Friday, June 30, 2017

Let us Help

O. T #1015 "Let us Help"
June 30, 2017
Ezra 4


Sometimes when people offer to help us in kingdom work, it is not always best to accept it. Do e pray about it before giving the answer? Thing are not always as they seem. Now it may seem a bit odd, I know. Looks like the more the better to get the work done, but this was not the case for the Jews in todays chapter.

Things were going well with the Jews in Jerusalem. The Temple foundation was laid and dedicated to the LORD. At least the good times lasted for a while. The exiled Jews were busy building homes, planting crops, establishing business and a city. Keep in mind that a settlement of about 50,000 Jews would be a threat to the power, control, and authority of the surrounding communities.
When things were going good, the enemy approached. Let's check it out.

First, the enemies heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the LORD, God of Israel. Obviously, they were very prejudice against the Jews. This went way back to the tie of the southern kingdom.

Next, their strategy was to offer to help the Jews with the work of the building Yeah, we worship your God just as you do. Poey. They also sacrificed to and worshiped false gods in addition to Jehovah. This was against the commands of God.
Those people had settled in Samaria and began the Samaritan nation. They were a mixture of Jews and heathens, not the pure race of Jews. (2 Kings 17:24)  (Falwell) When Assyria captured the northern kingdom of Israel, other people were brought into their land; the Israelites intermarried with them. If allowed to settle in the new Jewish settlement, their wicked lifestyle and false worship would eventually infiltrate the pure race of Jews. Those adversaries were determined to discourage or even stop the completion of the Temple, causing them to fail in doing God's will. Things do not always appear as they truly are.

Do we see how we can be urged to cooperate with the enemy, compromising with unbelievers?
Our enemy, Satan, never wants the Lord's work to prosper. Christ is the Builder; Satan is the destroyer. Jesus clearly rejected the Samaritans and their false religion in John 4:20-24. The Samaritans finally built their own temple on Mt. Gerazim and remained separated from the Jews.(Wiersbe)


How did Zerubbabel and the high priest answer this offer? Look at verse 3:
You have nothing to do with us to build a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

Good answer, sir. We worship only God and Him alone.
Damage was done. The hands of the people weakened. Maybe they were physically threatened and became fearful.
W can expect opposition when we do God's work (2 Tim. 3:12)
Opposition may offer us compromises as in verse 2. Expect this tactic so we are not discouraged.


Keep worshiping God only.

Stay committed to doing His work; be hopelessly devoted.

Expect opposition.

Study the Word so I have weapons to stop the arrows of discouragement.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Weepiing and Shouting

O. T. #1014  "Weeping and Shouting"
June 29, 2017
Ezra 3-Part 3
With praise and thanks they sang this song to the LORD: "He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!"  Ezra 3:11 NLT


Beginning the second year of the Jews at the old Jerusalem site began with the laying of the new Temple foundation. The Levites ages 20 and up did the work. The Levites were given the responsibility of oversee this task. Can you hear the enthusiasm? There were trumpets playing and the singing of Psalms. The enthused people could not contain their loud shouts of excitement.

Look at our key verse, friend. Insert your name in the place of Israel. Make God's Word personal to us.
God is good! His faithful love for Linda endures forever!

Oh how He loves us! Forever is a very long time. Now that is something to shout about, I'd say.


God was doing  the impossible in this situation, as Jeremiah foretold of this in chapter 33.

But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple's foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud nose that could be heard in the distance.  (verses 11-13 NLT)

I cannot imagine what it would have been like those 70 years of having no place of worship.
What mixed emotions there were at this time. The older folks sadly remembered David and Solomon's splendid Temple, which stood over 350 years. The younger folks did not have those memories so they were joyful.

It was like that for our church people whenever we left the old sanctuary and began to worship God in the new sanctuary. (A few never did cross over for the change was too much for them.) Baptisms, weddings, revivals, former pastors, youth groups-all were connected with the old building. However, the younger generation did not have those ties. They were excited to be in the new sanctuary which the Lord had provided. Now we use the old sanctuary as the fellow hall.


Thank God for His love for me that lasts forever!

Rejoice in all that God has done.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What is First?

O. T. #1013  "What is First?"
June 28, 2017
Ezra 3-Part2
Seek the LORD and His strength, see His face continually.  1 Chronicles 16:11


I don't want to shamefully stand before my God, having no fruit/jewels to present Him. I want to be a "well done faithful servant" for Him. Although many things knock me down spiritually, He lifts me up and walks with me along this rough road I call faith. How can I not praise my Savior Jesus and seek Him first each morning, for He has given me life and breath. What is first in your life, friend?

They are back! Israel, which was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, arrived back at the previous Temple site in Jerusalem. For these faithful returnees, this was a moment their hearts longed for-worshiping God in freedom. The Spirit of God bound them together as they determined to restore worship Him, rebuild God's Temple, and rebuild their nation.

What happened?
  • They rebuilt the altar of God first.
  • Those involved were High Priest Jeshua and Governor Zerubbabel and their brethren.
  • The altar was the center of the Jewish worship, for without their sacrifices they could not approach God or expect His blessings. (Wiersbe)
  • The gifts from the king, their brethren back in Babylon, and their gifts were enough for the task.
  • The altar was rebuilt on the same site of the previous one Solomon had placed it. Although this Temple would not be as splendorous as Solomon's, it was built according to God's Word and Law as in Exodus.
  • It was rebuilt despite the fear of the local residents who were unbelievers.
  • Upon it the daily burnt sacrifices were offered to God.
We know there was joyful shouting and weeping, according to verse 13.
Can we see the importance of obeying God from the heart and not out of habit? Staying close to Him should be our top priority, as the Israelites did.


The festivals are described in Leviticus 23. The sacrifices were originally set up under the Law of Moses in Leviticus 1 and 6. The Hebrew calendar was based on lunar months. so at the beginning of every month and at the time of the new moon, they had special observances.
Do we regularly gather with believers in Jesus to worship?

Why was the Temple built before the wall? It was used for spiritual purposes, while the wall around Jerusalem was for military and political purposes. The Jews realized that God had always been their protector, so without Him, the strongest stone would not protect them. He was their national defense.
Is Jesus the cornerstone on which our life is built?

The people hired masons and carpenters for the foundation. They bought cedar logs, paying for them with food, wine, and olive oil. King Cyrus had given permission for the logs' transportation. (verse 7)

So far we have read of the proclamation, precious gifts, faithful people, and the establishing of the new altar. Next we will see the foundation of the Temple laid. God was doing the impossible.

I can remember the excitement whenever the foundation of our new sanctuary was laid. Although it was  years before we entered for the first worship service, the excitement continued. He is the God of our cities and our nation. There is no one like our God, as the song says. We can see His wonderful works surrounding us. Truly there is no one like our God!
Are we expecting greater things to be done by Him in our life, our family, our church, our nation?


Worshiping God must be first in my life.

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

Obey His leading.

Remain faithful in kingdom work.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ovecoming Hardships

O. T. #1012  "Overcoming Hardships"
June 27, 2017
Ezra  3
This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:"Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit," says the LORD of Host.  Zechariah 4:6


Come to think of it, we don't read about the hardships and difficulties the Jews encountered while making the 900 mile journey to their homeland. Were there enemies and wild animals and hot weather to encounter? It took about 4 months for them to make it, but make it the did. Anyone going through any hardships in their current situation? Sometimes the worst of all is discouragement, so we need to stay in God's Word.
It was God's Spirit that took those Jews out of captivity into freedom. since we worship the same God, can He do the same for us?

Who was this Zerubbabel that lead the first group of Jews back to their homeland?
  • His Hebrew name was Shashbazar.
  • King Cyrus appointed him as the governor of the Jewish settlement in Palestine.
  • He was a descendant of David according to Matthew 1:12.
  • Zerubbabel was an ancestor of Christ.
  • His name means "Born in Babylon."
  • Zechariah had a vision about him in chapter 42 .
  • Haggai prophesied to him chapters 1 and 2 of his book.
  • He completed there building of God's Temple.
  • He showed wisdom as he accepted and refused help.
  • Zerubbabel started his building project with worship as the focal point.
Are we willing to give up all in order to be a leader in God's kingdom work?


The journey for the returning Jews took them about 4 months to travel 900 miles. There were 42,60 returning. They pressed on through the hardships and overcame difficulties. There were among that group some people who could not prove their Jewish origin. Although they were allowed to return to Jerusalem, they were never granted the right of citizenship. They are not listed in chapter 10.

The returnees were bound together by the Spirit of God for three great purposes:
  1. to restore worship of the LORD;
  2. to rebuild His Temple;
  3. to rebuild their nation.  (The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible)
Can you imagine the excitement and humility of this faithful group of Jews walked by faith with a purpose? Did they discuss the preparations for the Temple, their feasts to celebrate, homes, city, the clearing and cultivating for crops, and the water supply?


Trust in Jesus though the hard times.

Keep praying for our nation, our Christian brothers and sisters, and our church.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Step of Faith

O. T. #1011  "A Step of Faith"
June 26,2017
Ezra 1 and 2


Judah had been captives in Babylon for 70 years. Now in the historical story three groups of Jews return to their homeland, the Promised Land of Israel and Jerusalem. It was after Persia took over the Babylonian Empire and during King Cyrus's first year reign that the LORD stirred up his spirit to declare a proclamation allowing their return. Zerubbabel lead the first group of Jews.

Liberty Bible Commentary has these comments:
Only those whom God had touched responded and answered the call. Returning to Palestine was a step of faith. The land was desolate and occupied with heathen nations. Those who returned would leave the security of Babylon. They were launching out into the unknown, but they went with a vision, to build the house of the LORD. People with a vision can always accomplish the impossible. They can overcome dangers, hostility, and opposition and emerge victorious.

Cyrus did not command the Jews to go up, but granted them permission to go to Jerusalem.
Was it difficult for them to leave the comforts of an affluent society?

McGee says the group that returned was of the poorer class. They were the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, priests, and the Levites. They were humble folk.

These prophecies were fulfilled here: Isaiah 44:28; Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10; Daniel 5:17-30.

I experienced an example of stepping out in faith last week. Six groups of people formed teams out visiting the community, highways, byways, and hedges, including dusty dirt roads, and invited children and youth to come to a Sports Camp on Thursday and Friday nights. Also, we had a Community Block party at the city park.  The Lord blessed our efforts with 2 salvations, and over 60 folks attending. The gospel was presented many times during the fun activities. (A sister church lead the activities.) Although it was exhausting, what a shower of blessings! God rewarded our steps of faith.

Is God calling us to take a step of faith?


The preparations for returning were made:
  • Neighbors assisted by giving them articles of gold and silver, supplies for the journey, livestock.
  • King Cyrus brought articles Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem, mentioned in verses 9 and 10.
  • There were 5,400 articles of gold and silver.
  • The number of returnees was 42,360 Jews with 7,337 servants, and 200 singers.
  • Some family leaders made voluntary offerings toward the rebuilding of God's Temple.
  • They gave gifts of 61,00 gold coins, 6,250 pounds of silver, and 100 robes for the priests.
  • Cyrus gave those protection and money for the rebuilding and returning journey.
When we are asked to serve, we should do so faithfully as a team member, no matter who gets the credit. Of course, all we do should be done for the glory of God.

In the New Testament is the story of Peter who stepped out of the boat by faith and walked on water toward Jesus. Do we have that much faith in Jesus?


Trust Jesus as I obey His leading.

Give to Kingdom work.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Good Word

O. T. #1,010 "A Good Word"
June 23, 2017
Ezra 1
For thus saith the LORD: That after seventy years  be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.  Jeremiah 29:10


Do you feel outnumbered, overpowered, outclassed? Anyone need a good word today? For sure! The Jews received it after being in captivity for 70 years, so why can't we?

Judah, after 70 years living in another country of Babylon as slaves, gets released. Here is a future and a hope for the Jews, which is given by their God: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Aren't we encouraged by a leader who stirs us to move ahead; one who believes we can do the task he has given; one who will be with us through it all and all the way? God is that kind of leader. After all, He knows the future, has good plans for us, and gives us a hope. When He provides the agenda, is with us to fulfill the mission, then we can have boundless hope. God will see us through to a glorious conclusion, in spite of pain, sufferings, or hardships we encounter.

Cyrus made a decree proclaiming that the nation of Judah could return to their land. The will of the Lord was fulfilled in that act. Cyrus is a type of Christ.
In John 14, Jesus tells us that He has gone to prepare a place for us; He will come again; He will receive us unto Himself, that where He is we may be also. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the heavenly Father except by Him.

Are you prepared for an expected end-death? Our end can be only the beginning of life eternal with Jesus, if we have made the preparation. Are others prepared for that day?


Here are some questions about this passage:
  • Who charged (commanded) Cyrus to build a house, a Temple at Jerusalem? God did it.
  • Who may go and complete this task? Those who were God's people.
  • Who should be allowed to support them? Their neighbors contributed toward their expenses with gold and silver, supplies for the journey, and livestock, as well as a voluntary offering for the Temple of God in Jerusalem. (verse 2)
  • Whose hearts did God stir up for the task? Priests and Levites and leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were stirred to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the LORD. (verse 3)
Did we notice that King Cyrus did not command the Jews to go to Jerusalem, but he granted them permission to go up? He gave them protection, money, and the temple articles taken by Nebuchadnezzar.

Life Application Study Bible reminds us: "When you face difficult situations and feel surrounded, outnumbered, overpowered, or outclassed, remember that God's power is not limited to your resources. He is able to use anyone to carry out His plans."

When it is for His glory, it will be accomplished. David confronted a giant with only a stone and a sling. Daniel faced a den of lions. Three Hebrews were thrown into a fire. All were successful. Do we serve the same God?


Say yes when God stirs my heart to do a task for Him.

Support others in their tasks.

God is the One who outnumbers, overpowers, and outclasses.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

New Beginnings

O. T. #1009  "New Beginnings"
June 22, 2017
Introduction to Ezra
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth: and He hath charged me to build a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Ezra 1:2


How about a new beginning? The excitement of it all. It may come in the form of another birthday, another anniversary, a move into a new house or community, the joining of a new church, starting a new job or new project. Yes, we seem to thrive on the new beginnings. We find it here in the very beginning of this book.

Here is some background of Ezra the man and the book:
  • Ezra was the author of this book, a scribe-priest, whose name means "Jehovah helps." He was a descendent of Aaron, the high priest.
  • This book was written in Aramaic.
  • After he arrived in Jerusalem, Ezra changed from writing in the third person (chapters 1-6) to the first person (chapters 7-10).
  • He shows how God fulfilled His promise by returning His people to the land of Judah after 70 years of captivity by Babylon. We read the promise in the last two verses of 2 Chronicles.
  • Cyrus, the king of Persia, overthrew Babylon in 539 B.C., and Ezra wrote this book concerning the first year of his reign.
  • Daniel held a high position in Darius the Mede, who was the father-in-law of Cyrus, so Cyrus was familiar to the teachings of Jehovah.
  • There were 3 deportations of Judah into Babylon, likewise, there were 3 returns to Jerusalem.
  • The first return was lead by Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. with 50,000 Jews to rebuild the Temple; the second was lead by Ezra in 458 B.C. with 2,000 Jews some 80 years later to reform the spiritual and religious restoration; the third was lead by Nehemiah some 13 years later in 445 B.C. to rebuild the city walls and gates, but not the houses.
  • Since Ezra was a scribe, he had access to the collection of Persian administrative documents-decrees, proclamations, letters, lists, genealogies, and memorandas.
Isn't it something to read how God used even the pagan kings to fulfill His purposes. I find it exciting every time I read of this new beginning for the Jews. Come to think of it, 70 years in captivity would have been a generation. To the younger Jews, slavery would have been a way of life. Isn't this similar to the Jews leaving Egypt after being slaves some 400 years?


What are the main themes or primary message of this book from various references?
  • God orchestrated the past grim situation (captivity) and would continue to work through a pagan king and his successors to give Judah hope for the future (return). God's administration overrides that of any of the kings of this world and, thus, the Book of Ezra is a message of God's continuing covenant grace to Israel. (MacArthur)
  • It shows God's faithfulness and the way He kept His promise to restore His people to their land.(Life Application Study Bible)
  • The Word of the Lord is the theme of the Book of Ezra according to J. Vernon McGee. There are 10 direct references to God's Word in this little book. It is seen in the lives of these people: religious, business, and political.
  • God kept a "lamp lit" at Jerusalem in order that His Son might be born through the Hebrew nation and come to save the world. (Wiersbe)
Did you notice the Spirit of the LORD stirred in Cyrus' heart in verse 1? Even 100-200 years before he reigned, Cyrus was mentioned in Isaiah 44:28.
The God who created the world and who is sovereign over history itself can predict the future. Their deliverance was from the LORD, not from Cyrus, a mere interment in the hand of God. (Falwell)

Forever He is glorified and lifted high; forever He is risen and alive, as the song goes. What an awesome God we serve! He kept a remnant for Jesus to be born a Jew, His beloved. He keeps His promises today, sweet one. Let us trust Him in our life.


Let each day be a new beginning as I serve God.

Endure through those hard times as the Jews did through their captivity.

Trust the Word of God to be truth; He is faithful to His children, loving us in and  through the hard times.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

O. T. #1008  "The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful"
June 21, 2017
Summary of 2 Chronicles
If My people, which are called by name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14


People are so different. While a family may have some who are a good influence, some who are a bad influence, there usually are a few who are beautiful. By that I mean those beautiful folks rise up above their rough circumstances and hard times, showing faith in God as they serve Him and others. Those are the Christians that shine through with the ray of hope-God is faithfully with them, in control, and is victorious. Judah seemed to have had some of each kind.

I always like to review what was covered in the book that we finished studying. It seems to put things in perspective, especially since we have covered so much of Judah's history. The Priest Ezra was the author. He lead the second group of Jews out of Babylon and back to Jerusalem to help rebuild their city, its walls, and the Temple. He wrote this book so this new generation would in fact know their history, both good and bad.

King David's son Solomon became king after his father's death. David had prepared the materials and the intricate plans for the Temple. Then Solomon implemented those plans. He built a magnificent Temple for the worship of Israel's God, including the sacrificial system. (Israel had not split then.)
It took him 7 years to build the Temple  and 13 years to build the palace. So Israel was in a 20 year building program.

Solomon wrote 2 Psalms, 72 and 127. In Psalm 27:17, Solomon refers to Jesus: His name shall endure forever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed.

Jesus is our Beautiful One. He shines as the Savior who endured so much so we could have the free gift of salvation and grace. He is always with us, always loves us, and is always going to be, as the song goes.

Solomon's dedicatory prayer was sincere and lengthy as we read in chapter 6. After all the splendor of the day, God spoke to Solomon informing him that God had chosen that Temple and Jerusalem for His dwelling place. Then He added some conditions to be met when Israel strayed away, found in our key verse. Solomon had 49 years of peace and prosperity during his reign. His purpose of centralizing and unifying Israel in the worship of God was accomplished. Wealth, fame, and political power were the greatest during this time.
However this did not last, sadly to say.


It was happened-the downward spiral. It was  during the reign of David's grandson and Solomon's son Rehoboam that Israel split into two kingdoms-the northern kingdom known as Israel, whose history is recorded in the first part of 2 Kings. They were taken captive by Babylon 135 years before Judah was.

Judah's problem (sin) was their worship of idols instead of worshiping God. Out of the 20 kings they had, there were only about 5 who were considered good kings, the ones who brought back revival into the land. this list included: Asa (chapters 14-16), Jehoshaphat (chapters 17-20), Uzziah (chapter22) , Josiah (chapters 22-24) Hezekiah (chapters 29-33).

On the other hand, Manasseh was the most wicked and longest reigning king over Judah (chapters 33-36). He had been born during the 15 extended year of life of his father Hezekiah.

So we do not end on a sour note, remember the ray of hope Judah had as Cyrus, king of Persia, who had conquered Babylon, released the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem, its wall, and Temple.

You know, as I consider all of this, we are not any different from Judah. We get into the same cycle of worshiping God with complete commitment, then fall into sin and stray away, finally we return back to God, usually after His discipline us. do I hear an amen?

Thank God for His mercy and grace! All we need to do is humble our self, pray, seek God's face, and turn from our wicked ways, then God promises to hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.

I am looking forward to studying the book of Ezra next. Restoration is coming, so don't miss out, dear ones. There was a remnant who stayed faithful to God during those 70 years of captivity and they are rising up. 


Stay faithful to God.

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

Bless the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Ray of Hope

O. T. #1,007  "A Ray of Hope"
June 20, 2017
2 Chronicles 36-Part 5
To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate and she kept Sabbath, to fulfill three score and ten years.


Have you seen lately a beautiful sunset in which clouds hide the bright sun, allowing the rays to shine through? What a gorgeous sight! Anyone need a ray of hope? For sure! Our God always comes through for us friends. Oh, it may not be in the way we expect or in the time we wish, but He is faithful. That is one thing we can know for certain.
Judah had a ray of hope after 70 years of captivity, of servant hood away from their homeland. Join me as we find out the source through whom this ray shone.

Judah's people remained in captivity of the Babylonians until the land was compensated for the years (dating from the beginning of the monarchy) when the sabbatical years had not been observed as the Law said.
Leviticus 25 and 26 allowed Israel to sow the fields and prune their vineyard, and gather their fruit for 6 years. Then they were to allow the land to rest, by not planting and harvesting it. However, their greed caused them to disobey the Law. For 490 years this was done, so they thought they got away with it. but not so-God rested the land 70 years, which was one year out of 7 required.

Galatians 6:7 tells us, Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Ezra, the author of this book, passed over those 70 years of exile for Judah in his writings. The people were out of the land and out of God's will.
God's clock is not spelled B-U-L-O-V-A  or G-R-U-E-N; it is spelled I-S-R-A-E-L, and it only runs while Israel is in the land. (McGee)
The clock of judgment began in 605 B.C. until the first deportation in 536 B.C. when the first group of Jews returned to Jerusalem and started to rebuild the Temple, found in Ezra 3:8.  (MacArthur)

Throughout this book, we read of 5 periods of revival, renewal, and reformation in Judah. Within each period, Judah returned to worship God and His sacrificial system, in obedience to the Word of God, which lead to repentance and temporary reformation of the nation: Kings Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Hezekiah, and Josiah. (Sadly the other 15 kings did not do so.)


As we read the conclusion of Second Chronicles, we find a bright hope, with a ray of hope for the future of Judah.
King Cyrus of Persia made this proclamation for the Jews in captivity after the Temple:
  • This was the Word of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.
  • So the Lord put His hand upon Cyrus for this proclamation.
  • It said: The LORD , the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build Him a temple at Jerusalem in Judah. Whoever among you of His people may go up, and may the LORD his God be with him.
The next book which we will study is called Ezra, entitled by its author, who is the same one for the books of Chronicles. In it he tells the story of this proclamation and the return of the exiles of Judah.

The nation of Judah was stripped off its foundation-kings were gone, the Temple was destroyed, and the people were removed from their Promised Land. God is a firmer foundation, however. When everything in life is stripped away from us, we too still have God-His Word, His presences, and His promises. (Life Application Study Bible)

How gracious God is! We will be reading of the lamenting and broken heart of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the trouble Daniel and the remnant encountered while captives in Babylon. Let us not forget that God is sovereignly in control and faithful to His children.

If God is with me, whom then shall I fear? The song goes.

                              ... and remain faithful to God.
                               ... of my focus on surrounding circumstances and focus on God.
                               ... and ask Him for a ray of hope, letting go of my dreams.
                               ... as I allow God's ray of hope to shine through me.

Monday, June 19, 2017

No Knock at the Door

O. T. #1,006 "No Knock at the Door"
June 19, 2017
2 Chronicles 36-Part 4
And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.  2 Chronicles 36:19


Family is welcome at our house. There's no need for them to knock at the door and wait for us to open it, then invite them inside. And that is the way we want it. Usually they holler to make their presence known, though. That way I am presentable. They are welcome to go into the kitchen and check out the snack drawer or raid the frig anytime.That's the way it is with family, right?

It wasn't that way at Judah though. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not knock on the King Zedekiah's palace door and wait for a invitation to enter. No, he rushed in, pushed over the wall, and burned Jerusalem, including the palace, then took Judah into captivity for 70 years.

We knew it was coming didn't we? Judah knew it, also, for God had sent His prophets to warn them to repent and only worship Him or else. (Jeremiah and Ezekiel)

But the people mocked these messengers of God, and despised their words. They scoffed at their words until the LORD's anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done.
2 Chronicles 36:16 NLT

Ezekiel 22:30 NLT says I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn't have to destroy the land, but I found no one. So now I will pour out My fury on them, consuming them with the fire of My anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken.

It was because of the sins of Manasseh, turning Judah to idol worship and away from God. Following Josiah, the good king, were the last 4 bad kings. Time had run out for Judah.

Parents are often patient with their children, warning them to stop their wrong, disobedient behavior. However, when the warning is not heeded, punishment comes in order for the correction of the behavior to take place. So it was with Judah and with us. God chastens His children. He wants us to do right. He desires the best for us and knows that comes with obedience.


What did the Babylonians do in Judah?
  • They killed Judah's young men, even chasing them into the Temple.
  • Having no pity on the people, they killed both young men and women, the old.
  • Neb took home all the large and small articles used in the Temple of God. Remember they were made of valuable gold, silver, and bronze.
  • Included were the treasures found in the king's palace and the officers' as well.
  • Then the Babylonian army burned the Temple, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, burned all the palaces, and completely destroyed anything of value.
  • The few who survived were taken as exiles to Babylon, the world empire reigning. They became servants to the king and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power.
Jeremiah wrote Lamentations to mourn the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and the beginning of the exile.
He wrote in 3:22, The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.
In verse 38 we read, Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins?



Accept the disciplining of the Lord God in my life.

Let it bring me to my knees of repentance.

Be encouraged that God's mercies never cease and are new every morning.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O LORD God!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Doing the Popular Thing

O. T. #1005  "Doing the Popular Thing"
June 16, 2017
2 Chronicles 36-Part 3
You won't be handed over to them if you choose to obey the LORD. Your life will be spared, and all will go well for you.  Jeremiah 38:20


Well, here we are folks, studying about the last king of Judah, Zedekiah, before Babylon conquers them. The prophet Ezekiel had already been taken away captive in 597 B.C. and Jerusalem would soon fall to Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. If only Zedekiah had not done the popular thing, worshiping idols, and did the right thing, which was worshiping God. The people would have followed him and they would not have gone into captivity and the Temple destroyed.

What do we know about this Zedekiah?
  • He was 21 when he became king and reigned for 11 years. (verse 11)
  • He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God.  (verse 12)
  • Zedekiah refused to humble himself when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him directly from the LORD.
  • He rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, even though he had taken an oath of loyalty in God's name. (verse 13)
  • While Jeremiah was in prison for being falsely accused of supporting the Chaldeans (in the land of Benjamin), King Zedekiah inquired from him if there was a word from the Lord. (Jeremiah 37:17) He was lowered into a cistern in the prison yard. Although doom was coming, Jeremiah requested more humane conditions than in his dungeon. The king transferred him to a more suitable prison. (Falwell)
  • Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man, refusing to turn to the Lord, the God of Israel. He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart, as KJV states. (verse 13)
Friends, let us not harden our heart toward God in spite of our situation. Job asked if we should only accept good from God and not bad. Look at what all he went through-loss of children, animals (financial), support of friends, and health. Yet, God spoke with him and restored his losses.
Let us not be stubborn in our own sinful ways. Jonah refused to preach to Nineveh and ran away, but God brought him back and to the point of obedience. Such a great revival occurred. God can use extreme measures in lives as He brings His people back to Him.


All the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful. They followed all the pagan practices  of the surrounding nations, desecrating the Temple of the LORD that had been consecrated in Jerusalem. (verse 14 NLT)

The people of Judah turned from worshiping God to worshiping idols of false gods. Moses, prophets, and others warned them not to turn to the gods of their enemies. At first they did it secretly, then openly. As the king lead his people, they followed the popular thing to do, though wrong.The Lord chastened His beloved ones, and they repented. It seemed to have been a continuous cycle of sin.

But they would not turn back to God, so God had to turn against them.  (Wiersbe)

Do we ask our teenagers if the popular thing to do is the right thing to do? The "jumping off the cliff" thing. Although it is difficult to go against the flow, it is better than to not drown in sin.

God did raise up prophets and leaders faithfully serving Him during those difficult times. Some suffered for their faithfulness-Jeremiah, the weeping prophet and Ezekiel and Daniel taken captive.


Keep a soft heart toward God and His Word.

Discern whether the popular thing is the right thing to do.

Help others return to God.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

When Plans Are Dashed

O. T. #1,004  " When Plans Are Dashed"
June 15, 2017
2 Chronicles 36-Part 2


Even though Josiah was a good king of Judah who brought her back to worshiping God in His Temple with the reading of His Word, his two sons did not follow in his footsteps. Jehoahez was taken prisoner by Pharoah Necho II after only reigning 3 months over Judah. He died in Egypt.

Jehoikim, his older brother, was made king by the king of Egypt. He taxed the people severely in order to pay tribute to Egypt since his brother had emptied the royal treasury paying Egypt. Both brothers did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. Then came Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon.

Notice this which Falwell tells us:
Neuchadnezzar was actually the crown prince and coregent with his father Nabopolasser. While in Jerusalem, he received word of his father's death; he was called home to Babylon for immediate for coronation as sole king.
Before he left, Neb took the vessels in the Temple with him.
Jehoikim's son, Jehoiachin was made king of Judah, but he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, also. He only lasted 3 months as king. Neb besieged Jerusalem and took Jehoiachin and the royal family as permanent captives to Babylon, the second deportation. The third group captured was 10,000 leading citizens. This only left the poorest people to be puppets in Babylon's hands. This was the beginning of the 70 year of captivity of Judah by Babylon.


Reading in Jeremiah 36, we find that King Jehoiakim cut off a section of the scroll read to him by Jehudi, the messenger of Jeremiah, which the Lord had given, and burned it. Thus the Lord's Word came to Jeremiah-Jehoiakim will have no heirs to sit on the throne of David.

How can we find encouragement in all of this mess? It's there in Jeremiah 45:1-5. The Lord gave Jeremiah a message for Baruch, the one to whom he dictate God's Word. He had been serving this unpopular prophet for a long time, writing his boo of struggles and judgments.

You have said, "I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven't I had enough pain already? And now the LORD has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest."
Baruch, this is what the LORD says:" I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don't do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the LORD, have spoken."

Can you imagine living during this time in Judah? Would we have been like Baruch, anxious about our plans for a bright future that are being dashed? Did he set his expectations too high so disasters were hard to bear? Have we taken our eyes off of God and put our focus on our self? Look for God's purposes instead of what we are giving up. It easy to loose the joy of serving Him.

Dash, in Webster's Dictionary, has several meanings, including:  to affect by mixing in something different; to knock, hurl, or thrust violently.

Sometimes life hurls at us the unexpected. Our future plans are changed and we are knocked down as discouragement and reality hits us head on. But for the believer, God is in control, sees what is going on, and will be our strength as we trust His will. His love never ends!


Stay focused on God; don't seek great things for myself.

Trust His ways to be higher than my ways.

Know that God never fails.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Which Road Will We Walk Down?

O. T. #1,003  "Which Road Will We Walk Down?
June 14, 2017
2 Chronicles 36
Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the LORD gave you and your ancestors forever. Do not provoke My anger b worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you. Jeremiah 25:5-6


What do people think they will gain by traveling down an evil road? It only leads to destruction. Are they trying to gain the whole world, yet loose their soul, as Tobby Mac sings? Is it worth it in the long run? I think not. Good shall prevail, for God is in control. Will we pray for revival and repentance? Let us continue on the road of faith God, dear friends.

Well, after King Josiah's death, his son Jehoahaz was made the next kin in Jerusalem.
What do we find out about him? There are just 4 verses in this chapter and  in 2 Kings 23 which give us answers:
  • He was 23 years old whenever Jehoahaz began to reign over Judah.
  • He only reigned 3 months.
  • He did what was evil in the LORD's sight.
  • Jehoahaz was put into prison by the Pharaoh Necho of Egypt. First he was taken in bondage to Syria and then taken later to Egypt, where he died. This was done to prevent him from ruling in Jerusalem.
  • Necho demanded Judah pay 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold.
  • Necho replaced Jehoahaz with his son Eliakim, which means God has established, and changed his  name to Jehoiakim, which means the Lord has established. This showed that Necho was lord over the land. (It was the way of those in the ancient Near East as a sign of authority.
  • In order to get the silver and gold that Pharaoh Necho demanded, Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people of Judah. He required them pay a proportion to their wealth.
  • Jeremiah continued to prophesy during this time.
Need I say that the last 4 kings of Judah, following Josiah, were bad kings? You know, if this rascal Josiah had only listened to Necho and not gone to war with Egypt, but allowed them to pass through Judah on their way to fight Babylon, this would not have happened. Not only did Josiah pay for his mistake with his life, but his descendants paid for his mistake also.

Let us keep in mind that the evil ones will pay for their sins, if not in this life, then in the next, if they do not repent. It is sad to say, but true.

Which road will we choose to walk down in our life?


For a little history during this time:
  • Jehoiakim taxed his people severely to pay tribute to Egypt, though he still had enough to build a magnificent palace for himself. (Jeremiah 22:13-14) Daniel was taken captive to Babylon in 605 B.C. Jeremiah and Habakkuk likely appeared on the scene at this time of kingly abominations. (MacArthur)
  • Nebuchadnezzar was the son of the founder of the Babylonian Empire. In 605, he became king and won the battle at Carchemish. That loss crushed Assyria. (Life Application Study Bible)
  • Ezekiel predicted the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
  • King Nebuchadnezzar burned the Temple and every substantial building in Jerusalem. More Jews were deported to Babylon that year.
  • Then Babylon falls to Persia in 539.
  • Persian King Cyrus allowed Jews to return to rebuild Jerusalem in 538.
  • Esther became queen of Persia in 478.
  • Ezra the priest was sent to Judah in 457. He is the author of 2 Chronicles.

Even though Judah will soon go into captivity in our reading due to their idolatry, God allows Jerusalem and the Temple to be rebuilt by a remnant of believers.

Will our nation turn from the evil road on which it is traveling and turn from the evil things it is doing? Only today I heard of a shooting of an official and his body guards. Rebellion has turned to hate, which  has turned into an attempt of murder? Really? And this is happening in America.
Let us pray, my friends.


Walk on the road of faith in Jesus, not on the road of evil.

Pray for our national leaders.

Pray for the evil ones to have a change of heart.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Heeding Wrnings

O.T. #1,002  "Heeding Warnings"
June 13, 2017
2 Chronicles 35-Part 2


He should have stayed at home. He should have stayed out of the fight. He had no business engaging in this war. Josiah was a good king of Judah. He was the man responsible for the return of the Word of God and the Passover observance. Why did he not heed the warning?

Let's se what was going on:
  • The Assyrian capital of Nineveh had fallen to the Babylonians in 612 B.C.
  • Egypt, who wanted to be a world power, was going down to aide her ally, Assyria, in 609 B.C.
  • Assyria regrouped at Carchemish and Haran.
  • Egypt went to fight at Carchemish by the Euphrates River because it was to their advantage to her to have a weak Assyria as a buffer against Babylon.
  • However, Josiah saw Egypt's potential power as his newly gained independence, so he tried to prevent Necho from passing through Judah and he went up against Necho of Egypt in war.
Do you know people who want to always be in charge? What about those who do not want counsel; those who do not want to submit to authority; those who always want to do things their way? When their projects turn out to be a mess they can't figure out why. But do they ever learn from their mistakes?


Josiah was warned by Necho, as he sent messengers to the king of Judah. In verse 21 we read, forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy thee.

In other words, and New Living Translation puts it:
What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do no interfere with God, who is with me, or He will destroy you.

Do you think this godly king headed the warning?
  • He refused to listen to Necho, to whom God had indeed spoken. He rejected divine prophecy.
  • Josiah disguised himself and led his army into battle. 
  • Enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him.
  • Josiah commanded his men to take him from the battle, for he was baldy wounded.
  • Josiah was taken out of his chariot and placed in another chariot.
  • He was brought back to Jerusalem, where he died.
Pharoah Necho was a pagan king who served as a spokesman for God, though momentarily.
Even though Josiah had followed the Lord, God did not turn His judgment on Judah, but because of Manasseh's sin of idolatry, the die had been cast.

Necho went on to Carchemish and held off the Babylonians for  years, but in 605 he was soundly defeated, and Babylon moved into dominating world power.

What can we learn from this?
God's messages may come in unexpected ways. Let us not allow prejudice or false assumptions to blind us to God's message, but have an open, listening ear. Heed godly advice.


Listen to God's warnings.

Watch out for pride and prejudice.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Time Passes Quickly

O. T. #1,001  "Time Passes Quickly"
June 12, 2017
2 Chronicles 35


King Josiah made a total commitment to God on the part of Judah. There was no halfhearted service; no going with the world and trying to go with God as well. There was a clear-cut dedication of heart and life to God When that takes place, the Spirit of god is free to move. (McGee)

All the days of his life they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers. (34:33)

Did you notice that we only have 2 more chapters left in this book that Ezra wrote to the Jews returning to Jerusalem?

What happened in this chapter?
  • Josiah kept the Passover in Jerusalem. (verse 1) This was confirmation of his obedience to the newly found Law. 
  • He assigned the priests to their duties and encouraged them to work in the Temple. (verse 2)
  • He ordered the Levites, who taught all Israel and had been set apart to serve the LORD, to put the Ark in the Temple, which was built by Solomon. (verse 3)
  • The Levites were to no longer needed to carry the Ark back and forth on their shoulders.
  • They were told to spend their time serving the LORD their God and His people Israel.
  • They were to report for duty according to the family divisions of their ancestors, according to the directions of King David. (verse 4)
  • The Levites were to stand in the sanctuary at the place appointed for their family division and help the families assigned to them as they brought their offerings to the Temple. (verse 5)
  • The Levites were told to purify themselves, slaughter the Passover lambs, and prepare to help those who came to the Temple, following the directions the LORD gave Moses. (verse 6)
Liberty Bible Commentary explains:
Apparently, the Ark had been removed, possibly for one or two reasons:                       (1) It had been removed from the Most Holy Place during the reign of one of the preceding wicked kings, either by a king himself of by the priests to protect it from the king by hiding;                                                                                                                   (2) It had been removed while the Temple was being repaired.
Since the Ark was permanently housed in the Temple, King Josiah noted that the Levites were free to perform other responsibilities. (In Moses' day, the Levites carried the Ark as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness some 40 years.)

Are we freed from our sinful lifestyle to serve God? It comes from repentance and turning to Christ.


In verses 7-9, we read of the huge amounts of animals which Josiah and his princes provided the people: 30,000 lambs, 3,000 bulls, 2,600 cattle, and 300 oxen.
The service was prepared;the priests and Levites stood in their place. The Passover lambs were roasted. Then the following week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread meat was boiled in pots. It all lasted a total of seven days.
The singers and musicians, in addition to the gate keepers, were serving in their assigned  places.

Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover. (verse 18)

Even the 17,000 lambs of Hezekiah's great Passover did not compare to Josiah's 30,000 lambs offered at the Passover.

God's people remembered their ancestors being freed from the slavery in Egypt as they observed the Passover, which was symbolic of the death of Christ to come. Four hundred years had passed since this happened.

Time seems to pass quickly the older you get. I had heard that from my elders, but didn't understand until my experiencing it in my own life. As children we can't wait to be a teenager. Then we want the twenty's to come. After that, it doesn't seem to be a big deal, until the middle ages hit. Then we realize our life may be half over and what have we accomplished? Soon we older folks will be in heaven, waiting on the younger ones to join us. Then we will all enjoy a new heaven and new earth together with Jesus. What a joyous time!


Do not depart from God's Word.

Freely serve our Lord Jesus while we have time here.

Share His love and salvation so others can be in heaven with us.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Standing in Our Place

O. T. #1,000  "Standing in Our Place"
June 9, 2017
2 Chronicles 34-Part 4
But I have spared you for a purpose-to show you My power and to spread My fame throughout the earth. Exodus 9:16 NLT


I am so thankful that God has allowed me to study His Word with you, dear friends all this time. It is humbling to think that He uses me to share His encouragement and Truth around the world. I celebrate today as the 1,000th lesson in the Old Testament. He is a good, good Father, and we are loved by Him. Wish you were here to grab a blueberry muffin and iced tea and sit on my porch of this country road of faith. Join me again as we search for answers in His Word.

The King Josiah received discouraging words from the Law and the prophets. Doom and captivity was headed Judah's way, in time to come, because of their idolatry and neglect of obedience to God's Word. But, you know, I don't read of him staying in his room, curtains drawn, and deep in depression. What did he do?(Verses 30-33 give us the answers.)
  • First of all, the king went up into the House of the LORD.
  • He was joined by all the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem the priests, the Levites. (That is to be expected, isn't it?)
  • In addition, all the people, greatest and least, joined them.
  • Josiah read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the House of God.
  • The king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD to walk after the LORD and keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart, all his soul, and to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.
What a godly and committed king! We saw it earlier when he was 16.
Whatever happens to us in the future, can we stand in our place, committed to follow God completely as Josiah did, not matter what? Count me in, Jesus!
Lift our heads, Lord, for it ain't over yet. Though our heart has been broken, keep us walkin' by faith. Though our prayers aren't answered yet, keep us standing where you put us. We are holdin' on to You to get us through this, so please hold us.


Look at verse 32. The king caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. They made a pledge similar to that of the king. They renewed their covenant with God, the God of their ancestors.

Then Josiah removed all the detestable idols from the entire land of Israel and required everyone to worship the LORD their God.
And throughout the rest of his lifetime, they did not turn away from the LORD, the God of their ancestors.

Yes! They came full circle again, worshiping God to worshiping idols, and back to worshiping God again. Now that is a good note to end on today.
Sweet ones, let us join together praising and worshiping and giving glory to our Holy One of Israel, Great Jehovah, Lord Almighty, King Jesus! Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, praise His holy name.

Have a wonderful weekend, ya'll.  I'm spending it with my husband's siblings at a beautiful Missouri state park soaking in the beauty of God's creation and the love of family. Christian, let us stand by faith in Jesus!


Stand by faith, being faithful, where God has placed me.

Stand to it, keeping my commitment to Him.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hearing Bad News

O. T. #999 "Hearing Bad News"
June 8, 2017
2 Chronicles 34-Part 3
When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes. 2 Chronicles 3:19


Josiah is a good example for us to follow. When he heard the Word of God, he sought His will, was humbled, and even wept in repentance of the sins of his people. What do we do whenever we hear bad news?

When the Book of the Law of Moses was found in the Temple, it was read to the king of Judah, Josiah. Then he sent the high priest and royal officials to consult a prophetess named Huldah to determine God's perspective on the situation.
What did the LORD say through her?
  • God was going to bring disaster upon Jerusalem and its people.
  • All the curses written in the Scroll read to the king of Judah will come true.
  • For His people abandoned Him and offered sacrifices to pagan gods.
  • He is very angry with them for everything they had done.
  • God will pour out His anger on that place, and it would not be quenched.
God would send His judgment upon Judah about 28 years later, using Babylon to take them into captivity and destroying the Temple as well as Jerusalem. Can you imagine the brokenness of the king's heart as he heard of what God promised?
It is difficult to have to stand by and watch a loved one broken and death coming. Such is the case of those going through the effects of cancer or heart deterioration or Alzheimer's. We don't want them to suffer in their last days, and God is merciful in that area.
When our hope is in Jesus, we can have His peace and love as we go through those valleys.


A specific message for Josiah from the Lord said:
  • You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this city and its people.
  • You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before Me in repentance.
  • He heard Josiah and promised He would not send disaster until after Josiah died and had been buried in peace.
  • Josiah would not see the disaster God was bringing upon Jerusalem and its people.
Can we see the seriousness of sin? Do we hear people excuse their sin, blame others, or pretend it isn't so bad as they compare it to other's sins?
Josiah was so appalled at the people's neglect of the Law that he tore his clothing expressing his grief. Our sins should lead us to "godly grief" that produces repentance as in 2 Corinthians 7:10.
An unread Bible is as useless as a lost one. Even reading the Bible is not enough; we must be willing to do what it says. (Life Application Study Bible)

Wash us in Your mercy, the blood of Jesus' sacrifice, for our righteousness is as dirty rags. Clean us Lord Jesus.

                     ...of sin and be sorry, humbled, weeping, and repentant over it.
                                ... and pray for our loved ones to get to that point in their life.
                                ... of spending my time my way and spend it in the Bible, obeying it.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


O. T. #998 "Anticipation"
June 7, 2017
2 Chronicles 34-Part 2
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  (Isaiah 40:31)


Anticipation. What commercial used that son? Was it syrup being poured on top of a pancake? If you are like me, the hardest thing to do is wait. We wait for vacation time to come, appointments, birthdays, special events, and test results. We are planning a vacation to Oregon in August. We are planning our agenda with anticipation of seeing the beauty of God's creation there-mountains, waterfalls, ocean, etc. However, there are some other things for which we await before that time comes, so I needed that key verse.

The word wait in the key verse above is the Hebrew word qavah (kaw-vaw'), which means to bind together; collect; to expect; look; wait; tarry.

I don't want to be weary or faint as I wait upon the Lord. I want to have my strength renewed. How about you? But how does this happen? It is God who does it.

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

If I keep repeating this verse it will surely sink into me, right?
We're an overcomer, as the song says. There's nothing God can't do, so let's stay in there, waiting for God to work in our situation. It will be for our good and His glory. So don't quit and don't give in dear one. Keep walking by faith in Jesus. (I hear those words, too.)

Okay. When King Josiah was 26, he had workers repairing the Temple, due to his father and grandfather desecrating it with idols. As the people sent money for the project, it was placed in the Temple. Then Hilkiah the high priest found  the book of the Law of the LORD given by Moses. (verse 14) He gave it to Shapan the scribe, who in turn read it to the king of Judah. (Keep in mind that Ezra is writing this book to those Jews returning to rebuild the Temple after being captives in Babylon for 70 years. How encouraging for those Jews to hear.)
The thing is, there were few copies of the Law back then. No copy machines were available. What is significant is that the Word of God had not been lost. Think about it-the Bible has been preserved for us throughout all those ages. How precious I should be to us-the God of the universe speaks to us. Mind boggling to me.

The book of the Law that Hilkiah found may have been one or more scrolls containing the entire Pentateuch-the books of Moses from Genesis through Deuteronomy. Apparently Shaphan  did not realize the importance of the discovered Book since he left the report of it until after the general progress of the work. (Holman)

Can you imagine what it would be like if suddenly all of our Bibles disappeared, including our pastors' Bibles? How devastating it would be! It is our Bread of Life as Jesus feeds our soul. Do we treat it with respect and special significance? Are we reading it daily or is it just another book on the shelf collecting dust? Of course, I know you are not doing that, but others do.


The king's reaction is important, for he influenced a whole nation. Josiah tore his clothes showing strong emotion when he heard the Word of God for the first time. He realized that he and his people had strayed so far from its instructions. (verses 18-19)

King Josiah sent 4 men on a mission, who are listed in verse 20:
  • Go to the Temple and inquire of the LORD for me and the remnant in Israel and Judah.
  • Inquire about the Words written in the scroll that had been found.
  • For the LORD's great anger had been poured out on them because their ancestors had not obeyed It. 
  • The king admitted they had not been doing everything this scroll said they must do.
Keep in mind that prophets Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Jeremiah were warning Judah of God's judgment.
Judah had stopped being faithful to the sacrificial system Moses recorded. Can you imagine the anticipation of what God had to say? We will wait in anticipation for the answer that God gave.


Grieve over my sins and the sins of others.

Take them to God.

Surrender for His strength to be mine.

Anticipate soaring on wings as eagles with Jesus.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Having Hope

O. T. #997  "Having Hope"
June 6, 2019
2 Chronicles 34


We have been waiting 7 months for answers to a health issue. Hope to have it this week. Judah's king found hope in today's chapter.

God is the strength of my heart. My portion forever. (Psalm 73:26b) As we are unsure what is in store for our future, our hope is in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Did Judah give up hope? The nation had plunged back into idolatry during the reigns of Manasseh and Amon as their kings.

Would you agree with me that it was about time for revival in Judah? Although we may wonder if there is any hope for these chosen people of David's line, there is always hope. All things are possible with God, while not with men. God can move in hearts in His timing and in His way.

Josiah was the next king to reign over Judah. What do we read about him?
  • He was 8 years old when he began reigning. (verse 1)
  • He reigned 31 years in Jerusalem.
  • Josiah did what was right in the sight of the LORD.
  • He walked in the ways of his father David.
  • He didn't turn from doing what was right. (verse 2)
  • At age 16, Josiah began seeking the LORD, the eighth year of his reign. (verse 3)
  • He began purifying Judah and Jerusalem, and the Temple, crushing idols into dust, smashing and scattering all of it over the graves who sacrificed to them. (verses 4-5)
  • He even cut down the incense altars for idols throughout the land of Israel.
Talk about a revival! God can move upon the young people when they begin to seek Him and study His Word. Josiah was 20 when he began his reforms in Judah; God can bring reformation to our nation and young people. When sins are confessed and forgiven, changes in lives will be evident. As we get older, I find it common for folks to get set in their ways, even loosing hope, becoming lukewarm is spiritual matters.
Dare we pray for the Holy Spirit to move and make these tremendous changes needed in us, our churches, and nation?
Let it begin with us Lord Jesus!


So when Josiah was 26 years old, he began to repair the Temple-the damage his father and grandfather had done in their idolatry.
What happened next?
  • the high priest Hilkiah, delivered money into the House of God.
  • The Levites kept its doors open as the remnant in Israel, the "lost tribes" of Manasseh and Ephraim, sent money for the repair. (Israel had been taken into Assyrian captivity at this time.) (verse 9)
  • The restorers of the Temple are mentioned in verses 10-13.
  • Hilkiah found the book of the Law of Moses in the Temple, which was considered lost. He gave the scroll to Shaphan.
  • In verse 16-18, Shaphan gave a good report to King Josiah and read to him from the scroll.
  • When the king heard the Words of the Law, he rent (tore) his clothes in despair, for they had not been doing everything the scroll said they must do.
We will see what happens as a result of this revelation by the Word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16 says All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Do we know Its instructions for the Christian life? Are we accepting of Its correction and reproof?
Is God's Word inspiring us with hope?

Jeremiah was prophesying during the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign as king of Judah. He gave hope in his writings:
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. (Jeremiah 17:7)

Will you join me in putting our hope in Jesus today? It is a win-win situation, whether God heals or not.


Place my hope in Jesus.

Pray for revival and reformation.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mid-Life Crisis

O. T. #996 "Mid-Life Crisis"
June 5, 2017
2 Chronicles 33-Part 3
"My wayward children," says the LORD, "come back to Me, and I will heal your wayward hearts." Jeremiah 3:22


Do you know any middle aged people who have done crazy things? They may quit a long-time job or leave their family to pursue their own happiness? They leave  behind broken pieces and broken lives, only to have regrets later. Sure God forgives the repentant heart, but it is never the same. Satan is behind division, so we must guard against it. King Manasseh was evil until he was taken captive, then he repented and had a changed heart. Unfortunately, his son followed in his earlier footsteps and not the latter.

King's Manasseh's evil sickens us, and we wonder how God could ever forgive him. Not only did he intentionally offend God by desecrating Solomon's Temple with idols, but he also worshiped pagan gods and even sacrificed his children to them! Despite the bitter consequences of hi sins, he learned from them. (He was taken captive into Babylon.) Then he humbly repented of his sins before God. God will go a long way to get someone's attention. Forgiveness is limited not by the amount of sin but by our unwillingness to repent. How far has God gone to get our attention? (Life Application Study Bible)

So Manasseh came to know that Yahweh is God. (verse 13)

Looks like Manasseh's son, Amon, would have learned from his father's bad choices, but not so.
What do we find out about the next king of Judah, Amon?
  • He was 22 years old when Amon reigned in Jerusalem. (verse 21)
  • He only lasted 2 years as king.
  • He did what was evil in the LORD's sight, just as his father had done. (verse 22)
  • He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made.  
  • But unlike his father, Amon did not humble himself before the LORD. (verse 23)
  • Instead, Amon sinned even more.
Whatever repentance or reform Manasseh attempted did no carry over to his son and successor, Amon. He picked up where his father had left off before his repentance, going back into idolatry. but with Amon there was no mid-life repentance. (Holman)

Sometimes it takes people 40 or 50 years to grow up; to come though the experience of a mid-life crisis realizing their life might by half over; to turn around and take responsibility for their actions; to even repent of their sins and try to make the best of what time they have let, coming to Jesus. It is sad that so many marriages do not survive that time.

Will we remain faithful through whatever life throws at us? Will our challenges bring us to our knees and result in our walking closer to God? Will we trust that God is in control and has a purpose for us? Keep in mind, sometimes troubles come due to the sinfulness of others.


What happened to Amon that he only reigned two years as king over Judah?
Amon's own officials conspired against him and assassinated Amon in his palace. he people of the land killed those who conspired against King Amon and they made his son Joash their next king.

The people were probably outraged by the assassination, so they had Amon's killers executed.
Killed at age 24, what short life.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Rings in the Nose

O. T. #995  "Rings in the Nose"
June 2, 2017
2 Chronicles 33-Part 2


Talk about humbling. I have had such an experience this week. The side effects of this new medication I have been on is an itching rash, even hives. I thought I was doing fine, with only one episode of horrible itching, that required a steroid shot, but not so. It started again after I waded through tall grass to turn on water to fill a lamb's bucket. (Taking care of my granddaughter's pets while they enjoy a vacation at the beach.) I was in tears by the time I got back home, rubbing and scratching both legs, even after a shower. I told my husband what was happening to me, and he suggested I use alcohol on the itchy spots. I was desperate so I gave it a try. What a relief! But that was 4 days ago and it happened again without my wading in the grass. Alcohol has not helped this time, so I took a pink pill. As I write this, I stop and scratch, then write some more. Please Jesus make it stop! Yes this is very humbling. Judah's king had a humbling experience in today's reading.

So when this overwhelmingly evil man Manasseh was king of Judah, he worshiped idols to the full extent; he even placed them in the Temple of God. All the good that his father had accomplished, including bringing revival to the people in worshiping God, became just a story written down.
However, the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but how did they react? Was it repentance? No, they ignored all His warnings.

What happened next?
  • God sent commanders of Assyrian armies and they took Manasseh prisoner.
  • They put a ring in his nose and bound him in bronze chains.
  • Judah's king was led away to Babylon.
  • While in deep distress, Manasseh sought the LORD his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors.
  • When he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request.
  • So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom.
  • Then Manasseh finally realized that the LORD alone is God!
I must admit that I would have given up on this man long before God did. Isn't it amazing that God did not give up on this cruel and evil man, a blasphemer? God knew how to humble him, though.
A ring in the nose of a king? He was treated like an animal. I have seen big bulls lead around and acting gently as a lamb because of the ring in their nose. And taken away as a captive slave-how humiliating and a helpless position.
Oh how gracious God is! This should be encouraging to godly parents of straying children. Our God can bring them back to Him. Don't give up, for God hears our prayers. After all, He did Manasseh's.
What will it take?


Manasseh was a changed man:
  • He rebuilt an outer wall high  around Jerusalem,
  • stationed his military officers in all the fortified towns,
  • removed the foreign gods and the idol in the Temple,
  • tore down the altars in Jerusalem,
  • He restored the altar of the LORD,
  • sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it, and
  • encouraged his people to worship only God.

What an experience for Manasseh. Finally, my itching is beginning to subside.
Watch out for those rings!


                               of pride and be humbled.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

When Things are Horrible

O. T. #994  "When Things are Horrible"
June 1, 2017
2 Chronicles 33
Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will sore on wings like eagles; they  will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 HCSB


Here is something good I found in this chapter. It actually appears in verse 7-9, after the horrible description of King Manasseh.

God had told David and his son Solomon this:
  • His name would be honored forever in the Temple and in Jerusalem-the city He chose from among all the tribes of Israel;
  • If the Israelites would be careful to obey God's commands-all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses-He would not send them into exile from this land that He set aside for their ancestors.
When God made a covenant with David and Solomon, He made a three way connection between the dwelling in the Temple in Jerusalem, the people dwelling in the Promised Land, and the obedience to the Law. (Holman)

When things are horrible, what do we do? As said before, God is sovereign, in control. He will not play second fiddle to anyone or anything. He will be first place in our life, one way or another. It may take our being led into captivity as Manasseh was, or losing everything, or being humiliated, but He will bring us to repentance so God's will is done in our life. Others may suffer because of our rebellion, while we wander in sin, but love and forgiveness are awaiting us. If this isn't us, but we are going through such a thing with a loved one, let us continue to pray for them and our strength to wait.
Is Jesus calling us to bring our brokenness to Him today?


The next king of Judah was Manasseh, the son of the good King Hezekiah. this horrible king changed Judah into a horrible place, and a horrible people since they followed What do we know about Manasseh, known as the most wicked and longest reigning king of Judah?
  • was 12 years old whenever he took the throne. (He born during Hezekah's extended life of 15 years.); he  was the 13th legitimate king of Judah;
  • did what was evil in the LORD's sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the LORD had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites;
  • rebuilt the pagan shrines his father had broken down;
  • constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles;
  • bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them; 
  • built pagan altars in the Temple of the LORD;
  • built altars for the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the LORD's Temple;
  • sacrifice his own sons in the fire;
  • practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft;
  • consulted mediums and psychics;
  • did much that was evil in the LORD's sight, arousing His anger;
  • took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God's Temple;
  • led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the LORD had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.

What can we say?
Hang on, for mercy is coming.


Love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.