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Archive for January, 2011

Act of kindness

Even if it is a very tiny act of goodness and you think no one notices, God notices. Always remember that one little act of kindness can tilt the balance of an entire situation. One little act of kindness can ripple out in countless ways that you many never know about.

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Zadok

[Zā’dŏk] – righteous, justified.

The Man Who Remained Loyal

1. The son of Ahitub and father of Ahimaaz, a priest in David’s time

2 Sam. 8:17:17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelek son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary.

2 Sam. 15:24-36: – 24 Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city.
25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.
26 But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.”
27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you understand? Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you, and also Abiathar’s son Jonathan. You and Abiathar return with your two sons.
28 I will wait at the fords in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”
29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30 But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up.
31 Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “LORD, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”
32 When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head.
33 David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be a burden to me.
34But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘Your Majesty, I will be your servant; I was your father’s servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can help me by frustrating Ahithophel’s advice.
35 Won’t the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Tell them anything you hear in the king’s palace.
36 Their two sons, Ahimaaz son of Zadok and Jonathan son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear.”

2 Sam. 17:15: – 15 Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, “Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do such and such, but I have advised them to do so and so.

2 Sam. 18:19: – 19 Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run and take the news to the king that the LORD has vindicated him by delivering him from the hand of his enemies.”

2 Sam. 18:27: – 27 The watchman said, “It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok.” “He’s a good man,” the king said. “He comes with good news.”

2 Sam. 19:11: – 11 King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests: “Ask the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his palace, since what is being said throughout Israel has reached the king at his quarters?

2 Sam. 20:25: – 25 Sheva was secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests

Other references may be found in 1 Kings1, 2 ChroniclesEzra and Ezekiel.

This Zadok was appointed priest by Solomon in the place of Abiathar, because of his own loyalty (1 Kings 1:8: – 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah), and the disloyalty of Abiathar (1 Kings 1:7: – 7 Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support).

Zadok was the founder of an important part of the priesthood and from Solomon’s time his descendants constituted the most prominent family among the order of priests.

As a young man, he was mighty of valor (1 Chron. 12:27, 28:27 including Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, with 3,700 men.  28 and Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 officers from his family).

As a friend of David, Zadok remained true to him during Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam. 15:24-29: – 24 Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city.
25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.
26 But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.”
27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you understand? Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you, and also Abiathar’s son Jonathan. You and Abiathar return with your two sons.
28 I will wait at the fords in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”
29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there).

As a priest he remained faithful to David although his colleague deserted the king (1 Kings 1:7, 8). For his loyalty he retained his high and holy office till his death (1 Kings 2:26, 27: – 26 To Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign LORD before my father David and shared all my father’s hardships.” 27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood of the LORD, fulfilling the word the LORD had spoken at Shiloh about the house of Eli).

2. The father of Jerusha, wife of Uzziah and mother of Jotham,king of Judah

2 Kings 15:33: – 33 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok.

2 Chron. 27:1: – 1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok.

3. Son of Ahitub, grandson of Azariah, high priest in Solomon’s great Temple (1 Chron. 6:12; 9:11: – 12 Ahitub the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Shallum. 11 Azariah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the official in charge of the house of God).

4. The son of Baana who shared in the repair of the wall ofJerusalem (Neh. 3:4: – 4 Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs).

5. A priest, son of Immer (Neh. 3:29: – 29 Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shekaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs).

6. One of the chiefs of the people who sealed the covenant (Neh. 10:21: – 21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua).

7. A son of Meraioth, of priestly ancestry (Neh. 11:11: – 11 Seraiah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the official in charge of the house of God).

8. The scribe or priest appointed by Nehemiah to take charge of the treasuries of the Lord’s house (Neh. 13:13: – 13 I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zakkur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because they were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their fellow Levites). He may have been the same Zadok of Nehemiah 3:29: – 29 Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shekaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs.

Mark 5:39-43

He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader’s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: ‘Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn’t dead; she’s sleeping.’ Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. -But when he had sent them all out, he took the child’s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child’s room. He clasped the girl’s hand and said, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means, ‘Little girl, get up.’ At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, ‘Give her something to eat.’

Kids Bible Study 1-31-2011

Daniel in Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
Daniel 2

Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
 

AFTER YOUNG DANIEL and his free friends were numbered among the wise men in Babylon, one night the King had a very strange dream.    When he awoke from the dream he could not go to sleep again. And the dream troubled him greatly. He believed that surely that dream must have a deep meaning, and he decided to call the wise men in his kingdom and have them explain the meaning to him.

    Morning came at last, and Nebuchadnezzar arose from his bed. But now he could no longer recall his dream. This fact troubled him, too, for he knew the dream had been strange and he believed it had a deep meaning.

    He sent at once for the wise men who had often stood before him, and when they came he told them about his troubled thoughts regarding the strange dream which he could no longer remember. He asked them to tell the dream and the meaning of it.

    The wise men were puzzled at this request from their King. They thought he was being unreasonable, for they did not know what he had dreamed about. So they asked him to tell the dream first, and then they would tell the meaning.

    “I have forgotten the dream,” replied the King, impatiently, “and if you are as wise as you claim to be you can tell me what it was. Then you can tell its meaning.”

    When the wise men insisted that no human being could do such a thing as tell what some one else had dreamed and forgotten, the King became very angry with them.

    He said, “Unless you tell this dream and its meaning you shall all be killed.”

    Even this cruel threat could not enable the wise men to know the dream, so they turned away from his presence in great fear.

    Nebuchadnezzar then called the captain of his guard and commanded him to kill all the wise men in Babylon. So Arioch, the captain, took his sword and prepared himself to do the terrible deed.

    When he came to Daniel’s house he found that the brave young man and his three friends had heard nothing about the the King’s command. They had not appeared with the other wise men before Nebuchadnezzar.

    When Daniel heard what had happened he begged the captain to delay the cruel work until he might first speak with the King. Then he hurried to the palace and went boldly in to tell Nebuchadnezzar that he would find out the dream and its interpretation if only a little time were given him to prepare. And Nebuchadnezzar granted him a little time.

    Daniel knew that no living person could be wise enough in himself to do what the King had required; but Daniel knew also that secret things are known by the great God of all the earth, whom he and his three friends were serving.

    So the four young men prayed very earnestly that God would cause Daniel to know his dream, and that night God showed Daniel in a vision what the dream had been and what it meant.

    Now Daniel was very thankful to God. He knelt down and prayed a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving.

    Then he went quickly to Arioch, the captain of the King’s guard, and said, “Do not destroy the wise men, but bring me in to speak with the King; for I can tell the interpretation of his dream.”

    Arioch was glad, and he took Daniel and brought him to the palace. Then he told the King that he had found a man among the captives from Judah who could make known the strange dream and its meaning.

    Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that the power to make know his dream was given by the great God in heaven, for no wise man of earth could know such secret and reveal them.

    Then he said: “O King, when you lay down to sleep on your bed you wondered what should come to pass in future years. Then you fell asleep, and in your dream God showed you what would happen hereafter. And this was your dream: You saw a great image, exceedingly bright, standing before you. The head of this image was of gold, the breast and arms were of silver, and the waist and hips were of brass, the legs were of iron, and the feet were part of iron and part of clay.

    Then you saw a stone that was cut without hands roll toward this great image and strike the feet of it. And the stone broke the feet, and the whole image fell to the ground in broken pieces, and it became like dust, which the wind can blow away. Then while you looked in wonder, the stone grew until it became a great mountain, which filled the whole earth.”

    Nebuchadnezzar listened eagerly to the young man’s words. Then Daniel continued:

    “Now I will tell you what this dream means, for God intends to teach you something by it. This great image represents four great kingdoms of earth. Your kingdom is the first, and the head of gold represents this kingdom.

    After you there will come another king not so great, and he is like the breast and arms of silver. The third kingdom is shown in the dream by the parts of brass, and the fourth by the iron legs and the feet. This fourth kingdom will be very strong at first, but afterwards it will become weaker; for the iron in the feet was mixed with clay.

    “In the days of these kings,” said Daniel, “God will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and his kingdom is represented in your dream by that stone cut out without hands, which smote the great image till it fell.

    God’s kingdom will increase until it fills the whole earth, and it will break in pieces every other kingdom. This, O King, was your dream, and this is the meaning of it.”

    Nebuchadnezzar was astonished at the wisdom of this young Jew. He believed that Daniel was a wonderful person, like a god, and he fell on the floor before Daniel to worship him.

    But Daniel had told him that the God in heaven had made known the dream and the meaning to him, so Nebuchadnezzar said, “Of a truth, your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets.”

    Then Nebuchadnezzar gave many great gifts to Daniel, and made him the ruler of all the province of Babylon, and the chief of all the wise men in his kingdom. He did not allow his captain to destroy the wise men, after Daniel had revealed the meaning of his dream.

    At Daniel’s request the King placed Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah in honorable offices of the province, among the governors of the land. And the names of these young men were known to the King as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Prayer 1-31-2011

Dear Father, I want to be free from the past. I declare that your Word is true. Help me to walk in newness of life and realize that I’m a new creation.

In Jesus’ name
Amen

Bible Study 1-31-2011

Psalm 38:17-22

17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.

18 I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.

19 Many are those who are my vigorous enemies;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.

20 Those who repay my good with evil
slander me when I pursue what is good.

21 O LORD, do not forsake me;
be not far from me, O my God.

22 Come quickly to help me,
O Lord my Savior.

“For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me” (v. 17). David was ready to quit. David, the great conqueror and disciplined soldier, the one who killed Goliath, was ready to quit. He had sinned against the Lord, and he was suffering for it. Even his friends were against him. Let’s learn some lessons from David to avoid his experience.

Don’t give up. Satan is so subtle and mean. When he’s tempting you, he whispers in your ear, “You can get away with this.” Then after you’ve sinned, he sneers, “You’ll never get away with this. You’re done for.” Satan wants us to give up, but if we do, we’re playing right into his hands. We’re denying that God can help us and forgetting that we belong to Him. What earthly father would forsake his child when he stumbles? Instead, that father reaches down in love, picks up his child, comforts him, cleanses his wounds and helps him walk again. If you sin, don’t give in to your feelings, don’t watch people around you and don’t listen to the Devil.

Confess your sin. “For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin” (v. 18). David didn’t say, “I will be sorry that I’m suffering for my sin” or, “I will be sorry for the consequences.” He said, “I’m sorry I have sinned.”

Trust in the Lord. “Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” (vv. 21, 22). God is not going to forsake you. He cannot forsake you–He owns you, He purchased you, He made you, and He lives in you. Let Him draw near and restore you again.

After you’ve stumbled into sin, you are vulnerable–both to your feelings and to the Devil. You must claim the truth of God’s Word and not give in to your feelings or listen to the Devil. Instead, confess your sin to a loving Father and trust Him to restore you to fellowship.

The power of the resurrection is a power that vanquishes every other power in heaven or earth. The battle was the bitterest ever fought, but death was the loser, Jesus the Victor. Because “the tomb could not hold Him; snapped like a straw death’s omnipotent bars” (Amy Carmichael: Edges of His Ways, p. 192), sin and death and sorrow need not hold us either. The same power is available to us if we will take it by faith.

There are many tombs where we may be held if we succumb to the powers of sin and death. Hatred, self-pity, bitterness, resentment–these are tombs. By the power that raised Jesus Christ from that sealed and guarded tomb we may be delivered from whatever seals us off from life. Jesus came to give us life, nothing less than life, “abundant” life.

Do you know someone you are praying for who is living in the darkness of such a tomb? Has it seemed that there is no more possibility of getting through to him than to someone buried? Resentment has sealed him off from any approach. Pray for the power of the resurrection to release him. Refuse, by the grace of God, to be held back by his bitterness. Then ask the Lord to help you to meet him next time in the consciousness of Christ risen. Instead of dreading the meeting because of the thought of former disastrous meetings, face it with joy. Christ is risen! Christ is risen!

“May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make us perfect in all goodness so that we may do his will; and may he make of us what he would have us be through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb 13:20,21 NEB).

Everyone’s life is driven by something

The dictionary defines the word drive as “to guide, to control, or to direct.” Whether you are driving a car, a nail, or a golf ball, you are guiding, controlling, and directing it at that moment.

So my question for you today is…

What is the driving force in your life?

Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline. You may be driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief. There are hundreds of circumstances, values, and emotions that can drive your life. The Book of Ecclesiastes can help you greatly in your search of the truth to the answers you may be looking for, finding real unchanging values, (to profit) in this life.

Let’s look at some of the things that may be driving your life today.

Many people are driven by guilt. They spend their entire lives running from regrets and hiding their shame. Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success. When Cain sinned, his guilt disconnected him from God’s presence, and God said, “You will be restless and wander the earth.” (Genesis 4:12) That describes most people today – wandering through life without a purpose.

We are all products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader, and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero. He can do amazing things with the rest of your life also. God specializes in giving people a fresh start. The Bible says, “What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! … What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.” (Psalm 32:1)

Many people are driven by resentment and anger. They hold on to hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger, while others “blow up” and explode it onto others. Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful.

Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past.

Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment. Your past is past. Nothing will change it. You are hurting yourself with your bitterness. For your own sake, I challenge you to learn from it, and then let it go. The Bible says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, and senseless thing to do.” (Job 5:2)

Many people are driven by fear. Their fears may be a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high-control home, or even genetic predisposition. Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they are afraid to venture out. Nothing ventured is nothing gained. Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo.

Fear, False Evidence Appearing Real, is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love. The Bible says, “Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment, – is one not yet fully formed in love. (1John 4:18)

Many people are driven by materialism. Their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make one happier, more important, and more secure, but all three ideas are untrue. Possessions only provide temporary happiness. Because things do not change, we eventually become bored with them and then want newer, bigger, and better versions.

It is also a myth that if you get more, you will become more important. Self-worth and net worth are not the same. Your value is not determined by your valuables, and God says the most valuable things in life are not things. They are just tools for fulfilling your calling and destiny.

The most common myth about money is that having more will make you more secure. It won’t. Wealth can be lost instantly through a variety of uncontrollable factors. Real security can only be found in that which can never be taken from you – your relationship with God.

Many people are driven by the need for approval. They allow the expectations of parents, spouses, children, teachers, or friends to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.

I do not know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is in trying to please everyone. Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters.” (Mathew 6:24)

There are many other forces that can drive your life, but all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life. The answer clearly lies in God’s Word, and the Finished Work of the Cross. We must really take a look back, back about 2000 years ago, at what really happened to us. This will give us the insight to our future. A life guided, controlled, and directed by God’s purposes. Without doing this, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason.

 

Author: June

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