4 Chapters today: I am taking them one at a time. click here
Chapter 19: Jehoshaphat from Judah.. JJ is setting it up the way the Lord instructed. I like what I am hearing…Judges, Levites, Law, Fairness…. AHhhh the way of the Lord. Imagine if we judged and governed this way today.
Chapter 20: Moab and Ammon (the children of Lot and his daughter) WOW, now we are flash backing to Genesis 14! and a vast Army is coming at you from Edom. Let’s stop and take a look at this visually. These 3 nations are barbaric and evil and never miss an opportunity to attack God’s people. JJ is in Jerusalem (where he should be) at the Temple of the Lord worshipping and tells the Lord WE ARE YOURS AND OUR EYES ARE ONLY ON YOU (paraphrased). Even the Koharthites are mentioned (Levites from the MOSES family) and the Lord responds “The battle is not yours it is God’s”
Edom…we are going to read more about them this week. The Edomites. Who are they? Where did they come from? Why do they hate Israel? Well, Jacob (Israel) had a brother named Esau…Ahhhh it is all coming back to you. Esau hated Jacob after the whole stealing the birth right switcheroo and since then they have been enemies. The Edomites were the people in Numbers 20:14 that when the Israelites were at the edge of the Promise Land (Kadesh Barnea) and wanted to pass through, the Edomites said…”Nope…not coming in”. Anyway, the Edomites seem invincible (funny word to think of when reading the Word right)….Well guess what, I know ONE that can take them. (Starts with a G…ends in a D…only 3 letters)
I stopped right here. I am not a betting woman but if I were I would bet they are going to win this battle. I just know it.
I read on and yes not only were they victorious but God’s provisions flowith over! The End of JJ’s reign I noticed 2 things. First, this was like the 4th time I heard him introduced as ‘his mother was Azubah and he walked in the ways of his father Asa’ Why did this catch my eye? Because this is the ultimate prayer I have over myself when it comes to my children. I want to be such a follower of the Lord that when God introduces my children He sees them as a product of me and my husband.
Chapter 21: Wow. JJ’s son married the daughter of the Israel king. (that must have been some wild reception party) and again we see marrying outside our faith always has a bad consequence. Thank goodness God’s Covenant is permanent and a promise that will never be broken. Through this line we will still see the birth of our Savior King. But in the meantime, God gets rid of many Kings through various ways, falling on his own sword, woman, battles, this is the first I think of a King Dying this way pooping to death.
Chapter 22: The first sentence said it all
The people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, Jehoram’s youngest son, king in his place, since the raiders, who came with the Arabs into the camp, had killed all the older sons. So Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign.
The PEOPLE? I didn’t need to finish the chapter. I can guess from that statement his reign will be short and his ways will be evil. If you reading the word Arab and wonder where they came from…go all the way back to Genesis 17 click here. The descendants of Ishmael.
Chapter 23:Whooo hoooo. What is this my ears hear. Temple. Levites. Consecrated. The Law of Moses. Offerings. Well good grief, about time. Do I smell a revival??
I got home from a week long sleep away Camp in Linden (if your from Tennessee you know it) for me so I am going to make this light. Click here
- Why did Ramoth Gilead belong to Israel?
- Who is the King of Israel?
- Who is the King of Judah?
- Judah is willing to help Israel but what is the first thing Jehoshaphat asks for?
- Why does Ahab not like the prophet Micaiah?
- Why were all the prophets, prophesying victory for Ahab?
- Why did the King of Israel disguise himself?
- When Ahab died and in verse 38 it says “As the Lord declared” what prophecy was being fulfilled?
Let’s go back to Deuteronomy for a minute: Chapter 17:14-20. God said He was King, the people said No, they wanted a human King. SO God gave them what they asked for just to prove to them that human kings cannot measure up to God as King. So here is the scripture:
When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.
As we read further and further into the Old Testament we can see that the ONLY person that will fill that description will be Jesus, the King of Kings.
However, we now have Jehoshaphat King of Judah. (remember if is says king of Israel=bad but if it says King of Judah we have a slight chance of good) He is one of them. Jehoshaphat does what we ALL do, go to God with the BIG Questions or problems, but as far as day to day activity he does not. Right? If lose our job, get very sick, child is needs help, 401K is lost…we are in a constant state of prayer, just like Jehoshaphat says “First Seek the counsel of the Lord”. But when it comes to day to day stuff that truly is just as important, we tend to forget that God can counsel is in those decisions too.
So we end the book of 1 Kings today. Flip back and take a peek of how it started verse how it ended. SO much has happened. The nation was united under David as one, and we are ending a divided kingdom with the death of the most wicked king, Ahab (married to Jezebel).
As we think back did we notice how little God was worshipped, recognized or consulted in this book. Even as we end this chapter it says Jehoshaphat was a good king (he lives longer, 25 years) the bad kings live very short lives) but he still failed to take down the ‘high places’ of worship. A worship of convenience for his people, not what God required.
Writing a quiz for you…stay tuned.
Don’t get confused as to what is going on. Isreal and Judah have 3 major enemies right now for the next 2 centuries. Aram, Assyria, and Babylon.
Ben-Hadad-from Aram (Go back to 15:18) . King Asa of Judah had bribed him to be on His side. Now in Chapter 20 he is attacking Israel. This should not shock us, we are not to make treaties (unequally yoked) with the enemy.
King Ahab: bad king , he is the king who built all the pagan idols, he is also married to Jezebel who kills any of the God fearing prophets. Anyway, even with all that, God delivers Him in this battle (twice!).
Chapter 20 verse 29 starts the Battle, reminded me of Jericho! Whoo hoo
Ahab never acknowledges God for the battle and never changed his ways. I actually went and read Chapter 20 in the Message because I was really confused. In the defeat of the battle, Ben-Hadad disguises himself and comes to seek mercy from Ahab. It works and Ahab does not kill him. Uggggg seriously????
I know you read Chapter 21 and thought man they are evil! And they were. Ahab and Jezebel are quite the brats. Is it wrong that I smiled when Elijah prophesied “Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel”. Yes it will happen. That will be our 4th of July read. hee hee hawwww.
WARNING: This is not a read to skim. I repeat this is not a skimmer! This might be one of the best reads in the Old Testament!
Huge moment in the Bible. Elijah! Elijah means “Jehovah is my God”, He is the most outstanding of all the prophets. At this moment I cannot even express the adrenaline in my body as I read about Elijah. Elijah is one of 2 men in the Bible that never dies before going to Heaven (Enoch is the other from Genesis). Jews expect Elijah to come back to pave the way for the Messiah to come (they are still waiting). That is why in Matthew the followers keep asking Jesus “Are you Elijah”. John the Baptist comes in the spirit of Elijah and Elijah is with Jesus at the Transfiguration. Elijah could be one of the men that return in Revelation with the 2 spies are sent in . So take a minute to breathe and know what we are reading here and just look forward to the rest.
To cut and paste all his appearances would take all day but here is the one from the Transfiguration
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. (Luke 7:1-3)
(Moses represents the Law and Elijah will represent the Prophets, both are being fulfilled)
Ok ok ok…to the reading. I loved and related to Elijah. He boldly stepped on the scene to confront the most powerful people in the nation. The King and Jezebel. I love his boldness, his strength, his faith and his humor in this reading (you all know I love sarcasm). God’s provision was incredible and through Elijah he was able to turn a woman who lived in the heart of the pagan nation, who probably never even heard of the Lord, into a converted believer in God Almighty. Amen!
Obadiah the prophet enters the story today, we will actually be reading the Book he penned later this week.
So we have one man against 850. Elijah verse the false prophets. Elijah is so bold! He says in 18:21
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waiver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
I have that song from Hannah Montana running through my head “The best of both worlds”. Not true. Pick one.
Then we have the Mt Carmel Miracle. Was that the most incredible story. Elijah putting the 12 stones on the alter to remind Israel that they were once 12 tribes, not 10 and 2. And water! This wasn’t just any fire, this was the Lord! And after that huge moment in History, Elijah, like us, is so human: He is afraid, depressed and feeling lonely. He travels 200 miles to the very place that Moses was given the 10 Commandments. And like most of us expect to see God do huge things. But having a relationship with the Lord is not just watching Him move mountains, it is listening to Him speak. Whisper. Directly and personally to us. The greatest miracle of all is He can have a one on one with each of us at the same time.
“Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
And we end with a beautiful foreshadow of what it means to be a disciple. Elisha is chosen to succeed Elijah and he leaves his riches behind. He actually committed so deeply to the Lord that he burned up all he owned so he could not come back to his old life. He is now the hand and feet of the Lord.
Asa was the King of Judah for 41 years. Israel in the meantime buried 7 Kings in that time span.
(If you did not get the list of Kings emailed to you last week let me know)
Judah: IN 2 Chron 17 it says the appointed men were teaching the Book of the Law of the Lord. Some of you came in late, and might wonder what that is. IT IS THE SCRIPTURES…Amen! What is a very important Scripture in the Old Testament? Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (shema)
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 when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Israel: Oye! What a 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).
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.
Jezebel! Always heard of her, never knew who she was! (End of chapter 16) I read up on her a little and I found this statement by Henry Halley “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” Wow! 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. Yikes. We will read much more about her this week.
Finally we read REBUILD JERICHO (at the cost of his sons)? What in the world? I know it was a long long long (March 24th) 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 catch this Scripture. I was like what?? Did you look up the cross reference on it? Remember the Fall of Jericho. The Lord collapsed the walls inward. That was His 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.”
Well there you have it. Lots of names and places. If at any moment you are confused or overwhelmed…just ask.
Click here I am at camp Linden this week so you guys are going to need to help each other with questions during the day.
So what we just read was Abijah (king of Judah) said “Jeroboam…don’t you know there is a Covenant here!…The line of David is Chosen, and you have completely broken the law with you choosing priests”. Israel (Jeroboam) ignored this and attacked Judah instead. Judah fought, sounding the trumpets (ushering the Lord in) and Judah won (well, God won it for them). Abijah died and his son Asa took over (this is all on the side of Judah).
Asa, a king who “did right in the eyes of the Lord took over and cleaned up the joint. He took down all the false religion and built clean healthy cities. chapter 15 goes into the History of the people and to be honest it was a BEAUTIFUL read.
The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.
Asa was very committed to the Lord (for a while), even deposed his own grandmother for false worship and THEN he failed. How? He failed by not remembering ALL that the Lord had done for his nation and turned to a pagan king for help. When Asa turned to Aram he was revealing A LOT about himself, that he now was relying on MAN and treaties. Ouch! A seer (a prophet) named Hanani spoke to Asa regarding what he did and Asa put the seer in Prison (Don’t shoot the messenger!).
So there you have it!
1. What year are we reading right now?
2. Who is Solomon’s son? Rehoboam or Jeroboam
3. Who’s advice did Rehoboam take?
4. What was the straw that broke the camel’s back that divided the nations?
5. What 2 tribes make up the Kingdom of Judah?
6. Jeroboam (king of Israel) appointed priests into a priesthood. Why was this wrong?
7. Name the first 2 kings.
Extra Credit: Which nation will Jesus be born of? How do we know from question number 7 which one?
- What is the capital of the Northern nation?
- What is the capital of the Southern nation?
- There was a prophecy regarding a king in Judah that will revive the nation 300 years later. Name the king in the prophecy.
- Who will be the next king in Judah to reign? How many years will he reign?
- What does Abijah mean in Hebrew.
In keeping with form, the Chronicler does not dish out the Bad stuff. The purpose of the Chronicles is Covenant and History. The author never feels necessary to give all the “juicy” details. If you notice he is actually quite optimistic noting that there was actually some good with the Kings.
Have a blessed day. By the way I really enjoyed all the comments yesterday…I love that you are all going deep.
(If you have not read the reading yet, look at the notes I posted last night BEFORE reading today)
If you have ever taken the Bible Boot Camp class you will know this one of those chapters that I don’t “paraphrase” I actually READ it to the group. It is THAT important.
The Tribes didn’t divide overnight. This had been brewing always. However, great leaders like Joshua and David had been able to keep them united and focused on GOD. But now under these 2 men, the nations slips into huge sin. Solomon had a son from an Ammonite wife. Did it sound familiar but not sure where it was from? Moab and Ammon…Lot and his daughters ohhhh yeah I rememeber…yuck…drunk…sex…sons. The Moabs and Ammonites have always been huge enemies to Israel and not God fearing people. They had their own religion of many gods. But again back in Genesis, God warns to marry only God respecting people. God knows Best. This is some of the consequence of disobedience.
Chapter 12: the crux of the story “Solomon’s son, Rehoboam is the reigning king. The people say…Umm your Dad put a really heavy tax on us to build the Temple. now that the Temple is done can you lighten that tax. The elders tell him that he should yet the younger friends say dude, keep the tax high so we can be rich off the people and party. Rehoboam says, you think my dad’s tax was high…that was nothing compared to what I was going to charge you! Well, one of Solomon’s servants names Jeroboam says Oh yeah….well we will form our own nation so take that (tongue out)”
And that my friends is a HUGE moment in our History. The diving of the Kingdom to Israel and Judah!
There was so much in these 3 Chapters I really wish we had time to break them apart! But one of the stories that I was not expecting here was this prophet vs the man of God (Chapter 13). The prophet believed a fib and was killed for it. I was pretty tore up about it and thought about it all morning. I asked God, what about Grace? What about forgiveness? What was the big deal? Wasn’t that harsh? He didn’t know he was doing anything wrong? Actually he thought he was doing a God thing! And what God said back to me was very clear.
This story is HUGE and I am sure it has a much deeper meaning than I can peel off in my walk with Christ right now but for me this story is BIBLE verse CHURCH. The prophet had direct orders from the Lord. “DO not eat or drink anything on this mission”. The Bible is a direct order. Actually 613 of them. Then you have the Church. Let’s face it, every church has made up it’s own little rules, laws, rituals, and ways. So here it is. We can say “But that’s what the Church told me, That is how I was raised, I didn’t know because I never read the Bible, …etc” . READ the Bible and apply it and pray on it to change us from the inside out and know when “the prophet” is telling a fib or if it lines up with what God says. When we get to the New testament we will read letter upon letter about keeping the Church sound in its doctrine. The Lord knows this will be one of the biggest issues.
Chapter 14 is a self read. Very sad , very personal.
I will end on this. The Bible is black and white. It leaves no gray area. We need to continue learning it. In 3 months we will be reading the New Covenant and it will be a time of learning and application all based on these precepts. So let’s keep reading and building our foundation.