1 Kings 15:15-25-16:34; 2 Chronicles 17
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JUDAH had one King (Asa) for 41 years. Israel on the other hand, during the same time period buried 7 Kings!! Ummmmm…there was a WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN GOIN ON!!!
There are several places in our first Kings read today where we read certain leaders did evil “in the eyes of The Lord.” If we stop and think about the FACT that we TRULY have an audience of ONE…it gives us a chance to think, pray, and ask God…”how did I do for you today Lord.” The Kings who are labeled as good Kings are “good” because they have a heart for God, so in the eyes of The Lord they did HIS will to further HIS KINGDOM. Think about it on a personal level…. I know I am.
In 2 Chronicles 17 Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son succeeded him. We are told that “The Lord was WITH Jehoshaphat because in his EARLY years he walked in the way of David!” He did not consult with the Baals, he ONLY sought after GOD. The LORD ESTABLISHED the kingdom under his control. His HEART was devoted to God. Levites accompanied teachers Jehoshaphat sent out through out the land of Judah to teach them “THE BOOK OF THE LAW OF THE LORD.” In case you have joined just joined us on the reading….Jehoshaphat KNEW the people of Judah NEEDED to know The WORD of God…….essentially the SCRIPTURES!!! Let’s face it…..ALL of Israel and Judah had been following other gods for quite awhile and Jehoshaphat KNEW they all needed to KNOW what God had to say. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 states: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.”
This is repeated again in Ecclesiastes: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today ARE TO BE UPON YOUR HEARTS. IMPRESS them on your children. TALK ABOUT THEM about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. WRITE THEM on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
God STILL wants HIS Word written on our hearts to this day. When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was HE answered (Mark 12:29-31) “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
YEPPER… it is the same today as it was 3000+ years ago. I’ve given you three examples of this same Scripture being used…..remember when God says something 3 times…..we need to PAY attention and LIVE it. Isn’t it awesome to KNOW God is the SAME….yesterday, today, and ALWAYS!! I LOVE knowing in this CRAZY world of constant change….that my GOD NEVER changes.
I LOVE that the “fear of the Lord fell on ALL the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah so they did not make war with Jehoshaphat.” And not only did they not make war with him….look at who brought him GIFTS….the Philistines (I mean like Goliath’s people!!) and the Arabs!!! These people had been enemies!!
Did you catch the KEWL references??? First, Samaria is mentioned in But here is some cool references. DId you catch the name Samaria in chapter 16. In the Gospel, Jesus goes through the land of Samaria and speaks to the woman at the well. Reading this you can see why that was a big deal. This would be a town that would be AVOIDED by believers not visited. It was all pagan!!
Second, did you catch the name Jezebel?? In case you don’t know, Jezebel turns out to be a very wicked woman. She wants to be in CONTROL of EVERYthing and EVERYone. She is a MASTER at manipulation. She can appear sweet and concerned, but she ALWAYS has PERSONAL, USUALLY NEGATIVE evil motives for everything she does. Here is a statement by Henry Halley to give a little more insight: “Jezebel, a princess from Sidron, who was imperious, unscrupulous, vindictive, determined, devilish woman-a demon incarnate. She built a temple for Baal in Samaria, maintained 850 prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth (fake gods), killed prophets, and ABOLISHED the worship of the Lord” When we read MORE about her….take note at the INFLUENCE she HAS on her husband Ahab!!! THAT ought to get your attention and make you think twice about the POWER of an EVIL woman. Can you say……she is TOTALLY OPPOSITE of a Proverbs 31 wife??? To call someone a Jezebel is quite serious. She is mentioned in Revelations as an adulteress who sought to seduce the church of its spirituality. OYE VEY!!!! We will read much more about her this week, so get your antennas up!!!
Finally we read REBUILD JERICHO (at the cost of his sons)? What in the world? I know it was a long long long time since we read the Fall of Jericho so let me compare the Scriptures:
(1 Kings 16:34) “In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.” Did you notice this particular Scripture??…. I noticed it the first time I read it and thought WHAT? Then in reading it again, looking up the cross reference for it, it took me back to the original FALL OF JERICHO. THE LORD COLLAPSED THE WALLS INWARD. This was the LORD’S city to DESTROY. Well here is the prophecy on that from Joshua 6:
“Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day. At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:
“At the cost of his firstborn son
will he lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
will he set up its gates.”
I mean…….doesn’t it just make you scratch your head when you SEE prophesy come true????
ISRAEL —- HEAVENS….what can I say…. but SIGHHHHHHH!!! What a big red hot mess! Killing their kings and their families, living for and worshipping false gods…it just went on and on and on. Kings getting drunk (we read about this in Ecclesiastes and as a warning to King Lemuel in Proverbs 31 from his mother.)
The behavior of Israel in our read today makes me think of our WORLD, not just our country, but the WORLD we live in today. SOOOOOO many acceptable behaviors in our society that if we do not read the Word, ASK God for wisdom and guidance….. we WILL be led astray. Being nice, and kind is not enough….we must believe in the Lord with ALL our hearts, souls, minds, SEEK HIM, and LIVE it out to the best of our ability. No one is perfect but don’t let that be an instrument of the enemy that holds you back from reading. If you are a child of God…HE WANTS you to know HIM more and more and more!! If you don’t know HIM…HE CRAVES that you answer the door HE is knocking on…waiting for you to open it and invite HIM in. Remember just because something is a law, or just because “everybody is doing it” doesn’t make it right “in the eyes of God.” Know what I mean Vern?? So remain faithful to the readings, pray and ask God to speak directly to you with a personal message from HIM. ALSO NEVER EVER be afraid to ask questions. I doubt I will have all the answers….but I will be glad to find them out. Do NOT allow the enemy to get tell you….it is just too hard…too confusing….because GOD WANTS you to understand. I mean there are many things we may never understand on this side of heaven….(think about the questions Job asked God)…but we can ALWAYS KNOW HIS love, HIS faithfulness, HIS true character!!! AMEN!!???
LOTS of names and places…LOTS to soak in…but don’t you find it exciting to watch all this unfold and WITNESS exactly how God uses people, places, and things to further HIS Kingdom?
Got questions? Something touch you today as never before? Something you like to share? Please do….encouragement from other believers is a blessing to me.
Sharing HIS love,