Great Read. Some of what we just read is the background for Jeremiah so I may refer back to it. So as we may remember from a past reading king Josiah,
- who was 8 when he became king.
- When he was 16 he began to seek the Lord and began his reform at the age of 20.
- We read in the past about him reopening the temple, and hiring people to fix it up from the neglect for all those years.
- He re-instituted the offering plate the God had originally intended for the temple.
The money would pay the workers, the High Priest, Hilkiah (possibly Jeremiah’s father….woo hooo cannnot wait to read Jeremiah!), found the Book of the Law. I am not sure if the Book of the Law was more than Deuteronomy but for certain it was included. You can tell from the repeat reference to following the Lord with your Heart, Soul and Mind.
The death of Josiah was very sad, however Judgement on Judah at this point was already in motion. When we read the book of Jeremiah, 3 big events will occur during it. They will refer back to today’s readings.
- The battle of Megiddo (609 B.C.) between Judah and the Pharaoh of Egypt, Neco. This is when Josiah was killed.
- Battle of Carchemish (605 B.C.) 4 years later, during Jehoiakim’s reign they were being used by Egypt. In this battle, the Egyptians were defeated by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar, this causing the first deportation of the Jews.
- (in 20 years) We will see the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. They will capture the city and the temple and exile the greater part of those who were left to Babylon.
I am not sure HOW this reading spoke to you. I was given 2 BIG messages today. First, it took reading the Book from the Lord to see how disobedient they were being. Immediately after seeing what God’s law was, Josiah and the priests repented from their ways, humbled themselves and reformed, not just their deeds but their hearts. We have been reading this book for 7 months. I pray everyday that each reading change us to be closer to God. We have all been taught wrong doctrine, rituals, theology. It is everywhere, from Hollywood to our own churches. As we see it always has been corrupt, and always will be. It is SOOOO important to read the Bible, take it exactly as it is, (He leaves no room for interpretation or lifestyle application) we are without excuse to say “Well……that’s what I think, or that’s what I have been taught”). SO READ these chapters, especially since we are about to embark on the New Testament, and leave CHANGED from the inside out. Obey Him, but not just in deed but have a changed Heart. Offer Him yourself as a living sacrifice, tell him to change in you what He does not like and put more of what He does like in you. But I warn you, do that and you will open your eyes a new creation.
Second, Josiah was one of the greatest kings, yet his own son fell right into step with all the pagan teachings (it says in the reading his fathers…the ones before Josiah). I have been completely reminded that teaching our children is a huge part of our life. This summer I have spent a great deal of time with children, who’s parents are some of the wisest and most dedicated Christians I know. I was shocked when talking to their children how little they knew of the Bible. It was almost as if their parents were so busy trying to DO God’s work that they themselves forgot one of the most important things he asks of us. And Josiah should have known this, it was in the Book of the Law.
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.
Our reading is now going to switch to almost a 2 week read into Jeremiah (after Zephaniah), and we will pick up right here. I will try to remember to do a summary of where we are in History. (By the way Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel are some of my favorite books in the whole bible…we have some goooooood reading coming up)
We have read this account before but it was a good review. I really noted this time what Pleases the Lord and what Displeases the Lord. In these 2 chapters we saw illness, prayer, healing, signs, blessing, pride, man-made worship, divination. We also see humility and forgiveness.
Have a great day.
AS we read in Isaiah there would be a remnant of people that would be left behind during the exile. (rereard that)
Hezekiah is the King in Judah.
- His father was Ahaz, the awful King that locked up the temple doors,
- but his mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
Hezekiah begins with breaking down pagan s idols but also has enough wisdom to break down His own people’s idols. Then re-consecrateing the items of the temples. WHy? They have become defiled!
DO you remember the Bronze Snake that was created back in Numbers 21? Great Story to reread! God had told Moses to make a Bronze Snake and raise it up, and all who believed would be healed. The snake was just a piece of metal, it was their Faith in God that healed them (also a HUGE foreshadows of the Messiah, for those who believe…) anyway, the Hebrews had even made an idol out of that snake. Modern day application would be anything religiously superstitious,that we feel might “protect us” of “bring us luck” just because it looks religious doesn’t excuse it from being an idol. We must really keep checking ourself on this. I was raised catholic, oh never mind….
2 Chronicles. Hezekiah. I know we have read many Kings names that they all get swooshed together but we need to let this one stand out right now. If your son or daughter needs to do a book report on an important man…pick Hezekiah! These people have not celebrated the Lord in over 200 years, and Hezekiah brings back the original law that God had commanded. It was beautiful to read the names of the Tribes again.
“People of Israel RETURN to the Lord”. The word RETURN always stands out to me. I am always thinking it should be “come” to the Lord but we forget that He created us and that we were His from the beginning,and we are the one that moved…not Him.
I wish I could talk about this topic but this blog is long enough, Chapter 30 verse 9 says paraphrased that messengers were “scorned and ridiculed”. Listen, God always knew that talking about Him or encouraging people to Worship the ONE true God would be an unwelcoming conversations but look what happened even though they did it…
Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah pardoned everyone who sets his heart on seeking God—the LORD, the God of his fathers—even if he is not clean according yed for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, to the rules of the sanctuary.” And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 2 Chron 30:18-20
Isn’t that awesome! SO as we watch the news at night and think “Good Golly what is the world coming to” we can know that the only way to have a perfect world is His way.
HUGE Read today! 2 Kings Seventeen!!! Click here
Verse 6: “In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes. All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the LORD had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that provoked the LORD to anger. They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, “You shall not do this.” The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do.
They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, and even Judah did not keep the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. Therefore the LORD rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.
When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the LORD and caused them to commit a great sin. The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them until the LORD removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.
(skip to 34) To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the LORD nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the LORD gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.
2 Chron 27: I enjoy reading this in Chronological order because in 2 Chron when it talks about the Ammonites being conquered it’s like “Well, God said it through Amos. SO we knew it was going to happen!”
Jotham was more about the ‘outward appearance’ of the temple than his actual relationship with the Lord. (Hmmm God, are you talking to me?)
So ‘to us a CHild is Born’. In chapter 9
- Zebulun and the land of Naphtali is the area Jesus grew up
- He will honor Galiliee of the Gentiles (us)
- The LIGHT. In the NT Jesus is referred to often as the LIGHT. (verse the darkness)
Matthew 4:15 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
”Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, along the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
If there was ever a verse to memorize (besides J 3:16) Isaiah 9:6-7
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
The blog is too long already so I will wrap it up. The Lord’s anger towards Israel was very specific. You can see why they call Isaiah THE PROPHET. God’s Judgment on Assyria, you can tell from this chapter (10) that God is using Assyria as an instrument to punish His Chosen people but this doesn’t make him happy to do it. God will use the Assyrians and then conquer them for their past sins. And this does occur (of course) in 612 B.C. When the town of Nineveh is destroyed (tuck that away because I am sure it will be prophesied)
Arrgggg Why can’t Chapter 11 be a stand alone read! I would love to break it down verse by verse with everyone. A Branch from the stump of Jesse. Remember Jesse when we did the genealogy recap in Ruth! Jesse from the Line Of David. Even though God cuts down Judah to a stump God’s faithful to bring the Messiah from that line. SO out of a stump a branch will grow.
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
Finally Chapter 12. When I read this I pictures all our voices saying it in unison. I can hear us all reading it and our heart beatings because God is our Strength!
Did you look at your chart? These are the kings in Israel mostly. Very short reigns…why? because they were not following the Lord. You can also see from the chart we are pretty close to the line of Israel ending. What will happen to them? Where will they go?
Next year when you read the Bible again, I want you to put a little time into looking at World History and its coorelation…it is awesome. But God gave us a hint in the Scriptures 2 Kings 15:19
Then Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom. Menahem exacted this money from Israel. Every wealthy man had to contribute fifty shekels of silver to be given to the king of Assyria.
Assyria is becoming a HUGE world power. The reason they want the Promise land is because it lines the coast of the sea and the real power and money is to control the trade route. So keep an eye on the ASSyrians. They are really wicked people rising to take over the world (Hmmmm….just like today)
What was the Capital of Assyria? Nineveh (from Jonah)
Shall we talk about what happened in Judah while all these Israel Kings were “doing evil in the eyes of the Lord”. In 2 Chronicles 26 Uzzah (also called Azaraiah) who was doing so good…even the scriptures said
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success. 2 Chrons 26:4-5
But what happens to so many people? What has been the MOST talked about sin in the Bible? Murder? lust? Homosexuality? Stealing? Coveting? NO. Pride and worshipping anything other than the Lord. Top 2. Want me to repeat that? PRIDE AND WORSHIPPING ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE LORD.
Uzziah not only did not take down the high places but in verse 16 it says his pride was his downfall. He entered the temple as a priest would. You all know how wrong this is. ONLY the descendants of Aaron, the Levi tribe can hold priest positions. Pride ignores the way of the Lord. In the bible Leprosy is an outward expression of what is inside a man. God revealed Uzziah’s pride by giving him Leprosy.
Well I am glad the reading was short BUT it is a HUGE part of History. I wrote a blog last night to post for today and it is missing on my computer. I am so mad. Anyway, here is the cliffnote version.
Keyword is Apostacy=Turning away from the Lord. How do I remember what this word means…starts with an “A”. A for America, A for Apostacy. Ahhhhh get my point.
SO what EXACTLY are we reading about? As I said earlier, we saw the nation divide, we are now reading about the beginning of nation’s fall. This is the Fall of the Northern Kingdom, Israel. The Northern Kingdom came into existence in 931 B.C., In spite all that Elijah and Elisha did for them they never turned from their sinful ways as a nation. Israel is in a PROSPERITY period and no one is noticing that Assyria is growing to be a huge, strong nation and eventually will conquer Israel in 733 BC. (so you can get an idea of where we are in between). Some of Israel’s greatest years are in this era, Jeroboam had little devotion to God’s law and the rich got richer and the poor got poorer (Hello USA). Israel is getting cocky and self-centered. Jeroboam dies in this chapter, so it is about 747 BC and in that one year Israel had 4 kings (the beginning of the decline) Jeroboam Jr, Zechariah, Shallum and Menaham (who will reign 10 years)
Jehoash (good) had a son Amaziah, king of Judah. Did good but STILL did not take down the places of worship outside the Temple. What are these High places? They are “man made” ways to worship. God laid out ONE way to come to the Father. ONE. And the people have fallen prey to how their neighbors were worshipping and doing that. God does not lay out His Plan for us to then make our own way to Salvation. DO YOU NOTICE WHAT A HUGE SIN THIS IS. How many times have we read the phrase “But they did not take down the high places”. There is ONE way to worship God today and that is Through Jesus and I will not be tolerant to hear any other way.
Amaziah, even kills the men that killed his Dad, but stays in God’s law and does not kill their sons. But then he acts a bit cocky and picks a fight with Israel calling them a small thistle. Why is Amaziah acting like this? Because He is prideful because he conquered the Edomites. The Edomites were conquered, but as we read in Obadiah, that was all the Lord’s doing. It was God’s wrath and judgment.
In 2 days we will begin the end years of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, while Assyria reaches its peak power under the reign of Tiglath-Pileser, terrible name, so sometimes he is referred to as Pul.
You may have picked up on the name Jonah! SO look tonight for your Overview. Very exciting read for me.
Here is a VERY loose overview. I am going to take it from the Entering of the Promise Land. Please don’t proof read..I am sure there are typos.
The Israelites, consisting of 12 tribes, went to the edge of the Promise Land (Land that was Promised to them from the Lord) and they sent 12 spies in. One from each tribe to check it out. Now the Lord said you must conquer the land (meaning you need to fight for it) BUT He also PROMISED He would GIVE IT TO THEM (they would succeed). SO the 12 spies go in for 40 days to scope out the situation and 10 of them come back and say “WOW, it is exactly like the Lord said….see, we even took some fruit to prove that it is exactly like the Lord said”.
But we can’t go in there….we will get killed!! Nice trust huh!
Oh the Lord was mad! He said “for every day you checked out the land I will keep you out of the land a year….thus for 40 years.”
That entire generation died leaving only the 2 spies who trusted to Lord’s promise to enter the land. Cmon…you can remember their names.
Before they went in a second time, Moses passed away and Joshua takes over. Joshua is an excellent warrior and leads them into the Promise land and conquers ALMOST all the land.
Almost?? (don’t roll your eyes, we almost conquer what we know pleases the Lord…we leave room for some sin in there too)
So they are IN the Promise Land and Joshua passes away leaving them without a leader. The Lord is SUPPOSED to be the leader. So a few things happen here like…..the people let the few pagan nations that were not conquered to grow! And the Israelites LIKE the pagan way of living A LOT! Sex drugs and rock and roll baby!!! The Israelites mimicked pagan life and worship.
So we enter the time of the Judges! The Israelites would fall so far into a pit of filthy living the Lord would raise up men and woman (woot woot for Deborah) to save his Chosen people.
So finally the people say “Man, this is not working! After the judge dies we go back to our ways….let’s ask for a king! Yeah! That will keep is on the straight and narrow.
The Lord chose a man named SAUL! Saul started out strong and Godly…but a little man named David was a great great warrior and even though Saul conquered thousands, David conquered TENS of thousands. Saul became jealous and spent almost 40 years hunting David down.
After Saul died, the Lord appointed David as the King. Yeah for David! David loved the Lord but really had some BIG FAUX PAS!!!! David wanted to build the Lord a temple but God said…Ummm you have made some big mistakes, let’s let your son Solomon build it. David said ok, and started working on gathering material and laborers!
Solomon built the Temple and retired the Tabernacle. This gave them a PERMENANT place of worship! (Jerusalem)
There are still 12 tribes but they fought a lot so it is not like they were a tight family anymore.
Solomon’s son is named Rehoboam. The people say to him… “The Temple is built (and your huge palace), can you lift the tax on us??” he said “let me ask my very wise advisors!” and they said “Yes…. You should lift the tax”. Rehoboam did not like that answer…so he asked his “friends” living with him. They said “Dude, are you crazy make the tax steeper!! We can party on that”.
Sooooo Rehoboam did just that. Well, Solomon’s top servant (Solomon’s dead by now I think) named Jeroboam rebelled against the king and said “Well, then we will become our own nation against you!” and 10 of the 12 tribes sided with this guy. They are the nation of Israel!
The 2 tribes that stayed with the reigning king Rehoboam were Judah and Benjamin. They are called Judah.
What we are reading now in June and July are stories if the Kings from both sides, Israel and Judah. It is a hot mess I tell you. So here are some thinkers for you before you jump in…
- God said to David…Through your Line I will bless the nations. So Jesus will come through the Covenant with David. Which nation will survive the long hall…Israel or Judah??
- The Lord needs to give them a consequence to get their attention…what is it going to be?
SO here is what is coming up…The Lord is going to send PROPHETS into the Lands to send a message to the people. These prophets might say “Turn of your ways!” “You better shape up or else!” “I put you into this land, by golly I can take you out of it!!”
So now you are caught up my friend! Review the Timeline I emailed out, if you don’t have it, email me at Pszyman@comcast.net and I will send you a new one.
If you have not read yet…Read the Chronicles first, then Kings. Click here
Joash repairs the Temple. That was a big statement since the days of David and Solomon how much God has been ignored. The temple and the sacred objects in it were used to worship the Baals (false gods). The temple is only 100 years old. (But then again look at how different our country is in just 100 years) In Exodus 30 a tax (in this reading they called it the Tax of Moses) was assigned for such preparations and they were ignored. This young Joash sees to it that the Temple is brought back to the proper appearance.
Unfortunately, just because he was doing God’s work, he didn’t cut out some other stuff in his life, like removing other things to worship in 12:2. (what a personal message) The reason this is important is because when you don’t eliminate that stuff in our lives completely, i.e. friends, t.v., books, relationships, improper worship…it will come back into our lives. I remember reading for months and months about “killing” the sin in Leviticus. Unfortunately, this does come back to haunt Joash, he does stray far from the Lord and he does worship idols. When Joash turns away from the Lord, his life unravels.
Jehoahaz, the king of Israel. (By now if you see the name attached to the “so and so…King of Israel” you can write BAD KING next to it. BUT one thing he did do was sought the Lord’s favor against Aram. God listened, and provided a Deliverer, and after that happened the very next scripture was BUT THEY DID NOT TURN AWAY FROM THE SINS IN THE HOUSE. How many times has God come to our rescue in life and how do we repay him? by not changing how we live at all! Or if we do, how temporary is it? He wants forever change! Forever Faith. He is committed to us, we need to COMMIT back.
By the way, while I am on a life lesson kick, if you didn’t really get the whole hit the ground…you only hit it 3 times’ verse at the end of the reading it was because Joash only hit the ground with a half-hearted attempt. If he hit the ground with all his might it would have gone up and down at least 5 or 6 times. If we want the full benefits of being with God then we have to give him a full attempt at obedience.
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??