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Competing Prophecies

In that same year, at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, says the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfill the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.” Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, and broke it. And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: This is how I will break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon from the neck of all the nations within two years.” At this, the prophet Jeremiah went his way. Sometime after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Go, tell Hananiah, Thus says the Lord: You have broken wooden bars only to forge iron bars in place of them! For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put an iron yoke on the neck of all these nations so that they may serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and they shall indeed serve him; I have even given him the wild animals. And the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you made this person trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the Lord: I am going to send you off the face of the earth. Within this year you will be dead, because you have spoken rebellion against the Lord.” In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died. (Jeremiah 28:1-17, NRSV)

Can we change the will of God by definitely going against it?

That is what Hananiah is doing. By proclaiming peace in a time of suffering and breaking the yoke of wood to forge a yoke of iron. One that can not be broken.

Sometimes we do not like the way our lives are going and want to change them. Maybe this is a time for growing and learning that God has for us to be in. We can rest assured that God is always with us even when it seems like He has left us.

So do not try to change God’s will, walk through it with Him.

 

 

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The Ark Returned

The ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months.Then the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us what we should send with it to its place.” They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and will be ransomed; will not his hand then turn from you?” And they said, “What is the guilt offering that we shall return to him?” They answered, “Five gold tumors and five gold mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines; for the same plague was upon all of you and upon your lords. So you must make images of your tumors and images of your mice that ravage the land, and give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps he will lighten his hand on you and your gods and your land. Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had made fools of them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? Now then, get ready a new cart and two milch cows that have never borne a yoke, and yoke the cows to the cart, but take their calves home, away from them. Take the ark of the Lord and place it on the cart, and put in a box at its side the figures of gold, which you are returning to him as a guilt offering. Then send it off, and let it go its way. And watch; if it goes up on the way to its own land, to Beth-shemesh, then it is he who has done us this great harm; but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance.” The men did so; they took two milch cows and yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. They put the ark of the Lord on the cart, and the box with the gold mice and the images of their tumors. The cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh along one highway, lowing as they went; they turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. When they looked up and saw the ark, they went with rejoicing to meet it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh, and stopped there. A large stone was there; so they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord.The Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box that was beside it, in which were the gold objects, and set them upon the large stone. Then the people of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and presented sacrifices on that day to the Lord. When the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron. (1 Samuel 6:1-16, NRSV)

The Philistines kept the Ark of the Covenant for seven months and all the time they had it havoc was over all their lands. So they called their priests and diviners and asked what should be done. And they were told to return the ark to the people of Israel but not to send it alone, but to send a guilt offering with it.

So they prepared the cart for the Ark and the guilt offering and sent it away.

And the people of the town it was last in offered burnt offerings to the Lord along with the guilt offering sent with the Ark so that God may find a little favor and ease the havoc on their lands.

Once again this reminds us that God’s will will be done and He is always with and for His people.

 

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gather the flock

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD. The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.” Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, “As the LORD lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the LORD lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.” Then they shall live in their own land. (Jeremiah 23:1-8, NRSV)

Woe to you who scatter and destroy the sheep!

To the shepherds of Israel, which would have been the priests and the scribes and the high council, today it would be pastors, and church councils and denominations, you are the ones destroying and scattering the sheep of God!

Woe to us, who think it is all about us.

Woe to us who push our agenda and not God’s.

Woe to us when we get in the way of God moving in this world!

God’s ways are not our ways.

Help us to see the path You have set before us God and follow where you are leading.

Help us to be gathers of your flock and not ones who scatter!

Help us to be and do you will!

 
 

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which is easier?

161215And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings. (Matthew 9:2-8, NRSV)

Jesus forgives the sins of a paralytic because his friends are carrying him on a bed. And because of this, the scribes say Jesus is causing trouble. So Jesus asked which is easier to forgive sins or to heal the disease? Well, of course, it is easier to say the sins are forgiven than to heal someone.

But to show that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins, he heals the paralytic. The paralytic did not ask for forgiveness or to be healed, but because of his friends his sins were forgiven and to show that Jesus had the authority and power to forgive sins, He healed the man.

So do not ever think your life does not matter, you may just be the person to get another person’s sins forgiven or healed!

Jesus can, does and will work through you.

 

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Peace

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A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.  The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.  His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;  but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.  The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.  They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:1-10, NRSV)

Can you image the day, when a wolf and a lamb will live together?

When there would be a lion eating straw?

When natural prey and predator would dwell in the same field and not fear or want to kill?

When the day comes and the kingdom is fulfilled, the knowledge of the Lord will fill all and all will live in peace.

We can help fulfill the kingdom, by following Jesus and doing His will. Love all and show them the mercy and grace of God.

We shall know peace, and can be at peace now, knowing His will will be done and His kingdom is coming to fulfillment.

 

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stronghold

The fear of the LORD prolongs life,
but the years of the wicked will be short.
The hope of the righteous ends in gladness,
but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
The way of the LORD is a stronghold for the upright,
but destruction for evildoers.
The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not remain in the land.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse. (Proverbs 10:27-32, NRSV)

The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the upright…

If you are following after the Lord and doing His will, then you have nothing to fear! for your world will be a stronghold against the enemies of God and the wicked will not be able to penetrate the walls of the defense around you.

You will live a long life in the fear of the Lord and be filled with hope. This does not mean life will be without battles or suffering or strife… But it does mean, if you follow the Lord and do His will that He will always be with you and will be shelter and shade for you and give you the strength to go on. He will be your stronghold. So follow Him and know that His promises are good!

 
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Posted by on 2014/05/19 in Biblical, Devotional, Easter

 

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No payment

Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came and stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel; please accept a present from your servant.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing!” He urged him to accept, but he refused. Then Naaman said, “If not, please let two mule-loads of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god except the Lord. But may the Lord pardon your servant on one count: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow down in the house of Rimmon, when I do bow down in the house of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant on this one count.” He said to him, “Go in peace.” (2 Kings 5:15-19a, NRSV)

Naaman was just healed of his disease and he wants to repay the man who did it for him.

We have all been there. Someone does something nice for us and we want to show our gratitude.

Only difference here is, Elisha is not really the one who did it for Naaman. And when we do tho gs for the Lord and people want to repay us, we should not accept, because it is not us, but God and we do not do the will of God for selfish gain, or prizes.

We are to do as God leads us, knowing the promises He has made and the blessings we have already received, not for what is to come to us.

God has richly blessed us to be a blessing, and that is all the payment we should need!

 

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