Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What, Where, and Weary

O. T. #993  "What, Where, and Weary"
May 30, 2017
2 Chronicles 32-Part 5
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding.  Isaiah 40:28


How often do we grow weary and ask God what was going on? Where is God in the midst of all of this trouble? Our faith hangs on my a thread. It seemed to be King Hezekiah's situation, but God was faithful and compassionate. Walk with me, friend, as we read of this good king's last years and doings.

Prophet Isaiah wrote chapters 40-66 in his book at the time of Assyria's invasion. He was described as the most notable figure, after David, in the entire history of Israel. In the face of national crisis he practically guided the helm of the state during Hezekiah's day, encouraging Jerusalem to hold out against Assyrian invasion when all others were ready to submit.  (Falwell)

King Hezekiah prayed to God, not through a priest, but directly himself, as we do through Jesus. He asked for a healing on his death bed, and received 15 more years. He was extremely blessed with treasures and honor. Oh the wonder of it all. Miraculously, God even stopped time in order to reassure the king that he would survive the sickness and enemy Assyria would be stopped.

Did you receive encouragement as I did whenever I read our key verse? He is our Everlasting God, our Creator; the One who does not grow weak nor weary; the Sovereign God that we trust to do what is right. He is faithful forever. Let faith arise, for He is faithful forever, as the song goes.

Will we surrender our next 15 years to be lived for the glory of God?


We read more details of what happened when the messengers from Babylon came to visit Hezekiah. It is found in Isaiah 39, when the prophet asked 3 questions of Hezekiah: What did those men want? Where did they come from? What did they see in your palace?

Hezekiah said they were from Babylon; they saw everything I own, all my royal treasuries.

Do you think pride came to Hezekiah as well as the Babylonians? Was he impressed that a powerful king would show him attention? What a foolish thing Hezekiah did, showing his treasures to an enemy. That would make them want to get them for their king.

Isaiah told Hezekiah that the day would come when his treasure would by carried of into Babylon, as well as his descendants. Although, this would not happened during Hezekiah's lifetime.
God had withdrew His hand in order to test Hezekiah during all of this, to see what was really  in his heart. (verse 32)

Well, as all good kings did, he died. However, Hezekiah was buried with the family of King David. Manasseh, his son born during the extended 15 years of life, was made king over Judah, when he was 12.
It isn't always wise to throw our pearls to the hogs to be trampled on, as Jesus remarked.

When we get weary, be assured God understands. How good to know, that He does not give up on us.
Should we not do the same for others?


Trust my Everlasting God in everything.

Know that He understands when I do not, and has a purpose.

Leaving Our Lot to the Lord

O. T. #992  "Leaving Our Lot to the Lord"
May 30, 2017
2 Chronicles 32-Part 4


As I have shared before, God gave me the gift of an extended life. It was in 2001 after my surgery, that I stopped breathing. The doctors were able to give me a medicine to counter act too much pain medicine. Today's king was given his gift, too, but 15 added years.

In verse 24, we read that King Hezekiah of Judah became deathly ill, prayed to God for healing, and was healed after figs were put on his boil. Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord said that He would heal the king and in 3 days he would be allowed to enter the Temple again, and stopping Assyria their enemy. However, Hezekiah asked what sign God would give to prove He would do as promised.

This conversation is left out of our chapter, but found  in 2 Kings 20 and Isaiah 38.
Would you like the shadow on the sundial to move backwards 10 degrees or forward 10 degrees/steps?

As the king said, it would have been easy for it to move forward, but difficult to move backwards. That would take a miracle of God, so that is what he chose. Either God moved the sun backwards so 40 minutes were added to that day, or the shadow on the steps of the palace sundial changed. (20 minutes back and then 20 minutes to catch up to the time it should have been) My faith believes God moved the sun backwards, which only He could do, for He was its Creator, as a sign for His servant. If He had reversed the rotation of the earth, then things would have been thrust forward into space, right?

Keeping that in mind, our chapter does not give that detail of the conversation, but it says Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him and he became proud. So the LORD's anger came against him and Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself and repented of his pride, as did the people of Jerusalem. So the LORD's anger did not fall on them during Hezekiah's lifetime.

Could this pride have come after his healing, his seeing time stop, and God keeping His promises?

David Guzik said that Hezekiah was given 2 gifts: the gift of extended life and knowing he only had 15 years to live.

Although he had 15 more years given to him, Hezekiah should have left his lot to the Lord, accepting his time of death, for the son he had during those years became the most wicked king Judah had.

Can we leave our lot to the Lord Jesus? Or do we beg Him for more years or time? We should trust His timing for us to be best, not our timing.


We read where Lord took care of Assyria by killing 185,000 in his army. Also, Hezekiah lived 15 more years, was very wealthy, and highly honored, both were given by God. He had full storehouses, added cities, and possessions.

Even though all of this was a blessing, pride crept into Hezekiah's life once again. When ambassadors of Babylon came for a visit, he exposed everything in his treasury to them. Showed them around, did he? Honestly, did he have no common sense? To reveal such wealth to an enemy? One day, in 612 B.., Assyria would return to claim all of Judah's possessions for themselves. I suppose it was a blessing that this did not happen during Hezekiah's lifetime, but it did happen to his ancestors some 116 years after Hezekiah died.

As I recall, when a woman kept begging a judge for something, he finally gave it to shut her up, which was a parable of Jesus'. How merciful is our Judge! We deserve to be cast into Hell, but it is because of the blood of Jesus being shed for you and me, as well as our sins being washed away with it, that this doe not happen. What a glorious Savior! Even when we mess up, as Hezekiah did often, He still  forgiving and shows us grace. Glory to God in the highest!


Have self control and discernment.

Surrender to God's will in His timing.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Weeping Tears

O. T. #991  "Weeping Tears"
May 9, 2017
2 Chronicles 32-Part 3


The king of Assyria, Sennacherib, intimidated Judah and was ready to attack Jerusalem, then challenged God, but God responded by killing 185,000 men in his army. God proved Himself sovereign and all-powerful.  So the king went home and his 2 sons ended up killing him.

We pick up the res of the story of Hezekiah in verse 24. Hezekiah became deathly ill. In fact, the prophet Isaiah spoke words from the Lord God:
Set you affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness. 

Here is one of the greatest kings of Judah, the most devoted spiritual leaders, a repairer of the Temple and restorer of true worship of Jehovah, a remover of idols, and invited Israel to join them in observing the Passover-he was warned that he was going to die. (Some think he had a cancerous boil.) This faithful servant of God had completed his purpose? So soon? Wouldn't we be in shock if the doctors told us to get our house in order, for death would be coming to us soon?

How did this wonderful king react to such news?
Verse 2 says he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, Remember, O LORD, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you. Then he broke down and wept bitterly.

Who can blame him?


We read of the Lord's response through Isaiah, which is found in 2 Kings 20:
  • I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.
  • I will heal you.
  • In 3 days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple.
  • I will add 15 years to your life.
  • I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria.
  • I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.
Hezekiah had a poultice of figs placed upon his boil and it was healed, just as he was told.

Can we be encouraged by this with assurance that God hears our prayers and acts with mercy according to His will? To some He sends healing and to some death. Both life and death are in His hands. Do we have faith to accept His will for either? Meanwhile, are we serving God faithfully and single-mindedly?


Keep the faith while I wait.

Pray for God's will and be prepared to accept yes and no.

Don't be hesitant to weep the tears to a compassionate God.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Laying It Down

O. T. #990  "Laying It Down"
May 26, 2017
2 Chronicles 32-Part 2
And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the hose of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 2 Kings 19:14


King Hezekiah of Judah stopped paying tribute to Assyria, though his father did it as a bribe for their help in battle, which did not come. Needless to say, King Sennacherib (Sin-act'-rib) of Assyria was not pleased. He invaded towns in Judah. But, Hezekiah made preparations to protect Jerusalem. He encouraged the men that the power that is far greater than Assyria's army was on their side and He would help them fight their battles.

Assyria's king sent insulting letters by messengers to Hezekiah, trying to terrifying him. When Hezekiah received the letter, what did he do? He went into the house of the Lord and spread the letter before his God. Hezekiah was a real man of prayer, McGee describes.

Liberty Bible Commentary explains Hezekiah's wonder prayer found in 2 Kings 19:14-19:
  1. He recognized God's sovereignty, having complete authority over what He had created. (verse 15)
  2. The pagan Sennacherib had defiled the living and sovereign God. (verse 16)
  3. Sennacherib had destroyed other nations and other gods; his claims only proved that pagan gods were not gods. (verses 17-18)
  4. Hezekiah requested that God save His people and show the world that Jehovah was the only God. (verse 19)
Lord God, may Your will be done in our lives. We acknowledge that only You are sovereignly in control over all things. Nothing catches You by surprise. You have solutions for our problems, diseases, trials, and troubles. We yield to Your will, Your way, today. Work in us so we bring You honor as You see us through this time.
In Jesus name I pray.


What was in the letter from the Assyrian king that caused King Hezekiah to be so distraught that he went into the Temple and spread this threatening letter before the Lord? (Not only was it sent to the king of Judah, but to the people, also.)
  • What are you trusting in that makes you think you can survive my siege of Jerusalem?
  • Surely Hezekiah is misleading you, sentencing you to death by famine and thirst.
  • Don't you realize that Hezekiah is the very person who destroyed all the LORD's shrines and altars?
  • He commanded that Judah and Jerusalem to worship only at the altar at the Temple and other sacrifices on it alone.
  • Surely you must realize what I and the other kings of Assyria before me have done to all the people of the earth. Were any of the gods of those nations able to rescue their people from my power? Which of their gods was able to rescue its people from  the destructive power of my predecessors?
  • What makes you think your God can rescue you from me?
  • Don't let Hezekiah deceive you! Don't let him fool you like this. I say again-no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors. How much less will your God rescue you from my power!
  • Just as the gods of all the other nations failed to rescue their people from my power, so the God of Hezekiah will also fail. (New Living Translation)
King Sennacherib's officers mocked the LORD God and His servant Hezekiah, heaping insult upon insult. They shouted the message in Hebrew to the people gathered on the walls of the city, trying to terrify them so it would be easier to capture Jerusalem. They talked about the God of Jerusalem as though He were one of the pagan gods, made by human hands.

In 2 Kings 19, the Lord God answered this arrogant king of Assyria about his defiling God saying it went as He planned; he conquered because God allowed it; God knows Sennacherib well, where he stayed, and when he came and went; God s going to put His hook in this king's nose and His bit into his mouth, making Sennacherib return by the same road on which he came into Judah.

Wow! This Assyrian king challenged God. What a mistake. This man was not more powerful than God, nor is any man, no are we.

The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven's Armies made this happen-a remnant of God's people would spread out from Jerusalem, a group of survivors from Mt. Zion.

This occurred since the angel of the LORD went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Survivors and the king of Assyria went home to Nineveh, their capital, after seeing the corpses everywhere. Twenty years later,  while Sennacherib was worshiping in the temple of his false god, his two sons killed him by their swords, the escaped to another land of Ararat.

Assyria was crushed in 612 B.C. and Babylon, under Nebuchadnezzar, became the world ruler.
(2 Kings 20:14)

Good prevails against the evil. God is always victorious. Do I hear an amen?
Hezekiah depended upon the Lord for help, and He delivered the city in a miraculous way.

                     ... and let God.
                     ... and lay it down, my request, before my God.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Shield, Sword, and Strength

O. T. #989  "Shield, Sword, and Strength"
May 25, 2017
2 Chronicles 32
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Ephesians 6:16-17


King Hezekiah's faith in God remained strong. Although he lived in dangerous times faced powerful enemies, and confronted idolatry, this king chose to continue to worship and serve God. It takes courage to seek God when the forces of evil surround you. God will honor the heart that commits to follow Him (2 Chron. 6:5). God is pleased to prosper/honor those who strive to please Him rather than seek the approval of people (1 Samuel 2:30).

Before Hezekiah became king of Judah, his father Ahaz had been raided by the Philistines and Edomites, then turned to Assyria for help by giving them tribute from the Temple and shutting the doors of the Temple. King Ahaz turned to pagan idol worship instead of remaining faithful to God. When Hezekiah took over as king, he repaired the Temple and reestablished the sacrificial system and stopped paying tribute to Assyria. He determined to recover independence for his nation. (During this time, Israel's 10 northern tribes were taken captive by Assyria in 722 B.C.)

What was going on as a result of this refusal?
The Assyrian King Sennacherib retaliated, entered Judah ready to attack Jerusalem. He laid siege to the fortified towns, giving orders for his army to break through their walls. (verse 1)

Hezekiah had a plan, which we will discuss. In the meantime, the king prayed to God and encouraged his people:
  • Be strong and courageous!
  • Don't be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side.
  • He may have a great army, but they are merely men.
  • We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!
  • Hezekiah's words greatly encouraged the people. (verses 7-8)
Did the devotion to the Lord keep Hezekiah from problems. No.

Obedience sometimes leads to greater testing, for our good and the glory of God. (Wiersbe)

It was the sinfulness and greediness of Assyria's king that brought him to the point of preparing to invade Judah. He worshiped idols, dead deities made by the hands of men, but Judah worshiped the One True Living God who is all-powerful.

Why should we be surprised when problems come our way in spite of our faithfulness to obey God?

Friends, I marvel at God's timing of words I hear in this study. My husband is facing some serious health issues right now. We have been waiting for improvement the last 6 months as the doctors adjusted and removed medications, but to no improvement. Now we are waiting for an appointment of  another test to give us answers to questions. Hopefully, next week we will hear the answers, but in the meantime, we are waiting with a shield of faith and sword of the Lord's Word.

God is the strength of my heart. My portion forever. Psalm 73:26b


What did Hezekiah do in preparation of an attack by Assyria?
  • He stopped the flow of the springs outside Jerusalem. This kept the Assyrian army from having a water supply since they camped there.
  • He repaired all the broken sections of the wall, erected towers, and built a second wall outside the first wall. Talk about support.
  • He enforced the supporting terraces.
  • He manufactured large numbers of weapons and shields.
  • He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square of the city gate.
  • Hezekiah sent officials to with the Assyrians.
Do we need to repair any walls in our life with faith? Our sword is the Word of God and our shield is faith.
This illustrates God giving plans of defense against the evil enemies. Dear ones, let us use God's Word against our enemy, Satan. He is out to destroy us and our witness but our only defense if Scriptures. Jesus used them when tempted in the wilderness and he overcame temptation, not sinning.

Just as God proved a mighty warrior for Jehoshaphat, so He proved Himself again with Hezekiah. (David Jeremiah)

Next time we will discuss how the Assyrian's words tried to discourage the people of Judah and if they were successful.


Stay in God's Word, sharpening my sword and using it against evil.

Ask God to fight my battles.

Keep my shield of faith always before me, stopping the darts of discouragement.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


O. T. #988  "Following"
May 24, 2017
2 Chronicles 31-Part 2


King Hezekiah reopened the Temple, reestablished the sacrificial system, and removed the pagan idols in Jerusalem and Judah. Some Israelites joined them in the Passover celebration, which lasted 14 days instead of 7 days. The priests and Levis were active in their duties. There was great joy in the city. Hezekiah required the people of Jerusalem to bring their tithe with a portion of their goods. They were so faithful in doing so that the storerooms in the Temple were overflowing. There was so much that they distributed gifts and food allotments to the families of the priests.
As King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, as details are mentioned in this chapter, doing so pleased the LORD and was good in the sight of his God. This king did what was good, right, and true before the LORD.

What was the last thing we did for another that could be considered good, right, true?
I helped an elderly lady fix her plate of food, carried it to her table, and afterwards put it in the trash. It was the first time I had met this elderly lady, but she had no one helping her and I was glad to do so. Opportunities to serve will come our way if we have our servant eyes and ears open. Do it for the glory of God and we will receive a blessing.


I couldn't wrap up this chapter without mentioning verse 21: In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God's laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.

We read of the results of the king's faithfulness to God, how he was rewarded by God, and how he prospered.

Hezekiah clung tightly to the Lord, faithfully following Him and obeying His commands. As a result, the Lord was with him and gave him success. He relied on the Lord as his exclusive hope in every situation. (MacArthur)

His is an example of intensity and urgency for believers everywhere: to follow what God has commanded with devotion. (David Jeremiah)

Are we following God's commands? Are loving Him with wholeheartedly? Are we loving our neighbor as our self?


Love God wholeheartedly.

Serve Him with faithful devotion.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What is Faith?

O. T. #987  "What is Faith?"
May 23, 2017
2 Chronicles 31


After the Temple was reopened, cleansed, and reformed in Jerusalem and Judah, the priests and Levites were reestablished in their positions as spiritual leaders in worship of God. Many Israelites came to join in the observance of the Passover Feast with Judah. The revival through King Hezekiah spread, resulting in pagan shrines and altars, as well as Asherah poles being removed. We must be careful that we do not allow material possessions, wealth, pleasure, prestige to be in ou thoughts more than God. Then they become an idol to us.

Hezzekiah did that which was good, right, and truth before the Lord his God. He was a man of faith and prayer.

J. Vernon McGee had this to say about faith:
  • Faith is not in the feelings; it is an accomplished fact.
  • Faith is that which is wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit.
  • Faith is no self-meritorious. 
  • Faith is only the instrument, Christ is the Savior and He is the object of faith.
  • True faith "brings nothing so that I may take all."
  • Faith trusts God.

When Peter made his great confession of faith in Jesus, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus said the Father revealed it to him, not flesh ad blood. (Matthew 16:16-17)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)

Lord, I believe: help Thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:24)

Have you ever put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior? Will you believe that He died in your place, paying for your sins? He arose from the grave to be your living Redeemer, not just a man. He gives us faith to believe. Will you ask Him to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior, right now?

If you already have, I rejoice. Now we should ask others those questions.
Are we trusting God with everything in your life?
Are we walking by faith today?


We see the results of reformation in Judah as they brought such an abundance of their tithe. The priests had not been supported by the government during the evil kings' reign. As the people gave a tenth of their income to the priests and Levites, that freed those men to serve God and minister to the people. The people responded generously and immediately. Are we regularly giving 10% to God through the church?

After we are saved by Lord Jesus, the reformation comes in our life, as we walk by faith. He will change our life, if we let Him. If Christ has forgiven our sins, we walk away from our old life and old sins, just as the sick man with palsy (Luke 5). If we do not walk away from our sinful lifestyle, we are still paralyzed with sin.

Life Application Study Bible informs us of ways Hezekiah led the people in  spiritual renewal:
  1. He remembered God's compassion. (verse 9)
  2. He kept going despite ridicule. (verse 10)
  3. He aggressively removed evil forces in his life. (verse 14)
  4. He interceded for the people, asking for the Lord's pardon. (verse 15-20)
  5. He was open to spontaneity in worship. (verse 23)
  6. He contributed generously to God's work. (31:3)
Are any of theses lacking in our life?
If so, we should recommit to God our all.


Do what is good, right, and truth before God.

Keep the faith, in spite of ridicule.

Intercede for people.

Be open to worshiping in spontaneity.

Give generously to God's work.

Trust God for faith to walk by faith; keep walking.

Monday, May 22, 2017

What a Historic and Joyous Day!

O. T. #986  "What a Historic and Joyous Day!
May 22, 2017
2 Chronicles 30
And the LORD listened to Hezekiah's prayer and healed the people. 2 Chronicles 30:20


One might think that King Hezekiah would have a revengeful spirit as he came to the throne after the northern king of Israel had killed 120,000 of Judeans (during his father's reign). He wasn't striving to get even, but instead, Hezekiah opened the Temple, restored worship of God, and gave his own public testimony. Then the king sent an invitation to Israel to come and join them in worshiping God. Even though his invitation was rejected by some, with laughter and making fun of the messengers, many humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem to  keep the Passover with their brethren. However, the celebration was postponed a month due to the lack of time for enough priests to be purified by the appointed time.

Verse 12 says At the same time, God's hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them all one heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the Word of God.

Do we ever need this in our nation today. We need hearts changed by God. Then the rebellious ones will have an obedient spirit to follow our president's leading. Let us pray for our President, his cabinet, and our senators and representatives as they make decisions concerning our country. Pray they will all have a desire to follow the Word of God. All things are possible with God.


Since many of the people had not purified themselves, the Levites slaughter their Passover lamb to see them apart for the Lord. The king prayed for them and allowed them to eat of the Passover meal anyway. This was contrary to the law of Moses though.

What did Hezekiah's prayer say?
May the LORD, who is good, pardon those who decide to follow the LORD, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.

Was his prayer answered? Yes, it was. Verse 20 tells us And the LORD listened to Hezekiah's prayer and healed the people.

What happened in Jerusalem?
  • The people in Jerusalem joyously celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for 7 days;
  • The priests and Levites sang to the LORD accompanied by instruments;
  • Peace offerings were sacrificed and the people gave thanks to God;
  • They celebrated joyfully for another week, with the extraordinary number of animals offered to God.
  • There was great joy in the city, for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David's son.
  • Then the priests and Levites stood and blessed the people and God heard their prayer from His holy dwelling in heaven.
Folks, I stopped writing this and watched our President pray at the Wailing Wall of the former Temple in Jerusalem. What a historic sight! What a historic day! I hope he was praying for America and Israel, for God can answer his prayers as He did King Hezekiah's. How fitting that our lesson would be on this passage for such a time a this.

                          ... of anything in my heart that is above God.
                               ... and worship the One True Living God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
                               ... and pray for our nation's repentance and disobedience to God's Word be turned
                               .. allowing joy to flood my heart with the hope of restoration of this nation that
                                  was established upon the principles of the Bible.
                               ... thanking God for His mercy upon us.

Friday, May 19, 2017


O. T. #985  "Return"
May 19, 2017
2 Chronicles 29-30:9


I recall the days when we lived a 6 hour drive away from our families. It was such a joyous time when our family returned home for a visit to spend time with our parents and siblings. Also, when we were able to join our friends in worship services at our hometown church. Judah's king sent an invitation to Israel to join them in the Passover celebration. Israel had strayed away in idolatry. Join me as we read more of this situation.

Judah's King Hezekiah reopened the Temple for worshiping their God, since his father Ahaz had gone into idol worship.. The priests cleaned everything and the Levites began sacrifices and offerings unto the Lord again. In the Old Testament the sacrificial system was the way God appointed in order for sinful people to approach Him and have their relationship restored with Him.

The Levites played instruments and sang songs of praise unto their Maker, with the psalms of David as he did.
Verse 29 and 30 tells us Then the king and everyone with him bowed down in worship. So they offered joyous praise and bowed down in worship.

Now that is down-on-the ground humility. Why have we lost this, it seems, in our churches? Are we a people so proud and self-sufficient that it is beneath us to yield to God in such a way? In our church we have prayer benches in front, but only a few folks use them and every now and then. In order to use it, one has to bend their knees in an act of humility in prayer before the Lord. If a king of the great nation of Judah can bow his knees to God in worship, why can't we?


In verses 6-9, we read of King Hezekiah sending messages to Israel inviting them to join them in worship in the Temple as they celebrate the Passover of the LORD. Those letters said:
  • Let us return to the Lord so He will return to us.
  • Do not be like your ancestors.
  • Do not be stubborn, but submit yourselves to the LORD.
  • Come to the Temple that He has set apart as holy.
  • Worship the Lord God so His fierce anger will turn away from you.
  • If you will return, your relatives and children will be treated mercifully by their captors and they will be able to return to their land.
  • For the Lord is merciful and gracious.
  • If you return to Him, He will not continue to turn His face from you.
Is God calling for us to return to Him, wholeheartedly? God is indeed merciful and gracious. He waits for His children to return to Him in worship. He is a Spirit so we worship Him is spirit and in truth. He can already see into hearts.
Who do we need to love back to Jesus? Perhaps mistreatment from others has caused them to stray or unfortunate circumstances in life. Ask Him how we can help them return.


Bow before God and worship Him in joyous praise and songs.

Love others to Jesus so they return to Him in repentance and worship.

Serve Him with gladness.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


O. T. #984  "Restoration"
May 18, 2017
2  Chronicles 29-Part 2
Then the Levites went to King Hezekiah and gave him a report... 2 Chronicles 29:18


Isn't it a relief to read about a good king in Judah? The priests probably felt that way, also. Judah had a hard time, I think. They had endured 16 years of the bad King Ahaz, but 29 years of a good king Hezekiah; then 2 bad kings followed for the next 57 years with Manasseh and Amon as kings.

Hezekiah brought restoration of the Temple worship, revival of worshiping God in Judah, renewal of the sacrificial system, and rededication of the Temple of the LORD. This king took a public stand for God. We see it as he had the defiled things (idols) removed from the Temple by the priests. It took 8 days for this to be accomplished in just the outer courts, then it was carted off  to the Brook of Kidron. which is east of Jerusalem. So it took an entire 16 days to complete the task. After the cleansing, the Levites were allowed to enter the walls of the holy places.

Hezekiah's  restoration of true Temple worship as practiced in the time of David and Solomon produced great joy (verse 36). (MacArthur)

If you have become inactive in Christian service, either by choice or by circumstances, look for the opportunities to serve (and listen to the "Hezekiahs") that God sends your way. Then, like the Levites, be ready for action (verses 12-15). (Life Application Study Bible)

Are we ready to do whatever cleaning it takes in order for restoration? It may be physically removing things that have become idols in our life, or it may be spiritual hindrances. Isn't it always good to have a time of inventory, removal, and cleansing. I think that is when revival comes to us.


Verses18 and 19 tell about the cleansing of the entire Temple-the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, the table of the Bread of the Presence with its utensils. They recovered all the items discarded by King Ahaz, which were purified, placed in front of the altar of the LORD, and ready for use. These thins were reported to King Hezekiah, who wasted no time in gathering the city officials he next day. They brought animals for the sin offerings and the priests performed the sacrifice on the altar of the LORD.

Shh, do you hear it? Is the Holy Spirit calling for a cleansing of the soul, admitting our sins, asking forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That is how John the Baptist described Him. When we do, then our relationship with God will be restored like the people of Judah. Peace and joy will be restored as it was in Judah. Our God is so merciful!


Repent and return to God.
Seek revival and restoration.

Shut Doors Opened

O. T. #983  "Shut Doors Opened"
Ma 17, 2017
2 Chronicles 29
And in every work he began in the service of the house of God in the law and in commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered. 
 2 Chronicles 31:21


You will recall that the bad King Ahaz of Judah had turned to idolatry and shut the doors of the Temple of God and set up altars to the pagan gods at every corner in Jerusalem. Now we turn the page and read of a very different king, Hezekiah. Revival is just around the corner, folks.

What do we learn about this good king?
  • He was 25 years old when Hezekiah became king, and reigned over Judah for 29 years. (v.1)
  • He did what was pleasing in the sight of the LORD, just as his ancestor avid had done. (v. 2)
  • During Hezekiah's rule, Samaria in Israel fell to Assyria in 722 BC. The Prophet Hosea continued his ministry then. Also, Isaiah and Micah prophesied during his reign.
  • Hezekiah's trust in the Lord had not been equaled by an king who preceded him or by any who followed. (31:21) 
  • Hezekiah addressed the spiritual problem first which reflected his life priorities. His diagnosis was correct-Judah had abandoned the worship of God.
  • He reversed the policy of his father and repaired the temple and He returned the Levites to their duties as well as priests to the Word of God and offerings.
  • King Hezekiah's story is told in 2 Kings18-20, Isaiah 36-39, and 2 Chronicles 29-32.
  • Proverbs 25-31 were collected by Hezekiah's advisors. The first section was written by Solomon and the other two were written by others. (Life Application Study Bible)

Life Application Study Bible lists the great revivals where large numbers of people gave up their ways of living in sin. Each period had its leaders who took action without fear to make his desires known to the people:
Moses, Samuel, David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

What a testimony of Hezekiah's life of faith, trusting and obeying God more than any of the 21 kings of Judah. This outstanding man turned to God.
Can it be said of us in our community? in our church?

A devotional, Experiencing God Day by Day, written by the Blackabys encourages us:
Hezekiah live in a dangerous and tumultuous time. He faced powerful enemies. Idolatry was the popular religion of the day. His parents had rejected God and encouraged people to worship gods. Hezekiah had the opportunity to reject God as well, yet he chose to serve God with all his heart. God honors the heart that commits to follow Him. God is pleased to prosper those who strive to please Him rather than seek the approval of people (1 Sam. 2:30). 
Will we be like Hezekiah and open the doors of the Temple, our heart? When we do, Jesus will enter in. Or have we been hurt so badly that we keep it bolted to everyone, including Jesus, so we don't get hurt anymore? Fiends, Jesus loves us so much. He knocks at the door and asks us to let Him come in.


What were some of the details of Hezekiah' reform of Judah?
  • He called the Levites to meet with him in the courtyard of the Temple, telling them to purify themselves and the Temple of the LORD; remove the defiled things from the sanctuary.
  • Their ancestors had abandoned the LORD a His dwelling place; they turned their backs on Him; they shut the doors, snuffed out the lamps; they stopped burning incense and presenting burn offerings at God's sanctuary. (verse 1-3)
  • That is why the Lord's anger had fallen upon Judah and Jerusalem. He made Judah an object of dread, horror, and ridicule.(verse 8)
  • That is why fathers were killed in battle and children were captured.
  • Now Hezekiah made a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, so His fierce anger would turn away.
  • The king told the Levites to not neglect their duties any longer.
  • The Lord had chosen them to stand in His presence, to minister to Him, and to lead the people in worship and present offerings to Him.
I would say that was a good start, wouldn't you?
What has God chosen us to do? Are we ministering to others? What about leading others to worship Jesus, the Savior? Do we present Him with offerings?
Do we know people who have shut the door of their heart to the Lord because of sin and rebellion? Will we try to help them open it again?


I open the door of my heart to You, Jesus.

Be the light of my life.

Here is my life to be used for Your honor and glory.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Troubles, Trials, Tragedies

O . T. #982 "Troubles, Trials, Tragedies"
May 16, 2017
2 Chronicles 28-Part 2
God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26b


Just this Saturday morning my son called to share the news of his wife's grandmother passing away earlier. His wife had gone the evening before to visit her in the nursing home. My heart goes out to this family in their loss. We have grown close over the years, spending holidays and ball games in the living room together, as well as our shared granddaughter's activities. We don't know when we will wake up to a trouble, trial, or a tragedy. But God is only a prayer away, offering strength to endure as we turn to Him and walk down that road. Ahaz encounter those t's, yet he did not turn to the God of all comfort and wisdom. Shall we see what happened to him?

King Ahaz did it-he did not what was pleasing in God's sight by making metal images for the worship of the false god Baal. This included sacrificing his own children in fire to this metal god. Because of this, God allowed this kin of Judah to be defeated by the army of Israel and Syria. In fact, they killed 120,000 troops of Judah, then took 200,000 women and children captive to Samaria, as well as a tremendous amount of plunder. Yeah, he did it alright, angered God, who tried to bring Judah and Ahaz to repentance. Ahaz had encouraged his people to sin and had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord.

Then God spoke through a prophet Obed, telling Israel to return the Judah captives and they went too far killing their brothers merciless. Not only was God angered, but all haven as disturbed. Instead of planning to make slaves, they had better return their prisoners to home. After all, what about Israel's sins against God? Most of the nation of Israel and certainly their kings turned away from worshiping God. So 4 leaders of Israel agreed to release their captives and the plunder, realizing they couldn't afford to add to their sins and guilt. (In turn, Israel would be taken captive by Assyria in 65 more years.)

How were the captives treated before returning home?
  • Those who were naked were given clothes from the plunder.
  • Also, sandals were given to them for the journey.
  • They were given food and drink.
  • Their wounds were dressed with olive oil.
  • The weak prisoners were put on donkeys for the trip home.
  • All the prisoners of Judah were returned to Jericho.
Sadly, when trouble came and Judah suffered that attack, the king ignored the opportunity to seek God's help. Deep troubles can lead to a spiritual collapse, as was the case of Ahaz, or it can stimulate growth and maturity. (Life Application Study Bible)

When we face troubles, trials, or tragedy, we must turn to God, not away from Him. Will we see these times as opportunities for us to ask for God's help?

Friends, did Jesus not o the same for us when we became a Christian? Spiritually speaking, He clothed us with His righteous blood, gave us sandals of peace for our life journey, dressed and healed our wounds, provides what we need, and will take us to our home in heaven when we reach the end of our journey. Thanks be to Jesus!


So did King Ahaz learn his lesson? No, he did not. You know what he did? Instead of asking God for help, he asked the king of Assyria. Really, guy? Additional trouble came with the Edomites and Philistines attacking Judah.
Verse 19 says For the LORD brought Judah low...
Well, when the king of Assyria arrived, instead of helping Ahaz, he attacked Judah.
What did Ahaz do?
  • He took valuable items from the Temple, the royal palace, and from the homes of his officials.
  • Then he gave them as tribute to the king of Assyria.
  • He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, since they helped Syria and Israel, was his thinking.
  • Ahaz shut the doors of the Lord's Temple so that no one could worship there.
  • He set up altars to pagan gods at every corner in Jerusalem.
  • He made pagan shrines in every town of Judah for offering sacrifices to other gods.
  • In this way he angered the Lord God.
  • Ahaz was so wicked a king that he was not even honored to be buried in Jerusalem nor in Israel.
Mercy me! Those must have been 16 years of rough times for the people of Judah due to the sinfulness of their King Ahaz. Sounds familiar, huh?

Daily we believers must take on the responsibility of praying for our nation's leaders and decision makers as they make important decisions which affect our whole nation. Pray for God's guidance and will.


Humbly ask God for help, especially in times of troubles, trials, or tragedies.

He is always ready and able to aide us.

Trust Jesus for all I need, and than Him for what He gives.

*Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Firm Faith Stands

O. T. #981  " Firm Faith Stands"
May 15, 2017
2 Chronicles 28
Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm. Isaiah 7:9b NLT


What good can you say about a bad king, of Judah, who did not do what was pleasing in God's sight. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel. Do we fluff it off because he was only 20 years old when Ahaz became king? No, Joash was only 7 when he became king. Was it due to his father Jotham did not go into the Temple of God? An excuse.

My parents did not attend church services, but they took me whenever I wanted to go and was too young to drive. They were believers in Jesus, just did not practice faith to the extinct that I do. Yet their ways did not detour me from serving God. We are each answerable for our own life.

What else did King Ahaz do which was displeasing to God?
  • Ahaz cast metal images and worshiped the pagan god Baal.
  • He walked in the ways of Israel.
  • He burnt incense in the valley of Hinnom, which has a Hebrew name of Ge-ben-hinom (in NT is Gehenna), a name for eternal punishment.Also, sacrificed and burnt incense in high places, on hills, and under every green tree.
  • He did a detestable practice of burning his children in the fire as an act of worship to the idol. Even today this practice continues in a different form-abortions, as unborn babies are burned by medicines to kill them. May God have mercy on our nation for allowing such a horrible thing to be lawful. I pray it will be stopped soon.
Our heritage influences, but doesn't necessarily determine, our life decisions. King Ahaz turned away from the good examples of his father and grandfather. However, his poor example seems to have had little effect on his own son, Hezekiah, who proved to be a great and godly king. (Life Application Study Bible)

Are we sacrificing our children to the god of pleasure, materialism, and other things as we neglect their spiritual needs? How deep is our faith and faithfulness to God?

Ahaz was delivered by God into the hands of the king of Syria, then Israel.
What happened?
  • Judah had 120,000 men killed in one day by Syria.
  • Apparently, Syria and Isreal wanted Judah to join them in the invasion of Assyrian Empire, but Ahaz refused.
  • Ahaz's own son, Maaseiah, and second in command, Elkanah, were killed, also.
  • Then 200,000 women, sons, and daughters of Judah were taken captive to Israel.
Israel and Syria plotted against Ahaz and capture Judah for themselves.
Reading in Isaiah 7, the Lord warned Israel that within 65 years they would be crushed and completely destroyed. This happened as Assyria conquered Israel because they did not repent of worshiping other gods.

Unless our faith is firm, God will not make us stand firm.
I your faith firm? Is my faith firm? Whenever I give up, am I actually giving up on God? Am I saying without words that He cannot do it? Faith is the key to our Christian life. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.


Keep firm in my faith in God, no matter what comes my way.

Ask Him to make me to stand firm.

Friday, May 12, 2017

It Ain't Over Yet

O. T. #980  "It Ain't Over Yet"
May 12, 2017
2 Chronicles 27
Howbeit he entered not into the Temple of the LORD.  2 Chronicles 27:2


Even though we mess up, stumble into sin, it ain't over yet folks. (Forgive my improper English, but I'm just a country gal at heart.)We can start over today following God when we didn't yesterday. He picks us up and forgives, dusts us off, then sets our feet us on the right road. It is not over until we take our last breath, is it? We can still do good. Jotham did.

As I read in my NLT Chronological Bible, there were several prophets which God used to warn Israel and Judah of His coming judgment if they did not turn from their idol worship and back to Him. During Jeroboam II king of Israel's reign, Jonah preached to Ninevah and they repented; Amos warned of Assyria's captivity if they did not repent and turn from idol worship, which did not happen; Hosea finished his ministry before Samaria fell to Assyria in 722 B.C.
This was during the same time that Uzziah was king in Judah. Prophet Isaiah had a vision of the Lord in all His holiness in the Temple and surrendered to spread His Word of oncoming judgment if Judah did not repent of idolatry, too. He preached during the reign of 4 kings-Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. There is our history lesson for the day.

Now, onto the next king of Judah. Jotham was Uzziah's son who became king following his father's death. Falwell suggests that Jotham co-reigned with his father during Uzziah's last 11 year.

What do we know about Jotham?
  • He was 25 years old when he became king and reigned for 16 years. (verse 1)
  • He was the last of the 4 consecutive good kings of Judah. ((verse 1)
  • He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. (verse 2)
  • Jotham did not enter the Temple.
  • His people did corruptly. They continued to worship idols in Judah.
Why in the world did this king not enter into the Temple to worship God? Obviously God wanted thi known since it appears here in the Word.

McGee suggests it was due to his background. Jotham's father sinned by burning incense in the Temple. That was only allowed for the priests of Aaron's line to perform. Uzziah became a leper in the Temple and was cast out for the rest of his life. Perhaps Jotham did not grow up in the right atmosphere. Maybe he had a root of bitterness or prejudice because of that.
We can only speculate. So many times preachers kids drop out of church when their dad is treated badly by church members or leaders. Forgiveness is not involved in the healing in such cases.

Are we staying focused on worshiping and serving Jesus, even when/if  our heart gets broke by others?
Jesus loves us. His eyes see all. He will make everything right, eventually. Keep walking (by faith), dear one. Lift up your head; it ain't over yet, as the song says.


King Jotham did accomplish some good things in Judah:
  • He rebuilt or restored a high gate at the northern side of the Temple.(verse 3)
  • Also, on the southern side of the Temple, the wall of Ophel he built on a spur of the hill. (Falwell)
  • Jotham built cities in the mountains of Judah as well as towers and castes in the forests. (verse 4) Certainly, this was the land flowing with milk and honey-the Promised Land.
  • He fought against the Ammonites and won. They had rebelled and stopped paying tribute. (verse 5) Over the next 3 years he received tribute of 7,500 pounds of silver, 50,000 bushels of both wheat and barley.
  • He kept the nation strong militarily as his father did.
Can we still do good things even if our heart is not in the right place? Even if God is not controlling us? How much better it is when we follow the Lord Jesus and obey His will for our life. Could it be that when we get older we realize this?


Follow Jesus by faith.

Do good when the opportunity arises, while I am able.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Power and Pride

O. T. #979  "Power and Pride"
May 11, 2017
2 Chronicles 26-Part 2


Uzziah achieved so much good in Judah as king. He built towers, cisterns, and forts; won wars against the Philistines, Arabs, and Meunites with God's help; had great herds of livestock and had workers on farms and vineyards; although he had a small army, he developed new weapons, including the catapult. Uzziah's fame spread far and wide as the Lord gave him marvelous help, thus he became very powerful. Wouldn't we like to have known this king?

Is it too good to be true? The skeptic part of me tends to think that. Well, this great king was not always good. He sinned, just as we sin. Often it is the same sin he committed against the Lord that we commit. Along with the power came the pride, which led to Uzziah's downfall. Everything was going for him, then the king developed a prideful attitude due to his success. Did his strength cause Uzziah to grow arrogant? So how do we see this manifested?

Are we giving God the credit for all we have and do? Do we continually need Him?

Here's an example of how pride in my life led me to realize my need for God's help. I like to consider myself an organized person and get things done ahead of schedule. So this was a prideful attitude. Just yesterday I hunted and hunted around the house for a list of menus for VBS. (Didn't put it on the computer yet.) It was important to me because I am meeting tonight with the one in charge of the meals. I wanted a variety of choices for her to have to choose from so she could decide on the meals. I tell you that I spent hours looking with no success, asking for God's help. Finally, I had a breakdown and cried. I gave up on the hunt. It had taken me hours on Pinterest and other sources collecting those cute ideas. Now I had to start over. Do you see my dilemma? I, I, I... Friends, it was when all my sources and strength was exhausted that God met my need. The list was in such an unlikely place, in a notebook where my WMU notes were kept. How did they get there? I cried again, but this time with joy and thanksgiving to God for His help. I sure didn't do it on my own.
Had any prideful situations in which it brought you down?


What did King Uzziah do to cause his downfall into sin?
He entered the sanctuary of the Lord's Temple and personally burnt incense on the incense altar. Then Azariah the high priest, along with 80 other priests of the Lord, bravely confronted their king.
In verse 18, he told the king, It is not or you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is the work of the priests alone, the descendants of Aaron, who are set apart for this work. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The LORD God will not honor you for this!

Uzziah was furious and in a rage of anger as he spoke to the priests, while holding the incense burner. Immediately leprosy broke out on the king's forehead. His anger continued as the priests ushered him out of the Temple. King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in  isolation in a separate house and was excluded from the Temple. His son Jotham took his throne as king of Judah.

Proverbs 16:18 tells us that "pride goes before destruction."

God requires a lifelong obedience. Only "the one who endures to the end" will receive a reward. (Mark 13:13)

How faithful are we?


                    ...of pride, self-sufficiency.
                              ... and let God reign in my life.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Who or What Are we Seeking?

O. T. #978  "Who or What Are we Seeking?"
May 10, 2017
2 Chronicles 26


Uzziah was third of the four good kings of Judah who reigned during 137 years.
What do we know about him?
  • He was 16 when Uzziah, also called Azariah, replaced his father who was killed, and reigned 52 years.
  • His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem.
  • King Uzziah did what was pleasing in the sight of the LORD, as his father had done.
  • During his reign, these ministered the Words from God-Hosea, Amos, Jonah, and Isaiah. 
  • Zechariah was an unknown prophet; he was not the priestly spokesman or the prophet who wrote the prophetic book of Judah. (MacArthur)
As long as King Uzziah sought the LORD, God made him to prosper. (verse 5)
He went from victory to victory.

Sought has various meanings in the Hebrew language: to frequent, to ask, to worship, inquire, make inquisition, question, search.

Isn't that the key for us as we strive to live the Christian life-seek the Lord our God. He has a daily agenda for us in kingdom work if we will only seek and surrender to it. Then His peace that passeth all understanding will fill us as we obey.

Isaiah 55:6 instructs us to Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.


MacArthur gives us a summary of the realm of Uzziah's prosperity:
  1. conquering the Philistines (verses 6-8);
  2. domestic affairs (verses 9-10);
  3. military might (verses 1-15).
God helped King Uzziah in his wars to be victorious. During his prosperity he built fortified towers in Jerusalem, constructed forts in the wilderness, dug water cisterns, kept large herds of livestock on the plains of Judah; was a man who loved the soil and had many workers for the vineyards and farms.

Do we use our money to help others? Or are we selfish with it?
What a beautiful story, yet it goes south when the king does only one disobedient thing in God's sight. We will touch on it next time.


Always seek the Lord God.

Obey His commands and ways.

Keep loving those around us as our mission field.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why Stir Up Trouble?

O. T. #977  "Why Stir Up Trouble?
May 9, 2017
2 Chronicles 25-Part 3
Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and the people of Judah?  2 Chronicles 25:19c


King Amaziah of Judah had made a mistake in paying off Israel's army to join theirs in war. but after being warned by a man of God, he released them to return to Israel without helping. Judah fought Edom (Seir) and God gave them victory, killing 10,000. Judah brought the spoils home, which resulted in Amaziah in bowing down to idols in worship.

This king who started out doing what was right in God's sight, did not have a perfect (complete) heart, but one what was only partially obedient to God. The king was warned that God determined to destroy Amaziah because he did not obey God's instructions and worshiped idols.

The king embraced the false gods of the people whom he had just defeated. It only brought destruction to the king, who wanted to silence the voice of God. (MacArthur)

What happened after the victory?
  • After consulting with his advisers, King Amaziah sent a challenge to Israel's king Jehoash to come and meet him in battle. (Jehoash had killed 3,000 people in towns of Judah.)
  • In reply, the Israeli king sent a message in the form of a story, indicating that Israel would crush Judah.
  • Jehoash accused Amaziah of being very proud of his victory.
  • Jehoash advised Amaziah to stay at home. Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and the people of Judah?
Sometimes it is better to remain at home,to keep one's mouth shut, if disaster is going to result. Do we really want to start a civil war? Is it worth it? Sometimes having the last word is not worth the harm they create. A challenge may result in a disaster for us.
Did Amaziah allow pride and ambition into his life? Beware lest we do the same and they cause us to forget God.


Amaziah did not turn the other cheek, let the words blow in the wind. No, he refused to listen for God determined to destroy Amaziah using Israel. As Judah was carrying this out, Jehoash captured and took Amaziah to Jerusalem, demolished 600 feet of the wall of the city, then took the gold, silver, and vessels in the Temple, as well as the treasures in the king's house and hostages. Then Jehoash returned to Samaria.

If only the king had stayed home and minded his own business, he would not have been hurt and the treasures stolen. Amaziah outlived Jehoash by 15 years. However, he turned from following the Lord, and with a conspiracy against his life, Amaziah fled Lachish, where his enemies assassinated the king of Judah.
Judah crowned Uzziah, the 16 year old son of Amaziah, to reign over Judah.

David Jeremiah says we can pretend to be "good Christians" for just so long; eventually our words or our actions will give us away to others. And we can never pretend before God; He knows who we really are.


What do I need to let go of, pride or ambition, in order for God's will to be done?

Let God handle those who are in the wrong.

Discern when it is time to keep my mouth shut.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Quitting or Keeping On

O. T. #976 "Quitting or Keeping On"
May 8, 2017
2 Chronicles 25-Part 2
Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.  Matthew 25:21 


Even though the key verse was part of a parable which Jesus taught His disciples, it holds true to us servants of the Lord Jesus. if we do not quit doing what He has called us to do, that is. Today's king had a problem remaining faithful, though.

We read of King Amaziah of Judah pleasing the Lord, but not wholeheartedly. We will see how this was manifested in his decisions.

The king was getting ready for war. He organized Judah's army, took a census, and found only 300,000 eligible men age 25 and older. This was a small army compared with Jehoshaphat's million.
So what does he do? Instead of trusting in God for victories, the king hires the army of Israel, 100,000 men, to join his. Paid four tons of silver, MacArthur suggests. Really, king, what are you thinking? You are not supposed to make an ally with Israel because they worshiped idols instead of God.  

Then a man of God came to warn Amaziah:
  • Do not hire Israel's army because the LORD is not with them.
  • He will not help those people of Ephraim.
  • If you let them go with your troops, you will be defeated by the enemy no matter how well you fight.
  • God will overthrow you, for He has the power to help you or to trip you up. (The king asked what to do about the money he had already paid to Israel.)
  • The LORD is able to give you much more than this. (NLT  version)
So Amaziah discharged the hired troops and sent them back to Ephraim, but they were very angry with Judah, returning home in a great rage. Well, this half obedience act come back to bite him on the you-know-where. At least the king tried to correct his mistake, but it was too late. 

When the prophet promised God's deliverance, Amaziah complained about the money that had been lost. He valued military success more than God's will. We must search out our hearts and root out any resistance obeying God. Grudging compliance is not true obedience.  (Life Application Study Bible)

Ouch! I try to clean up the messes I make, then want to quit the project because it doesn't go right or my way, or I did something wrong. Quitting may be the easy way out, but may not be God's will. Am I alone or are you with me, friend?


Amaziah led his little 300,000 men army down by the Dead Sea and they killed a thousand of the children of Seir.  Next they captured another 10,000 and killed them by throwing them off a cliff.
Don't know why he did all of that, but the king obeyed what the man of God said. God gave Judah the victory without Israel's help.

Now comes the mistake-Amaziah took the idols of the spoils and bowed down himself and burned incense to them. This act reveals his heart, which was only partially committed to God. Of course, this made the Lord very angry. He alone will be worshiped.

So the king changed his mind when he released the Israeli army, but the damage was done. It was too late. The man of God told the king that God was determined to destroy Amaziah because he worshiped idols and refused to accept his counsel.

Meanwhile, Israel's angry troops what were sent home raided several of Judah's towns, killed off 3,000, and carried off large amounts of plunder. It was a civil war-Israel verses Judah. We are going to pause there. The rest of the chapter tells us what happened.

So what can we learn from Amaziah's life?
  • When we win a spiritual battle, watch out. Beware lest we be tempted by Satan to sin after we have a victory. Don't let down our defenses as we relax, even celebrate, for after the mountain peaks come the valleys.
  • Don't run after money, power, or recognition since they lead to only emptiness.
  • Obey God wholeheartedly, not just part of the time or part of the way.


Trust and obey God.

Remain close to Him daily, especially after victories.

Watch out for pride likes to sneak in.

Stay faithful; keep on keeping on.

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Whole Heart

O. T. #975  "A Whole Heart"
May 5, 2017
2 Chronicles 25


Does living with a whole heart loving someone refer to not being divided in thoughts, words, and actions? Does it mean we love our spouse only, and not partly loving them while thinking of another?Today's king had that problem.

In review, after David and Solomon reigned as godly kings in Israel, the people split into two nations-Judah and Israel. Now Israel continued to have (19) evil kings for the next approximately 210 years, worshiping idols, until Syria captured them.

Judah, on the other hand, was ruled by 8 good kings out of 20 who continued to worship God, while the others worshiped idols, in abut 345 years until Babylon captured them, destroying the Temple in Jerusalem.

To bring us up to date, after Solomon came 2 bad kings (Rahoboam and Abijah) reigning for 20 years; next cam 2 good kings (Asa and Jehoshaphat) reigning for 66 years; then came 3 bad kings (Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah) for 15 years; now they had what was considered 4 good kings (Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, and Jotham) reigning for the next 137 years. Whew! I know that is a lot of history, but it helps us keep the perspective of where we are in Judah's history, which Ezra is writing about to refresh those returning from Babylon's captivity.

Joash had been killed by his own two men. Then Amaziah took over as king of Judah.
What do we know about Amaziah?
He was 25 years old when he became king, and ruled 29 years.
What kind of king was he at the beginning?
Verse 2 gives us the answer: And he did that which was right in he sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.

The word used here, perfect, in the Hebrew language is the word shalem (shaw-lame') means complete, whole.

This same word and its meaning was previously used in two verses-16:9 and 19:9.
In the first verse, King Asa had allied himself with the king of Syria, giving him gold and silver from the Temple, thus he was warned by Hanani: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.

In the last verse, King Jehoshaphat challenged the new judges: Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you, take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.  In other words, show no injustice, partiality, or take bribery.

These men's hearts were perfectly the Lord's, loving and serving Him wholeheartedly, except for Amaziah's.
What about us, dear ones? When God searches the earth, does He find our heart completely His, or are we serving self or things? Is our heart divided with other loves?
I find it always good to be challenged and self-evaluated.


Amaziah waited until he was well established during his reign, then he had those two assassins of his father killed. However, he did not kill their children obeying Moses' law-Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, and vice versa. (Deut. 24:16) He did not follow the usual practice of killing all of the family of the guilty.

Do you think Amaziah did what was right  on the outside, but not on the inside? Was he resentful of what he had to do? His half-hearted obedience shows us answers.

We will never be judged because of the sins of our parents, but we will give an account for our own sins, if not under the blood. In the same manner, we will not get to heaven on the same faith that our parents or grandma had. We must exercise our own faith in Christ Jesus. Have you exercise that kind of faith?


Love and serve God with my whole heart.

Help my heart to be perfect toward You, Lord Jesus.

Pray without ceasing, sing His praises continually today.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Listening to Advice

O. T. #974  "Listening to Advice"
May 4, 2017
2 Chronicles 24-Part 2


When Jehoiada died, a new era began in Judah. King Joash was probably young and influenced easily. Princes came and bowed before the king, thus persuading him to listen to their advice. They decided to abandon the Temple of God and turned to worship idols. Because of this sin, divine anger upon Judah and Jerusalem.

Yet the Lord was merciful and patient. He sent prophets to bring Judah back to Him, but the people  would not listen. Then God's Spirit gave Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, a message: Why do you disobey the Lord's commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now He has abandoned you.  (verse 20)

The leaders did not want to hear about their sin and plotted to kill Zechariah, so the king ordered it done. The prophet was stoned to death. Sadly, that was how they repaid Jehoiada for his loyalty-by killing his son. Come to find out, Jehoiada was Joash's uncle and Zechariah was his cousin.

King Joash owed his life, his throne, and past spiritual successes to his uncle; but that was all disregarded in the murder of his cousin. Jesus referred to Zechariah's murder as the last martyrdom of the Old Testament, thus indicating that in His time Chronicles appeared as the last book of the Hebrew Canon. (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Zechariah's last words as he died were: May the LORD see what they are doing and avenge my death. (verse 22)

If everything was going so well in Judah, why did they turn away from God? First, evil wants to destroy the faithfulness of God's people. Satan works in all sorts of ways. Second, Judah was prosperous and that can be a blessing or a curse. Prosperous people have to guard against self-sufficiency and pride. They tend to forget the source of their blessings is God, not themselves.
Next, the king committed a heartless murder while he was so prosperous.

Do we listen to the evil influences around us?
Have we formed a habit of daily meeting God in a quiet time of Bible study and prayer before meeting the world?
Is He the love of our heart, no matter our financial state?


Then came judgment upon Joash. Like others before him, the king started out committee to God and then leaves Him. Well, by the end of the year, what happened?
  • Syria came up against Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the princes of the people.
  • All the spoil captured was sent to the king of Damascus.
  • While Joash was weakened by disease or wounds, which was probably inflicted by Syria, the king was killed in a conspiracy by his two servants.
  • the Priest Jehoiada was buried with honor, but the King Joash was buried with dishonor. What a contrast.
We began this chapter with a revival in Judah under the leadership of Jehoiada and Joash, but ended with apostasy after Jehoiada's death.

How important it is to remain faithful to God, no matter if  those around us are speaking from rebellion.
Who are we listening to for advice? Do we stop and listen to God's Word, the Holy Spirit, godly advice? Or those in rebellion, pride, self-sufficiency?


Discern the advice received.

Compare it with God's Word.

Pray and listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Letting Love Lead

O. T. #973  "Letting Love Lead"
May 3, 2017
2 Chronicles 24


Do we get stuck in a rut, give and obey, out of obligation or duty? Guilty. Sometimes I just go through the motions instead of letting love lead me. Shouldn't we ask God to fill us with His love and Holy Spirit before we do that service? Today, we read of a king and people who were at this point.

Young King Joash was anointed as king over Judah when he was 7 years old, and reigned 40 years. Jehoiada, the priest, served as his legal guardian and parent. He  was actually the one who made the decisions until Joash became of age.
Josh's mother is mentioned in verse 1-Zibiah of Beer-sheba. she must have been a good mother, for she did not insist on his being at home. She was apparently agreeable with his serving God in this way. This reminded me of Hannah, Samuel's mother, who took her son to the Priest Eli for his life to be used in God's service. The Lord used Samuel greatly for kingdom work.

Verse 2 says, And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada. the priest.

Jehoiada helped secure a long, peaceful reign of Joash through his significant influence on the king.(David Jeremiah)

Are we doing what is right in the sight of the Lord Jesus? Upon what do we base our decisions? Do we advise others to do what is right?


Revival came in Judah during Joash's reign and the lifetime of the priest Jehoaiada. At one point, Joash decided to repair and restore the Temple of God.
How did this happen?
  • He summoned the priests and Levites, instructing them to collect the annual offerings throughout the towns of Judah so they could repair the Temple.
  • The king told them to not delay, but they did not act immediately.
  • When Joash realized this was not being done, he questioned the high priest as to why.
  • God through Moses had commanded the Israelites, while in the wilderness, to give an atonement offering to be used for the up keep of the .everything in the Tabernacle. (Exodus 30)
  • Joash's grandmother had broken into the Temple and taken the articles used in worship into the temple of Baal.
  • The king made the order and the Levites set chest outside the gate leading to the Temple.
  • All the leaders and people gladly brought their money and filled the chest with it.
  • Day after day large amounts were collected so the Levites carried it to the king's officials, who emptied it, and returned the chest.
  • Construction supervisors hired masons and carpenters and metalworkers with the money.
  • The Temple of God was restored to its original design and strengthened it. The rest of the money was used for the articles in offerings and worship.
  • Jehoiada lived to be very old, and died at age 130.
What can we learn from this? Life Application Study Bible teaches us:
  1. Is our obedience to God's commands slow in our response? It may be a little better than disobedience. We should obey God willingly in His timing, immediately.
  2. Be glad and generous  to give to projects in which God is leading.
  3. Don't underestimate people's desire to be faithful to God.
Jesus let love lead Him to the cross, folks. He loved us so much that He was willing to die for us sinners. Oh my! I still cannot comprehend it. What an amazing and awesome Savior, our Jesus Christ is!

Remain faithful, obedient, and willing to do as God directs.

Do what is right in the sight of the Lord God.

Let love lead.

Serve out of a loving heart, not obligation.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Who is on Your Throne?

O. T. #972  "Who is on Your Throne?"
May 2, 2017
2 Chronicles 23-Part 2
... and they seated the king on the royal throne.  2 Chronicles 23:20b NLT


Jehoiada, God's priest, took care of things. He hid young Joash for 6 years in the Temple, guarded and protected from his wicked grandmother, Queen Athaliah who ruled Judah after her husband and son's deaths. The priest had it all planned out-he summoned and made a pact with 5 army commanders, and they secretly traveled throughout Judah summoning the Levites and clan leaders in all the towns of Judah. Those men gathered at the Temple of God, where they made a pact to protect the young king. Only the priests and Levites on duty could enter the Temple. The Levites formed a bodyguard around the king with their weapons in hand. No one went home after their shift ended.

When it was time, Jehoiada and his sons brought out boy Joash, placed the king's crown on his head, and presented him with a copy of God's laws. They anointed him, proclaimed Joash king, and all shouted, "Long live the king."

Of course, the queen had to go find out what all the commotion was about in her city. When she did, she was taken to the Horse Gate and killed. With her out of the way, the temple of Baal was torn down, as well as the altars and idols smashed.

Will we smash any idols we have set up in our life, those things which are more important to us than God? Is there anything which we think about, take care of, and spend money on more than God? Then it has become an idol. It can be a car, house, job, even children. Is our heart in the right or wrong place? I'm not saying that we must smash those things, but that we may need a change of our heart and attitude toward them.


Who escorted the boy King Joash from the Temple to the king's royal throne? Verse 20 tells us it was commanders, nobles, ruler, and all the people of the land. They went through the upper gate and into the palace. Then they seated him upon the throne of David.

Revelation 19-21 tell us that one day Jesus Christ will sit upon the Great White Throne as KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; there will be a new heaven and new earth; a new Jerusalem; we will worship and serve Him there in that magnificent place forever. What a glorious day!

Will you be there with me, friend? Only those who have trusted in Jesus as their Savior will be there. Have you made such a commitment, friend? Have you asked Jesus to forgive your sins? He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father God but by Him. He is waiting with loving arms open wide to receive you, a sinner in need of a Savior.


Keep Jesus on the throne of my heart and life.

Love Him and serve Him with all my heart, soul, and mind.