Thursday, January 31, 2013

David Praises the Lord

Today I read 1 Chronicles 29 where David praises the Lord and acknowledges that Solomon is the new king.  I can definitely see why so many people feel that David is the Psalmist.  He definitely does a lot of song writing and poem writing in the scriptures and frequently will praise the Lord in lyrical style.  Personally I don't feel it's very important to know who the Psalmist is, however some do and I think David is as good a guess as any.  And so once again we end the story of David and move on to his son Solomon and we really didn't learn anything new from the book of 1 Chronicles that we didn't already know from 1 and 2 Samuel.  But it is always good to have the information and I'm sure it was included for a reason.  If nothing else it helps Historians, for which I am glad.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

David Prepares Solomon

Today I read 1 Chronicles 23 - 28.  Most of the chapters were more information on the census of Israel and what their various functions are.  David spent some time with his son Solomon talking to him about what God expects of him and how to go about building the temple.  It's not wonder to me that Solomon starts out so good in the eyes of the Lord, David really took the time it seems to work with him and help him understand how to be a good king and do what is right before the Lord.  What a world it would be if every Father took the opportunity to do that with his children.  Although, in all fairness Satan can still wreak havoc, after all, I don't think anyone would dispute that Adam taught his children the right way to go and look what happened to Cain.  Still, one can dream.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

David Prepares Materials to Build the Temple

Today I read 1 Chronicles 22 where David prepares materials for the building of the temple of the Lord for his son, Solomon.  That's pretty cool in my opinion.  David was forbidden to build the temple himself and so he did the next best thing, he prepared all the necessary materials for building the temple and got everything ready for his son, Solomon.  I had often wondered why David was forbidden to build a temple and in this chapter he tells his son Solomon it was because of all the wars he had waged in his time.  Heavenly Father did not want his temple, His house, built on a foundation of blood and war.  That makes perfect sense to me, the temple is the building where the most sacred ordinances of all time are performed, it should not be built on the blood and bones of others.  You can't fault David for his good intentions though, he was the Lord's man through and through.  It was just not his fate to build the temple, or to have peace without war.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2013

David Sins and Repents

Today I read 1 Chronicles 21 which contains a story that makes absolutely no sense to me.  David orders a census taken of his people, and for some reason that I cannot being to fathom, that angers the Lord and his chief captain, Joab.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why taking a census of his people would anger the Lord. 

The real part of the story that intrigues me however is that after David suffers for his decision he makes an offering to the Lord.  However, he goes to a man named Ornan and wants to use his land to build an altar.  Ornan wants to just give the land to David to use for making the offering, however David refuses to take the land from him since it is meant to be used for burnt offerings to the Lord and pays him full price for the value of the land.  David then makes a burnt offering and the Lord sends fire down from heaven to consume the burnt offering.  What a way to know that your offering was accepted!  If only everything we did for the Lord was accepted in such a dramatic fashion.  Until tomorrow.

The Ammonites Insult David

Today I read 1 Chronicles 19 and 20 which tells the story of how the Ammonites snub David's good will gesture and insult him.  In a way it is a little funny because I'm sure when the Ammonites were shaving David's messengers and cutting off their clothes, it was very funny to them and they thought they were big and strong.  However it is almost like they were surprised that David reacted the way he did.  Maybe it's just the way it is written and that's not really the case, but that is how it read to me.  And I kind of wish I had been there to just ask them, what did you expect to have happen?

Chapter 20 continues the story of the battle and offered very little extra in the way of reading.  Although it was interesting that another giant of Gath appeared and this one had 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot.  This statement stood out to me and made me wonder if perhaps this man, and Goliath also, had some form of disorder and that is why they were so tall?  Little nuggets like that are part of what make reading the scriptures fun to me.  It is a little challenging to feel the Spirit while reading the Old Testament at times, but it sure does have a lot of very interesting facts in it.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

David Goes to War

Today I read 1 Chronicles 18 where David goes to war against several different people.  David is blessed of the Lord and conquers everyone he goes to war with.  I have said before that the only good reason to go to war is because God commands you to.  Otherwise it is a sin in my opinion and we will be held accountable to it.  Now, in the past God has had a standing commandment that as long as we are not guilty of the first offense we may defend our lands, family and liberty.  I can only assume that this has been the directive from the beginning. 

It must be hard to be a leader, to be responsible for not only your actions but for the actions of all those under you.  I certainly have a challenge with it at work sometimes with my employees I could not imagine being in charge of an entire country.  I don't think I will have to worry about that personally.  I have no ambitions to be President of the country or a leader of anything really.  Unless the Lord steps in and has something different to say, I think I am safe from that burden.  And I certainly won't start any feuds of any kind on my own so I think I am safe from the problems of war for myself.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Lord Forbids David From Buliding a Temple

Today I read 1 Chronicles 17 where David wants to build a temple for the Ark of the Covenant.  It is interesting to me that the Lord is so adamant that David not build the temple, rather that it is Solomon's place to build it.  I wonder what God knew that we didn't?  However, you can't fault David's heart.  He did not want to build a temple for his own glory, but rather he felt that the Ark of the Covenant should have a permanent resting place.  The Lord did not want David to build the temple for him however.  God always has his reasons it is just interesting to me is all.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

David Praises the Lord

Today I read 1 Chronicles 16 where David sings a Psalm to the Lord.  I have wondered in the past and again today if the Psalms that David wrote were sung to the people or if he just wrote them literally to praise God?  Given what we know about David I would imagine that this was wrote with the intent to praise the Lord and he probably shared it with those around him so that they too can praise the Lord.  And that is the best way to praise the Lord I think.  You handle it in your own way and then if others want to join in, so be it.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Levites Given Care of the Ark

Today I read 1 Chronicles 15 where David prepares the Levites for the safe keeping of the Ark.  I have always likened the Ark to the temple in my own mind and so when the Lord wants certain people only to handle the Ark, to me that is similar to being called as a temple worker.  Sure lots of people, Latter-day Saints, can do it, but you have to be called and set apart to perform the ordinances with authority. 

The Lord has always led His people when His church has been on the earth.  I think the only time in history that He was not in communication with His people were during the dark ages.  Anytime His people, who have had the proper authority, or the Priesthood, have gathered together to worship Him, He has guided them through His prophets.  Now that I think about it, a thought occurs to me, during the Dark Ages, were people still able to receive personal revelation?  If a person truly had faith in God and prayed, was he still able to get an answer to that prayer?  I would think so, but I honestly don't have an answer for that question.  It will have to be one I ponder on and may not get an answer to until the next life since it really doesn't matter to my eternal progress here and now.  Just a fun fact to ponder on.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God Lives and Wants to Help Us

Today I read 1 Chronicles 14 where David seeks the will of God in fighting his enemy the Philistines.  I have to say that after months of reading the Old Testament and how fickle the Israelites are it is a comfort to see someone, anyone who still relies on the Lord.  Having been raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I have known that God lives my entire life and have known that I could pray to Him for anything, anything at all and get an answer.  I have put this to the test many times and I have received answers to prayers that could have come in no other fashion other than another entity intruded into my thoughts and gave me the information I was looking for.

Given my background, it is very sad to read the Old Testament how entire generations of Israelites, God's chosen people, have no faith in God and openly mock Him by worshiping idols instead of turning to Him as they should.  It is a small part of what God Himself feels I am sure.  I can only think that that people have never had to rely upon God for anything.  If they had relied on Him, even once, and known that He was real and had a testimony, they would not have turned away from Him.  At least that is how I feel and like most people I have a tendency to think that most people are like me.  So perhaps I am way off base here and they had a testimony and they were just weak willed.  I am not sure honestly. 

What I am sure of, is that God lives, and He wants to be involved in our lives and when we let Him in, amazing things happen.  I speak from experience on this point because I have seen His miraculous hand in my life and I know He lives.  Everyone can have this knowledge if they only ask.  He is ready and waiting for us to reach out to Him.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2013

David Retrieves the Ark

Today I read 1 Chronicles 11 - 13.  These chapters concern David and his taking of power and his mighty men and their deeds.  However chapter 13 deals with the bringing home of the Ark of the Covenant and the death of Uzza who tried to steady the Ark when the oxen stumbled.  As I stated when we read this account earlier in the Old Testament that this story has always confused me why the Lord would kill someone who was trying to be helpful.  David apparently felt the same way as the scriptures state he was displeased with how the Lord handled it.  So instead of taking the Ark to Bethlehem as he had planned, he instead took it to Obed-edom. 

It is true that certain things of the Lord have to be done a certain way.  Saving ordinances come to mind immediately.  It is just so hard to imagine the Lord slaying someone for trying to be helpful, for doing something noble and right, if that is in fact what Uzza was trying to do.  We don't know the mind of Uzza and only have the account of those that saw, or think they saw what happened.  At least I assume that is how we have the story.  We will know the full story one day and I assume the reasons behind why Uzza was slain, but then again, perhaps we won't.  Perhaps we just need to trust in God and have faith.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Genealogy and the Lesson of Saul's Life

Today I read 1 Chronicles 2 - 10.  I started this blog with the intent to write something meaningful and my impressions based on what I read that day.  Most of Chronicles it would seem is comprised of lists, be they genealogy or the deeds of mighty men.  As such, I will be reading this book in chunks and blogging about what I read when I find something of substance. 

Chapters 2 - 9 chronicle the descendants of the various tribes of Israel.  Very useful for those who are doing their genealogy, but not so much for those looking to be fed spiritually.  Chapter 10 details the dead of king Saul.  As I have mentioned before, I feel sorry for King Saul.  He was a very good young man so the scriptures state and obeyed the law of the Lord until he was made king.  He could not handle the pressures of being king though and disobeyed the Lord's commands to him.  Despite his worldly pressures, Saul has no one to blame for his fall from grace except himself.  A harsh lesson for all of us to learn.  No matter what excuse we may offer others or even tell ourselves, the reality is that we can follow the Lord's commandments no matter what and if we don't, there will be consequences.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Genealogy of Adam

Today I read 1 Chronicles 1 where the history of Adam is given all the way up to Duke Magdiel.  It is nice to know that the history of so many is set forth for those who are doing their genealogy work.  If they can get to a certain point, all the work is done for them!  By design if I had to take a guess.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jerusalem is Destroyed

Today I read 2 Kings 25 where Babylon destroys Jerusalem.  I wonder how many people felt like Laman and Lemuel, that Jerusalem was too great a city to be destroyed?  I wonder how many people felt that God had forsaken THEM when Babylon took over?  I wonder how many people knew the truth, that they had been destroyed because they forsook God, not the other way around?  I'm sure there were some righteous still in Jerusalem, at least I think there were.  Perhaps not, maybe they were ripe for destruction.  They did chase out Lehi for his prophecies.

The Lord uses the wicked to punish the wicked.  He has often used war as a way to stir up the memories of those who should be faithfully serving Him.  People often look towards heaven when things are going poorly.  It is a lot harder to look to heaven when things are going great.  That is true discipleship.  Do you stay true to your covenants and to your faith when things are going fine?  Several people have said that what you do when no one is watching is a true measure of your character.  Do you live your covenants when no one is around, or only when someone is watching?  Perhaps Jerusalem lived their covenants in public, but not private too.  Food for thought.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

King Zedekiah Takes Over and Lehi Leaves Jerusalem

Today I read 2 Kings 24 which is more of the same as the rest of the book.  This one is special however in that it contains a link to the Book of Mormon.  This chapter starts the reign of king Zedekiah, which is the year that Lehi and his family left Jerusalem.  There is something about the Book of Mormon, it brings the Spirit in a way none of the other Standard Works can.  The New Testament contains the words or our Savior, however, even the New Testament cannot bring the Spirit in quite the same way as the Book of Mormon.

I sometimes wonder what life would be like if all the world read the Book of Mormon and followed the principles it taught.  Life would probably be much like what I imagine the Millennium will be like one day.  People who care about one another and have no thought at all to hurt someone else.  A place with no poor among them.  I look forward to a day like that someday.  Part of me hopes to live to see it in person, another part doesn't want to live through the horrors that will happen before that day.  Either way, I long for it.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Josiah Cleanses Judah

Today I read 2 Kings 23 where Josiah the King of Judah really cleans house and it is a pleasure to read!  He doesn't just do as kings in the past have done he really spring cleans.  He casts down the high places, he empties out sepulchers and burns the bones inside.  He banishes the wizards and those who consort with the powers of the devil.  The scriptures state that Judah never had such a king before him and not one after him.  But sadly it was not enough.  His own son returns to the sins of those before them.

I've said it before, not following the commandments is such an easy path to take.  Most of those so called "gods" involve sex and fertility as part of their "rites".  It makes perfect sense why Israel and some individuals would be drawn away to it.  It is easy to understand, but it is not acceptable and it is not a good enough reason when they stand before God and have to answer to that all seeing gaze.  Their excuses will sound very hollow in their ears then.  We need to make sure that we are not falling into the same trap as them of old in our modern day with our false gods of pornography, television, sports, video games, or whatever it is that you give your devotion to.  Your excuse will sound just as hollow I promise.  Until tomorrow. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Power of a Righteous Mother

Today I read 2 Kings 22 and it has reinforced how important mothers are in the rearing of their children.  In our day and age, especially in the last 10 years or so, we have been hearing how important it is on a child's psyche to have their Father in the home, how necessary it is to the child's development and so forth.  But if there is one thing the scriptures teach us, is that a righteous mother can make ALL the difference.  And I think that is the main problem we are seeing, is that the children who come from "broken" homes, did not have a righteous mother.  This is not always the case of course, but I will wager it's 80% of the time if not more.

I bring this up in this entry because in this chapter we read about Josiah, a righteous king of Judah, who started ruling at the young age of 8 years old.  Now, if he is ruling, that means his father is not around most likely and he is left to be raised by his mother, who obviously did a great job if he reigned in righteousness.  Like the People of Ammon, whose mothers raised up a generation so righteous that when they went into battle under the title of Helman's Stripling Warriors, their faith was SO great that not a single one of them died, despite numerous armed conflict!  A father is very necessary for the overall mental health of the child, however, for true spiritual growth and faith, I'm not sure anything can compare to a righteous Mother who teaches her children the right way to live!  Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Judah Has Wicked Kings Again

Today I read 2 Kings 21 where a king named Manasseh reigns in wickedness.  It is so hard to read this up and down of spiritualness in Israel over and over again.  I think I feel a slight amount of the sadness and frustration that God must have felt over these wayward children.  It has to be very frustrating indeed.  

Sadly, I will most likely experience this feeling with my own children one day.  I really wish it were otherwise but the chances of all my children having strong testimonies and sticking with the church their whole lives if I have multiple children is small indeed if my own families' history is anything to go off of.  However, I will trust in the promises of the Apostles and Prophets and God Himself have made that all children born in the covenant, or sealed to their parents, have a hold on them.  But I also will do my best not to worry about it until/if, that time comes.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Lord Lengthens Hezekiah's Life

Today I read 2 Kings 20 where Hezekiah was told that he would die by Isaiah.  He asked if it were possible to live a little longer and serve his people.  The Lord agreed to allow Hezekiah to live another 15 years.  It is interesting that Hezekiah wanted a sign and the Lord through Isaiah allowed Hezekiah to pick his own sign.  Hezekiah was asked if he wanted the shadow to go down 10 degrees or back up 10 degrees.  Hezekiah wisely chose the one that was not natural and wanted to see the light go backwards.  I have to agree that if I had been in Hezekiah's shoes I would want to see the light go backwards as well.

I have a feeling that the Lord would not have allowed a wicked king to lengthen out his life, only one that was willing to serve him.  Most likely the reason the Lord allowed Hezekiah to live is because He knew that Hezekiah would serve him and do what was right in His sight.  I believe it was President Spencer W. Kimball that taught a righteous man will not be taken before his time.  So we can know for certain that when someone who serves God is taken to rest in His bosom, it is the right time for that person to pass on.  There is comfort in that.  Especially when we lose someone who is close to us.  It is sad for us, but we can have comfort in knowing that we are fulfilling the plan of our Heavenly Father.  When we allow our will to be swallowed up in His it opens up a whole new world of opportunity to us.  We will find ourselves losing ourselves for His sake.  And as we know, that is never a bad thing.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hezekiah Seeks Help From Isaiah and the Lord

Today I read 2 Kings 19 which continues the story of Hezekiah in his fight against Assyria.  In order to get help from God, Hezekiah approached Isaiah, the prophet.  Few prophets are as well known as Isaiah, he's almost like a superhero!  He tells Hezekiah not to worry that He will smite the armies of the Assryians, and he does.  In the night, the destroying angel slays 185,000 of the Assyrian army which causes their king to flee back to Nineveh where his son kills him.

We will of course read more about Isaiah later when we read his own book.  But he is definitely one of the people out of history that I am looking forward to meeting one day.  Along with Nephi and Moroni and a few others.  It is always neat to imagine what these men of God were like in real life.  I know they were righteous but were they as humble as they appear to be in the scriptures?  What did they look like?  Were they as humble as President Monson?  It would be really neat I think to know their history and know them personally I think.  Maybe I'll get to meet them one day.  That would be really awesome!  Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hezekiah, a Righteous King, Cleans Up Judah

Today I read 2 Kings 18 and finally we have someone who loves the Lord in power and who wants to serve Him with all his might.  Hezekiah is made king over Judah.  He destroys everything of the blasphemers including the high places.  He is the first one to have done that since Solomon.  There have been other kings who have cleansed the land of idols and other unsavory things, but Hezekiah is the first king to clear away the high places also.

It is so nice and comforting to read about someone being righteous in the book of Second Kings.  I had just about given up hope of reading about anyone who wanted to serve the Lord and do what is right.  But like a diamond in the rough, the righteous will always shine through.  It is comforting for those of us who are trying our best to live the commandments and need that spiritual pick me up.  Hopefully we will be able to read about Hezekiah for a few more chapters!  Until tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Assyria Destroys Israel

Today I read 2 Kings 17 where Israel is carried away captive by Assyria.  It occurred to me today during my reading that perhaps there are those who have the weakness of not following the Lord.  There are those with just about every other kind of weakness out there, food, sex, illegal drugs and alcohol, why not those that have a weakness for following the Lord and doing what He commands them?  This is about the only way I can reconcile myself to how often the Israelites stop following Heavenly Father when He has proven Himself to be real to them time and time again.  I mean, they have got to be the most dense, dumbest people out there.  So perhaps that was their weakness, they had a challenge with following the Lord and His commandments.  Or perhaps they were just that dumb.  I really don't know.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ahaz Defiles the Temple and Destroys the Brasen Sea

Today I read 2 Kings 16 and I shudder to think what the Lord had to say to Ahaz when Ahaz stood before Him.  I mean to defile the temple and take out all the precious things and cast down the baptismal font like that, if there ever was a way to upset Heavenly Father, one of the best ways is to defile His House, or the temple.

It just makes me wonder what he was even thinking.  I have said many times before this that we only get the bare bones of the story and what is happening in the scriptures, but this is one of those times that I wish we could know the whole story.  Even the bad kings of Judah and Israel weren't dumb enough to defile the temple!  So why was Ahaz so dumb?  It is of course none of my business but I can't help wonder what his ultimate fate was.  As we all know God will not be mocked so I can't imagine it was very pleasant, but I suppose I will never find out, and that is probably a good thing.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Many Kings Reign, Some Good, Some Bad

Today I read 2 Kings 15 and something occurred to me.  The Old Testament is the exact opposite of the Book of Mormon.  Mormon, when he was compiling the golden plates of his people's history, chose only the things that were spiritual in nature to include.  He made his focus the prophets.  Who ever put together the Old Testament did just the opposite.  He or she, made his focus the kings and followed them and their history with only occasional information on the prophets tossed in, just the opposite of the Book of Mormon.  Just food for thought.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Kings Rise and Kings Fall

Today I read 2 Kings 14 and I have to say, it felt like every other chapter I have read of 2 Kings thus far.  With so many different kings and so many that did that which was wrong and that which was right, it is hard to keep them straight.  And it doesn't help that they all seem to have very similar names.  All I can say for certain is that there was a king in Judah who did that which was righteous, to a point, but did not follow God with his whole heart and did not get rid of the high places.

I have to say that I am finding it very tedious to read the Old Testament.  I miss the spiritualness of the Book of Mormon.  This is honestly why I stopped reading the Old Testament years ago when I was wanting to read through all the standard works.  I am not getting any growth out of this reading and I feel weighed down because I am not growing from my scripture reading.  Reading the Book of Mormon with my daughter helps, but it is not the same.  Perhaps I should read a chapter of the Book of Mormon on my own throughout the day?  I think that would be a good idea.  And that is what I will do!  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Elisha Dies

Today I read 2 Kings 13 where Elisha dies.  According to the scriptures, Elisha died of a disease.  The circumstances were very strange indeed.  He had his servant shoot an arrow out of a window, and then hit the ground.  The amount of times he hit the ground was the amount of battles Israel would win against Syria.  The servant hit the ground three times and so they won three battles as I understand it.

The really neat part of this chapter to me, is that after Elisha is buried, a group of Moabites are trying to bury one of their dead.  They decided to put the dead man in Elisha's tomb, although I am sure they had no idea who was buried there.  When the dead man touched Elisha's bones the man was restored to life.  That is pretty neat to me.  I wonder what was so special about that Moabite that the Lord wanted to bring him back to life?  Because the way the story is written, it is not like any of them had faith, and so it was just a boon that the Lord gave them.  Very interesting indeed.   Maybe the Lord just had pity on them.  Who knows?  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Joash, A Righteous King Rules and is Slain

Today I read 2 Kings 12 where Joash reigns for a little while, and he is a righteous king.  It is really sad to me however that he is killed and another reigns in his stead.  I know that in this life the righteous are not always given their just rewards right off the bat, however it is a little frustrating that more righteous men and women don't get an easy life.  Jesus said that whosoever will lose his life for His sake will find it.  He did not say it would be found in THIS life.  Just that it would be found.  I'm sure that if Joash was as righteous as the scriptures state he was, then he received his just reward when he passed on to the next life.  That is all we can really hope for, those of us who live the Gospel.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 4, 2013

True Wealth

Today I read 2 Kings 11 which is a history of who killed who and why they killed each other.  It never fails to amaze me how people will do almost anything for wealth and for earthly power.  They will commit murder, incest, steal, and basically every other sin in the book if it will lead them to their desired result.  I suppose it is because they do not have an eternal perspective. 

I work at a job that will never make me wealthy at all, however, it meets my family's needs.  There have been many who have asked me why I work where I do when I have the skills to make so much more money.  My answer to them has always been that I am happy where I am.  I enjoy doing what I do.  I don't have the illusion that I need wealth and material possessions to be happy.  I have a wonderful wife and a wonderful daughter.  I live a gospel oriented life.  I visit my family a couple of times a year.  That to me is true wealth and happiness.  What else do I need?  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jehu Casts Out Baal

Today I read 2 Kings 10 where Jehu killed all of Ahab's children and killed everyone who served Baal.  However, based on the other events, I don't think that Jehu did it to serve God.  While Jehu ordered the death of everyone who served Baal, however he did not get rid of the golden calves and still did not serve God the way he should have. 

While it's true that serving God can be demanding and that we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard if we are to serve Him, nevertheless it is the right thing to do.  We must overcome the natural man and live the commandments.  At first it will be hard and will be a challenge, but as we live them and pray and ask for help, we will eventually become better and will enjoy living the commandments.  I really enjoy following the Word of Wisdom, I can't stand all the sins of this world that have to do with alcohol, tobacco and other substances that should be avoided.  It's really sad how addicted people are to these things.  And don't even get me started on the illegal drugs.  Every person has to decide for themselves who they will serve, but I choose to serve God because I want to.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jehu Annointed King

Today I read 2 Kings 9 where Elisha sends a prophet to annoint a new king over Israel.  What is amusing to me however, is that when the men around Jehu see the prophet coming, they have nothing but bad things to say about the man.  When the man arrives, he pulls Jehu off to the side and annoints him to be king.  It is funny that as he comes back the men of Jehu have several colorful adjectives to describe the prophet, until Jehu tells them what the prophet wanted.  Then they suddenly become believers and can't wait to proclaim the good news!

How interesting that as soon as the men hear something they want to hear, the man must be a prophet of God.  It reminds me of a similar situation in the Book of Mormon where the true prophets are persecuted because they do not blindly tell the king and his followers what they want to hear, but the moment someone who does tell them what it is they want to hear, well that man must be a prophet!  How sad it is that for some, the measure of a prophet is how willing the prophet is to compromise his/her principles and say what the masses wants to hear.  No true prophet of the Lord would ever do such a thing.  Perhaps then, that is the true test of a prophet.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Elisha Gives a Self Fulfilling Prophecy

Today I read 2 Kings 8 which contains a self fulfilling prophecy.  In this chapter the King of Syria is taken sick and sends his servant to see Elisha to see if it is the will of God that he will recover.  When the servant asks Elisha he seems to be given conflicting information.  Elisha tells him that the King will in fact recover, however he will die.  Elisha then begins to cry and the servant, whose name is Hazael, asks why he is crying. Elisha states that the Lord has shown him all the atrocities that Hazael will commit against the children of Israel.  Hazael seems taken aback and asks Elisha if he is a dog that he would to these things.  Elisha then states that Hazael will be king.

When Hazael returns to the King of Syria, he reports that he will recover from the illness.  However, that night Hazael suffocates him with a wet cloth and reigns in his place.  Now this is, in my opinion, a self fulfilling prophecy.  If Elisha had not told Hazael that he would be king, would it have happened?  If he had not put the idea into the servants head, would he have still killed the King and taken over the kingdom?  I am not sure, but given the order of events and how it happened, it seemed likely that Hazael would NOT have killed the king without the idea that Elisha gave him.  This of course does not negate Hazael's action and he will have to stand for his crime in the eyes of God.  As we have stated in the past, just because something is prophesied to happen does not mean that the people who do them get a free pass from their actions.  We are all responsible for what we do, all of us.  Until tomorrow.