Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What a Little Salt Can Do

O. T. #823           "What a Little Salt Can Do"
August 31, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 7


If salt is omitted as an ingredient while cooking, one will certainly recognize it its absence in the finished product. Isn't it amazing what a little salt can do? In today's lesson, we read of another effect of salt.

The new prophet Elisha was approached by leaders of the town of Jericho. They shared their problem with Elisha: this town is located in pleasant surroundings, as you can see. but the water is bad, and the land is unproductive.

Why was Jericho in trouble?
In Joshua 6 we find the answer. Jericho was the first city the Israelites conquered after crossing the Jordan River. Joshua instructed the army to destroy everything except  Rahab and her household (she aided the two spies to safety), and the silver, gold, bronze or iron, which were sacred to the LORD and was to be put into His treasury. Joshua cursed the man who rebuilt Jericho in verse 26.
It was during the reign of Hiel as king that a man from Bethel rebuilt Jericho, at the expense of loosing his 2 sons.

The water of Israel's religion had become corrupt and disease bringing. If Elisha were listened to, he could heal it.  (Ellison)

Israel's sin-sickness was idolatry and disobedience to God's commands. Salt purifies water, however using only a bowlful would not purify the whole supply of water. It was symbolic of God's cleansing Jericho, freeing it from Joshua's curse.

Are we sometimes reluctant in following God's instructions? We are blessed if we are obedient.


Elisha called for a new bowl with salt in it and they brought it. Elisha took the bowl of salt out to the spring which supplied the town with water, and he threw the salt into it.
Elisha said, This is what the LORD says: I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death or infertility. "

Elisha confirmed his role as a channel for God's works by performing a miracle-one that demonstrated the practical benefits of God's great acts. (Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary)

The water has remained pure ever since, just as Elisha said. God's unique power is seen through His prophet Elisha.
Do we believe God for miracles today? He is the same God.


Be obedient.

Believe God can perform miracles today as He did in O. T. times.

If He chooses not to, trust Him anyway.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Where is God?

O. T. #822  "Where is God?"
August 30, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 6
Where is the LORD God of Elijah?  2 Kings 2:14


Where is God when tragedy strikes home? Where was God when the flood waters carry away all we have? Where is God when our loved one is suffering? Where was God when our loved one died? Where? Tell me where.
The answer is: God is still on His throne, in control, doing His will His way, carrying out His purposes in His time. Please keep reading, sweet one, for a better understanding.

It is by faith that we trust He knows best. So many times when we don't understand why a particular thing happened. We question God's good judgment in allowing something painful to come into our life. Dear one, we may not know all the answers while here on earth. So mentally label a file "I Don't Understand" or "Questions to Ask God" reserved for when we get to heaven. He can explain the big, overall picture to us. Then our suffering will be but a little thing.
In today's story, Elisha, God's prophet, experienced the loss of his master, mentor, wise teacher, Elijah.

Elijah and Elisha experienced a most miraculous, phenomenal event. As the two men of God were walking, a chariot o fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire between them. It drove between the two men, separating them. It was time for Elijah to go on to heaven. His work on earth was finished. Then Prophet Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven. He did not die as men do. What a reward for this faithful servant. Isn't God creative?
Since Elisha saw this event, he was granted a double portion of the Spirit, as he requested earlier.    MacArthur says that Elisha did twice as many recorded miracles as Elijah did. God's empowerment was more important than the wealth to Elisha's ministry. The mighty power that lived in Elijah lived through Elisha.

I don't want to forget or make light of the situation here. Elisha suffered loss of a beloved mentor and friend. He took time to mourn, then he picked up the pieces, the mantle of Elijah, and carried on his ministry, like Elijah would have wanted. Elisha carried on, with the Spirit of God leading him. In fact, he received a double portion of the Spirit which Elijah had. Yet, Elisha questioned God, as we might do in our time of confusion or sorrow.

Now with Elijah gone, Elisha takes over. He picked up Elijah's cloak, mantle, and struck the Jordan River so he could cross back over, asking, "Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?"
God was right there with Elisha. The evidence was seen when the waters parted and Elisha went across, as a confirmation.

It is all right to ask God "Why?" He loves us so much and hurts with us, but knows the answer when He does not reveal it to us. He understands pain, for He gave up His Son to die a cruel death on the cross to provide us with salvation and a relationship with Him, as well as eternal life in heaven.

Are we teaching the younger generation God's Word, how to pray, and walk by faith? Are we preparing them to serve in our place?
Do we ever wonder where God is as we go through trials that are flooding our soul and mind? What do we do when our life is a whirlwind?  Do we ask God to part our problems so we can walk on? Dear one, He is not done with us yet, or we would be already in heaven, right? The same God who sends miraculous chariots and horses of fire and whirlwinds to bless His servants has not changed. Let us look up with expectation.


I was just wonder what those on-looking men who witnessed all of this thought, and then I read it in verse 15, Elijah's spirit rests upon Elisha! And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

This action was a symbol of their submission to Elisha as their major prophet in Israel. What did those men offer? They offered for 50 of their strongest men to search the wilderness for his master. All Elisha had to do was just say the word. They thought perhaps the Spirit of the LORD had left Elijah on some mountain or in some valley. They were wanting to give Elijah's body appropriate care. But really guys, you don't get it? You don't understand what you just saw?

At first, Elisha refused for them to go search, but since they persisted and shamed him into agreeing, he gave consent. You know, those guys searched 3 days for Elijah and did not find him. I chuckled as Elijah said to them upon their return, Didn't I tell you not to go?

When we experience a miracle in our life, it is sometimes difficult for others to understand what has happened. They may not know what's going on, recognize God moving, but it's up to us to tell them, "God did it," giving Him the glory.


Ask for God's Spirit to work and He will.

Keep looking up for God's hand to come down and perform a miracle in my life.

Look around for His grace to find me and give Him the praise.


Accept no if it comes.

Trust God's will to be perfect, best, right.

Monday, August 29, 2016

When Life is a Whirlwind

O. T. #821 "When Life is a Whirlwind"
August 29, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 5


I can recall those busy days of getting the kids ready for school, as well as myself ready for work; making sure they had their homework completed and with them; they had studied for a test; going here and there for school activities; church activities and teaching Sunday School; having laundry done and meals prepared, house cleaned. Whew! Makes me tired again just thinking about it. Life was like a whirlwind back then. Today we read of a prophet who experiences a whirlwind, but in a good sense.

The prophets Elijah and Elisha knew this was the last day for Elijah to live. He went around visiting various places in Israel, some were the site of seminar students preparing for prophethood-Gilgal, a place of safety, Bethel, a place of altar, Jericho, a place of battle, and the Jordan river, a place of death. We will experience all 4 places in our Christian life, Charles Swindoll says.

The whole time they were traveling around, Elijah tried to persuade Elisha to stay behind, but he refused. Then Elijah and Elisha crossed over the Jordan in an unusual way-Elijah folded his cloak, or mantle as it is called, together like a rod and struck the water with it. (It as a symbol of Elijah being a prophet.)  Immediately the water parted and the two men crossed over on dry ground, as a group of 50 prophet looked on to witness such a thing. Does this sound familiar? Moses did the same with his staff  at the Red Sea in Exodus 14 and Joshua did as he and Israel crossed the same river, in Joshua 3.
Once again God's power was  demonstrated and seen.

Are we looking around in our life to see God show His power in our life?


Crossing onto the east bank of Jordan was the same area where Moses' life came to an end (Deut. 34).
There Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for Elisha before leaving. Remember, this was Elijah's last day before going to heaven.

Verse 9b says, Elisha replied, "Please let me have a double share of your spirit and become your successor."

Elisha requested a difficult thing,as Elijah told him. What was Elijah's reply?
If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, you won't.

What does all of this mean?
The MacArthur Bible Commentary explains:
In Israel, the firstborn son inherited a double share of his father's possessions and with it the right of succession (Deut. 21:17). Apparently, Elisha was asking to succeed Elijah in the prophetic office, as God had promised, with spiritual power beyond his own capabilities to meet the responsibilities of his position as Elijah's successor. He desired that Elijah's mighty power might continue to live through him. Only God can give spiritual power. If Elisha saw his departure it would be the sign that God Himself would grant Elisha's request.

Was Elisha's request granted?
Look at verse 11: As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.

Yes, Elisha saw the departure of Elijah into heaven. Elisha called out to Elijah, calling him father, and remarking that he saw the chariots. When Elisha realized that it meant his mentor Elijah was gone, Elisha tore his clothes in distress.

MacArthur remarks that Elisha did do twice as many recorded miracles as Elijah. Elijah had raised the dead, called down fire from heaven, and revealed God's plan for a devastating drought which lasted 3 1/2 years.  Won't it be interesting to read of the miracles which God did through his servant Elisha?

Friend, is your life like a whirlwind? Are you running there and there, doing this and that? Perhaps we need to stop and look up.


Breathe, look up, surrender to Jesus.

Ask the Lord to part those busy waters.

Keep my focus on Him.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Parting Troubled Waters

O. T #820  "Parting Troubled Waters"
August 25, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 4
The river divided, and the two of them went across on dry ground!  2 Kings 2:8b


Elijah and Elisha are traveling to 4 places on the last day of Elisha's life. We have discussed two cities: Gilgal, which was a place of safety and Bethel, a place of altar. Today they visit a city (Jericho) and a river (Jordan). Swindoll said that we will experience all 4 places in our Christian life.

Who doesn't know about the Battle of Jericho? Jericho was 14 miles southeast of Bethel. It was 550 years earlier that the walls of Jericho fell by faith after being encircled 7 days by Israelites. (Heb. 11:30) It was the first city they took possession of as Israel set out to take their Promised Land.
Swindoll calls it a place of battle.

If believers live by faith, the battles they will enter can be confronted with confidence because all faith is based in the promises of Almighty God. The promise to Joshua was that he would conquer (Josh. 6:3-5). Rahab was promised deliverance from the judgment on her country . For the Christian, it is laying hold of God's promises of salvation and victory over Satan (Eph. 1:3-14; Phil. 1:6)
(The Jeremiah Study Bible)

Jericho was a cursed city after God brought victory, all its inhabitants, except for Rahab and her family, were killed. Israel was instructed to not take anything from the city, lest they too be cursed. The only exception was the gold, silver, brass, and iron vessels were to be taken and consecrated to the LORD, in His treasury. (Joshua 6)

Later in this chapter we will see the curse on Jericho lifted.

What faith Joshua had, to march his army around Jericho, their enemy's city, and doing it quietly. If you are like me, we would have questioned God on that command.
How often do we ask God why? Or when are you going to...
Faith in God's ability brought down those thick walls and killed the enemy. What a lesson for us! Let's teach it to our children and grandchildren.
Where does our help come from? My help comes from the maker of heaven and earth, as the song goes. So lift our eyes unto the hills, friends.


The last place Elijah and Elisha visited that day was the Jordan River. Fifty seminary students followed these two men, for they sensed that something extraordinary was about to happen to Elijah. Elisha had faithfully followed Elijah for 10 years previously.

Verse 8 says, Elijah folded his cloak together and struck the water with it. The river divided, and the two of them went across on dry ground!

God's power had been demonstrated 3 times earlier in parting the waters-the Red Sea for the Hebrews to cross after leaving Egypt, the Jordan River as the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land, and in Genesis in the beginning of creation.

With God all things are possible. Recently I thought I was drowning in deep troubled waters. Finally, God came and parted them so I did not drown. Praise His name! Anyone need to cross over on dry ground, through the middle of your troubles, as your deep water is parted and places you safely on the other side?
Well, we have to die to self in order to get there, so God's will is done and not ours.


Deny my self, take up my cross, and follow Jesus.

Trust Him to part my troubled waters.

Praise the Lord Jesus, who is all-powerful El Shaddiah

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Place of Safety and Surrender

O. T. #819  "A Place of Safety and Surrender"
August 24, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 3


Many years ago I heard a message by Charles Swindoll concerning this passage. He explained each of these four places where Elijah visited on his last day on earth. I wrote down that he said- we will experience all four places in our Christian life. Unfortunately, I did not write down any details of his message, only the meanings. I have found it to be so. I can name churches in which we served that correspond to each city. I hope you can, also.

Prophet Elijah is living his last day on earth. His successor, Elisha, is traveling with his mentor as Elijah visits other prophets in the cities of Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, and the Jordan River. Elisha has declared that he will never leave Elijah. As they visited those cities, those prophets in seminary asked Elisha if he knew that the LORD was going to take his master away from him that day. Elisha would tell them that of course he knew and for them to be quiet about it. Another thing that happened between these two was that Elijah kept telling Elisha to stay behind at each city, thrice, for the LORD had told Elijah to onto another city. Some commentators seem to think this as a test of determination for Elisha since he  stuck to Elijah like glue; others think Elijah was reluctant to hand over the mantle.

The first city, Gilgal, was a city of safety. Joshua had spent the night there after he led the Israelites across the Jordan River. It was the place where Joshua placed the 12 stones taken out of the Jordan. The purpose of these stones was so wen their children asked the stones meaning, the Israelites would tell of the mighty thing God did when they crossed the Jordan, saying, The hand of the LORD is mighty, that ye might fear the LORD your God forever. Keep in mind, this was before they encountered any of their enemies and have to fight for their Promised Land. They must have felt safe at Gilgal.

Anyone need a safe place where you can go and experience the Lord with you? We all do. Where is or was your place of safety?


The second city where the Lord led Elijah was Bethel. It was located 8 miles north of Jerusalem. What was significant about Bethel?
  • Abraham built the Lord an altar there. (Gen. 12:8)
  • Jacob dreamed of angels ascending and descending a ladder set up on the earth. God promised to not leave Jacob. Then Jacob built an altar using the stone which was his pillow. (Gen. 28) This happened before Jacob met Rachel, who would become his wife, and as Jacob was fleeing from his brother Esau, since Jacob took his birthright and blessing.
  • Another time in Jacob's life, God told him to go to Bethel and build Him an altar there. God changed Jacob's name to Israel. (Gen. 35) 
  • So Bethel was a place of altar.
Is there a place, perhaps a certain church, where you surrendered to the Lord and offered Him your life for His service? That is your Bethel, friend.


Remind myself of my spiritual Gilgal and Bethel.

Once again, I surrender to You Jesus.

Make Jesus my Gilgal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Never Leaving

O. T. #818  "Never Leaving"
August 23, 2016
2 Kings 2-Part 2


Previously we had a wicked king that left the world in disgrace and the greatest misery. Now we see a contrast between King Ahaziah and Elijah the prophet.
Elijah was:
  • a holy prophet leaving in honor, the greatest bliss;
  • an encouragement and example of faithfulness to other prophets;
  • a portrait of the cost of witnessing for God against corruption;
  • a part of the faithful few;
  • a type of Christ as he ascended to heaven;
  • is our example of faith and prayer;
God was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind without dying that day, which is called a translation. Three in scripture were translated-Enoch, Elijah  and Jesus.  His name, Elijah, means the Lord is God. His ministry corresponded with his name-sent by God to confront Baalism (idol worship) and to declare to Israel that the LORD is God and there is no other. Elisha was the next prophet to take Elijah's place, a mentor to Elisha.
What do others see our life as? Are we faithful to God, a prayer warrior, living by His Word?


Elijah urged Elisha to remain behind, but Elisha insisted on accompanying him-As surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!

Sounds like Ruth and Naomi.

Before Elijah departed, he visited the schools of the prophets, a seminary, in various locations-Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, and the Jordan River.

How committed are we to following the Lord Jesus?
We have the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb.13:5; Gen. 28:15; Joshua 1:5)


Let go of whatever is hindering my walk with Jesus.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Third Encounter of a Different Kind

"O. T. #816 "Third Encounter of a Different Kind"
August 22, 2016
2 Kings 1-Part 2


Surely some of you recall the movie  Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In it a man encounters aliens and goes with them in their spaceship. Well, today 153 men have an encounter of a different kind, one with a man of God. Join me as we see what happens to them at their encounter.

Moab was a nation which oppressed Israel 18 years during the judges. Later, King Saul defeated them and David enjoyed a peaceful relationship with them. then Moab once again troubled Israel.
Ahaziah is now king of Israel, apparently does nothing toward their rebellion.

King Ahaziah had an accident and fell off his second floor balcony, onto the ground. He sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub to ask the idol Ekron whether he would recover. Meanwhile, the LORD told Prophet Elijah to confront the messengers asking, Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to Baal-Bezebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king would recover? Because he did this, the king would surely die, to never leave his bed.

Well, the messengers returned to the king and told him of the encounter with Elijah. Then Ahaziah sent an army captain with 50 soldiers to arrest Elijah. This happened 3 times. The first two times the group was killed by fire from heaven, as a result of Elijah saying, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your 50 men."

Did you catch this? Elijah had seen God send fire from heaven earlier when he confronted the 400 prophets of Baal. Now he prays for it to come down 2 more times. What a prayer life! Truly, Elijah was a man of God. He obeyed what God told him to do, even when surrounded by evil. He knew
how powerful his God was,  obeyed Him, and trusted His protection.

Are we prayer warriors like Elijah? Well, maybe we don't pray down fire from heaven, but does God answer our prayers since we are obedient?


The third encounter was a different kind. Ahaziah sent another captain and 50 men requiring Elijah to come down from his hill at once. The captain fell to his knees before Elijah, pleading with him to spare his life and that of the 50 men. This man had learned the lesson of God's power and appealed for mercy, unlike their king.

This time, the LORD instructed Elijah to go down with him and to not be afraid of the king. Elijah personally delivered the deadly message from God to Ahaziah. Sure enough, the king died, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah. Ahaziash's brother Joram succeed him as the next king of Israel. This took place during Jehoram's second year reign of Judah. He was the son of Jehoshaphat.

Do we desire to encountered God in a different way today? He is merciful, gracious, loving, kind, healer, strength, refuge, forgiving, etc...


Open my spiritual eyes, Lord Jesus, so I can see You working in and around my life.

I want an encounter with the One and Only God.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Sinful Fall and a Terrace Fall

O. T. #815  "A Sinful Fall and a Terrace Fall"
August 8, 2016
2 Kings 1
Is there no God in Israel?  2 Kings 1:3b


As said earlier, 1 Kings and 2 Kings are historical books, which tell us about the kings of Israel and Judah and their reigns.
Because 1 and 2 Kings were originally one book, 2 Kings continues where 1 Kings ends. The once great nation of Israel was split in two because the people forgot God. In 1 Kings, the beautiful Temple of God was built. In 2 Kings, it is desecrated and destroyed.
The 17 prophetic books at the end of the Old Testament give great insights into the time period of 2 Kings. (Life Application Study Bible)

Ahaziah, son of Ahab, is king of Israel, the northern kingdom, now. We see what king of king he was since the rebellion of Moab and injuries from his fall did not turn Ahazah in repentance to God. Shall we take a look at his story?
  • Ahaziah was sick when he fell through the lattice work surrounding his balcony, a second floor terrace.
  • His rooftop room was enclosed with crossbars of interwoven reed or wood strips, which shut out direct sunlight while letting in cool breezes. It was not sturdy enough to keep Ahaziah from falling to the ground below. (MacArthur)
  • The king sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, which means lord of the flies, suggesting he was the storm god who controlled diseases brought by flies, if he would recover from his disease. 
Keep in mind that King Ahaziah was an idol worshiper, not a worshiper of the One True God.
Let me add this information from MacArthur-The NT preserved the name in the form Beelzebul, a name for Satan, the prince of the demons (Matt. 10:25;12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15). (MacArthur)

The king had already fallen away into sin before he fell into his death sentence.

We need to be careful, dear ones, and not fall for everything that comes our way. Question the source before getting involved.


The preincarnate Christ was the angel of the LORD who appeared to Prophet Elijah, giving him instructions:
  • Go and confront the messengers of Ahaziah.
  • Ask them, "Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to Baalzebub to ask whether the king will recover?"
  • Elijah told the king's messengers to give the king this message, asking those same questions of him.
  • They were to add: Therefore, because you have done this, you will never leave this bed you are lying on; you will surely die.
The king asked what that man looked like that delivered this message to them. Being described as a hairy man with a leather belt, Ahaziah knew it was Elijah who spoke to his messengers.

Many people follow the false gods of technology, materialism, and war. Although, if your heart is committed to God, He can work through you to accomplish the work He has called you to do. (Life Application Study Bible)

How do you think this king and worshiper of idols reacted? We will find out next time.


Be sure that I do not allow materialism, gadgets and technology to become a false god in my life.

Don't fall for anything that comes along.

Ask God for eyes of wisdom to distinguish.

Love Jesus above all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

History in a Nutshell

O. T. #814 "History in a Nutshell"
August 17, 2016
Introduction to 2 Kings
Is there no prophet of the LORD with us? If there is, we can ask the LORD, what to do through him.  2 Kings 3:11


Upon reading several commentaries to get an overview of this book, I come to realize that I am no historian. Give me segments to focus on, then I'm all right, but large segments, I get overwhelmed. So if I make mistakes along the way, excuse me, call it bicycle, and ride on.

For any new comers, let's review-Under the reign of David, Israel was one nation. It was during his son Solomon's reign that it divided into northern Israel (10 tribes) and southern Judah (2 tribes). Therefore, there are many kings listed, so we will try to keep them separate as we study this book.

Here is the history in a nutshell, according to The Jeremiah Study Bible:

Israel's 20 kings were evil and would not remove idols from the land, so God  removed the tribes from the land. The Assyians invaded in 722 BC taking control of the north and the Israelites captive.

Judah's 20 kings, who ruled over the 2 southern tribes, were all descendants of the Davidic dynasty, fared a bit better. Eight were considered righteous, notably Hezekiah and Josiah; both destroyed idols and called Judah back to the worship of the LORD. However, the final 3 kings of Judah were wicked and saw Babylon carry captives away from Judah in 3 waves; concluding wave in 586 BC the Temple was burned and Judah was destroyed.

The good news is that God sent major and minor prophets during the time of 2 Kings. Although they condemned the idolatry, immorality, social injustice, and ungodly alliances with ungodly kings, the prophets called those rulers and people to return to God.

So during this study, I will refer to those books of the prophets, as they are inserted in the chronological Bible I use, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Habbakkuk. It puts events in better perspective for me and hopefully for you.
Of course, if you can get ahold of a timeline of 1 Kings through 2 Chronicles, it would help tremendously.


There was a contrast between the prophets Elijah and Elisha. Elijah belonged to the rugged hills and prophesied judgment, as he sought to turn the nation back to God. Whereas Elisha belonged to the peaceful valleys as he ministered grace and called out a remnant before the nation was destroyed.

Omnri was king of Israel, whose son Ahab ruled with wicked Jezebel, then was  replaced by Ahaziah.That is where we take up the story.

In Judah, King Jehoshapat worshiped the Lord, but did not destroy the idols in the high places. His son Jehoram married Ahab's daughter and idol worship returned to Judah.

There are some lessons for us to learn from all of those mentioned in this book, so I pray you will stick with me as we study.


Just as Elijah left his juniper pitiful tree and cave, then went on to do God's mission, so must I.

I walked away from my pity party of one, out of my cave of darkness and depression, and joined Jesus on this country road of faith once again.

I am preparing  to teach a session at our church's girls, so please pray for me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Snatched Away From a Pity Party

O. T. #813  "Snatched  Away From a Pity Party"
August 16, 2016
Summary of 1 Kings


Today, we are wrapping up First Kings. What did you learn? I have learned by reading this book that even kings and prophets fall into sin, doubt, but God...
So I have encouragement that when I am having a pity party of one, in a pit of sin or despair, or under my juniper tree, God can and does snatch me away with His loving hand. He picks me up, dusts off all that depravity and self-pity, and walks with me along the rode of faith once again.
Thank you friends for not giving up on me either.

This book opened with David being in his 70's. He appointed son Solomon as his replacement as king of Israel. However, another son, Adonijah, proclaimed himself as king, causing a rebellion, which was later resolved by Solomon. Solomon was God's appointed king over Israel. Earlier, David had collected materials for building the Temple of God, but was not allowed to construct it, since he was a man of war.

1 Chronicles 29:28 describes David's life: He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor.

Solomon is remembered as the wisest and wealthiest man, with a mighty army during his time. When God asked him his greatest desire, Solomon's answer was to help his people, so God gave him wisdom and knowledge to do such, in addition to wealth, riches, and fame as no other king has had before or since. Solomon composed 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs, according to 4:32. So we enjoy his God given gift today. (Let me insert that his downfall was marrying foreign women.)

Also, he built a magnificent Temple for the Lord, where the Israelite sacrificial system was active. He used gold, silver, and bronze on the articles inside. His king's palace was something else. Eve midst all of that splendor, Solomon remained faithful to worshiping only God.

At the dedication of the Temple, Solomon declared, God is good! His faithful love endures   forever.  (2 Chronicles 7:3, which is a history book.)

We are reminded by Paul in his letter to the Romans (chapter 9), that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ-not trouble, calamity, persecution, hunger, destitution, danger, or threat of death, angels, demons, fears for today or worries for tomorrow, powers of hell, no power in the sky, on the earth, nor any creature.

It is our unconfessed sins that breaks our relationship with God. So if when we need reassured that we are loved, we should look inside and find the sin which separates and causes our doubt of being loved by God loved.


By chapter 12, we read of Israel becoming a divided kingdom, with the 10 northern tribes remaining united and 2 southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin being a separate nation. It was difficult to follow the kings and their reigning over both kingdoms due to the Word skipping back and forth between the two. Some were good, some were bad, in that they either remained faithful to worship God or they turned to idol worship.

An example is Jeroboam, who led Israel into idolatry by chapter 12. Six kings are listed, beginning with Nadab and ending with Ahab, and all did evil. There was a total of 8 dynasties of Israel an 5 kings of Judah.
Asa and his son Jehoshaphat were good kings, ridding Judah of idols and reinstalling worship of God.

God sent the prophet Elijah to reveal to all of Israel and King Ahab that he is Almighty and the Most High God. It was  accomplished through the use of 3 1/2 year drought and the showdown at Mt. Carmel where God's fire consumed Elijah's sacrifice on the wooden altar after being drenched completely with water and the trench. Yet, Ahab did not turn to God, but allowed his wife Jezebel to threaten the prophet's life. Both Ahab's blood and Jezebel's blood were licked up by dogs, as previously predicted. They went to the dogs alright. Leading Israel away from God as he reigned 22 years.

We journeyed with Elijah through the wilderness to his juniper tree and cave, then to anoint Elisha some 200 miles away. He wasn't the only one serving God, for he was among 7,000 others.
We leave the two kingdoms still divided. What is to come are more kings and their influences upon God's people, minor prophets used to predict and proclaim God, and an enemy nation to capture them for judgment to bring repentance.

So stay with me, dear ones. We have more to learn about our God.
If Go can bring Elijah out of his depression and fear, he can do the same for us.
Give thanks to the Lord, for His love never ends.
He is the God of wonders, holy, righteous, and sovereign.


Thank You Jesus for crashing my pity party.

I am grateful that You do not give up on me, but restore me.

Keep me in Your will, doing it Your way and for Your glory.

Father, bless us all with faith and love in Jesus Christ overflowing today.

Protect us as we face the challenges of living in this world.

And if anyone is still under their juniper tree, snatch them away, Lord.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Good or Bad Example

O. T. # 812  "Good or Bad Example"
August 15, 2016
1 Kings 22-Part 3
Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the example of his father, Asa. (1 Kings 22:43)

But he (Ahaziah) did what was evil in the LORD's sight, following the example of his father and mother... (1 King's 22:52)


I look at the examples of a good king and a bad king that appears at the end of this book and wonder-what will others say about me when I am dead and gone? Did I show kindness, give to those in need, show love and encouragement, stay faithful to my God; or was I judgmental, saying discouraging words, stay in my ivory house, turn my head away from those in need? Is my life only words, or is it a doer of The Word? Am I a living example of what I teach, as Jesus' was?

King Ahab of Israel was dead. He was buried in Samaria. This king had lead Israel away from God for 22 years. Then his chariot was washed beside the pool there, and dogs came and licked his blood at the place where the prostitutes bathed, just as the LORD had promised. He is remembered as being the worst king of Israel.

His son, Ahaziah, ruled Israel for two years. He followed in his mother and father's example, as well as Jeroboam, doing hat was evil in the LORD's sight. He served and worshiped Baal, which provoked the LORD to anger just like his father.

Are our children following in our footsteps? Are they faithfully serving Jesus as we are, or are they going their own way?


Getting back to King Jehoshaphat of Judah, who had joined Ahab in battle against the Arameans in the attempt to conquer the city of Ramoth-gilead. He returned safely home in Jerusalem. He was age 35 when Jehoshaphat became king and reigned 25 years. Doing our math, he is now 60.

What was the accomplishments of Jehoshaphat during his reign as king over Judah?
  • He followed the example of his father, Asa. (verse 43)
  • He did what was pleasing in the LORD's sight.
  • However, during his reign, Jehoshaphat failed to remove all the pagan shrines in the high places, so the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there.
  • He made peace with the king of Israel, yet compromised his loyalty in refusing to cooperate with Ahaziah in another attempt at restoring sea trade with Africa for gold.
  • He removed the male cult prostitutes.
Jehoshaphat is noted as the king who made many contributions to the spiritual, moral, and material health of Israel. Although, he was not successful in eradicating the hill shrines.

As we close the book, let us consider what influence our life has on another generation-good and bad.


                             ... of my family's unforgiving tendencies and forgive others.
                             ... of my selfish ways and love others.
                             ... and share and care today.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Crack in My Armor

O.T. #811  "A Crack in My Armor"
August 12, 2016
1 Kings 22-Part 2
An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. 1 Kings 22:34


Everyone has one-Goliath, David, Saul, Ahab did. We do also, if we will only admit it. I'm talking about a crack in our armor-a weakness in our life, which causes us to stumble into sin or the pit, over and over again.
Yep, discouragement puts me down in the pit every time. Someone's arrow of hurtful words hit me smackdab dead center in the heart and I bleed, with self-worth and confidence drained and running down to the ground. What's ironic is its source always surprises me,  but it should not. After all these years, I should be prepared for it, right? That mean arrow of action, the stone-cold word slung at me that I don't dodge, wound me and brings me to my knees. The devil uses his same ole tricks, just different faces. You know, I really need to wise up. Where's my shield of faith that I can hold up for counter action? Why don't I use my sword of the spirit, God's Word to ward them off? Hmm. It is time.

In spite of being forewarned of his death by the prophet Micaiah, King Ahab went into battle (along with Judah) to conquer Ramth-gilead, which used to be their possession. Ahab's planned to avoid death by disguising himself while Jehoshaphat wore his royal robes with God's protection.

The enemy, king of Aram, issued his orders to attack only the king of Israel and to not bother with anyone else. (verse 31) So the Armean chased after Jehoshaphat, thinking he was Ahab as a conspicuous target. If he had not cried out, the king of Judah would have been killed in Ahab's stead.
Then it happened-an archer took a random shot, not knowing he was aiming at Ahab, and hit the king in a crack in his armor. David Guzik describes the arrow as a sin-seeking missile.

Being seriously wounded, Ahab retreated to his chariot, propped up to encourage his troops, but the place where he slowly bled to death, with his blood running down on the floor of his chariot. There it is, folks, Ahab had been told twice of his upcoming death, but did not heed the warnings and went into battle anyway.

Where's the crack in our armor? Do we recognize it? The devil  knows just where to attack us with temptation, discouragement, or accusations-in our crack of armor. Are we protecting that weakness by putting on the full armor of God-salvation, righteousness, truth, peace, faith, and the Word of God?


The troops ran for their lives once their king was dead. Although King Ahab was buried in his capital, and as predicted, dogs licked up his blood (21:19). His blood was washed off of his chariot and armor at the pool where the harlots bathed. Such a thing was further indignity for the king. Why was it mentioned?

MacArthur says that Ahab, the spiritual harlot was associated with the physical harlots at his death.
The prophecies of Elijah (21:19) and Micaiah (verse 17) were fulfill at Ahab's death. In this, we find that our God keeps His Word. What He says will come to pass.

May I add a question- What good is Ahab's ivory house doing him now?

Ahaziah, Ahab's son, ruled Israel for two years. He did evil in the LORD's sight, following the example of his father and mother, and Jeroboam. He served and worshiped Baal, which provoked the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, just as his father did.

Sometimes people try to escape reality by disguising themselves-changing jobs, moving to a new town, even changing spouses. But God sees and evaluates the motives of each person. Any attempted disguise is futile. (Life Application Study Bible)

We haven't heard the last of wicked Jezebel. The next book tell of her deeds.


Identify my crack in my Christian armor, then take steps to mend it.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Speaking the Truth

O. T. #810  "Speaking the Truth"
August 11, 2016
1 Kings 22


As previously said, Ahab was the wickedest king Israel ever had. He sold himself to work evil. Jezebel, his heathen wife, rule Ahab behind the scenes and made sure that her idol worship of Baal was the nation's religion.

God gave Ahab two victories over Syria, who was Israel's enemy, for His people's sake, as well a showing His grace. Then Ahab compromised and made a covenant of peace with Ben-hadad. However, this was disobedience with God's Word and judgment was coming upon Ahab-his death.

Then Ahab had a man stoned for his garden. He wouldn't give his vineyard, which was an inheritance, to the king to use as his garden, so Jezebel had the man killed, and later his sons, too.

With that said, we are coming down to the end of this book and Ahab's life, also.
Ahab did not defeat Syria when he had the chance, so this enemy came back to attack and kill him.

We pick up a story 3 years later of the king of Judah (other 2 tribes of Israel in southern kingdom), Jehoshaphat, joined his army with that of Ahab's (10 tribes of Israel in northern kingdom).
King Jehoshaphat wanted to know God's will about this battle, so they asked of the 400 prophets to Ahab and worshipers of Baal.
(These guys always catered to Ahab, giving him a good report, whether it was the truth or not.) So victory was promised when these armies with to battle with Syria.  Jehoshaphat was not satisfied, so he wanted to hear from a prophet from the Lord, so Micaiah was brought.

Micaiah told the kings to go ahead and they would have victory, only it was said sarcastically. Then king replied sharply, How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the LORD? (verse 16)

Do we seek the Lord's will before going into battle, making decisions, starting our day? Do we
speak the truth when we are speaking for the Lord? Or do we speak soothing words, tickling their ears, making our listeners happy?  Which would God have us do?


Micaiah told  of his vision: Israel as scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd The LORD said, Their master has been killed. Send them home in peace. (verse 17)

This prophet continued to tell what else he saw:
  • The LORD was sitting on His throne with the armies of heaven around Him.
  • He asked who would go and entice Ahab to go in battle against Ramoth-gilead so he could be killed.
  • A spirit volunteered and God put a lying spirit in the mouths of all Ahab's prophets.
King Ahab would be killed in this battle and his army would be scattered, as Micaiah prophesied.
Micaiah was slapped and put back into prison, getting no bread or water until Ahab returned from the battle.
The prophet said, "If you return safely, it will mean that the LORD has not spoken through me."

This must have been Satan, whom the Lord  allowed to speak through 400 demons who indwelt the 400 false prophets. (MacArthur)

Life Application Study Bible adds:
God uses everything-both good and evil-for His good purposes (Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28). God does not entice anyone to evil, but He allows those who are committed to evil to sin even more in order to hurry their deserved judgment (Ex. 11:10). We don't need to understand very detail of ho God works in order to have perfect confidence in His absolute power over evil and His total goodness toward us.
I think the main focus here is not the evil, but God's will was accomplished, one way or another. He is always in control, sovereign. Do we surrender to His will?
We will see how Ahab's situation turns out next time. (Of course, we already know he is doomed.)


I may as well surrender, for God is going to have His will done, one way or another.

Cheerfully submit and obey.

Speak the truth.

Watch the blessing flow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Verdict Came

O. T. #809  "The Verdict Came"
August 10, 2016
1 Kings 21-Part 2
Give him this message This is what the LORD says: Wasn't it enough that you killed Naboth? Must you rob him, too? Because you have done this, dogs will lick your blood at the very place where they licked the blood of Naboth? 1 Kings 21:10 NLT


Naboth knew the dangers of disobeying a ruthless king, but refused to violate God's law and courageously refused Ahab's request for his ancestral land. Israelites were not to sell their land permanently, for the Promised Land belonged to God (Lev. 25:23). To acquire Naboth's vineyard for her husband, Queen Jezebel  committed several cries: forgery, hypocrisy (using the religious ritual of fasting to cover up the scheme), perjury, and murder. She even had Naboth's sons killed (2 Kings 9:26).
(David Jeremiah)

But God knew all that happened. He sent Elijah to settle the matter with the king:
  • Ahab called Elijah his enemy in the NLT version.
  • Elijah told that he came because Ahab sold himself to what is evil in the LORD's sight.
  • The Lord's message to Ahab was that He was going to bring disaster on him and consume him.
  • God would destroy Ahab's descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel!
  • God was going to destroy Ahab's family as He did the family of Jeroboam and Baasha for he led Israel into sin and made God very angry. Those dying in the city would be eaten by dogs and those dying in the field would be eaten by vultures.
  • Jezebel's body would be eaten by dogs on the plot of land Ahab got from Naboth.
Verse 25 says, No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the LORD's sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel.

His worse outrage was worshiping idols just as the Amorites had done.

Good news is found here-When Ahab heard this message he went into deep mourning, tearing his clothing, dressing in burlap, and fasting.
If you are like me, you wonder if it was all a show, a put on, like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
However, God sees into the heart. He asked Elijah if he saw how Ahab humbled himself before God. Because of that, God changed His time of executing judgment, not during Ahab's lifetime, but his sons and dynasty would be destroyed.

Numbers 32:23 states, Be sure your sins will find you out.

Do we confront those who do wrong and warn them of God's discipline? Are we praying for them to come to repentance?


Elijah announced doom to the household of Ahab, and in a short time his prophecies came true (2 Kings 9-10). Ahab himself had "sold himself to do wickedness" and therefore he had to accept the wages he had earned. the king humbled himself before the Lord (whether sincerely or hypocritically, we do not know), so the Lord postponed the punishment. (Wiersbe)

We must accept God's sovereignty on those occasions when He seems harsh by our standards, and also when He seems too merciful by our judgment. (Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary)

God took notice and reduced Ahab's punishment. The same Lord who was merciful to Ahab wants to be merciful to you. No mater how evil you have been it is never too late to humble yourself, turn to God, and ask for forgiveness. (Life Application Study Bible)


                              ... and let God handle those doing wrong when I have done all I can do.
                              ... and stay faithful to God so I am not among those who do wrong.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


O. L. #808  "Persistence"
August 9, 2016
1 Kings 21
I'll get you Naboth's vineyard.  1 Kings 21:7c


I have been having a night visitor on my front porch for a while now. It eats up the leftover cat food and digs in my flowers there. So in an attempt to discourage it, I remove the cat food nightly and placed some good sized rocks among the flowers. However, my scheme has not been successful. What a persistent dude!  It does not realize that it is not welcome here. And stop destroying my flowers! What kind of wild animal is so persistent? I had my ideas of the possibilities, but they were incorrect. Care to take a guess?

So, one night, at midnight to be exact, I was up late waiting on my antivirus to run its protection and heard a noise on the porch. The intruder was scooting the empty cat bowl. Awe ha! The mystery was about to be solved. I ran to get a flashlight and spotlighted it. A huge raccoon was the critter.  But what good does it to "know" what is stealing my cat food? I can't shoot a gun. So the saga continues. I wonder who I can get to eliminate my problem.
Today's focus is on a man named Naboth who is bothered by the king that is persist, not taking "no" for an answer, in an attempt to get his vineyard. Like my raccoon, he keeps coming back. Let's see what happens.

King Ahab is not satisfied with ruling over 83% of the Promised Land (10 out of 12 tribal inheritances) His empty idolatry is not satisfying. Thus, this king of Israel is constantly lusting after things, as the heart of the wicked does.
What does Ahab covet? His neighbor's vineyard that he wants to make into a vegetable garden. Really? Why not just buy Naboth's grapes? Or use another plot for your garden and leave the poor hard-working man alone.
The problem is, Naboth does not want to trade nor sell this plot of land. Besides, the man feels like he would be violating, disobeying the Word of God (Lev. 25:23 and Num. 36:7).  The Israelites' land was to not be sold, ever.

What do we do when evil keeps persistently challenging us? Do we give in or stand firm? Are we going to let the devil rob us of our joy today?


Ahab, a mighty warrior pouts at home, before his wicked wife Jezebel, because a farmer refused his offer. Who can feel sorry for the man?
Leave to me, honey, I'll take care of it. You deserve having everything you want, after all, you are king.
Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament explains: 
Queen Jezebel schemes again:
  • She brings in false witnesses against Naboth;
  • she forges letters in her husband's name;
  • she hides the entire undertaking under the disguise of a religious fast.
The innocent man Naboth was stoned to death just to satisfy the lust of King Ahab and his Baal-worshiping wife. Jezebel resolved Ahab's unhappiness with a scheme that involved perverting the law, perjury, and murder.
In 2 Kings 9, we find out that Naboth's male heirs are also killed so there were no surviving heirs to the land belonging to his family. And those kind of people are running the nation of Israel?
Anyone twisting the law to get what they want is guilty of sin.
We need to aware here in our nation of what kind of leaders we have or are potential? Are they law twisters?

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
 (Jeremiah 17:9)

Do we go to extremes to get our way? Hopefully not, but do we know women like this Jezebel?


Leave revenge to God.

Stay faithful to His Word.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Burlap and Rope

O. T. #807  "Burlap and Rope"
August 8, 2016
1 Kings 20-Part 3
So they put on burlap and ropes, and they went to the king of Israel and begged...
1 Kings 20:31


I find it funny that burlap has become a popular material in decorations, even at weddings. Why, when I was a kid, feed for the hogs and cows came in bagged in burlap, which was a humble means. It was considered anything but decorative back then. It is used in today's story in order to deceive the king.

After being defeated by Israel's God, the Syrians planned another invasion the nest spring, as a prophet warned King Ahab. Due to the defeat, the Syrians thought Israel's God could win in the hills, but not win in the valleys or plains. So that was their strategy, which failed. God gave a second victory to Israel as they killed 100,000 Arameans and a wall fell upon 27,000 killing them, also.

Benhadad's officers suggested to the Syrian king that they put burlap around their waists and rope on their heads, pretending to repent and humble themselves before proud Ahab. Their scheme worked, for Ahab was led into a wicked compromise with the enemy, as Satan does often. so the two kings made a covenant of peace, allowing Benhadad to live, which was in direct disobedience to the Word of God. Ahab is later killed on the battlefield in 22:35.

Are we easily deceived? Do we compromise God's Word?


An anonymous prophet met King Ahab, with a drama portraying  a story of a soldier who allowed a  prisoner to escape. The prophet was able to get King Ahab to confess his own guilt and pass his own sentence, as the soldier. (Like Nathan did with David). Ahab would die along with many of his people because he refused to follow God's directions.
Hazael's words came true at the right time (19:15-17). God had given Ahab time to repent, showing mercy. Since Ahab spared Benhadad, his own life was required.

Do we know what God's Word says?
Micah 6:8 tells us what the Lord requires: to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.

In our everyday dealings, do we do justly?
Are we showing mercy?
Daily, do we walk humbly before our God?


                               ... of pride and walk humbly before my God.

                               ... of self profit and do justly my business dealings.

                               ... of revenge and show mercy.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Counting Chickens Before They Hatch

O. T. #806 "Counting Chickens Before They Hatch"
August 5, 2016
1 Kings 20-Part 2


When I was little, we had a few hens and roasters in the garage. If we didn't eat up all the eggs, the settin' hens  would remain on their nest of eggs to keep them warm so their chicks would hatch. It was hard to predict how many chicks would actually hatch out. That was because we had an old hound dog that liked to eat eggs. Ahab's enemy sent a threat of his victory over Israel, but Ahab told him, in not so many words, to not count his chickens before they hatched.

Anyone need a victory today? How about a little grace, too? Ahab need both, for a huge army was coming against them.
King Ahab of Israel had armies from 33 kings come against him, to take over his kingdom. Ahab gave his wealth and his family, but refused to give up the possessions of his palace. Now we see the conquest. God stepped in to save the king and his people, but not that they deserved it. No, God had a cause against Syria and the time of her judgment had arrived. He showed grace to Israel.
Ben-hadad sent a message to Ahab threatening him. Ahab sent a message meaning that one should not count their chickens before they hatched. It may not turn out like expect.

Then an unnamed prophet gave Ahab a message from God:
Do you see all these enemy forces? Today I will hand them all over to you. Then you will know that I am the LORD. He would use the troops of the provincial commanders to do it. (verse 13, 14)

Do we seek the Lord for victory over our enemies? He is El Shaddah, the LORD Almighty. Grace is available.


So Ahab mustered up the troops of the 232 provincial commanders, as well as 7,000 men from his army. While the Aramean army's 32 kings were relaxing with their drinks in their tents as a premature celebration, Israel approached, ready to fight. As the Israelite soldiers began killing their enemies, it put the Aramean army into a panic and they fled. Ahab destroyed the horses, chariots, and slaughtered a great any Arameans (except King Ben-dad and a few of his charioteers escaped on horses).
This was the first victory. Ahab was told by another prophet to prepare for another battle, for Aram would return in the spring.
Do we prepare for spiritual battle before we leave our house in the morning by putting o the whole armor of God?


Seek God's grace.

Trust Him for victory today.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


O. T. #805  "Valuables"
August 4, 2015
1 Kings 20
They will take away everything you consider valuable! 1 Kings 20:6b


If we had an invasion, which would we willingly give up-wealth, family, house, valuables, land, Bible, car, jewelry? What do we consider valuable?  Ahab faced such a dilemma.

The northern kingdom of Israel had 8 evil kings in succession. King Ahab went down in history as the most wicked king that Israel ever had. His wife Jezebel ruled him behind the scenes and got Baal worship as the official religion in the land. Ahab sold himself to work evil, as 21:20 and 25 inform us. Elijah had been the instrument which God used to demonstrate that His is the only powerful, living God. Yet, Ahab did not have enough faith to follow God.

God allowed other nations to gain strength and become Israel and Judah's enemies. During the next two centuries, three enemies threatened both of them-Aram, Assyria, and Babylon.

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament  shows us Ahab's defense:  
  1. The challenge (verses 1-12)
  2. The conquest (verses 13-30)
  3. The compromise (verse 31-43).
When we are surrounded at work or in our family by those who choose to not honor nor serve God, are we remaining faithful to God? Will we lift up Jesus instead of lowering our standards to their level?


The challenge Ahab faced was with the king of Syria and his vast army, assisted by 32 other kings,  threatened Samaria. His messengers asked for King Ahab's wealth and family, to which he agreed to obey. What!! You sorry king! You gave up your family without a fight? You experienced the mighty power God at Mt. Carmel, so why not pray to Him to give you victory?

When the invaders asked for the privilege of looting his palace, Ahab refused. Looks like we know what is most important to this codger. If only Ahab had been walking with the Lord, then he could have turned his problem over to Him, but Baal was unable to deliver the king.

What is our priority? Is God's Word and His ways, or our own? Are we so deep in debt that w have to spend al time working with no time spent worshiping?


Stand up for Jesus.

Defend His Truth.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Go Back To Go Forward

O. T. #804  "Go Back To Go Forward"
August 2, 2016
1 Kings 19-Part 6
Go back the same way you came... (verse 15)
Go on back, but think about what I have done to you. (verse 20c) 


Go back the same way you came. Elijah had to travel back to the wilderness of Damascus. He had a new assignment-anoint two kings and a prophet. God was not finished with Elijah yet, he was still breathing and walking and talking. And so it is with us, friends. It's when we sit down under our juniper tree and have a pity party, like Elijah had done, when we stay in a cave of despair, that we loose our focus-God. Sometimes we have to go back in our mind and spirit and let Him work through all those hurt emotions and hate. I have to forgive those who hurt me and allow Jesus to heal me.

The purpose of Elijah anointing these three was for them to be commissioned to destroy Baal worship in Israel. Later in 2 Kings we will read of their success in achieving it through God's help. Actually, Elijah was not the one directly involved in commissioning the two kings, but Elisha was. In the process, Elijah was renewed a he immediately obeyed God.

Walking the second mile probably will not be on an easy, smooth road. Elijah needed a purpose to walk on, to continue walking by faith. God gave him one. It may be more than we can handle, but God wipes away the tears and gives us strength to go uphill when it is required. Let's not hammer in the peg and say that is as far as I am going. If we do, then it is us who misses out on the blessings.


What happens when Elijah finds Elisha?
  • Elisha plowing in a field with 12 yoke of oxen. Apparently Elisha's family was wealthy to have such a team of oxen in that day.
  • The name Elisha means my God is salvation.
  • As Elisha passed by Elijah during his work, Elijah threw his mantle upon him.
  • A mantle or cloak was the most important article of clothing a person owned. It was used a protection against the weather, as bedding, as a place to sit, and as luggage. t could be given as a pledge for a debt or torn into pieces to show grief. Elijah put his mantle upon Elisha's shoulders to show he would become Elijah's successor. (Life Application Study Bible)
  • Elisha asked Elijah permission to return to his parents to say good bye and then return to follow Elijah. Elijah agreed to allow Elisha to go back, but asked Elisha to think about what he had done to Elisha.
  • Elisha returned and killed his team of oxen as a symbol of his strong commitment to follow Elijah. The wood of the plow was used to build a fire to roast the meat. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate.
  • Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.
Elijah did not allow any earthly affection, such as parents, to detain him from obedience. Elisha recognized his call, and wished to make that call known to his family an friends by a farewell feast. Then he assumed his new role as a prophet-in-training.

What sacrifices are we willing to make that Jesus may require in order to follow Him? Do we put stipulations on our obedience? Only if it doesn't hurt, require my moving away, if it is something I enjoy doing, nor isn't humiliating? I ask myself those questions in  my spiritual assessment.

Deny yourself, Linda, by taking up your cross, and following Me wherever and through whatever. There it is: So I have to go back and walk through those valleys of pain in order to get healed; to die to my hurts and jealous and pride and desires and take up those  which Jesus has for me as He throws the mantle across my shoulders.
What about you, dear one? Are you willing to join us as we go back so we can go forward? Brokenness become healed.


Go back...
Take up....
Follow Jesus...

Monday, August 1, 2016

A New Perspective Seven Thousand Times Better

O. T. #803 "A New Perspective Seven Thousand Times Better"
August 1, 2016
1 Kings 19-Part 5
Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed to Baal or kissed him!
1 Kings 19:18


When I look at my situation from my perspective and not God's perspective, the view gets out of whack, out of focus, and I don't see through eyes of faith. I don't see what really is true, what it can become, nor reality. I have been in the cave of discouragement far too long with Elijah. It is time to get up. Time for us to go stand on the mountain of the Lord where we can see through the eyes of hope, and get a new perspective that is 7,000 times better than mine is.

Elijah had to get out of his cave of discouragement and stand on the mountain before he experienced Gods three phenomenal acts using nature-windstorm, earthquake, and fire. Then God spoke using a soft, whispering voice. He asked Elijah what he was doing there in a cave, twice even. Now it seems to me, if He has to ask twice what a person is doing "there," then perhaps they are in the wrong place, not where God wants them to be.
Is God asking us what we are doing in our cave?

 What were the instructions that Elijah received from God?
  • Go back the same way he came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus.
  • Anoint Hazael king of Aram, Syria, who was Israel's enemy on her northern border.
  • Anoint Jehu, a captain in Ahab's army, as king of Israel.
  • Anoint Elisha to replace him as the  prophet of God.
  • Anyone who escapes Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will killed by Elisha.
  • God tells Elijah that He preserved 7,000 others in Israel who never bowed down to Baal or kissed him (showed loyalty)!
God was still controlling the events. The spiritual situation in Israel was 7,000 times better than Elijah had thought. Elijah received hope. He would see his situation from God's perspective.


Those three were commissioned to destroy Baal worshipers-Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha were used to complete what Elijah had begun. Success was coming.

By the time the last of these men died (2 Kings 13:24), Baalism would be officially barred from Israel. (MacArthur)

We are all in the kingdom work together, so there should not be jealousy. Elijah had more work to do before he was through.
When we have wondered off the right path, hide in a cave or sit under our juniper tree, so to speak, we need to listen for God's still small voice reassuring us that we are not alone, and giving us His next assignment. Then get up and go, obeying. After all, there are at least 7,000 faithful followers of Jesus out there looking for us!


Let God heal my wounds.

Leave fear, discouragement, and loneliness behind.

Focus on God, not the seemingly failures. Be an overcomer.

Walk faithfully on the path He has prepared for His purposes.