chronological day 171 :)

Today we are reading 2 Kings 14:1-14, 2 Chronicles 25:1-24, 2 Kings 13:12-13, 2 Kings 14:15-16, 2 Kings 14:23-27, 2 Chronicles 25:25-28, 2 Kings 14:17-22, 2 Kings 15:1-5, and 2 Chronicles 26:1-21.  Then, finish by reading Jonah chapters 1,2,3, and 4.

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Some scholars say that the prophet Zechariah who counseled Uzziah is the same one who wrote the book of the Bible – another possible connection we are seeing in this chronological order.  Being wholehearted is so important – we’ve read about many kings who have done well in the eyes of God EXCEPT that the left the sex and religion shrines to prosper. When you are a leader, it is your responsibility to speak the truth and lead the people within your sphere of influence to the truth. Have you noticed this too: it was never only leaving the shrines.  Their disobedience spread to other areas and they eventually disobeyed God in a way that was more direct (not just allowing the sins of others, but then opening the door to sin in their own lives).

And the story of Jonah – that’s familiar, an old friend from our Sunday school days still offering a great lesson! I’m also thinking about this:

“BUT NO. The men tried rowing back to shore. They made no headway.  The storm only got worse and worse, wild and raging, THEN THEY PRAY to God, “O God! Don’t let us drown because of this man’s life, and don’t blame us for his death. You are God. Do what You think is best” (Jonah 1:13-14 MSG). Emphasis mine 🙂

They tried their own way first, THEN they prayed. After hearing from God and getting His direction, the sailors could continue in safety and Jonah’s mission could begin.

chronological day 170 :)

Our succession of kings continues.  Let’s read 2 Kings 13:1-11, 2 Kings 12:17-21, 2 Chronicles 24:23-27, and 2 Kings 13:14-25.  We’re either learning what to do or we are learning what not to do…. What’s your take-a-way today?

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So, after Jehu comes his son Jehohaz.  Things don’t get much better, unfortunately.  It seems as if he is off to a good start:

“then Jehohaz prayed for a softening of God’s anger, and God listened” (2 Kings 13:4 MSG)

Talk about patient and longsuffering – after all this, God still offers then a chance to return:

“God realized how wretched Israel had become under the brutalities of the king of Aram. So God provided a savior for Israel who brought them out from under Aram’s oppression. The children of Israel were again able to live at peace in their own homes. But it didn’t make any difference: They didn’t change their lives, didn’t turn away from the Jeroboam-sins that now characterized Israel, including the sex-and-religion shrines of Asherah still flourishing in Samaria” (2 Kings 13:5-6 MSG)

And again,

“But God was gracious and showed mercy to them.  He stuck with them out of respect for His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He never gave up on them, even even considered discarding them, even to this day” (2 Kings 13:23 MSG)

Even to this day. God is gracious still – He never gives up on us!

chronological day 169 :)

Today, we’ll read 2 Kings 11:1-3, 2 Chronicles 22:10-12, 2 Kings 11:4-12, 2 Chronicles 23:1-11, 2 Kings 11:13-16, 2 Chronicles 23:12-15, 2 Kings 11:17-21, 2 Chronicles 23:16-21, 2 Kings 12:1-16, 2 Chronicles 24:1-22, and 2 Kings 10:32-36.  Lots of ups and downs today. Is there anything in today’s reading that stands out to you?  What can you learn from the Word today?

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Even those leaders who are faithful to God leave shrines and items of idol worship. Why? Why can’t someone commit to a complete work? Jehu demonstrates some obedience, but not wholeheartedness. At this time,

“God began to shrink Israel” (2 Kings 10:32 MSG)

Everything shrinks, not just property: influence, blessing, favor, anointing… this was no small loss. God isn’t being unkind, He’s doing some major damage control.  Let’s be wholehearted in our pursuit of God, friends.

chronological day 168 :)

Today we have some parallels again.  Hang in there!  We’re reading 2 Chronicles 21:8-20, 2 Kings 8:23-29, 2 Chronicles 22:1-7, 2 Kings 9, 2 Kings 10:1-17, 2 Chronicles 22:8-9, and 2 Kings 10:18-31.  

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With this succession of kings, it’s hard to keep in sight that these are still God’s chosen people, in spite of their rebellion.  I wonder if they ever looked back and realized that their predecessors had made a terrible mistake in demanding a king.  Remember back 1 Samuel 8 that God Himself wanted to be their king? 

Jehu wasn’t careful to follow God with an “undivided heart”, and there were serious consequences. 

“Even then, though, Jehu wasn’t careful to walk in God’s ways and honor the God of Israel from an undivided heart. He didn’t turn back from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin” (2 Kings 10:31 MSG)

Our legacy, our reputation is so important. It’s so important to be singular in our purpose and worship, obedient in every area.

chronological day 167 :)

Today, we are reading 2 Kings chapters 5,6,7,and 8. Lots going on for Elisha, lots of ups and downs.  What is your highlight today?

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Today really showed us two sides of Elisha’s role as prophet.  He was responsible for delivering both good news (that must have been a joy!) and delivering bad news (that must have been heartbreaking).  Can you imagine the ability to see what would happen but still be powerless to stop it? Even when God offers warnings, they go unheeded at times.

Chapter 5 is misunderstanding after misunderstanding, oh my. It’s a reminder that even when we don’t understand, obedience is best AND it is okay to take a step back and ask questions. God isn’t offended by our questions.

Let’s highlight this prayer:

Elisha prayed, “O God, open his eyes and let him see.” (2 Kings 6:17 MSG)

What a wonderful prayer – Lord, open our eyes and let us see as well!

chronological day 166 :)

please read 2 Kings 2, and 2 Kings 4: Did today make you smile? It did me!

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“Elijah said to Elisha, ‘What can I do for you before I’m taken from you? Ask anything.’ Elisha said, ‘Your life repeated in my life. I want to be a holy man just like you.’ 

‘That’s a hard one!’ said Elijah. ‘But if you’re watching when I’m taken from you, you’ll get what you’ve asked for. But only if you’re watching.’ And so it happened. They were walking along and talking. Suddenly a chariot and horses of fire came between them and Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven” (2 Kings 2:9-11 MSG)

Can you imagine watching Elijah being swept up into heaven?  That would be scary UNLESS you have a solid relationship with God, as Elijah did.  I love his final request – he wanted Elijah’s life repeated in his life.  Finding such a godly example is such a gift.

I love the story of the woman and her oil – the miracle only stopped when she stopped providing the vessels.  I also love the Shunamite woman – can you imagine? Her son is dead and when someone asks how she is, she says she’s fine (2 Kings 4:26)? That’s faith, wow. God answered her faith – He will answer our faith too.

chronological day 165 :)

Please read 2 Kings 1, 2 Kings 3, 1 Kings 22:41-49, 2 Chronicles 20:31-37, 1 Kings 22:50, 2 Chronicles 21:1-4, 2 Kings 8:16-22, and 2 Chronicles 21:5-7. What stands out to you today?

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Every time David’s name comes up, I’m amazed again at the strength of the covenant God made with him.  God never forgets.  Consider putting a mark or highlight next to the places where God mentions the covenant – it’s powerful, and you’ll see David’s covenant last well into the new testament!

“But despite that, because of his servant David, God was not ready to destroy Judah. He had, after all, promised to keep a lamp burning through David’s descendants” (2 Kings 8:19 MSG)

Even kings who seemed to do well, left out important parts – like not getting rid of the sex shrines and idols.  It seems a reflection on us (as leaders) if we allow evil to prosper and grow on our watch.

chronological day 164 :)

Today, we’ll read 1 Kings 22:10-28, 2 Chronicles 18:9-27, 1 Kings 22:29-35, 2 Chronicles 18:28-34, 1 Kings 22:36-40, 1 Kings 22:51-53, 2 Chronicles 19, and 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.  Come on back and let’s visit – what stands out to you today?

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Macaiah continues to tell the truth, though the king is not pleased.

I saw all of Israel scattered over the hills,
    sheep with no shepherd.
Then God spoke: ‘These poor people
    have no one to tell them what to do’ “ (1 Kings 22:17 MSG)

It’s sad when he prophesies that the people are like sheep without a shepherd – when God Himself is willing to be their Shepherd!

“As long as Jehoshophat reigned, peace reigned” (2 Chron 20:30 MSG)

What a powerful testimony. Also, when Jehoshophat called his fast, I noticed that everyone participated – it reminded of how Moses led the people by his example.

 

chronological day 163 :)

Today, we’ll read 1 Kings 20:23-43, 1 Kings 21, 1 Kings 22:1-9, and 2 Chronicles 18:1-8.  So much going on, it’s so hard to just “hit the highlights” or even pick out what the highlights are!  Something different stands out to you than stands out to me, I’m sure!

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“Before you do anything, ask God for guidance” (2 Chron. 18:4 MSG)

That’s great advice, but Ahab has not been listening to God (and after yesterday!  Come on, Ahab!). He has prophets, but he’s hand picking the ones who only tell him what he wants to hear.  We should desire truth over comfort.

chronological day 162 :)

Please read 1 Kings 17:8-24, 1 Kings 18, 1 Kings 19, and 1 Kings 20:1-22.  Head on back when you’ve finished and let’s visit!

162

What a great day! Elijah continues to be obedient and has a great victory – isn’t that how it happens for us as well?  I’ve heard people criticize Elijah for going into hiding after the great show against Baal’s prophets, when Jezebel swears revenge against him – but I think he was just exhausted, and didn’t feel equal to an immediate follow-up battle. (I understand that God is faithful – I’m just also understanding that Elijah was human). We get 2 chapters, but when you really think about being left alone, the only prophet of God in the middle of all that evil…. It was ALOT and it took more than the 5 minutes it took us to read it! He wanted a rest – I get it!

Love the wisdom of Ahab when Ben-Hadad threatens:

“Think about it – it’s easier to start a fight than end one” (1 Kings 20:11 MSG).

Truth. What about God using Ahab to strike the first blow?  What a faith booster there!