2 Kings 20- 25- We did it! Six books of the Old Testament and a few Psalms!

We are done! I really enjoyed that summer reading plan!! I hope you did too. It was great to be able to read about the rise of Israel with the first of their kings, Saul, David and Solomon (boy, that seems like a long time ago that we read about that!).  And then, it was sad to read how Israel split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, and all the subsequent kings who didn't want to follow in the way of the Lord.   As a result, Israel is completely wiped out and then Judah, in short order, falls as well.  Yet, after all that sad reading, we were left with a slight ray of hope!!!! Did you notice how the reading ended?  2 Kings 24 says that Jehoiachin is taken captive and brought to Babylon.  He was 18 years old when that happened.  Then 37 years later.....the King of Babylon released him from prison!  What??... what came over that foreign king to speak "kindly" to Jehoiachin and give him a seat above the other seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon? (25:28)  I tel

2 Kings 13- 2 Kings 19- Conviction from the Holy Spirit is a good thing!

 Did anyone else feel a sense of wistfulness for Israel when reading chapter 17? Looking at all the sad faces next to the kings of Israel, it's clear to see that the end was coming, but I wish it could have been different.  I wish they hadn't become so "stubborn" and stayed in their unbelief (17:14).  I wish they could have had a couple good leaders like Judah had.  Judah had some bad kings, but then some good...that would get the people back on track. Why weren't there any good kings in Israel line?  And then, the final blow came during the time of King Hoshea. 😞 The Assyrians attack Samaria; the end arrived.  It sounded so utterly final.  "The people of Israel continued in all the sins that Jeroboam committed; they did not depart from them until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he foretold through all his servants the prophets.  So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day." (2 Kings 17:22-23) Boom! End of game! It ma

2 Kings 6- 12- Lesson learned from 2 Kings= Stay in fellowship and get good teaching!!

 I don't know about you, but I had to start diagramming out the family tree of all those kings we have been reading about!  Next to each name I wrote a smilie face or a sad face depending if the King did what was right in God's eye or not.  My notes are way too messy to share, but I found a great chart that is neat, sharable and basically what I scribbled in my note book.  ! I put the smile or sad face on the kings we have read about up to today.  It's interesting how some kings got carried away in their own sin and then turned from the Lord, like Solomon did, yet others turned back to the Lord and tried to live right.  I found myself wondering what the influential factors were to get some to turn back to God.   Today's reading kind'a gave me the answer!  Joash became king at 7 years old and reigned for 40 years.  I loved this line, "Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him." (12:2) What a profound i

1Kings 20- 2 Kings 5- It's not complicated- wash and be clean!

 Happy Monday to you all!   I am looking at the reading plan and notice that I failed to put the chapter to be read each day after I got to August 20th😝.  Well, at this point, you know the routine.  One chapter a day until the last day where you will need to read the last two chapters to finish on Sept. 10, or read one and finish on the 11th.  So what did you get out of the reading this past week? The story of Naaman in chapter 5 stood out to me. This highfalutin commander of an army, needs to go humbly before Elisha (the man of God).  I am sure Naaman was expecting Elisha to come out of his house, maybe give Naaman some sort of honor for being a commander and then give him some sort of secret potion, chant or complicated dance to perform or a prescription of some sort of sacrifice (i.e. 100 ox or maybe his own child),  in order to be healed.  This makes me think of those prophets that Elijah taunted as they were dancing around and cutting themselves trying to get their fake god to re

1 Kings 13- 19- Stay devoted to God alone!!

 I sure did get some applicable gems out of this weeks reading!  One gem that stood out to me was, where one lives has a big influence on their world view!   You better not let your culture sway you from a pure devotion to God!       Remember Jeroboam fled to Egypt and lived there for  awhile (11:40).  He was surrounded by polytheism when he lived there.  When he came back to Israel, he should have known better!  Earlier in his life the prophet told him,  "If you listen to all that I (God) command you, walk in my ways, and do what is right in my sight by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you," (11:38). But his time in a polytheistic culture made him forget God's standard. So what does he do when he comes back from Egypt? He makes two golden calves for the monot heistic Israelites to worship! (12:28) 😲 Unbelievable!  Well, God doesn't put up with that and ultimately takes Jeroboam out of the picture entirely (14:10)! God

Song of Sings 3-8 & 1 Kings 9-12- Stay close to God!!

I think that 1 King 11 is the saddest chapter in all our summer reading!  How can wise, old Solomon be so stupid at the end of his life?!  Well, the chapter tells us exactly how that happened! His wives and concubines "turned away his heart" from the Lord. (1 Kings 11:3) 😟 1 Kings 11:9 stood out to me, "Then the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord commanded."  😫 I just wanted to cry when I read that! There are so many practical life lessons that can be learned from Solomon! These are a few I thought of: 1.  Wealth, prosperity,  even wisdom, doesn't guarantee a committed heart to the Lord.  I read in Proverbs (amazing to think that Proverbs may have been written by Solomon!) where it says, "..give me neither poverty nor riches, but Gove me only my

Ecclesiastes 9-12, 1 Kings 5-8 & Song Of Songs 1&2- It's all about Jesus!!

Ecclesiastes has a lot of choice morsels I could comment on, but for some reason, I am really drawn to ponder that temple Solomon built for the Lord.  Way back in Exodus (chs. 35-40), Moses got the instructions from the Lord on how to build the tabernacle, (the portable tent/temple), that was broken down and set up every time the Israelites moved and changed camp sites. When it was built, "the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle" (Exodus 40:34) The directions were soooo specific!  And now, 480 years later (1 Kings 6:1) Solomon is given the task of following the careful instructions as well. Why were the instructions so specific?.....Because the temple specifications represented heavenly things!  Romans 8:5 says,  "They (the priests) serve at a sanctuary that is a copy  and shadow  of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned  when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” I fin