Friday, January 31, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 52 Friday

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Obadiah

A prophecy concerning Edom. There are various opinions as to when the troubles of Judah referred to in this book took place. Some suggest that this refers to the Babylonian invasion and consequent captivity but the notes of my Open Bible suggest that it was during the reign of King Jehoram when the Philistines and Arabians invaded Judah (see II Chronicles 21:16, 17 which is a parallel passage to what we have been reading in II Kings). Whenever it was, Edom was not a quiet observer but a willing participant who was helping to destroy Judah. God noted their treachery and declared that such would happen to them also.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God commanded Obadiah to prophesy against Edom.


Does God make any promises?

  • Even though Edom was proud the LORD promised to bring him down.
  • God promised destruction to Edom, the country of Esau, for their violence against the Jews, the children of Jacob. The passage indicates that when the land of Judah was distressed by her enemies Edom hunted down any Jew who escaped and executed him.
  • The people of the south would possess the mount of Edom, the people of the plains would possess Philistia and the fields of Ephraim and Samaria. Benjamin would possess Gilead.


Does this book teach anything about Jesus?

  • "The day of the Lord" refers to judgment, in this case upon several nations. Jesus is that judge.
  • In verse 21, the very last verse, it states that saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau. Again, Jesus is the judge. He is also the Lord over the kingdom.


Does this book teach anything about yet-future events?

  •  We are told in New Testament prophecy of another "Day of the Lord" that is yet to come.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 52 Thursday

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II Kings chapter 8

This chapter is full of politics and Elisha was in the middle of most of it! Syria's king Benhadad was murdered in his bed while recovering from illness. Elisha foretold this evil and what the murderer, who declared himself king, would do to Israel. Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, married into the household of Ahab and did evil in the sight of the LORD. Edom rebelled and refused to pay tribute to Judah. They set their own king upon their throne. Libnah also revolted from being led by Judah. When Jehoram, king of Judah died (also called Joram, but not to be confused with King Joram of Israel who was his brother-in-law), his son Ahaziah reigned. His mother was Athaliah, the daughter of the wicked Ahab. The twenty-two year old Ahaziah went with his uncle, King Joram of Israel, to battle against Hazael of Syria.

Does God issue any commands?

  • It is not stated, but it appears that God sent Elisha to Syria to prophesy the death of Benhadad and the evil that Hazael would do to Benhadad and to the people of Israel.


Does God make any promises?

  • God announced to Elisha that He would send a 7 year famine to Israel.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • When she petitioned him, the king of Israel restored to the woman of Shunem all the land that was hers as well as any increase taken from it during the famine while she was away. King Jesus restores life to all who petition Him. Old things pass away and all things become new.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Although Jesus makes all things new in our lives we do not yet see the full increase that is ours because we are yet living in the land of famine. Someday this world will pass away and we will share the new Earth with God. As the Alpha and Omega, Jesus is already there in the future and decrees that these things are ours even though we are waiting for the time to come when we can occupy our land and eat the increase from it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 52 Wednesday

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II Kings chapter 7

Because of God, the Syrians were hearing things! They fled in haste and left all their food and belongings behind!

Does God issue any commands?

  • No.


Does God make any promises?

  • Through Elisha God promised that on the very next day there would be abundant food being sold.
  • One of the king's chief lords who doubted God's promise was told that he would see the food that God provided but that he would not eat it.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • God miraculously provided for the hunger and thirst of the people. Jesus told all who are hungry and thirsty to come to Him because He is both the Bread of Life and the Water of Life. Those who come to Him will never be spiritually hungry or thirsty again.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Those of us who have exchanged spiritual leprosy and starvation for the Bread of Life will one day eternally feast upon the bounty that God so richly provides for His people!

Journal Through the Bible: Week 52 Tuesday

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II Kings chapter 6

The horses and chariots of fire return but this time they were there to protect Elisha and not to take away his mentor, Elijah.

In the first part of the chapter a king of Syria sends raiding parties into Israel in order to capture the king of Israel. Elisha is seen by the king of Israel as the hero of that story. Later in the chapter Benhadad, king of Syria, besieged the capital city of Samaria with all of his troops thus causing great starvation of the inhabitants. Elisha is seen by the king of Israel to be the villain at that time.

Does God issue any commands?

  • We are not told that God commands Elijah to do anything however we are told that God answered the requests of Elijah to open they eyes of Elijah's servant and to alternately blind and open the eyes of the enemies around them. Since this is the type of prayer of faith that Jesus told His followers would be answered by God if the petitioner had faith as a grain of mustard seed and the prayer was in the will of God it would seem likely that Elisha knew the heart of God before he ever asked.


Does God make any promises?

  • The only thing I saw that could be considered a promise was that God was telling Elisha the strategic attack plans of the king of Syria against the king of Israel. As long as the king of Israel took the information seriously and sent troops against the raiders he was safe.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Like Elisha, Jesus dwells with His disciples. That's why he is "God with us" (Emmanuel).
  • Like Elisha, Jesus knows all innermost thoughts and plans. He told His disciples that one day everyone will be held accountable for every word they have spoken.
  • Like Elisha, Jesus was popular as long as everything was going well. But let circumstances and fortunes change and He is marked for death!
  • Like Elisha, Jesus communed with the rulers of the people concerning the plight of the people. In Elisha's case it was physical food that the people were lacking. In Jesus' case He told them that the people were spiritually starving.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • None that I identified.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 52 Monday

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II Kings chapter 5

At some point in recent Biblical history God had given Syria success against Israel. As a result, Captain Naaman possessed a Jewish slave girl who knew about the Prophet Elisha and his ability to heal. On his next successful mission into Israel Naaman possessed a love for the God of Israel!

Does God issue any commands?

  • Through Elisha Naaman was told to wash in the Jordan River seven times.


Does God make any promises?

  • Through Elisha God promised that Naaman would be clean if he obeyed and washed in the Jordan seven times.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The number 7 stands for completion in the Bible. Anything that is complete, or fulfilled, must be a picture of Jesus, the complete Man and complete God.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Elisha's servant, Gehazi, lusted after the riches offered by Naaman, the rich Syrian but he learned the hard way that God's blessings are not for sale. The apostles met a man named Simon the Sorcerer in the New Testament (Acts chapter 8) who desired to obtain riches by doing the works of God. Jesus warned His followers not to labor for earthly treasures and rewards but to wait for the reward that the Father will one day give us in Heaven because those who do things for wealth or to be envied by men have their reward now. Those who are willing to wait to be acknowledged by the Father will have an eternal reward.
"Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?" verse 26b

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 51 Saturday

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II Kings chapter 4

Elisha miraculously helped a widow with two sons to pay her debts using borrowed jars and a pot of oil. He also encountered the woman of Shunem and her husband.
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shal receive a righteous man's reward.  Matthew 10:41
Later he would go to Gilgal where the prophets were gathered. He would miraculously make the poison soup fit to eat.

Does God issue any commands?

  • Through Elisha God commanded that all the prophets gathered be fed from the relatively small firstfruit offering.


Does God make any promises?

  • The LORD promised that there would be enough food from the small portion given as a firstfruit offering to feed the large company of prophets and that there would even be food left over.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The great woman of Shunem (as she is called in verse 8) is exactly the kind of hospitable woman that Jesus had in mind when He said the words of Matthew 10:41 to His disciples as He sent them out to minister in Israel.
  • This woman of Shunem was a humble woman who was content with the life God had given her. She exhibited the humility of Christ Himself. She refused to make herself a reputation when it was offered to her but was satisfied to dwell among her own people. Jesus came unto His own and was content to dwell among them also. Because He was Emmanuel, God with us, He could be tested and tempted as we are yet remain without sin.
  • The woman of Shunem would not tell her request to anyone but the man of God. She claimed that all was well -- and it was, as the hymn "It Is Well" reminds us. She knew the man of God was the only one who could deal with the situation: the death of her son. When we are in despair it is only Jesus, the Man of God, that can deal with the situation and answer our petition. She clung to Elisha in faith just as we must cling to Jesus in faith. When her petition was granted she fell at Elisha's feet in thanksgiving.
  • Elisha took an offering of bread and firstfruits and multiplied them to feed a large crowd. This is like the miracles of loaves and fishes that Jesus did twice to feed large crowds of His followers.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Death is a horror that touches every family. The Shunnamite woman teaches us that we must cling in faith to the feet of the Man of God and take our despair to Him. At the appointed time He will raise our loved one from the dead and then we will bow at His feet again but in reverence and thanksgiving. Someday we will see with our own eyes our loved ones who have departed and will know by experience that Jesus is the conqueror of death.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 51 Friday

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II Kings chapter 3

King Jehoshaphat of Judah received a request from King Jehoram of Israel to go to war with him. He agreed to commit Judah's troops to fight alongside Israel's troops against Moab just as he had agreed with Jehoram's father, King Ahab, to go to war against Syria a few years earlier. They were joined by the King of Edom also.

Does God issue any commands?

  • Through Elisha God commanded the forces of Judah, Israel, and Edom to dig ditches throughout the valley.


Does God make any promises?

  • Through Elisha God promised to deliver Moab into the hands of the three kings and their armies.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Elisha would only answer the questions of the three kings because he noted that the king of Judah, the descendant of David, was among them. God will only answer our prayers when He notes that King Jesus, the descendant of David, is among us.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The enemy of our souls always treats us as though we are his friends but he has no love or regard for us and would sacrifice us at a moment's notice. This will be the case until the end. He will deceive many to follow him into battle against the King but all will be sacrificed in vain for his cause. This is well pictured in this chapter by the sacrifice made by the king of Moab of his own son and heir to the throne.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 51 Thursday

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II Kings chapter 2

With the exception of Enoch, no one else but Elijah was taken alive in his natural body into Heaven!

Does God issue any commands?

  • God did not speak.


Does God make any promises?

  • God did not speak, however, Elijah told Elisha that he would need to be witness to Elijah's ascent for his request of a double portion of Elijah's spirit to rest upon him. This would need to be a promise that came from the LORD.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The Chariot of Israel that carried Elijah to Heaven is also a picture of Jesus. It is through Jesus that entrance is gained into Heaven.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • It is probable that at least one of the two prophets in Revelation chapter 11 is Elijah, one of only two men in the Bible who did not die.

TAKE TIME: January 27 - February 1, 2014 Schedule

Introduction: Elisha is the prophet in Israel who succeeded Elijah. During his ministry he healed Naaman, a captain in the Syrian army, who had taken an Israelite girl captive. He also did several miracles. Some say that he worked twice as many miracles as did Elijah and that this is because he asked for and obtained double the spirit of Elijah.

 Assignment:
  • Monday - II Kings chapter 5
  • Tuesday - II Kings chapter 6
  • Wednesday - II Kings chapter 7
  • Thursday - II Kings chapter 8
  • Friday - The book of Obadiah (it is just 1 chapter)
  • Saturday - II Kings chapter 9


Memory Verse

And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. II Kings 6:16


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God that He is omniscient. Nothing ever surprises God!
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.


Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?


Putting the Word into Action

Last week we read about one of the miracles of Elisha. He asked God to give a son to the woman and man in Shunem who kept a guest chamber in their home for his use. There are many childless couples today who desire children. In keeping with the time around the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and in the spirit of Elijah this would be a good time to help your local pregnancy center. If you cannot volunteer to work there perhaps you could give a monetary donation. Or perhaps you know of a family that has recently adopted a child and you could provide the new parents with a date night by giving them event tickets and free babysitting while they are at the event.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Read Through the Bible in 2014: January 27 - February 1

1/27/2014      Genesis 11:10-12:20 Matthew 9, 10
1/28/2014      Genesis 13-15 Matthew 11
1/29/2014      Genesis 16-18 Matthew 12
1/30/2014      Genesis 19, 20 Matthew 13
1/31/2014      Genesis 21-23 Matthew 14
2/1/2014      Genesis 24, 25 Matthew 15, 16

Journal Through the Bible: Week 51 Wednesday

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II Kings chapter 1

Does God issue any commands?

  • God sent Elijah to the messengers of Ahaziah, king of Israel, with a message of his own.
  • God told Elijah to go down off the mountain and that it was safe to go with the captain of the 50 who pleaded for his life and the lives of his men.


Does God make any promises?

  • Ahaziah, king of Israel, would die from the wounds he received when he fell down through a lattice from an upper story room.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The angel of the Lord is often Jesus in scripture. It might have been Jesus who spoke with Elijah and sent him to prophecy against Ahaziah.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 51 Tuesday

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I Kings chapter 22

Three years had passed since Elijah had delivered his prophecy to Ahab concerning his violent death. Now the kings of Israel and Judah were united to fight against the king of Syria so that Israel might take back possession of Ramoth-gilead. But when it came to calling upon God it became obvious that the kings of Israel and Judah did not serve the same One. Ahab's god had horns. Literally. Israel could not get away from the Golden Calf  that Jeroboam had made them to worship. Jehoshaphat asked for a true prophet of the LORD to be called. There was one named Micaiah. This prophet had a vision of the LORD upon His throne accepting the offer of a lying spirit to lead Ahab to his death at Ramoth-gilead using the bull horns. This would fulfill the promise that God had Elijah deliver to Ahab three years prior.

Ahab's battle plan seems duplicitous. His plan was to go into battle in disguise but send Jehoshaphat into battle in full royal attire. What was the purpose of that? And why did Jehoshaphat agree to this? Going into battle so robed made King Jehoshaphat an easy target. Maybe that was Ahab's plan. If he really believed the message delivered by his prophets he would be victorious over the Syrian king. Perhaps he thought the Syrians would kill the king of Judah so that Ahab would take control of the army of Judah, too. They were already there fighting beside Ahab's troops!

Does God issue any commands?

  • God put the words of prophecy in Micaiah's mouth and told him to deliver them to Ahab and Jehoshaphat.


Does God make any promises?

  • The prophet Micaiah prophesied that Israel would be scattered without a shepherd after the battle and that every man would return to his own home. 
  • The former promised concerning the dogs licking Ahab's blood in Samaria came to pass.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is God in the flesh. Micaiah has a vision of the Lord on His heavenly throne. This is Jesus.
  • When Jehoshaphat cried out he most likely offered a prayer requesting deliverance. Jesus, who is God, answered his prayer.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The servants of God work beside the servants of the gods of this world today but one day their cries for deliverance will be answered and they will be taken to reign once more in the kingdom promised to them by God. That is the lesson learned from Jehoshaphat.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 51 Monday

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I Kings chapter 21

Does God issue any commands?

  • After the death of Naboth God sent Elijah to King Ahab to tell him that the dogs would lick his blood in the same location that they licked Naboth's.


Does God make any promises?

  • Not only did God promise Ahab a violent death but He promised that all the male descendants of Ahab would be destroyed thus ending his dynasty.
  • God also promised a violent death for Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.
  • Because Ahab humbled himself by fasting and repenting in sackcloth and ashes God promised that the prophesied curse upon his posterity would not happen in his lifetime but in the lifetime of his son.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The confrontation and conversation between King Ahab and Naboth about the latter's vineyard is very like the conversation and temptation between Jesus and Satan when Jesus was sent into the wilderness to be tested. Ahab offered Naboth a better vineyard but Naboth wanted to keep what was his by inheritance. Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world, but Jesus was not interested in the worldly kingdoms of Satan because He had His own Kingdom and vineyard that He wanted to keep (and is still keeping). When Ahab and Satan did not get their way they had the righteous individuals, Naboth and Jesus, killed at the word of slanderous testimony that claimed the righteous person had blasphemed God, which is an ironic twist coming from the minds of evil.
  • Jezebel reacts to the news of Naboth's death much like the religious leaders who put Jesus to death reacted when they heard He was dead. They rejoiced at the news.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.

Monday, January 20, 2014

TAKE TIME: January 20-25, 2014 Schedule

Introduction: Elijah is one of two men that were spared from death because God took them. Elisha was Elijah's successor as the prophet in Israel.

 Assignment:
  • Monday - I Kings chapter 21
  • Tuesday - I Kings chapter 22
  • Wednesday - II Kings chapter 1
  • Thursday - II Kings chapter 2
  • Friday - II Kings chapter 3
  • Saturday - II Kings chapter 4


Memory Verse

Review verses from previous weeks.


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God that He is the giver and sustainer of life.
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.


Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?


Putting the Word into Action

Elisha prayed to have a double spirit of Elijah given to him. His prayer was answered! As we witness the spiritual decline around us much as it was happening in ancient Israel we need to pray that God would send a double spirit of revival to us today. This is probably the most important action we can make. The Lord still hears and answers prayers.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 50 Saturday

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I Kings 20:22-43

Does God issue any commands?

  • Through the prophet sent to Ahab God warned him to pay attention to the details of the battle that they had just won against Syria because the king of Syria would return at the first of the year.
  • Through one of the prophets God commanded another prophet to hit the prophet in order to wound him so that the wounded prophet could go before Ahab disguised to teach the king a lesson about making a covenant with the enemy.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised to defeat the Syrians because they said He was a god of the hills but not of the valleys. God wanted Ahab to know that He is the one true God.
  • God promised that the prophet who refused to obey God and wound the first prophet would be killed by a lion.
  • God promised a curse upon Ahab and Israel for allowing Benhadad, king of Syria, to leave in peace.


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • God told Ahab that He was going to require Ahab's blood as the price of the peace treaty with His enemy, the king of Syria. God required Jesus' blood as the price of the peace treaty between us, His rebel enemies, and Himself. Life for life.


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Read Through the Bible in 2014: January 20-25


1/20/2014      Job 30, 31 Matthew 1
1/21/2014      Job 32, 33 Matthew 2, 3
1/22/2014      Job 34-36 Matthew 4
1/23/2014      Job 37, 38 Matthew 5
1/24/2014      Job 39, 40 Matthew 6
1/25/2014      Job 41, 42 Matthew 7, 8

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 50 Friday

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I Kings 19:4-20:21

The tired, battle-weary Elijah prayed to God to be allowed to die. At first it appears that his wish will be granted. God told him to anoint Elisha as his replacement. God also set him straight about his assertion that he was the only follower of God left in Israel. There were 7,000 by God's count.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God demanded to know from Elijah what he was doing in the cave.
  • God told Elijah to stand on the mountain outside the cave. When God passed by the wind, earthquake, and fire tore the mountain but God was not in them (which must mean that Satan was!). Then God spoke to him in a still, small voice.
  • God told Elijah to go to the wilderness of Damascus and anoint Hazael to be king of Syria. Then he was to anoint Jehu to be king over Israel, and Elisha to be the prophet who would take his place.


Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that any unfaithful missed by the sword of Hazael would be killed by Jehu and that any missed by Jehu would be destroyed by Elisha.
  • God promised to deliver Benhadad and the host of Syria into the hands of King Ahab and Israel.


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Elijah went for 40 days and nights on the strength of the food fed to him by the angels. Jesus went on the strength of the Spirit for 40 days and nights when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Afterward He was fed by the angels.
  • Jesus told His disciples that He would be with them always in Spirit. The Holy Spirit that indwells the believer is like a still, small voice that uses the Word of God to speak to those who will listen.


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • At the word of the LORD, the king of Israel and all of his princes battled and won the battle against the enemy of the LORD's people. The LORD has already sent word that His King will lead the final battle against all of His enemies and will defeat them.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 50 Thursday

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I Kings 18:17-19:3

This is one of those well-known passages of scripture detailing the showdown on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God answered the prayer of Elijah based upon commandments that He had previously given to the Children of Israel, the most notable being the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Another thing He had told them was that they were not to cut themselves or to seek the help of evil spirits. (See Leviticus chapter 19.)
  • In Elijah's prayer He asked God to prove Himself to the people to show that Elijah had done all these things at God's command. (18:36)


Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak directly, but it is evident that He had made promises to Elijah that He would show the people a sign prior to sending rain after the 3 1/2 year drought.


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the God who rained the fire down from Heaven upon the sacrifice, wood, water, dust surrounding the altar, and even the stones of the altar itself. Our God is a consuming fire and is to be worshiped with reverence. (See Hebrews 12:24-29.)


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 50 Wednesday

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I Kings 17:1-18:16

Does God issue any commands?

  • God commanded Elijah the Tishbite to go eastward and hide near the brook Cherith.
  • God commanded the ravens to feed Elijah.
  • God commanded Elijah to get to Zarephath, a town in Zidon, where a widow woman would feed him. (I appreciate God's humor here. Zidon was the country of the wicked Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab (16:31). God took Elijah to the enemy's home country where He hid and fed him! He also saved the Zidonian widow woman from Baal worship.)
  • God commanded a certain widow woman in Zarephath to feed Elijah.
  • God commanded Elijah to go stand before Ahab. This was after there had not been rain for 3 1/2 years!


Does God make any promises?

  • God promised Elijah that He would feed him via the ravens.
  • God promised through Elijah that the widow's provisions of meal and oil would not fail.


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • It is because of the resurrection of her son that the widow knew that the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah was the truth. Even the miracle of the food wasn't enough to convince her. It is because of the resurrection of God's Son that we know that the word of the LORD spoken by the prophets is true. Even the miracles that Jesus performed are not enough on their own. It takes His bodily resurrection to validate His claims!


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • One day there will be no famine, no evil, no drought. God will provide for His own perfectly and abundantly.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 50 Tuesday

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I Kings chapter 16

It was quite a time of upheaval in Israel! The throne of the northern kingdom changed hands from dynasty to dynasty in a series of coups d'etat.

Does God issue any commands?

  • We can infer that God told the prophet Jehu to go to Baasha to deliver God's message to him.


Does God make any promises?

  • God made the same promise (curse) to Baasha as He did to Jeroboam. Talking through the prophet Jehu, God told Baasha that his family would be destroyed because as king he made the people of Israel to sin. This came to pass during the reign of Elah, Baasha's son. Elah was killed by Zimri, one of his captains, who then killed Baasha's family and took the throne after his act of treason. (He only reigned for 7 days before being dethroned himself.)


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • In the southern kingdom that was reigned by the House of David, Asa watched as the rebellious nation of Israel was led by one rebel leader after another as dynasties were dethroned. Nothing was stable in that neighboring country, including the government! Jesus, the creator of all, still watches as our rebellious world follows one rebel leader after another, each progressively worse than the one before. Ultimately the rebellious will follow the Anti-Christ, the one whose sole purpose is to dethrone King Jesus, but he will himself be defeated.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • None that I identified.



Journal Through the Bible: Week 50 Monday

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I Kings chapter 15

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak in this chapter.


Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak in this chapter, but Baasha fulfilled the promise (curse) made to Jeroboam by destroying all of Jeroboam's family.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • God kept the kingly line of David in place because of His promise to David. Jesus would ultimately be the fulfillment of that promise through David's kingly line.
  • The zeal of Asa to cleanse the religious practices of the people was like the zeal that Jesus showed in cleansing the temple centuries later.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • After the defeat of the northern king, Baasha, King Asa used the material of the conquered cities to build Geba and Mizpah. The New Earth will most likely be built from the conquered territory (this old earth) after the final battle when Jesus defeats Satan. Several passages in the New Testament talk about the treasures that the Christian lays up in Heaven (gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, hay, stubble) based upon his activities in this life. (See Matthew 6:19-21 and I Corinthians 3:12-13.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 49 Saturday

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I Kings chapter 14

It did not take long for God to pass sentence against the northern kingdom! There first king was on the throne when He told the king's wife that the day was coming when the people would be removed from their homeland and scattered among the nations.

The southern kingdom did not fare much better! Five years after the death of Solomon, the Egyptians stripped the Temple and the palaces of all their gold.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God told Ahijah the words to say to Jeroboam's wife, a woman who was to pretend to be someone besides the wife of the king.


Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that the northern kingdom would be torn away from the family of Jeroboam.
  • God promised that the child would die.
  • God promised that the people of the northern kingdom would be punished for their idolatry.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The prophet Ahijah possessed knowledge about a situation which he could not know about unless the LORD revealed it to him. In Jesus' earthly ministry He exhibited the ability to know things that he should not have had the ability to know. This included being a learned scholar even though he had never received an education, having knowledge of complex doctrines at a young age, and knowing what was in the hearts and minds of everyone He met including when He called His first disciples to follow Him.
  • The prophet Ahijah told Jeroboam's wife that her child would die and that God would allow him only of Jeroboam's descendants to be buried because there was found some good thing toward the LORD God in the child. Perhaps this young man had a child's belief in Jehovah or perhaps the child was still a toddler. Either way, he was a child. Jesus taught that one must have a child-like faith in order to enter His kingdom. (Matthew 18:2-4)


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • 14:21 states that Jerusalem is where God chose to put His name and that this is where Rehoboam, the grandson of David, reigned. One day that kingly line will return to reign in Jerusalem, the city where God chose to put His name. 

TAKE TIME: January 13-19, 2014

Introduction: Last week we read that Israel divided into two kingdoms. The northern kingdom kept the name of Israel and was ruled by various families while the southern kingdom took the name of Judah and was ruled by the descendants of King David. We will continue reading about these two kingdoms and the prophets that ministered to them. This week we will begin reading about the prophet Elijah.

 Assignment:
  • Monday - I Kings chapter 15
  • Tuesday - I Kings chapter 16
  • Wednesday - I Kings 17:1-18:16
  • Thursday - I Kings 18:17-19:3
  • Friday - I Kings chapter 19:4-20:21
  • Saturday - I Kings 20:22-43


Memory Verse

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If he LORD be God, follow him but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. I Kings 18:21


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God that He is the God of peace who will one day unite all of His kingdom under the leadership of His Son, Jesus Christ.
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.


Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?


Putting the Word into Action

Even the people of God can easily be led astray from true worship. The prophet Elijah confronted Ahab and Jezebel for corrupting the worship of Jehovah in Israel. Many people today are led astray by the gods of this world. This year is still in its infant stages. Now would be a good time to repent of all greed that tends to hang on after the most indulgent time of the year has ended. Put away the gods of your life: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life and determine to make this a year where you walk closer with the Lord in Bible study (not just reading) and prayer. Your year will be much better if you decide not "to halt between two opinions," as Elijah put it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Read Through the Bible in 2014: January 13-18


1/13/2014      Job 16, 17 John 15
1/14/2014      Job 18, 19 John 16, 17
1/15/2014      Job 20, 21 John 18
1/16/2014      Job 22, 23 John 19
1/17/2014      Job 24-26 John 20
1/18/2014      Job 27-29 John 21

Journal Through the Bible: Week 49 Friday

source
I Kings chapter 13

Does God issue any commands?

  • God told the prophet who delivered the message to Jeroboam not to eat or drink in Israel. He was not to turn back either but was to leave that place. (He disobeyed when he believed the lying prophet.)
  • The prophet that lied to the first prophet then told him that God was going to kill him for his disobedience.


Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that a descendant of David, named Josiah, would burn the bones of the priests who offered sacrifices upon Jeroboam's altar to his false god upon that very altar.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The prophet who was sent by the LORD delivered the message but then was deceived and disobeyed because he forgot his mission. Jesus was sent by God also but He delivered His message while remaining sinless. He never forgot His message.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Just as the old prophet who deceived the other prophet testified that the message delivered to Jeroboam would indeed come to pass we can be sure that the message delivered to us about judgment to come will also come to pass.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 49 Thursday

source
I Kings chapter 12

Does God issue any commands?

  • God commanded Rehoboam not to fight against Jeroboam and the people of Israel.


Does God make any promises?

  • No.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The advisers of Solomon, Rehoboam's deceased father, counseled him to become a servant of the people stating that if he did the people would also be his servants forever. (Verse 7) Jesus came as a servant and we, His people, will serve him forever. The people had requested an easier burden. Jesus promised a lighter load for His followers.
  • After the third day Rehoboam promised the people a burden heavier than ever before. After His third day, Jesus fulfilled His promise of lightening the load of His people's burden. 


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • None that I identified.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 49 Wednesday

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Ecclesiastes chapters 11 and 12

Near the conclusion of Solomon's volume is a poetic description of growing old. But at the very end he exhorts all to fear God and keep His commands. This is our whole duty and we will be judged by how well we do this.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak directly in these chapters.


Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak directly in these chapters.


Do these chapters teach anything about Jesus?

  • Solomon exhorted young men to remember their Creator while they are young. Jesus did! Luke tells of Jesus' experience in the Temple at the age of 12 when He spoke to the religious leaders about His Father.
  • Jesus is the only man who perfectly feared (reverenced) God and kept His commandments. 


Do these chapters teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Once again, Solomon warns of coming judgment. This time he was speaking specifically about young men who think that youth lasts forever and that they shall be totally unaccountable for the decisions they make. One day everyone stands before God, the Supreme Judge. (11:9-10 and 12:14)

Journal Through the Bible: Week 49 Tuesday

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Ecclesiastes chapters 9 and 10

Solomon considered that some things happen to all men, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God did not speak directly in these chapters.


Does God make any promises?

  • God did not speak directly in these chapters.


Do these chapters teach anything about Jesus?

  • Solomon declared that all works of men are in the hand of God. (9:1-10) The New Testament teaches that it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27. Also see Revelation 20:12) When the Apostle John said he saw the dead small and great stand before God he is referring to Jesus, the Judge of all men.
  • Solomon stated that men do not know how long they have to live.(9:12) It was not so for Jesus. He knew when it was His time and when it was not His time. (The whole gospel of John!)
  • Solomon stated that wisdom is better than weapons. Jesus was the master of using wisdom against His enemies.
  • Solomon saw servants on horses while princes walked as servants upon the earth. (10:7) Jesus was just such a prince. He took on the form of man and made himself of no reputation. (Philippians 2:5-7)
  • Solomon warned not to curse the king even in private. (10:20) This is where the platitude "A little bird told me!" originated. Jesus, the omniscient God, knows all the thoughts of our hearts.


Do these chapters teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The warnings about the works of men's hands being examined and the "event" that comes to all is a warning to all of the judgment to come.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 49 Monday

source
Ecclesiastes chapters 7 and 8

Does God issue any commands in these chapters?

  • God does not speak directly in these chapters.


Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak directly in these chapters.


Do these chapters teach anything about Jesus?
  • More than anyone, Jesus proves the validity of 7:1. His good name healed the sick, raised the dead, and gave sight to the blind. And as nice as it is to celebrate His birth, it is His death (and subsequent resurrection) that is the real cause for rejoicing!
  • The book of Proverbs often personifies Wisdom. Jesus is the actual embodiment of wisdom and Solomon lists some of the riches that wisdom provides.
  • Solomon, an earthly king, lectured on propriety when standing before a king so as not to offend him. Jesus, the eternal king, offers us His friendship.


Do these chapters teach anything about yet-future events?
  • The wise person learns the lessons that death and mourning teach. Death is coming for all of us! Be prepared! (7:2-4)
  • Solomon told of the wicked who were buried and forgotten. (8:10) The wicked will be forever separated from the living in eternity.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 48 Saturday

Source
Ecclesiastes chapters 5 & 6

Solomon realized that a temporal view of life is depressing. On the other hand, an eternal view is liberating!

Does God issue any commands in this passage?

  • In Numbers chapter 30, which is part of the law given to Moses, God gave commands concerning making and keeping vows. Solomon emphasizes this command and gives reason why it is urgent to keep it. (5:4-7)
  • Solomon also championed the cause of the poor. (5:8) God commanded the Israelites in Leviticus to not take advantage of the poor because He would avenge them if they cried out to Him.


Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak directly in these chapters however Solomon does refer to the provision of God upon those who labor. He calls the benefit of this labor a person's portion or a gift from God. (This is the basis of God's command not to steal. The things gained from honest labor belong to the person who worked for them. God honors the laborer and his labor by giving him joy in his heart because of his busy days.)


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus behaved himself wisely when He visited His Father's House. His words proved that He was no fool.
  • Jesus kept all of His vows to God. He finished the work that the Father gave Him to do and to which He agreed in the predeterminate counsel between all the members of the Godhead.
  • Jesus gave up the mansions of Heaven for a season. The owner of the whole world seemed to have few earthly possessions in His sojourn on earth. He obviously had no desire to take it all with Him to Heaven when He left! And yet, God provided for His needs throughout His whole life, most notably during the time of His earthly ministry.


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Solomon sorrows over the fact that the wealth that one obtains on earth does not go into eternity with the person. (5:13-16) Jesus said that we are to labor to set aside treasures in Heaven because those we will have for all eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21) Someday we will all leave what we gathered on earth and will gain our eternal possessions.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

TAKE TIME: January 6-11, 2014

This was edited 1/9/14 to correct errors to the schedule on Thursday-Saturday.

Introduction: This week we finish reading Ecclesiastes, the book that Solomon wrote under the pseudonym of The Preacher. Then we will begin reading about the events that took place during the reign of his son, Rehoboam. Part of what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes was in regard to fears over passing inheritance and heritage to the next generation. Reading Rehoboam's story shows that his fears were not without merit even though part of the reason for Rehoboam's problems was God's punishment upon Solomon himself.

 Assignment:
  • Monday - Ecclesiastes 7:1-8:17
  • Tuesday - Ecclesiastes 9:1-10:20
  • Wednesday - Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:14
  • Thursday - I Kings chapter 12
  • Friday - I Kings chapter 13
  • Saturday - I Kings chapter 14


Memory Verse

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.. Ecclesiastes 12:13


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God for being unchanging. He never grows old. He never gets weak. He is always the same, unyielding, unmovable, Rock of our salvation.
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.


Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?


Putting the Word into Action

Ecclesiastes chapter 12 contains a touching description of growing old. His ultimate conclusion is that everyone growing older and when lose their vitality then will pass away. That is one of the things he means by vanity: this life on earth will come to an end.

In the meantime, there is work to be done. If you are like most people you have neighbors and relatives who are growing older or are just individuals living alone. This is the time of year when injuries are common due to accidents and mishaps. Keep track of those you know who might need periodic assistance.