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November 2017

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II Kings 20-22:2

I have always had issues with the story of Hezekiah and each and every time I read through this section and the written account in II Chronicles (29-32), I contrast what was said about him in the eighteenth chapter,
“5 Hezekiah trusted in, leaned on, and was confident in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that neither after him nor before him was any one of all the kings of Judah like him” with, 19Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "This message you have given me from the LORD is good." But the king was thinking, "At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime."

I’m not sure when I began wrestling with this part of the scripture but I know what disturbs me. I believe God is a God of generations and because of His foreknowledge sees and knows everything so he is concerned with how we consider and treat those who are yet unborn. We are responsible for passing down to future generations the best state of affairs we can. That is only possible if His People live righteously; however, in the twentieth chapter of II Kings, Hezekiah shows no concern in his heart from the generations to come, he only shows concern about what will happen in his lifetime. Here is a man who prayed for his own life and given a fifteen-year extension; however, he has no concern for not only the next generation, but his own seed, or does he.

Maybe I am not at a mature enough place as yet to understand all this so any comments will help.
Acts 21:18-36

Isn’t it amazing how Paul’s attempt to do the right thing to not offend his “brothers” winds up doing the very thing he was trying to avoid? Assumptions are the actions we use that lead to much turmoil and chaos. How often have I assumed an act, a word or a look meant one thing and it really meant another? Assumption is the lowest form of communication.

I’m also seeing the irony of how the Bible first introduces Saul/Paul. When we first see him, he is mentioned as the “guy” who is watching the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen (Acts 7:57).

I have noticed with my own life after “salvation” and in the life of others who have shared their testimony with me what every mess God immediately delivered them out of when they were saved, God has you right back in the midst of their old messes working with others. Most of the times you don’t even recognize that you are there until some time has gone by then you are shocked.

I grew up with a lot of abuse and I found myself teaching a bible study because I was asked not because I was seeking to be a teacher. After two or three months I realized that the participants were almost all male sexual predators (Yes, there are female predators). I laughed when the understanding came to me that I was dealing with a population that I use to fear greatly. God takes away our fear and then places us in the very midst of what we use to dread.
Psalm 150

Praising God can get somewhat loud it.

Proverbs 18:9-10

The ninth verse in the Amplified is both powerful and reveals how dangerous and self-destructive laziness is:

9 He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.

When I first came across this verse in the Amplified, I had trouble understanding how laziness and not using your endeavors to heal yourself is comparable to suicide. However since I first ran across this verse I understand that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. We are lazy because we don’t want to expand the energy it takes to maintain control or order over a given situation because we are either tired of doing it or just plan tired. So we are taking a condition, life on this earth, which is temporary, to forgo working on keeping evil and sin at bay, which is hard work, thus missing out on that which is eternal, heaven where we will no longer have to fight the forces of sin and evil. Hope this makes sense.

Please note that I am not saying that we are Saved by works only that accepting God and the salvation that His Son, Jesus brings to us requires “work” or effort on our part to live righteously. It is easy to sin but difficult to take a stand against it.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

I would like to share a story. My
Mom was very sick in 1980. I thought of Hezikiah praying to God for 15 more years! In this case
I prayed God give my mom 1/2 of that time! "Give her another 7 years". It's by divine intervention that my mom fell ill 7 years later and She passed away a few days after the complete 7 years! Prayer is powerful!! God hears our prayers today just as heard Hezikiah many years ago! God bless you all

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