Monthly Archives: July 2012

II Kings 15:1-7; II Chronicles 26 — Where pride leads

Like father, like son.  That’s the tale of Amaziah and Uzziah (also known as Azariah).  Both started out well, but then gave into their own pride. In Uzziah’s case, he got some godly counsel from a man named Zechariah (not … Continue reading

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Jonah 3-4 — The God who delights in mercy

One wonders at the attitude of Jonah as he preached to the Ninevites. Sometimes we see people holding up signs at gay rallies or parades and shouting “You’re going to hell!” I wonder if that was the kind of attitude … Continue reading

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Jonah 2 — Forfeiting God’s blessing in our lives

As I read Jonah’s account of being thrown in to the sea, it’s very dramatic.  Hurled into the water.  Waves sweeping over.  Dragged by the currents.  And a little seaweed wrapped around his head.  🙂 Then sinking to the bottom … Continue reading

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Jonah 1 — Our choices

I figured since Jonah was mentioned in the last passage we saw (II Kings 14:25), it would be a good time to throw in Jonah’s own story. This is probably one of the more famous stories in the Bible.  And … Continue reading

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II Kings 14:23-29 — The God who remains faithful though we are not

In this passage, we see yet another evil king in the history of the northern kingdom, Jeroboam II.  His life is very unique among the kings listed, in that God helped him despite the fact that he was an evil … Continue reading

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II Kings 14:1-21; II Chronicles 25 — How we respond to God’s word

Pride would be the downfall of Judah’s next two kings, Amaziah and Uzziah.  In the case of Amaziah, his problem can be summed up in II Chronicles 25:2 where it says, He did what was right in the eyes of … Continue reading

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II Kings 13:20-21 — The God who gives life

This is one of the more interesting, if short, stories that we see in scripture.  After Elisha had died and was buried, the Israelites continued to have problems with their neighbors, in this case, raiding bands from Moab. As a … Continue reading

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II Kings 13:10-25 — Respect, or wholehearted devotion?

One wonders at the relationship between Jehoash and Elisha.  Jehoash, according to this passage did evil in the eyes of the Lord and continued the idol worship of his father and the kings before him. But still, there seemed to … Continue reading

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II Kings 13:1-9 — Never too late

Jehoahaz was one of a long line of bad kings in Israel’s (that is, the northern kingdom’s) history.  Like his father Jehu, he continued the worship of the golden calves rather than serving the Lord.  As a result, God allowed … Continue reading

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II Kings 12:17-21; II Chronicles 24:14-27 — The little boy who never grew up

The little boy who never grew up.  Kind of sounds like Peter Pan, doesn’t it? It also describes Joash, unfortunately.  Raised and mentored by Jehoiada the priest, Joash served the Lord for the first part of his life.  He even … Continue reading

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II Kings 12:1-16; II Chronicles 24:1-16 — Getting our temples cleaned up

Joash, under the tutelage of Jehoiada the priest, got off to a good start.  One thing he wanted to do early in his reign was to restore the temple.  The temple had been damaged, probably during the reign of Ahaziah … Continue reading

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Joel 3 — The valley of decision

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!  For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. (14) I think that a lot of people see this passage and think of it as a time when people … Continue reading

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Joel 2:28-32 — When the Spirit comes

If there is one thing that’s different between the Old and New Testament times, it is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Back in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon a person occasionally to do a certain … Continue reading

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Joel 2:1-27 — True repentance

Sometimes, when people say that they’re sorry, you can tell that they really aren’t.  Sometimes, the “sorry” is dragged out of them.  Other times they seem more sorry that they were caught than for their actions. And that’s what God … Continue reading

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Joel 1 — How we respond to tragedy in this world

Why is there evil in this world?  Why is there so much tragedy?  That is one of the haunting questions that people have asked throughout the ages.  And as we take a look at the book of Joel, that’s what … Continue reading

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II Kings 11; II Chronicles 22-23 — The rightful king

One wonders what Jehoshaphat would have done if he had only seen the future.  He had made an alliance with Ahab’s family through the marriage of his son to Athaliah, Ahab’s daughter.  What would Jehoshaphat have thought if he had … Continue reading

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II Kings 9-10 — Doing the right thing (or the wrong thing) for the wrong reasons

Jehu had a mixed legacy as king of Israel.  On one hand, he fulfilled God’s will in destroying the house of Ahab, for which he was commended.  God told him that because of this, his dynasty would last four generations.  … Continue reading

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II Kings 8:25-27; II Chronicles 22:1-5 — Who to listen to?

There was an old song in the 80s that said, You’ve got to know who to, who not to listen to. They’re gonna hit you from all sides. You’ve gotta make up your mind who to, who not to listen … Continue reading

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II Kings 8-9; II Chronicles 22 — Contradictions?

One interesting thing about trying to chronologicalize the events set forth in Kings and Chronicles is that the details are not always exactly the same.  In fact, there are times when they seem downright contradictory.  The death of Ahaziah (that … Continue reading

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II Kings 8:16-24; II Chronicles 21 — Ignoring God’s warnings

I wish sometimes that the Israelites had been a bit more creative in naming their children.  It gets a little confusing to keep track of sometimes.  First you have Ahaziah, king of Israel, and Joram (short for Jehoram) his brother … Continue reading

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II Kings 8:7-14 — Nothing hidden from God

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  That’s the age old question.  Of course, as Christians, we’d say the chicken. In the case of this story, which came first, Elisha’s prophesy of Hazael’s assension to the throne, or Hazael’s … Continue reading

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II Kings 8:1-6 — God’s perfect timing

The story here is an interesting on a couple of levels.  First, the issue of Gehazi.  The last we saw of him, he had been struck with leprosy for his deception of Naaman in chapter 5.  Now he’s seen here … Continue reading

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II Kings 6-7 — Out of patience, low on faith

The respite that the Israelites gained from the kindness they showed to the Arameans didn’t last long.  Once again, the king of Aram led another assault on Samaria, the capital of Israel, laying siege to it.  No food was coming … Continue reading

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II Kings 6:18-23 — Returning good for evil

“If I ever get my hands on him…” “You won’t know when.  You won’t know where.  But someday…” Have you ever said these things?  When we’ve been hurt, these are common thoughts to have.  But they’re not the way God … Continue reading

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II Kings 6:8-17 — Eyes that see beyond

I can’t say I read this story very often, nor do I think I’ve ever heard it preached on in Japan in the 17 years I’ve been here.  But I’ve got to say it’s probably one of my favorite stories … Continue reading

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II Kings 6:1-7 — Nothing too small

What amazes me about God is that he is concerned even with the minor details of our lives.  There is nothing that he considers too small to bring up to his attention. In this story, some of the prophets were … Continue reading

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II Kings 5 — The salvation that comes from God

As I read this passage, it reminds me of the salvation that we receive from God. First, we learn that it needs to be proclaimed in order for people to receive it.  It’s amazing to me that this girl, who … Continue reading

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II Kings 4:38-44 — The God who preserves, the God who provides

In these two short stories, we see the loving care of God. In the first, in the midst of a famine, Elisha has his servant prepare a stew for a company of prophets that were meeting with him.  But unbeknownst … Continue reading

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II Kings 4:8-36 — Giver of life, restorer of hope

The life of Elisha, in many ways, parallels that of Elijah in terms of the miracles that he performed.  At a guess, this list of miracles was noted to show that Elisha did indeed receive that double portion of Elijah’s … Continue reading

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II Kings 4:1-7 — An unpayable debt

I hate being in debt.  I don’t use my credit cared often, but when I do, I always pay it it off before the end of the month.  My only other debt is the one I owe on my house.  … Continue reading

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II Kings 3 — Doing God’s will, or our own?

Joram, king of Israel, was facing a rebellion by Moab.  After being subject to his father Ahab, the Moabites now refused to pay tribute to Israel, and so Joram allied himself with Judah and Edom to attack the Moabites. Once … Continue reading

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