Choosing Leaders

My absentee ballot for the November 8th election arrived Saturday. How am I to choose a leader? I learned what to look for from men in the Bible.

Israel

  1. Self-controlled, Genesis 49:4.
  2. Non-violent, Genesis 49:5.
  3. Not self-willed; I will avoid their assembly, Genesis 49:6.
  4. One who restrains his enemies, Genesis 49:8.
  5. One who has the respect of his family, Genesis 49:8.

“A lion’s cub. A symbol of sovereignty, strength, and courage. Judah (or Israel) is often pictured as a lion in later times (see Ezekiel 19:2; Micah 5:8 and especially Numbers 24:9). Judah’s greatest descendant is himself called ‘The Lion of the Tribe of Judah’ (Revelation 5:5).”

New International Version Study Bible Note on Genesis 49:9

***

Moses

  1. Stands up for and helps the weak, Exodus 2:17.
  2. Humble, Exodus 3:5.
  3. Following God, Exodus 3:12.
  4. Leads us through difficulties, Exodus 14:13-22.

“The Biblical account of God miraculously delivering His people and supernaturally guiding them to a place of liberty and plenty was a frequently invoked source of inspiration in early America. Today, that passage continues as a lighthouse for hope for those facing difficulties of any type, for its message is unchanged: God can still deliver His children and convey them to their own place of freedom, safety, and abundance, regardless of the circumstances in which they find themselves.”

“God’s Deliverance: The Birth of a Nation”
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom
p. 112

***

Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law

Exodus 18:21, “Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.” NASB

How to choose a judge:

  1. Able
  2. Fears God
  3. Truthful
  4. Honest

***

America’s Political Form of Government

  1. Totalitarianism: a highly centralized government that does not tolerate individualism or differences of opinion. …communistic…socialistic…can also be led by a dictator, czar, sultan, premier, …emperor (Luke 2:1), Caesars (Mark 12:17), or pharaohs (Exodus 1-14).
  2. Monarchy: …headed by a king, queen, or emirate. …limited or constitutional monarchies, where a higher law is above the monarch, such as the Magna Carta with English kings. Israel’s kings…personally wrote out a copy of the laws that God gave to govern Israel (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). …the king and the people would first make a joint covenant with God (2 Samuel 5:3; 2 Kings 11:17).
  3. Republic or Constitutional Republic: …parliamentary systems…representative democracies, in which the representatives elected by the people are the sovereign power and rule until the people select new representatives. A constitutional republic…is one in which the representatives elected by the people are not sovereign but are instead subject to a higher sovereign law – a written constitution. (Exodus 18:21; Deuteronomy 1:15-16; 16:18).
  4. Oligarchy: …power resides in a small elite group …feudal tribal government, aristocracy, and plutocracy. …Sanhedrin (Luke 22:66).
  5. Anarchy or Revolutionary: A government without laws, …each individual, who does what he wishes or has the power to do. …[French Revolution] … “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Deuteronomy 12:8; Judges 17:6; 21:25).
  6. Democracy: …direct majority votes…an unstable and fluctuating government. …Jesus during His final week…treating Him as a national hero (Matthew 21:9), …the same people ‘all said, “Crucify Him!”‘ (Matthew 27:21). …mob rule…where passions and selfishness often prevail over reason and deliberation.
  7. Theocracy: a government run by immediate representatives of God, claiming to act directly on His commands… (Eli and Samuel) …without separation of Church and State and with no input from the people. Many Islamic nations, …ruled by an ayatollah or imam…

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government.” Article IV, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution

“America’s Political Form of Government”
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom
pp. 146-148

***

I Learned

I have some homework to do before I fill out my ballot!

Join me in reading October’s chapters and November’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

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November 2022 Chapters

  • 1 – Leviticus 4-6
  • 2 – Leviticus 7, 8
  • 3 – Leviticus 9-11
  • 4 – Leviticus 12, 13
  • 5 – Leviticus 14, 15
  • 6 – Leviticus 16-18
  • 7 – Leviticus 19-21
  • 8 – Leviticus 22, 23
  • 9 – Leviticus 24, 25
  • 10 – Leviticus 26, 27
  • 11 – Numbers 1, 2
  • 12 – Numbers 3, 4
  • 13 – Numbers 5, 6
  • 14 – Numbers 7, 8
  • 15 – Numbers 9-11
  • 16 – Numbers 12-14
  • 17 – Numbers 15-17
  • 18 – Numbers 18-20
  • 19 – Numbers 21, 22
  • 20 – Numbers 23-25
  • 21 – Numbers 26-28
  • 22 – Numbers 29-31
  • 23 – Numbers 32, 33
  • 24 – Numbers 34-36
  • 25 – Deuteronomy 1, 2
  • 26 – Deuteronomy 3, 4
  • 27 – Deuteronomy 5-7
  • 28 – Deuteronomy 8-10
  • 29 – Deuteronomy 11-13
  • 30 – Deuteronomy 14-16

The chapters for the year are posted under the “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide menu.

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Jacob Made a Vision Board

Jacob

Jacob peeled white stripes on the branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees. When the stronger sheep were mating, he placed the rods in front of them, in the ditches, and inside of the watering troughs. Their lambs were striped, spotted, and speckled. (Genesis 30:37-62.)

White poplar tree bark is speckled.

***

Almond tree bark is striped.

***

Plane tree bark is spotted.

He kept the vision in front of them. The result? The strong flocks belonged to Jacob and the weak ones to Laban, v. 42.

Judah

Judah chose a Canaanite to be his best friend, Genesis 38:1, 12.

  1. He married a Canaanite, v. 2.
  2. He gave his son a Canaanite wife, v. 6.
  3. He started serving the gods of the Canaanites, v. 15, 21. (He thought he was having sex with a temple prostitute but it was his daughter-in-law, Tamar.)
  4. He tried to dress up his idolatry with religion. He asked his second son to perform the duty of a brother-in-law, (Genesis 38:8; Deuteronomy 25:5-6); and ordered a prostitute to be burned, (Leviticus 21:9).
  5. He gave away the things that identified him as an Israelite, his signet rings, cord, and staff, v. 18. They were witnesses that he broke the duty of the brother-in-law by not giving Tamar to his third son. And he committed adultery with his son’s wife, 38:24-36.

Tamar Gave Birth to Perez

“Perez. Became the head of the leading clan in Judah and the ancestor of David (see Ruth 4:18-22) and ultimately of Christ (Matthew 1:1-16).”

New International Version Study Bible Note on Genesis 38:29

***

The circumstances of your birth have no reflection on your destiny or purpose.

Joseph

Genesis 39:1, “Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there.” NASB

Joseph could have been sold to work in the mines. Instead, he was sold to an officer.

  • Not just an officer, a bodyguard.
  • Not just a bodyguard, but the captain.
  • Not just the captain, but the bodyguard for Pharaoh!

Potiphar realized Joseph was the key to his prosperity. He made him his personal servant, overseer of his house, and in charge of everything he owned, 39:2-4.

Later, Joseph was sent to jail unjustly. He could have gone to hard labor but was sent to the king’s jail, v. Genesis 39:7-20.

God was with Joseph. The jailer made him the overseer and manager. God prospered him again, Genesis 39:21-23.

The jailer put him in charge of the cupbearer and baker. They were in jail for offending the king, Genesis 40:1-4. (It sounds like Facebook jail, LOL.)

Where you work and a lack of a title cannot keep you from success.

***

Did your situation just go from bad to worse? Don’t give up. God hasn’t finished. When walking with God, we do not go up and down. We go forward or backward. You did not move down, you moved forward.

The Grain

Genesis 43:2, “So it came about when they had finished eating the grain, …” NASB

I’m trying intermittent fasting and the Keto diet. I eat very little bread. You can’t do that indefinitely. This verse reminded me that I need to eat grains.

Jesus prayed, “Give us, Lord, our daily bread.” He did not pray, “Give us, Lord, our daily salad!” (See Matthew 6:9-13).

Israel

Genesis 46:1, “So Israel set out with all that he had, …” NASB

On my vision board is a larger brick house. Maybe I have too much stuff to move! Is my stuff holding me back?

I Learned

  1. To keep the vision in front of me.
  2. Be careful who influences me.
  3. The circumstances of your birth have no reflection on your destiny or purpose.
  4. Where you work or a lack of a title cannot keep you from success.
  5. We do not go up and down. We move forward.
  6. I need to eat grains!
  7. I have too much stuff to move.

***

Join me in reading this month’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Noah, the Animals, and the Ark

I wrote 42 pages of notes while reading last week’s chapters! I may need to start writing ebooks!

Noah

God told Noah to get some of all kinds of food. He didn’t say to take a year’s supply of their favorite food on the ark.

Genesis 6:21, “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” NASB

I need to eat all foods in their season at the peak of freshness. My pantry should have a variety, not just my favorites.

Ezekiel 2:8, “…Open your mouth and eat what I give you!” NASB

The Beasts and Cattle

The order of who God remembered struck me: People, beasts (wild animals), and cattle (domestic animals).

Genesis 8:1, “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; …” NASB

***

We are living in the days when good is called evil and evil is called good. Domestic animals are treated like children. Wild animals are protected and great fines are incurred if you damage one of their eggs. But human babies are aborted.

Plants are protected for wild animals to live in. Dogs are offered the best meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains. But humans are supposed to live off of chemical concoctions for protein and plants to replace meat. The dog gets the beef and the kids get pink slime with the feet and beak from a fast food joint. (Guilty. My kids ate chicken nuggets.)

***

We are on the earth to take care of it. We have a responsibility to wild animals but that doesn’t mean we let them live in our homes.

They establish boundaries in the wild by marking trees and urination. We establish boundaries with doors on the houses, and fences in the backyard.

I’m grateful for the deer who favor my backyard. I love waking up early to see the rabbits feeding on the clover.

We are to care for our domesticated animals, Proverbs 12:10; 27:23. I don’t farm or have pets but I recycle and set out birdseed.

***

David and I supported children through World Vision and Feed the Children. I still pray for them. Chandrakant is 30; Jimmy and Vitumbiko are 11.

When Jimmy’s family moved away, we happily adopted Vitumbiko. This month we asked Feed the Children to give us a second child. #goals

We support “Cradle of Hope” which helps all mothers, married and unmarried. They are raising funds to buy a mother’s home for girls who find themselves homeless. And a survivor’s home for girls rescued from human trafficking.

These are the things I am doing to remember people, beasts, and cattle.

The Ark

Genesis 8:4, “In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.” NASB

It didn’t get stuck on top of a mountain. God directed it to a place where the water receded and it settled on the land. It was a place where the ark would remain level to allow the people and animals to disembark safely, (Genesis 8:14-16).

God moves slowly and safely. I want out of “my ark” right away! He makes small adjustments.

Noah couldn’t leave the ark until the vegetation had grown and produced food for his family and the animals. That took over 6 months! I have to be patient, knowing that God is moving.

***

Genesis 8:19, “Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.” NASB

You are not dormant while you are in “your ark.” You are reproducing. The animals went into the ark as a couple and came out as families.

Defender of Life

Genesis 9:5, “Surely, I will require your lifeblood; from every beast, I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother, I will require the life of man.” NASB

God requires the lifeblood of every man or animal that takes a life. God is the defender of preborn babies.

“God himself is the great defender of human life (see 4:9-12), which is precious to him because people were created in his image (v. 6) and because they are the earthly representatives and focal point of God’s kingdom. In the theocracy (kingdom of God) established at Sinai, a domestic animal that had taken human life was to be stoned to death (Exodus 21:28-32).”

New International Version Study Bible Notes on Genesis 9:5

***

I learned to eat a variety of foods, to help where I can, and to remember that slowly, God is moving.

Join me in reading this month’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

When Your Heart Stops

Monday, September 26, 2022

Ragweed has blinded my eyes. Please, open them, Lord!

Psalm 146:8, “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.” NASB

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

My eyes are still flaring and watering constantly. I struggle to read.

Zechariah 9:1, “… (for the eyes of all …, are toward the Lord.)” NASB

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

I thought my watering eyes were unbearable. I was going for my second cup of coffee when my heart felt like a hand squeezed it and it stopped.

Repenting, I exclaimed, “Jesus, take me home!” (The pain did not stop but I forgot about my eyes!)

Then, I remembered coughing could start your heart again. I coughed a few times and the pain finally eased.

***

“The books of Kings are the history of Israel from the perspective of the eyewitnesses in the court and the prophets at the time; the books of Chronicles are a recounting of that same history for those who returned from the exile in Babylon drawing spiritual lessons from the heart of the priests. It has been said that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat it. At first glance, 1 Chronicles reads as a condensed recap of the entire Old Testament. From Adam to Abraham to Jacob to King David to the exile and finally, to the return of the Jews to their homeland, it’s all there. It’s the official condensed record of Judah’s history from Genesis to Malachi, and that’s just the first nine chapters.”

Introduction to 1 Chronicles
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom

***

How is history recorded? Through genealogy.

1 Chronicles 1:1, “Adam, Seth, Enosh.” NASB

Father, son, grandson. The story of Adam in the garden of Eden is not recorded here, just his son and grandson’s names. (See Genesis 5:1-8).

These chapters don’t list occupations or titles. Chapter three lists the genealogy of the kings. Yet, only their names are recorded.

1 Chronicles 3:17, “The sons of Jeconiah, the prisoner, .” NASB

King Jeconiah was captured by Nebuchadnezzar, see 2 Kings 24:6-16. He was a prisoner for 37 years, see 2 Kings 25:27-30. But here he is recorded as Jeconiah the prisoner.

***

After feeling my heart stop, I evaluated my life. The only things that matter are my children and their children. They are more important than any occupation, title, accomplishments, or ministry.

The chest pain was replaced by the feeling of a steel band around my ribcage. I went to the ER. My EKG and blood tests showed I did not have a heart attack.

X-rays ruled out pneumonia even though the doctor heard crackling. I am in great health on paper. I just can’t breathe. He was perplexed.

“It’s ragweed,” I stated, “I will blow it out with the nebulizer.”

He was surprised that I had a nebulizer. He prescribed Aleve and Baby Aspirin for the “inflammation.” I declined Prednisone. The doctor agreed when he saw I had 14 rounds in the last three years.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

1 Chronicles 4:4, “…These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem.” NASB

Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Ephrathah. The city was named after this man, not the firstborn son, Hur. I’m glad God uses second-born and third-born children. (I’m a middle child!) 😉

***

1 Chronicles 4:14, “…for they were craftsmen.” NASB

This is the third occupation listed in 1 Chronicles.

  1. Scribes, 2:55.
  2. Kings, Chapter 3.
  3. Craftsmen, 4:14.
  4. Potters, 4:23.
  5. Shepherds, 4:39.
  6. Soldiers, 5:18.
  7. Priests, Chapter 6.
  8. Musicians, 6:31-32.

Friday, September 30, 2022

The “inflammation” moved to my right lung and left bronchial tubes. I got to meet my new doctor. (My doctor retired.) 😦

My new doctor liked my curly hair, (because his wife has curly hair), and said I didn’t look my age. I like him! 🙂

He said I look great on paper but breathing is important. I talked him down to the lowest dose of Prednisone and am on Round 15. (Sigh.) I’m at war with Ragweed.

***

1 Chronicles 7:5, “… families of Issachar were mighty men of valor, …” NASB

The mighty men of valor were troops for the army. (See, 1 Chronicles 5:18; 7:5-11; 7:40.)

  • Issachar, 87,000.
  • Benjamin’s son Bela 22,034.
  • Benjamin’s son Becher 20,200.
  • Benjamin’s son Jediael 17,200.
  • Ashur 26,000.
  • Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh 44,760.

King David’s nephews were the officers of the army. His sister, Zeruiah’s sons were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, 1 Chronicles 2:16; and 2 Samuel 2:18. Amasa, the son of his sister Abigail, replaced Joab, 1 Chronicles 2:17 and 2 Samuel 17:25.

***

Those who returned to Jerusalem were:

  1. The Levites – those in charge of teaching God’s Laws.
  2. The Judahites – the worshippers, princes, and officers.
  3. The Benjaminites – the soldiers.
  4. The sons of Joseph – the Ephraimites and Manassehites. (Israel transferred the birthright of the Firstborn from Joseph to Reuben, 1 Chronicles 5:1.) They were the elders.

To rebuild America, we need to send those who know the Laws of God to Washington.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Genesis 1:12, “The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.” NASB

We talk about bearing fruit but does our fruit have seeds that reproduce? My children are serving the Lord. Am I doing everything I can to help ensure my grandchildren serve the Lord?

Because when my heart truly stops, that is what matters.

Stalls of vendors in the Jewish Quarter during Jesus' time.
A mural of what the Jewish Quarter looked like in Jesus’ time. Each stall was a different occupation. The artist added a young boy with a baseball cap and backpack in the front for whimsy.

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