Category Archives: 1 Kings

1 Kings 18:1-20:25

When I engage with Obadiah there is so much that comes to mind. Key thought is the poem from C.T. Studd – Only One Life

Two little lines I heard one day,

Traveling along life’s busy way;

Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

At that end of the day, what I do for Christ is all that matters and Obadiah gives me a great example of such a life.

Ahab called for Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. Obadiah feared God—he was very devout. Earlier, when Jezebel had tried to kill off all the prophets of God, Obadiah had hidden away a hundred of them in two caves, fifty in a cave, and then supplied them with food and water. – 1 Kings 18:3-4 MSG

I think that sometimes it should matter that I matter but what does that mean for the so many who have never mattered in the storied pages of life. I may think I am not one who leaves this world with a legacy of honour, but I am one who has yielded his life to God in spite of what or where I do or am.

When I see Obadiah, I see someone who was in charge of the palace – a position of dignity and influence. If he had the job for some length of time he was an honoured servant for his integrity and efficiency.

He was this kind of servant regardless of an apostate king and a heathen queen. I wonder what Ahab must of thought of this devout man of God but I wonder more what made Obadiah stay. Many today would have counselled him otherwise. Let’s face it, the corrupt atmosphere of Ahab’s court must have violated his moral code. Elijah could have used some company and a strong leader like Obadiah could have served well with him. Why would that not be a position that he would seek? The key was his ability to fear God and serve Him above all else, even himself. His love of country, faith and desire to honour God kept him at his post. An incredible encouragement to me as I try and stay relevant and loyal to my walk with God. Saving the lives of a hundred prophets of God really does make a difference.

Father, may I never cease to be amazed at where You place me to serve. If it is a small, out of the way place, I will serve You there with the best of my abilities. Should I run into conflict, I will not move unless you move me. Thank You for guiding me and thank You for Your peace – it is my internal thermometer that lets me know if I am on the path you have called me to journey or if I have somehow lost my way.

Erwin (evanlaar)

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1 Kings 11:26-13:34

Some friends of mine are doing a challenge and asked me to be part of it. For 75 days, there’s a list of things they need to accomplish (exercise, food choices, reading, etc), or they have to restart. Seventy-five days is roughly two and a half months. I looked at the list of things. It was the mental (and physical) boost I was looking for because my current efforts felt stagnant. The tasks seemed reasonable. I joined them. Of the 25 of us in the group, several have not shared their progress, and in a smaller segment of seven people, a few of us have had to start over. That “us” includes me. Drinking a gallon of water a day was not as easy as I thought.

28 Now Jeroboam was a man of standing, and when Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the tribes of Joseph. (1 Kings 11:28, NIV)

Solomon puts Jeroboam in charge of the whole labor force. A prophet encounters Jeroboam with a word from the Lord. I focus in on this part, mostly because I’ve seen it so many times in scripture.

37 However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 38 If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. (1 Kings 11:37-38, NIV)

The Lord is always clear about the terms. “If you do (this), I will do (this).” How many rulers were known for their obedience and heart for the Lord? A good amount. This tells me that what God requires is not only reasonable, it’s attainable.

When I read the scriptures from a distance of a couple thousand years, I can shake my head at what sometimes seems inevitable: a leader’s fall, an evil lineage, a poor choice. When God’s requirements resulted in a relationship with him that bore fruit, why would people choose over and over again to do the wrong thing?

26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”

28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 29 One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other. (1 Kings 12:26-30, NIV, emphasis added)

I also thought of the 75-day challenge. I thought of the people who failed and quit. I thought of myself for the restarts. It seemed easy enough: just do (this) and experience/develop/achieve (this). There is a parallel between this story of a king and the story of a challenge.

So what do I glean from the reading? Big feelings can redirect a focus: doubt, fear, power, greed, anger, jealousy–even sneakier feelings like laziness and apathy can cause a downfall. Jeroboam’s fear for his life and his status caused to him to doubt or forget God’s promise to him. Not only did he seek out poor counsel, but he did not uphold his part in the relationship (obedience to God).

I think about my choices … the sometimes defeating thoughts in my mind … feelings of futility … plateaus in progress. Who and what are the advisors in my life? A friend reminded me that news sources, groups and other social media can influence as much as a close friend. Not only do I need to be careful about what I think, but I need to be careful about what I feed my thoughts with. If these outside influences have such a powerful effect on me, who is really to blame? If a leader can choose obedience to God, and a person can successfully adhere to the guidelines of a program, then in the end, it comes down to personal accountability.

Lord, help me to hear you and see you first. Whether it’s the latest chaos in the world or the doubting and defeating thoughts in my head, help me to cut through the distraction and maintain a focus on you. It is possible to be obedient and self-controlled. Surround me with those who are for you. Help me to guard my heart.

Courtney (66books365)

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1 Kings 7:40-9:9

So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord: the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals; the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars); the ten water carts holding the ten basins; the Sea and the twelve oxen under it; the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls. Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon directed.” 1 Kings 7:40-45 NLT

In the past I might have skipped over these verses thinking that all of this extravagance is unnecessary. After all, God’s presence dwells in me and I am His temple. But, as an artist I get to display His beauty to the world. One of the ways that I put this into practice is by painting during worship at my church. It’s a way to be lead by the Spirit and draw myself and others closer to God. I recently went to the National Gallery of Art to see one of my favorite paintings. To take in its beauty and see what God is speaking into my soul. Art can be a tool to draw others into His presence. To give Him glory. As long as I am not worshipping the created, but the creator.

Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever! Oh Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep Your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.” 1 Kings 8:13; 23&24 NLT

How am I displaying God’s beauty and hope to a world that so desperately needs it? What gifts and abilities has God given me to display His glory?

Thank you Father that Your presence is always with me. Thank you for the signs of Spring and new life, help me to see Your beauty all around me. Amen.

But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today.” 1 Kings 8:27&28 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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2 Samuel 24:18-25; 1 Kings 1:1-2:18

I am looking solely at the portion of scripture found in 2 Samuel 24:18-25 and the story is a powerful expression of how I need to come before God with my spiritual life.

I try and speak to the spirit of generosity and unselfishness as much as I can. I speak about it because I want to push myself to practice it in whatever I do. Here is David making it happen. He is giving with generosity and he is honouring God. In my studies I found out that Arauah’s threshing-floor was actually the site for the first and second temple is is now the current site of the Dome. Very interesting for those who talk about giving as an investment.

In my walk with God, I am challenged to turn my mind from myself to God – to fill myself with who God is and to express that to others with love and passion making it feel honourable from me and honouring God – in other words, blessed in blessing Him. There is a resolve not to offer something to God that did not cost me nothing – David’s exact expression.

When I have my quiet moments, I ask myself how I can glorify God? What are the ways and methods of honouring Him that are within my power and control? I think there are two questions that come up when I think about the answer to those questions – one is how much can I do? and the other is how little may I do? One is when I think of duty and other other is when I think of security. Both are based on different principles and have a different endgame. One comes from gratitude, love, reverence and passion, the other from simple interest.

I do not just want to be satisfied that I am “saved.” I want to have passion to honour God and love truth not simply profiting from only believing. I want to consider God as most worthy of my passion, love and honour.

Finally, learn hence the duty of activity, liberality in the service of God, and for the benefit of your fellow sinners. It is a Scriptural precept–“Honour the Lord with thy substance.” He who has a religion which costs him nothing has a religion that is worth nothing. – H. Hughes

Father, David had a choice, but really he did not. He loved You so much that he was determined to show You how much. Expressing love to You has become predictable in my life – much too predictable. I need to step up and be more passionate in my expressions of blessing You. While I am determined to be a lover of truth there needs to be expressions of love that I return to You. I pray that my quiet times would have more of those in them and that You will teach me how to express my love to You.

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1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18; Matthew 2

Jehosophat and Ahab make strange bed-fellows. Jehosophat genuinely wants to seek God’s best, and Ahab just wants his own best. This has to be one of my all time favorite stories in the bible. Every time I must read it multiple times completely envisioning the scene. So, humor me and let’s see how this plays out:

Ahab had pulled out all the stops to get Jehosophat in his corner, and the plotting had finally accomplished its goal. But, Jehosophat had one last request, “Let us just make certain that this military campaign is in obedience to God’s word.”

“Of course, of course!” schmoozes Ahab. “I would never want anything less. Let me just ask all my highly reputable prophets standing by to bring me the Word of the Lord. I have four hundred of them, so one of them is sure to tell us what we want to hear. I mean, well, you know.”

With all the pomp and circumstance he can muster, Ahab calls to them, “Oh prophets of the most high God, Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead,” here his voice takes on a sour note, “or shall I refrain?”

“Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king,” echoes an immediate chorus of voices from around the crowd.

“That was easy enough,” Ahab thinks as he flashes his most charming smile toward Jehosophat.

Almost ready to make any excuse to leave, Jehosophat tries again, “Maybe my question was not clear. Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?”

Ahab’s eyes roll almost into the back of his head as he momentarily loses any semblance of royalty, knowing who he needs to summon. He must force the halting words from his lips, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.” (Full pout).

Jehosophat has no doubt this is true as it is abundantly clear that Ahab has no genuine desire to hear God’s word if it contradicts his own, but he tucks that response beneath his royal robes and merely says, “Let not the king say so!”

Ahab lets out a deep sigh and realizing there is no escaping the inevitable, snaps at the nearest officer, “Bring Micaiah. Quickly.”

The hundreds of prophets around them continue to babble their meaningless “prophecies” of great military success. One had created horns out of some handy iron scraps and as he mimics a bull charging into a crowd creatively says, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.'” Back slaps all around with that one. One after another steps forward or shouts from the back urging the kings to go and fight and win with God’s blessing.

On the other side of town, the messenger reaches Micaiah. “The king wants you to come. Let me warn you, all the prophets are speaking in unity that God favors his plans to fight Ramoth-gilead. Be like them this time, Micaiah, for your sake.”

Wondering why he should even both going with that invitation, Micaiah knows he cannot avoid this encounter. As soon as they reach the kings (who had continued to hear the prophets blathering like fools the entire time they waited), Ahab asks for his advice.

Micaiah has no respect for this ruler that ignores God’s laws and has compromised his people. Micaiah leans against a pillar, picking at his fingernails, “By all means, go up and triumph. Sounds like a winner to me,” he deadpans.

Ahab grips the arms of his throne in exasperation, “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” As if Ahab ever really wanted the truth.

Straightening up, but his face still clearly clouded by doubt, Micaiah takes a breath and delivers the true word of the Lord. It is not what Ahab wants to hear.

Spit flies from Ahab’s mouth as he jerks toward Jehosophat and gestures toward the one dissonant voice, “Do you see what I mean? I told you so! He never has anything nice to say about me.” (More pouting)

But, Micaiah wasn’t done. God had more to say through his lips, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. 20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ 21 And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’” (2 Chronicles 18:18-21 ESV)

Zedekiah cannot stand the insult to his name and family. He steps forward, slapping Micaiah across the face, “Oh really? A spirit made me lie? Tell me this, since you know so much. Which way did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?” and he turns on his heel and walks off with his head raised.

Micaiah goes to jail (until Ahab returns from his “certain” victory). The armies go to war. Ahab dies. God saves Jehosophat. And we have a few lessons to learn.

Who am I listening to?

Am I discerning in my listening?

Do I hear only what I want to hear?

Do I ignore God’s word if it contradicts how I want to believe or think?

Do my prayers genuinely invite God into the conversation and situation?

Am I more like Ahab or Jehosophat?

So much food for thought when we try to see ourselves in the people of the bible.

God, give me your wisdom. Wisdom to hear, discern, and submit. May I never re-interpret your words to make them fit my preferred narrative. May I never simply make a show of reading your words to check a box that I tried. May I never pray without a genuine desire to hear from you and follow. Surrendered fully to your plan is my heart’s desire. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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