Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekly Recap #15 - I Kings 10 thru II Kings 9

I've really thought a lot about how to write my recap for this week to make everything flow smoothly.   
I hope that you can follow my train of thought as I try to lead you thru what I learned.   
(we've already talked about Saul and David and Solomon)
 Even though we're not finished reading II Kings....I'm going to go ahead and list all the kings for those of you who are printing off and keeping our weekly recap.
That'll have all the kings listed on one sheet!!!

So...let's get started!!!

***At the start of this week's reading, the Queen of Sheba visited king Solomon to test his wisdom.  She found no question too difficult for him to answer.  She brought with her gold and spices and precious jewels.

***All of king Solomon's drinking cups were solid gold...none were silver because silver was considered worthless in Solomon's day.

***Although Solomon was a good king....he had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines.  He took wives from among tribes that were forbidden by God and in his old age, he built shrines for them to worship their gods.

***The prophet Elijah told King Ahab that there would be no rain for several years.  The Lord sent ravens to bring Elijah bread and meat each morning and evening he drank from the brook.  When the brook dried up, he sent him to a widow who was fixing to prepare a last meal for her and her son.  Elijah told her to make some bread for him first, then use what was left to make a meal for herself and her son.  She did as Elijah told her to do and  he and her family continued to eat for many days, always having enough food and olive oil as the Lord had promised Elijah. Sometime later, the woman' son died and the Lord, thru Elijah, brought the son back to life.  The woman then realized that Elijah was truly a man of God.

***After 3 years drought, the Lord sent Elijah to Ahab to tell him there would be rain.  All the people of Israel were summoned to Mt. Carmel, along with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah who were supported by Jezebel
(Ahab's very....very....very....evil wife).
Elijah told the people they needed to choose between serving God, or Baal.
2bulls were cut up and placed on 2 altars.....they would each call on their god (Elijah on his GOD).....and the one who answered by setting fire would be the true God and all the people agreed.  The prophets of Baal called on him from morning till noontime, but got no reply.   Elijah started making fun (this was so funny)....saying, they needed to shout louder...maybe Baal was daydreaming....or relieving himself...or maybe he was away on a trip, or asleep.  So....they shouted louder and even cut themselves until blood gushed out.
Then....Elijah prepared his sacrifice and had 4 large jars of water poured over the offering and the wood.  This was done 3 times.  Elijah walked up to the altar and prayed for God to prove that He was God in Israel and Elijah was His servant.
And....IMMEDIATELY....the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the bull and wood and licked up all the water in the trench
All the people bowed face down on the ground and cried out....
The Lord....He is God....Yes, the Lord is God!!!
Centuries later....we've still not changed....we're still asking God to prove Himself to us!!!

***Remember the drought mentioned above.....well Elijah told Ahab that he heard a mighty rainstorm coming and Elijah bowed low and prayed.  He told his servant to go look out toward the sea...and the servant returned not seeing anything.  Seven times Elijah told him to go look....and finally....the 7th time (perfect number)....he saw a little cloud about the size of a man's hand rising up out of the sea.  Soon the sky was black with clouds and Elijah told Ahab to get in his chariot and go home.  There came a huge rainstorm and the Lord gave Elijah special strength....and he outran Ahab's chariot.

***Ahab told his wife, Jezebel, all that Elijah had done and Jezebel sought to kill Elijah.  Jezebel was a very wicked woman.  Elijah was afraid and fled for his life.  Now....remember.....Elijah had just witnessed miracles from the Lord....the burning up of the altar filled with water....and also God sending the rainstorm after the drought....but....he was afraid of this woman.  He even prayed to the Lord that he would die, telling the Lord that he had had enough (sounds a lot like us today, huh?).  Then, he fell asleep and an angel woke him up and told him to eat.  This happened once again, then he traveled 40  days and 40 nights to Mt. Sinai and spent the night in a cave.  The Lord appeared to Elijah and told him to stand before Him on the mountain.  The Lord spoke to Elijah in a "still small voice" while he was on the mountain!!!

***One again, wicked Jezebel got involved when Naboth refused to sell king Ahab his vineyard.  Jezebel plotted against Naboth and had 2 men falsely accuse him of cursing God and the king.  He was dragged outside the town and stoned to death and king Ahab immediately claimed the vineyard.

***Elijah anointed Elisha to replace him as God's prophet.  He simply placed his cloak on Elisha's shoulders and walked away.

***The prophets Elijah and Elisha were traveling together.  When they reached the Jordan River, Elijah folded his cloak together and struck the water with it and they walked across on dry ground (I did not remember this story at all!!!)
Elisha asked Elijah for a double share of his spirit before he became his successor.  Suddenly a chariot of fire appeared drawn by horses of drove between the 2 men, separating them and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.  Elisha picked up Elijah's cloak and returned to the bank of the Jordan River...struck the water with it...and the river divided (WOW!!!)

***Elisha's first miracle......he threw a bowl of salt into a contaminated spring and purified it.

***A group of boys chased Elisha mocking and making fun of him, calling him baldy.  They were disrespecting a man of God and 2 bears came out of the wood and mauled 2 of them.

***Elisha helped a poor widow by multiplying what little olive oil she had, filling up many jars so that she could sell it and pay her debts.

***A woman in Shunem and her husband built a small room on their rooftop for Elisha to stay when he passed that way.  The woman was old but gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her she would (this happens several times in scripture, doesn't it?).  As the boy grew, he was out in the field with his dad, and had a terrible headache....and he died.  The woman laid the boy on Elisha's bed and went after Elisha...he laid down on the child's body and the boy sneezed 7 times (there's that perfect # again)....and opened his eyes.

***Naaman, the commander of Aram's army, had leprosy.  Per a young maid who served his wife, he went to Elisha for healing.  Elisha sent a messenger to tell him to dip 7 times in the Jordan River and his skin would be restored.  This made Naaman angry...he expected Elisha to just up and heal him without him having to do anything (again...isn't that just like us today....expecting the easy way out?).
Reluctantly, he did as Elisha had told him to do....and he was healed.

***Elisha caused an ax head to float so he could recover it from the Jordan River.

***Elisha saved a group of prophets from being poisoned by a pot of stew by throwing a handful of flour into it.

***And...finally....we end with wicked Jezebel.
She taunted king Jehu, calling him a murderer (you know that old saying about the faults we see in others are usually our own....I think this definitely can be applied to Jezebel).
Anyway....Jehu yelled for the men to throw Jezebel down from the window she was sitting in....and her blood splattered on the wall.  King Jehu trampled her body under his horses hooves.  When they went to get her body to bury her....all that was left were her skull, feet and hands.  She had been eaten by dogs!!!

Sure hope you've not fallen asleep by now.
The reading is very interesting....I just get a bit lost and confused with all the kings' names sometimes....which is why I just put them all in a list for those of you who are keeping track!!! they are ....

Kings of Israel                  Kings of Judah
Jeroboam I     22 years           Rehoboam        17 years
Nadab              2 years            Abijam              3 years
Baasha           24 years            Asa                  41 years
Elah                  2 years           
Zimri                7 days
Omri               12 years
Ahab               22 years          Johoshaphat     25 years
Ahaziah           2 years           Jehoram            8 years
Joram             11 years          Ahaziah             1 year
Jehu                28 years          Athaliah            6 years
Jehoahaz        17 years           Joash               40 years
Joash              16 years           Amaziah          29 years
Jeroboam II    41 years          Uzziah             52 years
Zechariah         6 months       Jotham            16 years
Shallum            1 month
Menahem        10 years
Pekahiah          2 years
Pekah              20 years           Ahaz               16 years
Hoshea              9 years           Hezekiah        29 years
 Northern 10 tribes taken captive
      by Assyrian Empire

                                                Amon               2 years
                                                Josiah             31 years
                                                Jehoahaz          3 months
                                                Jehoiakim       11 years
                                               Jehoiachin         3 months
                                               Zedekiah          11 years

                                                            FALL OF JUDAH
                                                        Judah taken captive
                                                       by Babylonian Empire

Until next week....blessings to you!!!

In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!

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