~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Kings 12:20-13:34 ~ Acts 9:26-43
Psalm 132:1-18 ~ Proverbs 17:6
Old Testament - Well, Jeroboam didn't last very long before worshipping other gods! Keep in mind Jeroboam's name as we continue to read through the book of Kings - you will continue to hear about "Jeroboam's sin" and "the sin Jeroboam caused Israel to commit" many times in our upcoming readings - even after he is dead. Not a legacy one would want to leave behind... Here is an image of Jeroboam leading the Israelites into the sin of worshiping a golden calf -
Interesting story about the man of God from Judah prophesying against the altar at Bethel. The man of God delivers his prophecy and then shuns Jeroboam's invite to go to his palace for food and a gift. The man of God appears very strong. And then later... he lets down his guard. And he falls prey to the lie of the old prophet. Now why on earth the old prophet decided to pursue the man of God and tell this lie is beyond me. If anyone has insights on this, please post up in the Comments below. I think the lesson here for us today is this - we cannot let down our guard when it comes to spiritual matters. I think sometimes we think we can - but we simply cannot. If we do let down our guard, then we often stumble. And thanks to God's grace we can recover from that stumble. But, there is always the dangerous risk that our stumble could be very severe, as it certainly was for the man of God in today's readings...
New Testament - Wow. Something about Acts chapter 9 verse 31 really stood out to me as we read about the early church today - "The believers were walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit." Read this verse again. Whaddya think? The believers of the early church were walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. I don't know about you, but I want to walk like that! I love that dichotomy - that balance - of walking in fear and comfort. No - don't get me wrong - I'm not talking about a fraidy-cat type of fear. But I am talking about a healthy / respectful fear - I mean, just look at the image above again of the lion and the man of God. I don't mean to bag on the man of God by any means, but I think it is safe to say that he was walking in the "fear of the Lord" when he shunned Jeroboam's invite, but then he may have not been walking in the "fear of the Lord" when accepted the old prophet's lie. And, like the old prophet in today's Kings readings, do you think that people will lie to you and me today? Will the Enemy, the Destroyer, seek to lie to us? If so, do you think there is value in walking in the "fear of the Lord" today? While - at the same time walking in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. There is something about the wisdom of this verse in Acts today that I really really like. This may be one of those verses to really meditate upon. I think there is so much value in this verse for our lives... Today - are you walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit?
Great readings today about Peter healing and raising the dead in Jesus' name! Verse 40 is amazing: "But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, "Get up, Tabitha." And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up!" Below is a painting by Placido Costanzi (1757) of Peter raising Tabitha at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome -
Psalms - Psalm 132 is a fantastic psalm of the King David era! It is thought that this Psalm may have been written for the dedication of the temple or it may have been used in a coronation ceremony. Verses 4 & 5 stood out to me today as demonstrating David's dedication to God - "I will not let my eyes sleep nor close my eyelids in slumber until I find a place to build a house for the LORD, a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel." What in your life is keeping you awake at night? Is it something of God's will? Or perhaps something worldly (not of God's will)? Will you pursue God's will in your life, and leave worldly things behind you? Will you pursue building "a sanctuary for God" in your life above all else?
Proverbs - Proverbs 17 verse 6 is an amazing Proverb today - "Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children." The obvious slam-dunk commentary is the grandchildren portion - and I've got an image below for you on that one. But I really want to camp out on "parents are the pride of their children." That is beautiful! You'd think it would go the other way around - and certainly it works the other way around nicely: Kids are the pride of their parents. But parents being the pride of their children - this is great! (and very reminiscent of the Commandment to honor your father and mother) And something each of us should really meditate upon and remember as our parents get older. They are going to need us to care for them. And they should be our pride! And now... back to the cute grandchildren photo to close us out today :) -
Comments from you - What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!