N_SPECT_R's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=N%5FSPECT%5FR N_SPECT_R's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ September 27, II Kings 11:4-20 Be ready to avoid trouble http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6242459 I wonder about the back story here, why Jehoiada decided at the age of 7 to make Joash king. Maybe it was getting harder to keep him secret. He shows wisdom as he rounds up loyal guards to protect the boy king when he is presented in his office. I also note the only words recorded from Athaliah are treason, really coming from her? I like that the priest makes a covenant between The Lord, the king and the people. Being raised by the priest could be either good or bad, we'll have to see. Also ... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:09:13 EST September 26, II Kings 11:1-3 Waiting for the baby to be king http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6241923 One really needs a family tree or team roster when studying the books of kings. The family lines get intermixed and both Judah and Israel have kings with the same names at different times. We're only looking at 4 verses today but they tell us a lot. Checking the team roster we know that Athaliah is the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, we also know that she slaughtered the royal household at the same time that Jehu slaughtered the line of Ahab. I would tend to think her actions were in retaliat... Mon, 26 Sep 2016 04:58:45 EST September 25, II Kings 10:28-36 The reign of Jehu ends http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6241427 So we see in the end that Jehu wasn't much better a king than his predecessors. He was obedient in the task to eliminate Ahab's house, but God never said that He approved of the method. Jehu was a military man who became king and a politician. He was arrogant and self serving to the end, so common of so many politicians through history. He singled out Baal worship to be removed yet maintained worship of golden images. I wonder if perhaps he looked at the Baal worshipers as a possible pol... Sun, 25 Sep 2016 06:03:39 EST September 24, II Kings 10:18-28 The slaughter of Baal worshipers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6240943 Again we must remember that much of the scripture is an account of history and not everything is directed by or approved of by God. Here is a mixture of both right and wrong. Certainly according to The Law the worshipers of Baal were condemned to die but the way in which it was done is evil and filled with deceit. Jehu has his own ambitions and uses The Law as a tool to his own means. His actions in the temple speak loudly about his character, that he was able to perform the rituals of Baal... Sat, 24 Sep 2016 04:56:42 EST September 23, II Kings 10:1-17 Sometimes zeal can go too far http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6240457 God prophecied through Elijah that Ahab's family would be wiped out, now since Jehu was given this task he approaches it whole heartedly. But he goes too far. We don't know anything about the 70 sons in Samaria, the fact that the people around them were willing to cut off their heads could mean they were evil as Ahab or that they were afraid of Jehu. Some believe that at this meeting Jehu slaughters thse too, but I dont read it that way. Later when he meets up with Ahaziah's kin folk his z... Fri, 23 Sep 2016 05:07:48 EST September 22, II Kings 9:14-37 Jehu's bloodlust and the end of Jezebel http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6239987 God told Jehu to kill off all of Ahab's family, here in this chapter we have a more abbreviated version of some of the events, II Chronicles 22 gives more detail. Knowing what Joram and Jezebel did they deserved to die, I may not agree that an arrow in the back is the right way to execute justice. I sort of like how Jezebel fell (pun intended). She was an evil woman who ruled for a log time, but at the same time no one evil person can rule unless they have others to help or simply do nothin... Thu, 22 Sep 2016 05:09:04 EST September 21, II Kings 9:1-13 Jehu the son of Nimshi http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6239446 Actually Jehu was the grandson of Nimshi but in many places in the Jewish histories he's called the son. Curious that we know little about Nimshi, actualy all that we know is he was the father to Jehosaphat and grandfather to Jehu. Yet there must have been something significant about the man to be noted here and in other places. There are today a lot of people in history who are known simply by a single name, both fameous and infameous. I get the feeling that Nimshi was a good guy, his name ... Wed, 21 Sep 2016 05:00:08 EST September 20, II Kings 8:16-29 Should believers and non believers marry? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6238874 That question comes up from time to time, there are some clear teachings through the scriptures but I wouldn't limit it to marriage. Believers and non believers should not be yoked together anywhere. As we finish this chapter we look at two of Judah's kings and we're told that both did evil before God. We're also told that part of the reason was the influence of Ahab and his daughter. Ahab was an Israelite who married Jezebel for politics. We know that Jezebel brought idolatry to Ahab and h... Tue, 20 Sep 2016 04:51:04 EST September 19, II Kings 8:7-15 Always remember that men are inherantly evil http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6238265 This section seems pretty hard to take. The prophet sees what will happen because God has shown it to him. Some ask why God didn't stop it from happening. The same argument or question that's asked after any great war or disaster. The answer is that no-one knows, but God is still God and He's still good. My only thought is that God made us totally free to choose, and sometimes those choices come from evil people who effect the world around them. As to God not protecting Israel, or any oth... Mon, 19 Sep 2016 05:11:05 EST September 18, II Kings 8:1-6 Coincidence or divine providence? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6237718 When I read this story I needed to do some research on who the Shunamite woman could have been, and what it meant to be a Shunamite. Under the Torah, the land of Israel was divided to the tribes and it must remain within those tribes for ever. An outsider could not possess Israel's land so she must have been an Israelite. As it turns out she's called a Shunamite not by family description but by city, the city of Shunem was a part of the inheritance of Issachar. Not sure what you'd call a des... Sun, 18 Sep 2016 06:35:58 EST September 17, II Kings 7, God wins without fighting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6237214 Looking at the whole chapter today. I don't know why God finally chose to move at this time, some think it was because the king was shown to be wearing sack cloth, perhaps but scripture doesn't specifically say. We also don't know how long the siege lasted, several months I'd guess. Israel was opressed for long enough for the people to start losing hope, especially the captain with the king. Elisha promises so much food that where a cup of bird seed sold for $10, tomorrow 2 bags of flour w... Sat, 17 Sep 2016 05:44:33 EST September 16, II Kings 6:31 This is all God's fault http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6236674 I am going back to look at something from yesterday's reading. The king of Israel has just made a vow to kill the prophet Elisha, blaming him and God for Israel's troubles. A parallel can be drawn from this today when pagans will ask, where is God when disasters strike? The answer in both cases is the same, God is where he's always been, the people want nothing to do with Him and their lifestyles for the most part cause their own distress. There is unfortunately some fallout in this as so... Fri, 16 Sep 2016 05:10:39 EST September 15, II Kings 6:23-33 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6236112 Much of the Old Testament is history and most of the stories are not flattering to Isral or humanity in general. This is a hard story, the famine is so bad that the people are eating any animal. A donkey is an unclean animal yet even the head is selling for a premium. Some texts read dove's dung, I have different commentaries that agree it was originally mistranslated and should say seed. Pidgeon or bird seed. People were eating that too. And now the gruesome part, Moses prophecied this... Thu, 15 Sep 2016 04:47:43 EST September 14, II Kings 6:8-23 He knows what you do in your bedroom http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6235546 The main focus of this story is typically that God's army is bigger than the world's army but we just don't see them. But there's a verse that should cause us to stop for a second. The king's servant said that the man of God tells the king of Israel what he says in his bedroom. What if God told someone what you say and do in your bedroom? The simple fact is that God is with us always and could tell anyone what we do anywhere. Would that cause a problem? If you're like me, and since none... Wed, 14 Sep 2016 04:58:11 EST September 13, II Kings 6:1-7 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6234973 This is a really good story. Elisha is serving as the president of the local theological semenary in Israel. What's really neat about thei is that even though the majority of Israel is worshiping idols, there's still a group of students that want to know God's word. So many in fact that they need to build on to the dormitory. Now I suppose that if there were five students in a single room and two more came then they'd need more room. The text doesn't indicate a number but I like to belie... Tue, 13 Sep 2016 04:32:02 EST September 12, II Kings 5:19-27 Just basic greed http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6234369 The last section of this chapter deals with base human traits, greed and selfishness. It is never a good idea to try and capitalize on what God does. I believe that I've seen the holy spirit begin to move and men come in seeking to make a profit which quenches the spirit. God will not share His glory. Looking specifically at this story, Gehazi knows Naaman's state of mind. It's much like hucksters selling memorials to widows right after their husband dies. Maybe Gehazi is tired of being ... Mon, 12 Sep 2016 04:53:14 EST September 11, II Kings 5:15-19 There is no god but The God of Israel http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6233751 Naaman is cured and shows gratitude and humility. There is still however some of the old traditional theology left in him. <BR> We first see that he wants to give a gift to Elisha, probably simply from gratitude but Elisha is careful not to take the gift as that would appear to be selling God's favor. This was a very common practice with the pagan worship, an offering was always made to the priest for services. I have a theory on that too, I believe that demons will inflict people and then... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 05:52:52 EST September 10, II Kings 5:8-14 Naaman the leper 4 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6233211 We'll finish the story today, looking back and forward both. Let me try to paint this for you. Naaman has a small caravan carrying goods, imagine 50 or so people, 3 or 4 chariots, 20 donkeys and maybe 6 camels. Naaman is wearing splendid armor, walking at the head of the group. They're walking from the palace in Samaria to the prophet's house. As they go Israelites are following, they've heard about what happened in the palace and want to see the show. There's an air of excitement, Naam... Sat, 10 Sep 2016 05:54:49 EST September 9, II Kings 5:9-12 Naaman the leper 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6232650 We're looking at two characters today, or one and a half as we'll look at Naaman again tomorrow. First today is the prophet, we don't get to see him as he doesn't even come out of his house, wonder why? Perhaps it's a combination of things; healing of Naman must come from God, by not coming out no-one can claim that the prophet did anything. Whatever happens is between God and Naaman, it's always that way, it's just between you and God, no-one in between. Naaman was a man in a position of ... Fri, 9 Sep 2016 05:03:07 EST September 8, II Kings 5:6-8 Naaman the leper 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6232092 September 8, II Kings 5:6-8 Naaman the leper 2 <BR> <BR> The next character to look at in this story is the king of Israel, most likely Jehoram. Naaman arrives in Israel with a small caravan and a fortune in gold and merchandise. Can you imagine how excited Jehoram would be to see all of that coming into his city? Naaman has a letter from his king asking the king of Israel to heal him. Jehoram has several choices to make and things to consider, I'm sure that all of the wealth was a tempt... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 04:30:01 EST September 7, II Kings 5:1-5 Naaman the leper 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6231482 The story of Naaman gets a lot of attention. I think I've heard a sermon on this at least every other year for the past 30 years. Some times twice in the same year. There are a lot of principles in this story and we'll take several days to look at some. Lets start with the first character of note. <BR> It's not Naaman, it's not the prophet, and it's not the king. The first person of significance in this story is an un-named Jewish girl. We know little of the girl, how old she was or f... Wed, 7 Sep 2016 05:04:53 EST September 6, II Kings 4:38-44 Feeding 100 students http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6230869 This reminds me of Moses throwing a tree in the water to purify it and of Jesus feeding multitudes with just a small proivsion. I think Elisha could be seen as a type of Christ. The first section tells us of a man unknowingly putting a poisionous gourd, (coloquintida) into the stew and Elisha says to put flour to make it good. There was nothing special in the flour just as there was nothing special in the tree Moses used. It was just something to focus their faith on. It's why sometimes ... Tue, 6 Sep 2016 05:19:57 EST September 5, II Kings 4:18-37 The Shunammite woman's son http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6230341 I've heard this story preached about having strong unwavering faith and God will answer your prayers. She certainly had that strong faith but there is no promise that God will always answer in this way. For this woman, her son was the most cherished possssion she had, we don't know his age or the extent of the injury or illness. We can discern that he was still a lad, perhaps an early teen working in the fields, as when he is brought home he sits in his mother's lap. We can also see from ... Mon, 5 Sep 2016 05:20:22 EST September 4, II Kings 4:8-17 Elisha and the Shunammite Woman http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6229812 Some translations read a wealthy woman, others a great and others a woman fearing sin. The last would make her greater than wealth. <BR> She recognized Elisha as God's man and wanted him to be welcome in her home. An interesting concept, is God welcome in our homes? She went so far as to provide an actual guest room just for Elisha. I don't think that's necessary but I'm reminded of the movie The War Room, a closet converted into a prayer room. Not a bad idea. Elisha takes compassion on... Sun, 4 Sep 2016 05:05:04 EST September 3, II Kings 4:1-7 Elisha and the widow's oil http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6229298 I've heard twisted sermons on this section of scripture of how God will multiply whatever we have by faith but once again we have an occurance to a certain person for a specific reason. The first item to look at is the widow's husband incurred a debt, something scripture teaches in so many places we should avoid. Obviously all debts are not the same, a home mortgage is a secured debt and very few people can buy a house outright. But credit cards, and cash advances are unsecured and things ... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 05:31:24 EST September 2, II Kings 3:21-27 The defeat of Moab http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6228751 This battle, if one should call it that, is pretty gruesome but it's God's judgment on Moab, not for the breach of the treaty but for the idolatry. <BR> As the prophet says, they are to chop down all of the good trees, stop up the wells and fill the fields with stones but things get a bit out of hand. <BR> When the king of Moab looked out across that valley he never expected to see water, it's never been there before. So maybe God made it look like blood, perhaps the morning son gave it a r... Fri, 2 Sep 2016 04:55:55 EST September 1, II Kings 3:13-20 Elisha and the kings http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6228140 I was going to do this in two days but I saw something this morning that stood out. Elisha is wearing Elijah's mantle and the similarity of the names are significant. I think these kings see him and they remember Elijah at the same time. I like what the prophet first says to Jehoram, 'why don't you go ask the prophets of your father and mother?'. He's obviously an idolater and not putting his faith in God, but the response says a lot. “No; it is the Lord who has called these three kings t... Thu, 1 Sep 2016 04:50:55 EST August 31, II Kings 3:1-12 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6227498 I'm splitting this chpater in two days, first let's look at this agreement between Ahab and Moab. We don't know how this treaty came to be but the tribute of 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams is a lot of money. Now that Ahab is dead he apparently doesn't feel obligated to paying. So a war will start, note that as with most wars they start over money. The fact is that most fights in life of any kind have some root in money and greed. <BR> We also see that the son of Ahab kept rela... Wed, 31 Aug 2016 04:42:53 EST August 30, II Kings 2:15-25 Elisha and the she bears http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6226892 Two items to look at in this chapter, first it's the scholars who witnessed God taking Elijah want to go look for his body. Sort of foolish as they saw what happened, none the less what I really think is they want to find some artifact of his, maybe his garment or belt which they would enshrine and worship. We humans tend to do that, find some relic associated with God or an act of God and instead of focusing on God we focus on the relic. Which is the reason I believe so many ancient items... Tue, 30 Aug 2016 05:04:41 EST August 29, II Kings 2:-1-14 Elijah taken to heaven http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6226281 August 29, II Kings 2:-1-14 Elijah taken to heaven <BR> <BR> What a sight that would have been. There's so much in this story that I find exciting. Elijah already knows that today is the day he goes home, he's got to be excited about that. God sends him to several places and at each place the prophets there (more like bible students than actual prophets) also know that today is the day. So God has collected a small crowd to be witnesses to both his taking of Elijah and the passing on to... Mon, 29 Aug 2016 05:07:24 EST August 28, II Kings 1:-18 Elijah and Ahaziah http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6225736 When I read the stories in scriptures many times I have images of what's described, certainly not precise, we put things together from our past experiences. When I read that king Ahaziah fell through the roof I get a mixed image of slapstick comedy, a combination of three stooges, the Blues Brothers when the building is blown up, and Tom Haks in the Money Pit. None of these are accurate, it's just the images my mind brings forward. The king fell and suffered injuried sufficient to cause hi... Sun, 28 Aug 2016 06:10:28 EST August 27, 1 Kings 22:51-53 Ahaziah the son of Ahab http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6225208 Finishing the book of 1 KIngs today and the last entry is about Ahaziah the son of Ahab. All that it says here is that he was king for 2 years and did evil. I'd rather have history say nothing about me at all then say that I did evil before The Lord. <BR> <BR> No workout today, taking a rest day. Sat, 27 Aug 2016 05:32:27 EST August 26, 1 Kings 22:41-50 Jehoshaphat, king of Judah http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6224670 August 26, 1 Kings 22:41-50 Jehoshaphat, king of Judah <BR> <BR> For the most part Jehoshaphat was a good king, he tracked down and removed all of the cult prostitutes and walked upright before God. <BR> Yet we're told that he did not tear down the high places, places where people still worshipped idols. This is an interesting argument, we're all given free choice to chooe God or not. So from a standpoint of allowing this freedom is it wrong to let people worship false gods? Here in the ... Fri, 26 Aug 2016 05:11:29 EST August 25, 1 Kings 22:29-40 Death of Ahab http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6224113 August 25, 1 Kings 22:29-40 Death of Ahab <BR> <BR> There's a certain level of humor and stupidity in this story. First Ahab decides that since God has prophecied his eath, he'll disquise himself. That's stupid, you can't hide from God. The humor is in how Ahab dresses as a comon soldier yet Jehoshaphat dresses as king. I wonder why Jehoshaphat agreed to this, perhaps he was certain as the prophet did not foretell his death. The text reads that an archer simpy drew back a bow and this ... Thu, 25 Aug 2016 05:17:26 EST August 24, 1 Kings 22:13-28 God's real prophet http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6223510 August 24, 1 Kings 22:13-28 God's real prophet <BR> <BR> After all of the false prophets speak great victory to Ahab they bring in Micaiah. He is forewarned to speak what the rest have said yet stands on his ground and commits to speak only what God has revealed. I find the discourse interesting. I picture Ahab sitting on a throne and Jehoshaphat sitting on his left. He's on an elevated dias, the image I have is of Yul Brenner in the Ten Commandments when Moses comes in. There are lot... Wed, 24 Aug 2016 05:11:57 EST August 23, 1 Kings 22:1-12 False prophets http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6222914 August 23, 1 Kings 22:1-12 False prophets <BR> <BR> The first verse in this chapter deserves some consideration. For three years there was no war with Syria, it's as if to say that for three years nothing significant happened. That's most of our lives, we live large chuncks of time and nothing significant happens. With all of the millions of people that exist or have eisted only a handful are remembered past their own lives, and those who are remembered the fondest didn't try. Something... Tue, 23 Aug 2016 05:16:21 EST August 22, 1 Kings 21:17-29 Ahab is guilty http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6222297 August 22, 1 Kings 21:17-29 Ahab is guilty <BR> <BR> Picture this, Ahab has taken the vineyard and he's walking through it. He's happy and smiling, he has a large cluster of grapes in one hand and he's eating them. Right now life is good. Then he hears a voice, it's a familiar voice, it's Elijah. Suddenly Ahab feels this heavyness in his chest. Do you remember a time as a child you were doing something wrong and in the middle of it your mom or dad simply said your name? I think that's ... Mon, 22 Aug 2016 05:12:42 EST August 21, 1 Kings 21:1-16 Naboth's vinyard 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6221761 August 21, 1 Kings 21:1-16 Naboth's vinyard 3 <BR> <BR> Now we look at the third person in this story, Jezebel. Jezebel conspires for Naboth to die. This woman was truly evil, lusting only for personal gain, and pleasure. First she throws an insult at Ahab, asking him if he or Naboth governs Israel. It's kind of a joke to her as the real ruler is Jezebel. <BR> Like so many others who form conspiracies and seek power she has followers, people who will do anytihing for the right price. U... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 05:44:12 EST August 20, 1 Kings 21:1-16 Naboth's vinyard 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6221284 August 20, 1 Kings 21:1-16 Naboth's vinyard 2 <BR> <BR> Today we'll look at the second character in this story, Ahab. Ahab was a bad king, an evil and selfish man. We don't know enough of his history if he was always like this or if the office helped corrupt him. The adage that power corrupts. The king, or any government office for that matter, is to be a servant to the people. In most cases the people who seek these positions do so not to serve but to have power. I don't believe too... Sat, 20 Aug 2016 07:45:22 EST August 19, 1 Kings 21:1-16 Naboth's vinyard 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6220696 August 19, 1 Kings 21:1-16 <BR> <BR> The story of Ahab and Naboth's vineyard is probably the most fameous in the life of Ahab and Jezebel. It's really a complex story not only looking at what is right, but also looking at what is legal and what is practical. I want to look at each player seperately. So lets set the stage. Ahab is in his palace and daily he walks the grounds, he sees Naboth's vineyard and has this idea that he'd like to have that land. Maybe oneday Ahab sees Naboth workin... Fri, 19 Aug 2016 05:05:47 EST August 18, 1 Kings 20:26-43 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6220090 August 18, 1 Kings 20:26-43 <BR> <BR> Just as the prophet foretold Ahab, Ben Hadad has indeed returned to do battle with Israel. We don't know the size of Israel's army, they are compared to two little flocks of goats and the Syrians filled the countryside. Later in the chapter we're told that Israel slaughtred more than 100,000 soldiers. Consider that most professional football stadiums hold between 80 and 100 thousand people, that's how many this small force killed in one day. Now Ben... Thu, 18 Aug 2016 05:08:34 EST August 17, 1 Kings 20:13-23 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6219446 August 17, 1 Kings 20:13-23 <BR> <BR> It's unfortunate that the scripture doesn't tell us how many soldiers Ben Hadad had with him, we know only that it was greater than 7000. From the context I would say significantly greater just in infantry without counting the horse or chariots. We know that Ahab was not a good king, nearly every reference to him says that he did evil in the sight of the lord. None the less God will show Himself powerful and preserve Israel. <BR> And so a prophet of... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 05:04:07 EST August 16, 1 Kings 20:1-12 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6218790 August 16, 1 Kings 20:1-12 <BR> <BR> Ben Hadad is king of Syria and he's brought kings or clan chiefs from 32 surrounding areas to besiege Samaria. <BR> It seems to be an overwhelming force against the city. As was custom when confronted with such a situation the leader of the greater force may make certain demands and the conflict may be avoided. The problem here is the demands are never really satisfied. It's the same situation with terrorists, they will never be satisfied in any negoti... Tue, 16 Aug 2016 04:52:41 EST August 15, I Kings 19:19-21 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6218164 August 15, I Kings 19:19-21 <BR> <BR> I'd like to paint an image here but find it a bit difficult. While I remember as a small child actually seeing a neighbor plowing with two mules I doubt many people today know what it looks like. But let's try anyway, Elisha is plowing with 12 yoke of oxen, that actually means he has 24 oxen pulling 12 plows. Obviously he can't be doing all of the plowing so we have an image of a vast farmstead, most sources indicate that one yoke could plow between o... Mon, 15 Aug 2016 05:07:25 EST August 14, I Kings 19:9-18 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6217602 August 14, I Kings 19:9-18 <BR> <BR> Here we see Elijah climbing Mt Horeb, he’s spent 40 days traveling, he’s tired and dirty but the destination is here. Elijah finds a cave to camp in. We don’t know the weather, maybe he’s going in to get out of the sun or other elements. God comes and asks a profound question, do you get it? What are you doing here? Elijah doesn't actually answer, maybe he just doesn’t understand. I was at a weight loss support group last month and the question was ... Sun, 14 Aug 2016 05:39:56 EST August 13, I Kings 19:1-8 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6217093 August 13, I Kings 19:1-8 <BR> <BR> Ahab has gone home to Jezebel and she’s not happy with Elijah at all. Unfortunately Elijah usually takes some ridicule here. Just yesterday he was so bold to face 450 false prophets but today this one woman has him frightened for his life. Give credit where it’s due, in his trouble Elijah runs to God but let’s look deeper at what’s happened. Soldiers today returning from battle are forever changed. Years ago the term was shell shock, today we use PTSD... Sat, 13 Aug 2016 04:43:03 EST August 12, I Kings 18:41-46 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6216519 August 12, I Kings 18:41-46 <BR> <BR> Elijah dismisses Ahab, think about this a moment, Ahab is the king. What’s going through Ahab’s mind right now? He’s been an idolater, worshiping Baal yet for God’s purpose he’s been spared. Elijah shows him no specific respect, simply tells him to go, it’s about to rain. Now Elijah is on the mountain praying, God said that when Elijah speaks it He will send rain but not yet. I don’t know if there’s any connection to the seven times his servant look... Fri, 12 Aug 2016 04:46:34 EST August 11, I Kings 18:38-40 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6215938 August 11, I Kings 18:38-40 <BR> <BR> This could be the opening scene of a movie, the camera comes in across a range of mountains. It zooms in on one peak where we see a crowd of perhaps 1000 people. It's quiet, no-one is moving. The camera pans around and everything seems to be in slow or stop-motion, we've stopped time for just a moment. We see an older man with long gray hair and beard, he's kneeling down and in front of him, perhaps 20 feet there's a spot of blackened sand, a rough c... Thu, 11 Aug 2016 04:58:32 EST August 10, I Kings 18:30-40 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6215327 August 10, I Kings 18:30-40 <BR> <BR> Elijah has had enough, the prophets of Baal have spent most of the day and nothing has happened so now it’s God’s turn. Elijah first calls the people then he repairs the altar of God that Jezebel tore down. Think about this, the text just gives us a couple of sentences, he used 12 stones but how big was it? How did they put it together? How long did this take and how many people were involved? Not a simple task and it certainly took more than just ... Wed, 10 Aug 2016 04:51:33 EST August 9, I Kings 18:23-29 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6214704 August 9, I Kings 18:23-29 <BR> <BR> Again Elijah gives the perceived advantage to the prophets of Baal, he allows them to choose first. The rules are simple, whoever answers with fire will be god. Now scripture doesn’t say this but we have evidence throughout that demons can influence physical things. Perhaps these prophets at times contact a demon which could at times start a fire. Now today they have a certain confidence because of things that happened before. It’s a danger with occu... Tue, 9 Aug 2016 04:41:13 EST