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

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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

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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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Daily Encouragement

June 7 – Adonijah’s not so humble request

June 7
1 Kings 2:1-3:2
Acts 5:1-42
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 16:25

1 Kings 2:3 – King David give his most important advice to Solomon. Be a man (1 Kings 2:2). But most importantly – obey the LORD thy God. David’s charge to Solomon here uses language from Psalm 119. Ways (6x in Ps119), Statutes (22x in Ps119), Commandments (22x in Ps119), Judgments (22x in Ps119), Testimonies (23x in Ps119), Law (25x in Ps119). 120 times in Psalm 119 he uses the 6 words to refer to the requirements of God. Why?

That thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest. Prosperity is the dominant desire of America for the last hundred plus years. One of the more interesting characters is Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich (1937), one of the 10 best selling self-help books of all time. We need to follow the LORD and we can prosper – without having to buy any other books!

1 Kings 2:5 – Joab, a man that has stood out in the passages. David has not forgotten his deeds unto Abner and Amasa. Because Joab was loyal to David, David must deal tactfully with Joab, so David lets Solomon tend to the problem. We see David has a good memory of his friends (Barzillai) and his enemies (Shimei).

1 Kings 2:17 – Such a simple request – that cost him his life (1 Kings 2:25). Because Adonijah was the consort of the great King David.

1 Kings 2:39-40 – While not exactly applicable, the principle of Deuteronomy 23:15 applies.

1 Kings 3:1 – Leviticus 18:3 warned against the doings of the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 17:16 warned about causing the people to return to Egypt.

Acts 5:5 – God has the power to bring the dead to life, and to take the living to death. Not all signs (Acts 5:12) were positive situations for rejoicing.

Acts 5:21 – John on the Isle of Patmos records the last words of Jesus to us: I have set before thee an open door. The door was opened so that they could go, stand and preach!

Acts 5:33 – The same God who broke up Adonijah’s war party with intense fear, allowed Gamaliel to be the tool to spare His servants and to further their ministry.

Acts 5:42 – From Earl Martin:

Psalm 125:1 – The promise of I Kings 2:3 has just been expanded to all that trust in the LORD. This promise applies to you – IF you trust and obey!

Proverbs 16:25 – Does God want you to follow your heart? No, He just wants you to follow Him!

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Daily Encouragement

June 6 – The First Political Campaign Parades!

June 6
1 Kings 1:1-53
Acts 4:1-37
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 16:24

We are now in 1 Kings! 14 books of the Bible done! Great job staying faithful to God’s Word!

I Kings 1:4 – Interesting comparison to Esther. In I Kings 1:2 the suggestion is almost identical “Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin” to Esther 2:2 “Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king.” Abishag was “very fair” (1 Samuel 1:2), while Esther was “fair and beautiful”

1 Kings 1:5 – Note the similarity between this verse and Absalom in 2 Samuel 15:1. Lest you think this is an outdated tradition, be sure to go to your local 4th of July Parade! From 6 Quick Parade Tips for Political Candidates:

Have a huge group of supporters. This is especially important in smaller races, and in smaller towns where a big, loud group really stands out. It doesn’t take many people to look ‘big,’ but I recommend at least 20.

1 Kings 1:7 – Joab was also instrumental in bringing back Absalom (2 Samuel 14:22-23).

1 Kings 1:41 – For some reason Joab is sticking out to me as I read. Interesting that he is caught unprepared. Joshua also heard an unexpected noise of what he thought was war (Exodus 32:17).

1 Kings 1:49 – Instead of another war for the kingdom, God blessed Solomon by putting fear into the hearts of his opponents, neutralizing his opposition.

Acts 4:12 – No other name but the name of Jesus, No other name but the name of the LORD, No other name but the name of Jesus, Is worthy of glory, is worthy of honor, and worthy of power and all praise!

Acts 4:24 – Some may say Creation isn’t an important issue. But if God didn’t make the heaven, and earth, and sea and all that in them is – God has no authority to dictate to them. But the Creator has the authority, and has given power to speak His Word with boldness! (Acts 4:31).

Psalm 124:8 – Speaking of the Creator, who has the power to help us?

Proverbs 16:24 – Make some honey today!

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Daily Encouragement

June 5 – The Location for the Temple

June 5
2 Samuel 23:24-24:25
Acts 3:1-26
Psalm 123:1-4
Proverbs 16:21-23

2 Samuel 23:24 – Our Bible reading plan jumps back in for the list of David’s Mighty Men. We may not all be Davids, but we can be loyal soldiers!

2 Samuel 23:39 – Uriah the Hittite…. the one that David had slain.

2 Samuel 24:1 – What was the big deal with the census? From GotQuestions:

In Exodus 30:12 God told Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.” It was up to God to command a census, and if David counted he should only do it at God’s command, receiving a ransom to “atone” for the counting. This is why God was angry again with Israel and is also why David was “conscience-stricken” after he counted Israel. David knew it was wrong and begged God to take away the guilt of his sin (2 Samuel 24:10).

Was this from Satan or from God? From AiG:

All temptation is permitted by God, but not caused by GodWhen evil spirits tempt us, they do so by permission (Job 1:122:6Luke 22:31)Satan therefore provoked David to number the people, and God allowed him to do soGod allows those things which serve to advance His holy and perfect will.

2 Samuel 24:3 – The loyal Joab who was ethically challenged realized that this was a bad idea. If your “Yes-Men” say “Wait a minute”… maybe they have a point….

2 Samuel 24:24 – What is special about the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite? In 2 Samuel 5 David captures the Jebusite city, but a threshing floor is fairly common. Until 2 Chronicles 3:1 when Solomon builds the house of the LORD on the threshing floor. From Spurgeon:

The threshing-floor of Ornan boasted no magnificence of size, or beauty of constructionThere was just the rock, and I suppose a composition spread upon it of hard clay or cement, that the feet of the oxen might all the better tread out the grainThat was all it was, yet when the Temple with all its glory crowned the place, God was never more conspicuously present than on that bare, ungarnished threshing-floor“Meet God in a barn!” one saysWhy not? Does that astonish youGod met Adam in a garden, Abraham under a tree, and Noah in an ark.

Acts 3:6 – And we’re back in the temple, about a thousand years after our Old Testament reading. Peter had no silver or gold, but what have we read in Psalms and Proverbs is better than silver and gold?

Acts 3:12 – Once you have a crowd – Preach! I was with a young evangelist in training and a crowd had unexpectedly gathered around him at a local park.  He asked me what to do – I said Preach!

Acts 3:19 – The message is reiterated from yesterday – Repent, be converted, but now we hear the message from the Mount of Olives – Jesus is coming!

Acts 3:22 – We read in the Torah about the coming of the Prophet – now Peter is saying this is the Prophet!

Psalm 123:2 – Yes Jesus is our friend and our elder brother, but He is our Master!

Psalm 123:4 – The Psalmist is repenting of sins of the heart here. Pride at not being at ease, pride at not being proud (yes, that is an ironic sense of pride).

Proverbs 16:22 – Echoing Deuteronomy 30:19!

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