Israel is gone.

Good Monday morning!!! Today I read Mark 8, Psalm 28, and 2 Kings 15-18.

In Kings I read about how a new king of Israel came to power that was not a descendant of Jehu, so the line of David was not head of Israel again.  15:12 says the LORD had told Jehu his line would be king down to his great-great-grandchild, and this is exactly how long his family was king. We know the stuff Solomon did contributed to the division of Israel and Judah, and in chapter 17 we read about the last king of Israel and the total capturing of Israel. 17:18 says, “Because he was very angry with the people of Israel, he removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left.” Chapter 17 goes on to tell us about other people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim that moved into the land and how they were killed by lions because they did not worship the LORD. The king of Assyria told them they needed to get a priest, one that was originally from Israel, whom they had captured, and bring him back so that he could teach them to honor the LORD. This is so odd to me. The priest did teach them, and they did honor the LORD but they also worshiped other gods and all that stuff. So the rest of 2 Kings must be all about the remaining Judah.

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Crowned king at age 7!

It’s Friday! Today I read 2 Kings 11, 12, Mark 6, and Psalm 27.

In Kings I read about what was happening in Judah since King Ahaziah got killed. His mother (Athaliah) killed all the royal family and she ruled the land for six years. The king’s sister wasn’t killed and she stole away one son (Joash) so he wouldn’t be killed. She and a priest named Jehoiada hid him away during that time. This lady Athaliah must have been a horrible lady because when the boy Joash was seven years old they crowned him king and killed Athaliah. 11:12 says, “Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him a copy of the agreement.” So cool that even though he was only seven they still gave him a copy like they were supposed to do with new kings! He was a king for 40 years and it says he did what the LORD said was right as long as Jehoiada the priest taught him. It also says he gathered money to have the Temple of the LORD repaired. So at this time Jehu is king of Israel, and his great nephew is king of Judah. The end of chapter 12 tells us that a couple of officers killed Joash, it doesn’t say why, but there was that little hint that he did what was right as long as the priest taught him. So maybe he had gone bad? Anyway, their names are mentioned and they are similar names again, Jozabad and Jehozabad. They did not take the throne though, it was given to Amaziah, Joash’s son.

In Psalm, another of David where he writes, or sings, or prays this, which he does so often, and it is so awesome, 27:11, “LORD, teach me your ways, and guide me to do what is right because I have enemies.” David must have been dealing with conflict at the time, but still asks God to guide him and show him the right way. 

🙂

LORD, show me your ways and guide me to do what is right. Thank you for being involved in my life, help me to live it as you have designed. I love you Lord Jesus, in your name I pray. 🙂

 

Jehu, he is like the link in bringing David back over Israel.

Today I read 2 Kings 8-10, Mark 5, and Psalm 26.

In Kings I noticed that during the same time, there was a king of Israel named Joram and a king of Judah name Jehoram. But I suppose a bunch of English names are close in spelling and I don’t even notice. Anyway, this is a very interesting story and I had never noticed this before. I had to keep reading to finish the story because I was so into it. Elisha calls a man out of a group of prophets (I didn’t see his name, only that he is called the young prophet) and tells him to take some oil and anoint a guy named Jehu king of Israel. What is interesting is Jehu is the son of Jehoshaphat, but Jehoshaphat’s son named Jehoram was made king of Judah. Jehoram has recently died and his son named Ahaziah is king of Judah now. So this would be Jehu’s nephew, right? What is interesting, and what I hadn’t noticed before, is this Jehu guy is from the line of the kings of Judah, but he is anointed king of Israel. The young prophet tells him he has to destroy the family of Ahab, which would include the king that is over Israel right now named Joram.  Jehu is to take his place as king.  He also kills the king of Judah, which I was saying I think is his nephew. Apparently he is cleaning house! 10:30 says, “The LORD said to Jehu, “You have done well in obeying what I said was right. You have done to the family of Ahab as I wanted. Because of this, your descendants as far as your great-great-grandchildren will be kings of Israel.” The next verse tells us that Jehu was not careful to follow the teachings of God with all of his heart though. We are also told that at this time the LORD began to make Israel smaller, taking all of the land of Gilead away. There is a lot of stuff that happens in these chapters but the end of chapter 10 says that Jehu was king over Israel for 28 years.

So really, the family of David was now back as king of Israel. So David’s line was over Judah and Israel, or all of the Israelites again, just by two different dudes. So funny that I never noticed this before, whoa.

Oh, I gotta say Gehazi is mentioned in chapter 8, and he is called the servant of the man of God. So I guess he was still with Elisha.

With God all things are possible.

Good day 🙂  Today I read 2 Kings 5, 6, 7, and Mark 4.

In Kings I read about a commander, named Naaman who had a skin disease, for the army of Aram. They were fighting Israel and had kidnapped a little girl. She was made to be the servant of Naaman’s wife. The little girl said she wished Naaman would go and see the prophet living in Samaria so he could be cured. She must have been talking about Elisha. Funny that she wanted to help him since she had been taken from her home by his army???  Anyway, the king of Aram (his name is not mentioned) sends Naaman to the king of Israel to be healed, the king tears his clothes because he says he cannot heal him. Elisha hears (through the grapevine or from God, it doesn’t say how he hears) that the king has torn his clothes and tells the king to send Naaman to him. Elisha tells Naaman to dip in the Jordan seven times. Naaman throws a fit, he wanted some big production to happen for his healing, but his buddies convince him to at least give it a try. So he does it, dips into the Jordan seven times, and his skin is healed. Naaman tries to give Elisha a gift but Elisha refuses. So Naaman left, but Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, goes to Gehazi and takes the gift for himself. I’m bummed about Gehazi doing this because I liked the guy. Anyway, Elisha knows what he did and tells him the skin disease that Naaman had will come on him and his children forever. It says when Gehazi left Elisha, he had the skin disease.

There is a story about an ax head that is borrowed and falls into the river, Elisha makes it float so it can be retrieved. Wonder why this story is here for us to read? To show us Elisha was a helpful dude?

Then another story about the fight with Aram, they must be winning because Samaria is running out of food. It is pretty cool because a servant of Elisha is afraid. Oh I gotta mention it doesn’t say who this new servant is, but it must be the person to take Gehazi’s job. Anyway Elisha prays that the LORD would open the servant’s eyes. It says in 6:17, “The LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” This is similar to what Elisha saw when he watched Elijah being taken! How cool!!! Elisha prays that the Aram army be made blind, Elisha leads them into the city of Samaria then prays for their eyes to be opened. I imagine they freaked out when they saw they were in the city of Samaria and figured they would be killed. But instead they are given food and water to eat then sent home. It says the soldiers of Aram did not come anymore into the land of Israel. This act caused peace for a while. 🙂 Reminds me of Proverbs 25:21-22, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. 22 Doing this will be like pouring burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

The next verse starts with “Later,…” and it gives the name of the king of Aram, Ben-Hadad. I am pretty sure this is a new king from the previous unmentioned king because it says he gathered his army and attacked Samaria. This is a pretty interesting story too., and this is the pouring burning coals on their heads part, and the reward part. 🙂 Because God gets involved, 7:6 says, “The Lord (big L small ord this time??? Thinking this is a typo in my bible???) had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a large army. They had said to each other, ‘The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!'” So they run away and leave all of their stuff. The sound they heard must have been the army the servant was allowed to see. Pretty cool. So the Israelites gathered all of the supplies and food and their shortage ended. Elisha had predicted this food scare would end by the next day and one officer said, after hearing Elisha, 7:2, “Even if the LORD opened windows in the sky, that couldn’t happen.” Elisha told him that it will but that he will never see it. It is like when someone said ‘Even God could not sink the Titanic.” and we know what happened there. Same with this guy. He was sent to guard the gate but the people stampeded to get to the goods and they trampled him to death. Yeek. I love this story because it is another example of how God can take care of an impossible situation when we can’t see a solution. I guess all of the stories I read today teach that. Trusting God in those impossible situations is faith. Not trusting God, or saying something is impossible for God, results in us missing the blessing.  If Naaman never dipped into the water, he’d never been healed. If the king killed all those Arameans instead of feeling them God may have never let them hear the chariots and run away scared.

Trusting in God and in his way of doing things is mentioned again and again in the bible. I could say it is the main message. People mess it up all the time, and we read how this has happened from the beginning of time! Ugh. I suppose that is why we are told to trust God over and over. Because we are so quick to forget it.

LORD, thank you for these stories that show again and again how you can be trusted. Forgive me for chosing my own way, or for thinking things are too impossible for you to handle. I don’t want to live outside of your plan. I love this Psalm of David, ‘Psalm 25:4 Lord, tell me your ways. Show me how to live.’ I want this to be my prayer to you too. Thank you, Amen. 

 

Elisha didn’t overstep, I just don’t know the whole story.

It’s Tuesday! Today I read Mark 3, 2 Kings 3, 4, and Psalm 24, 25.

First I need to say something about my reading yesterday. My big sis in law and mom both wrote to tell me there was more to the story of Elisha and the kids that were killed by a bear after calling him bald. My question is why is this information left out? My mom sent me some info from a commentary she has on the subject, and my sis said the kids were saying a bunch more than just calling him bald. My mom also pointed out that we learn from what other people have studied and have discovered, or what God may have revealed to them. So I suppose when I read something that, to me, doesn’t fit, I should consider that there are things that I don’t know about the story.

Anyway, today I read how Elisha brought a boy of a woman from Shunem back to life. Her boy died from what sounds like a brain aneurysm and she traveled from Shunem to Mount Carmel to find Elisha to come and help. I wondered how far that was so I found this nifty map. It also has a drawing of Elisha, but they have given him some hair, like male pattern baldness hair, but I like to think of him as totally bald. And could he have facial hair even if he is bald? I suppose so. Anyway, there is no legend here on this map but I found on another that they are about 20 miles apart. So the boy was dead for a long time if she traveled this far and then back again.

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Also interesting is I had a note in my bible to see 1 Kings 17:19. So I looked there and Elijah had also brought a boy back to life in just about the same way. The boy with Elisha sneezed seven times and opened his eyes and that is really the only difference in the stories. They both laid on top of the boys a number of times. I suppose Elisha having the spirit of Elijah is why he is doing the same sorts of things. He also helped a widow with oil and jars just like Elijah. Pretty cool stuff. 🙂

Did Elisha overstep his boundaries?

Good morning, today I read Psalm 23, Mark 1, 2, and 2 Kings 1, 2.

In Kings I read about Elisha and Elijah. Elijah used his coat and hit the water of the Jordan river to make a path through the river so he and Elisha could go across the river. It is written like it was no big deal and he did this just as he was walking along. This is just like what Moses did, and this would have been an incredible sight to see. I have heard the Jordan is a pretty small river, but it is still a river and the water stopped so they could cross?! Whoa!!! It says there were 50 men who were prophets standing off in the distance, they weren’t near but they were watching everything happening. Elijah must know what is going to happen because he asks Elisha if there is anything he can do for him before he is taken away. And just before this some prophets, maybe the group of 50 that are now watching from afar?, tell Elisha that Elijah will be taken away this very day. And Elisha answers in verse 3, “Yes, I know, but don’t talk about it.” So it was not a surprise to some folks about how Elijah was taken away! Interesting.  And those men wanted to see how it was going to happen! As for Elisha’s answer to Elijah’s question, he asks him for a double portion of his spirit. My bible has a foot note that says he was not asking for twice the amount of spirit, but for a double portion, like when a son inherits a portion of his father’s stuff, he is asking for a double portion. Elijah says this is a difficult thing but it will be his if he see’s him taken away. Then Elijah is taken up by horses and chariots of fire right in front of Elisha. Elijah’s coat falls down and Elisha takes it and uses it to divide the water of the Jordan river just like Elijah had done. Those 50 prophet men see this and say in 2:15, “…Elisha now has the spirit Elijah had.”

Elijah does some good stuff and uses some salt to purify the water of Jericho. The water was causing death and would not allow the land to grow crops. So Elijah heals the water by the power of the LORD.

Then something odd happens. A bunch of boys, like more than 42 of them, call Elisha bald and it says in 2:24, “Elisha turned around, looked at them, and put a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two mother bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys to pieces.” Um, what? Does that seem strange to anyone else?

I want to mention Psalm 23 verse 3, it says, “He gives me new strength. He leads me on paths that are right for the good of his name.” For me this is very liberating. 🙂

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

Hello :), today I read Joel, Obadiah, Matthew 27, 28, and Psalm 22.

In Matthew I read about Jesus being crucified and rising from the dead. I also read in Psalm 22 today. Psalm 22:1 says, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?…” and Matthew 27:46 says, “About three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” This means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”” Jesus was quoting Psalms and feeling the anguish of my sin on him. How he must have felt is something I will never comprehend, but I do recognize his actions have allowed me to be free from the hold of living a life away from God. Or in other words, the hold of sin. His pure human life, his innocent death, and his powerful resurrection not only bridge the gap between my death and eternal life, but allow me to have a personal relationship with him.

Thank you LORD for becoming one of us, living and experiencing hard choices, and giving up your life to give me eternal life. I believe you did this for me and that you are involved in my daily life and will help me to make choices to live a life that is pleasing to you.

 

Ecclesiastes’ final advice.

Hello, today I read Ecclesiastes 10-12, and Psalm 20. I am a bit a head in my reading except for Proverbs.

I am happy with the conclusion of Ecclesiastes. 12:13-14 says, “Now, everything has been heard, so I give my final advice: Honor God and obey his commands, because this is all people must do. 14 God will judge everything, even what is done in secret, the good and the evil.”

Still a very confusing book, but I understand the conclusion. 🙂

 

 

Jesus’ prayer and some words of David.

Hello, today I read Ecclesiastes 6-9, Psalm 19, and Matthew 24-26.

In Matthew, I noticed when Jesus was in Gethsemane with his followers (right before he was going to be arrested) he went off to pray. The followers fell asleep and Jesus said to them in 26:41, “Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. The spirit wants to do what is right, but the body is weak.” I have read this so many times before but now it means a lot more to me than before.

I really liked what I read in Psalm today, another Psalm of David, especially this last part, so here is Psalm 19:7-14:

7″The teachings of the LORD are perfect; they give new strength. The rules of the LORD can be trusted; they make plain people wise. 

The orders of the LORD are right; they make people happy. The commands of the LORD are pure; they light up the way.

Respect for the LORD is good; it will last forever. The judgments of the LORD are true; they are completely right. 

10 They are worth more than gold, even the purest gold. They are sweeter than honey,
    even the finest honey. 

11 By them your servant is warned. Keeping them brings great reward. 

12 People cannot see their own mistakes. Forgive me for my secret sins. 

13 Keep me from the sins of pride; don’t let them rule me. Then I can be pure

    and innocent of the greatest of sins. 

14 I hope my words and thoughts please you. LORD, you are my Rock, the one who saves me.

I didn’t write about what I read in Ecclesiastes today, but I will mention how interesting it is the contrast in writings of Solomon and David.

Time to gather stones!!!

Good morning 🙂 Was doing some catch up reading again since I missed most in the last few days. So today I read Song of Songs 5-8, Ecclesiastes 3-5, Matthew 22, 23, and Psalm 17, 18.

I noticed a verse in Ecclesiastes and in Psalm 17 that both talked about words. Ecclesiastes 5:6 says, “Don’t let your words cause you to sin…” and in Psalm 17:3, it says, “…I have not sinned with my mouth.” It is interesting because one verse is from Solomon and the other is a Psalm of David. However Solomon seems to be off his rocker in Ecclesiastes. I’ve heard some different opinions about what is happening and why in Ecclesiastes, but I suppose nobody really knows for sure? In chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes, verse 18 says, “With much wisdom comes much disappointment; the person who gains more knowledge also gains more sorrow.” So maybe Solomon decided to emphasize all of the sorrow and disappointments he discovered with all of his knowledge? We know his life history and how he fell away from the LORD as he got older and how Israel was split because of him, well, because of his father David, who followed the LORD until the end unlike Solomon. Maybe Ecclesiastes is the state of mind of Solomon as he realized he messed up by indulging in the stuff of the world instead of the things of God?

And since I like rocks I noticed this verse in Ecclesiastes 3:5, which says, “There is a time to throw away stones and a time to gather them…” :D!!!