Daily Encouragement

June 24 – Come Over to Macedonia!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
2 Kings 6:1-7:20
Acts 15:36-16:15
Psalm 142:1-7
Proverbs 17:24-25

2 Kings 6:16 — As an old preacher once said, “God and you make a majority.”

2 Kings 6:17-18 — The LORD takes sight and gives sight.

2 Kings 6:23 — As Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”

2 Kings 6:31 — Famine, instead of being seen as a sign of God’s judgment and of His need to be appeased, was the reason for the king to be mad at the prophet of God and his desire to shoot the messenger.

2 Kings 7:19-20 — Bad things happen to people who question God’s power to provide.

Acts 15:38 — Interesting analysis from John Piper:

This is the foremost instance of Barnabas patience with the failures of others. He is the son of encouragement (Acts 4:36). He wants to give John Mark another chance and he wants to do it now.

Paul disagrees. The disagreement is so deep that it cannot be resolved, and these veterans whose friendship goes back at least 15 years, and who owe each other so much, part company. Neither will yield.

Which one of them was right? Well, Luke is remarkably objective here. He does not seem to take sides. Perhaps one little clue shows that the church inclined to the side of Paul, because in Acts 15:40 it says that Paul and Silas were commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. It doesn’t say this about the departure of Barnabas and John Mark.

Acts 16:3 — Paul not only taught mentoring (2 Timothy 2:2), he practiced it!

Acts 16:9 — From GotQuestions.org:

Up to that point in history, the gospel had been limited to Asia, and many historians credit Paul’s heeding the Macedonian Call with the spread of Christianity into Europe and the Western world.

Psalm 142:4-5 — When no man cared for my soul, the LORD is my refuge!

Proverbs 17:25 — This is interesting, especially in the context of Solomon’s son Rehoboam who lost the kingdom that his father had built.

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Daily Encouragement

June 23 – The “Uncool” River that Cleanses!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
2 Kings 4:18-5:27
Acts 15:1-35
Psalm 141:1-10
Proverbs 17:23

2 Kings 4:28 — The honest cry of a woman to the prophet comes out in this verse. She did not ask for a son, but she was ultimately given one that she loved. Now her son is taken from her, and God brings her son back to life.

2 Kings 4:31 — I heard a great message from Devon Swanson on Gehazi, the unfaithful servant. We met Gehazi yesterday (2 Kings 4:12), and he was intelligent enough to know how to help the woman (2 Kings 4:14). A good worker – but he had a fatal flaw that will also be seen in Naaman (2 Kings 5:22).

  1. No relationship with his ministries (2 Kings 4:26). Yes, the Shunamite woman wasn’t talkative (2 Kings 4:13 and 16), but Gehazi, who had been often in her house (2 Kings 4:10), didn’t have a relationship that allowed her to freely open up to him.
  2. No respect for his ministries (2 Kings 4:27). Yes, the Shunamite woman ignored him and physically approached his boss, the one Gehazi was called to protect. Gehazi didn’t protect Elisha because he was trying to thrust away one of his ministry’s key donors!
  3. No reward from his ministries (2 Kings 4:31). Our reward in ministry is seeing lives changed – some thirty-fold, some sixty-fold, some one hundred-fold (Matthew 13:8). Obviously, Elisha felt that Gehazi could be used by God to work a miracle, but Gehazi’s fatal flaw cost him his reward.

2 Kings 5:1 — Did you catch the phrase “by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria?” God cares about the political affairs of heathen nations! How much more so does He care about nations that claim to trust in God! But what is the political agenda of God?

2 Kings 5:2 — The captured Israelite maid would be used of God, not to get political deliverance for herself and the other captive Israelites in Syrian bondage, but to be a witness as a faithful slave to Naaman’s wife. She was able to use her unfortunate situation just like Joseph did – to bring blessings to a heathen nation. Her testimony was evident within the household of Naaman, and so much so that it moved the king of Syria!

In the background of this picture from the VCY Israel Trip, you can see the dirty waters of Jordan.

2 Kings 5:6 — Ah, Naaman. He thought healing could come through political entreaty, but the king of Israel could not heal him. Nor could healing come through religious ceremony (2 Kings 5:11). Nor could it come through financial inducement (2 Kings 5:16). It came through washing in the dirtiest river imaginable. It was not a difficult thing – it was quite simple. But it was not easy. Pride almost kept Naaman from being clean. Yes, his servants had to beg him – “Wash, and be clean!”

Today, we can wash and be clean in a river that is not too appealing – this river is the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 13:12)! Yes, the blood of the Lamb is not the river that most people go to for cleansing; they prefer the “prettier” waters of good works. Like Naaman, they try political activity, religious ceremony, and financial inducement. But they still are cursed with an incurable, fatal disease like Naaman (2 Kings 5:1). But like Naaman, though our sins be as scarlet, they can be made as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18, 2 Kings 5:14)!

Acts 15:1 — Ah, one of the “prettier rivers” – circumcision. Circumcision was initiated in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17:10), was repealed in Acts 10:15, and was expounded in Acts 10:45.

Acts 15:20 — What were these laws that were commanded to be followed by the Gentiles?

  • Abstaining from meats offered to idols. Wait until we get to Paul’s discussion on whether we can eat meats offered to idols!
  • Abstaining from fornication. The New Testament Church takes a harder line than the Old Testament Israelites on fornication. In Exodus 22:16-17, we see one of the “hardness of heart” passages (Mark 10:5, Matthew 19:8). In the New Testament, Jesus has increased our duty – we’re not just expected to follow the bare minimum requirements needed for the functioning of an orderly society of free citizens, but we have an increased duty to our fellow man that requires the full obedience of a bound servant to his master.
  • Abstaining from things strangled. Again, the life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:10-12).
  • Abstaining from vampirism. Yes – today we have made vampires cool and exciting. No – we are not to glorify this anti-biblical behavior. Some may say these things are cultural, but these are from the Holy Ghost (Acts 15:28).

Psalm 141:8 — The foundation for our national motto – “… in Thee is my trust.”

Proverbs 17:23 — Hmm … did we not read about someone taking a gift today, and as a result, someone’s view of God was perverted?

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Daily Encouragement

June 22 – Come with Me to Paris

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
2 Kings 3:1-4:17
Acts 14:8-28
Psalm 140:1-13
Proverbs 17:22

2 Kings 3:5 — Come with me to Paris. We’re going to the Louvre. You normally need ten euros for admission, but today, you’re my guest. No, we’re not looking for the Mona Lisa. We’re looking for biblical artifacts. Enter the Levant Exhibit, Room D, and look for artifact # AO 5066. Elevated off the floor on a white base is a black monument.

Here’s a description from the official website of the Louvre:

The stele of King Mesha constitutes one of the most important direct accounts of the history of the world that is related in the Bible. The inscription pays tribute to the sovereign, celebrating his great building works and victories over the kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab, son of Omri. The mention of “Israel” is its earliest known written occurence. Dhiban, ancient Dibon, where the stele was found, was the capital of this kingdom of Moab, located on the left bank of the Dead Sea.

You will notice parts of the stele are smooth and others are rough. The rough parts are genuine, the smooth parts are reconstructed.

Tribute should be paid to the sagacity of Charles Clemont-Ganneau (1846-1923), a great Orientalist and disciple of Ernest Renan, to whom we owe the stele’s rescue. While in Jerusalem, Clermont-Ganneau learnt from an Alsatian missionary, F.A. Klein, that a large block of black stone covered with characters had been found at Dhiban. He first sent an Arab intermediary from Jerusalem, Selim al-Qarim, who, in October 1869, made a schematic copy (today in the Louvre) of the inscription, which enabled Clermont-Ganneau to recognize the importance and early date of the monument. He then sent a second intermediary, Yaqoub Karavaca, to make a stamp of the inscription, in December 1869. It is not known exactly how and why this operation aroused the anger of the villagers: in the skirmish, the print was torn (but the pieces reached Clermont-Ganneau and eventually the Louvre) and the stele, hitherto intact, was broken into many pieces, which were sent to the antiquities market in Jerusalem. Thanks to his careful negociations, Clermont-Ganneau succeeded in retrieving the two main pieces and some remains …

If you can’t make it to the Louvre, you can see a replica of the Stele at the Oriental Institute in Chicago.

For a full guide to biblical artifacts in the Louvre, check out www.louvrebible.org.

2 Kings 3:9 — Sun Tzu in The Art of War said, “Carefully guard your line of supplies.”

2 Kings 4:4 — Interesting that the woman was commanded to “shut the door.” Elisha’s blessing wasn’t to be seen as an ostentatious event.

2 Kings 4:8 — The Shunemite woman exemplified the hospitality that we are commanded to display in the New Testament:

  • Bishops are commanded in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8
  • All believers are commanded in Romans 12:13 and 1 Peter 4:9

2 Kings 4:10 — Today, many churches have “prophet’s chambers” to aid those traveling in ministry. I have been the beneficiary of several prophet’s chambers!

2 Kings 4:13 — This woman provided for the prophet of God and asked for nothing in return.

2 Kings 4:16 — Like Sarah and Zachariah, she didn’t believe that she could conceive, but unlike them she had not expressed a desire nor encountered an angel.

Acts 14:15 — Paul is addressing a different audience than Peter did in Acts 3:13. Peter immediately begins preaching Jesus to the Jewish audience who understood who the God of Abraham was. Paul immediately begins preaching about the living God – the Creator of heaven and earth and sea. Ken Ham articulates that our society is looking more like Lystra than Judaea in that we need to define which God we are talking about.

Acts 14:19 — In verses 11-13, the people are preparing to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas who they think are the gods come to earth. Yet, in verse 19 the two were stoned and left for dead. Ah, the fleeting passions of the crowd! Yet, Paul returned to preach again in Lystra (Acts 14:21), strengthening the disciples and teaching that the tribulation (Acts 14:22) he demonstrated in his own body was necessary.

Psalm 140:1 — David writes this psalm, but it’s one that could have been Paul’s prayer as well. Deliver me O LORD! Yes, God has heard the voice of David and of Paul (Psalm 140:6) and will hear our prayer as well! One day we can relax and rejoice in the physical presence of God (Psalm 140:13).

Proverbs 17:22 — How can we be merry when we’re in trouble? According to the group Keep Believing, we can do so because of Romans 8:28!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

June 21 – Is There Not a God in Israel?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
2 Kings 1:1-2:25
Acts 13:42-14:7
Psalm 139:1-24
Proverbs 17:19-21

2 Kings 1:3 — Jeroboam sought a prophet of the LORD for wisdom, but Ahaziah sought a word from Baalzebub. “Is … there … not a God in Israel?” Even though Ahaziah didn’t seek Elijah, he did recognize Elijah (2 Kings 1:8).

2 Kings 1:13 — Like the old phrase goes, “I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.”

2 Kings 2:9 — What was the double-portion? From StackExchange.com:

A dying man cannot leave to his heir more than he has himself. And, lastly, even the ministry of Elisha, when compared with that of Elijah, has all the appearance of being subordinate to it. He lives and labours merely as the continuer of the work already begun by Elijah, both outwardly in relation to the worshippers of idols, and inwardly in relation to the disciples of the prophets. Elisha performs the anointing of Jehu and Hazael, with which Elijah was charged, and thereby prepares the way for the realization of that destruction of Ahab’s house which Elijah predicted to the king; and he merely receives and fosters those schools of the prophets which Elijah had already founded.

2 Kings 2:11 — The phrase “chariots of fire” was used to name the movie about Eric Liddell.

2 Kings 2:23 — What command was broken here? Leviticus 19:32 commanded honor for the aged, based on the premise, “I am the LORD.” Solomon reiterated it in Proverbs 20:29.

Henry Morris gives a helpful analysis:

The situation evidently involved a gang of young hoodlums of various ages, led by the older ones, with all of them no doubt instigated by the pagan priests and idolatrous citizens of Bethel. The bears which suddenly emerged from the woods “tare” (not necessarily fatally in all cases) 42 of the older hooligans.

The jeering exhortation to “go up, thou bald head,” was both a sarcastic reference to Elijah’s supposed ascension, as well as an insult to God’s prophet. This was actually a challenge to God and could not be excused. So God made good–in miniature–on a warning issued long before: “And if ye walk contrary unto me … I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children” (Leviticus 26:21-22). It can be a dangerous thing, for young or old, to gratuitously insult the true God and His Word.

Acts 13:50 — Christianity has never been popular among the upper classes. In Matthew 19:24, Jesus reiterates this view.

Acts 14:5 and 7 — Despite the risk of stoning, “they preached the gospel!”

Psalm 139:13 — You can’t escape the Spirit of God (Psalm 139:7-10) because He has known you from the very beginning.

Proverbs 17:21 — Three verses warning against the way of transgression. Here is a closing warning to fathers to be careful not to be raising foolish sons.

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Daily Encouragement

June 20 – False Prophets Then and Now

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Kings 22:1-53
Acts 13:16-41
Psalm 138:1-8
Proverbs 17:17-18

1 Kings 22:4-5 — Jehoshaphat made the right call to enquire of the LORD … but he should have done that first before pledging loyalty to the king of Israel.

1 Kings 22:11-12 — Interesting the number of people prophesying – not in the name of Baal, but in the name of the LORD. Even today we have false teachers such as the Heretic, the Charlatan, the Prophet, the Abuser, the Divider, the Tickler, and the Speculator.

1 Kings 22:18 — It’s interesting that Ahab’s name is only used once in this passage while he is alive. Poor Ahab … he seems so simple minded – wondering why Micaiah is being sarcastic with him or why the prophets never gave him good words. Proverbs 7:7 talks about the simple youths, devoid of understanding. Proverbs 22:3 and Proverbs 27:12 tell how the simple are punished by not foreseeing the evil. The real tragedy is that simpleness is curable through the testimony of the LORD (Psalm 19:7) and the words of the LORD (Psalm 119:130).

1 Kings 22:28 — Micaiah realizes God has a higher penalty for his transgressions than Ahab does. The danger is not being in prison with minimal rations – the danger is that a prophet who speaks presumptuously must be put to death. Imagine the discernment necessary – did this revelation come from the LORD God (for which I’m willing to risk my life on), or was this just something that came from bad pizza?

1 Kings 22:34 — At a venture, almost by chance … but we’ve seen before that chance is just a covering for Providence.

1 Kings 22:49 — Interesting that now Jehoshaphat finally realizes the danger of an alliance with Ahaziah.

Acts 13:30 — Yesterday we saw the theme verse of Acts; today we see the theme verse of the preaching in Acts.

Acts 13:34 — And for those wondering why David was brought up in a passage asking a simple question – now we know where he fits in.

Psalm 138:6 — Here’s a great study to undertake: the seeming contradictions of the Bible.

Proverbs 17:18 — Ah, surety for a stranger. That takes us back to January 29th!

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Daily Encouragement

June 19 – The Poochie Lip Disease

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Kings 20:1-21:29
Acts 12:24-13:15
Psalm 137:1-9
Proverbs 17:16

1 Kings 20:6 — The dangers of appeasement. When you have given everything they have asked for, be aware that they may ask for more.

1 Kings 20:32 — Ah, the definition of the “good ol’ boys club.” Even though Benhadad threatened to rape and pillage the land, Ahab still thought of him as a brother. But this wasn’t Ahab’s war; this was the LORD’s war (1 Kings 20:28). Compare this situation to Rabshekah and Hezekiah in Isaiah 36:15. 1 Kings 20:42 says that we don’t have authority to make peace with the enemies of the LORD when He has appointed them to destruction. Unless, of course, we want to take their place.

1 Kings 21:4 — Patch the Pirate wrote the song “The Poochie Lip Disease” about the displeasure and pouting that King Ahab did because he couldn’t get a garden.

1 Kings 21:8 — In the University of Chicago’s Oriental Collection, they have a large collection of seals.

1 Kings 21:10, 13 — Interesting that the word “LORD” is not used, but the generic word “Elohim” (god) is. Naboth identified with the LORD, but the sons of Belial identified with just a generic god.

1 Kings 21:29 — It’s interesting that Ahab had a somewhat soft heart; unfortunately, it seems he was stirred up by his wife, Jezebel (1 Kings 21:25). Solomon wrote well of the woman that feareth the LORD (Proverbs 31:30). Many a pastor has been limited in his ministry because his wife was not on the same page. In Bible college the observation was shared that half of all preachers married the wrong woman. On the other hand, I’ve heard of women that felt God’s call to the mission field but married a husband that was not responsive to that calling as well.

Acts 12:24 — Welcome to the theme verse of the Book of Acts. We have seen and will continue to see how the Word of God grew and multiplied!

Acts 12:11 — It is dangerous to interfere with the work of God. In Acts 5, we saw Ananias and Sapphira dead. In Acts 12:23, we see Herod dead.

Psalm 137:9 — The final verse in this psalm of mourning is troubling for some. Atheist debater Dan Barker cites this as proof of the “monster-ship” of God. Some say it’s merely an expression of the feelings of the writer. Jean Jones cites some helpful points, including understanding synecdoche, symbolism, lex talionis, and prophecy. Kyle Butt claims it’s an imprecatory prophecy without divine command.

Proverbs 17:16 — If you aren’t going to learn, don’t bother paying extra for tuition.

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Daily Encouragement

June 18 – The Depressed Prophet

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Kings 19:1-21
Acts 12:1-23
Psalm 136:1-26
Proverbs 17:14-15

1 Kings 19:2 — Apparently Jezebel wasn’t impressed with the awesome display of God’s power. But why did Jezebel’s boldness scare the prophet who had outrun the king’s chariots? Depression isn’t always logical or easily cured. Sometimes it requires repeated divine interventions (1 Kings 19:5, 1 Kings 19:7). Interestingly, Ahab suffered from similar depression in 1 Kings 21:7.

1 Kings 19:18 — As I write this, I’m in Mitchell, South Dakota, with Jimmy DeYoung. We’ve been on the road for 9 days so far and we’ve preached to over a thousand people. We won’t get to 7,000, but it’s so refreshing to see people hungry for the Word of God even in a time we think that we’re all alone.

1 Kings 19:21 — An evangelist had a message on this verse called “It’s Plow-Burning Time.” When God has called you to the ministry, you must be willing to “burn your ships.”

Acts 12:15 — If you are going to pray without ceasing, then don’t be hostile when the answer comes (Acts 12:15).

Acts 12:23 — Our God is a jealous God.

Psalm 136:1 — This psalm is famous for the closing phrase in each verse – “for his mercy endureth forever.” All of his compassionate acts to Man were done for His mercies sake.

Proverbs 17:15 — Isaiah echoed this in Isaiah 5:20.

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Daily Encouragement

June 17 – Baal, We Cry to Thee!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Kings 18:1-46
Acts 11:1-30
Psalm 135:1-21
Proverbs 17:12-13

1 Kings 18:3 — Ever notice that pagan leaders prefer (truly) LORD-fearing administrators?

  • Potiphar and Joseph (Genesis 39:4)
  • Pharaoh and Joseph (Genesis 41:41)
  • Ahab and Obadiah (1 Kings 18:3)
  • Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel (Daniel 2:49)
  • Darius and Daniel (Daniel 6:2)
  • Mordecai and Ahasuerus (Esther 10:3)

1 Kings 18:20 — Every time I go to Mount Carmel, I look at the statue of Elijah. Elijah was bold – bolder than Gideon. He confronted the king (1 Kings 18:18-19) so that the king obeyed him (1 Kings 18:20). When he spoke to the people, they were silenced (1 Kings 18:21).

1 Kings 18:26 — Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” features the classic line “Baal, we cry to thee” – portraying the anguish of unanswered prayer which is a contrast to Elijah’s prayer.

1 Kings 18:30 — What was this altar? From the Pulpit Commentary:

It has been already suggested that this altar may have dated from the time when there was no house built unto the name of the Lord. But it is just as likely that it had been restored, if not raised, by some of the “seven thousand who had not bowed their knees unto Baal,” or by some of the faithful remaining in Israel after the calf-worship and the hostility between the two kingdoms had made worship at Jerusalem an impossibility. Anyhow we can hardly be mistaken in holding that this was one of the “altars” (1 Kings 19:10), thrown down” by command of Ahab or Jezebel. Elijah’s repairing it was an act of profound significance. It showed him as the restorer of the law and the true religion.

Acts 11:3 — We see that the Dispensation of Grace was initiated on Pentecost. We also see its implications: unclean foods are no more unclean. Circumcision is no longer necessary. By the way – this age of grace does not mean “age of licentiousness,” but this is the era where salvation is offered to all (Titus 2:11). The veil of the temple has been rent. Circumcision is no longer a prerequisite for proximity to the Most High. Females are no longer barred from access to the inner sanctum.

Acts 11:25 — Evangelist Tom Farrell preached a great message on this verse, “Let’s Be a Barney.”

Psalm 135:6 — How powerful is the LORD? “Whatsoever [He] pleased, that did He.” Compare this to the idols of silver and gold (Psalm 135:16-17).

Proverbs 17:12 — Many a hunter has learned the lesson – don’t take the cubs from momma bear! And yet, how more dangerous is a fool! What’s the answer? Get wisdom (Proverbs 4:7)!

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Daily Encouragement

June 16 – Bless Ye the LORD!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Kings 15:25-17:24
Acts 10:24-48
Psalm 134:1-3
Proverbs 17:9-11

1 Kings 16:9 — Just some tactical advice: if you are going to lead an insurrection, make sure you’re the captain of the whole host (1 Kings 16:16), and not just a partial captain. Also, here’s more tactical advice: drunkenness does not become kings (Proverbs 31:4).

1 Kings 16:23 — We actually have several secular records of Omri. From the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR):

Omri had occupied the land of Medeba (northern Moab), and had dwelt there in his time (Albright 1969: 320; for a discussion of the Mesha Inscription, see Wood 1996b).

Baal idol, University of Chicago

1 Kings 16:31 — Jeroboam violated the 2nd Commandment – using graven images to worship the LORD in a way He forbade. Ahab violated the 1st & 2nd Commandment – using graven images to worship Baal, another god.

1 Kings 17:12 — Interesting phrase: “thy god,” as opposed to “my god.” Jesus referred to this incident. Elijah went not to a widow in his hometown, but to Zarephath of Sidon (Luke 4:25-26).

1 Kings 17:24 — Now after the miracle of the cruse of oil the widow didn’t say this, only after the return of her son.

Acts 10:26 — This is helpful, because when a being does not tell the worshipful human to arise, it implies they are God.

Psalm 134:1 — “Bless” comes from the Hebrew word “barach.” From GotQuestions.org:

The Hebrew word most often translated “bless” is barak, which can mean to praise, congratulate, or salute, and is even used to mean a curse. Genesis 1:22 is the first occurrence, when God blessed the sea creatures and birds, telling them to be fruitful and multiply in the earth.

Proverbs 17:9 — The lost art of discretion. Some stuff does not belong on Facebook.

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Daily Encouragement

June 15 – Our Biblical Permission to Eat Bacon!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Kings 14:1-15:24
Acts 10:1-23
Psalm 133:1-3
Proverbs 17:7-8

1 Kings 14:2 — And here we thought that Jeroboam had completely forgot about Ahijah. Ahijah said Jeroboam would be almost as great as King David (1 Kings 11:38), but Jeroboam forgot the condition (1 Kings 12:27) and tried to solve the problem his way. If God saves you, He can keep you! Interesting that even though Jeroboam saw Ahijah prophesy and desired his prophecy to be realized, he also thought Ahijah could be easily tricked.

1 Kings 14:7 — This is the theme of the “political books” of the Bible. Psalm 75:7 and Daniel 2:21 bear tribute to God’s control of both theocratic nations (Israel) and secular nations (Babylon). God exalts and God casts down. All He asks in order to bless us (not to save us) is obedience! (1 Kings 14:8).

1 Kings 14:10 — Yes, this phrase is actually in the Hebrew. GotQuestions.org discusses the use of this uncommon expression. Here the king whose descendants could have had an everlasting dynasty, will be taken away as a man taketh away dung. How’s that for a spiritual legacy?

1 Kings 14:22 — Well, couldn’t Rehoboam have learned from Jeroboam’s example? He was right in the city that God chose to put his name (1 Kings 14:21). But they built high places.

1 Kings 14:25 — We have secular records of this battle of Pharaoh Shishak:

This wall carving within the Karnak Temple complex in Egypt commemorates Pharaoh Shishak’s military exploits, including an invasion into Israel, c. 925 BC. Shishak is referred to in the Bible, and most scholars believe the invasion depicted in the carving is the same event noted in the Bible in 1 Kings 14:25. The carving displays a large image of the god Amun leading a number of captive cities by ropes. The scene is damaged; but, among others, it lists the Israelite city of Megiddo as one of many attacked by the Egyptians.

1 Kings 14:26 — How transient wealth is (Matthew 6:19-21).

1 Kings 15:4 — Even though the LORD will inflict judgment on the descendants up to three and four generations, His mercy is for thousands of generations (Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 5:10)!

1 Kings 15:18 — If Asa had just prayed in the temple instead of strip mining the temple … but he set a pattern that Hezekiah would follow (2 Kings 18:16).

Acts 10:2 — People ask, “What about those that are looking for God but never hear?” Well, we know that all are sinners (Romans 3:23), worthy of death (Romans 6:23), but we see that God will be found of those who seek Him early (Proverbs 8:17).

Acts 10:15 — We have now entered the 4th dispensation of Bacon!

  • Genesis 1:29 – Bacon is prohibited
  • Genesis 9:3 – Bacon is allowed
  • Leviticus 11:7 – Bacon is prohibited for Israelites
  • Acts 10:15 – Bacon is allowed for all

These match up with the classical “Seven Dispensations,” which were modified into the “Seven C’s of History.” This is a chart from an adult Sunday School class I taught.

Acts 10:19 — If Peter learned nothing from his years with the LORD, this is the first time we see the phrase “Peter thought” in the Bible (as opposed to the many times where “Peter said“)!

Psalm 133:2 — What is precious about the ointment? From Matthew Henry:

v. 2. (1.) This ointment was holy. So must our brotherly love be, with a pure heart, devoted to God. We must love those that are begotten for his sake that begat, 1 Jn. 5:1. (2.) This ointment was a composition made up by a divine dispensatory; God appointed the ingredients and the quantities. Thus believers are taught of God to love one another; it is a grace of his working in us. (3.) It was very precious, and the like to it was not to be made for any common use. Thus holy love is, in the sight of God, of great price; and that is precious indeed which is so in God’s sight. (4.) It was grateful both to Aaron himself and to all about him. So is holy love; it is like ointment and perfume which rejoice the heart. Christ’s love to mankind was part of that oil of gladness with which he was anointed above his fellows. (5.) Aaron and his sons were not admitted to minister unto the Lord till they were anointed with this ointment, nor are our services acceptable to God without this holy love; if we have it not we are nothing.

Proverbs 17:7 — As you consider the princely training by your elder brother (the soon to be crowned King of Kings), know what behavior befits a prince!

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