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II Kings 18:13-19:37

I have always thought about Hezekiah’s first attempt at getting Assyria to leave its borders by means of monetary persuasions when I’m faced with a threatening situation. Appeasement only works for a short time because the enemy will always be back.

Stripping the gold from the doors of the Temple is kind of like taking the things we may have designated to God, be it monetary or our time and talents, and diverting them to another area effecting our lives as if the problem will go away, it won’t. It’s best to deal head on with the issue, but I know that it is a very hard thing to do. We want to take the path of least resistance; however, that path always seems to take us back to the point where we started, Sennacherib knocking at the door.

19:14After Hezekiah received the letter and read it, he went up to the LORD's Temple and spread it out before the LORD.

I believe the prayer prayed is a model for us to use when we feel threatened and overwhelmed. This prayer stated the truth; the Assyriaian army had conquered every country they attacked, but in the threat against Judah, the God of gods had been challenged and Hezekiah was running to the name of the Lord, his high tower.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.

Acts 21:1-7

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) is quoted as saying,

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything” In order to take a stand one must be firm in planting ones feet on the ground becoming immovable from the position they have taken even to the point of death. To Fall for anything is not really living ones life to the fullest it is only existing. Paul found something to die for, thus he lived life to the max.

Mark 8:36

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (KJV)

Psalm 149:1-9

5 Let the faithful rejoice in this honor.
Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.

I’m thinking that singing for joy as I lie in my bed may be a wonderful way to prepare myself for sleep. Praising God with a glad heart and a joyful spirit may just usher me into a night of wonderful sleep. Hmmm, I won’t know unless I try.

Proverbs 18:8

If rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into the heart than one who loves to hear “secrets” at the expense of the reputation of others, getting their ears tickled with “good” stuff will themselves become spreaders of rumors and not be listeners only

Luke 6:45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (NIV)

Grace and peace,

Acts 20:22, 21:4b Bob Deffinbaugh's commentary about the Holy Spirit saying different things to two people is interesting: These saints were correct in understanding that Paul would be bound in Jerusalem, but they were wrong in their conclusion that Paul should not go. Paul, on the other hand, was correct in pressing on to Jerusalem. I believe we must conclude that the Holy Spirit revealed only the fact of Paul’s fate, and that the conclusions drawn from this were not those which came from the Spirit, and were not the will of God for Paul. The expression “speaking in the Spirit” (New Jerusalem Bible) or “speaking through the Spirit” (NASB) must refer to the fact that the words spoken “through the Spirit” were the words pertaining to Paul’s bondage, while the words spoken urging Paul not to go were not spoken “through the Spirit” but were spoken out of the loving and well-intentioned hearts of these mistaken saints.

We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5 When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray

For many of these encounters with the saints and disciples, ministry seems two-way. not Paul setting up conferences for attenders (like today) but receiving hospitality and prayer. With the exception of yesterday's account of his lengthy teaching, Paul is now being ministered to more than he is ministering.

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