Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 15: 1 Kings 14 – 15:24; Psalm 133 – 134; Proverbs 17:7-8; Acts 10:1-23



Overview

            1 Kings: In Israel: Jeroboam’s son was ill, so he sent his wife in disguise to Ahijah the prophet to find out what would happen to the child. Ahijah was blind but the Lord told him she was coming. He told her that Jeroboam and all the males from his house would die. This is because of his sin of idolatry. The child would die when she returned and would be the only one buried because the Lord found something good in him. The Lord would raise up a king who would kill all of Jeroboam’s house. He would also scatter Israel beyond the Euphrates. When she returned, the child died. Jeroboam reigned 22 years and his son, Nadab took over.
            In Judah: Rehoboam reigned 17 years. Judah did evil engaging in idolatry and male cult prostitutes. In Rehoboam’s 5th year, Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem. He took away the treasures in the temple and the gold shields Solomon had made. Rehoboam replaced them with bronze. Rehoboam died and his son, Abijam, took over.
            Abijam sinned just as his father and reigned for three years. There was continual war between Jeroboam and Rehoboam and then with Abijam and Jeroboam. Abijam died and Asa took over.
            Asa reigned 41 years. He did what was right and got rid of the male cult prostitutes and idols. He sent the remaining gold and silver in the temple to Ben-hadad of Syria to break his covenant with Baasha king of Israel. Ben-hadad then captured several cities in Israel and Baasha stopped building Ramah. Asa then took the material from Ramah and built Geba and Mizpah. Asa died and Jehoshaphat took over.
            Psalm: Brothers dwelling in unity is good. It is like God’s anointing Aaron as priest. It is good like rain in the mountains of Zion because it is there the Lord has brought eternal life.
            Servants of the Lord are to praise the Lord while they minister even at night. They are to do it with hands lifted toward the temple. May the Lord who is Creator bless Zion.
            Proverbs: A person who acts foolishly doesn’t speak wisely and fake news from a ruler is even worse. A person who bribes others uses them like a magic stone to get what he wants.
            Acts: In Caesarea, Cornelius the centurion was told by an angel to send to Joppa and bring back Peter who was staying at Simon the tanner’s house. He sent two servants.
            The next day, Peter had a vision while he was praying. The vision was of a sheet lowered from heaven with all kinds of animals on it. A voice told him to kill and eat. Peter didn’t want to because some of the animals were unclean. The voice told him not to call common what God had cleansed. This happened three times.
            The men from Cornelius arrived and asked for Peter. They explained that Cornelius was a God-fearing man respected by the Jewish community. An angel appeared to him a told him to send for Peter. Peter invited them to stay overnight.

What Stood Out

            1 Kings: “For he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 14:13).
            Psalm: “Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord” (Ps 134:1)!
            Proverbs: “Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince” (Prov 17:7).
            Acts: “This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven” (Acts 10:16).

Insight

            1 Kings: Jeroboam’s sin brought disaster upon his family. This isn’t the case of God punishing the sons for the evil of the father. This is the case of a man teaching a whole nation and therefore, his own sons how to be evil. The one exception is his son Abijah. This boy died from an illness and was given a decent burial.
            We usually look at the death of a child as a tragedy. However, in this case, the Lord made it clear that this death was to spare him from the evils that would come upon his brothers and even the male servants of Jeroboam’s house. It is hard to wrap our minds around this because we have been engrained with the idea that a long life and prosperity reflect God’s blessings. Yet here is an example where the Lord’s compassion took a life out of this world to spare him the ugliness of sin that would have surely surrounded him had he lived. When we see things happen that we think are bad we must remember that God knows what is best and works it out for our good and his glory (Rom 8:28-29).
            Psalm: We should always view ourselves as servants of the Lord. The Psalmist tells us that the Lord has command the blessing of eternal life (Ps 133:3). When we receive the blessing, we become his servants. However we serve the Lord, whether it is as a full-time ministry career that may be a nighttime janitor in a church or a secular job, we are to praise the Lord. We must continue to realize that all we do is serving the Lord.
            Proverbs: If a person who does foolish things were to speak eloquently, it would be a contradiction. We call them hypocrites. A fool is anyone who doesn’t know the Lord because he doesn’t believe God exists (Ps 14:1). So, why is it that we pay so much attention to those who propound scientific theories that deny the existence of God and replace him with evolutionary theories? If that isn’t bad enough, we have fake news (lies) being told by people in high positions in our government. When two people give testimony and they contradict each other, they can’t both be right. That’s why we need to trust in the Lord. We can always trust his word.
            Acts: We often think that Peter quickly became a great theologian when the Holy Spirit came upon him at Pentecost. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, we expect him to have a firm grasp on all Scripture. His first sermons certainly exhibited some profound insight in to God’s sovereignty in planning Jesus’ arrival, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection. However, he was still the same Peter and had to be told three time in a vision that it was okay to eat what had once been unclean animals. He finally got the part that this also applied to people as we’ll find out tomorrow.
            We aren’t much different. We can read the Bible from the front to the back every year and find new things to ponder. In our cases, it may reveal a sin that we’ve been treasuring in our hearts. We see a verse or passage and have to read it again because we hadn’t applied it to our lives. We then must repent and admit we were sinning. Other times, it could be a passage that just helps us love the Lord more or strengthens our ability to get through a tough time. It may be something that prepares us for ministry as it did with Peter. Maybe Peter’s vision appeared three time not for him but for us.

Application

             Whether it is disasters or politics, I need to remember that God is control. He is working for our good, but more importantly, for his glory. He has some things going on in our lives and those around us that we will only understand in eternity.

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