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II Kings 15-16:20

So many kings so little time to know them all. The history of Israel’s kings and its people can be summed up in Proverbs 28:2

2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.

I’ve heard it stated that one must always find out how an organization or entity began because the threads of the motivation that gave it birth will always be woven through out it’s existence. Israel’s was birthed out of rebellion, Jeroboam took ten of the tribes out from under the rule of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, and she continued in that rebellion throughout her existence with her kings as drum majors. If I compared my life to Israel how many kings have I allowed myself to follow, few or many. As a Christian my only king should be Jesus any other ruler brings chaos and strife, and many regime changes.

I find it interesting that nothing is really said abut King Uzziah, who reigned for fifty-two years, in this book. His place in this volume seems to be used as a time line to contrast his reign with the multiple numbers of kings Israel had which was five to one.

The other thing I noticed when Judah’s kings are introduced, at least the good ones, it states that what they did was pleasing to the Lord and then that “But” word enters the picture.

15 4But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, where the people offered sacrifices and burned incense

Is this representing the toleration of sin and its ultimate effect? Had they become so comfortable with deviant life style choices apostasy was accepted? If you play with sin it will play with you. Maybe at first it looks cute because it is small like a little baby lion. Then it grows up and eats you out of house and home, and then eventually it eats you: Dinner anyone?

Acts 19:13-41

I’ve always chuckled when reading about the seven sons of Sceva and their encounter with the evil spirit. Thier method must have worked for a while because if this incident happened when they first began their pseudo ministry, it would have been their last missionary trip. I wonder what tipped off the spirit that these guys were not entitled to use the name of Jesus. How can I apply this to what is going on today with false preachers, AKA, “Jack-leg preachers” and ministries?

Both the sons of Sceva and Demetrius share the same problem, love of money. The seven boys were probably collecting for their efforts and Demetrius was concerned that folks turning to Jesus would substantially decrease his revenue stream.

I’m wondering if we may be giving Demetrius too much credit for starting the riot. Yes, he may have used words to incite the crowds but if the crowd wasn’t receptive to his words and the emotions that are fed by manipulation, there would not have been a riot. The mob allowed themselves to be incited. God gave each person something called free will. We chose to allow ourselves to be carried along by emotional appeals or to allow our brains to critically think over situations we may find ourselves in and make choices based on truth and principles. Life is all about choices.

Psalm 147:1-20

5 How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!
His understanding is beyond comprehension!

I need to remember this verse every time I cry out to God, “Lord you just don’t know what I’m going through!” Not only does He know what I’m going through His understanding about my situations is far and away higher than my perceptive insight if I have any.

Proverbs 18:4-5

One of the stronger themes that run through this wonderful book is the power of words: The words we speak to ourselves, the words we speak to others, and the words spoken to us by others. In fact, in order to favor the guilty or to condemn the innocent, words must be spoken over and into the lives of people.

Grace and peace,

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