Sunday, March 31, 2013

Esther Reveals Haman's Treachery

Today I read Esther 7 where Esther reveals that Haman's plot will slay her, her cousin Mordecai, and all the Jews.  Fortunately for the Jews the king loves Esther and believes her and has Haman slain on the very gallows that Haman had built to kill Mordecai on.  Justice was served.  This story indeed has a happy ending, however, not the Lord will not step in every time to save the righteous.  I turn to the sad example of Amonihah in the Book of Mormon.  There were righteous in that city and yet the wicked were allowed to kill them in front of Alma and Amulek.  Alma stated it was for a testimony against the wicked and so it was.  There are times when the wicked are allowed to carry out their evil designs and slay the righteous and then there are times that they are not allowed and the righteous are spared.  I am quite certain that the Jews, Mordecai and Esther were grateful this is one of the latter times.  We must each of us accept the will of the Father and do that which is right in His sight.  We are all called to suffer trials however and must endure them with faith and humility.  Even the greatest who ever walked this earth was called upon to suffer the worst pains, sickness, loneliness and every other horrible human emotion there is and He did it with perfect faith and humility, as an example to us.  Can we do anything but emulate Him in order to be profitable servants?  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mordecai is Rewarded for Saving the King's Life

Today I read Esther 6 which has got to be one of the most funny chapters in all of scriptures!  In this chapter the King is reminded that Mordecai saved his life, but that nothing has been done to reward him.  So the king summons Haman and asks Haman how he, the king, should reward a man that had done him a great service.  Haman, stupidly, thinks that the king means himself and so comes up with the most lavish thing he can think of, dress the man in the kings own clothes, let him ride the kings own horse, and let one of the kings most trusted men guide the horse through the city proclaiming how pleased the king is with this man.  The king agrees and tells Haman to do all that he just said to the guard Mordecai and he himself, Haman, should be the one to proclaim his deeds.

This chapter makes me laugh every time I read it and convinces me that God has a sense of humor.  I mean, of all the things or ways that Haman could be forced to swallow his own pride, this way is the absolute best!  To have to parade Mordecai through the city telling everyone what a great man he is, is absolutely perfect!  All I can say is, don't mess with those that God favor.  You won't like the results.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Esther Feeds the King and Haman

Today I read Esther 5 where Esther goes to the king and finds favor in his sight, or in other words, he does not kill her for showing up unannounced.  Esther invites the king and Haman to her house for a banquet, so that she can tell the king what Haman is planning.  However, for reasons not explained she instead invites the king to another banquet the following night.  Now, for most people, the fact that the queen had invited him over to dinner would be enough, but not for Haman.  I have a really hard time picturing these characters from the Book of Mormon and the Bible who are so set on murder and are literally so sad that there are people who do not bow down to them.  And so they decide to commit murder.  It's disgusting really.  As I have said before, I can't even warp my mind around the concept of killing someone, let alone killing someone because you feel they disrespected you.  It's ridiculous and yet some people are still acting this way in this day and age.  If we instead focused on pleasing God, not only will be feel happier, but it will be a better world.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Standing Up for What is Right in the Lord's Way

Today I read Esther 4 where Mordecai hears about what Haman is planning for the Jews.  Obviously being distraught, he goes to Esther and tells her what is happening and asks her to go before the king.  Esther is very reluctant because the king of Persia had one of the most ridiculous rules I have ever heard of, you could not come into his presence unless he sent for you.  Talk about a man who loves his privacy!  So it is very natural that Esther is scared to approach the king about this matter, especially considering Haman is in the kings good graces.  But Mordecai reminds her that her life is not worth more than the entirety of the Jews.  It reminded me of the covenant we all make at Baptism.  To stand as a witness for God in all times and in all places.  The covenant doesn't ask you to only do it when it is convenient for you, to only do it when times are good and easy.  We promised to do it at all times, no matter what. 

Currently we each of us, who live in the United States, have an opportunity to stand for what is right.  The United States Supreme Court is debating whether or not to allow homo-sexual marriages.  As Latter-day Saints, we understand that marriage is only between a man and a woman as decreed by God.  Satan has done a really good job of convincing the people of the USA that in order to love and accept all men and women no matter what, we have to accept what they do.  That is categorically false!  We can love the sinner, but hate the sin.  When Jesus was on the earth, He would tell people to "sin no more".  He loved everyone, but was very firm in His commands that some people need to change their life style.  I have several friends, male and female, who are more attracted to members of their own sex than the opposite sex.  I love them and carry on friendships with them, but I do in fact consider their choice of lifestyle to be wrong.  And let's be clear that while they may be attracted to members of their own gender because of biologics or whatever reason, it is their choice to act on it.  I may be attracted to pictures of naked women, but it is my choice to indulge that attraction or not.  Likewise they can choose to indulge it or not. 

Now, standing up for what is right, especially in this situation, is not a matter of condemning those who do not believe as you do, or as God has commanded.  Rather if the situation comes up, we are to point out God's way, and that we agree and follow God's way.  Nothing the Supreme Court will decide in these next few days, perhaps weeks or months, will change that God has condemned ALL sexual relations except those between a lawfully married man and woman, man and wife.  And if God is against it, I promise you that if we want to be in God's good graces, we need to also be against it.

I cannot stress enough that the question of whether or not two men, or two women, should be allowed to marry is not a question of civil liberties.  It is not discrimination.  It is a question of what is right.  God has always had a stance on those who have sexual relations with those of their same gender, and it is not a kind one.  I have heard many of my friends who indulge in homosexual relations state that they feel God is OK with them and I just smile and keep my comments to myself.  I don't have the heart to tell them that they are dead wrong.  God of course loves them and wants them to be happy and so if they choose to sin and be happy in their sin, God IS OK with their decision, but I promise you it breaks His heart and makes Him sad, because that is 2 sons, or 2 daughters, that will not be coming back into His presence.  It is, again, no different from the heterosexual male, or female, who chooses to look, listen or other wise view pornography.  Such a man, or woman, will not be allowed back into God's presence until, if, they decide to get rid of such a habit, which may in fact require lots of help from God and the Savior's Atonement. 

Satan has done a great job of making those who love the sinner and hate the sin look like bigots and intolerant heathens.  This is not the case, for most of us.  Some of those opposed to same sex marriage ARE bigots and intolerant heathens, but I think the majority of them are just those trying to follow the will of God to the best of their ability.  Those who actively practice a same sex relationship, just like those who get abortions for reasons other than abuse, or the life of the mother is in danger, are not allowed into the temple of God.  This should spell out very clearly to those Latter-day Saints who might be on the fence about either of these two topics where the Lord stands on them.  Yes there are those leaders in the LDS community that might abuse their power and forbid entry into the temple for unrighteous reasons, but the Lord takes His temple and the entry into it, VERY seriously.  The handbook outlining the procedures for the temple are written by the Quorum of the Twelve, the First Presidency and those that they have chosen to help them through revelation of God.  In short, God wrote them and gave the leaders of this church on the earth those rules and regulations.  This is not a thing of man, but rather a thing of God.  His will, WILL be done.  We can either be on the right side or it, or the wrong side of it.  The choice is ours to make. 

I make no apologies for anything I have written above.  They are the words of God and I am sorry if any choose to take offense at them, again, another choice we can all make, to be offended or not.  God has always been clear on His stance on this subject and so we need to decide if we will align ourselves to His will, or try and force Him to our will.  If you choose the latter, I promise you will fail.  Satan will fall, all his efforts will come to nothing.  While you may not regret your choice in how you handled these times and may still feel you are right, when the time comes that all is revealed, God will let us all know that His thoughts and desires on this subject have not changed.  There are certain things that are SO important that God has not left them ambiguous in the slightest, ever.  One of them is sexual relations and the creation of life.  God cares greatly how people enter into this world, and how they leave it.  And the procreative powers of our bodies are sacred and should be handled as such, and one more time, should only be used in the confines of marriage between a man and a woman, ONLY.  If that ever changes, God will let us know.  And until He does that, I don't care what names you call me, label me, or do to me, my feelings and thoughts are in line with His.  I choose God over Mammon.  Jesus Christ lives.  Our Father in Heaven lives and He is very concerned with what happens in this life.  True happiness is only found in keeping His commandments and if you want to know what those are, well He has written a couple of very famous books I would invite you to read and every six months His prophet on the earth, currently President Thomas S. Monson, speaks to the world and reveals His will to us.  I love Him, He is my Father and Jesus is my elder brother and they, and ONLY they, know the way to true and everlasting happiness.  I follow them and no other!  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Haman Plots to Kill the Jews

Today I read Esther 3 which introduces us to one of the most evil men in all the scriptures, Haman.  Haman is the king's right hand man and for no reason other than he hates the Jews and Mordecai in particular, conspires to kill them all.  I have a hard time wrapping my head around wanting kill a single person I could not even imagine wanting to kill an entire race of people, but that is what Haman is conspiring to do and again, for no reason other than the guard Mordecai does not show him the respect he thinks he deserves.  I would certainly hate to be him on Judgment day.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Esther is Chosen to be Queen

Today I read Esther 2 where Esther is chosen to be the new queen of Persia.  This is also the chapter where her cousin, Mordecai who has raised her from her childhood, exposes a plot to kill the king and he prevents him from being killed with the aid of Esther.  I have to say that as I was reading this particular chapter, I could not help but think about the Veggie Tales version of the story of Esther.  My daughter is 2 years old and so we watch a lot of Veggie Tales in our house and this one is particularly interesting and gives some unique spins on the story.  However, despite the comicalness of Veggie Tales, these were real people and the story of Esther is a powerful one as we will learn soon when we read the rest of it.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Queen of Persia is Put Away

Today I read Esther 1 where the king commands his queen to come appear before him during a party.  The queen refuses to come out and because of the kings wisemen, he decides to find a new queen.  The wisemen told the king that when the story of the queen not coming before the king, all the women of Persia will start refusing their husbands.  Honestly it is a pretty ridiculous notion and I have to wonder if God had something to do with it in order to protect His people through Esther.  I'm sure I will find out someday.  But we all know that God's ways are not man's ways and that He does things in His own way and in His own time.  We cannot force God to do anything on our timetable but I can assure you that if your goals are righteous, He will help you meet them.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Keep the Sabbath Day Holy

Today I rad Nehemiah 11 - 13 where Nehemiah teaches the people to keep the Sabbath day holy.  This has always been such a controversial topic in the church, some think that some activities are acceptable while others are not.  I have always thought that oir activities on the Sabbath day should lead us to the Savior, that is why prophets have counseled us to visit the sick, write to missionaries, do your home or visiting teaching and attend church meetings.  As a personal covenant with God I have never worked on the Sabbath.  Unfortunately at this point in my life with the job I have, I have been asked to work on the Sabbath.  This was really hard for me and caused me much anguish of soul and much prayer.  After much prayer I felt that the Lord had a plan for me and that I should stay with this job and so I have.  I don't know why I am supposed to work on Sundays at this time, but I know for a fact that it is the will of the Lord and so I follow His plan for me until I can keep the Sabbath Day Holy in the way I desire again.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Israelites Covenant to Obey God

Today I read Nehemiah 10 where the Jews and Nehemiah make covenants with God to follow His commandments.  They also covenant with God that they will not marry outside of the covenant people, or the Jews themselves, and that they will pay tithing.  Tithing is an interesting law.  I have never had a problem with paying tithing.  As a matter of fact, when I was a missionary and later as a college student with no income, I missed paying tithing.  I felt great satisfaction and something akin to relief when I was able to pay tithing once more because I had monetary income.  These days  I don't really think about paying tithing anymore, it is something that is so ingrained into my being that the first thing we do each Sunday after payday is write the check for tithing and take it to church with us.  I can't wait until my daughter is old enough for us to start teaching her about tithing!  Until tomorrow.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nehemiah Prays for Israel

Today I read Nehemiah 9 where Nehemiah offers a great prayer to Heavenly Father.  It always makes me wonder when I see a prayer recorded in the scriptures.  Prayer with Heavenly Father is such a private thing that to make it public like that is very strange to me.  And it is not a temple dedication like we have in the Doctrine and Covenants, but rather just a prayer that Nehemiah offers on behalf of the children of Israel.  I'm not sure I would remember giving a prayer like that for one thing or comfortable having it recorded in the scriptures for all generations to see like that.  I think for me I will keep my prayers private.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

In Order to Keep the Commandments, We have to Know What They Are

Today I read Nehemiah 7 and 8.  Chapter 7 is mostly the genealogy of those who came to rebuild Jerusalem.  Chapter 8 however is where Ezra reads the Law of Moses to the people and educates them on the sacrifices and ordinances that are required of them.  It reminds me of Nephi and his father Lehi.  When they left and went into the wilderness they had to go back and get the brass plates because they knew if they did not have them, their descendants could not obey the law, because they would not have it.  Likewise Nehemiah and Ezra are making sure that the people know what the Lord expects of them and what they need to do in order to please Him.  Joseph Smith taught that it is impossible to please God without a proper understanding of His character.  When we have that, we can have perfect faith in Him and can please Him by obeying His commandments.  But we have to first know what they are.  And that is what Ezra did for his people.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"I Am Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down"

Today I read Nehemiah 6 which has long been one of my favorite chapters of the Old Testament.  The reason I like it so much is because it gives us a great example to follow.  The enemies of the Jews sought to make mischief and so they tried to lure Nehemiah out of the city under false pretenses.  Nehemiah's response is a perfect response for all of us to follow.  He tells the messenger that he is doing a great work and cannot come down.  In other words, he gives the exact same response that the Savior Himself gives later on in history, "I am about my Father's business". 

This is the exact same attitude that all of us should have.  We need to be focused on our Father's work and not get distracted by the things that are around us.  This life is full of distractions.  If we want to have an eye single to His glory, then we need to make sure that His priorities are our priorities.  We need to be about His business.  And when the challenges of life come our way, we need to say like Nehemiah did, that we are doing a great work and cannot come down.  If we were to always follow this principle, then we have nothing to fear from Satan and those that follow him.  We will always be safe.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nehemiah Speaks Out Againt Jews Holding Other Jews in Servitude

Today I read Nehemiah 5 where some of the Jews are in bondage to other Jews.  This to me is absolutely reprehensible.  To hold another human being in bondage, I don't understand how anyone who even half way professes a belief in Christ can engage in such behavior.  The idea of holding another human in servitude or even outright slavery is cruel and evil in the extreme.  It is akin to rape in my mind.  To take away someone's freedom like that is exactly what Satan wanted to do to us and why he was cast out of God's presence and denied a body in the first place.  Well he was actually cast out for rebellion and because he wanted to take the glory of God for himself, but the reason for the rebellion is because he wanted to take away the agency of man, exactly what happens during a rape or being a slave.  This topic is so reprehensible to me I don't even want to discuss it any further.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Correct Way of Tolerance

Today I read Nehemiah 3 and 4.  It is so interesting to me the various tactics that Satan will use to frustrate the work of God.  In Nehemiah's time he caused the enemies of God to rise up and try and slay the workers of Nehemiah to kill them and to stop the work that way.  In our day and age Satan has tried a much more subtle approach, a misguided interpretation of tolerance.  Satan has convinced good people that the right and correct thing to do is not to stand up for what is right, but rather to accept those who see things differently than us and to let them do what they feel is right.

This is a falsehood perpetuated by Satan to frustrate the work of Heavenly Father.  As God has told His people all throughout time, there are certain things that are correct and right.  For example marriage is between a man and a woman, no other way is acceptable in God's eyes.  Satan however has worked hard these past 30 years to the point now that most people think it is acceptable to have marriage between two men or two women.  This is false and an abomination in the eyes of God.  If you ever want to know if tolerance about a subject is of God, just pray.  I promise you that He will tell you.  However, a good measuring stick to use is to ask yourself if the act or principle in question is in line with God's commandments.  If it is, then it is good to have tolerance.  If it is not, then it is of Satan.  Let God be your guide.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nehemiah Returns to Jersualem

Today I read Nehemiah 2 where he is given permission from his king, Artaxerxes to return and rebuilt Jerusalem.  As I was reading this I could not help but think what a huge gesture this would be for a monarch of any nation to do.  I mean here is a man, who is a conquered foreigner, asking for permission to not only leave the kingdom, but to rebuild a city that the monarch's ancestors conquered, destroyed and carried away captive all the people.  That would kind of be like in America's history after the Trail of Tears happened, some of the American Indians asking the government if they could go back to their homeland and rebuild their tribe there.  Could you imagine the government ever granting such a request?

And yet the kings of Persia did!  They had to have had their hearts softened by the Lord.  I can think of no other explanation for what happened.  And so Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem, not only allowed to rebuild the city, but with letters to men who control resources in the area stating that they are to help Nehemiah in any way he needs.  Simply incredible!  But the Lord really wanted the temple built in Jerusalem so He softened the kings of Persia's hearts.  It truly is amazing what the Lord can accomplish!  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nehemiah Prays for His People

Today I read Nehemiah 1 which reminds me a lot of the Lamentation of Nephi.  This chapter is a prayer that Nehemiah offers to God in regards to his people and his own sins.  It also reminds me of the prayer of Nephi that he offered on the garden tower in the book of Helaman for the corruptness of his people.  Like Nephi, Nehemiah knows the sins of his people and he makes no excuses for it.  He wants forgiveness for his people, just like Enos, and is offering up his heartfelt prayer for such a thing to happen.  This is true love, charity, for another human being being displayed in this chapter.  The pure love of Christ.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Date the Right People so You will Marry the Right Person

Today I read Ezra 10 where the people of the Jews take Ezra's correction to heart and put away their wives who are out of the covenant.  Now I do not know how Heavenly Father feels about such things but I personally think that once you are married, you should stay married.  Unless the marriage is abusive or otherwise harmful, I think that it is better to stay married, especially if there are children involved.  You have made a commitment to your spouse and you should honor it. 

However, maybe Heavenly Father was more pleased with them putting away the women who were not in the covenant.  I am really not sure and suppose I will find out one day.  I am very sure though that Heavenly Father probably was pleased to see His people repent for taking the women as wives in the first place.  Heavenly Father delights in those who keep the commandments, we know that for a fact.  My advice is just date the right people to begin with and then you will fall in love with the right people and it won't be an issue.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jews Marry Outside of the Covenant

Today I read Ezra 8 and 9 where the names of those who had gone down to Jerusalem are listed.  In chapter 9 the Jews start to marry outside of the covenant.  This is the equivalent of not marrying someone of your own faith in our modern day and age.  This can be a really big challenge when you are trying to merge a family together. 

I once dated a girl in college who while she believed in God, was not a member of the Latter-day Saint faith and it caused several arguments and problems.  Just for example, she could not wrap her mind around the idea of praying to Heavenly Father and asking His advice on something like dating or marriage.  She felt that was a personal choice that should be made and that making it a matter of prayer was like asking your parents for permission.  No matter how I explained it to her she just could not accept it and even grew quite angry at times about the subject.  From that point on after we eventually broke up, I made the choice to only date Latter-day Saint women because it causes so much of a problem with trying to merge two different cultures together, especially one as fundamental as religion.  So I can imagine Ezra's sadness and frustration at finding his people marrying outside of the chosen people.  It can be very hard on a spiritual leader to see their people made choices like that.  Until tomorrow.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ezra Goes to Jerusalem

Today I read Ezra 7 where Ezra is given permission to return to Jerusalem and do what ever he needs to do in order to sacrifice to Heavenly Father.  It is so strange to me that the kings of Persia would be so concerned over God and gods that they don't worship.  It makes me wonder if perhaps they were like the Greeks and the Romans, afraid to offend gods that they didn't know and possibly thereby offend them.  Because every king of Persia that we have read about so far in the book of Ezra is very concerned with making sure the Jews are able to worship their God, the true God, in the proper way.  Perhaps it's just as simple as God stepping in to soften their hearts so that the Jews can build their temple.  I'm not really sure but it is nice to see those who have no reason to be nice to the Jews being so nice.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Darius Allows the Jews to Complete the Temple

Today I read Ezra 6 where Darius tells the Samaritans to leave the Jews alone and let them build their temple.  It is good that Darius took the side of the Jews and ordered those in authority on the site to assist the Jews in any way possible, however it is a little disappointing that it was only after he had reviewed the original degree of king Cyrus.  I'm not sure if Darius was worried about going against the decree of a previous king or what his reasoning was for waiting until after he had reviewed the decree to issue his own.  Whatever his reasoning, he did the right thing and recognized that he was doing the work of God.  Or course not as impressive as if he had done the right thing for the sake of doing that which is righteous, but a good story nonetheless.  Especially considering the kings of Persia were not the most God fearing of individuals.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Samaritans Try and Halt the Work of the Temple

Today I read Ezra 5 where the Samaritans write a letter to King Darius of Persia  in order to stop the Jews from completing the temple.  Once you read the Old Testament, it's really no surprise that the Jews in the time of Jesus Christ really hate the Samaritans.  I mean here they are they sabotaged the building of the temple, now they are acting like a 5 year old running to tell mom and dad if you will on big brother and what he is doing to get him in trouble.  It's really sad that they could not help the Jews in their efforts and save thousands of years of bad blood between the two cultures.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Jews are Not Distracted

Today I read Ezra 4 where the enemies of God are trying to frustrate the work of God by trying to sabotage the building of the temple and Jerusalem herself.  But the people of Judah were smart and would not let them assist when they posed as helpful seekers of Heavenly Father.  So the saboteurs wrote instead to the new king of Persia to get them to stop building Jerusalem.  Unfortunately they accomplished their design and production on the temple was halted.  However I have to say that this generation of Jews is much smarter than those of previous generation.  It could be because each of these Jews chose to come back to Jerusalem from Persia to rebuild the temple so they are really committed to doing what is right.  Whatever the reason, they give a good example to follow for us.  When you are committed to the work, don't let anyone distract you.  A good lesson for all of us.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Serve God With All Your Heart

Today I read Ezra 3 where the priests finish building the altar and started offering sacrifices on it.  It is wonderful to read how excited they were to start worshiping their God in the proper way again.  It is always wonderful to see people who want to be doing what is right and what the Lord wants them to be doing.  Here are men who are so excited to be worshiping the Lord in the manner that they see fit that they cannot even wait until the Temple is completed.  What would it feel like to be so excited about keeping the commandments?  I think we should also have the same level of excitement and joy at doing what is right that these men had.  If we did that, we would not need to worry about falling away from the Lord or doing what is wrong in His sight.  We would be so consumed with being righteous we would not have time for anything else.  What profitable servants we could be then!  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jews Allowed to Rebuild the Temple

Today I read Ezra 1 and 2 where Cyrus, the king of Persia, listens to the Lord and is told to allow as many of the Israelites as desire to do so, to return to Jerusalem and build the temple of God again.  The rest of chapter 1 tells how Cyrus gathers the items that Nebuchadnezzar stole from the temple when he sacked Jerusalem.  Chapter 2 lists all the people who heeded the call to return and rebuild the temple of which there were more than 42,000 of them.  I am really impressed by Cyrus, he is truly a man who feared God and wanted to do what he had been told.  I'm sure there were plenty of them throughout history but we don't always get to hear about them, especially in the Bible which focuses primarily on the Hebrews and their struggles throughout the ages.  It is nice to be reminded that not only were there good people in other cultures, but they feared God also.  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jerusalem is Destroyed

Today I read 2 Chronicles 36 which tells the story of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah by Babylon because of the wickedness of the people.  It is sad that an entire kingdom should suffer because of the stubbornness of one man, however, as the Book of Mormon prophet, Alma teaches, a wicked king causes much wickedness to come among his people.  These past few months of reading the 2 book of Kings and Chronicles has shown that whatever kind of person the king is, that is how the people will act also.  If the king follows the Law of Moses then his people will also.  However, if the king is wicked, the people fall right in line with what he is doing then also.  It is really sad to see honestly.  Now we enter a new portion of the Old Testament, the writings of the prophets!  It should be much more enjoyable to read.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Josiah is Killed When He Disobeys God

Today I read 2 Chronicles 35 where the Feast of the Passover is kept by Josiah and his people.  It goes into quite a bit of detail of the feast and then afterwards tells a brief story of Josiah's death.  Josiah was killed because he did not listen to the Lord and he did that which was wrong in His sight.  There was a band of Egytians who were fighting another people and when Josiah came out against him, the king of Egypt sent a message to Josiah stating that he has no quarrel with Judah.  However, Josiah ignored the message and the advice of the prophet and went out to war and was killed by an arrow.  It just goes to show that no one, not even those favored of the Lord, are immune to the consequences of ignoring His will and His warnings.  A hard lesson to learn for some.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, March 4, 2013

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

Today I read 2 Chronicles 34 which starts the story of King Josiah who started his reign when he was only 8 years old and he loved the Lord.  Not only did he obey the commandments of the Lord, but he also destroyed all the high places, groves and altars to the false gods.  He did that which was right and had his people turn back to the worship of Heavenly Father.  I wonder if the fact that he was so young had anything to do with his being so righteous?  Most young people have a desire to serve God I think.  I think they carry a residual memory of their life with Him if you will.  I have no idea if that is the case, but I know that our daughter who is 2 years old loves to talk about Jesus and see pictures of Jesus.  I have met many people in my life that tell me their children are more interested in going to church than they are.  If only we could be like children and have the desire to do that which is right at all times and to please our Father in Heaven.  But somewhere along the way we lose that.  It's sad really.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Manasseh and Judah Repent

Today I read 2 Chronicles 33 which tells the story of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah who brought idolatry back to Judah.  This is an interesting story because despite the idolatry that he practiced, when push came to shove, when his kingdom was threatened, he repented and served Heavenly Father the rest of his days.  This is a man one can emulate.  We all sin and we all drift away from time to time.  Some of us worse than others, but if we can see the error of our ways and repent of our own volition, and stick with it, then we are better than someone who is righteous their entire life and then falls away never to return.  Like the prodigal son, the reason his story is so significant, is because after he returns to the right way, he stayed the course.  Manasseh served God the rest of his life and stayed righteous even after the danger to his life and his kingdom had passed.  That is the kind of man you want to emulate.  The kind of person we should all strive to be, when we repent, we need to truly repent and forsake the sins we love, and never return to them.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

God Protects the People of Judah

Today I read 2 Chronicles 32 which completes the life of Hezekiah.  In this chapter it contains a story where the Lord protected Judah against the kingdom of Assyria.  The King of Assyria was coming to war against the Israelites and was trying to intimidate them by telling them that all the other nations of the world he had fought had fallen and none of their gods were able to stop him.  The humorous part to me however is that in the midst of all of this, king Hezekiah and the prophet, Isaiah, prayed to God and Heavenly Father sent his angel who slew the king of Assyria's generals.  When the defeated king of Assyria returned home, his children killed him.  A very pathetic end for such a warrior king.  But what a testimony for the people of the kingdom of Judah!  The Lord spared them and they did not even have to fight at all.  When we put our trust in Heavenly Father, things are better for us and we will never be let down.  Until tomorrow.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Israelites Turn to the Lord

Today I read 2 Chronicles 31 where King Hezekiah continues to help his people turn towards the Lord.  It is really neat to read about an entire people getting rid of all the false worship from admist them, almost like cleaning out an infected, or cancerous wound.  It is wonderful that Hezekiah was so able to motivate his people that they all turned back to the Lord with one accord.  I wonder if there were any people who didn't want to turn to the Lord and how that was handled.  I sometimes think it would be easier to force everyone to worship the Lord, but I know that is against the very foundation of what we fought for in the pre-earth life.  If we don't have our agency, or the ability to choose, then everything we stood for is pointless.  The whole point of this life is to choose for ourselves what it is we want, and then seek after it.  So it is really neat to see an entire people doing just that, choosing for themselves to worship Heavenly Father!  Until tomorrow.