They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.” 1 Samuel 9:26-27
“Stay here for a while, so I may give you a message from God” Ah and we should see the significance here. In those days if a person was to receive a a special word from the Lord, he would go to the prophet. Yet we too can learn from this story. The servant of Saul was sent ahead of him so the prophet could give him a “message from God”
Yet we too can seperate ourselves too each day to receive a message from God. We must spend time alone, and prepare our hearts to hear what God may speak.
We must send ourselves away from others and give God a chance to speak to us one on one, through His Word, and through time in prayer. We must let ourselves be alone and undisturbed so often. Had Saul not sent his servant ahead, Samuel would not have given him the important message. We too can send away all people and distractions so we can hear the Lord in our waking firsf moments of our days.
It says “They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” Yet before Samuel sent Saul on his way, he had to give him the message from God. It was early, at daybreak-
And we too at day break can go meet with the Lord and find new strength, to prepare us to be sent on our way- doing what He would call us to do. For when we first connect with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, we find we are better equiped to go our way in fresh strength and guidance.
“Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:16 –
We all have been advised to try to stay at home and prevent further spread of COVID19. Rightly so we should be concerned of the lives our neighbors. Yet this is also true with rumors and slander, things like this spread fast and can at times, endanger people’s lives and reputations.
The aim of this command was to prevent the spread of unfounded, unproven or untrue words spoken of somebody else. The fact is whenever we open our mouths, we should speak what is true and beneficial. Everytime we gossip, in a way we ingest the contaminated secrets of someone and go off and start coughing it out to others.
During this pandemic we are probably warry of people who cough too much, but the Proverb says it is in our best interest to also avoid a one who talks too much
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much. Proverbs 20:19 –
How do you quarantine a gossip, or a malicious tongue? You let whatever they speak die as soon as it hits your ear, yoi stop the spread. You choose to kill whatever gossip they shared but refusal to listen. It’s just that simple. The way the actual virus infects people is by getting into their body. Yet actual viruses can only stay alive a period of time outside a human host, and they eventually die if they remain on just an ordinary surface. Yet everytime we choose to entertain gossip and rumors we let the viral words of a motor mouth infect our minds and change how we see the person being spoken of. Pretty soon we may spread that info to others not being able to prove it is actually true.
Yet if we let it bounce of our ears we can keep evil from spreading so often.
God is not looking for people with talent or strength but willing commited people
He does the strengthening!
When God gave Isaiah the prophet a revelation and asked who he would send to preach to the people, look at what Isaiah’s response was
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 –
And The Lord took him up on that offer. We too should be eager volunteers. God is not looking for the most influencial qualified or talented people, he is looking for true and sincere hearts who are eager to do His will!
Maybe you readers today desire to do the Lord’s work but have feelings of inadequacy. Maybe you feel that you just are not skilled or talented enough, yet you feel God’s call on your life. Well my encouragement is take the step of faith you feel called to and pray God’s strength will do all the heavy lifting- He truly deserves all the glory for any success we have anyways, after all
Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Isaiah 26:12 –
God’s not after proud self sufficient people but humble volunteers. So my encouragement is if you feel less then able, do as God told Gideon
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:14 –
In moments you feel too weak to go on, pray like Nehemiah: “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9 –
God wont call us to do what he does not provide by His power the ability for us to do!
Imagine your heart, life and mind like soil. God’s Word is like that seed you plant in the soil. You tend to the seed and water it daily until you finally have a fruit tree. Yet you know, a tree does not come up over night. A fruit tree does not produce fruit on it over night. It takes time for a tree to grow, then from there eventually fruit begins to grow on the branches. Yet from there it still takes time to ripen and mature.
Ah what a lesson! Many Christians start off following Christ and they do their part by reading the Word daily, praying and to the best they can obeying, yet they may get discouraged with slow results. Slow progress. Yet we must understand like a fruit tree, God uses time. God uses time to grow a tree, and God over time will grow you and me. True you may have planted the seed as you should have done, you may have done it right- yet imagine you get impatient and give up watering the seed for a literal tree seed? Would you foolishly do that, just because it grew slow?! I doubt it, most farmers or fruit tree growers know patience is key and perseverance is vital.
So to we must not give up when growth in us seems slow.
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25 –
It says of Aaron, “He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped”
Aaron was chosen to be a priest of the Old Testament covenant and offer sacrifices for the people to atone for sin. Yet we see this incident forshadows and even greater high priest who hung there between the living and the dead, on the cross Jesus Christ was suspended between the living God and people “Dead in sin and transgression” (See Ephesians 2.)
Jesus did not just make a sacrifice for sin, he was the sacrifice. He turned away the anger of God toward mankind in that moment- making forgiveness for sin possible to all who believe and look to him.
When this plague broke out in the time of Aaron and Moses, there was also another man who helped turn God’s fierce anger from the people, Phinehas
The Lord said to Moses, “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. Numbers 25:10-12 –
Phinehas was also mentioned in Psalm 106
They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods; they aroused the Lord’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them. But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come. (Psalm 106:28-31)
“Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked”
And “he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal.”
Yet of Jesus Christ it was said of in the prophesy of in Psalm 45 says
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:6-7 –
We later on see the author of the New Testament book of Hebrews quote this Psalm and say
But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” Hebrews 1:8-9 –
Jesus Christ lived a perfect life for our sake and died the death we all deserve, he takes the plague of God’s fierce anger on His own self on the cross, so that if we turn from sin to him by faith, we can be cleansed of the infectious effect sin has on our hearts and lives. He has made us who believe His royal subjects- we are now a part of His kingdom.
We no longer should live for our old master sin, but rather as employed servants of the King of Kings!
Ah and the Lord buys us back from death ans sin. When a company or business buys out another, there is a legal transaction that takes place- the company that is bought with a decided price now becomes subject to the new one. The old comany becomes property of the one who bought it and is under new management.
Yet what price did Jesus pay for us, His own blood, so costly, so priceless. Now if indeed we are by true faith in Christ, we have signed our lives over to be under His management and belong to Him. We are “bought with a price” 1 Corinthians 6:20 reminds us.
Yet also lets use this analogy. Suppose you get married. You sign your life over to that other person as your one true love. As the wedding vows often go, “forsaking all others for this person”—- meaning marriage should be, total commitment to that one person you made a vow to.
You can no longer have side lovers. You can no longer just do whatever you want independantly of your spouse. Ideally you both come together in agreement on certain things and if you are spending time with a person your spouse feels uncomfortable with, then you may have to cut ties- and in a fair relationship both people are willing to make changes and adjustments to please the person they married.
Yet the truth is, if you turn your life over to Christ by faith- your life goal becomes pleasing Him and doing what honors him. And if you do not want that- then he gives you the choice to decide. Also when you choose to marry or be commited to another person- they may say: “Well this is what I want from you if your going to be in relationship with me,” they may come up with some non negotiables and then before you choose to marry that person, you obviously decide to accept the terms or choose to not- and end the relationship.
That is true too with a business who gives another business an offer to buy them- they may draw up papers and terms- and the company that is made the offer can choose to accept and sign or deny.
Yet Jesus is alot like that. He offers us eternal life and peace with God. He offers us an abundant life truly living how we were originally meant to live as human beings. Yet He wants commitment and dedication. Though we are not perfect, we should be commited and focused on living our lives no longer for what He hates (Sin) but living for Him
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:15 –
Yesterday we saw how Jotham learned from the mistake of Uzziah his father and walked faithfully before God. Today we will see the opposite, how a king named Jehoram turned out very bad despite his father Jehoshaphat’s godly example as king.
Then Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king. Jehoram’s brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. Their father had given them many gifts of silver and gold and articles of value, as well as fortified cities in Judah, but he had given the kingdom to Jehoram because he was his firstborn son. (2 Chronicles 21:1-3)
After Jehoshaphat dies, Jehoram the first born son of Jehoshaphat became king after him. We will see what he did and how some choices he made in his personal life led to his downfall.
When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father’s kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the officials of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 21:4-6)
-Jehoram commits a horrible act and has his brothers killed along with some of the officials of Israel. We see part of his issue was in whom he chose to be his wife, it says “For he married the daughter of Ahab.”
His choice in making Athalia his wife undoubtedly probably influenced him in a bad way. She was the daughter of Jezebel and Ahab, and in her case it was true, “Like mother, like daughter”
Jehoram after he does this unspeakable evil is confronted by Elisha the prophet through a letter that says: “Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet, which said: “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: ‘You have not followed the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or of Asa king of Judah. But you have followed the ways of the kings of Israel, and you have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, just as the house of Ahab did. You have also murdered your own brothers, members of your own family, men who were better than you. So now the Lord is about to strike your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow. You yourself will be very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes your bowels to come out.’” (2 Chronicles 21:12-15)
Jehoram eventually dies and to no one’s regret at the age of only forty years old.
The Scripture says : “Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. 2 Chronicles 21:20 –
He was not even given a burial worth a king. No one missed him really nor mourned his loss. What a sad way to finish one’s life. He was so ruthless that people were glad he was dead.
We see that Jehoram turned out a terrible life lived and was a wicked king. His godly upbringing had little impact on his life and we see having Jehoshaphat as his father did not rub off godly values on him. It is true to today, just because one is raised going to church all their lives or have good godly parents, that does not guarantee they turn out to follow the Lord. There is no doubt value in godly parent’s example but as we see here, at the end of the day it is our choice how we choose to live our lives.
We also see whom we marry will impact us more then we can every fully realize. Jehoram did not seem to consider how the Lord at one time rebuked his father Jehoshaphat for allying himself to go to battle with Ahab, to recapture Ramoth Gilead. God was angry at Jehoshaphat for being a partner with Ahab only in battle, how much more displeased must God have been that Jehoram actually married Ahab’s godless daughter!
Earlier on God reprimanded Jehoshaphat several times for being too close and friendly with ungodly people
In 2 Chronicles 19:1-3 after Jehoshaphat escapes with his life from the battle for Ramoth Gilead, (after Ahab is killed as a result) the prophet rebukes Jehoshaphat for even being mixed up witn Ahab.
In 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, the Lord destroyed Jehoshaphats trading ships because he was in a business venture with Ahaziah, Ahab’s son.
Jehoshaphat did fear and obey God despite his weaknesses and shortcomings. Yet he suffered several occassions for his foolish alliances.
Then we see Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram go to the length of marrying Athalia, daughter of Jezebel and Ahab. He ends his life as a wicked king sadly and does not follow in the reverance his father had for the Lord!
We all have heard the quote, “The apple never falls far from the tree” yet we will go through this series and discover that this is not always the case. Perhaps you grew up in a broken home and your parents were not ideal ones. Yet truth is how we were raised does not have to spoil our future.
We will examine the story of Jotham today. He was a good man of God and godly king who it says “Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God” (2 Chronicles 27:6)
Jotham grew powerful and was under the Lord’s blessing. Yet let us look at the life of his father Uzziah, also known as King Azariah. Uzziah was good and godly, yet he became powerful, and with the power came pride. We see this sad verse drscribing the downfall of Uzziah,
But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. (2 Chronicles 26:16)
Uzziah ended the rest of his years leprous as a result of his arrogant move. We see,
King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house —leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. (2 Chronicles 26:21)
Yet Jotham learned seemingly from his father’s mistake and it says “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done, but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the Lord . The people, however, continued their corrupt practices. Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple of the Lord and did extensive work on the wall at the hill of Ophel. He built towns in the hill country of Judah and forts and towers in the wooded areas. (2 Chronicles 27:2-4)
Jotham grew in strength and learned from his father’s poor choice and did not repeat it. We also can learn from this. None of us had perfect parents. Our parents were humans and made mistakes. Uzziah was still remembered as a king who for the most part was good and godly. It says: “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done,”
Just as his father Uzziah had done. So Uzziah was mentioned somewhat favorably even though he blew it that one time. Jotham seems though to learn from his father’s mistakes and shortcomings so he won’t repeat them. Most of us can say “I had great parents, they were not perfect people but were good ones.”
And the truth is even if our human parents made mistakes, it does not mean we cannot learn from them. Sure we too will make mistakes if we are parents too, and would hope our children learn from our mistakes also. Often parents in their love will say “Now son” or “Now daughter” – “I want you to learn from some of the mistakes I made in my life so you can be successful.”
And this is what Jotham does. He I assume remembered the mistake of his father Uzziah and learned from it.
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. Zechariah 14:9 –
Ephraim was one of the tribes in northern Israel and Judah and Benjamin made up two tribes that were the southern kingdom. There were continual bitter wars between these two kingdoms, north and south. Yet eventually both kingdoms were taken into captivity- North (Israel) was taken by the Assyrians first. Generations later Judah was captured by the Babylonians and remained in captivity for 70 years.
During the days of Nehemiah and Ezra, these people finally got to return to their home land and rebuild and there was no longer a king in Israel even up to the present time.
Yet there will be a King here in the future. The rightful heir to the throne, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
One day He will rule and be King over both Judea and Israel. Christ’s kingship means peace and harmony between those fractured kingdoms, as well as peace between God and sinful humanity who will believe His Gospel and be saved from this “corrupt generation”
In Acts chapter 2 Peter explains what Jesus Christ meant for the Jews he was addressing
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Acts 2:39-40 –
He says “The promise is for you and your children” (Israelites) but also “For all who are far off”
Meaning Gentile people’s who would turn from sin to embrace Israel’s Messiah. Meaning that salvation from sin and eternal life was made possible not just for Jews but to all whom will believe this gospel
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13)