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Archive for April, 2012

Courage

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

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Jehoshaphat

[Jēhŏsh’aphăt] — jehovah is judge.

1. A recorder during the reigns of David and Solomon
2 Sam. 8:16: – 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder.

1 Kings 4:3: – Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha — secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud—recorder

1 Chron. 18:15: – 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder.

2. One of Solomon’s purveyors (1 Kings 4:17: – 17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah—in Issachar).

3. A son of Asa, king of Judah, who succeeded his father
1 Kings 15:24: – 24 Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.

1 Kings 15:22: – 22 Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah—no one was exempt—and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah.

The Man with a Good Record

Because he carried out the religious reforms of his father, history gives Jehoshaphat a good name. What a beautiful expression that is “ . . .he walked in the first ways of his father David”—meaning in the former or earlier ways of David, as contrasted with his later conduct. Because of his godward bent, “the Lord was with Jehoshaphat.” Negatively, he “sought not after Baalim.”

Here was a man who in every point was equally strong, a man of foresight, a man of reverence, a man of an honest heart, a man who felt that idolatry and true worship could not coexist in the same breast. He did not concern himself with “the doings of Israel.” His was a blessed, spiritual singularity. He laid down a clear program for himself, and followed it out with patient and faithful endeavor. He did not seek riches and honor. No wonder the Lord “established the kingdom in his hand”! Points for the preacher to develop are:

I. He was one of the best kings of Judah (1 Kings 15:24: – 24 Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king).

II. He had a godly father whose example he emulated (2 Chron. 14:2: – Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God).

III. He developed a system of religious instruction for the people
2 Chron. 17:7-9: – In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah.
With them were certain Levites —Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram.
They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of theLord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.

IV. He commanded the judges to be just
2 Chron. 19:6-9: – He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict.
Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the Lord and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem.
He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.

V. He trusted God for victory in a crisis
2 Chron. 20: – After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar ” (that is, En Gedi).
Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.
Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard
and said: “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.
Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?
They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuaryfor your Name, saying,
‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.
11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.
12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. ”
13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lordsays to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.
17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.
19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful. ”
21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.
25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.
26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day.
27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.
28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.
29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had foughtagainst the enemies of Israel.
30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
31 So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
32 He followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
33 The high places, however, were not removed, and the people still had not set their hearts on the God of their ancestors.
34 The other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the annals of Jehuson of Hanani, which are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel.
35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked.
36 He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these were built at Ezion Geber,
37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.

VI. He manifested weakness in his alliance with wicked kings
1 Kings 22:1-36: – For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.
But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.
The king of Israel had said to his officials, “Don’t you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?”
So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”
“Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”
The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”
12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”
15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.
20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that.
21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.
“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lordhas decreed disaster for you.”
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.
25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”
26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son
27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”
28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.
30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.”
32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “Surely this is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out,
33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
34 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.”
35 All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.
36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Every man to his town. Every man to his land!”

4. Son of Nimshi and father of Jehu, who conspired against Joram, son of king Ahab
2 Kings 9:2: – 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.

2 Kings 9:14: – 14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth Gilead against Hazael king of Aram.

5. One of the priests who assisted in bringing up the Ark from Obed-edom (1 Chron. 15:24: –24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer the priests were to blow trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also to be doorkeepers for the ark). Also the name of a valley east of Jerusalem which figures in coming judgment
Joel 3:2: – I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

Joel 3:12: – 12 “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.

Matthew 7:7-11

<photo id=”1″ />Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ‘Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

Kids Bible Study 4-29-2012

Pharaoh’s Overthrow

Exodus 7 to Exodus 14

Moses leads the people safely through the divided waters.

AFTER THIS, BY God’s command, Moses and Aaron went many times to Pharaoh to bid him let the people go.  But Pharaoh would not, though God sent strange and terrible plagues upon him and his people to punish them for their wickedness, and make them obey Him.    At length, as Pharaoh had commanded all the sons of the Hebrews to be slain, God in one night destroyed all the first-born in Egypt; and then, fearing for their own lives, the Egyptians hastily drove out the Israelites, men, women, children, and cattle, with their household goods, hurriedly gathered together.

There were six hundred thousand men, besides women and children.  God caused a pillar of cloud to go before them in the daytime, to show them the way they were to take, and at night He led them by a pillar of fire.

After the children of Israel had left Egypt, Pharaoh, though his kingdom had been nearly destroyed for his disobedience to God, was angry with himself for having let them go.  So he gathered together a great army, and pursued them to where they were encamped, in the wilderness by the Red Sea.

When the people saw they were pursued, they were much afraid, and reproached Moses for bringing them there; for they thought it would have been better to be slaves in Egypt, than to be killed in the wilderness.  But Moses bade them not fear; God would deliver them.

Then the pillar of cloud and of fire, that had gone before to guide them, removed, and went behind the camp, so that it stood between the Egyptians and the children of Israel.  To the Egyptians it was cloud and darkness, so that they could not continue their pursuit; but to the Israelites it gave light.

Then Moses, as God had commanded him, stretched out his rod, or staff, over the sea; and the waters divided, standing like a wall on the right hand and on the left, leaving dry land between them, so that the whole multitude passed through the very middle of the sea to the opposite shore.  The Egyptians, seeing this, hastened to follow; but God sent a violent storm upon them, which threw them all into confusion.

When they were in the middle of the sea, where the Israelites had gone safely, God bade Moses again stretch out his hand over it; and when he did so, the waters came back again to their place, and drowned Pharaoh, and all the Egyptians: there was not one of them left alive.

So God delivered the children of Israel, as He had said.

Prayer 4-29-2012

Dear Father, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, so that I could be free to live an abundant life in you. I receive unto me everything you came to give. Fill me with your love and show me your ways so that I can know you more.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

Bible Study 4-29-2012

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder…”  (Isaiah 9:6a, NKJ).

When Jesus came to earth, He brought with Him everything you need to live a life of victory. He came as a little baby, but He was empowered with all authority in heaven and earth. When you make Him your Lord and Savior, He gives you access to all of His resources. You have access to His peace, power, authority, provision, joy and strength. He brought all of this “unto us” when He came to earth. Unto us a child is born…unto us victory is given. Unto us peace is given. Unto us provision is given. Unto us hope and healing are given. Unto us eternal life is given!

Whatever you may have need of today, remember, when Jesus came into the world, He made a way for every one of your needs to be met spiritually, emotionally and physically. Surrender your life to Him and receive all the spiritual blessings He has in store for you!

Happiness

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

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