Where Does Desire Find Fulfillment?

What is your greatest desire in this life? Is it for riches for your own comfort and to share with the poor? Is it success in your personal field of interest? Is it to live in peace and health? In reading the Psalms it seems the greatest desire of those God used to pen its words was to know and draw near to their God.

blogpraise-1154566__340This book, filled with songs, reveals our need for God pointing us to the fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. The challenge in writing this is choosing which ones to highlight.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself…And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn with us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:27,31-32.

their eyes were opened, and they knew him…

How can we know Him?

“Stand in awe and sin not:

commune with your  own heart upon your bed,

and be still.” Psalm 4:4.

Then you will…

“Know ye that the LORD he is God:

it is he that hath made us,

and not we ourselves;

we are his people,

and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“he is God…”

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,

hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ…

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high….

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”(2Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 1:3;John 14:7.)

“he hath made us…”

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (Psalm 33:6;John 1:1-3,14)

Jesus is the Word, “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18.

we are his people…

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works…

a peculiar people that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous 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.” (Titus 2:13,14; 1Peter 2:9b.)

And we are,

the sheep of his pasture…

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want…

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine…

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (Psalm 23:1; John 10:14,27-30.)

Again the question is posed: What is your greatest desire? If it does not begin and end with God, it will never satisfy longer than a moment.

So may we,

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,

so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”

Psalm 42:1.

For,

“my God shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19.

 

 

 

Life in the Kingdoms

Part 3 of Kings & Kingdoms

ruth“Give us this day our daily bread.”

Today we move from the introduction of the kingdoms to living in the kingdoms. This week will address a question, a scripture, and thoughts contrasting both kingdoms in day to day living.

Kingdom of this world:

“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

  • And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full: for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger…

the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? Your murmuring are not against us, but against the LORD…

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying,

  • At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread:
  • and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God…

And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them,

  • This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat…
  • And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
  • Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses: but some of them left of it unto the morning, and it bred worms, and stank:
  • and Moses was wroth with them.” Exodus 16:2-3,8, 11-12, 15, 19-20.

Murmuring, believing God has withheld good from them, disdaining the good God has already done for them, and disobedience to the One who has provided for them, I’ll leave it to your own imaginations how this fits into the world today. All too often, it may even be found among God’s kingdom. And did you notice, God still blessed them?

“according to the word of the LORD”

Kingdom of God:

“And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

  • Arise, get thee to Zarepath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there:
  • behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

And as she was going to fetch he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.

  • And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

And Elijah said unto her,

  • Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
  • For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

And the barrel of meal wasted not,

neither did the cruse of oil fail,

according to the word of the LORD,

which he spake by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:9-16.

The Lord speaks to his servants. The servants obey His word. The Lord provides for His servants. He knows our need before we ask and does not withhold any good thing from us. His servants trust Him and need not fear for they know Him to be who He is according to His word.

  • In these days what keeps you trusting the Lord’s provision rather than complaining?
  • What good things has God done for you in the past that instills trust He will do good for you today?

Kings and Kingdoms, Part 2

blog soldier“Thy kingdom come.”

It is with us.

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying,

  • The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;
  • repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15.

“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said,

  • The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there!
  • For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;

but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Romans 14:17.

It is coming.

“The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.” Exodus 15:18.

“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.” Isaiah 9:7

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” Zechariah 14:9

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying

THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME

THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST;

AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.” 

Revelation 11:15.

The prince of the air’s kingdom of darkness

It is among us.

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,

  • according to the prince of the power of the air,
  • the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” Ephesians 2:2

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,

  • but against principalities, against powers,
  • against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
  • against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.

“And the devil, taking him(Jesus) up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him,

  • All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them:
  • for that is delivered unto me: and to whomsoever I will I give it.” Luke 4:5,6.

Satan’s reign ends.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same;

that through death

he might destroy him

that had the power of death,

that is, the devil.”

Hebrews 2:14

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed;

it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15;

“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” Romans 16:20.

(Note the scriptures say bruise. I’m not sure but I wonder if this is in reference to the fact Satan will not cease to exist but will be in eternal torment?)

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,

  • Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,
  • prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41.

“And the devil that deceived them

was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,

where the beast and the false prophet are, 

and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

Revelation 20:10.

“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

“And be not conformed to this world:

but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove what is that

good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2.

“And this is the will of him that sent me,

  • that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him,
  • may have everlasting life:
  • and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40.

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…” 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

“In everything give thanks:

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18.

“Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word…that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion:

bless the LORD, O my soul.”

Psalm 103:20-22.

In Satan’s domain for a time:

“…Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” Genesis 4:8.

  • “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
  • and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
  • and it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth,
  • and it grieved him at his heart.” Genesis 6:5-6.

“For all that is in the world,

the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,

is not of the Father,

but is of the world.”

1 John 2:16-17.

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

And we know that we are of God,

 and the whole world lieth in wickedness.”

1 John 5:18-19.

No, the world doesn’t know God nor desire Him. But we of the kingdom of God do.

“I delight to do thy will, O my God:

yea, thy law is within my heart.”

Psalm 40:8.

  • May Hebrews 13: 20-21 be our prayer for one another.

“Now the God of peace,

That brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,

that great shepherd of the sheep,

through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do his will,

working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight,

through Jesus Christ;

to whom be glory for ever and ever.

 Amen.”

Treasures of Earth and Heaven

bullion gold gold bars golden
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,

where moth and rust doth corrupt,

and where thieves break through and steal:

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lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,

where neither moth nor dust doth corrupt,

and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  

For

where your treasure is,

there will your heart be also.”

Matthew 6: 19-21

What things of earth do you treasure? What things of heaven? Your answers testify of your heart.

Got It In Writing

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courtesy of Pixabay free images

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:

it shall not return unto me void,

but it shall accomplish that which I please,

and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isa. 55:11.

“Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.” Jere. 1:12

“For I am the Lord:

I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass…”

Jeremiah 12: 25a

The following are taken from Mark 14.

“The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born.” 14:21

“And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priest and the scribes and the elders. And he that betrayed him had given them a token…and they laid their hands on him, and took him… And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.”14:43,44,46,48,49

“And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I WILL SMITE THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED.” 14:27

“And they all forsook him, and fled.” 14:50

“And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.”14:30

“And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.” 14:72

The last one from Mark to be included is found in 14: 62. The Old Testament prophecy quoted is found in Daniel 7:13. Its fulfillment is yet to come.

“And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see

THE SON OF MAN SITTING ON THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER,

AND COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”

The Lord God leaves us no doubt. He will fulfill His word, “as it is written.”

What’s Next?

After preparing his heart, Ezra knew the hand of the Lord was upon him supplying mercy and strength to accomplish his purpose in the Lord. He would not journey alone.

“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” Ezra 7:10.

In preparing to seek the law of the Lord, Ezra reveals the path to integrity.

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courtesy of Pixabay free images

Ezra Sought the Law of the Lord:

“This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given…

Ezra the priest, a scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel…

a scribe of the law of the God of heaven…” Ezra 7:6,11,12.

A ready scribe is translated as an able scholar. In this instance an able scholar of the words of the God of heaven.

For Us:

To live a life of integrity there has to be a common standard by which integrity is measured. That standard is fulfilled in One and shown to us in His word.

Integrity will be found in:

One whose,

“…delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:2.

One who understands,

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes…

And is…

“More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:

One whose heart is set to know the word of the God in heaven.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.” Psalm 119:105,106.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Tim.2:15.

Once heard and received, a man of integrity will seek to do the word.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,

he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way,

and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

But who whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein,

he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work,

this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25.

Seeking to know the word and putting the word to work in our lives leads to our teaching of it by example and speech.

Ezra’s Example:

“And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until the midday,

before the men and the women, and those that could understand;

and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law…

And Nehemiah…and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto the people,

This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.”Neh. 8:2,3,9.

And no one complained about the preacher being too long winded. Now, that is a work of God.

For Us:

We look at another example of integrity as we read the apostle Paul’s instructions to  Titus.  His words give us the definition of integrity.

“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine…

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works:

in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned;

that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” Read the whole of Titus 2 for the complete instructions.

The walk of integrity is not a one time commitment but a daily journey of preparing the heart to seek, to do, and teach.

How’s your walk?

How Prepared is Your Heart?

“Blessed by the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart…and hath extended mercy unto me before the king‘s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.” Ezra 7:27,28.

Ezra did not move forward without preparation. All along the way God’s mercy was extended to him. His heart assured him of the Lord’s presence strengthening him for the journey and work ahead.

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Retrieved from Pixabay’s free images.

Ezra’s Preparation:

“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” Ezra 7:10.

How does one prepare the heart for the work of the Lord?

“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5.

My husband, Papa Tom to the grandchildren, played a game with them when they were younger. He laid a quilt on the floor. The grandchild would lay on the quilt. Then Papa would roll him up in it like a cocoon with head and feet sticking out the ends. After being wrapped our great-grandson said he was a burrito not a cocoon. Papa instructed him to lay stiff and still as he carefully lifted him to the couch. Then with a quick even tug Papa pulled the quilt from around the child giggling and pleading to, “Do it again, Papa Tom!”

Papa Tom’s game illustrates what it means to commit. For the word, in its original, means, “rolled upon.” As our grandson committed his trust in his Papa, so we must commit or roll all our trust upon the Lord in the way we are to go.

“I call to remembrance my song in the night:

I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.”

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary, who is so great a God as our God; Thou art the God that doest wonders. thou hast declared thy strength among the people.” Psalm 77:6, 11-14.

When the heart is unsure, remember.

Remember:

The faithfulness of God is our hope, bringing with it assurance and joy.

When was the last time you woke in the night with a song in your heart?

The works of the Lord.

What work of the Lord has shown his Presence in your life?

The wonders of old.

What  favorite scripture reveals to you the wonder of God?

Next:

Ponder the questions in your heart and set your mind to make diligent search in God’s word. Enter into the holy of holies to find your answers.

“if ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 3:1-2.

Finally:

Seek the things from above-life, truth, all that is eternal and not temporary. Think on these things and…

Give praise to our God for there is none like Him, none so great. Speak often of His wonder and works.

A prepared heart is the beginning of a life lived in integrity.


In my next post I hope to look at how the prepared heart seeks, does, and teaches others as we visit Ezra’s example and learn to grow in integrity.

Please, leave your answers to the questions in comments.  If you would like my answers ask. And thank you, for your comments and for stopping by.

How’s Your House?

“Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.” Ezra 1:3.

Chronicles ends in captivity with a promise of Israel’s future hope. Ezra takes us from captivity to hope realized. Is there a message of hope for those still in captivity?

Who of all his people then?

Who would take up the challenge put forth in Ezra 1:3? After seventy years of acclamation to Babylon, would any of the Jews respond?

“The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore.”  And this didn’t include the over seven thousand servants, maids, and singers. An impressive number until you realize there were probably more than two million Jews in Babylon.

Who are His people now?

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“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Gal. 6:10.

“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly;neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly;

and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter;

whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28,29.

“But ye are a chosen generation, 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.

Cyrus was charged by the Lord to build him a house:

“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”Ezra 1:2

Our Charge to Build with Him a House:

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God…Eph. 2:19.

 

Before a House comes a Foundation:

“And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.”Ezra 3:11

Our Foundation:

…And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” Eph. 2:20.

The Finished Work:

“And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel…” Ezra 6:14.

Our Finished Work:

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,

It is finished:

and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30.

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Eph. 2:19-22.

Dedicating the House of God:

“And the  children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.” Ezra 6:16.

Dedicating Our House:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world:

 but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Rom. 12:1,2.

“Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:

and the God of peace shall be with you.” Phil. 4:9.

IMG_0386How is your house coming along? Is it in of disrepair or is it becoming new and beautiful?

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2Cor. 5:17.

“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” 1Chron. 16:29.

 

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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Image by pixabay.

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?

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.