Category Archives: 2 Kings

2 Kings 13-14; 2 Chronicles 25; Psalm 53; Matthew 12

Amaziah did not get it right every time, but we first read about a time when he listened to the voice of God and stood strong in the face of opposition.

He had an enemy to face, a foreboding, powerful one. He pulled together as many men as he could from Judah and Benjamin and scraped together 300,000 men who were of age and fit to fight. Weighing the might of his adversary, he needed more. He hired 100,000 mighty men from Israel to fill in the calculated gap.

That’s when a man of God showed up with a message for him.

But a man of God came to him and said, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel, with all these Ephraimites. But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down.”

2 Chronicles 25:7-8 ESV

Amaziah questioned his advice at first, but when the prophet encouraged him with reminders of God’s faithfulness and abundant blessing, he proceeded to battle with an army that was too small by human standards.

He won. Of course. Because God is always enough. To obey is better than sacrifice.

Unfortunately, in his winning came his downfall. It seems completely illogical as we flip back through the pages of history, but he preserved the idols of the nation he defeated and brought them home and worshiped them. They had no power, no life, no blessing to bestow. Yet somewhere in his mind it made sense to honor these empty, powerless gods. And, his life pretty much falls apart from there.

I glean two take-aways. One from his surrendered heart and one from his boastful one.

Stand firm even when support seems insufficient. If we stand with God, we only need that one ally. We might not have the benefit of an audibly spoken word from God or one of his prophets, but many times in our lives (not always) it is quite clear what standing up for truth looks like. At times like that we cannot let lack of finances, partners, crowd-funding, popularity, or human logic hold us back.

Secondly, don’t give pride an inch of room. It seeps in and steals our victory, robs our blessing, destroys communion with God. It blinds us to God’s goodness and crumbles our allegiance to the Lord of Hosts, the God of angel armies, who rightly claims any victory. In times of abundance I need to raise my guard even higher.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Psalm 53:1 ESV. The world might credit wisdom or honor to those that do it “their way” or blaze a trail by their human strength or ingenuity, but those that plow ahead without surrender to God, are fools by scripture’s standards. Seems harsh, until you watch that philosophy lived out and the pride that drives it. I might not say or believe that “there is no god,” but do my life choices always validate my belief in Him? My heart is in danger of acting foolishly at times and needs frequent regrounding in scripture.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

Matthew 12:34-35 ESV

Lord, keep a firm hold on my heart, mouth, and mind. May I continually be being filled by You and your word so that in times of challenge I can stand, even if I am alone in standing. In times of success and peace may I continue to give you all credit and glory. And in the ordinary, may I be faithfully growing and preparing for the path ahead. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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2 Kings 2-3; Psalm 48; Matthew 4

While Elijah did some amazing things and created a certain dynamic in his relationship with God, Elisha to me was the one who was a little more meek and perceived the things of God from a different perspective. One that I use more often. I am not known to be loud or bold.

What I love about Elisha coming across the Jordan, to Jericho, is that the prophets saw the change that took place in his life. The Spirit of God anointing His servant changes the individual bringing authenticity to life and ministry.

God, within Your temple,
we contemplate Your faithful love. – Psalm 48:9 HCSB

When I do this, my thoughts turn from a focus of the strength and majesty of God to a consideration of His covenant of love. Charles Spurgeon wrote about three different people in the church and how they should each think and speak more of the faithful love of God.

“Now, my dear sister, you have talked about that rheumatism of yours to at least fifty people who have been to see you; suppose you tell your next visitor about the lovingkindness of the Lord to you.”

“Yes, my dear brother, we all know that trade is bad, for you have told us so, every day, for I do not know how many years. And you have always been losing money, though you had no capital when you started; yet, somehow or other, you have managed to have something left even now. Well, we know that old story; could you not change your note just a little, and talk about the lovingkindness of the Lord?”

“Yes, my friend, I know that many professing Christian people are not all that they profess to be; I have heard you say soever so many times. You say also, ‘There is no love in the church.’ Well, so far as we can see, you are not overstocked with it. You say, ‘There is no zeal among the members,’ but have you any to give away to those who need it? Now, henceforward, instead of always harping on the faults and failing of God’s people – which, certainly, are numerous enough, but have not become any fewer since you talked so much about them – would it not be better to think and talk of the lovingkindness of the Lord?”

Jesus started His ministry after the 40 days and nights of fasting and one of His first acts was to begin calling disciples to follow Him. I am challenged by the bigger picture of loving God and loving others. When I hear the call, I know that I have been called too. I want to respond like the early disciples, that is, to leave my love for anything else in this world and to only love Him.

Father, thank You for loving me. I want to represent Your faithful love to others. May my spirit be so changed, that like Elisha, individuals would see You in me. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Kings 22; Hebrews 4; Joel 1; Psalms 140,141

Sin is ugly. It’s awful, messy, destructive, painful, and dark. And, we usually recognize that, in other people. Recognizing sin in ourselves is sometimes a little trickier.

When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes.

2 Kings 22:11 ESV

While we all have sinned and will sin, the issue is not necessarily the sin, but the recognition of it and response to it. When Josiah’s eyes were opened to the sin of their nation, he did not waste a minute to repent and mourn the sin that was disrupting their relationship with God.

This is a common refrain throughout the Old Testament. While many generations got it wrong, there were also many that got it right. When the law or a prophet exposed sin, it broke those that were truly seeking God.

Not a quick, “Oh, God, please help me be better in this area.” Or, “Lord, I know that I haven’t been as good as I could be, but . . .”

We need to repent. Yes, Jesus already paid for it. No, our salvation isn’t lost because we sinned, again. But, we cannot gloss over the pain caused by sin, the gravity of ignoring God’s commands for righteous living.

Consecrate a fast;
    call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders
    and all the inhabitants of the land
to the house of the Lord your God,
    and cry out to the Lord.

Joel 1:14 ESV

It has been a while since I sat down with a pen and paper and asked God to show me areas in my life that needed to change. Temptation that I was slipping too close to. Habits that were blinding me to sin. It is as I let Him strip those sins away, that I find a fresh wind in my walk with Him.

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 ESV

I don’t approach Him with confidence because of anything that I have done, but standing firmly on His sacrifice, His grace, His justice.

Lord, open my eyes to any sin that is lying unrecognized in my heart. Help me see it, confess it as such, and turn from it. May Your mercy flood in fresh waves over me as I set out energized, and unburdened by any wrong thoughts, words, or actions. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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2 Kings 16; Titus 2; Hos. 9; Ps. 126-128

“As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them.” Titus 2:1-15 NLT

I am so grateful to have had older, wiser, godly woman mentors in every season of my life. From singleness to marriage to children…they have encouraged me, spoke the truth in love and gave me a hunger for God’s word. They were humble and would admit their need for Him. They showed me what it was like to live for Jesus. They walked with me through painful and joyful times. I pray that I can be that person for someone else. Even when I don’t feel adequate, God can use me the most through my weakness and surrender. He is weaving a testimony of faithfulness and victory in my life. I wonder who needs to hear my story? Who needs to know that on the hard days when sowing the seeds can be tiresome, that it matters. That God will make something beautiful from it one day.

“When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.” Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams in the desert. Those who plant tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” Psalms 126 NLT

Dear Father, I praise you for who you are. Thank you for always meeting me where I am at. Thank you that you hear my prayers. Thank you for the people that you have brought into my life at key moments. I know it wasn’t by accident. You love me that much, to show your love through others. Help me to live with an eternal perspective. Amen.

“Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects the city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.” Psalms 127:1-4 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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2 Kings 2; 2 Thessalonians 2; Daniel 6; Psalm 112,113

What do you think about Elijah trying to trick Elisha regarding his passing away – the where and when of it?

The time came for the Lord to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. – 2 Kings 2:1 GNT

What do you think about him using prayer as one of the means of tricking him into not following him?

One thing I do love about this event is the need for Elisha, far above all the tricky that Elijah threw at him, to have Elijah pray one more time with him, and to have the last prayer with him – to receive a blessing. Is that not what we want when a loved one or a friend is getting ready to leave us?

What will I be doing when the Lord comes back? I pray that I will be praying.

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to be with him. – 2 Thessalonians 2:1 GNT

Prayer is one of those deep spiritual activities that not only draw me closer to God but it draws me closer to others too.

Remember the story of Daniel and the issue of would he pray when he was forbidden to do so?

And so King Darius signed the order. – Daniel 6:9 GNT

“Suppose the law of the land were proclaimed, ‘No man shall pray during the remainder of this month, on pain of being cast into a den of lions,’ – how many of you would pray? I think there would be rather a scanty number at the prayer-meeting. Not but what the attendance at prayer-meetings is scanty enough now! But if there were the penalty of being cast into a den of lions, I am afraid the prayer-meeting would be postponed for a month, owing to pressing business, and manifold engagements of one kind and another.” – Spurgeon

Father, it is my hope that I have inspired people to pray. I know I could do much more. How much I pray alone does not compare to my need to pray with others. Even when it may be inconvenient or out of place or maybe one day, against the law, may You find me still faithful. For I believe Lord that Your Holy Spirit draws me into a relationship with You and I love spending time with You. Be honoured and glorified in my life. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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