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1 and 2 Kings Ask
Week 10 Day 1
Reading - 1 Kings 3:3-5 Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, "Ask what you wish me to give you." NASU
Thought - Solomon is struggling with the obligations and seductions of power, the complexities in him are the same as in us all. It is interesting God does not seem to make any attempt to resolve the issues but does recognise the love in his heart and for that reason gives him permission to ask what he will. He asks for “an understanding mind..” in order to govern the people. Chapter two as he settles into the job shows wisdom as being political savvy, chapter three ends with the nation recognising a change; he now carries the wisdom of God. Sometimes asking changes everything. James said, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask…..”
Prayer Lord so many times in the Bible You tell us to ask whenever we are in need and each time You do not disappoint. Sometimes You challenge those who ask to think bigger in their asking. Lord today I will certainly need wisdom and I know I will need faith. Hear my prayer, let me not be afraid to ask, may I grow in my asking and in my seeking. Amen
Building the Temple
Reading - 1 Kings 6:7 When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built. ESV
Thought - Solomon planned the Temple to be a magnificent place of worship inspiring hearts and minds to worship the Lord. The building of the temple was in itself an act of worship. Care was taken over the smallest detail and in the quality of materials; no expense was to be spared. The construction of the Temple was to his design, the building work to be done in as near silence as possible. It is hard to imagine the care that had to be taken in 1
order for sound to be minimised, picture a building growing like a tree in the forest. Through every generation, God’s Church grows amid the decline and fall of empires. Person after person is added and in every heart, silently and irresistibly, Christ is formed. There may be no sound of the builder in your circumstance of life. Know this, you are a temple of God, and building you is an act of worship to your God.
Prayer - Lord I am intrigued, does some of the work in the building of my life take place off my own premises? Are you building elsewhere and then bringing it to me complete and ready to be carefully fitted in? This must mean in some way I am a part of everyone and your calling together a people of God, the Church, means there is a group of sanctified people yielding themselves to Your skills that they may be fitted into others’ lives. Thank You for Your Church Lord Jesus and please complete Your work in me by Your work in others. Amen
Reading 1 Kings 15:11-12; 16:29-31 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done. In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. ESV
Thought - Asa, king of the Southern kingdom of Israel (Judah), Ahab king of the North and what contrasting statements of their lives. The two books of Kings are collective accounts of the kings of Israel and Judah with epitaphs written over their lives in respect of their relation to God. We are often required to comment on the lives of others when giving references or in general conversation. What we say can be taken as a description upon which opinion is formed. Asa tried to do right, Ahaz could not be trusted to do so. What might be God’s reference or eventual epitaph over our lives, and how might we live to influence it? I love the words found in Hebrews 11 where God, looking at the lives of people who chose to live by faith, said, “He was not ashamed to be their God.” Awesome.
It only takes a small insect to spoil an apple, a little hole to sink a boat. Lord help me pay attention to the details as much as the great things in my life so that I may not bear the epitaph, “He served the Lord but not with his whole heart.” May I do that which is right in Your sight O Lord and be a father (or mother) or model that someone may follow. Amen
2 Kings 2:1-2 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” ESV 2
Thought - You and I set our own spiritual ceiling. We can fly as high as we choose with God. There are many moments in life when for every good reason we hear the words, “stay here.” Many of us stop in Gilgal, where God saved us, or Bethel, the place of worship, Jericho, where we won a great victory. How easy to remain in these great places of God, after all we learned so much and were blessed there. Elisha challenges us, “Don’t stop, don’t be an observer of the great moments;” refuse to leave the Lord who is moving on to the next place of ministry or encounter. Tell Him you will not leave Him or turn from following after Him, perhaps if you do such significance will be attached to your life, others will weep when you are taken from them. What is the proverb? “Don’t let the good become the enemy of the best.”
Lord You gave Your best for me, may I give mine for You. Lord every day of Your life on earth You pressed on and in for me, may I do the same for You. Let my determination to live my best for You be my best for others. Amen
Reading 2 Kings 8:10-12 And Elisha said to him, "Go, say to him, 'You shall certainly recover,' but the Lord has shown me that he shall certainly die." And he fixed his gaze and stared at him, until he was embarrassed. And the man of God wept. ESV
Thought - The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given by God to equip His people for service. We are told to seek the Lord for His gifts and we can be very blessed as God begins to use us in them. There is however real responsibility that comes to us with any gift. Elisha is asked to seek God for an answer regarding a king’s health, God tells him the king will live but then he will die; a very strange message. Elisha then makes extended eye contact, as though reading his soul, with Hazael (the messenger from the king) and then begins to weep. God had not only told Elisha what would happen, He had also shown him the heart of Hazael and the destruction to Israel that would come about through his actions. Sometimes God shows more than you ask and tears are the response, as it is impossible to communicate what can be seen.
Prayer - Lord Jesus because of Your word which teaches me and Your hand which guides me I often do not need a gift to see into the lives of others. The entry of Your word in me brings light, that light shines into the dark around me and I can see what repercussions will happen. Lord let me not see to judge but to intercede, let me weep as the prophet of old between the altar and the door (Joel 2:17) for the brokenness and damage around me. Amen
Have You Read This?
Reading - 2 Kings 19:14-15 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord. ESV
Thought - If the situation wasn’t so serious, this insight into a king’s prayer life is quite amusing. The letter contains threats to him and the future of Israel, from the Prime Minister of Assyria. Hezekiah spreads it before the Lord which probably means he was saying to God, “Have you read this? Can you believe what this man has written? It sounds something like the man who prayed, “Lord, as you will have read in yesterday’s newspaper?”” It does tell us how the king found a way to keep asking God for insight in how to do his job. Laying our work or letters and emails before God and asking, “How do I do or respond to this?” involves God in the big and small moments of our lives and allows for His input and insight in daily life.
- Here is my day Lord, can You see it? I give it to You to use as You will. Here is my work, life, friends, family and circumstances, I spread them before You. Can You read this, make sense of it and show me what to do or how to be. Amen
Reading 2 Kings 23:2-3 And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. ESV
Thought - Solomon had two pillars cast from bronze to stand on either side of the Temple doors, each twenty-seven feet tall and eighteen feet in circumference. They were given names, Jachin (stability) and Boaz (strength) impressively declaring strength and stability are to be found at the door of God’s presence. When king Josiah read the book of Deuteronomy which had been discovered in the Temple (it was lost in the Temple), he was deeply moved and determined to read it to Israel that they may turn back to God. The place he chose to read was by the pillars, he called the people back to their God as their foundation and strength and so began a great revival in the nation.
Prayer - Lord some days I have so many things going on in me and around me I feel like a small boat tossed around on the sea. What is right and wrong has no clear boundaries in the world I live. Lord help me lean upon the pillar of Your Word and let it be declared through my life choices. Amen
Notes from the current series "The books of the Bible"by Pastor Mike Sherwood at Elim Christian Centre, Chelmsford, England.