Category Archives: 2 KIngs

No stone unturned!

“Then he went back to Jerusalem.”  2 Kings 23:20.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 2 Kings 23, 2 Chronicles 35, and John 7.

Talk is cheap but no one could ever accuse King Josiah of just being a talker.

Once Josiah realized that his predecessors had angered God, he did everything he could think of to please God.  Talk about going in the opposite direction!

And this wasn’t just a “scorched earth” approach in which everything was trashed.  Josiah was selective.  There were reasons for the things that were destroyed getting destroyed.  They had been places and people who had been connected to specific godless things.

There is also an example of something being spared: A prophet’s bones were spared because he had spoken out against the wrongs being done.  So Josiah was thorough and selective.

When I look at my own life, I need to be at least as thorough as Josiah in recognizing sin and removing the sinful areas.

Am I willing to stop doing things, no matter what they are?  God can work best with a surrendered life.

I must be on the lookout for counterfeit gods.  What do I think about?  Where is my money going?  What makes me happy?  Angry?  How do I use my time?  Answering those questions could well unearth the counterfeit gods in my life.

I come face-to-face (too) frequently with the anger one.  Why did I lose it over this?  It is almost always caused by my overriding selfishness.  I want my way.  No consideration is given to what God might want……….and off I go.  Sadly, in retrospect.

“Lord, another good role model text.  Help me to clear away that which displeases You.  I want those things, those influences, removed.  I want to be totally right with You so that I can serve You rightly and not with unneeded baggage slowing me down or diverting my attention.  I am truly needy, Father.  Help me, I beg.”

Am I willing to let God clear out my godless distractions?

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Josiah gets it

“Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found.  Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”  2 Kings 22:13.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 2 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 34, and John 6.

What a shock for King Josiah!

Those assigned to clean up the temple find the Book of the Law.  They bring the book to Josiah and read some of it to him.  Josiah can’t believe his ears as he realizes that those before him have angered God and worse yet their bad judgment will bring judgment on him and his people too.

What to do?  Josiah tears his robe in an announcement that wrong has been done.  He recognizes sin in those before him.

Josiah doesn’t ask God to change His mind regarding the punishment but God does anyhow.

I like the decisiveness of Josiah.  When sin is detected, Josiah recognizes it for what it is and understands the consequences.

I am a sinner.  I must clearly understand that truth.  When I think of myself as, “pretty good,” I am elevating myself to not deserving the punishment sinning earns me.  ONE sin makes me eligible for God’s eternal wrath!

How thankful I am that God took care of my sin problem.  He sent Jesus to earth to die in my place with my sins on Him.  Those sins are removed from my record!  I am in the clear on Judgment Day.  I stand innocent before God because I believe that Jesus took care of my sins for me.  Hallelujah.

“Lord, fill me with instant concern over my sins.  Let them not hide out in my subconscious.  Surface them so that I can identify them and claim Your forgiveness.  Thank You for recording Josiah’s example.  I love You, Lord.”

We must realize sin, deal with it, and move on.

 

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My ears are sealed!

“They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices.”  2 Kings 17:40.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 17, 2 Chronicles 28, Psalm 46, and James 3.

There has been a run of three days with verses connected to listening.  Coincidence?  No way!

If I am not listening then I will mess things up.

I have told myself lately that the best part of what someone is telling is the ending.  I must let them get to that point.  Tuning out, butting in, must be avoided.

The consequence for the Israelites was severe.  God told them over and over what NOT to do.  They ignored Him.  They heard but didn’t heed.  They tuned God out.  How pitiful!

I need to hear from God.  I believe that He speaks to me through others.  They have His Words for me.  I can’t gear my listening intensity on my assessment of the speaker.

James 3 talks of the struggles of taming the tongue.  From where I’m coming from lately, the key to taming the tongue is to upgrade my listening.  My tongue goes off on tangents because I haven’t gathered all the information available.  I haven’t completely listened.  I’ve heard what I wanted to hear and my reaction was based on that limited input.

“Lord, I need You every second.  Forgive me for missing Your Messages from others by listening to them poorly.  Open my hearing to You.  I surrender to You.  Take every part of me over.  I love You, Lord.”

Are you giving God a chance to speak to you through others?

 

 

 

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What should I have expected?

“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”  2 Kings 9:22.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 8-9, 2 Chronicles 21, and 1 Timothy 4.

We should expect this would happen: evil leads to more evil.

We live in a world that is filled with evil.  Don’t think so?  Watch the news!

People do things that are unconscionable and become upset about it only when they are caught.  Right is often whatever they want it to be.

For those of us who claim to be God’s children, we must know how to deal with evil.  We must be able to identify it and know what actions to take.

An important step is to limit our exposure to evil.  The TV is packed with materials that the Godly need to avoid.  I guess that’s why they invented the clicker!

It is certainly important for the Godly to be constantly seeking His Will.  I still get troubled by having too much time go by in which I am disconnected from Him.

“Lord, deliver me from evil.  Protect me.  Prick my conscience when I am venturing into, or close to, where You wouldn’t want me to be.  I want to do Your Will.  Enable me, I beg.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

If you walk in mud, you’re going to get muddy.

 

 

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Doing the little things

“Naaman’s servants went to him and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?’ How much more, then when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed!’” 2 Kings 5:13.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 4-5, Psalm 83, and 1 Timothy 2.

Naaman was insulted when Elisha told him to dip seven times in the Jordan River.

Naaman, like us, had his own idea of how God works.  He had a framework in mind………and it wasn’t to dip in the Jordan when there were better rivers where he came from.

We do not know what is best for us.  God does.  That does not mean that we reduce our praying to, “Bless us.”  Using Naaman’s example, it means that when we want to see or experience healing, we are to completely open ourselves to the way God will carry it out.  Preconceived notions need not apply.

I have experienced times where I have been praying specifically for something but I get weary doing it.  I pray about it less, and I start to lose interest.  Sometimes when I relax a bit, my prayers get answers.  We must trust Him with the arrangements.

“Lord, forgive me for trying to run Your Business.  I beg to have Your Timing in place in my life.  I covet Your Guidance in all that I do.  O Lord, I cannot do without You in any aspect of my life.”

We must let God make the arrangements.

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Are you a bad influence?

“Manasseh led them astray…”  2 Kings 21:9.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33, and John 4.

Manasseh was the king.  His decisions carried plenty of weight.

Can we dismiss him as someone who really made a mess of things and then quickly move on?  Don’t think so.

Almost all of us are in some sort of position of authority over other people.  You have that in a family.  You have it at work.  Or among people in activities you are involved in.  Point?  We are all probably in a position to influence others by what we do.

Therefore, we return to Manasseh with new eyes.  He took many people down a godless path.  Are we taking anyone down a godless path?

Do we understand the responsibility we have to rightly represent Him?  Others are watching and learning.  We have influence within our midst.

As I’ve written before, I struggle in situations where there is little time to collect my thoughts.  I say things and do things that I regret later.  That needs to be fixed because others see/hear me.

The cure for me is a tight relationship with God.  I can’t drift along on a previous relationship to God.  It must be up-to-the-moment.

“Lord, I need You every second.  There cannot be any gaps in our relationship.  Forgive me for being a godless witness.  You are my God.  I love You.  There is no excuse for lagging behind spiritually.  Help me, Lord.  Take me over, I beg.”

We all have influence but is it Godly?

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I’m in a panic!

“’Oh, no, my lord!  What shall we do?’ the servant asked.  ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered.  ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’  And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’  Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  2 Kings 6:15-17.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 6-7, 2 Chronicles 20, and 1 Timothy 3.

Do I live as if I am aware of God?

Elisha’s servant got a visual of God’s presence.  He already had a visual of the forces of the enemy…….and was frightened.  Now he saw that God was also in their midst.  I’m guessing the servant’s fears dwindled considerably.

I must never forget Who God is.  I must never forget that He is omnipotent.  No power on earth stands a chance against Him!

I will not escape evil but I must remember that the power of evil over me is done in by Jesus’s death.  He took sin to its death.  I don’t carry my sins any longer.  Jesus did them in.  I have a new life unburdened by sin.  I must live accordingly.  I must live confidently in Him.  I must be an active part of His rescue team here on earth.  He will return to finish the job.

My fears are driven by my sinful nature.  A nature that magnifies trouble beyond God’s capabilities to deal with it.  There is no need for that, on my part.  God is in charge.  His servants can be confident in Him and know that He knows best.  Do what He says.

“Lord, what a great story.  You are in the midst of those who follow You.  You will help us as we rightly represent You where we are.  The forces of evil melt before You.  Whom shall I fear?”

Are you magnifying God or your troubles?

hwfm-August-5

 

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