2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 10-12

This is the synoptic read from yesterday so if you are jumping in today for the first time…read yesterday’s post for today.   We now see if from a priest’s point of view.  One pattern I am really picking up on is rebellion occurs at times of royal succession, which makes sense because people are opportunists.  Saul to David to Solomon and now to Rehoboam, the passing of the crown is a very dark time.

Since the time of Judges, the tribes have had issues getting along however this is now a total separation from each other like the Civil War in our history.  Here is what cracks me up…Ezra is being opportunistic when he writes this book. Ezra, the author, is a priest (a Levite), writing this History book to encourage the rebuilding of Jerusalem when the people return after the captivity, right?

13 The priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel sided with him. 14 The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the Lord 15 when he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat and calf idols he had made. 16 Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, following the ways of David and Solomon during this time.

Ezra is taking a moment to reassure The Remnant People that before the captivity, they were on the “right'” side, they chose the Davidic Line…the Covenant Line.  Does that make sense?  Not sure if I am saying that like I mean.


Chapter 12:  Read this chapter very carefully.  Click here if you need to reread it.

v1: After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord. Because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam.

v6:The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.”

(As a result, rememeber all the beatuful furniture in the Temple…gone! and Rehoboam replaces them with Bronze??)

12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some good in Judah.

However, remember the other day we talked about the “dash” on a tomb headstone.  How would his life be summed up? Rehoboam, the son of a man who was given Wisdom, brought Peace to Jerusalem and built the Temple his dash would say

14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.

1 Kings

1 Kings 12-14

I post this a lot because I love it:

Do you have this handout? | Bible timeline, Understanding the ...

Click here if you want to print it.  If you don’t have a color printer,  I love it so much I would be happy to mail you a copy.

We are at the 2 arrows that point to Jeroboam and Rehoboam.  If you did not read my post last night…click here and skim it so that you can remember the “R” and the “J”.   One line will fall into enemies hands-Assyria.  The other will fall into enemy hands-Babylon.  Now, look at the two arrows that converge into The Return.  One is faded out on purpose.  The dark red WILL return to Jerusalem back to Jerusalem.  Those that return are called the Remnant people.   Above and below the Kings are names in Red and BlueRed means they were horrible kings and worship may gods and Blue means they only worship 1 God The Lord.  Next to the names (all blue) are the Prophets that God raises up to give a message (usually a warning) to the kingdom during that king’s reign.  I hope all that made sense, if it didn’t please let me know, it’s important.


1 Kings chapter 12- The Divided Kingdom.- Not to sound like a broken record but just in case you jumped in today, from the beginning of time God set it up to be our King (Theocracy).  The people begged for a “human” king, and even though they were warned this was a bad idea, God gave them one to show them they were wrong (Monarchy-Saul, David then Solomon) Well, that’s not working either so now we will try a Divided Kingdom-I am guessing that’s not gonna work either.

I think Chapter 12 is pretty clear and doesn’t need a recap…but if I did,  I would have talked about how obvious it is that the apple didn’t fall from the tree.  Rehoboam should have consulted with the Lord!  Second to that was the wise counsel, which proved to be wise.  BUT he decided to take his advice from his cronies instead who probably only hung out with him for the extravagant lifestyle (it’s easy to make friends when you are stinking rich).  Why would the gang was him to have less money?  Actually, they saw dollar signs in their eyes and said…MORE MONEY!

This is the vehicle God used to fulfill the prophecy we read 2 days ago when the prophet tore the cloak into pieces representing the Nation.

A Kingdom Divided — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

The leaders of the of this rebellion sing an old song from the time this same think happen to his grandfather David (I kid you not) 2 Samuel 20:

“Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bikri, a Benjamite, happened to be there. He sounded the trumpet and shouted,

“We have no share in David,
    no part in Jesse’s son!
Every man to his tent, Israel!”

So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba son of Bikri”

Kings: The Divided Kingdom | My Blog

The Kingdom divides Judah/Benjamin in the South and the other 10 tribes in the North.  BOTH men were wrong!  Rehoboam should have lightened the work/tax load off the people which his father created from all the building projects and Jeroboam should have followed God’s precepts about who gets to appoint a king…Only God!  The Covenant is only promised through the royal line of David, and Jeromoab just messed up and took 10 tribes with him!

It is obvious that Jeroboam is insecure and paranoid about his followers so he appeased the people by making “local” places to worship so they didn’t have to travel all the way to Jerusalem (where they would come to their senses!!)  He builds golden calves closer to home for them! Calves or bulls were pagan worship rituals usually to worship fertility gods. What in Sam Hill is everyone thinking? Have they just tossed out everything they knew about the Temple??  (reminds me of the Song from the Alter to the Door by Mercy me!).

King Jeroboam - Lessons - Tes Teach

Find Dan (North Israel, east of Jordan River) and Bethel (South Israel left of Jordan River).  Smart! No reason to travel into Judah for the festivals…

Wait!  Flag on the field!!  What about the priests that are required to take care of the place of worship?? Oh, they are on Jerusalem!  So what do we do??

31 Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites.

STOP!  I can’t handle it!


Have Mercy!  This post it too long!  I will breeze through the rest so you can get about your day! (If unleashed today I could write all day on this)

Chapter 13- A very specific prophetic warning was told to Jeroboam-

 ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’” That same day the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.”

And the altar DID split so clearly this Josiah situation is going to happen.  And it does….in 300 years.

OK, wrapping it up, the rest of the chapter is cool to read but note the introduction to “false” prophecy and that the author made an example from the animals.  The animals showed more self-restraint than humans.


Chapter 14-

“The Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will cut off the family of Jeroboam. Even now this is beginning to happen.[f] 15 And the Lord will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their ancestors and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they aroused the Lord’s anger by making Asherah poles.[g] 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit.”

Mark my words  Mark God’s words…it is going to happen!  He uproots them alright.  As we continue I have a choice of 2 handouts.  I will put them in the sidebar just in case you are at the beach and don’t have access to a printer, you can get them later.

Names!  We are about to read about a lot of Kings.  Sometimes it can get confusing as to what side they are on.  I use the timeline handout BUT this is a good one to write a note next to or if you like checklists you can cross them off as we read.  Click here to print a copy.

Adult Ed: Kings

I am a geek and I like to have a list of the King lined up with the year range and the Prophet that is raised up along with it.  So this is the one I use.  Click here for this one.  Either is fine.  Just your preference.

1 Kings

EVERYONE needs to read this…even if you are behind.

IT IS HARD TO NOT GET BEHIND!  Life is BUSY.  I have not done a read through since 2012 and I am feeling the stress of keeping up.  You may have dropped off a LONG time ago and said “I am going to catch up” and now you are too far….Maybe you recently fell off and have Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes yet to read.  HERE IS THE DEAL…and listen to me….We are at a JUMP IN SPOT LIKE YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE!!

Many of us can retell the Bible up to David (if you can’t grab a children’s Bible and flip through it….I have done it).  David was given a Covenant that in short said “The Messiah will come from your descendants…he will be the King of Kings”  David gave the crown (Covenant) to his son Solomon.  Well, Solomon now will give the crown (Covenant) to his son Rehoboam.  (His name starts with an R for “Reigning” King…I made that up but put it in your pocket)

There were “King Rules” about not storing up horses, not marrying many wives, reading the scriptures and applying them daily, and Solomon failed at all of them!  Solomon was the wisest man on the planet and he still struggled with the application and listening to God (It’s like a firefighter not putting out his fire after camping and he burns down a forest)


TOMORROW we will read 1 Kings 12-14.  It’s so good!!  Find your Bible, get a bookmark, and put it there.  Why?  Because we are going to read what is called the DIVIDED KINGDOM (man, why all the caps Trish…way too much coffee).  LIterally, the tribes are going to SPLIT (see I told you) and make 2 nations.  This is NOT good people.  The Covenant does not split, just the people.

Here are some visuals so that when you read tomorrow (or because you are so excited about this post you are going to read it right now).  Look below at the yellow boxes.  Rehoboam and Jeroboam.  As you read about these 2 guys if you are like me and get a little overwhelmed with names,  just “nickname them” (I have a nickname in my head for everyone)

  • “R”-Reigning King- Solomon’s son-Covenant
  • “J”-Jerk (sorry, that is what my nickname is)  He is a JERK for leading 10 tribes into a division that will NOT carry the Covenant.

Kings: The Divided Kingdom | My Blog

Look below.  This is a NORTH/SOUTH split.  To keep this straight in your head you are going to think of all the songs or phrases you have heard about the “Lion of Judah” and know that the one that will keep the Covenant is JUDAH.

The Divided Kingdom - Week 3 - The Great Divide - Grace Church

Here is the Timeline and how the Prophets are going to mix into History.  So Cool, right!!

30. Understanding the Writing Prophets | Bible.org

I will make printable handouts shortly…I promise.  Just not today 😬

1 Kings · 2 Chronicles

1 Kings 10-11, 2 chron 9

CHAPTER 10 VISUALS:

Yemen….I can’t say it in my head without hearing Chandler’s voice:

Joey: "And Yemen, that actually sounds like a real country ...

 

The site of Sheba was about 1,200 miles southeast of Israel (present Yemen and or Oman). A traditional site of the Queen of Sheba’s castle is Salalah, in southern Oman.

Location of Yemen (red)

countries around saudi arabia - Google Search (With images ...

The queen’s primary purpose in visiting Solomon seems to have been to make a treaty with him. “Testing” or “Questioning” was a typical activity among ancient Near Eastern monarchs. Solomon served as an international broker. He capitalized on Israel’s geographic location as the land bridge that connected three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. Everyone passed through Israel with their merchandise and Solomon charged custom taxes as goods entered and left his country.

The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,  not including the revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the territories.

Hmmm  666.

500

and of course…the Throne

 

העבודות של חנוך כהן | פרוג - דף הבית של היוצרים החרדים


Time to get serious.  Chapter 11:

 Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.

 

On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.

Apostasy of King Solomon ~ Limited Edition Archival Grade Print

Pagan worship looked different for each god.  Many of the practices were sexual with each other or with animals, but the Molech often required child sacrifice to their god.

11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 

Ready??  BIG MOMENT:

26 Also, Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king. He was one of Solomon’s officials, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, and his mother was a widow named Zeruah.

A prophet named Ahijah took a cloak and tore it into pieces giving a visual of what he was going to do to the kingdom:

FreeBibleimages :: Rehoboam and Jeroboam: The Kingdom divides ...

 

I will take the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes. (Talking to Jeroboam Solomon’s Servant)

41 As for the other events of Solomon’s reign—all he did and the wisdom he displayed—are they not written in the book of the annals of Solomon? 42 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 43 Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.

Either tonight or tomorrow I am going to recap what is happening and supply you with handouts because we are on the brink of a MAJOR turn in the Bible!!  We started as a Theocracy (God is King), then to Monorachy (Saul, David then Solomon as KIng), NEXT…A Divided Monarchy!  (we will call it the Divided Kingdom)

 

Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiates 1-6

I posted an Overview early this morning if you didn’t see it.

I am NOT going to preach during this post about how LIfe without the Lord will never bring us satisfaction: I will let you dig into the scriptures and hear that from HIm.


Solomon sits and investigates not just his life, but everyone’s’ life.   Psalm 144:4 says:

They are like a breath;
    their days are like a fleeting shadow.

Man do I feel it!  I am at a point in my life when I think I am wasting the time I have on earth.  I am 47 years old and lay in bed thinking…Wow, in 10 years I will be 57.  In 20 years…will I still be alive? Time is fleeting!  I heard a pastor once say the most important thing in your life is the “dash” on your tombstone.  1973 – ?.  The “dash” between the dates sums up your life.

Solomon sits here and investigates his dash.  “I saw”, “I realized”, I concluded”.  In the end, he summarizes in Chapter 2:15-16 that both the wise and the fool both die, life’s great equalizer.  BUT we start to see glimpses that Solomon knows the secret of the “dash” in 2:24

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,  for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?


Chapter 3:  Time-  this IS the dash.  Solomon begins to examine that we all do have seasons in our life.  This might be a familiar chapter to read if you are old enough to have seen the first footloose.

In each verse, there is a “favorable” and an “unfavorable” but the conclusion for both comes in verse 10:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. 

I have read this book several times, and I always look at it as “what is my purpose during this time”, but this year something else stood out….what is NOT my purpose.  2020 is a crazy year!  But I take comfort in this:

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”


Chapter 4- Solomon begins with examining society.  Chapter 4:1-3 should hurt your heart it is so true.  The human race as a whole, ignoring the oppressed, makes Solomon jealous of those who were never born because they never had to witness it with their own eyes! Ouch!

Solomon examines everything.  By verse 4 he looks at our “work” and how God has designed us to work together.  He designed us to pick each other up, keep each other safe, and protect us when we are attacked.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


Chapter 5.  Read this carefully, this is NOT the root of all evil is money.  This attitude is about our heart, our attitude, towards money.

Verse 10-12 is the introduction to the “love of money

Verse 13-17 is the effects of living an empty life when we put the love first.

Verse 18-20 is the opposite.  When it is NOT the love of our life God will bring gladness in our heart from the profit of our heard work.


Finally, chapter 6 is our turning point for tomorrow’s read:  End with verse 9 BUT then tomorrow start at verse 10…See you tomorrow.

Book Overviews · Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes Overview

Ecclesiastes in Hebrew means Koheleth “to bring together” “to assemble” but the Greek translation is Qoheleth meaning Teacher, Preacher, Speaker, or Philosopher.  This book was written by Solomon about 1000 years before Christ.  The theme of this book is going to be very human to us:  What is the meaning of Life? What is the point of living? Is this all there is to Life?

Ecclesiastes may seem quite pessimistic at first, the word Meaningless comes up 37 times in only 12 Chapters.  There are 5 ‘Wisdom’ books in the Bible and we are about the read the last of them. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and now Ecclesiastes.

If you have been to college you may have taken Philosophy as a course.  Philosophers are divided over the Meaning of Life.  Oh how they go round and round like it is an unsolvable question.  This book refers to Our time on this earth as “Life under the Sun”.

Here is what the author is writing about: Apart from God what is life about? The author writes this book from experience.  He tries to find joy, satisfaction, meaning but without the Lord.  He tried science (watch the Ben Stein movie called Expelled), philosophy, drinking, possessions, wealth, music, materialism, fatalism, and Religion (legalism).

The book does not condemn any of those concepts as a part of life but to recognize that those without God will leave us feeling meaningless.  Human effort will never complete us.

I am extremely excited to read this Book of Wisdom.  I just know that when I am done with these 12 Chapters I will be changed.

Proverbs

Proverbs 27-29

I was reading these and glazing over with lack of understanding.  I actually flipped over to The Message and then researched the ones that still confused me.  Here is the read in the Message.

This one cracked me up!  I am a morning person…

14 If you wake your friend in the early morning
    by shouting “Rise and shine!”
It will sound to him
    more like a curse than a blessing.

BTW,  my husband wrote verse 15 and 16 in your Bible!

BUT I want you to stop and just marinate in a familiar verse:

As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.

This is the Proverb I use the most.  I don’t have many friends but the few that I do I chose wisely.  This verse is not about having someone in my life that makes me a better Christian, it is about both of us becoming better Christians because of each other.  I have a really close friend, Karen Medana, and when I need sharpening she is the iron I go to.  She will not tell me what I want to hear, she will tell me what I need to hear.

At first this was confusing:

23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
    give careful attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not endure forever,
    and a crown is not secure for all generations.
25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
    and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
    and the goats with the price of a field.
27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
    and to nourish your female servants.

How timely this Proverb is to teach our children of all ages.  During this COVID so many people immediately had no money or food.  Know the condition of your family so that when an emergency strikes, you can be prepared.


Proverbs 28 and 29: Anyone care to share any thoughts?

 

Proverbs

Proverbs 25-26

Chapters 25—26 contain proverbs that are mainly comparisons. The key words in these chapters are “like … so.”  A group of scholars who served during King Hezekiah’s reign (715-686 B.C.) added to the collection of Solomon’s Proverbs. These men lived about 250 years after Solomon.

Proverbs 25- The beginning of the Proverbs relates to those in a higher position.  Maybe you can think of this at your job, with the government, in church, etc.    I like to think we all are a leader position in something.   God will search our hearts and our motives.  The one verse that really stuck out to me is:

Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;

When silver is refined, it is put to extreme heat.  The dross is the “scum” or the waste that floats to the top that gets discarded.

DROSS FROM SILVER – RioSpeaks

It is in the fire that God not only separates people, but it also refines us on the inside.  Stop for a minute and think about the seasons in your life that you have come out of a situation closer to God.  I am guessing it was a time when you were struggling and needed him.    After he removed the dross what was left: A vessel for Him to fill!  Something He can USE!

Grapevines & Marking Time | Uncorked

Click here if you want to see 100 scriptures related to the refiners’ fire. 

This proverbs talks about avoiding self-promotion, public disgrace (and I know you think this does not apply to you…our minds go to Politicians) but your social media presence…Does it Glorify God?  Does it throw stones or stir up controversy?  I still love the WWJD.  If Jesus had a Facebook would post that?  Man, I have read some of the stuff I have posted in “emotion” and thought “What was I thinking, they will never reach out to me if I hosted a BIble Study now!”

I know this post is super late but I want to talk about this one.  It is VERY easy to read a Scripture OUT OF CONTEXT!  I just did it!!!  Here it is:

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you.

I read this as “kill them with kindness…don’t worry, God will handle the punishment or consequence”.  So this bothered me.  Do you want to know what this means!!!  In ancient times, when someone’s fire would go out, a neighbor who had a good fire would give him some hot coals out of love to help him get his fire going.  They would carry the coals in a bucket on their head.  I am sure this was uncomfortable (being loved by an enemy is uncomfortable) BUT what is the end result??  You helped them get their fire back!!

So like the Proverb from Will Smith, the Prince of Bel Air” “are you stoking their fire, or pissing on it” (sorry, but true).  I have to get back to the Bible BUT when I was seeking Christianity…I had one neighbor giving me hot coals and another neighbor putting it out.


I am moving on BUT I could stay on 25 all day

 

Proverbs 26: Mercy!  So much.  These are “deep” and I really want some of them to resinate so I pulled some of them in a “lighter version” so give us something to think about:

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.

 

Putting a fool in a place of honor
is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.

 

15 A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
    but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.

17 You grab a mad dog by the ears
    when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.

 

20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
    when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.

 

22 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
    do you want junk like that in your belly?

Clearly, I can post them all!!

Click here to read this chapter in the Message.  Post one in comments that poked you in the rib!!