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Monthly Archives: October 2019

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Happy Reformation Day!

 
 

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The Widow’s Son

17After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill; his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18She then said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!” 19But he said to her, “Give me your son.” He took him from her bosom, carried him up into the upper chamber where he was lodging, and laid him on his own bed. 20He cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I am staying, by killing her son?” 21Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22The Lord listened to the voice of Elijah; the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23Elijah took the child, brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and gave him to his mother; then Elijah said, “See, your son is alive.” 24So the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” (1 Kings 17:17-24, NRSV)

When bad things happen we want to blame God. But here is the twist, God didn’t cause bad things to happen, they happen. God doesn’t always step in and change things either.

When bad things happen, we can be upset with God, because God is big enough to take our anger, our frustration. Being mad at God is still a relationship, indifference to God means there is no relationship.

The thing we see in this story and we have to remember is that God is always with us. With the widow’s son God is there through Elijah, with us God is with us through family and friends.

Remember God is always with you, and you can be mad, frustrated, upset with God. God can take, and it won’t make God go away.

 

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Elijah and the Widow

8Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9“Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah. (1 Kings 17:8-16, NRSV)

The widow was ready to go and make the last meal for her and her son. She had no one to take care of them and only enough for a little meal for the 2 of them. But the Lord God told Elijah that a widow would provide for him.

And he believed God, and so did the widow. All three of them ate for many days on the meal and oil that would have given one meal.

What will God do for you if you believe?

 

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Elijah Announces a Drought

Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2The word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3“Go from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the wadi. 7But after a while the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land. (1 Kings 17:1-7, NRSV)

God fed him with Ravens bringing him food.

It is a Disney movie before Disney!

God will provide for us in ways we think are only in our imaginations. God knows what we need and will make sure we have it.

Do you trust God to give you all you need?

 

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Ahab’s Evil Actions

29In the thirty-eighth year of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri began to reign over Israel; Ahab son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30Ahab son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him. 31And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, he took as his wife Jezebel daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him. 32He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. 33Ahab also made a sacred pole. Ahab did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than had all the kings of Israel who were before him. (1 Kings 16:29-33, NRSV)

Ahab did not follow after God and actually set up high places for other Gods. He was so good at not following God that he provoked God to anger more than all the kings before him. He went over and above when he didn’t follow.

How do we measure up to Ahab?

Do we try to follow God, and do God’s will?

How can we better follow after God and not be like Ahab?

 

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The Kingdom Divided

Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3And they sent and called him; and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, 4“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke that he placed on us, and we will serve you.” 5He said to them, “Go away for three days, then come again to me.” So the people went away. 6Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the older men who had attended his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7They answered him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8But he disregarded the advice that the older men gave him, and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and now attended him. 9He said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” 10The young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus you should say to this people who spoke to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you must lighten it for us’; thus you should say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. 11Now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’” 12So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had said, “Come to me again the third day.” 13The king answered the people harshly. He disregarded the advice that the older men had given him 14and spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15So the king did not listen to the people, because it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat. 16When all Israel saw that the king would not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What share do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, O David.” So Israel went away to their tents. 17But Rehoboam reigned over the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah. 25Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and resided there; he went out from there and built Penuel. 26Then Jeroboam said to himself, “Now the kingdom may well revert to the house of David. 27If this people continues to go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, the heart of this people will turn again to their master, King Rehoboam of Judah; they will kill me and return to King Rehoboam of Judah.” 28So the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold. He said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Here are your gods, Oisrael, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. (1 Kings 12:1-17, 25-29, NRSV)

Who do we listen to for counsel? Who helps us understand what we need to do?

Is it better to lighten or tighten?

Today is the celebration of the Reformation, and in reforming the church who do we listen to? Those who want it to be the way it always was or those that want everything to change?

Is one better than the other? Does God work in and through all people, so all people should be listened to and heard in their needs and how things should happen. And just because everyone gets a say doesn’t mean that their idea is the best thing for the people or the world.

The kingdom is divided because people are not listening to each other or to what God is calling them to. In and through all of this, God is still faithful to us, but we divide ourselves because we will not hear or work with each other.

If we want to truly reform the church we should start by stop thinking our ways are always right and listen to those around us.

Hear what others are saying and allow communication to happen. And from there decide what is best for the people.

 
 

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Solomon’s Fall From Faithfulness

King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the Israelites, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you; for they will surely incline your heart to follow their gods”; Solomon clung to these in love. 3Among his wives were seven hundred princesses and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5For Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not completely follow the Lord, as his father David had done. 7Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. 8He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrificed to their gods. 9Then 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, 10and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord commanded. 11Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12Yet for the sake of your father David I will not do it in your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13I will not, however, tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” (1 Kings 11:1-13, NRSV)

Solomon didn’t do what God asked him to do, to follow after God and only God.

Solomon was torn away. So God took the kingdom from him, but not in his lifetime for the sake of David who followed after God, and not the whole kingdom, but he left one tribe with Solomon’s family, for the sake of David and for the people God had chosen.

You see even when we do not do what God has asked us to do, God is still faithful to us.

Are we faithful to God? Do we even try to be faithful to God?

Yet through it all God is faithful to us.

 

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The Lord Speaks to Solomon Again

When Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all that Solomon desired to build, 2the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you made before me; I have consecrated this house that you have built, and put my name there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 4As for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, 5then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 6“If you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7then I will cut Israel off from the land that I have given them; and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight; and Israel will become a proverb and a taunt among all peoples. 8This house will become a heap of ruins; everyone passing by it will be astonished, and will hiss; and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this house?’ 9Then they will say, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, worshiping them and serving them; therefore the Lord has brought this disaster upon them.’” (1 Kings 9:1-9, NRSV)

If you will walk in my ways as your father David did, with integrity and uprightness.

Be like David and follow after me and everything will be good for Israel and you will always have a descendant on the throne. God will be good to you.

Always have integrity of heart and uprightness and God will bless you

Are we people of integrity? Do we do what we say and say what we mean?

Do we walk the walk and talk the talk, and live our lives as God has called us?

 

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Solomon’s Fame

29God gave Solomon very great wisdom, discernment, and breadth of understanding as vast as the sand on the seashore, 30so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31He was wiser than anyone else, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, children of Mahol; his fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. 32He composed three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33He would speak of trees, from the cedar that is in the Lebanon to the hyssop that grows in the wall; he would speak of animals, and birds, and reptiles, and fish. 34People came from all the nations to hear the wisdom of Solomon; they came from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom. (1 Kings 4:29-34, NRSV)

Solomon was blessed by God with wisdom, discernment and breath of judgment. Because of this and his wise sayings and proclamations, his fame spread and people came to him from all over the world to get advice and discernment from him.

Solomon did not ask for wisdom for fame, he asked for wisdom to be a good ruler of the people. But the fame happened.

When we ask God for things is is for our own selfish gain, or is it for God’s people?

Do we seek fame or to help God’s people?

 

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Solomon Solves a Dispute

16Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17The one woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the two of us were in the house. 19Then this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.” 22But the other woman said, “No, the living son is mine, and the dead son is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead son is yours, and the living son is mine.” So they argued before the king. 23Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; while the other says, ‘Not so! Your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” 24So the king said, “Bring me a sword,” and they brought a sword before the king. 25The king said, “Divide the living boy in two; then give half to the one, and half to the other.” 26But the woman whose son was alive said to the king—because compassion for her son burned within her—“Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!” The other said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.” 27Then the king responded: “Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.” 28All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to execute justice. (1 Kings 3:16-28, NRSV)

Solomon was asked by God what one thing he wanted God to give him and he asked for wisdom to rule the people. When this tragedy happened and the baby died and the mothers were arguing over whose child died and whose was still living. Solomon was able to discern whose baby it was.

Would you have handled the above situation the same way or differently?

If God asked you want you wanted God to give you would you have asked for wisdom?

 

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