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Just a question based on one of the passages from these four chapters:
- Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded,
- and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
- “For many days Israel was without the true God and without ba teaching priest and without law.
- “But ain their distress they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him.
- “In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands.
- “Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress.
- “But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”
If the foundation of God’s reward is based on our proximity to Him, what can our expectation for America be in 2013?
If we read the remainder of chapter 15, we see what Asa did in order to ensure the Lord’s reward would continue upon the land.
8. Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the LORD which was in front of the porch of the LORD.
9. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who resided with them, for many defected to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
10. So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign.
11. They sacrificed to the LORD that day 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep from the spoil they had brought.
12, They entered into the covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and soul;
13. and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.
14. Moreover, they made an oath to the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets and with horns.
15. All Judah rejoiced concerning the oath, for they had sworn with their whole heart and had sought Him 1earnestly, and He let them find Him. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.
16. He also removed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from the position of queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah, and Asa cut down her horrid image, crushed it and burned it at the brook Kidron.
17. But the high places were not removed from Israel; nevertheless Asa’s heart was blameless all his days.
18. He brought into the house of God the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things: silver and gold and utensils.
19. And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.
At what price are we willing to sacrifice to receive the Lord’s blessings?
(New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (2 Ch 15:1–7). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.)
1 Kings 13-14
This post is meant to cause each of us to think. The young prophet obeyed God in all things, except one. He was given the punishment of death for disobedience in one area of his otherwise stellar life. What does this tell us of disobedience to God? What does this tell us of God’s character and concern over doing His will? Does this cause you to think less of God, more of yourself, more of God, less of yourself? What thinking does this hold for you? As you ponder this chapter, listen to the sermon below, and take every thought captive.
- Sermon by David Hegg (not Pastor David):The Young Prophet Standing for God’s Truth
Just letting those of you who read these studies that I will be taking a break from the Old Testament for a bit. I will post sporadically, so sign up for updates. In the meantime, I am developing curriculum for a study of the New Testament Epistles by travelling through the book of Acts. Stop by www.teach4god.com and visit the New Testament page. I would greatly appreciate feedback and insights to better the writing and the presentation.
1 Kings 12 (cf. 2 Chronicles 10 and 11)
This chapter presents the fulfillment of God’s discipline on Solomon for his idolatry (1 Kings 11). After the death of Solomon, they make his son Rehoboam king over all the tribes. They give him the opportunity to keep the kingdom as a whole and fails due to lack of godly counsel. The people, tired from corvée, ask Rehoboam to lessen the taxation on finances and bodies. If this is done, the people say they will stay as a united kingdom. He asks Solomon’s advisors who counsel him to do as the people desire for Solomon was wrong in doing this to them. He then asks his friends for advice and they tell him to become even more demanding to show the people who is truly in charge. He takes the advice of his friends over the wisdom of age and experience. The northern ten nations separate from the kingdom and for the nation of Israel. From this stage forward, Israel does not represent the entire nation, but it represents the northern ten. When Judah is mentioned, it refers to the Benjamin and Judah, the southern kingdom.
It was Jeroboam, the man to whom God would give the northern tribes and who revolted against King Solomon because of corvée, who sought a unified kingdom giving Rehoboam opportunity to maintain the entire kingdom. The representatives walked away proclaiming they have nothing to do with the house of David, which is the southern kingdom of Judah. Rehoboam decided to go to war with the northern kingdom, but God intervened and stopped him from starting the war.
Jeroboam begins to make altars for the people to make sacrifices so they would not go to Jerusalem to make them. His logic is good, but his outcome is bad. He knows if the people go to Jerusalem to worship and make sacrifices that they will want to reunite the kingdom. If he could get them to seek an easier form of worship, he could capture their hearts. He sets an altar in Bethel, which is at the southern border of the northern kingdom just above Jerusalem. He sets an altar in Dan, which is at the northern border of the kingdom. He makes it easier for them to worship. They do not have to travel as far to perform the rituals. He offers them what they desire mixed in with God’s requirements. This is syncretism. If you think about it, it is also the very thing Satan offers us as he tempts us. He did the same with Jesus in Matthew 4. His methods remain the same because they work, unless our eyes are on something greater.
- Map: Dan and Bethel
Verses 1-13 describe the core of Solomon’s downfall. It was not evident when he began marrying foreign wives (read this as not of the same faith). However, God warned that being unequally yoked will lead to failure (Deuteronomy 7.1-5 and 2 Corinthians 6.14-18). When we allow others into our life that do not influence us toward God, we will be influenced toward their god. In this case Molech/Milcom or Chemosh, a god of fire, to whom children/babies were sacrificed.
His failure to obey resulted in three ever-present enemies. In the verses to follow, we will see Hadad, Rezon, and Jeroboam rise against Solomon.
Verses 14-25-Hadad is the first enemy we encounter. He is from the east. The text tells us he survived being killed by David when he fled to Egypt (2 Samuel 8 and 10). The second adversary is Rezin. He was causing trouble in Israel throughout Solomon’s reign.
Verses 26-40-The third enemy is Jeroboam. He flees to Egypt as he escapes the hand of Solomon. Solomon knew that Jeroboam would rule the northern territory upon Solomon’s death. So, Jeroboam, knowing this as well, stayed in Egypt until he heard of Solomon’s death.
Verses 41-42-Solomon dies.
When you die, what will be your legacy? You see for all the good Solomon did, his last years marred what he did. Think of Joe Paterno and the cases of child molestation at Penn State. Although he was not involved, he overlooked the incidents and his legacy is forever tarnished.
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