Journey Through the Bible in 13 Months – weeks 29-

Bible with coffee.jpg

Update: Apr. 22, 2018

Week 33

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Israel_(Samaria)#/media/File:Kingdoms_of_Israel_and_Judah_map_830.svg

Day Of   Journey  Week Daily Readings Nugget
225 Week 33

1

Isaiah 10,11,12 1 Chapter 11 begins with a prophecy of Christ’s coming. How beautiful are these words in the midst of God’s judgement. From within Israel’s and Judah’s evil ways and God’s anger, God shares his beautiful plan for a Saviour, the branch of Jesse that will arise from within the stump of the remnant.

2 Chapter 12 may sound familiar as it is used in the liturgy of some denominations’ worship services.

 

226 2 Isaiah 13,14,15 We’ve read prophesies against Assyria. Now, today we read about prophesies against Babylon, Philistine and Moab. Although God has/will use these nations to discipline his people – the Israelites, he will bring them low. It is quite mind boggling and overwhelming trying to understand all that God is planning against these nations. It does make me aware though that God is watching over his people and will subdue those nations that suppress his children. He has all leaders and nations under his watchful eye. This is a comforting thought.

 

227 3 Isaiah 16,17,18 In these chapters Isaiah continues with prophecies against the nations of Moab, Damascus and Cush. These nations are bordering nations to Israel and Judah. To get a better idea, check out the map at the link posted at the top of this week’s post.

In Chapter 16, God is quite specific that in three years something is going down and Moab will be included. During the writing of these chapters, it is approximately 725 BC.

 

228 4 Isaiah 19,20,21 More prophecies against nations again today – Egypt, Cush, Babylon, Edom and Arabia. I wonder how Isaiah felt proclaiming all this news to these nations. I’m wonder what it looked like; Did he go to each king and tell him what was going to happen? Did he just stand outside his home and yell on a street corner this news from God? How serious was he taken by the nations? Did they respond to him like the Ninevites responded to Jonah? I don’t think so. Yet, Isaiah proclaimed these prophecies and watched as the time got closer and closer. Boy was he faithful when he said, “Here I am Lord. Send me.” (6:8b) I wonder if Isaiah really understood what God was asking of him, back in chapter 6 verses 11-13a, when Isaiah asked, “For how long Lord?” and the Lord replied, “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.” That’s a lot of destruction!

 

229 5 Isaiah 22,23,24 So now not only Judah, Israel and their surrounding nations, but the Earth will be destroyed too.? … Although I am not a Biblical historian, I am wondering if the destruction of the Earth is in reference to the destruction of that region of the Earth with all its nations. Therefore, the combining of all the nations that Isaiah is prophesying against in summed up in Chapter 24 under the umbrella term ‘Earth’.

 

230 6 Isaiah 25,26,27 Beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving:

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago…You have been a refuge for the poor,  a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. (25:1-4) AMEN!

 

231 7 Isaiah 28,29,30 1 In 28:16-17a we see another glimpse of Christ -our cornerstone. This is a reference used for Christ in the New Testament.

See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line.

2 These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. (29:13)

Dear Lord, open our hearts that they seek and trust you, so that our lips honour you and our worship is filled with true thanksgiving and praise.

 

Update: Apr. 15, 2018

Week 32

Day Of   Journey

 Week Daily Readings

Nugget

218

Week 32

1

Hosea 13,14

 

… and after all is said and done, it comes down to this for us:

Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. (14:9)

Dear Lord, give me the wisdom and discernment to not stumble, but to walk firmly, in your ways.

 

219

2

    2 Kings 16;        2 Chronicles  28; Isaiah 1

Ahaz King of Judah about 735 BC

1 God was not pleased with King Ahaz. He did not follow in the ways of David. He brought great distress on the people of Judah. God used ungodly nations, including Samaria, to discipline his people. However, do you notice that only Judah and Samaria are disciplined by God for their ungodliness. The Lord disciplines those he loves.

2        Isaiah around 745-685 BC

In Isaiah, he warns of the impending judgement but in the midst of it he adds hope if they return to obedience to him:

“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.”

God never stops trying to stir man’s heart back to him.

 

220

3

Isaiah 2,3,4

Isaiah starts out speaking of what it will be like in the last days. They could be in reference to the days following the upcoming exile, but more specifically the days of Jesus’ coming. Reread 2:3-5 again with the focus of Jesus’ in mind.

Isaiah is filled with prophetic writings of the coming of the Saviour. What joy! What hope!

 

221

4

Isaiah 5,6,7

1 The words of Isaiah in chapter 6, “Here I am Lord. Send me,”  is stated in such a beautiful way with the cherubim cleansing Isaiah’s lips and Isaiah answering God’s call. May we trust that God cleanses our guilt and gives us the words as we too willingly answer his call by saying, “Here I am Lord. Send me.”

2 In Chapter 7, there is another prophecy of the coming of the Saviour, and that he will be born a virgin.

 

222

5

Micah 1,2,3

Micah 740-700 BC

Micah really denounces the false prophets who are proclaiming goodness and plenty during this time. It really brings to light the fact that we need to be discerning in what we hear, and knowledgeable about what God says. People want to just believe what their itching ears want to hear, but that does not make it true. What God proclaims will come to pass. It will happen. And all else will wither as in the scorching sun. Do not be lead astray.

 

223

6

Micah 4,5,6

1 Does Micah 4:3-4 sound familiar? It should. It is almost verbatim the words of Isaiah 2:3-4 which we read three days ago. Amazing isn’t it; two different prophets profess, almost to the word, the same prophecy with only a few years separating them.

2 Chapter 5 is another prophecy of Jesus’ coming. He will come from Bethlehem.

3 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8 is my favourite Bible verse. It keeps me grounded in my days and brings me back into proper balance when I am not acting justly, loving mercy or walking humbly. It draws me back to repentance and focuses my desires on the Lord’s strength to be whom he needs me to be.

 

224

7

Micah 7;   Isaiah 8,9

1 Micah ends with acknowledgement of God’s mercy. Despite Israel and Judah’s unfaithfulness, God remains faithful.

2 In Isaiah 8 & 9, prophecy of the Messiah is made but 9: 6-7 are well known and spoken at Christmas every year.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (9:6)

Update: Apr. 8, 2018

Week 31

Day Of   Journey  Week Daily Readings Nugget

211

Week 31

1

Amos 1,2,3,

Amos around 767-753 BC

God is not happy with Israel and he is letting them know he’s got plans for them. It is sad that they have strayed so far from his truth and commands that they now “don’t know how to do right,” as stated in 3:10

 

212

2

Amos 4, 5,6

In 5:14-15, the grace of God is proclaimed, that even after all the evil they have done, if they would just see the Lord and do good and hate evil, the Lord would relent. But they do not heed these words. What a terrifying judgement. Even Nineveh, a gentile nation, repented. Oh Israel, how sad for you…

 

213

3

Amos 7 8,9

 

1 Even the priests of Israel speak against God; however, we read that when Judah and Israel split under King Jeroboam, the priests in Israel we no longer the priests of God from the Levite tribe, necessarily.

2 Again we see how God calls people from any walk of life. Amos was a shepherd. He did not ask to be a prophet, but when God calls and reveals himself and he had to share, in the same way we too must go when God calls.

3 Even after God proclaims his judgement, he ends with grace and hope for the Israelites to return. God is gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love! Alleluia!

 

214

4

Hosea 1,2,3

Hosea around 755-725 BC

Could you imagine being Hosea, and being told by God to go marry a prostitute and allow her to continue in her ways? It is a perfect analogy of how the Israelites regarded God. The calling of Hosea was more than just proclaiming God’s prophecies, Hosea was asked to live it. Could I do that? Could you? All I’ve been asked to do is to walk in God’s ways and proclaim him through my words and deeds. That is much easier than what Hosea was asked to do.

 

215

5

Hosea 4,5,6

In the first three chapters God had Hosea live out the relationship between the Israelites and God. Now, through Hosea, God is proclaiming their prostitution and adultery towards him and announcing his judgement upon Israel and even Judah. I love how God uses analogies to help us understand what he is saying.

 

216

6

Hosea 7,8,9

God continues his judgement on Israel. What do you think you would do if you were faced with God’s proclamation of judgement from some guy? Would you take to heart what he is saying, or call him crazy and ignore everything he has to say? Now think about those people on the big city street corners proclaiming God’s wrath and his salvation through Christ. What do we say about them? The only difference is that the people to whom Hosea was proclaiming judgement should have known better. They knew they were Israelites, God’s chosen people. Many people today have never heard or known of God’s Law and Gospel, his saving grace. So to them, the proclaimers of judgement and salvation are just noisy annoyances. However, to us, their words which make us a bit uncomfortable should be a reminder to reflect on our ways and to seek the one true God.

 

217

7

Hosea 10,11,12

1 Well, we now know what is going to happen to the Israelites from chapter 11. No need to read on…. Lol

2 I find reading the Bible through to be so enlightening. One reason being because when you read chapters like these, it’s not until you’ve read the Bible history to know how God has called, loved and guided the Israelites and then the Israelites’ behaviour towards and relationship with God to understand fully the anger and turmoil that God is professing through his prophet.

 

Update: Apr. 1, 2018

Week 30

Happy Easter!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Day Of   Journey

 Week Daily Readings

Nugget

204

Week 30

1

2 Kings 6,7,8

If the people, especially the Kings knew that Elisha was a man of God, and what he said was true and would happen, despite how unbelievable it was, why didn’t they walk in God’s ways. It never ceases to amaze me how stubborn, blind and opposed man is to the ways of the Lord. How grievous! Dear Lord, help me to desire to walk in your ways and to be obedient and humble towards your workings in this life. In the name of Jesus, AMEN!

 

205

2

2 Chronicles 22;

2 Kings 9,10

1 This King Ahaziah, King of Judah, is a not the same person as King Ahaziah, King of Israel.

2 Jehu accomplished the annihilation of Ahab and his descendants, and the prophets and temples of Baal, but he just didn’t destroy all idols of worship. Are we the same? Do we turn our back on those major idols of worship and focus our Sunday worship on Christ our Saviour, but then go about our daily activities worshipping those other idols of money, self-indulgence, prestige while ignoring Christ and his ways?

 

206

3

2 Chronicles 23, 24;

2 Kings 11, 12

1 Young King Joash starts off so well under the tutelage of Priest Jehoiada. Unfortunately, in the end he too turns away. So sad.

2 It seems that the Zechariah mentioned in these chapters, is not the Zechariah who wrote the book of the Bible.

207

4

Joel 1,2,3

1 There is debate surrounding the writings of Joel since there is no date placement given with his writings.  In any case, Joel’s prophecy of a great army devouring Judah for their unfaithfulness and then restoring them because of God’s faithfulness is clear.

2 Imagine you are watching all this history unfold as if in a movie with God sitting beside you, and he is constantly whispering in your ear what’s going to happen next. Are there really any surprises with what happens to Judah and Israel? These prophecies are so cool!…They are really going to start coming now…

 

208

5

2 Chronicles 25;

2 Kings 13,14

Oh Amaziah, just like your father, you started off so well, but couldn’t bear to be corrected. After all God had visibly done for him, how he could begin to worship other gods/idols is mind boggling. May we all stand steadfast in faithfulness to our great God!

 

209

6

Jonah 1, 2, 3, 4

Jonah around 790 BC

1 There are so many lessons in the story of Jonah. First of all, is Jonah any different than anyone else when God calls them to do something outside their comfort zone. God was calling Jonah, an Israelite, to go to an enemy of the Israelites and proclaim judgement on them. I’m sure he was thinking “What would keep them from killing me?”, or even more so, “Why would I do that, they are our enemies. I want them destroyed.” Yet, God called and no matter what Jonah tried to do, God made it happen. May we be willing instruments to go where God calls us.

2 Then there is the situation with the sailors on the boat and being torn between saving Jonah’s life or doing something not pleasing to God like killing Jonah by throwing him overboard. That would have been a tough decision, but they did it with prayer and repentance and God blessed it by saving Jonah. In fact, God needed them to do that in order to redirect Jonah. So in the toughest decisions of your life, take it to the Lord and trust him to guide you through it.

3 Finally, I find it interesting that in the midst of Israel, now Samaria, and Judah’s ungodliness, God in his grace and compassion sent prophets to gentiles, or non-Israelite, nations. Nineveh was the Capital of Assyria, and an enemy to the Israelites. Yet, he cared about their ungodliness, and desired them to turn from their ways or be destroyed.  Why would he warn them of their destruction and give them a chance to change their ways and live? Could he be preparing their hearts for something that will be coming in the future? Hmmm….

 

210

7

2 Chronicles 26, 27;

2 Kings 15

1 King Azariah and King Uzziah are the same person. It is beneficial to read the events of his reign as written in 2 Chronicles before reading 2 Kings 15 because in 2 Kings, there is only a small writing on King Azariah. In fact, although he reigned the longest, 52 years, his account is about as long as King Shallum who only reigned 1 month. It’s not until 2 Chronicles that you learn of all that King Azariah did and why he died of leprosy.

2 Here is another case where, although he started out well in the eyes of the Lord, his pride and arrogance of success was his downfall. Humility… if only we could remember humility.

Update: Mar. 25, 2018

Week 29

We’re half way through our journey. You’re doing Great!!

Day Of   Journey  Week Daily Readings Nugget

197

Week 29

1

2 Chronicles 15,16, 17;

Doesn’t it make you wonder how someone so faithful in serving the Lord, could become so stubborn and self-centred when the Lord disciplined him. When the Lord told Asa of his disappointment regarding seeking help from the King of Aram and not the Lord, Asa threw a temper tantrum and didn’t want to hear the Lord’s rebuke. What a different response to the Lord’s correction between Asa and David. When David was told his sin, he repented and was forgiven. No correction and discipline ever feel good at the time, but we need to remember that God corrects the ones he loves. May we be more open to correction like David, than Asa. All Asa had to do was repent and who knows how God would have blessed and healed him.

 

198

2

1 Kings 16, 17

 

1 This is the beginning of Samaria. Tuck this piece of information away as we continue to read through the Bible. Knowing how Samaria started due to hostility within Israel, gives clearer understanding to the Samaritans’ and Israelites’ distaste for one another by the time we get to the New Testament.

2 I find the actions of today’s readings very relevant for us. In chapter 16 we read about the kings of Israel and their evil actions, killings and being killed. In 17, we read about Elijah and the woman of Zarephath and the blessing he was to her and her son. Despite the actions of the country’s leadership, God was still working in the people’s everyday lives, even during a drought. He was using people to bless others, and he cared about their everyday lives. Take heart, in whatever is going on around you with the leaders of the world and your country’s leaders, whether they are doing right in the eyes of the Lord or not, God is still with you in your every day life and desires to use you to bless others.

 

199

3

1 Kings 18,19, 20

1 How awesome is the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. How wise was Elijah’s approach! He didn’t come in trying to persuade the Israelites against Baal; he let God do all the work and wonder. How Elijah taunts the prophets of Baal is priceless. God does not need big, glorious, flamboyant acts, he just wants a faithful heart who quietly trusts in and calls on Him, and he will show himself, whether it be through a magnificent fire or a still small voice.

2 Do you get discouraged in your walk of faith? So did Elijah. Take heart! God in his faithfulness will strengthen you and refresh you. Continue to feed on his word and rest in his peace.

 

200

4

1 Kings 21,22; Obadiah 1

King Ahab just sounds like a spoiled little child; first with his attitude towards Naboth, and then his whiney words about Micaiah: “Boo hoo, Naboth won’t give me what I want and I don’t want to be friends with Micaiah because he never says anything nice about me. Boohoo!” Although he is childlike and immature, it is clear to see the greed and evil in him and his wife, Jezebel. May we know how to, and may we teach our children to be able to, handle rejection in a healthy way, to know God’s ways and to understand discipline as a tool to become wise and to walk according to God’s will.

Obadiah’s vision ends with Edom being governed as mentioned in 1 Kings 22:47 where it is stated that Edom did not have a king, but only a provincial governor. Remember that the father of the Edomites was Esau.

201

5

2 Chronicles 18,19,20

Although a repeat between 1 Kings 22 from yesterday and 2 Chronicles 18 from today, the focus for today was not on Ahab, as much as it was on Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat walked in the ways of the Lord and was considered a Godly king, however there were still things he did that were not God pleasing. On the one hand Jehoshaphat’s faith was evident when he requested to seek God’s guidance from a prophet when going into battle with Ahab against Ramoth Gilead. He would have been a light of the Lord for Ahab in that instance; however, things seemed to go south when he actually went into business/made an alliance with Ahab. God did not like him doing that. We can find guidance for our own lives in these acts of Jehoshaphat, the righteous, with Ahab, the unrighteous. Be a light of Christ to all, but be careful with whom you make commitments.

 

202

6

2 Chronicles 21; 2 Kings 1,2

1 The story of Elijah taken up to heaven is such a beautiful story. Elijah in his great faithfulness never experienced death. What awe Elisha must have felt to be witness to this awesome event.

2 It is also interesting how Elijah phrases his response to Elisha’s request to receive double portion of his spirit. It is a difficult request for Elijah to fulfill because Elijah knows that it is not up to him to bestow double portion of his spirit because what he does have comes from the Lord. Therefore, his response puts the focus back on it being the Lord’s decision: if the Lord allows you to see me ascend then he will fulfill your request, but if he doesn’t let you see me, you won’t receive double portion. Such wisdom!

 

203

7

2 Kings 3,4,5

1 What an exciting day of miracles, grace and God’s amazing works through Elisha and among mankind. These stories of God working through Elisha are so encouraging. Oh to be the recipients of the blessings that were bestowed, not to mention the instrument through whom God worked. However, the words and actions of Elisha, compared to those of Gehazi, are good for us to remember. To be humble in the midst of God working through us and to acknowledge that all blessings come from God, not from us, or the Jordan River, as in Naaman’s case. All glory, praise and honour should be given to God. Unfortunately, Gehazi got caught up in his pride, instead of giving all the glory to God.

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