Daily Encouragement

June 17 – Baal, we cry to thee!

June 17
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 – Everytime 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 unanswered, contrasted 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 – As we see the dispensation of grace initiated on Pentecost, we 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 preaches a great message, “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. But 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!

June 16
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, tactical advice, drunkenness does not become kings (Proverbs 31:4).

1 Kings 16:23 – We actually have several secular records of Omri. From 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 – 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:

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 1:22is 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!

June 15
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 wanted his prophesy, he thought Ahijah could be easily tricked.

392px-Lille_PdBA_mieris_femme_de_jeroboam

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 in theocratic nations (Israel) and secular nations (Babylon). God exalts, and God casts down. All He asks 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 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 14:17 – Yes children die for the sins of the parents under the wrath of God (Exodus 20:5, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9). Not under the penalties of law given to man, mind you (Deuteronomy 24:16), just under the direct act of God.

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:

320px-Bubastis_portal_at_Karnak

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 – Ah 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 a recent adult Sunday School class I taught.

Screenshot 2018-06-14 at 1.24.31 PM

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 thatoil 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 your princely training by your elder brother the soon to be crowned King of Kings – know what behavior befits a prince!

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Daily Encouragement

June 14 – Jeroboam’s Fear-Based, Unnecessary Apostasy

June 14
1 Kings 12:20-13:34
Acts 9:26-43
Psalm 132:1-18
Proverbs 17:6

I Kings 12:24 – Interestingly if they had only obeyed God earlier – they wouldn’t have had to assemble for war.

1 Kings 12:26-27 – Poor Jeroboam. Ahijah  promised Jeroboam that if he would obey the LORD (1 Kings 11:38), the LORD would guarantee the kingdom. Ahijah promised him the kingdom before he was a king, but the promise of the LORD wasn’t enough. Instead he created a sin that lasted for hundreds of years (1 Kings 12:30). All because of unnecessary fear.

1 Kings 13:2 – God cared so much that He sent a prophet to prophesy the judgment upon the apostasy. Interestingly, Josiah would not be born for another 300 years. This is more significant than Isaiah 44:28 – that was just 100 years in advance.

1 Kings 13:6 – Jeroboam just wanted temporary healing, not permanent repentance.

1 Kings 13:18 – We feel the LORD was unjust for punishing the man of God and not the old prophet. But a man of God must be discerning. Gideon was fearful, and questioned God’s greetings (Judges 6:13), command (Judges 6:15), promise (Judges 6:17), and asked for multiple signs (Judges 6:36, 39). If God had changed His directions to the man of God, the man of God could have asked for a sign.

1 Kings 13:33 – The danger is thinking that ministry is something that is just a wish, not a God-given desire (1 Timothy 3:1). This desire comes from delighting in the LORD (Psalm 37:4).

Acts 9:27 – God is pleased with those who intercede to make peace between His followers.

Acts 9:38 – Oh to inspire the admiration that Dorcas had, that people wanted her alive again. It reminds me of the funeral were the husband Herman was being remembered, and as they took out the casket, they bumped the door and all of a sudden they heard a groaning, and the bump had woken the presumably dead husband out of his paralyzed comatose state. Several years had passed, and the husband was taken up for dead once again. After the funeral as the pall bearers took up the casket, the wife urgently yelled out to them, “Watch the door this time!” Be a Dorcas, not a Herman.

Psalm 132:12 –  The Davidic Covenant was unconditional (2 Samuel 7:16). But the descendant covenant was conditional as we see here. Jeremiah 22:30 shows how the curse of Jeconiah was warned against in our passage here.

Proverbs 17:6 – Like the grandparent said, “If I had known grandchildren were so much fun, I would have had them first!”

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Daily Encouragement

June 13 – The Road to Damascus

June 13
1 Kings 11:1-12:19
Acts 9:1-25
Psalm 131:1-3
Proverbs 17:4-5

1 Kings 11:1 – This is the first use of the phrase “strange women.” Solomon himself will warn us about them in Proverbs 22:14 and Proverbs 23:33.

1 Kings 11:7 – God told Moses that the Israelites were to destroy their pictures, molten images, and “quite pluck down” their high places (Numbers 33:52). Not to build more!

1 Kings 11:9 – God does get angry over sin (Isaiah 12:1). Many successive kings of Israel would experience the anger of the LORD (2 Kings 17:18).

1 Kings 11:23 – Solomon would have had no adversaries except when He decided to turn his heart from the LORD, the LORD strirred up opposition.

1 Kings 11:38 – What was the conditional offer to Jeroboam? A Davidic dynasty if Jeroboam would only obey.

1 Kings 12:8 – Each generation would like to ignore the wisdom of the previous. This verse reminded me of the “Millennial Job Interview.”

1 Kings 12:16 – Sounds similar to 2 Samuel 20:1?

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Acts 9:3 –  Even today people talk about a “Road to Damascus” moment.

Acts 9:16 – God did not call Saul to prosperity, but rather to suffer for the name of the LORD!

Psalm 131:1 – The testimony of a devoted follower who walks in the way of the LORD. He knows God will bring down the haughty (2 Samuel 22:8), and will humble the lofty (Isaiah 2:11, Isaiah 5:15). He knows not to despise the day of small things (Zechariah 4:10).

Proverbs 17:4 – God talks about the poor 172 times in the Old Testament and has special concern for them. Christian ministries have been historically focused on helping the poor physically and spiritually! Americans gave $123 billion last year to religion-related causes.

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Daily Encouragement

June 12 – God dedicates the Temple

June 12
1 Kings 9:1-10:29
Acts 8:14-40
Psalm 130:1-8
Proverbs 17:2-3

Giordano_Le_Rêve_de_Salomon_Prado

1 Kings 9:2 – Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, was one of only three kings to reign over the United Kingdom. He was a Davidic heir to the throne, and reigned for 40 years. Yet God only appeared to him twice. We need to be grateful that we have God’s entire revelation, and that we have direct access to God.

I Kings 9:4 – Integrity of Heart. Having a heart attitude of obedience brings blessing (yes, I know you’ve heard this before).

I Kings 9:7 – We have a prophecy that has been fulfilled but God in His mercy returned Israel to the land, not just once (Ezra / Nehemiah) but twice (Modern state of Israel).

I Kings 9:11From the Pulpit Commentary:

[really they were mere villages. “It is a genuine Eastern trick to dignify a small present with a pompous name” (Thomson). …. originally designated but a small part of the considerable tract of country later known as the province of “Galilee,” viz., the northern part in the tribe of Naphtali (Joshua 20:72 Kings 15:29Isaiah 9:1. Cf. Jos., Ant. 5.1.18). It is easy to see why this particular region was surrendered to Hiram. 

(1) It was near his country (2 Samuel 24:7); 

(2) the people were Phoenicians, allied to Hiram, but strangers to Solomon, both in race and religion; 

(3) Solomon could not with propriety alienate any part of Immanuel’s land, or convey to a foreigner the dominion over the people of the Lord. Leviticus 25:23forbade the alienation of the land; Deuteronomy 17:15 the rule of a stranger.

I Kings 10:1 – God’s power attracts spectators and causes others to bless the LORD. (1 Kings 10:9).

1 Kings 10:22 – Jewish connections to Tarshish have extended for many years. Soon we’ll see a man of Tarshish have an encounter with Jesus!

1 Kings 10:28 – Just when things went well – Deuteronomy 17:16 specifically warned about going to Egypt to multiply horses.

Acts 8:27 – Speaking of obedience, Philip obeyed the angel that gave him a divine appointment.

Acts 8:31 – Be a guide to someone on how to read the Bible today! Start preaching Jesus (Acts 8:32).

Psalm 130:4 – Amen!

Proverbs 17:2 – Divine social mobility.

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Daily Encouragement

June 11 – The Ark enters the Temple

June 11
1 Kings 8:1-66
Acts 7:51-8:13
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 17:1

The_priests_brought_in_the_ark

I Kings 8:23 – Mercy upon His servants. Such a great treasure to be thankful for.

I Kings 8:33 – Turn and confess – repeated in I Kings 8:35.

I Kings 8:41 – In case you hadn’t figured it out, this verse is talking about most of us.

Acts 7:51 – Not exactly a seeker-sensitive invitation.

Acts 7:56 – Normally Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God (Matthew 26:64). This is the only time Jesus is recorded standing at the right hand, perhaps ready to welcome His faithful servant home.

Psalm 129:4 – Near the center of this verse is an eternal truth – The LORD is righteous.

Proverbs 17:1 – Wise words. Peace over shows of worship.

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Daily Encouragement

June 10 – But Solomon….

June 10
1 Kings 7:1-51
Acts 7:30-50
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 16:31-33

1 Kings 7:1 – 1 Kings 6:38 says Solomon spent seven years building the temple, but we contrast that with how long he spent building his house. The temple was 60x20x30 cubits, (I Kings 6:2), while Solomon’s was 100x50x30 cubits, approximately 4x the cubic volume.

First_Book_of_Kings_Chapter_6-1_(Bible_Illustrations_by_Sweet_Media)

1 Kings 7:42 – Why does God give all these details? Remember Exodus 28:2 and Exodus 28:40? For glory and for beauty. God designs beautiful things for us to enjoy and appreciate.

Acts 7:32 – Stephen reiterates the message Peter preached in Acts 3:22 – “him shall ye hear.” This is the key messianic prophecy of the early New Testament age – Deuteronomy 18:15 and Deuteronomy 18:18 is the source.

Acts 7:39 – “would not obey” – when a great theme message of the Bible is obedience.

Acts 7:41 – Aaron claimed he cast the gold into the fire and “there came out this calf (Exodus 32:24), but Exodus 32:4 states he fashioned it with a graving tool, and made the molten calf. Here Stephen reiterates the disobedience of his people.

Acts 7:45 – Jesus and Joshua are the same name, just transliterated from Greek to Hebrew to English.

Acts 7:49 – Why the mention of the temple? Because the charge was of destroying the temple (Acts 6:14). Stephen shows that the Old Testament allowed the temple but did not command a temple.

Psalm 128:1 – Next time I’m going to keep track of how many times we’re reminded to obey the Lord, walk in His ways, etc.

Proverbs 16:33 – The control of the Virginia House of Representatives in 2017 was settled by a coin toss. Read about how people are delegating to “chance” today in USA Today, but remember that even “chance” is of the Lord.

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Daily Encouragement

June 9 – Solomon’s Temple!

June 9
1 Kings 5:1-6:38
Acts 7:1-29
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 16:28-30

1 Kings 5:7 – How great is it that your father’s friends will bless the LORD that your father’s legacy is continued!

1 Kings 6:1 – This is the anchor dating passage for the Old Testament. 480 years from the Exodus to the Construction of the Temple. That connects 1446 (date of Exodus) to 966 BC.

1 Kings 6:7 – Amazing – a massive construction project but no sound of jackhammers, axes, or iron tools, while it was under construction.

1 Kings 6:12 – What does the LORD say is the one condition to Solomon? Obedience (have we heard this before?)

1 Kings 6:38 – How is that for an impressive project? Tens of thousands of people working for seven years!

Acts 7:2 – Stephen, a man willing to wait on tables – was able to preach, reciting Hebrew history. We see here Genesis and early Exodus history summarized into 28 verses. The Torah is very relevant to the New Testament.

Psalm 127:1 – Great reminder of Proverbs 19:21, James 4:13-16, and Luke 12:16-21.

Psalm 127:3 – Children are a blessing – and are important to society. Washington Post:

The United States is in the midst of what some worry is a baby crisis. The number of women giving birth has been declining for years and just hit a historic low. If the trend continues — and experts disagree on whether it will — the country could face economic and cultural turmoil.

Proverbs 16:28 – Are you a uniter or a divider?

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Daily Encouragement

June 8 – When the Lord brought back the captives….

June 8
1 Kings 3:3-4:34
Acts 6:1-15
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 16:26-27

1 Kings 3:9 – May we pray for wisdom as well. Too often people pray for health, wealth, and prosperity, when God wants to give us all that – but first wisdom. And if we don’t walk in God’s ways – we’re not getting the fringe benefits. (1 Kings 3:14)

1 Kings 4:21 – Solomon’s reign seems impressive but – as Samuel warned in I Samuel 8:14-15 – he will take your fields, vineyards, olive groves, grain, vintage, and more! While prosperity is fun, it is also expensive (1 Kings 12:4).

1 Kings 4:25 – This verse is the first use of George Washington’s favorite phrase “every man under his vine and under his fig tree.” Professor Daniel Dreisbach has written extensively on this.

A preliminary survey of Washington’s papers reveals that he quoted this phrase on nearly four dozen occasions during the last half of his life. Most, but not all, references were made in private missives, anticipating a retirement to Mount Vernon, his beloved home on the south bank of the Potomac River. Washington, it should be noted, was not alone among his contemporaries in his attraction to this Hebrew blessing.4 Even Martha Washington borrowed the phrase in her correspondence.5

1 Kings 4:26 – Solomon is violating Deuteronomy 17:16.

Acts 6:10 – Stephen’s job description was to “serve tables” (Acts 6:2), but he spake with wisdom and the Spirit. They charged him (Acts 6:14) with the same charge they attacked Jesus with (Mark 14:58).

Psalm 126:1-3 – From Vice President Mike Pence:

It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget… when three Americans stepped onto the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews and gave me a signed personal note with Psalm 126 on the back.

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion… The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

To these men of faith and courage – God bless you and welcome home!

Psalm126:6 – Spurgeon has a great outline:

  • A sojourning: “He that now goeth on his way.”
  • A sorrowing: “weeping.”
  • A sowing: “and beareth forth good seed.”

In the regress there are three opposites unto these.

  • Returning: “He shall doubtless come again.”
  • Rejoicing: “with joy.”
  • Reaping: “and bring his sheaves with him.” –John Hume.

Proverbs 16:26 – From Barnes:

He that laboreth – literally, as in the margin, i. e., “The desire of the laborer labors for him” (or, helps him in his work), “for his mouth urges him on.” Hunger of some kind is the spring of all hearty labor. Without that the man would sit down and take his ease. So also, unless there is a hunger in the soul, craving to be fed, there can be no true labor after righteousness and wisdom (compare Matthew 5:6).

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