Crossed Over The Brook Kidron

April 19, 2019: John 18; Mark 15.

“Father, it’s time. Display the bright splendor of Your Son. …So He might give real and eternal life to all in His charge. …I spelled out Your character in detail to the men and women You gave Me. …Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life. …So they can be one heart and mind. …Now I’m returning to You. I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing so My people can experience My joy completed in them. …”

Jesus’ Prayer from John 17

* * * * * * *

John 18:1, “Jesus, having prayed this prayer, left with His disciples and crossed over the brook Kidron. …” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Kidron Brook…the winter torrent which flows through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, on the eastern side of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. …Through the mountain ravine no water runs, except after heavy rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. …David crossed this brook bare-foot and weeping, when fleeing Absalom (2 Samuel 15:23, 30). …It afterwards became a receptacle for all manner of impurities (2 Chronicles 29:16; 30:14) and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of the city (2 Kings 23:6). …Its precipitous, rocky banks are filled with ancient tombs. …It runs in a winding course through the wilderness of Judea to the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea.”

King Jesus crossed the Kidron brook where King David wept as he crossed. David put his kingdom in the hands of God and God gave it back to him. Jesus put His Kingdom in God’s hands as He crossed.

The Kidron Valley was a dump and ancient cemetery. All around Jesus was dead stuff and dead bones. Even the brook died. It only ran in winter. It ended in the Dead Sea. Jesus knew He was on His way to die.

But He crossed the brook knowing God would take care of His Kingdom. God would take care of His followers – present and future.

John 18:36, “My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. …” The Message

Jesus trusted God completely. He didn’t need to explain Himself or defend Himself. I need to do the same.

Mark 15:5, “Still, he said nothing. Pilate was impressed, really impressed.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Proverbs 19:11, “Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.” The Message

Jesus showed us how to live – even in death. He gave. He gave his last breath. They didn’t kill Him. He laid His life down.

Mark 15:37, “But Jesus, with a loud cry, gave His last breath.” The Message

* * * * * * *

John 10:18, “No one takes it from Me. I lay it down of My own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received the authority personally from My Father.” The Message

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.

Jesus Walked Through Jericho

April 14, 2019: Luke 19; John 12.

We are reading about Jesus’ last week before His death. He’s traveling to Jerusalem. He chose to walk through Jericho.

Luke 19:1, “Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho.” The Message

Jericho was the first city the Israelites conquered in the Promised Land. They marched around the walls 7 times. Each day they marched silently. But after the seventh time, they shouted and the walls came tumbling down.

Jericho was cursed, (see Joshua 6:26). The man who rebuilt the wall would lose his firstborn son when he started. He would lose his youngest son when he finished. That is exactly what happened in 1 Kings 16:34.

Why did Jesus walk through a cursed city? He was looking for Zaccheus.

Zaccheus was also looking for Jesus. He chose to climb a Sycamore tree to see Him.

Luke 19:4, “So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Sycamore tree…this tree was easily destroyed by frost (Psalms 78:47), …it is found mostly in the ‘vale’ (1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chronicles 1:15)…the ‘low country,’ the shephalah, where the climate is mild. Amos 7:14 refers to its fruit, which is of an inferior character;…(Jeremiah 24:2)….”

Zaccheus chose a tree that only survived in a mild climate – a frost could kill it. Its fruit was of an inferior character. He was ashamed of cheating to become rich, see v. 8.

Jesus looked for him anyway. Jesus is looking for you!

  • No matter where you live.
  • No matter what has happened.
  • No matter if you always took the easy way.
  • No matter if your character is inferior.
  • No matter what you’ve done.

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.” The Message

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.

Jeroboam Made a Fort at Shechem

March 23, 2019: 1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10, 11; 1 Kings 13.

I spent the morning in research. When I read Jeroboam made a fort at Shechem and Penuel, I wondered why.

1 Kings 12:25, “Jeroboam made a fort at Shechem in the hills of Ephraim, and made that his headquarters. He also built a fort at Penuel.” The Message

What else happened at Shechem?

  1. Abraham built his first altar in the Promised Land, and received his first divine promise (Genesis 12:6, 7).
  2. Jacob bought a parcel, settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by burying the teraphim under an oak tree, (Genesis 33:19).
  3. Joshua gathered all Israel “before God” and delivered to them his second parting address (Joshua 24:1-15).
  4. Shechem became a “city of refuge,” (Joshua 20:7).
  5. They buried Joseph’s bones there, (Joshua 24:32).
  6. Rehoboam was appointed king there, (1 Kings 12:1).

What about Penuel?

Jacob wrestled with God there, (Genesis 32:24-32). Jeroboam chose sites with Godly history. But his actions were ungodly.

  1. He made 2 golden calves, 1 Kings 12:28.
  2. He discouraged the people from worship at Jerusalem, 1 Kings 12:28.
  3. He built forbidden shrines, 1 Kings 12:31.
  4. He recruited priests from wherever, 1 Kings 12:31.
  5. He created a new holy festival, 1 Kings 12:32.
  6. He offered sacrifices before the golden calves, 1 Kings 12:32.
  7. He staffed Bethel with priests from local shrines, 1 Kings 12:32.
  8. He appointed himself as high priest and lead the worship at his altar, 1 Kings 12:33.
  9. He dismissed the Levites, 2 Chronicles 11:14.

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.

Kept Moving, Here, There, Wherever

I think I broke a WordPress “Happiness Engineer” – maybe 2.

Each post I type morphs into one paragraph when I hit “preview.” We can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I opened my email to see the latest instructions.

Two emails from Pinterest caught my attention. Two different people hacked my account on the same day! I went to Pinterest and changed my password.

Psalms 7:1, “God! God! I am running to you for dear life; the chase is wild.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 142:6, “Oh, listen, please listen; I’ve never been this low. Rescue me from those who are hunting me down; I’m no match for them.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 57:1-3, “Be good to me, God – and now! I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over. (2) I call out to High God, the God who holds me together. (3) He sends orders from heaven and saves me, He humiliates those who kick me around. God delivers generous love, He makes good on His Word.” The Message

My second “Happiness Engineer” instructed me to make a video as I typed my post. They sent a link to download a program that would do that. I told God I was out of my league technology-wise. Then I read about David running from Saul.

1 Samuel 23:13-14, “…They left Keilah and kept moving, going here, there, wherever – always on the move. … (14) David continued to live in desert hideouts and the backcountry wilderness of Ziph. Saul was out looking for him day after day, but God never turned David over to him.” The Message

How did David know where to go next? God led him each day, one step at a time. David inquired of the Lord whether he should save Keilah. God said, “Yes. Go.”

“…Before battles, kings would consult with soothsayers and diviners to ensure divine favor. Mosaic law prohibited such divination (see Luke 19:26), but even in Israel there were means of seeking a word from God. One of these evidently was the ephod that Abiathar the priest had brought to David’s camp (1 Samuel 23:9-12). In Exodus, the ephod refers to the linen apron worn by the high priest (Exodus 39:2-7). With Abiathar’s ephod David would ask a yes-no question, and by some means that is not clear the ephod would reveal God’s answer. …” Chronological Study Bible Notes.

* * * * * * *

“The Urim and Thummim were a means of revelation entrusted to the high priest. No description of them is given. This oracular means apparently consisted of a material object or objects since it was physically stored in the breastpiece of the high priest (Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8). …Sometimes the mention of the ephod (on which the breastpiece housing the Urim and Thummim were fastened) includes a reference to the Urim and Thummim (1 Samuel 23:9-12; 30:7-8). Also the verb ‘inquire of’ followed by ‘the Lord’ or ‘God’ when no means of revelation is specified refers to a usage of the Urim and Thummim.”

* * * * * * *

My devotional, “The Word for You Today,” quoted Ann Lander’s writings on maturity.

“Maturity is the ability to control your anger and settle your differences without violence or resentment. Maturity is patience; it’s the willingness to pass on short-term pleasure for long-term gain. It’s the ability to ‘sweat it out’ in spite of heavy opposition or discouraging setbacks. It’s the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration without complaining or collapsing. Maturity is humility. It’s being big enough to say, ‘I was wrong,’ and when you are right, never needing to say, ‘I told you so.’ Maturity is the ability to make a decision and follow through with it instead of exploring endless possibilities and doing nothing about any of them. Maturity means dependability, keeping your word, and coming through in a crisis.” The Word for You Today, 2-4-19

Today I would need patience. I would “sweat it out” and have discouraging setbacks and frustrations. But God promised to lead me each step – just like he did David.

I downloaded the video program. I was not sure which option to use. I googled it.

Of course, I had to set up an account. I hit the first training video and – they wanted money to teach me how to use this free program. I shut the browser. I went back to the program and tried 3 different options.

After choosing what I hoped was the correct one, I started typing. I have never typed slower or more inaccurately in my life! I feel sorry for the “Happiness Engineer” who has to watch this video!

I hit “preview” and it morphed into one paragraph. I shut off the recording and hit save and upload. Going back to the email, I answered the questions and hit the attachment button. I attached the most recent download.

I hit send. The thumbnail showed my attachment was the new arrangement of “Joy to the Word!” (This is beyond embarrassing.)

I tried to undo the message. I deleted the attachment. I hit the attachment button again and then hit paste. A video link appeared. I hit send. Why do these things happen to me?

Psalms 7:9-10, “Close the book on Evil, God, but publish your mandate for us. You get us ready for life: you probe for our soft spots, you knock off our rough edges. (10) And I’m feeling so fit, so safe; made right, kept right.” The Message

Then I laughed and laughed! I can’t believe my “Happiness Engineer” will be getting the words and chords to a Christmas Carol. God does have a sense of humor. He sure is working overtime on my soft spots and rough edges!

Psalms 63:7-8, “Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play. (8) I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post.” The Message

Did you laugh with me today? If so, put an emoticon in the comment section.

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.