God’s Judgement Fullfilled

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Kings 9:27 (NIV)
When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him, shouting, “Kill him too!” They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there.

2 Kings 9:27(MSG)
Ahaziah king of Judah saw what was going on and made his escape on the road toward Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him, yelling out, “Get him, too!” Jehu’s troops shot and wounded him in his chariot on the hill up to Gur, near Ibleam. He was able to make it as far as Megiddo; there he died.
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“When Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. Jehu pursued him and said, “Shoot him too, [while he is] in the chariot.” So they shot him at the ascent to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And Ahaziah fled to Megiddo and died there.” -AMPLIFIED

Joram had died by the hand of Jehu and now Jehu’s focus turned to Ahaziah king of Judah. Because there are no coincidences with God we must believe that He orchestrated Ahaziah’s visit to Joram to happen at the precise time that it did. Both men were together and God was fulfilling His prophecy to destroy Ahab’s family. Since both kings were from Ahab’s family God was allowing His prophecy to come to pass.

When Ahaziah saw what had happened to Joram he turned and fled. He tried escaping by way of Beth Haggan, or the way of the garden house, but it did him no good. We find Jehu demanding that his troops not allow Ahaziah to escape. Someone pulled back their bow and shot Ahaziah while he was still in his chariot. We are told here that he made the trip as far as Megiddo and then he died.

In 2 Chronicles 22 we find a bit more information that fills in a few of the details:
“The fate of Ahaziah when he went to visit was God’s judgment on him. When Ahaziah arrived at Jezreel, he and Joram met with Jehu son of Nimshi, whom God had already authorized to destroy the dynasty of Ahab. Jehu, already at work, executing doom on the dynasty of Ahab, came upon the captains of Judah and Ahaziah’s nephews, part of the Ahaziah delegation, and killed them outright. Then he sent out a search party looking for Ahaziah himself. They found him hiding out in Samaria and hauled him back to Jehu. And Jehu killed him. They didn’t, though, just leave his body there. Out of respect for his grandfather Jehoshaphat, famous as a sincere seeker after God, they gave him a decent burial. But there was no one left in Ahaziah’s family capable of ruling the kingdom.” -2 Chronicles 22:7-9(MSG)

Ahaziah apparently learned nothing from his father’s, Jehoram’s, mistakes. He followed in his father’s footsteps in doing evil. Being the grandson of Ahab and Jezebel and having their ungodly influence in his life did not help him either. Ultimately though, it was his own choices that destroyed him. He reigned for just one year.

Something that we need to remember is this, nothing but disaster will happen when we set ourselves against God. Ahaziah is a good example of this truth. Sin is a choice and those who practice sin can expect to reap the consequences that go with it.

The Bible says:

* “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23 (AMP)

* “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.”James 1:13-15 (MSG)

* “All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God’s order. Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program. No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They’ve got him all backward.” -1 John 3:4-6 (MSG)

The sin that we commit is a decision of our own making. it is a choice. Something that we need to remember is that even though God forgives those confessed sins the consequences of those sins will still affect us; that is part of God’s judgement and justice.

Take the time to think and consider the affect that your choices will have on not only you, your family, your friends, but even the Kingdom of God. Be creful, my friend, lest you fall.
“These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” -1 Corinthians 10:12 (MSG)

My Prayer:
Lord, You are a Just God; this I know. I have seen evidence of this in your Word. I know that you will not and cannot tolerate sin. So Lord, help me to wisely consider the choices that I make. I want to make godly choices; not evil, lawless, ungodly choices. I want to be pleasing to you in all that I do. I read of the consequences of sin in your Word and I ask you to give me wisdom to do what is right; I do not want to be a sin-practicer. God, I surrender my will to you.

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How Can There Be Peace?

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Kings 9:21-22 (NIV)
“Hitch up my chariot,” Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?” “How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”

2 Kings 9:21-22 (MSG)
Joram ordered, “Get my chariot ready!” They hitched up his chariot. Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah, each in his own chariot, drove out to meet Jehu. They met in the field of Naboth of Jezreel. When Joram saw Jehu he called out, “Good day, Jehu!” Jehu answered, “What’s good about it? How can there be anything good about it as long as the promiscuous whoring and sorceries of your mother Jezebel pollute the country?”
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“Then Joram said, “Harness [the chariot].” When they harnessed his chariot horses, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out to meet Jehu and met him on the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?” And he answered, “What peace [can exist] as long as the fornications of your mother Jezebel and her sorceries are so many?” -AMPLIFIED

We continue with Joram and Jehu’s part in God’s-story. Today we will address that fact that there can be no peace without God assuming His proper place in our lives.

We find that Joram had called for his chariot in order that he could go out and meet the mass of humanity that was descending upon Jezreel. He knew this group was being led by Jehu; for Jehu had been identified by the watchman by his crazy driving. We find that Jehu took Ahaziah with him as well; each in his own chariot.

As they approach the field of Naboth;(Notice it is no longer referred to as a vineyard.) they are met by Jehu. Joram inquires, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?” One would wonder because of the manner he was approaching the city.

Let us notice what Jehu’s response was, “Peace? What do you know about peace when the promiscuity and witchcraft of your mother, Jezebel, are too vast to measure!” -(VOICE) Jehu wasted no time getting to the core of the matter; immediately he addressed the very problem of what was wrong with Israel. Israel, following Jezebel and Ahab’s lead, and now Joram’s, had no peace because they had chosen to worship false gods. This choice had led them into a life of promiscuous whoring, witchcraft, and separation from the Lord God.

Jehu left no doubt in what his intentions were. Joram immediately knew he had a problem. Scripture tells us how this whole situation plays out:
“Joram wheeled his chariot around and fled, yelling to Ahaziah, “It’s a trap, Ahaziah!” Jehu pulled on his bow and released an arrow; it hit Joram between the shoulder blades and went right through his heart. He slumped to his knees in his chariot. Jehu ordered Bidkar, his lieutenant, “Quick—throw him into the field of Naboth of Jezreel. Remember when you and I were driving our chariots behind Ahab his father? That’s when God pronounced this doom upon him: ‘As surely as I saw the blood of murdered Naboth and his sons yesterday, you’ll pay for it on this exact piece of ground. God’s word!’ So take him and throw him out in the field. God’s instructions carried out to the letter!” -2 Kings 9:23-26 9MSG)

Did Jehu come in peace? No! He came to deliver a message; there would be no peace until the people of Israel stopped following those false gods, stopped following the ways of Jezebel and started turning back to God. No God, no peace.
Know God, know peace. It was that simple.

There is no peace when we choose to follow the ways of sin and the World. The prophet Jeremiah drives home this point. He penned these words:
“For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is greedy for [unfair] gain;
And from the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals deceitfully.
“They have treated superficially the [bloody] broken wound of My people,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
When there is no peace.
“Were they ashamed because they had committed disgusting and vile things?
No, they were not at all ashamed;
They did not even know how to blush [at their idolatry].
Therefore they will fall among those who fall;
At the time that I punish them
They will be overthrown,” says the Lord.” -Jeremiah 6:13-15(AMP)

Jesus Christ though can give us peace, perfect peace. Jesus told His followers:
“Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” -John 14:27

I think I can safely say that most of us desire peace. Life is easier and more enjoyable when we have peace. So, how can we have peace in this crazy mixed up World? The Bible tells us exactly how:

1.) “You (GOD) will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” -Isaiah 26:3 (AMP)

2.) “Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].” -Colossians 3:15(AMP)

3.) “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” -Philippians 4:6-7 (AMP)

Finally, remember these words written by the Apostle Peter:
“For, “The one who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not], must keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from speaking guile (treachery, deceit). “He must turn away from wickedness and do what is right.
He must search for peace [with God, with self, with others] and pursue it eagerly [actively—not merely desiring it]. “For the eyes of the Lord are [looking favorably] upon the righteous (the upright), and His ears are attentive to their prayer (eager to answer), but the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil.” -1 Peter 3:10-12 (AMP)

Do you desire peace? Then you need to remember WHO the source of peace is and pursue Him! Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace!

My Prayer:
Lord, I desire your perfect peace. Help me to pursue your peace in my life. I know it is so very easy to be distracted by things in this World that will rob me of your perfect peace. Help me to keep my eyes and heart focused on you. I want your peace; nothing else can satisfy like your peace does. Please, Lord, fill my heart will your perfect, constant peace. I am trusting in you, Lord!

God’s Timing; Not Ours

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Kings 9:16 (NIV)
Then he got into his chariot and rode to Jezreel, because Joram was resting there and Ahaziah king of Judah had gone down to see him.

2 Kings 9:16 (MSG)
Then Jehu mounted a chariot and rode to Jezreel, where Joram was in bed, resting. King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit Joram.
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“So Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram was lying there. And Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram.” -AMPLIFIED

Jehu had received a message from God through a prophet of God that he was to be the next king of Israel. Instead of waiting for God to work things out in His time and in His way we find Jehu brashly taking matters into his own hands. He boldly got into his chariot to go down and see Joram.

Something that we need to understand is that Joram had been defending Ramoth-Gilead against Hazael and he had been wounded. He had gone to Jezreel to heal from those injuries and this is where he was at the point that Jehu was coming so quickly to see him. He probably was resting quietly. We know that he had a visitor; King Ahaziah of Judah had come to pay a visit and see how Joram was doing.

We find Jehu informing all his fellow officers, that had been so excited to hear what the young prophet had told Jehu, not to let word get out about what had been said or what was about to happen. Jehu told them, “If you really want me as king, don’t let anyone sneak out of the city and blab the news in Jezreel.” -2 Kings 9:15 (MSG)

Jehu and his entourage came tearing into the city of Jezreel like the enemy himself was after them. From a distance the sentry standing duty on the watchtower saw them coming and reported to the king, “There is a large group of people approaching.” -2 Kings 9:171 (VOICE)

As a precaution Joram informed the sentry to send a horseman out to meet the group to find out who they were and why they were coming in so quickly. Remember, they were at war. This could have been news from the war front. So a horseman was sent out to meet the group. When he rode up to Jehu he inquired, “The king wants to know if there is any news? Is anything wrong?. Do you come in peace?”

To which Jehu replied, “What is it to you? Fall into line behind me.”

The watching sentry on the wall was a bit confused by what he was seeing. He reported back to the king, “The messenger reached them, but he is not returning to us with any news. He just joined the group.”

So the king had him send a second messenger. When this second messenger arrived he asked Jehu, “The king wants to know if there’s anything wrong.” To which Jehu replied, ““What’s it to you whether things are right or wrong? Fall in behind me.” Once again we find the messenger doing exactly what Jehu had told him to do. These men must have known Jehu or had an idea of who he was.

We know that the watchman on the wall knew who he was for when he saw the second messenger fall in behind Jehu he stood and took a really good look and then went back to report to the king. He told the king, “The second horseman went out to them, but he did not come back either. Their force and speed is as fierce as the crazy driving of Jehu (Nimshi’s son).” -2 Kings 9:20 (VOICE)

To which Jehu ordered that his chariot be made ready. Despite the fact that he was wounded he was not going to sit around doing nothing when something very important seemed to be happening. He and his visitor, King Ahaziah climbed into his chaoriot and rode out to meet Jehu. It just so happened that the meeting took place at the field of Naboth of Jezreel. (Remember, there are no coincidences with God.)

What we are going to see is the fulfillment of God’s prophecy and we will explore the rest of this part of His-story tomorrow. Today what we want to take away from this part of His-story is Jehus’ insistence on doing things his way and in his time; instead of God’s way and God’s time. Yes, we will see that God’s prophecy will be fulfilled, but things do not go very well for Jehu. Jehu’s heart was not right with God and we will find that he did not lead the people of Israel back to the Lord.

We all need to be careful about NOT taking matters into our own hands. We need to allow God to do things in His time and in His way. It does not matter how hard we work for God; if we are not obedient to His Word it will not matter. We always must be careful not only to do the Lord’s work, but to do His work in His way, in His time and in His strength.

How important is it to wait on God for His timing? Scripture tells us a few things about this:

* “There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven…” -Ecclesiastes 3:1 (AMP)

* “God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.” -Lamentations 3:25-27 (MSG)

* “Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.” -Psalm 27:14 (AMP)

Remember this truth:
* “Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
or, whine, Israel, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.” -Isaiah 40:27-31 (MSG)

Delays are often part of God’s plan. Trust Him to do things in His way and in His time. He has everything in control!

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to trust and have faith that you have everything in control. You do not need my help to accomplish your purposes. I need help WAITING, Lord. I am not a patient person. Build up, in me, that trust, please. Forgive me for all those times that I have taken matters into my own hands and messed things up. I want to be one of those who are confidently and expectantly waiting for you. Help me to be STILL and KNOW that you are God!

Waiting for God’s Timing

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Kings 9:11-13 (NIV)
When Jehu went out to his fellow officers, one of them asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this maniac come to you?” “You know the man and the sort of things he says,” Jehu replied. “That’s not true!” they said. “Tell us.” Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’” They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”

2 Kings 9:11-13 (MSG)
Jehu went back out to his master’s officers. They asked, “Is everything all right? What did that crazy fool want with you?” He said, “You know that kind of man—all talk.” “That’s a lie!” they said. “Tell us what’s going on.” He said, “He told me this and this and this—in effect, ‘God’s word: I anoint you king of Israel!’” They sprang into action. Each man grabbed his robe; they piled them at the top of the steps for a makeshift throne. Then they blew the trumpet and declared, “Jehu is king!”
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“When Jehu came out to the servants of his master, one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?” And he said to them, “You know [very well] the man and his talk.” And they said, “It is a lie; tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and thus he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’” Then they hurried and each man took his garment and placed it [as a cushion] under Jehu on the top of the [outside] stairs, and blew the trumpet, saying, “Jehu is king!” -AMPLIFIED

Yesterday we looked at how the young prophet in training dropped in for a quick visit with Jehu. This visit had ordained with God, directed by Elisha and accomplished by the young prophet. It all was done with the utmost secrecy and haste and for good reason. If word had gotten out that God was replacing Joram with Jehu there would have been a scandal and revolt. As it is things quickly get out of hand.

We find that once the young prophet had left and Jehu went back out to join the other officers they quickly asked what was meant by the visit of the young prophet. Jehu tried to side-step answering them. He did not feel comfortable telling his fellow officers what had transpired between the two of them.

His fellow companions though continued to question and pester him though. It got to the point that he no longer could put them off and he told them exactly what the young prophet had said.
“Very well. This is what he told me: “This is the Eternal’s message: ‘I anoint you as Israel’s king.’” -(VOICE)

“Jehu’s hesitation before telling his commanders what has happened is understandable. These men are all servants of King Joram. By allowing himself to be anointed as king, Jehu commits treason against his king, who has been God’s chosen ruler. This story parallels the ascension of David to Israel’s throne: both men serve in the king’s army, are anointed in private, and are reluctant to kill the king. Just as David was the fresh start for all of Israel, Jehu is God’s fresh start in the Northern Kingdom.” -VOICE FOOTNOTE

The response from his fellow companions was supportive and accommodating to be sure. It goes to show that everyone in Israel was basically fed up with what was happening there. (The house of Ahab had taken a toll on the people in many ways.) The reaction of his fellow officers went something like this:
” They sprang into action. Each man grabbed his robe; they piled them at the top of the steps for a makeshift throne. Then they blew the trumpet and declared, “Jehu is king!” -(MSG)

We find that all of this attention quickly went to Jehu’s head and we see that his attitude toward his king had changed. “So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram [to dethrone and kill him].” -2 Kings 9:14a (AMP)

Jehu made the choice that he was going to move things along on his own. He was not going to WAIT on God to accomplish things in His time and in His way. This was a bad choice, but he did not care. His desire was to make God’s prophecy happen as quickly as he could; so he began plotting against Joram.

We all have fallen into that trap of the Enemy where God has told us He would do something for us and we try to rush the fulfillment of that promise along. Shame on us! As in Jehu’s situation it was a bad choice; so too for us it is as well. God does not need our help in fulfilling His promises or accomplishing His good will.

David wrote often about the need to wait on the Lord. He said:
“Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.Psalm 27:14 (AMP)

Solomon reminded us that God has His own timing:
“He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11 (AMP)

Jehu would have done well to wait on the Lord’s timing; as would we. Too often we rush into situations and we end up causing more problems. Instead we need to calmly wait for God to guide and direct us in when, where and how we should do things.

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to patiently wait on your timing. I know too often I am impatient, just as Jehu was, and I rush into situations that even angels fear to go in. I do not want to be causing more problems because of my impatience. Help me to learn to quietly wait to do your bidding. Help me to keep my heart and mind in tune with you and your timing. You will make all things beautiful in your time; not mine. I have faith in this and I will trust you, Lord.

Obedience in the Face of Danger

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Kings 9:4 (NIV)
So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead.

2 Kings 9:4 (MSG)
The young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead.
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“So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.” -AMPLIFIED

Yesterday we took a look at Elisha’s directives to the young prophet whom he was sending on a very dangerous mission. We need to understand something; this young prophet could have refused to embark on this commission if he so desired. He choose instead to be obedient to do his master’s bidding and today we see that he left and went to Ramoth Gilead to do just as Elisha had bid him do.

Once the young prophet in training arrived he wasted no time getting down to business. (He was following Elisha’s directions to the letter.)He approached a group of officers that were sitting together. Speaking directly to Jehu we find him saying, “I have a message for you, sir.” Jehu stands and the two of them walk into the place of lodging where the young prophet took out the flask of oil and poured it over Jehu’s head. He spoke these words as he poured:
“This is the message from the Eternal, Israel’s God: “I anoint you as king over all of the Eternal’s people. You are Israel’s king. The first thing I want you to do is attack your master Ahab’s house. Do this so that I may have vengeance for what Jezebel did to My prophets and to those who served Me. Slaughter all of Ahab’s household, starting with King Joram. All the male members of Ahab’s house, slave or free, will be killed in Israel. Ahab’s household will be like the household of Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) and the household of Baasha (Ahijah’s son)—ruined. Jezebel will be devoured by dogs in the land of Jezreel. Her body will not be buried by anyone because it will be torn to pieces.” -2 Kings 9:6-10 (VOICE)

As quickly as he came the young prophet left. He literally opened the door and departed in haste; just as Elisha had directed him to do. What was the big rush, you may wonder? It was this; by anointing Jehu to be the next king before Joram, the present king, was dead would be looked upon as an act of treason. God though had overruled man’s guidelines and standards. He was about to let the family of Ahab to reap everything that they had coming to them.

God never told us that we would never  face situations that would not be daunting or scary. What He did promise is that He would always be with us; even in those difficult situations. Scripture tells us:

* “Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.” -Psalm 23:4 (AMP)

* “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [with awe-inspired reverence and worship Him with obedience], and He rescues [each of] them.” -Psalm 34:7 (AMP)

* “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in [everything that you do]from this time forth and forever.” -Psalm 121:8 (AMP)

What God expects from you and me is obedience. Even Jesus faced danger; yet we find that He was obedient. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” -Philippians 2:8 (NIV) Would God expect any less from us?

Listen to what God told the children of Israel He expected from them:
“The Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God: ‘Go ahead! Put your burnt offerings with all your other sacrificial offerings and make a good meal for yourselves. I sure don’t want them! When I delivered your ancestors out of Egypt, I never said anything to them about wanting burnt offerings and sacrifices as such. But I did say this, commanded this: “Obey me. Do what I say and I will be your God and you will be my people. Live the way I tell you. Do what I command so that your lives will go well.” -Jeremiah 7:21-23 (MSG)

No matter what you are facing in your life God expects obedience from you. There will be no room for excuses.

My Prayer:
Father, my desire is to do exactly what you have called me to do. At times things appear overwhelming, daunting, and even scary. Help me, Lord, in those times to keep my eyes focused on you. Help me to step out in obedience, faith and trust to do exactly what it is that you have directed me to do. You have reminded me that obedience is better than sacrifices and burnt offerings. You have also reminded me that I am never walking alone. You are always with me. Help me to find comfort and confidence in this truth, Lord; so that I can boldly step out and do whatever it is that you have called me to do for you.

 

Gird Up Your Loins-Be Ready!

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Kings 9:1-3(NIV)
The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!”

2 Kings 9:1-3 (MSG)
One day Elisha the prophet ordered a member of the guild of prophets, “Get yourself ready, take a flask of oil, and go to Ramoth Gilead. Look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi. When you find him, get him away from his companions and take him to a back room. Take your flask of oil and pour it over his head and say, ‘God’s word: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and get out of there as fast as you can. Don’t wait around.”
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“Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins (prepare for action), take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth-gilead. When you arrive there, look for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in and have him arise from among his brothers, and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’ Then open the door and flee and do not delay.” -AMPLIFIED

Once again Elisha makes an appearance in God’s story. This time he has an assignment for one of the prophets in training. He calls the young prophet to him in order to give him instructions. These were his directions to the budding prophet:
“Prepare yourself, and transport this bottle of oil to Ramoth-gilead. Once you arrive, find Jehu (son of Jehoshaphat, Nimshi’s son). Ask him to leave his brothers, and then lead him into a more private chamber. Anoint his head with oil from the bottle and speak these words: “This is the Eternal’s message: ‘I anoint you as Israel’s king.’” Then exit through the door quickly, and do not look back.” -(VOICE)

Notice the first words that Elisha uses when he begins to give the assignment, “Gird up your loins”. In other words, prepare yourself for action. Get ready; what you are about to do will involve caution and great speed. Prepare yourself to be diligent and get down to business.

“Gird up your loins, a phrase often found in the Bible, is an urgent call to get ready for immediate action, or it may be a call to prepare for a coming action or event. The phrase is related to the type of clothing worn in ancient times. To keep from impeding the wearer during any vigorous activity, e.g. battle, exercise, strenuous work, etc., the loose ends of garments (tunics, cloaks, mantles, etc.) had to be gathered up and tucked into the girdle. The girdle was a band about six inches wide that had fasteners in front. It was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips) and was normally made of leather. Expensive or embroidered girdles were also worn and were made of cotton, flax or silk. The girdle also served as a kind of pocket or pouch and was used to carry personal items such as a dagger, money or other necessary things.” ~AMPLIFIED Footnote

The mission that Elisha was about to send this young disciple on was of utmost importance, but would require great caution, secrecy and haste. The young man was to go to Ramoth-Gilead with a flask of olive oil to anoint Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi as the next king of Israel; hence why the need for caution, secrecy and haste. If anyone found out what was happening this young man would need to fear for his life.

Scripture tells us that we need to be prepared and ready as well.

* “So be alert [give strict attention, be cautious and active in faith], for you do not know which day [whether near or far] your Lord is coming. But understand this: If the head of the house had known what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you [who follow Me] must also be ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” -Matthew 24:42-44(AMP)

* “But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.” -1 Peter 3:15 (AMP)

* “But keep alert at all times [be attentive and ready], praying that you may have the strength and ability [to be found worthy and] to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man [at His coming].” -Luke 21:36 (AMP)

* “Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.” -1 Peter 5:8 (AMP)

Are you ready for action? Have you taken into consideration the need to be cautious, but speedily obey the directives of your Master? Gird up your loins, my friend and be ready for action! God has a job that needs to be accomplished. You would do well to be prepared.

My Prayer:

Help me to be ready and waiting to do your bidding; as the obedient servant that I should be. I realize there is a need for quick obedience, but also a need for caution; for that Enemy is roaming about seeking whom he may devour. Help me to keep my eyes focused on you and my ears in tune to your voice. Lord, you are my Defense, Protector, Provider, and my All-In-All. I will trust YOU in every situation. I am ready!

God’s Word Will Never Fail

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Kings 8:25-27 (NIV)
In the twelfth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. He followed the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family.

2 Kings 8:25-27 (MSG)
In the twelfth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah began his reign. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king; he ruled only a year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. He lived and ruled just like the Ahab family had done, continuing the same evil-in-God’s-sight line of sin, related by both marriage and sin to the Ahab clan.
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“In the twelfth year of Joram (Jehoram) the son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. He walked in the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the sight of the Lord, as did the house of Ahab, for he was a son-in-law of the house of Ahab.” -AMPLIFIED

Jehoram king of Judah has died after his short reign of eight years. Ahaziah, his youngest son, becomes king at the young age of twenty-two. Ahaziah became king after his father’s death because all of Jehoram’s other sons had been carried off by the Philistines and Arabians. We find that Ahaziah’s reign was even shorter that his father’s lasting only one year.

Just like his father, Ahaziah was influenced greatly by the house of Omri and in turn Ahab. In fact, that wicked Ahab was his grandfather. This evil influence, we will see, had a continuing impact on everyone who was part of this family. We find that Ahaziah, “…lived and ruled just like the Ahab family had done, continuing the same evil-in-God’s-sight line of sin, related by both marriage and sin to the Ahab clan.”

God had foretold that the House of Ahab would be destroyed. We find that Ahab’s House was present in both kingdoms now. God arranged for Ahaziah to go and meet up with Joram. Scripture tells us:
“He joined Joram son of Ahab king of Israel in a war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. The archers wounded Joram. Joram pulled back to Jezreel to convalesce from the injuries he had received in the fight with Hazael. Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah paid a visit to Joram son of Ahab on his sickbed in Jezreel.” -2 Kings 8:28-29 (MSG)

Appropriately, the final settlement of God’s account with the house of Ahab would take place at Jezreel, at that very vineyard of Naboth, where through Ahab’s murder of that righteous man, the dogs licked his blood, and, in the next chapter, we shall see how the dogs indeed licked the blood of Ahab in the person of his grandson Ahaziah in the very same place. None of God’s prophecies ever failed! ~Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible

The Bible tells us that God’s Word will never fail. What He promises He does. What He foretells comes to pass. You can count on Him every time.
Scripture tells us this and it has been proven time and time again.

* “Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right.” -Joshua 21:45 (MSG)

* “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant.” -2 Samuel 7:28 (AMP)

* “For the word of the Lord is right; and all His work is done in faithfulness.” -Psalm 33:4 (AMP)

* “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” -Isaiah 40:8 (AMP)

* “If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself.” -2 Timothy 2:13 (AMP)

God’s Words never fail. What He says, He will do; you better believe that.

My Prayer:
Lord, I have seen that you are faithful and true to your Word. Throughout Scripture there is evidence of this truth. Those who were obedient to You were rewarded and those who chose to go against your will received their just reward as well. Your Word stands forever, and you are Faithful and True; as well. Help me to trust those promises that you have made to me personally; for I know that what you say will come to pass in your good time.