alive, but as soon as the child died, you got up and ate food.” 22He replied, “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept, for I thought, ‘Who knows? Adonai might be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23But now that he has died, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? It is I who will be going to him, but he will never return to me.” 24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and lay with her, and she bore a son and called his name Solomon. Adonai loved him, 25and He sent word by the hand of the prophet Nathan. So he called his name Jedidiah, for Adonai’s sake. 26Now Joab attacked Rabbah of the children of Ammon and captured the royal city. 27So Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have attacked Rabbah and captured the city’s water supply. 28So now gather the rest of the troops together, camp against the city and capture it. Otherwise I will capture the city myself and it will be named after me.” 29So David gathered all the troops, went to Rabbah, attacked it and captured it. 30Then he took the crown of their king from off his head—its weight was a talent of gold and in it was a precious stone—and then it was placed on David’s head. He also brought a vast amount of spoils out of the city. 31Then he brought out the people who were there and put them to work under saws, iron threshing boards and iron axes, and assigned them to brick making; and thus he did to all the cities of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the troops returned to Jerusalem.

–from 2 Samuel 12

We are fallen men and we need a savior! We need Jesus and that is why God sent Him! Jesus is the way, the truth and the light! Are you ready to hear from God? Are you ready to receive His Word? Will today be your day of transformation? Will you invite Jesus into your heart and start the process? Becoming a new creation with the old gone and the new having come? If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

Create in Me a Clean Heart

1For the music director: a psalm of David, 2when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he went to Bathsheba. 3Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your mercy. According to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 4Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 5For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. 6Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. 7Behold, I was born in iniquity and in sin when my mother conceived me. 8Surely You desire truth in the inner being. Make me know wisdom inwardly. 9Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 10Let me hear joy and gladness, so the bones You crushed may rejoice. 11Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 12Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 13Do not cast me from Your presence— take not Your Ruach ha-Kodesh from me. 14Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. 15Then will I teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will return to You. 16Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God— God of my salvation. Then my tongue will sing for joy of Your righteousness. 17O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. 18For You would not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it, nor be pleased by burnt offerings. 19The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. 20In Your favor do good to Zion. Build up the walls of Jerusalem. 21Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will be offered on Your altar.

–from Psalms 51

Don’t lose hope, but share it with others! Teach up others that they may be able to pass it along too! Let’s make a difference that will go on beyond ourselves.

Disciples from Generation to Generation

1Therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace that is in Messiah Yeshua. 2And what you have heard from me among many witnesses, entrust to faithful people who will be capable to teach others also. 3Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Messiah Yeshua. 4No one serving as a soldier entangles himself in the activities of everyday life, so that he might please the one who enlisted him. 5Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned victorious unless he competes according to the rules. 6The hard-working farmer ought to receive the first share of the crops. 7Consider what I am saying, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 8Remember Yeshua the Messiah, raised from the dead, from the seed of David—according to my Good News. 9For this I suffer hardship as a criminal, even to the point of chains—though the word of God is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the chosen, so they might obtain the salvation that is in Messiah Yeshua with eternal glory. 11Trustworthy is the saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; 13if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

A Workman with the Word

14Remind them of these things and solemnly charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which is useless—to the ruin of those who are listening. 15Make every effort to present yourself before God as tried and true, as an unashamed worker cutting a straight path with the word of truth. 16But avoid godless chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness 17and their words will spread like cancer. Among them are Hymeneaus and Philetus— 18men who have missed the mark concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place. They are overturning the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord keep away from unrighteousness.” 20Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay—some for honor and some for common use. 21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these, he will be a vessel for honor—sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22Now flee from youthful desires; instead, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and shalom, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24The Lord’s slave must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, tolerant. 25Let him give guidance with humility to those who are in opposition—perhaps God may grant them a change of mind, leading to the knowledge of truth. 26Then they may regain their senses and escape the devil’s snare, in which they had been held captive by him to do his will.

–from 2 Timothy 2

 

 

 

Leadership…to serve, to lead, to care for, to protect…


Have you been called into leadership? Have you accepted it? Have you resisted it? Have you been serving others? Have you be leading others? Have you been caring for others? Have you been protecting others?

We are to be servant leaders! We are to accept and receive the calling of God and step up and step into all that God has created you to be!

Don’t doubt or fear! Take the calling and trust that since God called you to it, He will get you through it! His timing is perfect and He has a purpose for it. Be it a call to step up and lead your community! Be it a call to help others at work! Be it a call to forgive! Be it a call to serve! God will help you all the way through it!

Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you! Allow Him to encourage and comfort you! Allow Him to direct your step! Ask Jesus into your heart! Follow God’s instruction and direction in order to complete the work He has called you to do! It’s not about us, it’s about bringing Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Jesus did all the work, so let’s receive it and walk in it today!

We see as today’s reading how David was put into the situation of being King over all of Israel…

All Israel Anoints David King

1Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke saying, “Here we are, your own flesh and blood. 2Even before, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led Israel out and back. Also Adonai said to you, ‘You will shepherd My people Israel and be ruler over Israel.’” 3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David cut a covenant with them at Hebron before Adonai. Then they anointed David king over Israel. 4David was 30 years old when he began to reign and he reigned 40 years. 5In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned 33 years over all Israel and Judah.

Securing Jerusalem

6Now the king and his soldiers marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the region. But they said to David, “You’ll never get in here! Even the blind and the lame could ward you off,” thinking, “David can’t get in here.” 7Nevertheless, David did capture the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David). 8On that day David said, “Whoever would conquer the Jebusites must strike through the water shaft to those ‘lame and blind’ whom David’s soul despises.” That is why they used to say, “The blind or lame couldn’t get into the house.” 9So David ­occupied the stronghold and renamed it the City of David. Then David fortified it all round from the Millo inward. 10David continued to grow stronger, for Adonai Elohim-Tzva’ot was with him. 11Then King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David with cedar logs, carpenters and masons; and they built a palace for David. 12David then realized that Adonai had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. 13Then David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David. 14Now these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

Master of Breakthroughs

17Now when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines marched up searching for David. When David heard about it, he went down to the stronghold. 18The Philistines came and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. 19Then David inquired of Adonai saying, “Should I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them over into my hand?” Adonai answered David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines over into your hand.” 20So David came to Baal-perazim and David struck them down there. So he said, “Adonai has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters!” That is why he named that place Baal-perazim. 21They abandoned their idols there, so David and his men removed them. 22But the Philistines marched up and spread out in the valley of Rephaim again. 23When David inquired of Adonai, He said, “Do not go up; instead circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. 24Now it will be when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you must act, for then Adonai will have gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines. 25David did just as Adonai had commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.

–2 Samuel 5

If He calls you then answer! If He sends you then go! Make sure you are prepared! Make sure you are ready! God’s plans are perfect! He has a plan, which means we need to understand the instructions and do it His way! Trying to do it our own way has the risk that we will miss the mark and so we need to take hold of God’s love, God’s grace, God’s hope, God’s wisdom, God’s blessings and walk it out His way! So walk with Him and talk with Him so that you won’t be wondering in your own strength!

Ark Retrieved from Kiriath-jearim

1Then David consulted with the officers of the thousands and of the hundreds, with every leader. 2David said to the entire assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and is from Adonai Eloheinu, let us spread the word to our kinsmen who remain in all the regions of Israel, along with the kohanim and Levites in their towns and pasturelands to come and join us. 3Let us bring the Ark of our God back to us—for we did not inquire of it in the days of Saul.” 4The entire assembly agreed to do so, for the proposal seemed right in the eyes of all the people. 5So David assembled all Israel from the Shihor of Egypt to the entrance of Hamat, to bring the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. 6David and all Israel went up to Baalah, to Kiriath-jearim, that was in Judah to bring up from there the Ark of God, Adonai who sits enthroned above the cheruvim, which is called by His Name. 7They transported the Ark of God upon a new cart from the house of Abinadab. Uzza and Ahio guided the cart 8while David and all Israel celebrated before God with all their might, with songs, lyres, harps, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets. 9But when they came to the threshing-floor of Hidon, Uzza reached out his hand to hold the Ark, because the oxen stumbled. 10The anger of Adonai burned against Uzza, and He struck him down, because he reached out his hand and touched the Ark. He died there before God. 11David was angry because Adonai had burst out against Uzza. So he called that place Perez-uzza as it is to this day. 12David feared God that day, saying, “How can I ever bring the Ark of God to me?” 13So David did not take the Ark with him to the City of David, but left it in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 14So the Ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months; Adonai blessed the house of Obed-edom and everything that he had.

–from 1 Chronicles 13

Don’t assume because of how it worked in the past you should do it that way! Ask Jesus how you should go! Allow God to give you the instructions for today!

1Now King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, as well as cedar logs, stonemasons and carpenters, to build a palace for him. 2Then David knew that Adonai had established him king over Israel, for his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel. 3David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David fathered more sons and daughters. 4These are the names of the children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 7Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet.

David Breaks Through at Baal-perazim

8When the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David, but David heard of it and went out before them. 9Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim. 10So David inquired of God, asking, “Should I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them over into my hand?” Then Adonai said to him, “Go up! I will give them over into your hand.” 11So they came up to Baal-perazim, where David defeated them. David said, “God burst out against my enemies by my hand, like waters burst out!” Therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim . 12They abandoned their gods there, so David ordered and they were burned with fire. 13But the Philistines again raided the valley. 14So David again inquired of God, and God said to him, “Do not go up after them, but circle around behind them and come against them in front of the baca trees . 15As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the baca trees, then go out to battle. For God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 16David did just as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. 17So the fame of David spread throughout every land, and Adonai brought the fear of him upon all nations.

–from 1 Chronicles 14

Don’t let the tests or trials of the past hold you back from the future God has planned for you! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord be our strength! Let’s live our of lives with the joy of the Lord starting our day!

Joy Comes in the Morning

1A psalm, a song for the dedication of the Temple, of David. 2I will exalt You, Adonai, for You have lifted me up, and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 3Adonai my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. 4Adonai, You brought my soul up from Sheol. You kept me alive, so I would not go down to the Pit. 5Sing praise to Adonai, His faithful ones, and praise His holy name. 6For His anger lasts for only a moment, His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning. 7When I felt secure, I said: “I will never be shaken.” 8Adonai, in Your favor You made my mountain stand strong. When You hid Your face, I was terrified. 9To You, Adonai, I called, and to my Lord I made my plea: 10“What gain is there in my blood, in my going down to the Pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? 11Hear, Adonai, and be gracious to me. Adonai, be my help.” 12You turned my mourning into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. 13So my glory will sing to You and not be silent. Adonai my God, I will praise You forever.

–from Psalms 30

Watch out for those who will try to deceive you! Watch out for those who will try to manipulate you! Jesus is the way! Jesus is the answer! Jesus finished it! He didn’t come to abolish the law and the prophets, He came to fulfill them! When He was on the cross and said “it is finished” He was speaking about being the ultimate sacrifice that fulfilled the punishment so that everyone who believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life! He conquered the grave and sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! So ask Him into your heart! And allow His calling on your life to be fulfilled too!

Finish strong! Don’t give up! Pursue the purposes of God!

Greeting

1Paul, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the command of God our Savior and Messiah Yeshua, our hope. 2To Timothy, a true child in faith: Grace, mercy, shalom from God the Father and Messiah Yeshua, our Lord!

Beware of False Teachers

3As I urged you, when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay in Ephesus to direct certain people not to pass on different instruction, 4or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These give rise to useless speculations rather than God’s training which is in faithfulness. 5Now the goal of this command is love from of a pure heart and a clear conscience and a genuine faith. 6Some, having missed the mark, have turned away to fruitless discussion— 7wanting to be teachers of Torah, even though they do not understand what they keep saying or what they so dogmatically assert. 8But we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately, 9knowing that the Torah is not given for a tzaddik but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and worldly, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10the sexually immoral, homosexuals, slave-traders, liars, perjurers, and for anything else that opposes sound teaching— 11in keeping with what was entrusted to me, the glorious Good News of the blessed God.

Mercy to the Worst of Sinners

12I thank Messiah Yeshua our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to service— 13even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. Yet I was shown mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14and the grace of our Lord overflowed with the faith and love that are in Messiah Yeshua. 15Trustworthy is the saying and deserving of complete acceptance: “Messiah Yeshua came into the world to save sinners”—of whom I am foremost. 16Yet for this reason I was shown mercy—so that in me as the foremost, Messiah Yeshua might demonstrate His complete patience, as an example for those about to put their trust in Him for eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Fight the Good Fight

18This charge I entrust to you, Timothy my son, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, so that by them you fight the good fight, 19holding onto faith and a good conscience. By rejecting these, some have suffered shipwreck regarding their faith. 20Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander—whom I have handed over to satan to be disciplined not to blaspheme.

–from 1 Timothy 1

God can use us all! Each of our roles! Each of our perspectives! So that we can speak the truth in love to those around us in a way that they can hear it and receive it and embrace it and be transformed into everything God has created them and planned for them to be! Let’s be God’s arms extended! Let’s be God’s hands helping! Let’s be God’s feet going! Would you receive it better from a fisherman? Would you receive it better from a moneyman or tax collector? Would you receive it better from a doctor? Each one has a view of what happened and in some cases it resonates better with a person! So don’t exclude yourself and don’t disqualify yourself because you aren’t an evangelist or a pastor because God can you use and the gifts and talents He has given you for greater purposes!

A Doctor Charts the Facts

1Now many have undertaken to organize an account of the events fulfilled among us, 2just as they were handed down to us from the start by the eyewitnesses and reporters of the word. 3Therefore it seemed best to me also, because I have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, to write for you an orderly record, most excellent Theophilus, 4so you may know for sure the truth of the words you have been taught.

Prophecy of Birth to the Barren

5In the days of Herod, King of Judah, there was a kohen named Zechariah from the priestly division of Abijah. Elizabeth, his wife, was from the daughters of Aaron. 6Together they were righteous before Adonai, walking without fault in all His commandments and instructions. 7But they were childless, because Elizabeth was barren and both of them were elderly. 8Now it happened to be Zechariah’s time to serve as kohen before Adonai in the order of his division. 9According to the custom of the priestly office, it became his lot to enter the Holy Place of Adonai to burn incense. 10And the whole crowd of people was praying outside at the hour of incense burning. 11An angel of Adonai appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12Zechariah was in turmoil when he saw the angel, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to your son, and you will name him John. 14And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15He will be great before Adonai; and he should not drink wine and intoxicating beverage, but he will be filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh just out of his mother’s womb. 16Many of Bnei-Yisrael will turn to Adonai their God. 17And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to the children and the disobedient ones to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for Adonai a prepared people. 18Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? I’m an old man, and my wife is well-advanced in age.” 19And speaking to him, the angel declared, “I am Gabriel, the one standing in God’s presence. I was commissioned to tell you and proclaim to you this good news. 20So look, you will be silent and powerless to speak until the day these things happen, since you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21The people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering about his long delay in the Holy Place. 22But when he came out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the Holy Place. He was making signs to them but remained mute. 23When the days of his priestly service had been completed, he went home. 24After these days, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and hid herself for five months, saying, 25“Adonai has done this for me! In these days He looked upon me, to take away my disgrace among the people.”

Prophecy of Birth to the Virgin

26Then in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by Adonai into a town in the Galilee named Natzeret 27and to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Miriam. 28And coming to her, the angel said, “Shalom, favored one! Adonai is with you.” 29But at the message, she was perplexed and kept wondering what kind of greeting this might be. 30The angel spoke to her, “Do not be afraid, Miriam, for you have found favor with God. 31Behold, you will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you shall call His name Yeshua. 32He will be great and will be called Ben-Elyon. Adonai Elohim will give Him the throne of David, His father. 33He shall reign over the house of Jacob for all eternity, and His kingdom will be without end.” 34Miriam said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am not intimate with a man?” 35And responding, the angel said to her, “The Ruach ha-Kodesh will come upon you, and the power of Elyon will overshadow you. Therefore, the Holy One being born will be called Ben-Elohim. 36Behold, even your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son in her old age; and the one who was called barren is six months pregnant. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38So Miriam said, “Behold, the servant of Adonai. Let it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her.

Elizabeth Greets Miriam with Joy

39Now in those days, Miriam got up and quickly traveled into the hill country, to a town in Judah. 40She entered Zechariah’s home and happily greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Miriam’s greeting, the unborn child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was completely filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 42She then cried out with a great shout, saying, “You are blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43Who am I, that the mother of my Master should come to me? 44For even when I just heard the sound of your greeting in my ear, the unborn child leaped with joy in my womb. 45Blessed is she who trusted that there would be a fulfillment of those things spoken to her by Adonai.” 46Then Miriam said, “My soul magnifies Adonai, 47and my spirit greatly rejoices in God, my Savior. 48For He has looked with care upon the humble state of His maidservant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49For the Mighty One has done a great thing for me, and holy is His name. 50And His mercy is from generation to generation to the ones who fear Him. 51He has displayed power with His arm. He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52He has brought down rulers from thrones and exalted humble ones. 53He has filled the hungry with good things and sent away the rich empty-handed. 54He has helped His servant Israel, remembering His mercy, 55just as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.”

Zechariah Breaks His Silence

56Miriam stayed with her for three months and then returned to her home. 57Upon Elizabeth’s full term to deliver, she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard how Adonai had shown her His great mercy, and they began to rejoice with her. 59Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they kept trying to call him by his father’s name, Zechariah. 60But his mother declared, “No, he will be called John.” 61But they said to her, “No one among your relatives is called by this name.” 62So they began making signs to his father, as to what he wanted him named. 63Asking for a small tablet, he wrote, “John is his name.” They were all astonished! 64And his mouth was immediately unlocked as well as his tongue, and he began to speak, praising God. 65Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these matters were talked about throughout the hill country of Judah. 66Everyone who heard pondered these things in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child become?” For the hand of Adonai was on him.

The Kohen’s Song of Prophecy

67His father Zechariah was filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and prophesied, saying, 68“Blessed be Adonai, God of Israel, for He has looked after His people and brought them redemption. 69He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, 70just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ages past, 71salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us! 72So He shows mercy to our fathers and remembers His holy covenant, 73the vow which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us— 74rescued fearlessly from the hand of our enemies—to serve Him, 75in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. 76And you, child, will be called a prophet of Elyon. For you will go before Adonai to prepare His ways, 77to give knowledge of salvation to His people through removal of their sins. 78Through our God’s heart of mercy, the Sunrise from on high will come upon us, 79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of shalom.” 80And the child kept growing and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

–from Luke 1

 

Ever been deceived? Ever been tricked? Ever been lied to?


Deceived? Been given a promise and then given something different? Tricked? Believing they were good to their word but then rather than bread given a stone? Lied? Told one thing but it never came to be a reality?

The key in such a situation is to forgive them so that anger, bitterness, frustration, sadness don’t come over you. Forgiveness is the key to freedom!

Things may not always be what they appear, but God is true, God is love, God is for real! You can trust Him! He is faithful! The world around you may not be, but He is!

Even when the one who you trusted tries to go through with the promises, there may be others who work around the system and shortcut the plan! We may not know how it will all play out, but if we stick with God, we know that in the end we will be on the winning team!

Betrayal of Abner

1Now the war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. While David grew steadily stronger, the house of Saul grew steadily weaker. 2Sons were born to David in Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam of Jezreel; 3his second was Chileab by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; the third was Absalom son of Maacah daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; 4the fourth was Adonijah son of Haggith; the fifth was Shephatiah son of Abital; 5and the sixth, Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron. 6During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner strengthened his position in the house of Saul. 7Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah; and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, “Why have you slept with my father’s concubine?” 8But Abner became very angry over Ish-bosheth’s words and said, “Am I a dog’s head from Judah? To this day I’ve been loyal to the house of Saul your father, to his kinsmen, and to his friends, and I haven’t handed you over to David—yet today you are accusing me of wrongdoing with this woman. 9May God do so to Abner and even more if, as Adonai has sworn to David, I don’t accomplish this for him— 10to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish the throne of David over Israel and Judah, from Dan to Beersheba!” 11But Ish-bosheth could not respond to Abner another word, because he was afraid of him. 12Then Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf saying, “Whose is the land? Make your covenant with me, and see, my hand will be with you to bring all Israel over to you.” 13“Good!” said David. “I will cut a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you: you will not see my face unless you first bring Saul’s daughter Michal when you come to see my face.” 14Then David sent messengers to Saul’s son Ish-bosheth demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for 100 Philistine foreskins.” 15So Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband, Paltiel son of Laish. 16But her husband accompanied her, weeping as he went, and followed her as far as Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return!” So he returned. 17Now Abner had a word with the elders of Israel saying, “In times past you wanted David to be king over you. 18So now do it! For Adonai has spoken of David saying, ‘By the hand of My servant David I will deliver My people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’” 19Abner also spoke in the hearing of Benjamin. Then Abner went to Hebron to speak in the hearing of David about all that was agreeable to Israel and to the whole house of Benjamin. 20When Abner came to David in Hebron along with 20 other men, David held a banquet for Abner and the men with him. 21Abner said to David, “Let me get up and go rally all Israel to my lord the king, so that they may cut a covenant with you, and you may reign over all that your soul desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he departed in shalom. 22Just then, David’s soldiers and Joab came from a raid, bringing with them much spoil. By then Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he departed in shalom. 23When Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived, they told Joab, saying, “Abner son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he has gone in shalom.” 24Then Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Look here, Abner came to you—why did you send him away? Now he is getting away! 25You know Abner son of Ner—surely he came to deceive you, to spy on your goings and comings, and to find out all that you are doing.” 26When Joab left David, he sent messengers after Abner, so they brought him back from the well of Sirah, though David knew nothing about it. 27Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside within the gate to speak with him privately, and there stabbed him in the groin, so that he died—on account of the blood of his brother Asahel. 28When David heard about it afterward, he said, “I and my kingdom are innocent before Adonai forever from the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29May it whirl on Joab’s head and on all his father’s house. May the house of Joab never be without someone with discharge or tza’arat, lame or one fallen by the sword or one who lacks food.” 30So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in battle. 31Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, “Rend your clothes, gird with sackcloth, and lament before Abner.” King David walked behind the platform. 32When they buried Abner in Hebron, the king lifted up his voice and wept aloud at Abner’s grave, and all the people wept. 33Then the king chanted a lament for Abner and said, “Should Abner die like a senseless fool? 34Your hands were not bound, your feet were never put in fetters. As one falls before the children of iniquity, so did you fall.” Then all the people wept again over him. 35Then all the people came to urge David to eat some food while it was still day, but David vowed saying, “May God do so to me and even more if I taste food or anything else before the sun sets.” 36All the people took note of it and it pleased them, just as everything the king did pleased all the people. 37So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not the king’s will to kill Abner son of Ner. 38Then the king said to his soldiers, “Don’t you realize that a prince and a great man has fallen in Israel today? 39So today I am vulnerable, even though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too hard for me to handle. May Adonai reward the evildoer according to his wickedness.”

–from 2 Samuel 3

God’s got a plan! He can use what has happened to us for His glory! He can take what the devil planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! He can take what was meant to destroy us and turn it around and make us even stronger because we have a platform built upon the truth, the love, the hope, the reality of God as our foundation through Jesus Christ as the cornerstone to be able to bring praise, honor, and glory to God through our testimonies! Will you tell your story? Will you share your stories? Will you allow others to hear of God’s greatness? Forgiveness! Grace! Love! Finish Strong!

The Conspiracy Grows

1Now it happened that when Yeshua had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, 2“You know that Passover comes in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be executed.” 3Then the ruling kohanim and elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the kohen gadol named Caiaphas. 4They plotted together in order that they might seize Yeshua by stealth and kill Him. 5“But not during the festival,” they were saying, “so there won’t be a riot among the people.”

A Woman Anoints Yeshua for Burial

6Now while Yeshua was in Bethany at the house of Simon ha-Metzora, 7a woman came up to Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive oil. And she poured it on His head as He was reclining at the table. 8But when the disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9It could have been sold for a lot, and the money given to the poor!” 10But Yeshua, knowing this, said to them, “Why do you cause trouble for this woman? She’s done Me a mitzvah. 11You always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have Me. 12For when she poured this oil on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13Amen, I tell you, wherever this Good News is proclaimed in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Betrayed and Sold for Silver

14Then one of the Twelve, the one called Judah of Kriot, went to the ruling kohanim 15and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?” And they weighed out thirty shekels of silver for him. 16From then on, Judah began looking for a chance to hand Him over. 17Now on the first day of matzah , the disciples came to Yeshua, saying, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; at your house I am to keep the Passover with My disciples.”’” 19The disciples did as Yeshua had ordered them, and they prepared the Passover. 20Now when it was evening, Yeshua was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21As they were eating, He said, “Amen, I tell you, one of you will betray Me.” 22And being very sorrowful, they began, each one, to say to Him, “I’m not the one, am I, Master?” 23And He replied, “The one who dipped his hand in the bowl with Me, he’s the one who will betray Me. 24The Son of Man indeed goes, just as it is written about Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born!” 25And Judah, the one betraying Him, replied, “I’m not the one, am I, Rabbi?” Yeshua said to him, “You’ve said it yourself.” 26Now while they were eating, Yeshua took matzah ; and after He offered the bracha, He broke and gave to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He gave to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the removal of sins. 29But I say to you, I will never drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom.” 30After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31Then Yeshua said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of Me; for it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I am raised up, I will go before you to the Galilee.” 33But Peter replied to Him, “Though all fall away because of You, I’ll never fall away.” 34Yeshua said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35“Even if I must die with You,” Peter says to Him, “I’ll never deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

“Your Will Be Done”

36Then Yeshua comes with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He tells the disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37And He took along Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then He tells them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” 39Going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me! Yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40Then He comes to the disciples and finds them sleeping; and He tells Peter, “So couldn’t you keep watch with Me for one hour? 41Keep watching and praying, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again for a second time He went away and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, let Your will be done.” 43And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So He left them again and prayed a third time, saying the same words once more. 45Then He comes to the disciples and says to them, “Still sleeping? Taking your rest? Look, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let’s go! Look, My betrayer is near.”

Taken into Custody

47While Yeshua was still speaking, here came Judah, one of the Twelve, and with him a big crowd with swords and clubs, from the ruling kohanim and elders of the people. 48Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The One I kiss, He’s the One—seize Him!’ 49And immediately Judah drew near to Yeshua and said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50“Friend,” Yeshua said to him, “do what you’ve come to do.” Then they came up and threw their hands on Yeshua and seized Him. 51And suddenly, one of those with Yeshua stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and he struck the kohen gadol ’s servant and cut off his ear. 52Then Yeshua said to him, “Put your sword back in its place! For all who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53Or do you suppose that I cannot call on My Father, and at once He will place at My side twelve legions of angels? 54How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55At that hour Yeshua said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, to capture Me as you would a revolutionary? Every day I sat teaching in the Temple, and you didn’t seize Me. 56But all this has happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples fled, abandoning Him. 57Now those who had seized Yeshua led Him away to Caiaphas, the kohen gadol , where the Torah scholars and elders had gathered. 58Peter was following Him from a distance as far as the courtyard of the kohen gadol . And after going inside, he was sitting with the guards, to see the outcome.

Yeshua’s Trial Begins

59Now the ruling kohanim and all the Sanhedrin kept trying to get false testimony against Yeshua so they could put Him to death. 60But they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I’m able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days!’” 62The kohen gadol stood up and said to Yeshua, “Have You no answer? What’s this they’re testifying against You?” 63But Yeshua kept silent. The kohen gadol said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God, tell us if You are Mashiach Ben-Elohim!” 64“As you have said,” replied Yeshua. “Besides that, I tell you, soon after you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the kohen gadol tore his clothes and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66What’s your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He deserves death!” 67Then they spat in His face and pounded Him with their fists. Others slapped Him and demanded, 68“Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Which one hit You?”

Peter Denies Yeshua

69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting in the courtyard. A servant girl came over to him and said, “You also were with Yeshua of the Galilee.” 70But he denied it before everyone, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 71When he went onto the porch, another servant girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Yeshua ha-Natzrati.” 72Again he denied it with an oath: “I don’t know the Man!” 73A little while later, some of the bystanders approached Peter and said to him, “Surely you’re one of them, too—your accent gives you away.” 74Then he began to curse and to swear an oath: “I do not know the Man!” Right then, a rooster crowed. 75Then Peter reminded himself of the word Yeshua had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went away and wept bitterly.

–from Matthew 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passion (Day #4)


Don’t be deceived! Don’t be fooled! Don’t be tricked! Jesus tells us that He won’t be back till the end times. Jesus tells us that people are going to say they are the messiah to trick and lead people away! He came once for all! He gave His life once as the ultimate sacrifice for all! He doesn’t have to come back to do more! He fulfilled all the prophesies! He accomplished all the work He came to do! And right before He gave up His spirit on the cross, remember what He said? “IT IS FINISHED!” So don’t be fooled by stories that He is back or He came back! He will be back, but when He comes back it will be obvious and nobody will be able to miss it because everyone will see it! Don’t be fooled by stories that He has come back! When He comes back it will be the end times, sure people will have visions and dreams, but His actual return can’t be missed! Consider the words of Revelation…

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.

–from Revelation 1:7

He will ride in from the heavens on a white horse. He won’t be missed! Everyone around the world will be able to see Him! Will you choose to follow Him before that happens? Before it is too late? His plan is more than just to spend eternity in heaven with you, He wants to spend your life on earth together too! He wants to walk with you through each day! He wants to celebrate on the mountain tops with you! He wants to walk through the valleys with you! He wants to be in relationship with you now! It’s a matter of choice, your choice! You have to decide! You have to choose! Will you accept Him now? Will you receive Him now? Will you without seeing Him ask Him into your heart? Will you choose to believe in Him now before it is too late? Will you turn back to God? The choice is yours! He won’t force you to be in relationship with Him! If you will choose to ask Him into your life, He will stick closer than a brother. We can overcome because Jesus did!

Will receive the passion? Will you accept the passion? Will you choose to receive it? Will you ask? Will you seek? Will you knock?

Are you following Him? Have you received Him? Will you choose Him? His plan when Jesus came to the earth wasn’t to condemn it, but to save it! The next time, the second coming will be judgment time! So why not receive Him now before it’s too late? Will you be about His work? Will you be answering His call? Will you be faithful to the call He has put on your life?

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 24 as we continue the pursuit of the week of passion…

1Now when Yeshua went out and was going away from the Temple, His disciples came up to point out to Him the Temple buildings. 2“Don’t you see all these?” He responded to them. “Amen, I tell you, not one stone will be left here on top of another—every one will be torn down!”

Signs of the End of Time

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 4Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray! 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will lead many astray. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 7For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. 10And then many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. 11Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15“So when you see ‘the abomination of desolation,’ which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), 16then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17The one on the roof must not go down to take what is in his house, 18and the one in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 19Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20Pray that your escape will not happen in winter, or on Shabbat. 21For then there will be great trouble, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22And unless those days were cut short, no one would be delivered. But for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26“So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. Or, ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28For wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather. 29“But immediately after the trouble of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Watching for Messiah’s Return

32“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. 34Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone. 37“For just as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left. 42Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

The Faithful Servant

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes. 47Amen, I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time,’ 49and he begins to beat his fellow servants, and he eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. 51And he will cut him in two and assign his place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
–from Matthew 24

Passion (Day#2)


The purpose it took to walk through it, knowing how it go! The focus on the plan with the end in mind! Seeing beyond the now to what is going to be! The message that needed to be delivered so that people could be prepared! The meaning and interpretation shared so that people would understand! Don’t miss out! Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Who will you invite? Will you keep trying? Will you reach out to those you don’t know if those you do know reject or decline the invitation? Who will you be bringing or inviting to Easter services? (Good Friday, Easter) Come ready! Come prepared! Come to hear the good news! Come to receive what God has for you!

Not everyone is out for your best interests! As such turn to God for wisdom about every question and situation so that you won’t get tripped up! Consider the heart of the matter! Consider the intentions of the question! What is their purpose for asking such a thing? Be it a matter of money! Be it a matter of religion! Not all people nor all questions are for your good! Be spirit filled so that you will be ready and able to respond with wisdom from God!

Live this life with passion! We may only have a short time on earth, but eternity lasts for a long time! Choose wisely during this short time because your decision can impact eternity! Choose to receive Jesus! Choose to live passionately for Him! Share the hope that is in you! Share the testimonies of what God has done in and through you! Don’t hide it under a basket! Don’t hide it under your bed! Let your light shine so that others may see it and glorify God in Heaven!

It’s a matter of LOVE! We need to love God with all of our hearts, minds, body, and soul! We need to love our neighbors as ourselves!


 

Today’s reading in continuing the week of passion is from Matthew 22

Invitation to the Wedding Feast

1Yeshua answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who made a wedding feast for his son. 3He sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they wouldn’t come. 4Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who were invited, “Look, I’ve prepared my meal. My oxen and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!”’ 5“But paying no attention, they went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6And the rest grabbed his servants, humiliated them, and killed them. 7Now the king became furious! Sending his troops, he destroyed those murderers and set fire to their city. 8“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9So go into the highways and byways, and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.’ 10And those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to look over the guests, he saw a man there who wasn’t dressed in wedding clothes. 12‘Friend,’ he said to him, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But the man was silent. 13Then the king said to his servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

A Trap about Paying Taxes

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might trap Him with a word. 16And they sent to Him some of their disciples, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are honest and teach the way of God in truth. And what others think doesn’t concern You, for You do not look at men’s appearance. 17Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Yeshua, knowing their wickedness, said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20And He said to them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21“Caesar’s,” they said to Him. Then He said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22And hearing this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.

Religious Leaders Ask a Tricky Question

23On that day, Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Yeshua and questioned Him, saying, 24“Teacher, Moses said, ‘If someone dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his widow and father children for his brother.’ 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died; and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26In the same way also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28So in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 29But answering, Yeshua said to them, “You’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living!” 33When the crowds heard this, they were astounded at His teaching.

The Greatest Mitzvot

34But the Pharisees, when they heard that Yeshua had silenced the Sadducees, gathered together in one place. 35And testing Him, one of them, a lawyer, asked, 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?” 37And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Yeshua Overturns the Arguments

41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Yeshua asked them a question, 42saying, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” “David’s,” they say to Him. 43“Then how is it,” He says to them, “that David by the Ruach calls him ‘Lord’? 44For he says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’ 45If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 46No one was able to answer Him a word. Nor did anyone dare from that day on to question Him any longer.
–from Matthew 22

 

 

Wondering what to do?


You got this far and now what? You wonder how will you get through it? You wonder how you will get what it will take to make it through?

Imagine living through the various trials and challenges. Imagine seeing your freedom realized. Imagine seeing the Red Sea part so you can escape on dry ground. Imagine getting into the wilderness. Now what? What will you eat? How will you survive?

Where do you turn? Will you remember the miracles of the past and trust God for them? Will you pray and praise Him? Will you wine and complain? Will you trust rather than worry? Will you depend on God for today? Will you not worry about tomorrow and just trust Him for your needs today? Today’s reading begins at just such a time, let’s see how faithful God is…

Manna From Heaven

1They journeyed on from Elim, and the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after leaving the land of Egypt. 2But the whole congregation of Bnei-Yisrael murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3Bnei-Yisrael said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of Adonai in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat, when we ate bread until we were full. But you have brought us into the wilderness, to kill this entire congregation with hunger.” 4Then Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. The people will go out and gather a day’s portion every day, so that I can test them to find out whether they will walk according to My Torah or not. 5So on the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather day by day.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all Bnei-Yisrael, “In the evening you will know that Adonai has brought you out from the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning, then you will see the glory of Adonai. For He heard your complaining against Him. What are we? You complain against us?” 8Then Moses said, “Adonai will give you meat to eat in the evening and enough bread to fill you in the morning, since Adonai hears your complaints that you mutter against Him, what are we? Your complaining is not against us, but against Adonai!” 9Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael, ‘Come near before Adonai, because He has heard your complaining.’” 10Then, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of Bnei-Yisrael, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of Adonai appeared in the cloud. 11Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 12“I have heard the complaining of Bnei-Yisrael. Speak to them saying, ‘At dusk you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am Adonai your God.’” 13So when evening fell, quails came up and covered the camp. Moreover, in the morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp. 14When the layer of dew was gone, on the surface of the desert was a thin, flake-like frost, as fine as the frost on the ground. 15When Bnei-Yisrael saw it, they said one to another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Then Moses said to them, “It is the bread that Adonai has given you to eat. 16This is the word that Adonai has commanded. Every man is to gather according to his needs, an omer per person, according to the number of people per household. Each man is to take it for those who are in his tent.” 17Bnei-Yisrael did so, and some gathered more, some less. 18When they measured it with an omer, those who gathered more had nothing left over, and those that gathered less did not lack at all. Every man gathered according to his appetite. 19Also Moses said to them, “Let no one save any of it until the morning.” 20However, they did not listen to Moses. Some of them preserved it until the morning—but it bred worms and rotted. So Moses was angry with them. 21So they gathered it morning by morning, each man according to his needs, and as the sun became hot it melted. 22On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each individual. So all the leaders of the community came and informed Moses. 23But he said to them, “This is what Adonai has said. Tomorrow is a Shabbat rest, a holy Shabbat to Adonai. Bake whatever you would bake, and boil what you would boil. Store up for yourselves everything that remains, to be kept until the morning.” 24So they set it aside until the morning, just as Moses instructed, and it did not rot nor were there any worms. 25Then Moses said, “Eat that today, because today is a Shabbat to Adonai. Today you will not find it in the field. 26You are to gather it for six days, but the seventh day is the Shabbat, and there will be none.” 27Yet on the seventh day, some of the people went out to gather and they found none. 28Adonai said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My mitzvot and My Torah? 29See, Adonai has given you the Shabbat, so on the sixth day He gives you the bread of two days. Let every man stay in his place, and let no man go out on the seventh day.” 30So the people rested on the seventh day. 31The house of Israel named it manna . It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32Then Moses said, “This is what Adonai has commanded. Let a full omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out from the land of Egypt.” 33Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put a full omer of manna inside. Store it up before Adonai, to be kept throughout your generations.” 34Just as Adonai commanded Moses, Aaron stored it up in front of the Testimony, to be preserved. 35Bnei-Yisrael ate the manna for 40 years. They ate the manna until they came to an inhabited land, when they came to the borders of the land of Canaan. 36Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.
–from Exodus 16

Don’t forget how much you can trust God! Don’t forget how He has and will meet your needs! Don’t forget what He’s done in you and through you and for you! Trust Him because He is trustworthy and faithful! Don’t worry about it – lean into and onto God! Will you stand by the leader God has given you? Will you come alongside and hold up their arms to ensure that victory is achieved? Don’t be a whiner! Don’t be a complainer! Trust God! Don’t allow trials and tests to trip you up!

Test and Quarreling

1All the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael journeyed from the wilderness of Sin in stages, according to the command of Adonai, and camped in Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2So the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test Adonai?” 3But the people thirsted for water there, and they complained against Moses and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt? To kill us with thirst, along with our children and cattle?” 4So Moses cried out to Adonai saying, “What am I to do for these people? They are about ready to stone me.” 5Adonai said to Moses, “Walk before the people, and take of the elders of Israel with you, along with your staff with which you struck the river. Take it in your hand and go. 6Behold, I will stand before you, there upon the rock in Horeb. You are to strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people can drink.” Then Moses did just so in the eyes of the elders of Israel. 7The name of the place was called Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of Bnei-Yisrael, and because they tested Adonai saying, “Is Adonai among us, or not?”

War Against Amalek

8Then the Amalekites came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men, go out, and fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10So Joshua did as Moses said, and fought the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. But when he let down his hand, the Amalekites prevailed. 12Moses’ hands grew heavy, so they took a stone, put it under him, and he sat down. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands were steady until the sun went down. 13So Joshua overpowered the Amalekites and his army with the edge of the sword. 14Adonai said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the hearing of Joshua, for I will utterly blot out the memory of the Amalekites from under heaven.” 15Then Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Adonai-Nissi. 16Then he said, “By the hand upon the throne of Adonai, Adonai will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

You realize that everything is God’s? The earth and everything in it and on it! You realize He made it all and know how it all works and can use it for His glory! Will you allow Jesus to work in and through you to prepare you to be able to meet with God?

The King of Glory

1A psalm of David. The earth is Adonai’s and all that fills it— the world, and those dwelling on it. 2For He founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers. 3Who may go up on the mountain of Adonai? `Who may stand in His holy place? 4One with clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully. 5He will receive a blessing from Adonai, righteousness from God his salvation. 6Such is the generation seeking Him, seeking Your face, even Jacob! Selah 7Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors: that the King of glory may come in. 8“Who is this King of glory?” Adonai strong and mighty, Adonai mighty in battle! 9Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, you everlasting doors: that the King of glory may come in. 10“Who is this King of glory?” Adonai-Tzva’ot—He is the King of glory! Selah
–from Psalms 24

Do you realize what it will take? Faith! Not works, just faith! Will you have and show your trust and confidence in God? Will you believe in the things unseen and hoped for? Will you trust God with it all? Believing credited Abraham with righteousness and to be called a friend of God!

Abraham Set Right by Faith

1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2For if Abraham was set right by works, he has something to boast about—but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4Now to the one who works, the pay is not credited as a gift, but as what is due. 5But to the one who does not work, but trusts in Him who justifies the ungodly, his trust is credited as righteousness— 6just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man whose sin Adonai will never count against him.” 9Is this blessing then only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? For we say, “trust was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10In what state then was it credited? While circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised! 11And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness of the trust he had while he was uncircumcised, so he might be the father of all who are trusting while uncircumcised—that righteousness might be credited to them as well. 12Also he is the father of the circumcised, to those not only circumcised but also walking in the footsteps of the trust of our father Abraham before his circumcision.

Trusting in the Promise

13For the promise to Abraham or to his seed—to become heir of the world—was not through law, but through the righteousness based on trust. 14For if those who are of the Torah are heirs, trust has become empty and the promise is made ineffective. 15For the Torah brings about wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there a violation. 16For this reason it depends on trust, so that the promise according to grace might be guaranteed to all the offspring—not only to those of the Torah but also to those of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all 17(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”). He is our father in the sight of God in whom he trusted, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist. 18In hope beyond hope, he trusted that he would become the father of many nations according to what was spoken—“So shall your descendants be.” 19And without becoming weak in faith, he considered his own body—as good as dead, since he was already a hundred years old—and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20Yet he did not waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God. Rather, he was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21He was fully convinced that what God has promised, He also is able to do. 22That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23Now not only for his sake was it written that it was credited to him, 24but for our sake as well. It is credited to us as those who trust in Him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead. 25He was handed over for our transgressions and raised up for the sake of setting us right.
–from Romans 4

So will you believe it? Will you live it? Will you?

Will you choose before it is to late? Will you be prepared before it is too late? We all have a chance to choose! Some will choose to believe and be saved! Some will choose to not believe! Some will choose to wait on making any decision. Choose wisely and before it is too late! Watch for the signs! Don’t be fooled! Let’s be faithful that we may spend eternity with God!

1Now when Yeshua went out and was going away from the Temple, His disciples came up to point out to Him the Temple buildings. 2“Don’t you see all these?” He responded to them. “Amen, I tell you, not one stone will be left here on top of another—every one will be torn down!”

Signs of the End of Time

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 4Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray! 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will lead many astray. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 7For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. 10And then many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. 11Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15“So when you see ‘the abomination of desolation,’ which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), 16then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17The one on the roof must not go down to take what is in his house, 18and the one in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 19Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20Pray that your escape will not happen in winter, or on Shabbat. 21For then there will be great trouble, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22And unless those days were cut short, no one would be delivered. But for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26“So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. Or, ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28For wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather. 29“But immediately after the trouble of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Watching for Messiah’s Return

32“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. 34Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone. 37“For just as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left. 42Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

The Faithful Servant

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes. 47Amen, I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time,’ 49and he begins to beat his fellow servants, and he eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. 51And he will cut him in two and assign his place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
–from Matthew 24

 

 

 

There are many trickster, imposters, imitators who will try to get you off track!


Not everyone who says they are for you are! Not everyone who speaks to you is speaking the truth! Not everyone who comes to lead you should you follow! Seek God’s wisdom! Follow God’s direction with complete obedience! Partial obedience isn’t obedience at all! Don’t be deceived! Don’t be tricked! Only listen to God’s Word and His direction! This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Don’t just start strong, but keep on the full armor of God and finish strong! Persevere! Don’t give up! Even if you do everything right, some people still won’t get the message and turn back to God. Just make sure that you do what you have been called to do! Full obedience to God is all you can do! What others do is between them and God!


Today’s reading is the Old Testament readings from the week. It contains 1 Kings 13-22.

1At the Lord’s command a prophet from Judah went to Bethel and arrived there as Jeroboam stood at the altar to offer the sacrifice. 2Following the Lord’s command, the prophet denounced the altar: “O altar, altar, this is what the Lord says: A child, whose name will be Josiah, will be born to the family of David. He will slaughter on you the priests serving at the pagan altars who offer sacrifices on you, and he will burn human bones on you.” 3And the prophet went on to say, “This altar will fall apart, and the ashes on it will be scattered. Then you will know that the Lord has spoken through me.” 4When King Jeroboam heard this, he pointed at him and ordered, “Seize that man!” At once the king’s arm became paralyzed so that he couldn’t pull it back. 5The altar suddenly fell apart and the ashes spilled to the ground, as the prophet had predicted in the name of the Lord. 6King Jeroboam said to the prophet, “Please pray for me to the Lord your God, and ask him to heal my arm!”The prophet prayed to the Lord, and the king’s arm was healed. 7Then the king said to the prophet, “Come home with me and have something to eat. I will reward you for what you have done.” 8The prophet answered, “Even if you gave me half of your wealth, I would not go with you or eat or drink anything with you. 9The Lord has commanded me not to eat or drink a thing, and not to return home the same way I came.” 10So he did not go back the same way he had come, but by another road.

The Old Prophet of Bethel

11At that time there was an old prophet living in Bethel. His sons came and told him what the prophet from Judah had done in Bethel that day and what he had said to King Jeroboam. 12“Which way did he go when he left?” the old prophet asked them. They showed him the road 13and he told them to saddle his donkey for him. They did so, and he rode off 14down the road after the prophet from Judah and found him sitting under an oak tree. “Are you the prophet from Judah?” he asked. “I am,” the man answered. 15“Come home and have a meal with me,” he said. 16But the prophet from Judah answered, “I can’t go home with you or accept your hospitality. And I won’t eat or drink anything with you here, 17because the Lord has commanded me not to eat or drink a thing, and not to return home the same way I came.” 18Then the old prophet from Bethel said to him, “I, too, am a prophet just like you, and at the Lord’s command an angel told me to take you home with me and offer you my hospitality.” But the old prophet was lying. 19So the prophet from Judah went home with the old prophet and had a meal with him. 20As they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet, 21and he cried out to the prophet from Judah, “The Lord says that you disobeyed him and did not do what he commanded. 22Instead, you returned and ate a meal in a place he had ordered you not to eat in. Because of this you will be killed, and your body will not be buried in your family grave.” 23After they had finished eating, the old prophet saddled the donkey for the prophet from Judah, 24who rode off. On the way a lion met him and killed him. His body lay on the road, and the donkey and the lion stood beside it. 25Some men passed by and saw the body on the road, with the lion standing near by. They went on into Bethel and reported what they had seen. 26When the old prophet heard about it, he said, “That is the prophet who disobeyed the Lord’s command! And so the Lord sent the lion to attack and kill him, just as the Lord said he would.” 27Then he said to his sons, “Saddle my donkey for me.” They did so, 28and he rode off and found the prophet’s body lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion still standing by it. The lion had not eaten the body or attacked the donkey. 29The old prophet picked up the body, put it on the donkey, and brought it back to Bethel to mourn over it and bury it. 30He buried it in his own family grave, and he and his sons mourned over it, saying, “Oh my brother, my brother!” 31After the burial the prophet said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in this grave and lay my body next to his. 32The words that he spoke at the Lord’s command against the altar in Bethel and against all the places of worship in the towns of Samaria will surely come true.”

Jeroboam’s Fatal Sin

33King Jeroboam of Israel still did not turn from his evil ways but continued to choose priests from ordinary families to serve at the altars he had built. He ordained as priest anyone who wanted to be one. 34This sin on his part brought about the ruin and total destruction of his dynasty.

–1 Kings 13


Whether we know it or not, no matter how good our eyesight is or not, God can see beyond the tricks and the illusions and provide us the wisdom and discernment we need to do what is right. Turn to God first and allow Him to make your path straight! When people don’t remember the past, they will be doomed to repeat it. When people don’t follow thru on what God has called them to be and do, it will be taken away and they will have to deal with the consequences. So persevere! Finish strong! Don’t give up! Walk in relationship with God, in alignment to His will, and become all that God has planned and purposed for you to be!

The Death of Jeroboam’s Son

1At that time King Jeroboam’s son Abijah got sick. 2Jeroboam said to his wife, “Disguise yourself so that no one will recognize you, and go to Shiloh, where the prophet Ahijah lives, the one who said I would be king of Israel. 3Take him ten loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey. Ask him what is going to happen to our son, and he will tell you.” 4So she went to Ahijah’s home in Shiloh. Old age had made Ahijah blind. 5The Lord had told him that Jeroboam’s wife was coming to ask him about her son, who was sick. And the Lord told Ahijah what to say.When Jeroboam’s wife arrived, she pretended to be someone else. 6But when Ahijah heard her coming in the door, he said, “Come in. I know you are Jeroboam’s wife. Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have bad news for you. 7Go and tell Jeroboam that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to him: ‘I chose you from among the people and made you the ruler of my people Israel. 8I took the kingdom away from David’s descendants and gave it to you. But you have not been like my servant David, who was completely loyal to me, obeyed my commands, and did only what I approve of. 9You have committed far greater sins than those who ruled before you. You have rejected me and have aroused my anger by making idols and metal images to worship. 10Because of this I will bring disaster on your dynasty and will kill all your male descendants, young and old alike. I will get rid of your family; they will be swept away like dung. 11Any members of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any who die in the open country will be eaten by vultures. I, the Lord, have spoken.’” 12And Ahijah went on to say to Jeroboam’s wife, “Now go back home. As soon as you enter the town, your son will die. 13All the people of Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He will be the only member of Jeroboam’s family who will be properly buried, because he is the only one with whom the Lord, the God of Israel, is pleased. 14The Lord is going to place a king over Israel who will put an end to Jeroboam’s dynasty. 15The Lord will punish Israel, and she will shake like a reed shaking in a stream. He will uproot the people of Israel from this good land which he gave to their ancestors, and he will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they have aroused his anger by making idols of the goddess Asherah. 16The Lord will abandon Israel because Jeroboam sinned and led the people of Israel into sin.” 17Jeroboam’s wife went back to Tirzah. Just as she entered her home, the child died. 18The people of Israel mourned for him and buried him, as the Lord had said through his servant, the prophet Ahijah.

The Death of Jeroboam

19Everything else that King Jeroboam did, the wars he fought and how he ruled, are all recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 20Jeroboam ruled as king for twenty-two years. He died and was buried, and his son Nadab succeeded him as king.

King Rehoboam of Judah

(2 Chronicles 11.5—12.15)
21Solomon’s son Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen from all the territory of Israel as the place where he was to be worshiped. Rehoboam’s mother was Naamah from Ammon. 22The people of Judah sinned against the Lord and did more to arouse his anger against them than all their ancestors had done. 23They built places of worship for false gods and put up stone pillars and symbols of Asherah to worship on the hills and under shady trees. 24Worst of all, there were men and women who served as prostitutes at those pagan places of worship. The people of Judah practiced all the shameful things done by the people whom the Lord had driven out of the land as the Israelites advanced into the country. 25In the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 26He took away all the treasures in the Temple and in the palace, including the gold shields Solomon had made. 27To replace them, King Rehoboam made bronze shields and entrusted them to the officers responsible for guarding the palace gates. 28Every time the king went to the Temple, the guards carried the shields and then returned them to the guardroom. 29Everything else that King Rehoboam did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 30During all this time Rehoboam and Jeroboam were constantly at war with each other. 31Rehoboam died and was buried in the royal tombs in David’s City and his son Abijah succeeded him as king. –1 Kings 14


You either are or you are not! Are you loyal? Are you obedient? Or are you NOT!? Want to get things to be better? Want to make amend? Then we need to get back in alignment with God’s plan and God’s will! Otherwise…

King Abijah of Judah

(2 Chronicles 13.1—14.1)
1In the eighteenth year of the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel, Abijah became king of Judah, 2and he ruled three years in Jerusalem. His mother was Maacah, the daughter of Absalom. 3He committed the same sins as his father and was not completely loyal to the Lord his God, as his great-grandfather David had been. 4But for David’s sake the Lord his God gave Abijah a son to rule after him in Jerusalem and to keep Jerusalem secure. 5The Lord did this because David had done what pleased him and had never disobeyed any of his commands, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite. 6The war which had begun between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continued throughout Abijah’s lifetime. 7And everything else that Abijah did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 8Abijah died and was buried in David’s City, and his son Asa succeeded him as king.

King Asa of Judah

(2 Chronicles 14.1-5; 15.16—16.6, 11-14)
9In the twentieth year of the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10and he ruled forty-one years in Jerusalem. His grandmother was Maacah, the daughter of Absalom. 11Asa did what pleased the Lord, as his ancestor David had done. 12He expelled from the country all the male and female prostitutes serving at the pagan places of worship, and he removed all the idols his predecessors had made. 13He removed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made an obscene idol of the fertility goddess Asherah. Asa cut down the idol and burned it in Kidron Valley. 14Even though Asa did not destroy all the pagan places of worship, he remained faithful to the Lord all his life. 15He placed in the Temple all the objects his father had dedicated to God, as well as the gold and silver objects that he himself dedicated. 16King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel were constantly at war with each other as long as they were in power. 17Baasha invaded Judah and started to fortify Ramah in order to cut off all traffic in and out of Judah. 18So King Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the Temple and the palace, and sent it by some of his officials to Damascus, to King Benhadad of Syria, the son of Tabrimmon and grandson of Hezion, with this message: 19“Let us be allies, as our fathers were. This silver and gold is a present for you. Now break your alliance with King Baasha of Israel, so that he will have to pull his troops out of my territory.” 20King Benhadad agreed to Asa’s proposal and sent his commanding officers and their armies to attack the cities of Israel. They captured Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah, the area near Lake Galilee, and the whole territory of Naphtali. 21When King Baasha heard what had happened, he stopped fortifying Ramah and went to Tirzah. 22Then King Asa sent out an order throughout all of Judah requiring everyone, without exception, to help carry away from Ramah the stones and timber that Baasha had been using to fortify it. With this material Asa fortified Mizpah and Geba, a city in the territory of Benjamin. 23Everything else that King Asa did, his brave deeds and the towns he fortified, are all recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. But in his old age he was crippled by a foot disease. 24Asa died and was buried in the royal tombs in David’s City, and his son Jehoshaphat succeeded him as king.

King Nadab of Israel

25In the second year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, King Jeroboam’s son Nadab became king of Israel, and he ruled for two years. 26Like his father before him, he sinned against the Lord and led Israel into sin. 27Baasha son of Ahijah, of the tribe of Issachar, plotted against Nadab and killed him as Nadab and his army were besieging the city of Gibbethon in Philistia. 28This happened during the third year of the reign of King Asa of Judah. And so Baasha succeeded Nadab as king of Israel. 29At once he began killing all the members of Jeroboam’s family. In accordance with what the Lord had said through his servant, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh, all of Jeroboam’s family were killed; not one survived. 30This happened because Jeroboam aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by the sins that he committed and that he caused Israel to commit. 31Everything else that Nadab did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 32King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel were constantly at war with each other as long as they were in power.

King Baasha of Israel

33In the third year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel, and he ruled in Tirzah for twenty-four years. 34Like King Jeroboam before him, he sinned against the Lord and led Israel into sin.

— 1 Kings 15


There are consequences to our choices and actions. There are repercussions that will take place if we choose improperly. Walk close to God! Accept God’s correction and become who He is making you to be! Don’t walk away! Don’t lead others astray! Help yourself and others to stay on track!

1The Lord spoke to the prophet Jehu son of Hanani and gave him this message for Baasha: 2“You were a nobody, but I made you the leader of my people Israel. And now you have sinned like Jeroboam and have led my people into sin. Their sins have aroused my anger, 3and so I will do away with you and your family, just as I did with Jeroboam. 4Any members of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any who die in the open country will be eaten by vultures.” 5Everything else that Baasha did and all his brave deeds are recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 6Baasha died and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah succeeded him as king. 7That message from the Lord against Baasha and his family was given by the prophet Jehu because of the sins that Baasha committed against the Lord. He aroused the Lord’s anger not only because of the evil he did, just as King Jeroboam had done before him, but also because he killed all of Jeroboam’s family.

King Elah of Israel

8In the twenty-sixth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he ruled in Tirzah for two years. 9Zimri, one of his officers who was in charge of half of the king’s chariots, plotted against him. One day in Tirzah, Elah was getting drunk in the home of Arza, who was in charge of the palace. 10Zimri entered the house, assassinated Elah, and succeeded him as king. This happened in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Asa of Judah. 11As soon as Zimri became king he killed off all the members of Baasha’s family. Every male relative and friend was put to death. 12And so, in accordance with what the Lord had said against Baasha through the prophet Jehu, Zimri killed all the family of Baasha. 13Because of their idolatry and because they led Israel into sin, Baasha and his son Elah had aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel. 14Everything else that Elah did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel.

King Zimri of Israel

15In the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Zimri ruled in Tirzah over Israel for seven days. The Israelite troops were besieging the city of Gibbethon in Philistia, 16and when they heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and assassinated him, then and there they all proclaimed their commander Omri king of Israel. 17Omri and his troops left Gibbethon and went and besieged Tirzah. 18When Zimri saw that the city had fallen, he went into the palace’s inner fortress, set the palace on fire, and died in the flames. 19This happened because of his sins against the Lord. Like his predecessor Jeroboam, he displeased the Lord by his own sins and by leading Israel into sin. 20Everything else that Zimri did, including the account of his conspiracy, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel.

King Omri of Israel

21The people of Israel were divided: some of them wanted to make Tibni son of Ginath king, and the others were in favor of Omri. 22In the end, those in favor of Omri won out; Tibni died and Omri became king. 23So in the thirty-first year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he ruled for twelve years. The first six years he ruled in Tirzah, 24and then he bought the hill of Samaria for six thousand pieces of silver from a man named Shemer. Omri fortified the hill, built a town there, and named it Samaria, after Shemer, the former owner of the hill. 25Omri sinned against the Lord more than any of his predecessors. 26Like Jeroboam before him, he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by his sins and by leading the people into sin and idolatry. 27Everything else that Omri did and all his accomplishments are recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 28Omri died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Ahab succeeded him as king.

— 1 Kings 16

Ahab … Ever heard of someone called a Jezebel? Do you know what that means? Do you know what they are saying about that person? Let’s continue through the book of Kings and learn…

King Ahab of Israel

29In the thirty-eighth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for twenty-two years. 30He sinned against the Lord more than any of his predecessors. 31It was not enough for him to sin like King Jeroboam; he went further and married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of Sidon, and worshiped Baal. 32He built a temple to Baal in Samaria, made an altar for him, and put it in the temple. 33He also put up an image of the goddess Asherah. He did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than all the kings of Israel before him. 34During his reign Hiel from Bethel rebuilt Jericho. As the Lord had foretold through Joshua son of Nun, Hiel lost his oldest son Abiram when he laid the foundation of Jericho, and his youngest son Segub when he built the gates.  — 1 Kings 16

Even if you are trying to help and give good direction, the other person may not listen…

Elijah and the Drought

1A prophet named Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to King Ahab, “In the name of the Lord, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so.” 2Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3“Leave this place and go east and hide yourself near Cherith Brook, east of the Jordan. 4The brook will supply you with water to drink, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.” 5Elijah obeyed the Lord’s command, and went and stayed by Cherith Brook. 6He drank water from the brook, and ravens brought him bread and meat every morning and every evening. 7After a while the brook dried up because of the lack of rain.

Do you realize that with the little that you have in the hands of God it can become more than enough? God will provide! Will you be obedient?

Elijah and the Widow in Zarephath

8Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9“Now go to the town of Zarephath, near Sidon, and stay there. I have commanded a widow who lives there to feed you.” 10So Elijah went to Zarephath, and as he came to the town gate, he saw a widow gathering firewood. “Please bring me a drink of water,” he said to her. 11And as she was going to get it, he called out, “And please bring me some bread, too.” 12She answered, “By the living Lord your God I swear that I don’t have any bread. All I have is a handful of flour in a bowl and a bit of olive oil in a jar. I came here to gather some firewood to take back home and prepare what little I have for my son and me. That will be our last meal, and then we will starve to death.” 13“Don’t worry,” Elijah said to her. “Go on and prepare your meal. But first make a small loaf from what you have and bring it to me, and then prepare the rest for you and your son. 14For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The bowl will not run out of flour or the jar run out of oil before the day that I, the Lord, send rain.’” 15The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16As the Lord had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil. 17Some time later the widow’s son got sick; he got worse and worse, and finally he died. 18She said to Elijah, “Man of God, why did you do this to me? Did you come here to remind God of my sins and so cause my son’s death?” 19“Give the boy to me,” Elijah said. He took the boy from her arms, carried him upstairs to the room where he was staying, and laid him on the bed. 20Then he prayed aloud, “O Lord my God, why have you done such a terrible thing to this widow? She has been kind enough to take care of me, and now you kill her son!” 21Then Elijah stretched himself out on the boy three times and prayed, “O Lord my God, restore this child to life!” 22The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer; the child started breathing again and revived. 23Elijah took the boy back downstairs to his mother and said to her, “Look, your son is alive!” 24She answered, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the Lord really speaks through you!” — 1 Kings 17

With God on our side, we have already won! If God is for us who can be against us?

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal

1After some time, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and present yourself to King Ahab, and I will send rain.” 2So Elijah started out.The famine in Samaria was at its worst, 3so Ahab called in Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Obadiah was a devout worshiper of the Lord, 4and when Jezebel was killing the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah took a hundred of them, hid them in caves in two groups of fifty, and provided them with food and water.) 5Ahab said to Obadiah, “Let us go and look at every spring and every stream bed in the land to see if we can find enough grass to keep the horses and mules alive. Maybe we won’t have to kill any of our animals.” 6They agreed on which part of the land each one would explore, and set off in different directions. 7As Obadiah was on his way, he suddenly met Elijah. He recognized him, bowed low before him, and asked, “Is it really you, sir?” 8“Yes, I’m Elijah,” he answered. “Go and tell your master the king that I am here.” 9Obadiah answered, “What have I done that you want to put me in danger of being killed by King Ahab? 10By the living Lord, your God, I swear that the king has made a search for you in every country in the world. Whenever the ruler of a country reported that you were not in his country, Ahab would require that ruler to swear that you could not be found. 11And now you want me to go and tell him that you are here? 12What if the spirit of the Lord carries you off to some unknown place as soon as I leave? Then, when I tell Ahab that you are here and he can’t find you, he will put me to death. Remember that I have been a devout worshiper of the Lord ever since I was a boy. 13Haven’t you heard that when Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord I hid a hundred of them in caves, in two groups of fifty, and supplied them with food and water? 14So how can you order me to go and tell the king that you are here? He will kill me!” 15Elijah answered, “By the living Lord Almighty, whom I serve, I promise that I will present myself to the king today.” 16So Obadiah went to King Ahab and told him, and Ahab set off to meet Elijah. 17When Ahab saw him, he said, “So there you are—the worst troublemaker in Israel!” 18“I’m not the troublemaker,” Elijah answered. “You are—you and your father. You are disobeying the Lord’s commands and worshiping the idols of Baal. 19Now order all the people of Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah who are supported by Queen Jezebel.” 20So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and the prophets of Baal to meet at Mount Carmel. 21Elijah went up to the people and said, “How much longer will it take you to make up your minds? If the Lord is God, worship him; but if Baal is God, worship him!” But the people didn’t say a word. 22Then Elijah said, “I am the only prophet of the Lord still left, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. 23Bring two bulls; let the prophets of Baal take one, kill it, cut it in pieces, and put it on the wood—but don’t light the fire. I will do the same with the other bull. 24Then let the prophets of Baal pray to their god, and I will pray to the Lord, and the one who answers by sending fire—he is God.”The people shouted their approval. 25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Since there are so many of you, you take a bull and prepare it first. Pray to your god, but don’t set fire to the wood.” 26They took the bull that was brought to them, prepared it, and prayed to Baal until noon. They shouted, “Answer us, Baal!” and kept dancing around the altar they had built. But no answer came. 27At noon Elijah started making fun of them: “Pray louder! He is a god! Maybe he is day-dreaming or relieving himself, or perhaps he’s gone off on a trip! Or maybe he’s sleeping, and you’ve got to wake him up!” 28So the prophets prayed louder and cut themselves with knives and daggers, according to their ritual, until blood flowed. 29They kept on ranting and raving until the middle of the afternoon; but no answer came, not a sound was heard. 30Then Elijah said to the people, “Come closer to me,” and they all gathered around him. He set about repairing the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. 31He took twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes named for the sons of Jacob, the man to whom the Lord had given the name Israel. 32With these stones he rebuilt the altar for the worship of the Lord. He dug a trench around it, large enough to hold about four gallons of water. 33Then he placed the wood on the altar, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the offering and the wood.” They did so, 34and he said, “Do it again”—and they did. “Do it once more,” he said—and they did. 35The water ran down around the altar and filled the trench. 36At the hour of the afternoon sacrifice the prophet Elijah approached the altar and prayed, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove now that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant and have done all this at your command. 37Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God and that you are bringing them back to yourself.” 38The Lord sent fire down, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, scorched the earth and dried up the water in the trench. 39When the people saw this, they threw themselves on the ground and exclaimed, “The Lord is God; the Lord alone is God!” 40Elijah ordered, “Seize the prophets of Baal; don’t let any of them get away!” The people seized them all, and Elijah led them down to Kishon Brook and killed them.

The End of the Drought

41Then Elijah said to King Ahab, “Now, go and eat. I hear the roar of rain approaching.” 42While Ahab went to eat, Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel, where he bowed down to the ground, with his head between his knees. 43He said to his servant, “Go and look toward the sea.”The servant went and returned, saying, “I didn’t see a thing.” Seven times in all Elijah told him to go and look. 44The seventh time he returned and said, “I saw a little cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, coming up from the sea.”Elijah ordered his servant, “Go to King Ahab and tell him to get in his chariot and go back home before the rain stops him.” 45In a little while the sky was covered with dark clouds, the wind began to blow, and a heavy rain began to fall. Ahab got in his chariot and started back to Jezreel. 46The power of the Lord came on Elijah; he fastened his clothes tight around his waist and ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

–1 Kings 18

Jezebel who manipulated and tricked her husband wasn’t done yet…And as God’s Word says, in this world you will face troubles, but Jesus gives us the hope that we are not to fear, because He has overcome the world. We see Elijah facing many challenges, but God never leaves him nor abandons him. He provides for him even using birds to bring him food. Now let’s see what Jezebel is up to…

Elijah on Mount Sinai

1King Ahab told his wife Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he had put all the prophets of Baal to death. 2She sent a message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me dead if by this time tomorrow I don’t do the same thing to you that you did to the prophets.” 3Elijah was afraid and fled for his life; he took his servant and went to Beersheba in Judah.Leaving the servant there, 4Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. “It’s too much, Lord,” he prayed. “Take away my life; I might as well be dead!” 5He lay down under the tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Wake up and eat.” 6He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7The Lord’s angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, “Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you.” 8Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain. 9There he went into a cave to spend the night.Suddenly the Lord spoke to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” 10He answered, “Lord God Almighty, I have always served you—you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left—and they are trying to kill me!” 11“Go out and stand before me on top of the mountain,” the Lord said to him. Then the Lord passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks—but the Lord was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, and then there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake there was a fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice. 13When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” 14He answered, “Lord God Almighty, I have always served you—you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left—and they are trying to kill me.” 15The Lord said, “Return to the wilderness near Damascus, then enter the city and anoint Hazael as king of Syria; 16anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17Anyone who escapes being put to death by Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and anyone who escapes Jehu will be killed by Elisha. 18Yet I will leave seven thousand people alive in Israel—all those who are loyal to me and have not bowed to Baal or kissed his idol.”

The Call of Elisha

19Elijah left and found Elisha plowing with a team of oxen; there were eleven teams ahead of him, and he was plowing with the last one. Elijah took off his cloak and put it on Elisha. 20Elisha then left his oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you.”Elijah answered, “All right, go back. I’m not stopping you!” 21Then Elisha went to his team of oxen, killed them, and cooked the meat, using the yoke as fuel for the fire. He gave the meat to the people, and they ate it. Then he went and followed Elijah as his helper.

–1 Kings 19

God will provide wisdom. God will provide support. God will provide! If you go against God, you are just asking for trouble!

War with Syria

1King Benhadad of Syria gathered all his troops, and supported by thirty-two other rulers with their horses and chariots, he marched up, laid siege to Samaria, and launched attacks against it. 2He sent messengers into the city to King Ahab of Israel to say, “King Benhadad demands that 3you surrender to him your silver and gold, your women and the strongest of your children.” 4“Tell my lord, King Benhadad, that I agree; he can have me and everything I own,” Ahab answered. 5Later the messengers came back to Ahab with another demand from Benhadad: “I sent you word that you were to hand over to me your silver and gold, your women and your children. 6Now, however, I will send my officers to search your palace and the homes of your officials, and to take everything they consider valuable. They will be there about this time tomorrow.” 7King Ahab called in all the leaders of the country and said, “You see that this man wants to ruin us. He sent me a message demanding my wives and children, my silver and gold, and I agreed.” 8The leaders and the people answered, “Don’t pay any attention to him; don’t give in.” 9So Ahab replied to Benhadad’s messengers, “Tell my lord the king that I agreed to his first demand, but I cannot agree to the second.” The messengers left and then returned with another message 10from Benhadad: “I will bring enough men to destroy this city of yours and carry off the rubble in their hands. May the gods strike me dead if I don’t!” 11King Ahab answered, “Tell King Benhadad that a real soldier does his bragging after a battle, not before it.” 12Benhadad received Ahab’s answer as he and his allies, the other rulers, were drinking in their tents. He ordered his men to get ready to attack the city, and so they moved into position. 13Meanwhile, a prophet went to King Ahab and said, “The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid of that huge army! I will give you victory over it today, and you will know that I am the Lord.’” 14“Who will lead the attack?” Ahab asked. The prophet answered, “The Lord says that the young soldiers under the command of the district governors are to do it.” “Who will command the main force?” the king asked. “You,” the prophet answered. 15So the king called out the young soldiers who were under the district commanders, 232 in all. Then he called out the Israelite army, a total of seven thousand men. 16The attack began at noon, as Benhadad and his thirty-two allies were getting drunk in their tents. 17The young soldiers advanced first. Scouts sent out by Benhadad reported to him that a group of soldiers was coming out of Samaria. 18He ordered, “Take them alive, no matter whether they are coming to fight or to ask for peace.” 19The young soldiers led the attack, followed by the Israelite army, 20and each one killed the man he fought. The Syrians fled, with the Israelites in hot pursuit, but Benhadad escaped on horseback, accompanied by some of the cavalry. 21King Ahab took to the field, captured the horses and chariots, and inflicted a severe defeat on the Syrians. 22Then the prophet went to King Ahab and said, “Go back and build up your forces and make careful plans, because the king of Syria will attack again next spring.”

The Second Syrian Attack

23King Benhadad’s officials said to him, “The gods of Israel are mountain gods, and that is why the Israelites defeated us. But we will certainly defeat them if we fight them in the plains. 24Now, remove the thirty-two rulers from their commands and replace them with field commanders. 25Then call up an army as large as the one that deserted you, with the same number of horses and chariots. We will fight the Israelites in the plains, and this time we will defeat them.” King Benhadad agreed and followed their advice. 26The following spring he called up his men and marched with them to the city of Aphek to attack the Israelites. 27The Israelites were called up and equipped; they marched out and camped in two groups facing the Syrians. The Israelites looked like two small flocks of goats compared to the Syrians, who spread out over the countryside. 28A prophet went to King Ahab and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Syrians say that I am a god of the hills and not of the plains, I will give you victory over their huge army, and you and your people will know that I am the Lord.’” 29For seven days the Syrians and the Israelites stayed in their camps, facing each other. On the seventh day they started fighting, and the Israelites killed a hundred thousand Syrians. 30The survivors fled into the city of Aphek, where the city walls fell on twenty-seven thousand of them. Benhadad also escaped into the city and took refuge in the back room of a house. 31His officials went to him and said, “We have heard that the Israelite kings are merciful. Give us permission to go to the king of Israel with sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our necks, and maybe he will spare your life.” 32So they wrapped sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their necks, went to Ahab and said, “Your servant Benhadad pleads with you for his life.” Ahab answered, “Is he still alive? Good! He’s like a brother to me!” 33Benhadad’s officials were watching for a good sign, and when Ahab said “brother,” they took it up at once, and said, “As you say, Benhadad is your brother!” “Bring him to me,” Ahab ordered. When Benhadad arrived, Ahab invited him to get in the chariot with him. 34Benhadad said to him, “I will restore to you the towns my father took from your father, and you may set up a commercial center for yourself in Damascus, just as my father did in Samaria.” Ahab replied, “On these terms, then, I will set you free.” He made a treaty with him and let him go.

A Prophet Condemns Ahab

35At the Lord’s command a member of a group of prophets ordered a fellow prophet to hit him. But he refused, 36so he said to him, “Because you have disobeyed the Lord’s command, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me.” And as soon as he left, a lion came along and killed him. 37Then this same prophet went to another man and said, “Hit me!” This man did so; he hit him a hard blow and hurt him. 38The prophet bandaged his face with a cloth, to disguise himself, and went and stood by the road, waiting for the king of Israel to pass. 39As the king was passing by, the prophet called out to him and said, “Your Majesty, I was fighting in the battle when a soldier brought a captured enemy to me and said, ‘Guard this man; if he escapes, you will pay for it with your life or else pay a fine of three thousand pieces of silver.’ 40But I got busy with other things, and the man escaped.” The king answered, “You have pronounced your own sentence, and you will have to pay the penalty.” 41The prophet tore the cloth from his face, and at once the king recognized him as one of the prophets. 42The prophet then said to the king, “This is the word of the Lord: ‘Because you allowed the man to escape whom I had ordered to be killed, you will pay for it with your life, and your army will be destroyed for letting his army escape.’” 43The king went back home to Samaria, worried and depressed.

–1 Kings 20

She is never satisfied that Jezebel. If she can’t get what she want’s in a civilized manor, she goes over the top.

Naboth’s Vineyard

1Near King Ahab’s palace in Jezreel there was a vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. 2One day Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard; it is close to my palace, and I want to use the land for a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if you prefer, I will pay you a fair price.” 3“I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors,” Naboth replied. “The Lord forbid that I should let you have it!” 4Ahab went home, depressed and angry over what Naboth had said to him. He lay down on his bed, facing the wall, and would not eat. 5His wife Jezebel went to him and asked, “Why are you so depressed? Why won’t you eat?” 6He answered, “Because of what Naboth said to me. I offered to buy his vineyard or, if he preferred, to give him another one for it, but he told me that I couldn’t have it!” 7“Well, are you the king or aren’t you?” Jezebel replied. “Get out of bed, cheer up, and eat. I will get you Naboth’s vineyard!” 8Then she wrote some letters, signed Ahab’s name to them, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the officials and leading citizens of Jezreel. 9The letters said: “Proclaim a day of fasting, call the people together, and give Naboth the place of honor. 10Get a couple of scoundrels to accuse him to his face of cursing God and the king. Then take him out of the city and stone him to death.” 11The officials and leading citizens of Jezreel did what Jezebel had commanded. 12They proclaimed a day of fasting, called the people together, and gave Naboth the place of honor. 13The two scoundrels publicly accused him of cursing God and the king, and so he was taken outside the city and stoned to death. 14The message was sent to Jezebel: “Naboth has been put to death.” 15As soon as Jezebel received the message, she said to Ahab, “Naboth is dead. Now go and take possession of the vineyard which he refused to sell to you.” 16At once Ahab went to the vineyard to take possession of it. 17Then the Lord said to Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe, 18“Go to King Ahab of Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard, about to take possession of it. 19Tell him that I, the Lord, say to him, ‘After murdering the man, are you taking over his property as well?’ Tell him that this is what I say: ‘In the very place that the dogs licked up Naboth’s blood they will lick up your blood!’” 20When Ahab saw Elijah, he said, “Have you caught up with me, my enemy?”“Yes, I have,” Elijah answered. “You have devoted yourself completely to doing what is wrong in the Lord’s sight. 21So the Lord says to you, ‘I will bring disaster on you. I will do away with you and get rid of every male in your family, young and old alike. 22Your family will become like the family of King Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the family of King Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have stirred up my anger by leading Israel into sin.’ 23And concerning Jezebel, the Lord says that dogs will eat her body in the city of Jezreel. 24Any of your relatives who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any who die in the open country will be eaten by vultures.”( 25There was no one else who had devoted himself so completely to doing wrong in the Lord’s sight as Ahab—all at the urging of his wife Jezebel. 26He committed the most shameful sins by worshiping idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord had driven out of the land as the people of Israel advanced.) 27When Elijah finished speaking, Ahab tore his clothes, took them off, and put on sackcloth. He refused food, slept in the sackcloth, and went about gloomy and depressed. 28The Lord said to the prophet Elijah, 29“Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has done this, I will not bring disaster on him during his lifetime; it will be during his son’s lifetime that I will bring disaster on Ahab’s family.”

–1 Kings 21

Trickery and deception aren’t the solution. Disguise and deception won’t get you far. In the end such tactics will get you to lose.

The Prophet Micaiah Warns Ahab

(2 Chronicles 18.2-27)
1There was peace between Israel and Syria for the next two years, 2but in the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to see King Ahab of Israel. 3Ahab asked his officials, “Why is it that we have not done anything to get back Ramoth in Gilead from the king of Syria? It belongs to us!” 4And Ahab asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth?”“I am ready when you are,” Jehoshaphat answered, “and so are my soldiers and my cavalry. 5But first let’s consult the Lord.” 6So Ahab called in the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked them, “Should I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”“Attack it,” they answered. “The Lord will give you victory.” 7But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there another prophet through whom we can consult the Lord?” 8Ahab answered, “There is one more, Micaiah son of Imlah. But I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me; it’s always something bad.”“You shouldn’t say that!” Jehoshaphat replied. 9Then Ahab called in a court official and told him to go and get Micaiah at once. 10The two kings, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on their thrones at the threshing place just outside the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 11One of them, Zedekiah son of Chenaanah, made iron horns and said to Ahab, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will fight the Syrians and totally defeat them.’” 12All the other prophets said the same thing. “March against Ramoth and you will win,” they said. “The Lord will give you victory.” 13Meanwhile, the official who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, “All the other prophets have prophesied success for the king, and you had better do the same.” 14But Micaiah answered, “By the living Lord I promise that I will say what he tells me to!” 15When he appeared before King Ahab, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should King Jehoshaphat and I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”“Attack!” Micaiah answered. “Of course you’ll win. The Lord will give you victory.” 16But Ahab replied, “When you speak to me in the name of the Lord, tell the truth! How many times do I have to tell you that?” 17Micaiah answered, “I can see the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These men have no leader; let them go home in peace.’” 18Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good for me? It’s always something bad!” 19Micaiah went on: “Now listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne in heaven, with all his angels standing beside him. 20The Lord asked, ‘Who will deceive Ahab so that he will go and be killed at Ramoth?’ Some of the angels said one thing, and others said something else, 21until a spirit stepped forward, approached the Lord, and said, ‘I will deceive him.’ 22‘How?’ the Lord asked. The spirit replied, ‘I will go and make all of Ahab’s prophets tell lies.’ The Lord said, ‘Go and deceive him. You will succeed.’” 23And Micaiah concluded: “This is what has happened. The Lord has made these prophets of yours lie to you. But he himself has decreed that you will meet with disaster!” 24Then the prophet Zedekiah went up to Micaiah, slapped his face, and asked, “Since when did the Lord’s spirit leave me and speak to you?” 25“You will find out when you go into some back room to hide,” Micaiah replied. 26Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, “Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Prince Joash. 27Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely.” 28“If you return safely,” Micaiah exclaimed, “then the Lord has not spoken through me!” And he added, “Listen, everyone, to what I have said!”

The Death of Ahab

(2 Chronicles 18.28-34)
29Then King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to attack the city of Ramoth in Gilead. 30Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself, but you wear your royal garments.” So the king of Israel went into battle in disguise. 31The king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders to attack no one else except the king of Israel. 32So when they saw King Jehoshaphat, they all thought that he was the king of Israel, and they turned to attack him. But when he cried out, 33they realized that he was not the king of Israel, and they stopped their attack. 34By chance, however, a Syrian soldier shot an arrow which struck King Ahab between the joints of his armor. “I’m wounded!” he cried out to his chariot driver. “Turn around and pull out of the battle!” 35While the battle raged on, King Ahab remained propped up in his chariot, facing the Syrians. The blood from his wound ran down and covered the bottom of the chariot, and at evening he died. 36Near sunset the order went out through the Israelite ranks: “Each of you go back to your own country and city!” 37So died King Ahab. His body was taken to Samaria and buried. 38His chariot was cleaned up at the pool of Samaria, where dogs licked up his blood and prostitutes washed themselves, as the Lord had said would happen. 39Everything else that King Ahab did, including an account of his palace decorated with ivory and of all the cities he built, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 40At his death his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.

King Jehoshaphat of Judah

(2 Chronicles 20.31—21.1)
41In the fourth year of the reign of King Ahab of Israel, Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah 42at the age of thirty-five, and he ruled in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 43Like his father Asa before him, he did what was right in the sight of the Lord; but the places of worship were not destroyed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. 44Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel. 45Everything else that Jehoshaphat did, all his bravery and his battles, are recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 46He got rid of all the male and female prostitutes serving at the pagan altars who were still left from the days of his father Asa. 47The land of Edom had no king; it was ruled by a deputy appointed by the king of Judah. 48King Jehoshaphat had ocean-going ships built to sail to the land of Ophir for gold; but they were wrecked at Eziongeber and never sailed. 49Then King Ahaziah of Israel offered to let his men sail with Jehoshaphat’s men, but Jehoshaphat refused the offer. 50Jehoshaphat died and was buried in the royal tombs in David’s City, and his son Jehoram succeeded him as king.

King Ahaziah of Israel

51In the seventeenth year of the reign of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for two years. 52He sinned against the Lord, following the wicked example of his father Ahab, his mother Jezebel, and King Jeroboam, who had led Israel into sin. 53He worshiped and served Baal, and like his father before him, he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel.

–1 Kings 22