Old Testament In a Year: June 10 – 1 Kings 3, 4; Proverbs 1

1 Kings 3, 4; Proverbs 1
Focus Verse: And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. – 1 Kings 3:7

Before Solomon could ask God for wisdom and understanding, he had to admit that he didn’t yet have what he was asking for.

He had been made king in place of his father, David, who was both a warrior and a beloved leader of Hebron and Jerusalem. Yet despite his crown and his throne and his power, Solomon felt like “a little child.” He wasn’t confident that he knew how to lead God’s great people. And for this reason, he asked for help. He asked to be given an understanding mind and a heart to discern between good and evil so that he could govern well.

Have you been given a position or placed in a situation where you aren’t quite sure what to do or how to handle it? Don’t try to bury that feeling. Admit it to God and ask for His help. He is willing and ready and able to help you with whatever you need.

Do you lack confidence? Ask God to give you an appreciation for your own abilities or qualities.

Do you lack skills? Ask God to give you the ability to do whatever it is you need to do well.

Do you lack wisdom? Ask God to give you some, and He, “who gives generously to all without finding fault,” will give you wisdom.

Solomon would never have been the wisest person to ever live if he had not admitted his limitations to God and asked Him for help in overcoming them. Likewise, you will never receive the help you need from God if you never admit your inadequacies, doubts, and weak points to Him. It is never about what you can do or can’t do, but always about what God can do for you, with you, and through you.

Old Testament In a Year: June 9 – 1 Kings 1, 2

1 Kings 1, 2
Focus Verse: And the king swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity.” – 1 Kings 1:29

Even in his old age, when he was near death, David did not forget God or what God had done for him. He remembered that it was God who had redeemed his soul out of adversity – not some adversity, but every adversity.

It was God who helped him defeat a lion and a bear as a shepherd boy. It was God who helped him defeat the giant Goliath. It was God who helped him fight numerous enemies and be victorious over them. It was God who delivered him from the jealousy of Saul. It was God who made him king and established his throne.

Every success that David experienced was because of God. And every failure that he overcame was also because of God.

No matter how far you go, no matter how much you succeed, no matter how much money you make in life, never forget God. Don’t forget His goodness toward you and His grace. Remember your Redeemer.

Women of the Word: Grandmother Maakah

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The books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament summarize the lives of many kings of Israel and Judah. Some of the kings did what was right before God and some of the kings did what was wrong before God. One of the kings who did what was right was King Asa. 1 Kings 15 says Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. (It should be noted that David was not Asa’s immediate father, but is referred to as being a righteous ancestor). This Scripture passage goes on to say that Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 2 Chronicles 15 describes how Asa worked diligently to rid the land of idols and repair the Lord’s altar. He also led the people into a covenant to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul.

Unfortunately, Asa’s grandmother, Maakah, did not desire to seek the Lord like he did. She made idols and continued her worship of false gods. When Asa got wind of this, 1 Kings 15 and 2 Chronicles 15 both record that he deposed Maakah from her position as queen mother and cut down and burned the idol that she had made. 1 Kings 15:13 says:

He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley.

2 Chronicles 15:16 says:

King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley.

So committed was Asa to the Lord that he did not even let family members influence him to do wrong. Asa’s father, Abijah, who was king before him, did what was wrong before God and had a heart that was not fully devoted to the Lord. The same can be said about Asa’s grandmother, Maakah. The Bible does not mention anything about Asa’s mother, so we do not know what her attitude was toward God. But Asa’s life is certainly one we can emulate. However, it is Maakah who we are focusing on at the moment. What can we learn from her life? Continue reading

Women of the Word: Queen Mothers of Kings

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I find it interesting that when reading about the kings of Judah and Israel in 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, the mothers of these kings are often mentioned. One of the first queen mothers that we looked at was Abijah or Abi. She was the mother of the 13th king of Judah, Hezekiah, and is mentioned in the Old Testament books of 2 Kings 18:2 and 2 Chronicles 29:1. Abi’s son did what was right in the sight of the Lord and is remembered as being a good and godly king. Below are fourteen other women who were also mothers of kings. Did their sons turn out as well as Hezekiah?

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 187 — 1 Kings 21-22, Acts 14

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1 Kings 21
Focus Verse: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.” (29)

Our sins always bring consequences. They may not come immediately, but they will come. Even though Ahab had sold himself to do evil and was responsible for so much wickedness, when God saw that he had humbled himself, He delayed disaster from destroying him right then and there. Such is the mercy of God! But his former actions would still bring disaster on his descendants.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 186 — 1 Kings 19-20, Acts 13:26-52

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1 Kings 19
Focus Verse: After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (12)

Are we too busy, too tired, or too noisy to hear God speaking to us? It is important that we sometimes get away from others and get alone so that we can meet God and He can meet us. We will not always find Him in big events or among large crowds (though He can and often does speak in those situations), but in quiet and solitude.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 185 — 1 Kings 16-18, Acts 13:1-25

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1 Kings 16
Focus Verse: So Zimri destroyed the whole family of Baasha, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu— (12)

Because of his sin, Baasha’s entire family was destroyed just like God had told the prophet Jehu that it would be. The word of the Lord always comes to pass.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 184 — 1 Kings 14-15, Acts 12

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1 Kings 14
Focus Verse: Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. (10)

Jeroboam’s sin before God did not only cause trouble for him. His sin caused his son to die and his son was a good child. Verse 13 of this chapter says he was the only one in the house of Jeroboam in whom the Lord, the God of Israel, found anything good. Jeroboam’s sin also caused trouble for his male descendants and relatives (some of whom were probably not born yet). And Jeroboam’s sin also caused trouble for all of Israel. We should be careful of what we say and what we do because most times our words and actions not only affect us, they also affect others.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 183 — 1 Kings 12-13, Acts 11

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1 Kings 12
Focus Verse: But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. (8)

Our same-age friends don’t always know everything. We shouldn’t reject good advice from people who are much older than us just to look cool.

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