Category Archives: I Kings

Elijah: The runner

“The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak onto his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.”  1 Kings 18:46.

“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.”  1 Kings 19:3.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 17-19, and Colossians 2.

Elijah was quite the runner, wasn’t he?

You can see quite quickly that Elijah wasn’t always running with God.

Only two verses separate the two chosen verses.

What happened in between?  Jezebel threatened Elijah.

Elijah was riding high after making fools (and dead men) of her prophets.  However, when she threatened Elijah with death he changed completely.

How like us.  We have our moments of closeness to God.  We are on the glory train!  And then something sends us drifting.  Sometimes it’s over-confidence in ourselves.

Elijah was in serious trouble with Jezebel in his own strength.  That serious trouble thing hadn’t bothered him on Mount Carmel.  There were death threats up there but Elijah persisted.

But along came Jezebel later and Elijah “ran for his life.”  He had obviously lost his closeness to God.

How embarrassing we all are to God.  How often we are overwhelmed by things that we should be reacting to better.

We are desperate for a full-time infilling of the Holy Spirit.  We can’t function effectively in all “seasons” without that attachment.

“Lord, thank You for the story of Elijah.  I see how much I am like him when I get overwhelmed by circumstances and loosen my attachment to You.  Forgive me, I beg.  I cling to You now.  I love You, Father.”

I must be running with God at all times.

 

 

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Unwise in his old age

“They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, ‘You must not intermarry with them because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.’” 1 Kings 11:2.

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God.”  1 Kings 11:4.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 10-11, 2 Chronicles 9, and Romans 6.

The first word I associate with Solomon is “wise.”

No question, Solomon was very wise.  Why was he so wise?  Solomon was allowed, by God, to ask what he wanted.  Solomon asked for discernment in his choices and the ability to know right from wrong.

When the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon, it says in 1 Kings 10 that she was “overwhelmed,” but what she heard and saw.

But now in today’s verses we have an older Solomon.  It is sad to read what has happened to him.  He has turned into one of us!

What causes Solomon’s downfall?  Disobedience.  God told him, and all the Israelites, not to intermarry and they do anyhow.

How could they be so foolish?  Inside each of us is a voice urging us to disobey God.  In the heart of the godless, that voice is the voice they respond to often.  In the heart of the Godly, it is a voice recognized for what it is…….Satan.

However, even the Godly have weaknesses.  No way are those weaknesses the same for all of us.

I find the voice of Satan to be softly persuasive.  There’s no yelling and screaming.

The common words I hear from Satan are: “Don’t worry about doing this, you’re strong.”  Solomon bought into that treacherous road.  He probably thought that because of his wisdom he wouldn’t be negatively impacted by all the godless wives he had.  But it didn’t work out that way and Solomon fell out of favor with God.

I cannot assume that I am wise.  I am not wise apart from God.  I need to remember that only as I am connected to Him am I able to please Him.  I will never please Him flying solo.

I need to confront the voice of Satan with James 4:7: “Submit yourselves, then to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

“Lord, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for the many role models Your Word contains.  Solomon is a good example of a positive role model and a negative role model.  I want to please You forever.  Prick my conscience when I am loose from You.  That is not where I ever want to be!  I need You every second.  Take me over right now, I beg.”

I want to be wise in my old age.

 

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How can I please God?

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’”  1 Kings 3:5.

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David.  But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.”  1 Kings 3:7.

“So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.  For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”  The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.” 1 Kings 3:9-10.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 3, 2 Chronicles 1, Psalm 78, and 2 Thessalonians 2.

This lengthy chosen Scripture is one that I have used many times before.

This whole thing centers, in my opinion, on the Lord being pleased with a particular behavior.  I want to know what pleases God and replicate it.

If I put myself in Solomon’s place, with God’s willingness to give me whatever I want, what would I want?

Solomon’s answer pleased God because he didn’t answer selfishly.  He saw a bigger picture: I will be leading Your people and I’m not up to the task.  I need the best help possible; Your help.

If God liked the removal of selfishness in Solomon’s case, then I must find a way to incorporate the structure of such a request into my prayers.

Often my prayers are selfish.  Give me this.  Give me that.  I want my health.  I want my family’s health.  All requests with a small-picture, selfish drive to them.

Wouldn’t a better approach be to recognize that God wants my vision to be enlarged?  In that Big Picture, I recognize my inadequacies and ask for His help in dealing with all situations.   I claim no talents to get things right without Him in any situation.

I must want God to help me govern my life in the same way that Solomon asked God to help him govern His people.  I must actively seek to know what I should do.  I must want to get right and wrong right.

I believe that God will honor such a request based on the way He reacted to Solomon’s request.

“Lord, I cannot rightly manage my life without You.  I plead for Your discernment so that I live for You.  I plead that You will help me get on the right side of right and wrong.  I want You to be pleased with me.  Help me, I beg, to do that.  I love You, Lord.”

What do I want from God?  Solomon’s answer pleased God.  I must be sure that my answer pleases Him, too.

St. Lucia

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Will you do what God wants?

“So he did what the Lord had told him.”  1 Kings 17:5.

“She went away and did as Elijah had told her.” 1 Kings 17:15.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 17-19, and Colossians 2.

Obedience.

Obedience can be easy.  It can be difficult.

By any standards, the obedience displayed in today’s two selected verses was very difficult.

In the first, Elijah agrees to go into hiding and have food delivered by ravens.

In the second, a widow, at the end of her food supplies, agrees to give a quantity of what she had left to a stranger named Elijah.

I think it is safe to say that God’s ways do not always make sense to us.  And that is the way it should be because we have almost no vision of the Big Picture.

How desperate do we have to be to believe in God?  We face trouble and instantly we call out to Him for help.

In both cases, in today’s verses, those involved are desperate.  Elijah is accused of starting the severe drought that is going on.  The widow, on the other hand, is down to the end of her food supply.

I cannot ever choose to be out of touch with God.  He needs to be in my heart/head in all of life’s situations.

The ways in which the desperate twosome were taken care of was truly amazing.  Trying to imagine birds supplying food to a human on a regular basis or food/oil being replenished without shopping for it is not easy.  God is the Master of the inconceivable!

He is worthy of my complete trust.

“Lord, thank You for today’s remarkable stories.  You are amazing.  Forgive me for ever being self-sufficient in my thinking and actions.  Forgive me for ever putting my trust in other gods including myself. I must know better.  Guide me, Father.  Thank You for the new life You gave me.  Help me to live accordingly.”

Are you really willing to do whatever God wants you to do?  See how Elijah handled the hard-to-figure requests he received.

+9 stuck

North-Bridgton-lily

 

 

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Interceding ‘man of God’ style

“Then the king said to the man of God, ‘Intercede with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.’ So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.”  1 Kings 13:6.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 13-14, 2 Chronicles 12, and Philippians 3.

I have tried to pay special attention to verses in which interceding gets done.  Why?  Because the God of those select verses is the same God of today.

King Jeroboam had gotten God’s attention in a negative way.  Idol worship was in full swing.  A ‘man of God’ was sent to speak out against the altar King Jeroboam had set up at Bethel.  The ‘man of God’ told KJ that the altar would be split apart.  That is exactly what happened.  Then King Jeroboam wanted the ‘man of God’ seized, no doubt to harm him.  Instantly King Jeroboam’s hand, which he had stretched out toward the ‘man of God,’ shriveled up.

King Jeroboam was quick to realize that the ‘man of God’ was indeed what he was known as and asked for the intercession mentioned in today’s verse.

The person described here as “the man of God” does intercede with God for King Jeroboam and a miracle happens.

There is a guy in the Bible study I attend who will listen to Scripture and sometimes say, “If I had written this…..”  That guy would have had a field day with this story!

One point for certain is that we cannot orchestrate God.  King Jeroboam “deserved” the punishment he originally received but did he “deserve” the healing he received very shortly thereafter?  But here we go measuring things by our standards of what should be and what shouldn’t be.  We can’t do that.  The man of God had it right.  He did what God told Him to do in both situations.

“I will do what God wants me to do.”  When we say AND mean that statement we had better be ready for responses that don’t make sense to us.  God’s Ways are not necessarily our ways BUT He knows what is best.

“Lord, You direct my path.  Forgive me for trying to pilot things.  I don’t know what I’m doing!  I thank You for examples of how to live.  You are a great God.  You know best.  Lead me, O Great Jehovah, I beg.”

Follow the ways of the ‘man of God.’

+8 change in food

hwfm-August-23

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Is the God side of you a secret?

“When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon AND his relationship to the Lord….” 1 Kings 10:1.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 10-11, 2 Chronicles 9, and Romans 6.

What do people really know about you?

Are you a closet believer?

When was the last time your relationship to the Lord surfaced?

Paul starts out a verse, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ..”  Are you ashamed of your relationship with God?

Solomon’s relationship to God was not a secret.  The Queen of Sheba knew about it second-hand from those who had been to Jerusalem.  She lived in what is current-day Yemen so she certainly was from away.

My life cannot be so structured that I am devoid of the flexibility that God can work within.  Will I change my plans?  Will I stop and listen?  Where could my relationship with God even have a chance to be exposed in?

I must become a slave to God.  I must be filled with a desire to be and do whatever He wants me to be.

I may never know where I have been a Godly influence.  That shouldn’t matter.  What matters must be my being available to serve Him at all times.

“Lord, I want to please You.  Help me to get the minutes of my life into Your Order.  Direct my path.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.  I love You, Lord.”

Are you ashamed of your relationship to God?

+8 right direction

hw-may-25

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What do you really want from God?

“May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors.”  1 Kings 8:58.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5, Psalm 99, and Romans 3.

I am into my sixth year of reading through the Bible each year.  Despite the previous five trips through, I have just now discovered Solomon.

Several days ago Solomon became a top-notch role model for me.  He chose discernment and an awareness of right and wrong, when God asked him what He could do for him.  The best part of all was God’s reaction to Solomon’s request: “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.” – 1 Kings 3:10.

I have thought a lot since then about why God was so pleased with Solomon’s request.  I think it was because Solomon was asking for the tools that would help to make him a Godly man.  Those are things God wants to give each of us, including me.

Each of us can ask God for whatever we want Him to give us.  However, I know now from the Solomon example the kind of request God honors and is pleased with.

More of Solomon’s good requests in today’s chosen verse.  Solomon is now asking that God to keep him doing what he should do.  To get the choices of his life right before God.

We all need that.  I want God to “turn” me when I’m misdirected.  I want God to get my attention when I am messing things up.  My Godliness is so limited.  I demand His guidance.

“Lord, thank You for Solomon’s good examples.  I beg for your discernment this day.  Help me to get right and wrong right.  Turn me from my wicked ways.  I love You, Father.”

Are you praying for things you think you need or what God knows you need?

+9 too high

hw-may-22

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