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READING: 2 Kings 25 – Judah’s Exile and Jerusalem Destroyed; Zedekiah Taken to Babylon 


Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. In the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth month, the tenth day of the month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem and laid siege to it until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the fourth month, the ninth day, the famine became so severe there was no food for the people. Then a breach was made in the wall; the king with all the soldiers fled by night. They went toward the Arabah. The Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him on the plains of Jericho; his army scattered, deserting him. The Chaldeans captured the King and brought him to the King of Babylon, who passed sentences on him. 

They slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes, put out the eyes of Zedekiah, bound him in fetters, and took him to Babylon. 

In the fifth month, the seventh day the Captain of the Bodyguard of Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the LORD, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem. The army who was with the captain of the guard broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 

The captain of the guard carried into exile the rest of the people left in the city and the deserters who defected to the King of Babylon, but he left the poorest people of the land to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil. 

The Chaldeans broke in pieces the bronze pillars as well as the stands and the bronze sea in the house of the LORD and carried the bronze to Babylon. They took all the pots, shovels, snuffers, dishes for incense, and all the bronze vessels used in the temple service as well as the firepans and basins. The captain took the gold and the silver for Babylon.  

So, Judah went into exile out of its land. 

Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah as governor of Judah to be over the people who remained in the land. The officers of the army that had scattered heard Gedaliah had been appointed governor, and they came with some from the army to Gedaliah. He told them, “Do not be afraid of the Chaldeans; live in the land, serve the King of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.” But in the seventh month, Ishmael of the royal family killed Gedaliah. Then all the people, high and low, and the officers of the army set out for Egypt, for they were afraid of the Chaldeans. 

Jeremiah had warned them not to go to Egypt, but they said he was lying to get them to stay in the land with the Chaldeans. He went with them to Egypt and continued to warn them that this was against the will of the LORD. But they would not listen (Jeremiah 43:1-7). 

I sent you my servants the prophets, saying, “I beg you not to do this abominable thing that I hate!” But they would not listen (Jeremiah 44:4). 

How well do we listen to the Word (Logos) today? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Righteous and Holy Father, I know I should listen to Your Son through Your Spirit at all times. Yet, my heart is such that I do not always hear His voice or His knock at the door of my heart. Draw me closer to You that I may learn to hear Him is what I pray, in the loving name of Jesus, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (AND FOR MYSELF 

O Abba Father, as mere men, it is hard for us to grasp all that You want from us, Yet Jesus said it clearly: LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, MIND, AND STRENGTH, AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF. Everything hangs on these two commands. Why don’t we understand these two things? This is my prayer in the sweet name of Jesus, that I pray for myself and all readers, AMEN! 

READING: 2 Kings 19-20 – Hezekiah Consults Isaiah & His Illness + Visitors from Babylon 


When Hezekiah heard what the Rabshakeh said and how he had spoken of the Lord, he tore his clothes and went into the Temple. He sent his aides to tell Isaiah how the Rabshekah had spoken. Isaiah told the aides to tell Hezekiah, “Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words with which the servants of the King of Assyria have reviled me. I will put a spirit in him, so he shall return to his land; I will cause Sennacherib to fall by the sword.” 

After the end of chapter 18, the Rabshakeh left his army at Jerusalem and went to consult with his King, Sennacherib, who sent messengers back to Jerusalem to warn Hezekiah not to rely on God to save him, He said, “You have heard what kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. Have the gods of the nations delivered them?” and listed nine nations and cities the Assyrians had destroyed. 

Hezekiah went into the Temple and laid that letter before God. He prayed, “O LORD, God of Israel You are God, You alone. Hear how Sennacherib has sent to mock You. Truly, Assyria has laid waste nations and hurled gods into the fire, though they were not gods but wood and stone. O LORD, save us, I pray you, from his hand so all the earth may know that You, are God alone.” 

Isaiah sent word to Hezekiah that God heard his prayer. “That night the angel of the Lord struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians.” Sennacherib went home where he died when two of his sons killed him with the sword. 

Hezekiah became sick. Isaiah said to him, “Set your house in order, for you shall die.” Isaiah left, and Hezekiah turned to the wall and prayed, weeping bitterly, “LORD, remember how I walked before you faithfully wholeheartedly, and have done right in your sight.” Before Isaiah got past the middle court of the palace, the LORD sent him back to tell Hezekiah he would have 15 more years and that the LORD would deliver Jerusalem from the Assyrians. 

Hezekiah asked, what will be the sign I have 15 years? Isaiah asked if the sun dial should go forward 10 spaces or back 10 spaces. Hezekiah said let it go back 10 spaces, which it did. 

The king of Babylon heard Hezekiah had been sick; he sent envoys with letters and a present. He showed them all the gold, armaments, and treasures accumulated by him and his ancestors. Isaiah asked who those men were, where they come from, and what he showed them? When Hezekiah said he showed them everything, Isaiah said the day comes when all these things will be taken to Babylon. 

In Isaiah’s account of this, his prophecies turn from Assyria and the nations around Israel to the Babylonian Exile of Judah.

Big mistake! 

Lose focus and lose everything 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Holy Father, I love how Hezekiah prayed. Help me to learn from him and his prayers that I may learn to lean on you more and on myself less. Draw me closer to You that I may live in the shelter of Your Love! This, I pray, in the sweet name of Jesus, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (AND FOR MYSELF )

Oh Lord, let me learn from Hezekiah that it is o.k. to pray that you may live even when You have already given a sentence of death. Hezekiah wrestled with You the same way Jacob and Abraham did. Let us live Our Savior also wrestled with You in Gethsemane. It is in His precious name that I pray for myself and all readers, AMEN! 

READING: 2 Kings 18 – Hezekiah, King of Judah Attacked by Sennacherib of Assyria 


In the third year of King Hoshea of Israel, Hezekiah son of King Ahaz of Judah began to reign. Hezekiah was the best king in the line of David. His father was one of the worst. Hezekiah was 25 years old when he began to reign. “There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah after him, or among those who were before him.” 

Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of the LORD. He removed the high places, broke down the pillars, and cut down the sacred pole. He broke up the bronze serpent Moses made in the wilderness for up until his day the people had been making offerings to it. He called it Nehushtan, a piece of brass.  

But he lived in hard times. His father, Ahaz, had invited the Assyria king to rescue him from Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Israel. He took silver and gold from the Temple of Solomon and gave it to the Assyrian King. It was in Hezekiah’s fourth year that Hoshea of Israel withheld his tribute money to Assyria and was imprisoned by them. After a three-year siege, all the people were taken away in Hezekiah’s sixth year. 

In Hezekiah’s fourteenth year, Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah and came up against all the fortified cities of Judah. To get Sennacherib to go away, Hezekiah said, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” The Assyrian King demanded three-hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. Remember, in Solomon’s time, silver was as common as stone, and hundreds of talents of gold fldowed into Jerusalem every year. This small demand shows how much Judah had fallen.

The Assyrian King sent a great army from Lachish to Hezekiah in Jerusalem. The commander called for King Hezekiah who sent others to hear what he said. The commander said to them, “On what do you base this great confidence of yours? Do you think mere words are strategy and power for war? You are relying on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it.”  

He continued to make disparaging remarks spoken in Hebrew. They asked him to speak in Aramaic for they could understand, but not in Hebrew for the soldiers on the wall to hear and understand. The Assyrian said that he was there to speak to the soldiers on the wall as well as to them. Then he began to talk about how none of the gods of the peoples he had defeated could stand up to the Great King. Those sent by Hezekiah went to him with their clothes torn and told him the words of the commander. 

Were things as hopeless as the Rabshakeh made it seem? 

When things seem darkest, God opens a door of Light. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Holy Father, I love the stories of Hezekiah. Usually, a faithful man does not have to face the challenges of war that he did. It seems unfair to him, but in the end, you kept him safe. Draw me with Your Spirit within me to be closer to You that I may live in the shelter of Your Love! This, I pray, in the sweet name of Jesus, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (AND FOR MYSELF) 

Oh Lord, Hezekiah was an Idol breaker. Help those of us who to become more like him. Lord, let us challenge the idols of today, even those that are attractive to your children. Jesus died and defeated death that He might destroy the works of the Devil. In doing so, he showed the weakness of the powers of darkness, for He is the Prince of the Light. Let us live in His light. It is in His precious name that I pray for myself and all readers, AMEN! 

READING: 2 Kings 17 – End of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Beginning of Samaritans 


The Kingdom of Israel lasted 209 years, from the rebellion by Jeroboam in 931 b.c. until the end of the three-year siege of Samaria in 722 b.c. Hoshea was the last of 19 Kings of Israel; he was vassal to the Assyrian Kings and was in an Assyrian jail the last years of his reign. “He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, yet not like the kings of Israel who were before him.” 

Every king of the Northern Kingdom was an idolater. All the people in Samaria were relocated to beyond Babylon where they joined earlier captives from the beyond the Jordan tribes. The northern tribes were melting away, and the eastern tribes had been taken captive by Assyria. They were down to the immediate neighborhood of Samaria itself. Only 27,280 families were taken, never to return. 

What happened to these captives? Amos 9:9 gives us a clue. Amos wrote, “For lo, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the ground.” No pebble meant no unified group of Israel remained. Two verses later is the passage James quoted at the Jerusalem conference to justify admitting Gentiles into the church. As James quoted Amos, “After this, I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; from its ruins, I will rebuild it, and I will set it up, so that all other peoples may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called.” For these tribes to return, they would be intermingled with Gentiles so completely that they have no individual existence as Israel. Their return will be as Gentiles come into the church.  

This captivity was because the people of Israel sinned against the LORD who had brought them out of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and walked in the ways of the nations whom the LORD drove out before Israel, and in the ways the Kings of Israel introduced. They built high places with sacred poles on every hill and under every green tree. They made their sons and daughters pass through the fire as sacrifices to the various gods they served. “They went after false idols and became false,” which is the opposite of Truth (cf. John 14:6).  

Approximately 50 or 60 years later, the Assyrians repopulated the area with captives from other wars. The country around Samaria had become fallow, and lions roamed it. The LORD sent lions that killed some of them. The King of Assyria was told he needed to send a priest to teach the newly repopulated people the laws of the God of the land. So, he sent a priest who had come from there to teach the people about the LORD. What irony! Priests who had served at Jeroboam’s golden calves would teach the Samaritans about the LORD? 

Serving false gods makes one false. Truth is what we need. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Holy Father, I, like David, hate every false way. But, like Paul, I find that while I want to do things Your way, I find myself doing them my way. Draw me with Your Spirit within me to be closer to You! This, I pray, in the sweet name of Jesus, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (AND FOR MYSELF) 

Oh Lord, in this world there are idols all around us, and we are tempted to pick one or more idols to guide our lives. Yet, we know that serving false idols will make us false while You desire Truth in our inner being. Guide us with Your Spirit within us that we may be wrapped up in Your love for us and the Truth of Your Word that became flesh and lived among us until He gave Himself to be Savior to all who believe. Lord, I believe; help my Unbelief. It is in the precious name of Jesus that I pray for myself and all readers, AMEN! 

2022/09/30 – Jezebel’s Daughter Reigns in Judah & Good Priest Jehoiada


Sorry about missing several posts. Computer problems – plus getting Covid. Marion and I are doing all right, just minor headaches and weakness. Marion has also had some fever, especially in the evenings. Your prayers are appreciated! 

READING: 2 Kings 11-12 – Jezebel’s Daughter Rules Judah & Good Priest Jehoiada 

When Ahaziah, King of Judah, was killed by Jehu as he was visiting his cousin Joram, King of Israel, his mother, daughter of Jezebel, and Ahab seized the throne of Judah. Her son had died, and Athaliah attempted to destroy all the royals. Ahaziah’s sister saved a child of Ahaziah. Joash was the legitimate claimant to the throne. “He remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the LORD, while Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel, reigned over the land. 

In the seventh year, the good priest Jehoiada engineered a coup against Athaliah. At the changing of the guard each group had its task. They were to protect the king. Jehoiada brought Joash out, put the crown on him, and anointed him, king. The co-conspirators against Athaliah shouted long live the king! 

“When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she went into the house of the LORD. She saw the King standing by the pillar, with the captains and trumpeters beside the king and all the people rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Athaliah cried, ‘Treason! Treason!'”

Jehoiada told the captains of the army to bring her out between the ranks “and kill with the sword any who follow her.” Jehoiada did not want Athaliah’s blood spilled in the Temple. 

Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign. “Jeho” with his name means Jehovah; this change of his name suggests The LORD is ruling Judah. Jehoash reigned forty years in Jerusalem. He did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but he did not take away the high places where Judah continued to worship Baal. 

“Jehoash said to the priests, ‘All the money offered as sacred donations that is brought into the house of the LORD, the money for which each person is assessed – and the money from the voluntary offerings brought into the house of the LORD, let the priests receive from each of the donors; and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.”  

“But by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had made no repairs on the house of the LORD.”  

King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada and other priests and asked why they had made no repairs to the Temple. He suggested another approach. Assessments would continue, but work on the Temple would continue under separate management. 

Jehoida made a box with a hole in its lid. People would make donations, and when the box was full, the high priest and the King’s secretary would count the money, putting it into bags. These bags were given to the workers doing the repairs, but they did not ask for an accounting from those workers. 

It seems that the sin of Simony existed before Simon (See Acts 8:17-24). This sin continues in many churches when people are not held accountable for how they use the God’s money. 

How careful are we to have accountability in our use of the LORD’s money? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Abba, Father, Jehoash lived in a time of syncretic worship, worship of Jehovah and people still went to the High Places. Why did he not take the High Places down? It may be that even the King could not successfully take those idolatrous places down because as soon as he took one down, it would be rebuilt somewhere else. 

Father, help me to put all of my idols aside and worship only you. This, I pray, in the sweet name of Jesus, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (AND FOR MYSELF) 

Oh Lord, in this world of sin where people are addicted to various idols, the chief of which are Mars, Venus, and Mamon, we too are tempted to adopt one of these or some other idol as our God. You have blessed me far more than I deserve, but I am still tempted. Preserve all who read this from adopting the idolatrous charms of living the American dream. It is in the precious name of Jesus that I pray for myself and all readers, AMEN! 

READING: 2 Kings 5 – Naaman, the Leper 


Naaman was the commander of the Syrian Army, but he was a leper. His wife had a young Israelite servant girl who said, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went to his king and told him what the servant girl said; the king agreed he should go to Samaria, and he would write a letter to the Israelite king, which said, “I sent you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 

When the king of Israel read this, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy Justsee how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.” 

When Elisha, the prophet of God the girl had spoken of, heard the king had torn his clothes, he sent a message to him saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.”  

So Naaman went to Elisha’s home with his chariots and horses. Elisha sent a message out that Naaman should go dip in the Jordan River seven times, and he would be healed. Naaman turned away, saying, “I thought that for me he would come out and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy!” He also complained that the rivers of Damascus were cleaner than the Jordan. He left in a rage. 

His servant spoke with him, “If the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more when all he said to you was, ‘Wash and be clean?’” So, he went down and immersed himself in the Jordan seven times as Elisha commanded, and he was cured; his flesh restored “like the flesh of a young boy.” 

Then he returned to Elisha’s home where he said, “I know there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; please accept a present from your servant.” He offered Elisha presents of gold, silver, and rich clothing, but Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, I will accept nothing.” 

Naaman then asked if he could have two mule-loads of Israel’s soil, “For your servant will no longer offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god except the LORD.” He did ask to be excused if his king went to worship Rimmon leaning on Naaman’s arm, may the LORD pardon this. 

Naaman was a changed man. He had become a Gentile servant of the LORD. His servant wisely said, “If he had said to do some difficult thing, you would have done it.” 

Why not do this simple thing? 

Many balk at being baptized, saying they want to be saved by faith alone. Why refuse the Lord’s command to follow a penitent faith with baptism? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF   

Father, I love the story of Naaman the Leper, something even Jesus referred to when He was in the synagogue in Nazareth. This shows You never intended Gentiles to be as excluded as many of the Jews thought they should be. In the new covenant, Father, you have opened the door wide to bring Gentiles in. That is good, but I would like to see more Hebrews come into Your Son’s kingdom. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)      

Father, God, again I pray that each who reads this will think about Naaman and the lessons we can learn from him. Though a proud man, he humbled himself through the counsel of a mere servant. He also learned there is a real God in Israel, and that other gods are shams. He wanted to worship You and You alone, but he begged permission to go with his king to the house of Rimmon when his king leaned on his arm. I am confident you did not count that against him. I see your hand of mercy in this entire event. So, this is my prayer, for all who read this and for myself, in the Holy Name of Jesus, AMEN! 

READING: 2 Kings 4 – Elisha, Miracle Worker


Elisha saw Elijah go to heaven in the whirlwind and picked up Elijah’s mantle. Elisha now led the schools of the prophets and worked miracles too. 

A prophet’s widow came to Elisha; her husband’s creditor was taking her children as slaves. She had nothing except a jar of oil. Elisha said, “Borrow vessels from your neighbors, go in, and shut the door behind you, and pour oil into those vessels.” When the vessels were full, she returned to Elisha who said, “Sell the oil, pay your debts; you and your children can live on the rest.” 

A wealthy woman invited Elisha to eat with her. He stopped there for meals passing through. She asked her husband to build a room on the roof of their house where she put a bed, table, chair, and lamp for Elisha’s use when he stayed. Elisha asked what he could do for her in return. She asked for nothing, but Elisha’s servant, Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.” Elisha said call her; when she came, he told her in due time, she would have a son. 

As the boy grew, he went to the fields with his father. One day, he complained, “My head! My head!” The father sent a servant to take him to his mother. The child died on his mother’s lap. She laid him on Elisha’s bed, saddled a donkey, and went to Elisha. The LORD hid what was bothering her from Elisha, but he could tell she was in bitter distress. He sent Gehazi with his staff, telling him to go straight there without talking with anyone, and lay his staff on the boy’s face. Meanwhile, she would not leave unless Elisha came too. Gehazi laid the staff on the boy’s face, but with no sign of life. Elisha met him coming back and heard his news. At the house, Elisha went into the room, alone. He prayed, then stretched himself over the boy, mouth to mouth, and hands to hands. The boy’s flesh became warm. The child sneezed seven times, and Elisha called for the Shunamite to come, take her son

Elisha was in Gilgal with a company of prophets; he told his servant to make stew in the large pot. One prophet brought wild gourds and put them in the pot, without knowing what they were. When they served the stew, they cried, “There is death in the pot.” Elisha threw flour in the pot and said to serve it. There was nothing harmful in the pot. 

A man brought first fruits of his harvest, twenty loaves of barley bread and fresh ears of corn. Elisha said serve the food. His servant asked how he could feed a hundred people without more food. Elisha said the LORD said, “They shall eat and have some left;It happened according to the word of the LORD. 

Elisha reminds us of Jesus in his miracles. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF   

Father, I hear of Elisha’s miracles with wonder. When I think of all he did, in this chapter alone, I am amazed. It is not my lot to work miracles – but the miracle of salvation is these for all. And I can have a part in pointing someone to the Lord Jesus, my Savior. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)      

Father, God, again I pray that each who reads this will think about Elisha’s miracles, some modeled after Elijah’s, the widow, her son, and the jar of oil plus meal for bread compared to the prophet’s widow and her jar of oil. The Shunamite’s son raised from death is also like Elijah and the widow of Zarephath and her son who died. And we can also compare this with those whom Jesus raised as well. It is natural to compare the one hundred fed with twenty loaves with the five thousand fed with but five loaves and two small fish by Jesus. If I will use all the Lord gives me to work with, could the work that any of us do be considered miraculous? I think it can when we realize that one Greek word for “heal” is also the word for “save.” Of course, Jesus is the Savior, but we can work with Him in pointing others to Him. So, this is my prayer, for all who read this and for myself, in the Holy Name of Jesus, AMEN! 

READING: 2 Kings 1-2 – Elijah Denounces Ahaziah & Ascends to Heaven                    


King Ahab had died and was succeeded by his son, Ahaziah, as King over Israel. “He did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father) and mother and in the way of Jeroboam who caused Israel to sin. He served Baal and worshiped him, provoking the LORD to anger, as his father had done” (1 Kings 22:52-53). 

After Ahaziah fell through latticework in his chamber, he sent messengers to “inquire of Baalzebub, whether I shall recover from this injury.” The messengers returned to the king, who asked why they were back so soon. They said, “A man met us who said, ‘Go to the king and say, ‘Thus says the LORD: ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you send to inquire of Baalzebub? You shall not leave the bed but shall surely die.” 

The king asked what sort of man it was. The messengers described Elijah’s clothing. Ahaziah said, “It is Elijah,” his father’s nemesis.  

Ahaziah sent three companies of fifty soldiers with their captains. The first two captains commanded Elijah to come down from the hill where he sat. To each, Elijah said, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down. The third captain approached Elijah, fell on his knees, and begged, “Let my life and the lives of my fifty be precious in your sight.” Elijah went with him to Ahaziah to deliver his message of death. Ahaziah died, and Jehoram, his brother, reigned in Israel. 

It was time for Elijah to be taken up to heaven. Elijah went to Gilgal with Elisha, his understudy. Elijah told Elisha to stay there for God was sending him on to Bethel. Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, I will not leave you.” From Bethel, Elijah went to Jerico, Elisha going there as well.” In each city, the sons of the prophets told Elisha his mentor was leaving him. Elisha knew. From Jericho, they went across the Jordan. 

Then Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for his protégé before he left. Elisha said, “Let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” Elijah said, “If you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted to you.” They went on, walking and talking, when “A chariot of fire and horses separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.”  

Elisha picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen and recrossed the Jordan by striking the water with the mantle, so the river parted for Elisha as it had for Elijah. 

Back in Jericho, the people said the location was good, but the water was bad. Elisha called for a bowl of salt. He threw it into the water and made it wholesome.  

The next to come in the spirit of Elijah preached repentance-baptism by the Jordan. 

How might we exercise the spirit of Elijah? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF   

O Father in heaven, help me to pick up the mantle of one of Your noble servants, when his time to go to you comes. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)      

Father, God, again I pray that each who reads this will think about how Elijah made such an impact on the kings of Israel, that idolatrous nation. Elisha was also a powerful influence in the northern kingdom. Help each of us to find the traits of these servants of Yours that we can imitate. This is my prayer, for all who read this and for myself, in the Holy Name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Psalms 55-58 – More of David’s Psalms 


Psalm 55 likely was written about Absalom’s revolt against David. Things were falling apart for him, and he wants to hide in the wilderness, “Yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness.” He prayed, “O Lord, divide their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city. Ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace.” His lament was that “It is not an enemy who taunts me – But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend.” This was David’s lowest despair, yet he still relied on his God. “You, O God, will cast them down into destruction; men of blood shall not live out half their days. BUT I WILL TRUST IN YOU.”  

Psalm 56 was written when David went to the Philistine King Achish whose servants thought David was king in Israel. They repeated what the women sang, “Saul has killed his thousands and David his tens of thousands.” (1 Samuel 21:11ff). David feared for his life, and began acting like a madman and deceived the king who said, “Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to my presence?” He escaped and wrote this Psalm in which he twice says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” He also said, “This I know, that God is for me.”   

Psalm 56 is another escape from Saul. The Psalm praises God while talking about the danger he was in as Saul was coming after him with thousands of men. In successive verses David wrote, “I lie down amid fiery beasts – the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” And again, ”Your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” David knew his enemy; he also knew his God. 

Psalm 58 was likely written in David’s old age, but not necessarily. He saw the injustice of the rulers that surrounded him who spoke as if they were gods. “Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?” Jesus used a similar passage to shut the Pharisees up (see John 10:34-35 cf. Psalm 82:6). These that David wrote of were indeed men who acted as if they were god. “In your hearts you devise wrongs.” He prayed that the LORD God would “break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD… The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance…Mankind will say, ‘Surely there is a God who judges on earth.’” 

David knew and trusted God with his very life. 

How much do I trust Him? Do I trust as David trusted? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF   

O Father in heaven, In these Psalms I can see why you called David a man after Your own heart. Can I become a person after Your own heart by listening to what Your Son says about you, and following His example? Can you show Your loving kindness to me as You showed it to David? This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)      

Father, God, again I pray that each who reads this will come to Your throne to bask in Your glory when we all learn to love You as David loved You. Help us to understand why the Messiah was known as The Son of David. I suspect there was more to that Name than the genealogical record! This is my prayer, for all who read this and for myself, in the Holy Name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Psalms 51-54 – David’s Penitance, God’s Goodness, Fools Reject Him  


Psalm 51 is David’s confession to God concerning his sin with Bathsheba. It opens with a plea for mercy, but he takes full responsibility; “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” He says his sin was against God (he broke three commandments – murder, adultery, and coveting another man’s wife). He admits he knows God wants truth in the heart and asks for wisdom. He asks God to, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” Rather than burnt offerings, “The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” David closes with a plea for God to do good to Zion, a plea for the nation, not for him personally. This psalm is a pattern to follow in our confession of sin. 

Psalm 52 begins, “Why do you boast, O mighty one of mischief done against the godly?” This refers to Doeg, the Servant of Saul who told Saul of David’s being at the Tabernacle, taking the holy bread, and receiving Goliath’s sword. David adds, “God will break you down forever,” and closes, “I will proclaim Your name, for it is good.”  

Psalm 53 is like Psalm 14, with minor differences between them. Each of these begins, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” But God is watching them “To see if there are any who are wise; who seek after God.” The answer is, “They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good, no, not one.” The two psalms close, “O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.” With our minds, we know there is a God; that awareness does not always fill our hearts. Paul quotes this Psalm in Romans 3:10-12 as he builds a case that all sin and cannot be justified by law but must trust “the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:22-23). 

Psalm 54 is also from the time David was fleeing from Saul when the Ziphites told Saul David was hiding in their wilderness area. He prays for vindication. “Save me, O God, and vindicate me by Your might… The insolent have risen against me… But surely, God is my helper… He will repay my enemies for their evil… He has delivered me from every trouble.” Note that David is trusting God to handle his problems with his enemies. He is not taking vengeance upon them himself but prays that the LORD will vindicate him, and that will be his triumph. 

These four Psalms show David’s heart and his trust in God. 

How much do I trust God deep in my heart? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF   

O Father in heaven, I have sins I need to confess to You as transparently as did David. May I learn to pray as he prayed in confession, pleading for mercy at Your throne, begging for a right spirit. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, AMEN!      

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)      

Father, God, again I pray that each who reads this will learn from David how to pray. Let us leave trite, insipid prayers aside, and pray in a way that wrestles with God as did Jacob, Moses, and David. This is my prayer, for all who read this and for myself, in the Holy Name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

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