As the King, So is the Country

“And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” Rev. 4:2.

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Only one sits on the throne. He puts kings in place and He removes them. But each has the responsibility of leading their people. Their lead determines the paths taken whether for good or evil. This is the truth found in the books of Kings and Chronicles.

Solomon began well but did not end well.

“And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice. And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods:

but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.” I Kings 11:9,10.

Because of Solomon’s disobedience to the word of the Lord, God would tear his kingdom away from him in the days of his son’s rule. For David’s sake the two southern tribes would remain in the Davidic dynasty. The ten northern tribes would come under the rule of Jeroboam.

“After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.

And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth…

For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water,

and he shall root up Israel out of this good land,

which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river,

because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.

And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.” 1Kings 13:33,34; 14:15,16.

For the divided kingdom things went from bad to worse. The Northern Kingdom had no kings that followed the Lord. All followed the ways of Jeroboam. Their sins captured them in the Assyrian take over.

“For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets.

So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.” 2Kings 17:22,23.

Judah didn’t fare much better. A few of their kings did lead them in short-lived revival. Most, “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  As was the king, so went the country. Eventually their sin defeated them through the Babylonians.

“Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand…

And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia.” 2Chron. 36: 17, 20.

Would the LORD God forsake his people, his covenant with Abraham and with David? Would he deny himself? Paul answers these questions in Romans 11.

“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid…

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits;

that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written,

There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

In 1948 Israel returned to her land as a united nation. We wait with them for the revelation of their one King and ours to sit on the throne of David and reign in righteousness forever.

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,

upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, 

to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this…Isa. 9:7

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last…

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.

I am the root and the offspring of David,

and the bright and morning star…

Surely I come quickly.” Rev. 22: 13, 16,20.

Let’s remember to pray for the peace of Israel, learn from their hard lessons, and carefully choose the leaders we will follow. For as the king goes, so goes the country.

How are you preparing for the coming of our King?

What Holds Your Heart Captive?

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 “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils.” 1Cor. 10:21.

The combined books of Kings and Chronicles tell a tale of the politically united, powerful and prosperous nation of Israel, albeit the description is foretold in Deuteronomy…

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth…

And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.” Deut. 28:1,13,14.

… and its decline into a divided, downtrodden, and destitute nation. These books contain Israel’s glory and its disgrace. They are the story of a nation once the head becoming the tail.

What happened?

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day…

The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee…

Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;

Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee…” Deut. 28:15,36,37, 47,48.

Even as they declined from conqueror to captive over the span of approximately 457 years, 112 of which were the united years, and the rule of 39 kings, 19 in Israel and 20 in Judah, the Lord did not leave them without hope. His covenant with David would not be enough to keep judgment from coming but it would insure God restoration of the nation.

The Davidic Covenant: (For the complete covenant see 2Samuel 7:4-17).

“And the LORD said unto him(Solomon), I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:

Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.” 1Kings 9:3-5.

2Chronicles  7: 12-22 confirms the covenant with Solomon making it clear, if the people do not follow God fully, all is not lost. There is hope.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Lessons for Our Living:

The Warning:

“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils.” 1Cor. 10:21.

“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matt. 12:30.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt. 6:24.

The Judgment:

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4.

The Promise:

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;

and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2Cor. 6: 17,18.

The Way:

“If we confess our sins,

he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,

and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1John 1:9.

The Command:

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written,

Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” Matt. 4:10,11.

Don’t expect the devil to leave you if you play in his yard.

“Jesus said unto him,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matt. 22:37.

There is no division in all. Do you wander through life and wonder why you have no joy? no peace? no victory? Allow God to search your heart and mend where it is torn. Israel tried to serve the Lord God and the gods of other nations. They became weak politically, economically, and spiritually. Let’s take their lesson to heart.

Do You Know You’re Special

The Lord God chose Israel for his own possession to be a light to the world, manifesting His glory among them, and blessing them with His goodness and love.

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“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” Deut. 7:6,7.

From the moment the Hebrew children left Egypt, through the almost conquest of the promised land, and followed by 350 years of judges, they rebelled against their privilege, their blessing, their God and King. The book of 1 Samuel introduces us to a period of transition for the Israelites, in the which, they reject God as their King and choose men to reign over them.

“And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith thy have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do thy also unto thee.” 1Sam.8:7,8.

Samuel did as the Lord commanded in telling the people what it would mean to have a king other than God.

“Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.” 1Sam. 8:19.

As I read this verse, I wondered at how soon they had forgotten their identity and all the times the Lord fought for them delivering them from their enemies, proving himself a worthy King. But then I stopped. How soon do we forget who we are and who our King is?

We, as followers of Christ, are a chosen people, special unto the Lord.

“But ye are a chosen generation,

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a royal priesthood,

an holy nation,

a peculiar people;

that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”1Peter 2:9,10.

As God did not choose Israel because of her numbers or strength, nor have we been called because of our own wisdom, strength, or goodness.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called…

That no flesh should glory in his presence.

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord…1Cor. 1:26,29-31;

“For by grace  are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; Eph. 2:8.

But how soon do we forget our privilege and blessing of being a child of the King of kings to follow the prince of darkness?

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the diving nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue;

and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance;

and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness;

and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”2Peter. 1:4-9.

God’s choosing a people for himself does not exclude others. For His invitation goes out to all.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

You are special to God the Father. So special, He gave His only begotten Son to give you the opportunity to know the privilege and blessing of being His own. Two questions remain.

Have you taken advantage of your opportunity?

Who reigns in your life, the King of kings or the prince of  darkness?


There are three main characters in First and Second Samuel. I plan to look into their lives next time, and hope you will join me as we continue walking with Jesus through the Bible. Thank you for stopping by and always feel free to leave comments or questions. May the King of Peace rule in your heart.

 

What Would You Say?

“Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.” Deut. 10:15.

Deuteronomy, a book of remembrance, review, and renewal, contains Moses’ farewell messages to the new generation literally sitting on the edge of the Promised Land. It is an end of wandering, and a beginning of entering the Lord’s abundance, a remembering the past so as not to repeat it and a hope for the future, a review of what the Lord required of them, and a renewal of a covenant broken by their parents. The time had come.blog Jordan

“And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them…On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: Turn you…take your journey, and go…” Deut. 1:3,5-7a. Is it your turn, your time to quit wandering and start living? Our Father God shows you how and empowers you to do so. The decision is yours. It’s time to turn from the world, take your journey with Him and go forward.

Unlike Numbers, which spanned forty aimless years, Deuteronomy covers a period of approximately one month, similar to the time of Leviticus. The audience in Deuteronomy, the congregation of a new generation, differs from Leviticus’ priestly audience. Deuteronomy is for the congregation, us.

In Deuteronomy, Moses, the Lord’s called savior of Israel, the priestly intercessor for the wayward children, the leader of a new nation and the prophet of God to a new generation, finishes the work of the Lord. Now it’s time for him to go.

  • “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt,”(Ex. 3:11).
  • “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.”(Lev. 20:7).
  • “Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” (Num. 14:19).
  • “These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness…And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee…” (Deut. 1:1;30:1). “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD…And the children of Israel wept for Moses…thirty days…” (Deut. 34:5,8).

 “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;” Heb. 3:5. When do you find it hardest to be faithful? Will you hear the words, “…Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”  Matt. 25:21.

For You:

  • What would your last words be to the generation following you?
  • Moses’ epitaph reads faithful. What do you want your epitaph to read?

Personal Request: Our friends received news in the night of their son’s going home to be with the Lord. He has entered into the joy of the Lord. Even as we rejoice in hope, our hearts are broken for their pain in a life that to us was cut short. Whatever word of the Lord you would like to say to the next generation, don’t wait to say them, and please, would you pray for our friends and their family. Thank you.

 

 

 

What Amazes You?

“In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.” Lev. 23:24.

We began this week asking, “Do you want more of God?” My prayer is for us to have seen through Leviticus how God fills that desire in us. Today, we finish Leviticus with the final feasts of Israel. They are three in one known as the Festival of Tabernacles.

God chose Israel for His own, not as an exclusion of others, but for the avenue of blessing to others. “…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”blogflag-186476__340

“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the dimishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?” Rom. 11:11,12.

The nation of Israel is the recipient of certain of God’s promises, but even these are our blessing. We are remembered in the celebration of Israel’s feasts, recipients of the fulfillment of those days. There are three yet to come.

The summer is past. The time of harvest looms ahead. The trumpet sounds. The time of gathering arrives, but before there is a gathering a scattering occurs.

“a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation…And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” Deut. 28:64.blog trumpets

This scattering has happened to Israel twice, once in the Assyrian/Babylonian captivity and beginning again in 70 A. D. after the temple of Herod was destroyed by the Romans. In A.D. 135 the Jews were forbidden to enter Jerusalem by Hadrian the Roman emperor.  But God is a covenant-keeping God.

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to them do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.” Jer. 32: 38-42.

Until 1948, Israel remained a scattered flock, with no sheepfold of their own. They are now  one nation. I believe the trumpet has sounded for their gathering in preparation for their Day of Atonement.blogdesperate-2676556__340

“in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls…And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year… they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son…In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem… Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.”(Lev. 16:29,34; Jer. 12:10,11; Rev. 1:7).

God is specific in His times as He lays out Israel’s future and ours.

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, THERE SHALL COME OUT OF SION THE DELIVERER, AND SHALL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB: FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT UNTO THEM, WHEN I SHALL TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.” Rom. 11:26.

So begins the Feast of Booths.

“…The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD…and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days…That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God… And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers: and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannessesss… And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles…In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD…and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” (Lev. 23: 34,40,43; Ezek. 36:28,29; Zech. 14:16,20,21).blog feast

The gathering of Israel, I believe, is among us. The Day of Atonement and the Feast of Booths are yet to come, when the fullness of the blessing of Israel will be the fullness of the blessing of all nations.

 

“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem,

and be glad with her, all ye that love her:

rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:

That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations;

that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

For thus saith the LORD,

I will extend peace to her like a river,

and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream:

then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides,

and be dandled upon her knees.

As one whom his mother comforteth,

so will I comfort you;

and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Isa. 66:10-13.

What from Leviticus causes you amazement?  What blessing of Israel do you see as your own?