Author Topic: Bible Pathways  (Read 37603 times)

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1080 on: April 29, 2012, 01:00:49 pm »
Read I Kings 19 – 20

Highlights:

Jezebel's threat to Elijah; Elijah flees; Elisha follows Elijah; Ahab spares Ben-hadad.
And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets (of Baal) with the sword (I Kin. 19:1).

Because of Ahab's wickedness, God withheld the rain. After three years of drought, God told Elijah to go again to Ahab. Elijah challenged the king to assemble all the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel to prove who was really the Living God. Elijah proved that the God of Israel was still alive.

That day on Mount Carmel, the great purpose for which Elijah lived seemed to have been accomplished. Baal's prophets were slain; Jehovah was exalted by one mighty miracle; and false worship was exposed.

Elijah probably expected the miracle on Mount Carmel and the execution of the Baal priests to turn the nation from idols and bring national repentance, but he was bitterly disappointed. When Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah had killed the prophets of Baal, she vowed she would kill him. Elijah fled to Beer-sheba, discouraged and wanting to die. He felt he had failed, and in his hour of deepest disappointment, he cried out to God: It is enough now; O Lord, take away my life (19:4).

Elias (Elijah) was a man of passions as we are (James 5:17) and at this time, he was altogether occupied with his own problems and did not turn to God for renewed strength. However, God neither rebuked Elijah for his fears nor answered his prayer for death, nor did He permit Jezebel to kill him. Instead God gave him rest and food (I Kin. 19:5-8). Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28).

Elijah's greatest success was not in the display of fire on Mount Carmel, but in the strength he imparted to 7,000 people who confessed: The Lord, He is the God (I Kin. 18:39).

All of us have had times of disappointment and moments of hopelessness when it seemed that our highest expectations were met with ridicule. But we must look beyond appearances and remain faithful to the still small voice (19:12).

The Lord's mercy to Elijah is an encouragement to all who are facing lonely hours or a seemingly hopeless situation. God permits times of distress and heavy burdens. So when you have done your best and it seems you have failed, just remember that the God of Eljah cares.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Gal. 6:9).

Thought for Today:

Through the power of the Word, the Christian can face even the most hopeless situation.
Christ Portrayed:

By the unnamed prophet who prophesied victory to King Ahab so that he would know his destiny was controlled by God: Thou shalt know that I am the Lord (I Kin. 20:13,28). Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:57).
Word Studies:

19:8 Horeb, Mount Sinai; 19:14 jealous, zealous; 19:21 instruments, yokes; 20:11 harness, armor; 20:12 Set yourselves in array, Get ready to attack; 20:24 rooms, positions, places.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Mo Brooks (AL), Sen. Debbie A. Stabenow (MI), and Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ) • Country: Cameroon (15 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: English and French • Pressure on Christians from authorities and Muslims • 28% Roman Catholic; 23% Muslim; 18% animism, divination, and animal sacrifices; 14% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice and consider yourself blessed when you suffer for the Name of Christ (I Pet. 4:14).
Optional Reading: Romans 2

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:34 
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1081 on: April 30, 2012, 05:55:33 pm »
Read I Kings 21 – 22
Highlights:

Naboth's vineyard; Jezebel plots the death of Naboth; Elijah pronounces Ahab's and Jezebel's doom; Ahab's repentance; Jehoshaphat and Ahab unite against Syria; Micaiah's prophecy of Ahab's death.
And Micaiah said, Behold . . . thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. And the king of Israel said . . . Put this fellow in the prison (I Kin. 22:25-27).

Jehoshaphat agreed to attack Syria with Ahab. But Jehoshaphat was uneasy about making the attack, so he said: Inquire, I pray thee, at the Word of the Lord to day (22:5).

Ahab called 400 of his prophets. Although they unanimously assured Ahab of great success, Jehoshaphat was still hesitant. He had no confidence in Ahab's prophets and insisted on consulting one other prophet. Reluctantly, Ahab called in Micaiah, a godly prophet who had been imprisoned because of his faithfulness to God.

The messengers tried to persuade Micaiah to agree with Ahab's 400 prophets and thus gain the favor of the king. But Micaiah could not be intimidated. He refused saying: What the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak (22:14). There were 400 "yes" votes to Micaiah's one vote — a miserable minority, but the Truth is not dependent upon a majority vote.

When he foretold that they would not only lose the battle but also that King Ahab would be killed, he was slapped and dragged back to prison. But the presence of God can transform even a dungeon, and this lonely prophet's response was, "I saw the Lord." One revelation from the Lord was worth more to Micaiah than popular acceptance.

Madame Guyon (1648-1717) was imprisoned because of her devotion to the Lord. She wrote in her autobiography:

A little bird am I, shut from the fields of the air,
Yet, in my cage I sing to Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because, my God, it pleases Thee.
Unlike Micaiah, far too many of the people of God do not experience the presence and power of God upon their lives because they are persuaded by men or circumstances to modify the Truth.

If need be, we can sacrifice all we possess, but we dare not sacrifice the Truth. And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully (I Pet. 2:19).

Thought for Today:

God imparts His strength to those who remain faithful to Him.
Christ Portrayed:

By Micaiah, who would say only what God instructed him to say (I Kin. 22:14). Jesus faithfully told others only what God told Him to say. Then said Jesus unto them . . . I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things (John 8:28; 12:49-50).
Word Studies:

21:27 softly, sadly, subdued; 22:3 be still, do nothing; 22:11 push, gore; 22:13 with one mouth, unanimously; 22:16 adjure thee, put you under oath; 22:34 at a venture, without specific aim; harness, armor; 22:48 broken, wrecked.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Rep. Bobby C. Scott (VA) • Country: Canada (31 million) in North America • Major languages: English and French • Religious freedom • 47% Roman Catholic; 37% Protestant; 3% Eastern Orthodox; 2% cults; 1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourself before the Lord (I Pet. 5:5-6).
Optional Reading: Romans 3

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:34
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!


Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1082 on: May 01, 2012, 09:08:05 am »
Read II Kings 1 – 3

Highlights:

Death of Ahaziah; Elijah taken up by a whirlwind; Elisha heals Jericho's water.
But the Angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite . . . say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? (II Kin. 1:3).

Since the decline in Israel's power was not yet evident from the standpoint of numerical strength, the destruction of the ten tribes of Israel seemed most unlikely. Yet, their rejection of the Word of God made their eventual captivity inevitable. Hear ye this Word . . . O house of Israel. . . . Seek the Lord, and ye shall live. . . . and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you (Amos 5:1-15). II Kings remembers each king for a single personal choice; whether he did that which was right (II Kin. 12:2) or whether he did not that which was right in the sight of Lord (16:2). Leadership in life should be sought in God's Word always. Those who do not seek from it will usually find they will have to hear from it later.

Nothing weakens a nation's strength like ignoring the Scriptures, so God raised up Elijah to proclaim His Word. Just as Elijah had confronted Ahab with the judgment of God (I Kin. 17:1), he boldly faced Ahab's evil son, Ahaziah, saying: Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub . . . thou shalt not come down off that bed . . . but shalt surely die (II Kin. 1:16). Many throughout the ages have thought they could find prosperity in sin. However, like Ahaziah, they soon find themselves in the hands of God, the Righteous Judge of all mankind.

Elijah remained faithful to God even when he faced an evil king. Elijah did not have to be fearful or humbled by this evil king. God had chosen him for this mission. Those whom God appoints to a good work will find He will see them through to its end (Phil. 1:6). Even so today, as we faithfully read His Word and seek His will, the Holy Spirit creates within us a new revelation of our wonderful Lord and a deeper understanding of why He dwells within our lives. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock (Matt. 7:24).

This enables the Word to speak to our hearts just as clearly as Elijah heard from God. Yes, it is true, God speaks to us through His Word and it calls us into service for our King. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27).

Thought for Today:

God imparts His strength to those who remain faithful to Him.
Christ Revealed:

In the taking up of Elijah in the whirlwind and the dropping of his mantle — a symbol of the presence and power of God that remain with His faithful servant (II Kin. 2:8-15). This is a type of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sending the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower believers to evangelize the world. He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven (Luke 24:51-53; Acts 1 — 2).
Word Studies:

1:8 girt with, wearing; girdle of leather about his loins, garment around his waist; 2:19 naught, polluted, bad; 2:24 tare, mauled or mangled; 3:9 fetched a compass, circled around; made a roundabout march; 3:27 offered him, burned him alive as a sacrifice to a god of Moab.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide • International Broadcasts in memory of Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Rep. Ed G. Perlmutter (CO) • Country: Cape Verde (405,000) 15 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 390 miles off the coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Crioulo • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Let the Lord have all your worries and cares; He is always thinking about you and things that concern you (I Pet. 5:7).
Optional Reading: Romans 4

NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:35

  :angel:

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1083 on: May 02, 2012, 10:43:31 am »
Read II Kings 4 – 5

Highlights:

The widow's oil multiplied; Elisha and the Shunammite woman; Naaman cured of leprosy; Gehazi's leprosy.
And it came to pass, when the king of Israel (Jehoram) had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me (II Kin. 5:7).

When King Jehoram read the letter that the king of Syria wrote concerning the leper Naaman, he jumped to the wrong conclusion and accused Naaman, the powerful captain of the Assyrian army, of seeking to declare war. King Jehoram concluded from the letter that he was being asked to cure Naaman's leprosy. This could only be done by God. He presumed war would be declared when he could not cure him. Even after Naaman was miraculously healed, King Jehoram refused to worship God, as did his brother, Ahaziah, and his father Ahab, before him.

Like Jehoram, far too many Christians fail to realize that it's not men but the providential arrangements of God that have placed us exactly where we are at this very moment. Therefore, we should examine the message of God rather than blame the messenger He uses. Whenever we don't like where God is directing us, it can be easy to find fault and place the blame on someone else. Remember, it is God sending this message to you (I Cor. 7:17). He is the One who formed me (us) from the womb to be His servant (Is. 49:5); and called us . . . according to His own purpose and grace (II Tim. 1:9). Look to heaven and not earth in finding your answers.

We may not be responsible for the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but we are responsible for the way these events affect us. Let us always remember that God is seeking to use our circumstances to transform us into the image of His Son. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6). It is not necessary in all instances for us to understand the reason for our circumstances, but we should submissively yield to God and seek His will (James 4:7).

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:7).

Thought for Today:

God often uses ordinary circumstances to reveal His ways.
Christ Revealed:

By the meal that took the poison out of the pot (II Kin. 4:40-41). Meal, made of crushed grain, speaks of Christ, who was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities (Is. 53:5), thereby removing the poison of sin from us.
Word Studies:

4:3 borrow not a few, get as many as you can; 4:6 stayed, ceased flowing; 4:10 candlestick, oil lamp; 4:27 vexed, deeply distressed; 4:29 Gird up thy loins, Fasten your loose, flowing garments with a belt.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Helen A. Porter • Staff: Chris Robison • Government Official: Rep. Peter Welch (VT) • Country: Central African Republic (3 million) in the center of the African continent • Major languages: French and Sangho • Religious freedom • 47% Protestant; 34% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 3% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray each day for the Lord to protect you from evil (I Pet. 5:8).
Optional Reading: Romans 5

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:35

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1084 on: May 03, 2012, 09:34:15 am »
Read II Kings 6 – 8

Highlights:

The axe head made to float; Syrians attack Israel; famine in Samaria; Elisha's prophecy fulfilled; Hazael becomes king of Syria; Jehoram's wicked reign over Israel; Ahaziah's reign over Judah.
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the Word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel . . . in the gate of Samaria (II Kin. 7:1).

The luxurious fortress in Samaria had been surrounded by Ben-hadad's powerful Syrian army so long that the Israelites' food supply had been depleted. To keep from starving to death, the Israelites resorted to eating the most repulsive, defiling food (6:25). They even went so far as to eat human flesh, as one woman confessed: So we boiled my son, and did eat him (6:29).

Because the Israelites had rejected the Word of God, they were helpless before the Syrians. Our help, our refuge, our provision and our rescue can always be found in the Word of God. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Ps. 119:105). The Lord has given us His Word as our lighthouse to lead and direct us through life's troubled waters. When we turn our backs to it, we should not wonder that we fall into trials and troubles because we have made the Word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13).

But God, in mercy, once again intervened, that Israel might recognize the utter worthlessness of their own strength because they rejected Him. The prophet Elisha confidently prophesied that food would be plentiful the next day. It is in times when we are at our weakest that the strength of God is at its strongest. With God, things can change in a moment. The deepest valley can become the highest mountain. The driest desert can become a fertile plain. With God, a miracle is possible at any time. Since nothing can prevent the fulfillment of the prophecies of God, it came to pass as the man of God had spoken (II Kin. 7:18). There is nothing that can stop God's Word from coming to pass. It is completly true cover to cover (Heb. 4:12).

God has provided an abundance of spiritual food to all who will accept it from the Word of God. These human bodies need vitamins, minerals, and proteins to grow and stay healthy. Our spiritual self has needs as well. All those needs can be met with the Scriptures. If daily we partake of the "good food" that is God's Word, we will grow to be mighty men and women in God's Kingdom. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).

Thought for Today:

The answers to our prayers are sometimes postponed until we lose confidence in self-effort.
Christ Portrayed:

By Elisha, who wept when he realized what Hazael would do to Israel and its people (II Kin. 8:11-12). We are reminded of Jesus as He wept over Jerusalem: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together . . . and ye would not! (Matt. 23:37).
Word Studies:

6:1 strait, small, too confined; 6:30 within, next to, underneath; 7:5 uttermost part, borders; 8:11 settled his countenance, stared intensely; 8:26 daughter, granddaughter.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts In honor of Kris Compton • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter (ID), Sen. Jim Risch (ID), Sen. David Vitter (LA), Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) and Rep. Ralph Hall (TX) • Country: Chad (7 million) in north-central Africa • Major languages: French and Arabic • Limited religious freedom • 35% Muslim; 31% animist; 11% Protestant; 5% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Thank God in prayer for His faithfulness to His Word and His desire that all come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9).
Optional Reading: Romans 6

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:35
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

  • By the Grace of God I am what I am! 1 corinthians 15:10
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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1085 on: May 04, 2012, 10:57:47 am »
Read  II Kings 9 – 10

Highlights:

Jehu anointed king; Jehu kills Joram (Jehoram), reigning king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah; Jezebel's death; Jehu destroys Baal worshipers.
Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets . . . For the whole house of Ahab shall perish (II Kin. 9:6-8).

After Ahab's death, his son, Ahaziah, reigned over Israel for two years followed by the twelve-year reign of Ahaziah's brother, Jehoram. Every king of Israel was required to write him a copy of this Law (the Ten Commandments) . . . And it shall be with him . . . all the days of his life (Deut. 17:18-19). Yet they completely ignored the 2nd Commandment which reads: Thou shalt have no other gods before Me (Ex. 20:3). And all three of these kings of the Northern Kingdom so zealously promoted idolatry in Israel that it spread into Judah and seriously weakened the true worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem. Evil should never be underestimated. Whenever it is present in those around us it can start to infiltrate our own lives (II Cor. 6:17). It has been said sin is the most contagious disease in existence. Surely this is true. It is important therefore, for Christians to protect their hearts with the study of God's Word and prayer (Luke 8:15).

During this serious spiritual decline, the Lord was preparing Jehu, the powerful captain-commander of the Northern Kingdom armies. God's plan is not always clear to mankind. While no one was aware, God was working in the heart of this soldier to become the next king of Israel. God chooses whom He will not with the wisdom of man, but with His own wisdom. Years before God had told Elijah: Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel (I Kin. 19:16).

Perhaps as many as twenty years passed before God told Elisha to send a young prophet to anoint Jehu as Israel's king and the executioner of Jehoram and all the descendants of Ahab. God's judgment is not always swift, but it will come in His timing. Man sometimes thinks he gets away with sin. He thinks that because time has elapsed he has gotten away with his crimes. However, His judgment will still find him when God is ready (Acts 24:25). What appeared to be a coincidence when Jehu met Jehoram (Joram) in the field of Naboth was actually the fulfillment of the Word of God against Ahab as foretold in that very place by Elijah (see I Kin. 21:19-23).

The Word of our God shall stand for ever (Is. 40:8).

Thought for Today:

As we yield to His Word, we receive strength to face and overcome the temptations of the world.
Christ Portrayed:

By Elisha, who sent one of the sons of the prophets with oil to anoint Jehu (II Kin. 9:1-6). Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to anoint believers (John 14:16-17; 16:13; Acts 1:8; compare I Sam. 16:13). The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth (lives) in you (I John 2:27).
Word Studies:

9:23 treachery, treason; 9:30 tired her head, adorned her hair; 10:3 Look even out the best and meetest, Select the most capable; 10:27 draught house, public toilet.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Rosemary Crawford • Country: Chile (15 million) on the southwestern coast of South America • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 73% Catholic; 20% Protestant; 1% Other; 6% None • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that Jesus' blood has cleansed you from sin (I John 1:7,9).
Optional Reading: Romans 7

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:35
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1086 on: May 05, 2012, 12:07:28 pm »
Read II Kings 11 – 13

Highlights:

Athaliah seizes control of Judah; David's descendants destroyed except for baby Joash; Athaliah is slain; Jehoash repairs the Temple; death of Jehoash; Jehoahaz' evil reign; death of Elisha.
And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal (II Kin. 11:1).

Just nine years after the godly reign of Jehoshaphat, Athaliah seized control and became queen of the Southern Kingdom. Doing this struck a terrible blow as she tried to wipe out David's seed murdering all but one of Ahaziah's sons, Joash. Joash was hidden and carried away from the royal children. To put this wickedness into proper perspective, it needs only to be said that Athaliah murdered her own grandchildren.

Athaliah's wicked six-year reign was the result of a compromise which Jehoshaphat had made years earlier. He had arranged for his son to marry the daughter of the wicked idol-worshiping Ahab and Jezebel. As parents we should be aware that our personal associations can affect our families for generations to come.

Jehoshaphat had failed to consider that the "unequal yoke" of his son's marriage to Athaliah would one day destroy all the influence for godliness that he had spent his life building (I Thess. 5:5). It is sometimes hard to understand how one wrong choice could lead to such destruction. However, it is clear that is what happened here. It is vitally important to follow God's Word with all of our life choices (I Tim. 6:11).

The eventual destruction of Jerusalem and captivity of the chosen nation of Judah is easily traced to adopting the ways of unbelievers. Althaliah established the worship of Baal. Although all unbelievers may not worship false gods, the decision making process of the unbeliever still does not consider God or His Word in his walk in this world.

Many Christians are deceived and their usefulness to God destroyed because of close friendships with those who oppose the Lord. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners (I Cor. 15:33). The call for Christians to not be entangled with the world applies to many relationships. It is often thought that these verses are limited to marriage, but this principle applies in any close relationships, business or personal.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (II Cor. 6:14).

Thought for Today:

Like Jehoshaphat, some Christians today have discovered too late the danger of being unequally yoked with unbelievers.
Christ Portrayed:

By Jehoiada, the priest who protected Joash and, in holy judgment, had Athaliah put to death (II Kin. 11:4-16). Christ keeps us safe to fulfill His will and will return to judge all who obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Thess. 1:8).
Word Studies:

11:7 two parts, two companies; 11:8 compass, surround; 12:5 breaches, damaged places; 12:11 laid it out, paid it to them; 13:6 the grove, place to worship the goddess Asherah (Ashtoreth).
Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Colleen W. Hanabusa (HI) and Rep. Charles Gonzalez (TX) • Country: China, Mainland (1.242 billion) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect) • Renewed persecution of the Church • 16% Asian (including Fulun Gong); 8% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; number of Christians unknown but growing; 10% Atheist • Prayer Suggestion: Confess and repent of any known sin (I John 1:9).
Optional Reading: Romans 8

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:35
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1087 on: May 06, 2012, 12:12:36 pm »

Read II Kings 14 – 15
Highlights:

Reigns of Amaziah, Azariah, and Jotham over Judah; reigns of Jeroboam, Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah over Israel.
He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the Word of the Lord God of Israel, which He spake by the hand of His servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher (II Kin. 14:25).

King Jeroboam II (son of Jehoash — 14:16) was very successful in all his battles and brought great prosperity to the nation, but these victories did not lead him to worship God. Instead, he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (14:24). He practiced all the sins of Jeroboam I. Furthermore, Jeroboam II ignored the prophets of God (Amos, Hosea, Joel, and Jonah) who prophesied during his reign. This reign lasted forty-one years. He reigned just as long as godly King Asa, except one was just and one was evil. The length of a man's time proves nothing about his righteousness. Therefore, God commanded Amos to go to Bethel to prophesy the destruction of this king and his kingdom (Amos 7:9).

The Israelites seemed to believe that because they prospered, God approved of their worshiping idols. More and more, they placed their confidence in the supremacy of Baal worship. God was evidently showing compassion to those who once followed Him. However, they were blinded by their sin to the mercy shown to them and continued in their sinful ways. They did this even though God's prophets were prophesying His judgment to them. Paul's instructions to Timothy are just as important today as they were then. Preach the Word . . . For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine . . . And they shall turn away their ears from the Truth, and shall be turned unto fables (II Tim. 4:2-4).

The times when we are receiving the most material blessings are often the times when we experience greater tests of our loyalty and humility before God. It is in times of prosperity that we are usually less concerned about prayerfully seeking the Lord's guidance and will for our lives (Col. 3:1).

Many, like Jeroboam, boast of their material success, even though it was achieved at the cost of spiritual neglect. How tragic that some parents have left their children much material wealth but have failed to emphasize the real spiritual wealth of the Word of God (Prov. 22:6)!

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matt. 16:26).

Thought for Today:

We forfeit the Lord's best when we fail to keep His Commandments.
Christ Revealed:

When the Lord struck King Azariah with leprosy and thrust him out from being king (II Kin. 15:5-7). This foreshadows the time when Christ shall reign upon the earth and all who have ignored or refused His merciful gift of salvation shall be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
Word Studies:

14:10 lifted thee up, made you proud; 14:12 put to the worse, defeated; 14:25 sea of the plain, the Dead Sea; 15:5 a several house, a separated house; 15:20 exacted, assessed, taxed; 15:25 in his room, in his stead, place.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Government Official: Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) • Country: Colombia (38.6 million) in northwestern South America • Major language: Spanish • New government has declared religious freedom • 93% Catholic; 4% Protestant; .5% Tibal; .2% Muslim; .1% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; 2.1% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Go to God in prayer with a heart and life that are keeping His Commandments and He will answer you (I John 4:7-8).
Optional Reading: Romans 9

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:21

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1088 on: May 07, 2012, 09:12:09 am »

Read II Kings 16 – 17
Highlights:

Ahaz defiles the Temple; fall of Samaria; captivity of Israel.
In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria (II Kin. 17:6).

Hoshea, who did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (17:2), was the last king to reign over the ten tribes, the Northern Kingdom.

The ten tribes who had been delivered from Egyptian bondage and kept from slavery for over seven hundred years were now conquered by the Assyrians and deported from the promised land to be slaves (II Kin. 17:6,22-23). Hoshea made a last desperate effort to strengthen the Northern Kingdom against Assyria by making a secret alliance with the king of Egypt. The king of Assyria retaliated, cast Hoshea into prison, possessed the whole land, and beseiged Samaria for three years (17:1-5). The city was finally captured, and the Israelites were carried away to near Gozan, and the cities of Media.

During the reign of King Hoshea, the prophet Hosea pleaded with the nation: O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity (Hos. 14:1). However, the nation disregarded this warning. There is no record that King Hoshea ever prayed or turned to God for help. In fact, not one of the nineteen kings of Israel in more than 210 years' history was recorded as being a true worshiper of Jehovah (with the possible exception of Jehu). This illustrates something that the Word of God speaks of called a "generational curse" (Ex. 20:5; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9). The wickedness of these leaders was continually passed down from one king to the next including their practices of worshiping false gods instead of the One True God (Col. 3:5-6).

How different could have been the outcome of the nation if King Hoshea had made a covenant with the King of all kings and had humbled himself and prayed, as the Lord ordered when He appeared to Solomon and said . . . If My people . . . shall humble themselves, and pray . . . and turn from their wicked ways; then will I . . . forgive their sin, and will heal their land (II Chr. 7:12-15). Individuals can truly make a difference if they turn themselves and all that is theirs over to God (James 5:16). In this case, a whole nation could have been surrendered to God by the prayer of one man. That nation would have been saved and spared the horrors of being enslaved.

Through Thee will we push down our enemies: through Thy Name will we tread them under that rise up against us (Ps. 44:5).

Thought for Today:

The chastening of the Lord is always designed for our good.
Christ Revealed:

Through the original Brasen (brass) Altar made by Solomon (II Kin. 16:14; II Chr. 4:1). The Brasen Altar is a type of the cross on which Christ, our whole Burnt Offering, offered Himself to God (Heb. 9:14). Unlike the necessary daily sacrifices offered by the priests on the Brasen Altar, this He did once (once for all), on the cross, when He offered up Himself (7:27).
Word Studies:

16:11 against King Ahaz, before King Ahaz arrived; 16:13 meat offering, meal or grain offering or unleavened bread, oil, and a portion of incense (see Lev. 2:1); 16:18 entry without, turned he from, he removed the covered walkway for the King of Assyria.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Rev. Gladys V. Davis • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Officials: Rep. Gary R. Herbert (UT), Rep. Ted Deutch (FL), Rep. Candice S. Miller (MI) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO) • Country: Comoros (563,000) in the Mozambique Channel of the Indian Ocean • Major languages: Shaafi Islam (Swahili dialect) and Malagasy • Limited religious freedom • 99.7% Muslim; .2% Roman Catholic/Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to fill you with love for the unlovely (I John 4:7-8).
Optional Reading: Romans 10

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:21
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1089 on: May 08, 2012, 10:32:45 am »
Read II Kings 18 – 20

Highlights:

Hezekiah's good reign; Assyria invades Judah; Hezekiah's prayer; God's deliverance; Hezekiah's sickness; his display of wealth; his death.
Hezekiah . . . trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. . . . And the Lord was with him (II Kin. 18:1,5,7).

The Northern Kingdom had already been conquered by the Assyrians, and most of the people had been deported as slaves. Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, was determined to completely eliminate the Israelites by conquering Judah, the Southern Kingdom. Therefore, he surrounded Jerusalem with his seemingly invincible army. The chances for escape looked impossible and hopeless. Then to increase fear, discouragement, and despair in the Israelites, the Assyrians began to mock them. Calling out with a loud voice in Hebrew, Rabshakeh relayed the Assyrian king's message: Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? . . . The Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it (18:19-25).

But King Hezekiah knew the battle wasn't lost yet. He bypassed all his advisors and went immediately to the Temple and prayed. He then sent messengers to the prophet, Isaiah. This man trusted God to be his deliverer. He turned to heaven instead of to man to find the answers (Matt. 21:22). True and reliable counsel is found first in the Word of God and also through godly people. In order to find a godly answer we must first consult with God!

After Hezekiah prayed, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were destroyed by the angel of God (II Kin. 19:35). Furthermore, when Sennacherib returned to his palace in Nineveh, he was assassinated by two of his own sons (19:37; Is. 37:38). Worldly power means nothing in the Kingdom of God. Great armies and machines of war are no match for the True and Living God. If there was ever any doubt of this, the proof is here. Sometimes, when you are outnumbered and not part of the majority, you may be tempted to give up. But greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4). Remember this and know that as long as you have God, you and He are the majority (I Cor. 15:57-58).

We should never be fearful about our future, but we do need to pray and commit our need to Him. No matter how hopeless your situation may appear, just remember that when Hezekiah honored the Lord, the Lord was with him (II Kin. 18:7), and He will be with you. Just look to Him first.

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven (Matt. 18:19).

Thought for Today:

There is no substitute for prayer.
Christ Portrayed:

By Hezekiah, who was faithful in leading the Kingdom of Judah back to God and His Word (II Kin. 18:1-6) — a foreshadowing of the words of Jesus to the Pharisees in His attempt to awaken them to their need to see themselves as sinners and recognize Him as their Savior (Mark 2:17).
Word Studies:

18:6 clave, clung, was devoted to; 18:17 Tartan, the title of Assyria's general, commander in chief; Rabsaris, the chief financial official; Rabshakeh, the chief officer, or possibly chief cupbearer; 18:31 by a present, by paying tribute; 19:3 bring forth, give birth; 19:7 blast, spirit of bad fortune; 20:3 sore, bitterly and loud.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Lt. Col. Walter and Penny Swanson • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Rep. Vernon Buchanan (FL) and Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY) • Country: Congo, Republic of the (2 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: French and Lingala • Limited religious freedom, but government hostility has lessened • 41% Roman Catholic; 20% fetishism and belief in ancestral spirits; 17% Protestant; 9% cults • Prayer Suggestion: If we ask anything agreeing with His will, He both hears and answers (I John 5:14-15).
Optional Reading: Romans 11

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:21
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!