Tag Archives: Prophets

2 Chronicles 19, 20; Revelation 8; Zechariah 4; John 7

“Don’t you know?” the angel asked.

“No, my lord,” I replied. (Zechariah 4:5, NLT)

A battle awaits. So does an Army.

13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, 14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.

15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” (2 Chronicles 20:13-17, NLT, emphasis added)

There is a question. There is an Answer.

Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’” (Zechariah 4:6-7, NLT, emphasis added)

In destruction, there is a Purpose.

12 Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and one-third of the sun was struck, and one-third of the moon, and one-third of the stars, and they became dark. And one-third of the day was dark, and also one-third of the night.

13 Then I looked, and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, “Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets.” (Revelation 8:12-13, NLT)

From the familiar, there is the Divine.

28 While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he called out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I come from. But I’m not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don’t know him. 29 But I know him because I come from him, and he sent me to you.” 30 Then the leaders tried to arrest him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. (John 7:28-30, NLT)

All throughout the reading, two realms: an earthly one; a spiritual one.

Lord, I fix my eyes on you. My thoughts on you. My strength in you. My hope in you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Jeremiah 19-20; Titus 1; Psalm 93

Lord, your laws will stand forever.
Your Temple will be holy forevermore. (Psalm 93:5)

God had established his covenant with the Jews. As long as they worshiped him as the one true God and followed his decrees, his protection was upon them. However, they chose to do otherwise.

Say, ‘Kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem, listen to this message from the Lord. This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: I will soon bring a disaster on this place that will amaze and frighten everyone who hears about it. 4 The people of Judah have quit following me. They have made this a place for foreign gods. They have burned sacrifices to other gods that neither they, nor their ancestors, nor the kings of Judah had ever known before. They filled this place with the blood of innocent people. They have built places on hilltops to worship Baal, where they burn their children in the fire to Baal. That is something I did not command or speak about; it never even entered my mind. Now people call this place the Valley of Ben Hinnom or Topheth, but the days are coming, says the Lord, when people will call it the Valley of Killing. (Jer 19:3-6) NIV

I don’t imagine these words were received with great applause by the crowds that heard Jeremiah declare the words of the LORD. As it is today, many hear the words of God and dismiss them, scoff at them, and refuse to believe them. They are “stiff-necked and refuse to listen.” But as Psalm 93 states: God’s laws will stand forever. His promises can be trusted—both the ones of blessings and the ones of curses (see Deut. 28).

As I read Chapter 20 and Jeremiah’s treatment, I couldn’t help but think of Paul and his many trials. He, too, was beaten and imprisoned for spreading the truth of God’s words.  He, too, was obeying God and fully in His will.

Pashhur son of Immer was a priest and the highest officer in the Temple of the Lord. When he heard Jeremiah prophesying in the Temple courtyard, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten. And he locked Jeremiah’s hands and feet between large blocks of wood at the Upper Gate of Benjamin of the Lord’s Temple. (Jer 20:1b-3).

Verses 7-18 are entitled “Jeremiah’s Complaint” in my bible. As I read through them, I thought of Jeremiah and what he had just endured. These verses come after he’s been spreading God’s words, warning people of the coming destruction, mistreated, and ridiculed. He spent the night in stocks at the public gate in order to shame him and try to silence him. He was doing God’s work and never expected it would play out the way it did. Having been through trials God has allowed into my life, I totally get his battle within for I’ve battled with these same feelings. Here I was, doing what I thought God called me to do, and something I never expected came out of it. I went from being angry with God, to praising Him, to hurting so badly I wish I’d never been born. Like Jeremiah, I took it straight to God and I felt his love for me as I wrestled with the turmoil inside my own head and heart. He let me wrestle until I got to that place of surrender where, knowing God was sovereign, I could once again do what he was asking me to do. Chapter 21 begins with Jeremiah once again setting off to prophesy for the Lord. Being silent was not an option for Jeremiah—he was called by God to be His voice to the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot. (Jer 20:9)

Lord, I pray to be so consumed by the Holy Spirit that I cannot keep inside what you’ve called me to do. I thank you for the times you’ve allowed me to share my feelings of fear, frustration, doubts, and anger as well as the times of pure praise, worship, and thanksgiving. You’ve patiently waited for me to get beyond myself to that place of surrender where you are once again in your proper place in my life. Your will above my own. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

 

 

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1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18; Matthew 2

“Are you talking to me?” In comedy, the question implies a refusal to engage seriously with the speaker. I can relate. Like King Ahab in the Bible, I don’t always want to hear prophetic words that warn of disaster or deny my prayers. Yet, like Ahab’s contemporary, King Jehoshaphat, I do not want to make bad decisions because I failed to ask the Lord God for direction. Sadly, also like both kings, I may inquire of the Lord, receive an answer, and then choose to do things my way, regardless of the warnings. Why is that? Is it a listening problem?

Listening has several components besides the act of hearing sound. A good listener is one who can wait patiently for the speaker to finish. I have a family member who speaks with long pauses between words or thoughts. Yet what this person says is meaningful and often witty if one listens intently. Rushing ahead of what someone might be saying, finishing their sentences before they speak, interrupting their words with “I know that,” or “I understand what you mean,” can cause frustration for the speaker and cause the listener to misinterpret what the speaker intended to say.

Listening also involves being open to opposing viewpoints. Angry outbursts and verbal bullying are more likely to occur when the listener forms preconceived ideas about the speaker’s intent. When the prophet Micaiah was brought before the kings Ahab and Jehoshaphat, Ahab had this to say about the prophet, “…but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” That’s how I feel sometimes when I watch the news or listen to talking heads; I just want to turn off the television or radio because I’m tired of hearing the speaker or the message that opposes my point of view. Do you, too, become frustrated with the friend who argues with you on topics which you are passionate and opinionated? I had a conversation recently about the effects of marijuana on drivers of motor vehicles. The speaker was adamant that for those who have smoked for years marijuana enhances driving abilities. Since addiction, hence drug information and research, is the focus of my career, and as the self-appointed expert in the conversation I became offended at such misinformation and felt it was my duty to set this person straight. Listening to the friend was not happening as I climbed upon the proverbial soap box. It was only after jumping off of the box that I heard the speaker’s real intent for defending the driver – relief in the restoration of their relationship that, yes, still has challenges to overcome. I had made the conversation about me, instead of listening to the speaker’s heart.

Another problem with listening is our natural desire to be with the ‘in crowd.’ There were four hundred other prophets who advised with one accord that Ahab and Jehoshaphat should embark on their desire to war, saying that the Lord would bring victory to the kings’ armies. This need to be with the popular crowd may cause the listener to turn a deaf ear to internal or external warnings. Making an unpopular decision based on the urging of the Holy Spirit, a dream, or a word from the Bible may seem odd and unconventional or even foolhardy to many.

However, there were five divine dreams that spoke to the important players in the birth and safety of Jesus Christ. First, Christ’s mother’s betrothed, Joseph, was told to take Mary as his wife because the Child she carried was born of the Holy Spirit. Second, the wise men from the East who found the Messiah shortly after His birth were warned not to return to King Herod who would later kill male children in an attempt to murder the Christ child. Third, Joseph was warned to flee to Egypt until Herod was dead. Fourth, Joseph was told to return to Israel to raise God’s Son. Fifth, after being warned to avoid the area of Christ’s birth, Joseph moved his family to the safety of a city called Nazareth.

Imagine if any one of these five dreams had been denied, ignored, or deliberated by those who heard the messengers. Mary could have been an outcast trying to raise an illegitimate son. Herod could have found and killed Jesus. Joseph might have been responsible for the capture or death of the Son of God. And the prophecies concerning the birth of the Messiah could not have been fulfilled.

Perhaps listening is more than just being polite. By actively listening we may receive the message that saves us from ourselves, from our egos, from impending doom, and therefore receive the blessings that God has reserved for us.

“Are you talking to me, Lord?”

“I am listening.”

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Ezekiel 20-21, 2 Timothy 4

“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you people have brought to mind your guilt by your open rebellion, revealing your sins in all that you do—because you have done this, you will be taken captive. Ezekiel 21:24 

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist,  discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:2-5

This is a timeless warning from the Lord God. True, yesterday, today and always. We will be taken captive by our own rebellion. Whatever the sin of our choosing that exalts itself above God, that thing will bind us up so that we are unable to move freely toward the God we say we love.

Just as it is impossible to walk in the light and the dark at the same time. It is impossible to serve our God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength while we are serving some other idol. We can not split ourselves in half and say we are totally devoted to God.

God wants all of us, not just the part that is left over after we serve our bosses, families, clubs, charities, hobbies or ourselves. We can engage in these things for the Lord, but not without Him.

Timothy and Ezekiel had the same job. They were charged with telling the truth, no matter what the people wanted to hear. A thankless and sometimes dangerous job.

I hope and pray that I am up to the task. I would much rather say the positive words of salvation and not have to point to the ugliness of sin. But without seeing and understanding our need for redemption, the salvation message just sounds like a sales job for a newer and better face cream. Why would anyone elect to partake of something they don’t really see a need for?

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.  Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

“‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe,  even if someone told you.’” Acts 13:38-41

We are deeply steeped in sin, every single one of us. We all need a Savior. Until we all get on our faces and admit our depravity and our need for a cure, the wrath of God will hang over us. Be forewarned. God will not be mocked, not then, not now.

Let Jesus cleanse you of all your sins by believing He died for you sins. Let it be finished.

yicareggie

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Jeremiah 25,45-46; Hebrews 1

And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. They said, “Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”

“But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.” Jeremiah 25:4-7

I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

Jeremiah 46:28

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:1,3b  

Jesus told the parable of the talents to illustrate how the Jews repeatedly rejected the prophets. (Matthew 21:33-45)

God could not leave sins unpunished. The owner of the vineyard- God used the death of his heir – Jesus, as part of the plan to save even the tenants. God’s only Son took the penalty for the sins of the world.

I praise and thank you Lord that your Son may a way for us wayward people. I am no different in my behavior than Israel. Like the song says “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.” (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

yicareggie

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