Spiritual Rants: June 14 “Petering Out” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 1 Kings 12:20-13:34 Acts 9:26-43 Psalm 132:1-18 Proverbs 17:6

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Old Testament: 1 Kings 12:20-13:34

Without the hype, Jeroboam was the worst King of Israel, the prototype.

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1 Kings 12:20-33    Jeroboam Comes Back And Goes Back

When Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back to town, they made him king over all Israel except over Judah.  Rehoboam wasn’t too happy about it and assembled an army of 180,000 warriors to try to get the rest of Israel under his control.  A prophet named Shemaiah advised Rehoboam not to go fight because the Lord was behind the whole thing.  So Rehoboam didn’t go fight.

Jeroboam started thinking.  He started thinking that if everyone had to go to Jerusalem, which was part of Rehoboam’s domain, that they would all return under the rule of one of David’s progeny.  Then he thought the next step is that they would kill him and all submit to Rehoboam.

So Jeroboam made two bulls and put one in Bethel and the other in Dan.  Then he told the people that if they didn’t want to go all the way to Jerusalem they could worship the golden bulls closer to home.  He claimed they were the gods that had brought them out of Egypt.  Jeroboam instituted a new feast just for that purpose and appointed priests that were not from the tribe of Levi.  Believe or not, the people bought all this!  Jeroboam went on the 15th of the eight month and went and worshipped in Bethel for his Jeroboam feast.

Kings 13:1-10   A Bad Stretch

An unnamed prophet showed up at Jeroboam’s feast and approached the altar.  He actually spoke or more accurately, yelled at the altar, “Hey, altar!  A son is going to be born who is a relative of David.  His name is going to be Josiah.  He’s going to sacrifice the false priests on you and you will burn up their bones!  Here’s how you know I’m speaking the truth:  You, O altar, are going to split and dump all your ashes on the ground later today!”

Jeroboam didn’t like hearing all this so he stretched out his arm and told his guards to seize the man.  But when he stretched out his arm, it shriveled up and he couldn’t put it down!  Then, sure enough, the altar split and the ashes fell on the ground.  Wisely, Jeroboam asked the prophet to ask Yahweh to give him his arm back.  His arm was restored.  The king offered the prophet dinner.  “Over my dead body,” the prophet replied.  “I was told not to eat anything and to go home another way than I came.”  So he did.

Although the prophet did what he was told and went back the way he was ordered, he stopped and rested under an oak tree.  The sons of an old prophet brought him the news of all that had happened in Bethel.  So the old prophet had his sons saddle his donkey and rode out and found the younger prophet.  The old prophet invited the younger one home for dinner.   The younger one held fast to his orders and politely declined the offer.  But the older prophet told him that an angel had spoken to him and said he should invite the younger man.  It was all a lie, though.  The younger prophet believed him and went back to the older prophet’s home for a dinner.

When they sat down to eat, the actual word of the Lord came to the older prophet and he yelled, “Because you disobeyed and ate a meal, you’re going to die!”  That’s always a good way to start a meal!  Sure enough, after dinner, the younger prophet saddled his ass and started down the road.  A lion came and killed him and left him on the side of the road with his faithful donkey there standing beside him.  Passersby saw his carcass and the report of the incident made it back to the king.

When the older prophet heard about it he retrieved the body.  Neither the carcass nor the donkey had been eaten by the lion.  He buried the younger prophet and told his sons to bury him beside the younger prophet when he died.  He said the younger prophet’s words about the false worship would  some day be fulfilled.

Jeroboam was not moved by all the warnings from Yahweh but went back to his old ways.  He once again ordained any one who wanted to become priests on the high places of sacrifice.  This all resulted in the house of Jeroboam being obliterated.

New Testament: Acts 9:26-43

You can see how well Peter and Paul were situations handling, the church and Christianity were growing and expanding.

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Acts 9:26-31  Barn-Storming

Saul tried to have fellowship with the disciples in Jerusalem but they ran from him like he was a skunk coming out of the woods.  Barnabas, aka “the son of encouragement,” explained Saul’s story to the apostles, how he had encountered the Lord on the road to Damascus.  Barnabus explained that Saul was now preaching Jesus.

Saul went to the Temple to reason with the Greek Jews there.  They wanted to kill him, though.  When the rest of the church heard about it, they took him to Caesarea to get him back to his hometown of Tarsus.

These were good times for the church.  It spread throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria.  Things were peaceful and they enjoyed “comfort” in the Holy Spirit as more and more people kept joining them.

Acts 9:32-43  Petering Out

Peter was preaching in Lydda during the barnstorming tour.  He found a man that had been in bed for eight years name Aeneas.  He was paralyzed.  Peter told him to get up and make his bed.  A lot of people witnessed him walking afterwards and trusted the Lord.

There was a disciple in Joppa named Tabitha aka Dorcas.  She was doing all kinds of good deeds.  But she dropped over dead unexpectedly and was put in an upper room.  Word was sent to Peter so he came to visit her.  He emptied the room she was in and started praying.  Then he told her to get up, too, and she did.  When she opened her eyes and saw Peter, he took her hand and pulled her up.  Everyone in town witnessed that she had come back from the dead and the news spread.  Many trusted the Lord there in Joppa just as they had in Lydda.  Peter stayed with the local tanner named Simon.

Psalm 132:1-18   A Royal Song By Anonymous

The influence of David through the years has only grown, there was always a descendant of his on the throne.

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Psalm 132:1-18   Jesus Forever!

This psalm was probably written around the time of David.  In fact, there is a good chance that Solomon wrote it since 2 Chron. 6:41–42 is identical to verses 8-10 of these psalms.  Solomon could have written the psalm to commemorate the moving of the ark into the new temple at the dedication of the new building.  It may have also been used by post-exilic pilgrims to remind themselves of the Davidic covenant that there would be a descendant on the throne of Israel forever.  Of course, after Zedekiah, there was no descendant on the planet.  In that sense, this psalm looks forward to that king who will be on the throne forever, Jesus.  That is why it is a royal, kingly psalm.

The psalm begins with an exhortation to remember David and all he did to build a building for the Lord (v. 1).  He promised to do it (v. 2), he persevered until it was done (vv. 3-7), and he implored the Lord to help him build  it (vv. 8-10).

Verse 11 is a reiteration of God’s promise in 2 Sam. 7:12-16 which will come to its ultimate fulfillment in the Millennium.  Acts 2:22-36 affirms that Christ is the one meant in this passage (cf. Luke 1:30-33; Revelation 21).  He is the Messiah King forever.

Here is a problem, however, verse 12 indicates that David’s descendants have to keep God’s covenant to continue to reign.  Most of them didn’t.  As a result, the Davidic dynasty lasted four centuries and then ended with Zedekiah who had his eyes gouged out (cf. 2 Kings 25:7).  So verse 12 concerns the disobedient descendants of David (cf. 1 Kings 11:36, 39). Verses 11 and 13-18 predict Christ (cf. Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Ezek. 29:21; Zech. 3:8; 6:12).

The Bible indicates that there will be a removal of the church, the Rapture (cf. 1 Thess. 4:16-18), before a seven-year period of tribulation (see Jacob’s Trouble) and then the thousand-year rule of Christ (see Addendum To The End).  If that’s true (and it is!), that means if the Rapture occurred today, and it could, Christ could be here on earth ruling in only seven brief years.  Of course, that period of time will be so awful that the seven years might not just breeze by.  Despite that, Christ’s rule could begin seven years from today.

Are you ready for Christ to be ruling on earth?  Would you be happy to be raptured to Heaven tomorrow?

Proverbs 17:6   Great Promoters

A son is never to a good Dad a bother and always a joy to his grandfather.

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At my father-in-law’s funeral a few weeks ago, there were children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.  There are probably no greater promoters of their father than his two sons.  OK, maybe his daughter.  But this verse is about sons.  The next greatest fans of my father-in-law were his grandchildren, one of whom gave the eulogy.

That’s the way it should be.  But it only happens when a person promotes Jesus and christian values.

Choose Life: Scripture:   1 Kings 13:24 NASB    “I’m Not Lion, But He Was”

“Now when he had gone, a lion met him on the way and killed him, and his body was thrown on the road, with the donkey standing beside it; the lion also was standing beside the body.”    1 Kings 13:24

I love this story . . .  kinda.   A young prophet is commanded by God to warn the king.  The young prophet fulfilled his mission and actually ended up zapping the king but then restoring him afterward.   He was a grand success.  He got his message across to the king.  The king invited him to stay for victuals but the young prophet said he couldn’t.  The king offered him a reward but the prophet said he wouldn’t take the reward even if it was all the tea in China (my paraphrase).  So the young prophet left the king.

The young prophet was supposed to return via a different route than the way he came.  So far, so good.  He does go back another way.

Unfortunately, another older prophet meets him and says he has a word direct from an angel (v. 18) and the younger prophet is supposed to stop off and share gruel with the older prophet.  So the younger prophet eats with the old prophet.  His reward?  The old prophet tells the younger prophet that he goofed up and shouldn’t have believed him.   He had lied to the younger prophet (v. 18).  His body isn’t going to make it back to be buried with his family, the older prophet explains to him.  Sure enough, the younger prophet saddles up and gets mistaken for a gigantic mouse by a gigantic lion.  The lion plays with his body as if he is a gigantic cat, which, of course, he is.  The younger prophet becomes a tourist attraction by the side of the road.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul warns that no one should believe another gospel other than the one he was explicating in Scripture (cf. Gal. 1: 8).  There are plenty of prophets out there claiming to be from God but really are trying to mislead you (cf. John 10: 1, 5, 8, 10).

The gospel is by faith and grace through Jesus Christ alone.  Have you accepted God’s gospel?

If you have, you will find that you have chosen life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:   

Are you being fooled by any false prophets?  True prophets help you get free (cf. John 8:31-32).  Prosperity preachers are lying.  They want your money to be able to live in their huge mansions and fly their jets.  They will rip out your guts and eat them for breakfast (ala Hannibal Lectern).   Don’t accept any substitutes.  Check everything by God’s Word like the Bereans (cf. Acts 17:10-11).

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   A Bad Stretch

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