Jehoshaphat’s Prayer – 2 Chronicles 20:1-17

English: Jerusalem and the Valley of Jehoshaph...

English: Jerusalem and the Valley of Jehoshaphat from the Hill of Evil Counsel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Chapter 20, the Moabites and Ammonites mobilized to go up against Jehoshaphat’s kingdom. Some menm came to warn him about the throngs of warriors coming from Edom. They told him that they were in Hazazon-tamar, otherwise known as Engedi. Jehoshaphat became afraid, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. The people came from all over to “seek the Lord” in this matte.

 

Jehoshaphat came to the temple, and as king, he led them in prayer. The prayer in verses 5-12 is similar to part of Solomon’s prayer when he dedicated the temple.  In the assembly, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, the son of Zechariah, and he began to speak saying”

 

Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s…

…Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz… You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, hand the Lord will be with you.

The familiar words “do not be afraid, and do not be dismayed,” are the same words God said through Moses in Deuteronomy 31:6-8. It is good to remind ourselves that although God never promised bad things will not happen to us, we can take comfort in prayer, do all that we can in every situation, and leave the rest to God.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

 

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Preaches in Antioch in Pisidia – Acts 13

English: Ruins of the main street in Perga, ca...

English: Ruins of the main street in Perga, capital of Pamphylia, Asia Minor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verse 13 says that Paul and his companions left Pathos and sailed to Perga in Pamphylia. His companions included Barnabas and John Mark. The scripture here simply refers to him as John. He returned to Jerusalem, Luke writes; and this will be a matter for which Paul will later voice his disapproval when he and Barnabas separate in Acts 15:36-41.

After John Mark left, Paul and Barnabas went on to Antioch in Pisidia. The rulers of the synagogue there, sent a message to them, asking if they had any words of encouragement for the brethren there. Paul did have some. He came to preach in the synagogue, first giving a small historical summary of God’s plans for His people through the ages. He finished, of course, with Jesus as the promised Messiah, and detailed his rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection, citing scripture all the time.

The people were over-joyed with the gospel, and asked them to return on the next Sabbath. When they did, the entire city was practically present. BNut the rulers were not happy with the gospel Paul was preaching, and Paul let them have it, saying that they had “judged themselves unworthy of eternal life. He then further angered them by saying that he had been sent to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles:

I have made you a light for the Gentiles,

that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.

The Gentiles were filled with joy at the news, but verse 50 indicates the anger that the Jews felt at them:

But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.

Paul and Barnabas went on to Iconium filled with joy and with the “Holy Spirit.”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

First Missionary Journey begins – Acts 13

 

HOLY SPIRIT - FOIX

HOLY SPIRIT – FOIX (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The opening verses of this chapter speak of teachers and prophets –two of which are Saul and Barnabas. One of the others was named Manaen. Depending on which version you read, he is either a lifelong friend of Herod the Tetrach or his “foster-brother.” In any event, he was very close to him. The scripture offers no explanation of how he came to be a prophet. At the word from the Holy Spirit, Saul and Barnabas were sent on their first missionary journey, which would last about 1 1/2 years. In verse 9, the Bible speaks of Saul for the first time as being also called Paul.

They traveled down first to Seleucia, then set sail to Cyprus where Barnabas was from, taking John Mark with them. They started proclaiming the word of God in the synagogue at Salamis. Then they went 90 miles to Paphos, the seat of Roman government on Cyprus. The proconsul was the highest ranking official in a Roman province. This one summoned Saul and Barnabas, wishing to hear the word of God. But a magician named Elymas (also known as Bar-Jesus), a false prophet who was with him, was working against them, trying to turn the proconsul away. Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, rebuked the man and caused him to lose his sight. The proconsul believed after seeing this.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Jehoshaphat’s Reforms – 2 Chronicles 19

Thomas Seddon - Jerusalem and the Valley of Je...

Thomas Seddon – Jerusalem and the Valley of Jehoshaphat from the Hill of Evil Counsel – Google Art Project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem, he was visited by Jehu, the son of Hanani the seer. Jehu rebuked him for the alliance he had made with Ahab, but said that he had found favor with the Lord because he had “destroyed the Asheroth out of the land,” and also because he had set his heart “to seek God.”

So Jehoshaphat took his responsibility as king and with the service of God personally. He went out among the people “from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim,” bringing the people back to the Lord.  He appointed judges throughout Judah, and sternly admonished them to show no partiality or take bribes, but to take care to deal justly with the people.

he then appointed Levites and priests to “give judgment before the Lord, and decide disputed cases, and to do it “in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart.” He set Amariah the chief priest and Zebadiah, the governor of the house of Judah over them to ensure that the law of the Lord was respected, and that justice was done.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

Herod Agrippa Loses Peter and His Life – Acts 12

Coin minted by Herod Agrippa I.

Coin minted by Herod Agrippa I. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Peter was rescued from prison by the angel, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark (verse 12). Many scholars believe that Peter had a deep friendship with John Mark, and that Peter was instrumental in his writing the Gospel of Mark. A great many of the church members were gathered there. At first, none of them believed the servant girl when she said that it was Peter at the gate. When they opened it, he cautioned them to be silent, then told them how he had been freed from prison. As he left, he told them to tell James (this James would be the Lord’s brother) and the brothers what had happened.

When it was discovered that Peter was gone, Herod had the sentries executed. The he went to Caesarea, where verses 20-23 describe the events of his death, relating that an angel of the Lord struck him down and in the end “he was eaten by worms.” Some suggest that both he and his grandfather died of Fournier’s gangrene, but the Scripture gives no other information that would verify this. His vanity and acceptance of the praise proclaiming him to be a god led to his death. Another purpose was served though, as he had already proved to be a dangerous enemy to the apostles.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

First Apostle Martyred – Acts 12

This chapter begins with the statement Herod the king laid violent hands on members of the church during this time frame. This is Herod Agrippa I, who was the grandson of Herod the Great.  We know from history that he died in 44 A.D. so, considering the events of the latter part of the chapter, it is likely that all of this took place in that year. Verse 2 says that “he killed James the brother of John with the sword…”

The sriking thing about Luke’s account here is that this is all that he says about the murder of James. He was the brother of John (sons of Zebedee), and along with Peter, these three were obviously closer to Jesus than any of the other apostles. If the Bible were being written simply by men as a fictionally embellished account of Jesus Christ and His apostles, there is no way the death of James would get just 10 words. But James is not the focus of the gospel.

Agrippa I also called the Great (10 BC - 44 AD...

Agrippa I also called the Great (10 BC – 44 AD), King of the Jews, was the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The text goes on to say that it pleased the Jews when Herod had this done. That would of course be the Jewish leaders, who already had deep animosity for the apostles. Seeing how the death of James pleased them, he had Peter arrested. This was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread; and Herod intended to bring Peter out after Passover and undoubtedly do the same with him as he had done with James.

eed. If one was simply writing a story rather than the word of God, one would certainly have more to say about the death of one of Jesus’ “inner circle,” James the son of Zebedee, than these few words. The rest of the verse states that “…when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.” The Jewish religious leaders – certainly much of the Sanhedrin – would have been pleased to have gotten rid of one the twelve men who were so instrumental in proclaiming that Jesus was the risen Lord. This was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread; and Herod intended to bring Peter out after Passover and undoubtedly do the same with him as he had done with John’s brother.

But on evening before he was to be brought to Herod, an angel of the Lord came to Peter as he slept between two soldiers, made the chains fall off of him, led him past two guards and compelled the iron gate to open on its own, as they walked through. And then the angel left. Peter had been thinking that he was having another vision. But in verse 11, he realizes that the Lord had sent his angel to rescue him “from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

Ahab Defeated – 2 Chronicles 18

Michelangelo's Asa-Jehoshaphat-Joram.jpg. The ...

Michelangelo’s Asa-Jehoshaphat-Joram.jpg. The man on the left is generally considered to be Jehoshaphat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jehoshaphat sought to make a marriage alliance with the northern king, Ahab. Ahab wanted Jehoshaphat to  bring his troops and fight against the Syrians at Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat wanted to inquire of the Lord first. So Ahab gathered 400 prophets who predicted success. But one named Micaiah (who Ahab despised) predicted otherwise. He said that his vision saw the Lord with His hose asking how best to entice Ahab to Ramoth-gilead so that he would fall. And it was decided to place a lying spirit in the tongues of all of his prophets.

The relating of this vision angered Ahab, and he had the prophet locked up. So Ahab and Jehoshaphat took their forces to Ramoth-gilead. There, Ahab told Jehoshaphat to remained dressed in his kingly robes, while Ahab would change into a disguise.. Jehoshaphat mysteriously seems gullible in agreeing to this – or did he just have that much faith in God?  The plan worked for Ahab, as the Syrians mistook Jehoshaphat for the northern king.

But Jehoshaphat cried out to the Lord and he was protected. Ahab, however, was defeated and mortally wounded. He had his men take him out of the battle and they left him propped up in his chariot , facing the Syrians. He died that evening at sunset.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

Prediction of Famine – Acts 11

Imperial portrait of Roman emperor (41–54 AD) ...

Imperial portrait of Roman emperor (41–54 AD) Claudius (10 BC–54 AD). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of those who had been scattered from Jerusalem after the stoning of Stephen had preached the word to others, but some had not exclusively taught Jews. Many coming to Antioch had preached the word of Jesus to the Hellenists; and many had believed. When word of this reached Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas, who found them faithful. Barnabas was encouraged and full of the Spirit, went to Tarsus to find Paul; and together they taught in Antioch for a year. It was in Antioch, according to verse 26, where the disciples were first called Christians.

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, given to others by the Apostles during those days, was the gift of prophecy. One disciple with that gift foretold a great famine (verse 28). Historians believe that this is the famine that took place during the reign of Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Roman emperor from A.D. 41-54). This was in the years 45–47 A.D.  That appears to be confirmed by Galatians 2:1, where Paul states that his second visit to Jerusalem referred to in verse 30 was 14 years after his conversion, which would be circa 47 A.D.

Verses 29-30 record the response to the prophet’s prediction”

So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

Peter is Criticized – Acts 11

Statue of st. Peter

Statue of st. Peter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As chapter 10 concluded, Cornelius, his family, and his friends received the Holy Spirit. Then “they asked him to remain for some days.” By the time Peter returned to Jerusalem, news that the Gentiles also had received the word of God had already spread back to the other apostles and the brothers and sisters throughout Judea. In verse 2, Peter was getting criticism from what the ESV calls the “circumcision party” But other versions say that the criticism came from “those of the circumcision.” Their indignation was at Peter having eaten with these uncircumcised Gentiles.

It should be remembered that Peter had that same attitude before his vision and before the conversion of Cornelius and his family. Indeed, that was the attitude of most of the church before the Jerusalem conference in chapter 15. Even after The conversion of Cornelius, Peter withdrew from the gentile believers for a while out of fear of the circumcision party. And Paul speaks of rebuking him for this in Galatians 2:11-12.

Then in verses 4-18, Peter relates the vision, the command from the Spirit to go to Cornelius, and the entire conversion story. Upon hearing that the Holy Spirit had fallen on these gentiles, they had no choice but to concede that “to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

Jehoshaphat! – 2 Chronicles 17

Statues of Josaphat and Ezechias on the Monast...

Statues of Josaphat and Ezechias on the Monastery of El Escorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not many people know much about king Asa’s son Jehoshaphat, except that the name has been used in the phrase “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!” There is a lot of speculation about where that phrase came from, and if you query any search engine, you will come across some very entertaining attempts to explain it. None that I have seen seem very likely, though. It is just possible that it became popular because it is phonetically pleasing as a substitute for swearing.

As king, Jehoshaphat worked hard to strengthen Judah against the northern kingdom. He set garrisons and occupied cities all over, including some that his father had captured. Unlike his father, the Lord was with him, the scripture tells us in verse 3, and did not “seek the Baals.”  With God’s help, he grew strong in power and in riches.

verse 7 says that in the third year of his reign, he sent several men, including Obadiah, around to teach the Book of the Law in all the cities of Judah. Verse 10 says that all of the kingdoms around Judah feared them during his reign, and none of them bothered Judah. In fact, verse 11 says that the Philistines, of all people, “brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute, and the Arabians also brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats.”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.