Broken walls- remember!!

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Nehemiah not only wept over the broken walls of Jerusalem but he also took the appropriate action (fasting and prayer). He remembered God’s promises to Moses and spoke them in his prayer.

When we speak God’s word in prayer, he is honored. When we trust Him for His intervention, He will prosper the actions built on His word.

At every moment of nervousness or uncertainty, Nehemiah prayed and God opened the door for him.

We should not worry about the distraction but allow it to help us become more determined to notice what is going on inside. Inside of Nehemiah was intense sadness/grief.

I felt that the learning I received yesterday (from Coping Strategies #4) applied even to this passage. When my mind gets distracted by the rubble around me- I can still be mindful of the Lord’s plan in the midst. My emotions are signaling what I need to process (grief, pain, the discomfort of change).

What if my own life’s walls have come to disrepair? (relationships, trauma, illness)… Have I taken time to grieve and build up what is most important? (The joy of the Lord is your strength- Nehemiah 8:10)

When God opens the door, I can then be ready to step through with confidence!! #prayedup

Here’s some music to restore strength aka the “joy of the Lord”… Egypt by Cory Asbury. He is great and we can always remember His word, because of His covenant nature.-Teresa #embracedistraction

Nehemiah chapters 1 & 2 (ESV)

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah.

Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”

Nehemiah’s Prayer

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”

Now I was cupbearer to the king.

Nehemiah Sent to Judah

2 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”4 Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” 6 And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

9 Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

11 So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days.12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13 I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass.15 Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim[a] in Jerusalem.”

Strength and authority

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Daniel was without guile, the king was going to appoint him over all other rulers in his kingdom. Until, the “leaders” at that time proved they were green with envy. Envious enough to have Daniel thrown to the lions. For what crime? Because he faithfully prayed to Yahweh three times a day. They maliciously thought, “we will have everyone pray to the ‘king’, knowing Daniel will not.” The king was tricked into executing his best employee.

What was Daniel’s response? He kept doing what he knew was right, honoring the first commandment. (No other gods before YHWH)

He is not called the “only wise God” for nothing, He deserves glory. He rescued Daniel because He was the ultimate judge (not the “leaders”). He determined that Daniel was innocent and therefore protected him.

God shut the mouths of the lions. He can also shut the mouths of any devouring Spirit, hell-bent on destruction. Have I put Him first in my allegiance? Have I trusted my vulnerable life to His authoritative outcome?

This was my 3rd week of attending coping skills. I learned that the unbidden emotions that sometimes erupt out of nowhere can actually be useful and reveal what the “hot oven” is in my circumstances. Can I change it or do I ultimately have the peace/ability to accept it?

I think Daniel was able to accept his fate because he knew that God was the ultimate authority. #strengthened

His “fate” ended up being a tremendous display of glory to God. #victory #justice #peace- Teresa

Romans 16:25 (ESV)

25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Daniel 6: 19-27 (NET)

In the morning, at the earliest sign of daylight, the king got up and rushed to the lions’ den. 20 As he approached the den, he called out to Daniel in a worried voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, was your God whom you continually serve able to rescue you from the lions?” 21
Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! 22My God sent his angel and closed the lions’ mouths so that they have not harmed me, because I was found to be innocent before him. Nor have I done any harm to you, O king.” 23
Then the king was delighted and gave an order to haul Daniel up from the den. So Daniel was hauled up out of the den. He had no injury of any kind, because he had trusted in his God. 24 The king gave another order, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den – they, their children, and their wives. They did not even reach the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. 25
Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and language groups who were living in all the land: “Peace and prosperity! 26 I have issued an edict that throughout all the dominion of my kingdom people are to revere and fear the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God;
he endures forever.
His kingdom will not be destroyed;
his authority is forever. 27
He rescues and delivers
and performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions!”

Messianic Psalm

Porch view from the Hellman-Ehrman mansion

David’s life was filled with persecution. His words spoke prophetically of the Son of Man’s experience as well.

In my life, when it appears that the worst will happen I am faced with an important decision- to keep trusting the LORD. Mocking or scorn may make this difficult, especially from an earthly perspective.

From a heavenly perspective, however, I am encouraged to see the “porch view” of my heavenly mansion. Jesus promised us a heavenly home. A dwelling place that He is preparing for us. (John 14: 1-4)

Being “in Christ” means that I am already dwelling in the realization of His atonement for me. One day, where He is- there I will be also. The dwelling of God will be the believer’s home as well.

Who alone can break the curse of sin? Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Thank you, Lord, for enduring persecution. – Teresa #focusontheFather #yourwillbedone

Psalm 22:1-18 (ESV)

22 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises[a] of Israel.
4 In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
10 On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.

12 Many bulls encompass me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13 they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16 For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet[b]
17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 22:3 Or dwelling in the praises
  2. Psalm 22:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts like a lion [they are at] my hands and feet

Resting satisfied

Protected Wetlands

It’s been hot here in Northern CA. You can see from this photo I took last Saturday that only the plants near the water are really green. #staynearthesource

The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom, yet how much time do I spend, showing Him reverence? #natureisHisanctuary

If I truly believed that harm would not visit me but rather I would rest satisfied, surely I would cultivate this time spent with Him.

In my second coping skills class, I learned about “unhealthy” ways to deal with stress, that actually bring harm to the individual. We talked about everything from ruminating to hostility. By acknowledging the way I deal with stress, I can understand myself better. #acknowledgetheHolyOnetoUnderstandbetter

What I desire is steadfast love, which is not always given in family relationships. Truth is important (especially being honest with myself). What do I truly need? Finding those needs met in the LORD, I can rest in faith.

It takes faith to let go of my desires and take hold of God’s word. – Teresa #faithfultoHim

Proverbs 19:22-23English Standard Version

22 What is desired in a man is steadfast love,
and a poor man is better than a liar.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life,
and whoever has it rests satisfied;
he will not be visited by harm.

Proverbs 9:10 NET
The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord,
and acknowledging the Holy One is understanding.

Values

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Have you heard of someone who is a law unto themselves? This may apply to the passage below, in Romans 2. In other words, the law does not make us righteous (those who have it or know it) but those who act in a way that is consistent with God’s law whether or not they hold a copy of it or can recite it, they are justified.

I attended a workshop this week on coping skills. The topic was values. My take away was (since I am goal-oriented), I can confuse a goal with a value. In the process of meeting my timeline goals, I can forget my values (which are not time-limited). This was an insightful introspection since negative, unwanted emotions may at times reflect unmet goals vs. cherished values.

Upon this discovery, I am challenged to re-write my goals to reflect my values. The goals which cannot align with my values must be re-written.

For example, since I enjoy helping others and being a caregiver, I must evaluate whether my care for another is impeding my value of taking care of myself. Am I giving too much (monetarily, time, energy wise)? When the one cared for is neither grateful nor willing to use the gift, I must decrease my investment. This protects me from feeling “used”, “burned out” and “devalued”. #nurse #RN

Strangely enough, I find it difficult to do this. When I look to “people” to find approval, it is especially difficult. Going back to the passage, I see the conflict of one under obligation being judged by societal standards, a Christianity that is based on norms (maybe even our parent’s interpretation of scripture) vs. true freedom to be loved by God and to love others in a healthy manner.

I find that looking to the Savior for acceptance, (not presuming on His kindness but understanding His kindness) has made me repentant. #askanduwillreceive

When I stop judging others and take a look upward, I am urged towards a change in my actions. These are actions that meet my new goals and reflect the values of God’s truth about me (not people’s opinions/judgments).

Lord, you have promised to write your law on my heart (Jer.31). -Teresa #newcovenant #realizingmyworthtoHim

Romans 2: 2-16 (ESV)

2 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

6 He will render to each one according to his works:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking[a] and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

God’s Judgment and the Law

12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Me and my husband

Showered with Love

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To me, “comfort” is synonymous with love. Those I feel comfortable with, I love; places that remind me of good times, I love; things that bring healing, I love.

As a nurse, healing is important to me because it deals with the suffering of precious people in the world, whom I love.

God’s heart of love includes comfort but even more so, pursues us as well. He has pursued men and women, boys and girls…all of the people in the world regardless of nationality, gender, age, intelligence, beauty, athleticism, status or lack of. He has loved the world with an exclamation point. He has loved us with grace, with gifts, with His assuring presence. #neveralone

Those who are of the “elect” are the ones He omnisciently knows will respond to His generous gift. #receiveit

I’ve been studying Romans using my illuminated scripture journal since our church is also going through it (spending the last 4 weeks in Romans 8). #pastor MichaelMetcalf

I dropped to my knees this morning listening to a song that brought me back to my teen years, reminding me of my “first love” encounter with the Lord. Lamb- “Comfort ye my people”.

God comforts His people, see Hosea 14:1-9.

Lord, please heal us from “sin sickness” (Isaiah 53:5). Hebrew translation from Dr. David Eckman. – Teresa #comforted

Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)

God’s Everlasting Love

[31] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? [32] He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? [33] Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. [34] Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? [36] As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” [37] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,

[39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Pismo Beach

Threats vs. truth

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The prophet Isaiah was a trusted spokesman for God. He heard that King Sennacherib had threatened both the people and King Hezekiah of Judah. Sennacherib didn’t know it yet but Hezekiah had connections in very high places.

There are times when corporations or those who have displayed cocksure behavior will push their weight around. This may happen for a season but God has promised the remnant (those who trust in His unfailing love) that He will not fail to show up and defend the humble.

Raging against God and His Word does not go unnoticed. It can even bring about a visit from the angel of the LORD (as in this passage). Without the Lamb’s blood over the doorposts forming a cross, no one can be saved. (reference to Israel’s captivity in Egypt and God’s miraculous rescue). #lambofGod #whotakesawaythesinoftheworld

It may take time, maybe even three years to experience God’s intended harvest but today is the first step to trust His truth over the empty threats of bullies.

Remember not to give up but to trust Him. – Teresa #chipsaredown #timeforaprophet #truthrefreshes

2 Kings 18:20-37 (ESV)

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

“She despises you, she scorns you—
the virgin daughter of Zion;
she wags her head behind you—
the daughter of Jerusalem.

22 “Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes to the heights?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have mocked the Lord,
and you have said, ‘With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
its choicest cypresses;
I entered its farthest lodging place,
its most fruitful forest.
24 I dug wells
and drank foreign waters,
and I dried up with the sole of my foot
all the streams of Egypt.’

25 “Have you not heard
that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
that you should turn fortified cities
into heaps of ruins,
26 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded,
and have become like plants of the field
and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
blighted before it is grown.

27 “But I know your sitting down
and your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
28 Because you have raged against me
and your complacency has come into my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will turn you back on the way
by which you came.

29 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord will do this.

32 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord.34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

35 And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. 37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 18:14 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms
  2. 2 Kings 18:29 Hebrew his
  3. 2 Kings 18:31 Hebrew Make a blessing with me

When contempt comes, love is overpowering

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I’ve been working very hard to help someone, even devoted the past year of my life to this daily commitment. In return, I have been smeared, talked about behind my back and to my face swallowed down rude remarks. Why? Isn’t it easier to say “bugger off”?

When the person was put in my care, I accepted this difficult task. At times it reminds me of rearing children. There are always moments, hours, even days of wondering why I got myself into this. #worthit

This passage describes the prophet Elisha’s response to those who were set on destroying God’s people. Preparing a great feast does not seem like the best way to get rid of a problem but it worked.

At what point will others truly believe you are there to help? Maybe never! God’s intervention, however, is pretty miraculous when He restores love in my exhausted heart at the point of no return.#gotofailure

This is the point where my spiritual muscle starts to grow. #faith Take time to fast and pray about the people in your life who require this type of commitment. It may surprise you. -Teresa #surprisedbyJoy

2 Kings 6: 8-23 (ESV)

8 Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.

11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 19 And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” 22 He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.”23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.

If the LORD is God, follow Him

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Elijah should have been nervous about the gathering on Mt. Carmel, surrounded by the enemy. After all, he had been in hiding from Ahab and Jezebel for 3 years. Yet, he trusted that God was about to show up in a mighty way, with a purifying fire.

The sin of the false prophets went beyond defying the Ten Commandments, it had consumed the hearts of the people- God’s people. Elijah served the LORD God and was moved to pray for a purifying fire and for healing rain after the drought.

It was with a great display of God’s power that Israel’s spiritual adultery ended and the moment was emphasized with the slaughter of all 450 false prophets. This served to remind King Ahab of the death of God’s prophets he was responsible for when Jezebel had them cut down throughout the land (only 100 were left because Obadiah hid them in 2 caves).

Have I experienced a terrible enemy that has put me into hiding? If so, the time has come to face it. The enemy of lies, manipulation and “control” have been knocking for a long time- has it been 3 years now? Time to let God get the glory and put an end to the “space jam monsters” that in reality were only a bunch of hot air.

Give me strength, Lord, to allow your purifying work to be effective and to enjoy the time of new rain. -Teresa #droughtbuster #turnbacktoHim #listentoHealingRainbyMichaelWSmith

I Kings 18: 17-40 (ESV)

17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

The Prophets of Baal Defeated

20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel.21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them.29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[a] of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.

36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.

The Creator

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He who spoke to Moses directed him to make the tabernacle (while in the wilderness). My blueprint of how to worship (aka knowing the Bible) comes from God no matter which stage of life I’m in.

God drove out the nations to give the house of Jacob a new home. My idea of what home looks like may not embrace a whole new homeland but God can make it happen (leave your people and your Father’s house, honor Him for He is your Lord- Ps.45).

David asked God, “may I build a dwelling place for you”? God sees my desire to have Him near even though my sinful past may prevent it (David was a warrior with blood on his hands).

David’s son, Solomon, actually built the house for God (aka temple). I am amazed at the way the next generation carries on the desires of our heart to create with fresh eyes and reflect the amazing fruit of God’s Spirit (set apart for Him).

The prophets remind us of God’s declaration…”did not my hands make all these things?” (v. 50) I am amazed at how God’s “creator mode” prepared for everything, even for a place of ultimate rest- peace with God.

I cannot out-create God, yet He placed a desire for creativity inside of me, as part of His image. Just as Stephen was moved by the Holy Spirit to speak powerfully these words that would bring the apostle Paul to saving faith and write most of the New Testament, I too would like to honor the Creator of all things with my life.

– Teresa #creative #outsidethebox #honorHim

Acts 7: 44-50 (ESV)

44 “Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, 46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.[a] 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him. 48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,

49 “‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is the place of my rest?
50 Did not my hand make all these things?’Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Acts 7:46 Some manuscripts for the house of Jacob