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This Mornings Meditation

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26default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:35 am

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Aaron's Golden Calf
Exodus 32
WHILE THE CHILDREN of Israel were encamped in the wilderness, Moses' wife and his two sons, together with Jethro, his father-in-law, came to him there. And Jethro, seeing how Moses was overburdened with the care of so many people, advised him to appoint officers over them, under himself, who might attend to all their smaller concerns.


But God Himself had the chief government of the people; and on Mount Sinai, where Moses spoke to Him and saw His great glory, He gave to them, not only the Ten Commandments, but many other laws and directions, for all they should do in worshiping Him.

That was an awful sight when God spoke to Moses on Sinai! For there were thunders, and lightnings, and a thick cloud, like the smoke of a furnace, about the mountain; and from out of it came a great voice of a trumpet, sounding louder and louder: and then Moses went up and spoke with the Lord God.

Moses was forty days in the mount, and the people began to wonder what had become of him.

So they asked Aaron to make them some images which they might worship, and that might guide them out of the wilderness. Aaron knew there was only one God, yet he did as the people desired.

He bade them bring their golden ornaments to him; and then he melted them, shaped the metal into the form of a calf (one of the false gods of the Egyptians), built an altar before it, on which the people might lay their offerings, and told them that was their god that had brought them out of the land of Egypt.

The next day the people offered sacrifice to this calf, just as the heathen, who did not know God, worshiped their idols, or false gods.

But God saw this; and He was so displeased at their wickedness that He would have destroyed them all, had not Moses interceded for them. Then Moses came down from the mount to the camp, and asked Aaron how it was that he and the people had committed so great a sin.

Aaron tried to excuse himself by laying the blame on the unruly Israelites. But there was no excuse for him. And after Moses had burned the calf, he ground it to a powder, and threw it into the water that supplied the camp.
God also, though he had granted Moses' prayer, commanded that great numbers of the people should be put to death for their sin.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

27default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:33 am

Pamela

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The Ten Commandments
Exodus 19-35

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS which God gave on Mount Sinai were written by Himself on stone tablets. And when Moses came down from the mount, and saw the people worshiping the gold calf, in his anger he threw them down, and they were broken.


But after God, at Moses' prayer, had so far forgiven the sin of the Israelites as not to destroy them all, He bade moses hew two tables of stone, like the first, and bring them to Him on Mount Sinai, that He might again give them his commandments.

Moses did so, and went up early in the morning to the mount. He was in the mount with God forty days and nights, neither eating nor drinking; and when he came down with the stone tables, on which the commandments had been again written, his face was so bright that the people could not look at him. He had to cover himself with a veil while he talked to them.

God had bidden him tell the people of Israel that if they kept His commandments, He would bless them, and make them prosperous; but if they did not keep them, He would give them into the power of their enemies, and afflict them with all kinds of troubles.

God also would have them prepare a place in which He might be worshiped; and, as the people were traveling onward to the promised land, He bade them make it like a tent, which might be carried along with them, and set up when they rested on their march.

This tent was called the Tabernacle; and God gave exact directions how it was to be made, and also how they were to make the altar on which sacrifice was to be offered, and the ark, which was a chest, to hold the tables of stone.

The people were glad to do what God desired them in this matter, and brought such large quantities of precious materials to construct the Tabernacle, and those other things that were to be in it, that at last Moses was obliged to bid them bring no more.

When all was completed, God commanded that the Tabernacle should be set up in the wilderness of Sinai. And when it was set up. His glory filled it; a cloud also rested upon it by day, and at night a light like fire.

As long as God would have the children of Israel remain in their camp in the wilderness, this cloud remained on the Tabernacle; when He would have them go on their journey, the cloud was taken up from it, and went before them.
In this way the people knew whether God would have them travel on, or stay where they were.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

28default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:48 pm

Pamela

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The Return of the Spies
Numbers 13 to Numbers 14

WHEN THE CHILDREN of Israel were encamped in the wilderness of Paran, Moses, by God's command, sent twelve men, one from each of the twelve tribes, or families into which they were divided, into the land of Canaan, that they might bring him word what sort of country it was, and what kind of people lived in it.


He also told the men to bring back with them some of it's fruits.

So the twelve men, who are called spies because they went to see the country, went, and were out forty days. When they returned, as it was the time when grapes were ripening, they brought with them, from Eshcol, a bunch of grapes, so large and ripe that two of them carried it between them.

This, and other fruits that they had gathered, they showed to the Israelites, and told them that the country whence they came was very fertile, but that the people in it were so powerful and warlike that it would be impossible to drive them out, as God had said they should.

They were giants, and lived in large cities, defended by walls. And though Caleb, a brave man, one of the spies, wished that the people should at once march forward and take it, the other spies repeated that it was impossible.

Then the people began to reproach Moses and Aaron for bringing them into that wilderness to be slain by their enemies; and they threatened to put Moses away from them, and choose, in this place, a captain who might lead them back into Egypt.

Caleb, and Joshua, another of the spies, entreated them not to rebel against God; for, if they obeyed Him, He would certainly, as He had promised, give them that rich country. But the multitude only clamored the more, and were even for stoning Moses and those with him.

Then suddenly the glory of the Lord was seen in the Tabernacle; and God Himself, in His displeasure, declared that as the people would not believe him, they should no longer be His people, nor have the good land He had promised them.

But Moses again prayed earnestly for the rebellious Israelites, begging God to pardon them. And God heard his prayer, and said that He would not entirely cast them off.

But that none of those men, for whom He had done such great things, in delivering them out of Egypt, and feeding them in the wilderness, and who had yet constantly rebelled against Him, should enter into the promised land: they should all die in the wilderness.
Only their children, together with Joshua and Caleb, should be brought into Canaan.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

29default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:26 pm

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The Brazen Serpent
Numbers 21:4-9


THE PEOPLE WERE at first very sorry for having so displeased God. But they soon forgot it all; and the next time that they were without water in their encampment, they murmured, as usual, against Moses and Aaron.


Then God commanded Moses to take the rod with which he had struck the rock in Horeb, and before all the people to speak to a certain rock, which He pointed out, and it should give water for them and their cattle.

But now both Moses, and Aaron, who was to go with him, did wrong. They thought that speaking to the rock, as God had said, would not be sufficient; so Moses struck it twice with his rod, angrily asking the multitude whether he and Aaron must fetch them water out of the rock.

And though, notwithstanding their disobedience, the water, when the rock was struck, flowed out in such abundance that all had enough, God told moses and Aaron that because they had not obeyed Him when He bade them speak to it only, they should neither of them enter into the promised land.

Aaron, whom God had appointed chief priest, died very soon afterward, on Mount Hor, and Eleazar, his son, was chosen by God as priest in his place.

The land of Edom, which God had given to Esau, now lay between the Israelites and the way by which they were to go to Canaan. So Moses sent messengers to the King of Edom, asking leave to pass through.

But the king not only refused to let them pass through, but threatened to lead out his army against the Israelites; so they were obliged to turn aside, and go round Edom. There they met with so many difficulties that they got quite dispirited, and , as before, murmured against God.

Then God, to punish them, sent among them fiery serpents, which stung great numbers of the people, so that they died. The fear of death made the Israelites repent, and confess their sin in speaking against God.

So they asked Moses to pray for them, that God would take away those dreadful serpents. And when Moses prayed, God told him to make an image in brass in the likeness of one of the serpents, and to set it up on a pole, and He promised that every one who was stung should be cured when he looked up to it.
Moses did as he was commanded. And every one who looked upon the brazen serpent was healed.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

30default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:57 am

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Balaam and the donkey
Numbers 22
THE ISRAELITES HAD to fight their way to the promised land, and God so often gave them victory in battle that the nations around were afraid of them.


Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan, both came out with armies against them; but the Israelites overcame them, and took possession of their territories.

The victorious army afterward pitched their tents in the plains of Moab; and Balak, king of that country, fearing he and his people should also be destroyed, sent to Balaam, who was a prophet (that is, one to whom God shows things that are going to happen), to come and pronounce a curse upon the Israelites, which might prevent their taking his kingdom from him.

Balaam at first refused to curse the Israelites, for he knew that God had blessed them. But Balak entreated him, promising him honors and riches; and at last Balaam consented.

So, in the morning, he saddled his donkey and went with them. But God was angry with him for desiring Balak's riches and honors, and sent an angel to stand in the way and oppose him.

God, who can do whatever He will, enabled the donkey, upon which Balaam rode, to see the angel; and she turned aside to avoid him. For this her master struck her. But again the angel stood before him in a path where there was a wall on each side; and the donkey, seeing him, and trying to turn aside as before, crushed Balaam's foot against the wall.

Then Balaam struck her again. But a little farther on the angel stood before them a third time; and the donkey, seeing him, fell down under Balaam, who angrily struck her with his staff. God now wonderfully caused the donkey to speak; and she asked Balaam why he had beaten her.

Then God made Balaam himself see the angel standing with his drawn sword in his hand; and Balaam bowed down before him to the very ground. And the angel reproved Balaam for striking his donkey, telling him that because he had wished to do what God did not will, God had sent His angel to oppose him in the way; and, had not the donkey turned aside, he would have been slain.

Balaam then confessed that he had done wrong, and offered to go back. The angel, however, bade him go on to Balak, but to be careful to speak only what God should bid him say.
So Balaam went on; and when he saw all the encampment of the children of Israel stretching far before him, by God's command he blessed the people whom Balak had sent for him to curse.

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31default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:29 am

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Joshua at Jericho
Numbers 27, Deuteronomy 34, Joshua 1 to Joshua 6

THE CHILDREN OF Israel had now only to cross the River Jordan to enter the promised land of Canaan.


Moses, for his sin at Meribah, or the waters of strife, where he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as he was told, had been forbidden to enter it with them.

He was only allowed to see it at a distance, from the top of mount Nebo. So, by God's command, he appointed Joshua to be their guide and leader into it. After Moses had done this, he died, a hundred and twenty years old.

Then God bade Joshua prepare to pass over the Jordan into the land He had promised to the Israelites. But, before they did so, Joshua sent two spies to the city of Jericho, which was fortified against them on the other side of the river.

The people of the city were very much afraid of the Israelites, for they had heard what God had done for them from the time they left Egypt. So, when the King of Jericho sent men to take these spies prisoners, a woman of the city, in whose house they had lodged, hid them; and then begged, as her reward, that when the city should be taken, her life, and the lives of all her family, might be saved.

The spies promised this; so then,, as she lived on the town wall, she let them down by a cord through the window, and they returned to the camp.

When the people were about to pass over Jordan, the ark, in which were two tables of stones, was carried before them by twelve priests; and, as soon as they entered the river, its waters were divided, and all the multitude went over on dry ground.

Then they encamped at Gilgal, before Jericho; and there God commanded that the armed men of the Israelites, with the priests carrying the ark, should on seven days go round the city, with trumpets sounding; and He told them that on the seventh day the walls should fall down before them.

So each day, for six days, as they had been bidden, they went once round the city; but on the seventh day they went round it seven times, as God had said; and at the seventh time, when the priest blew a loud blast with the trumpets, Joshua bade the people shout, for the city was theirs.

Then they gave a great shout, and the walls of the city fell down flat before them, so that they marched straight into it, and burned it to the ground.
But Joshua remembered the woman Rahab, who had hidden the spies, and he brought her and her family in safety out of Jericho into the camp of the Israelites.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

32default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:34 am

Pamela

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The Story of Gideon
Judges 6 to Judges 7

THE CHILDREN OF Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years. The Israelites took refuge in dens and strongholds in the mountains, and in caves. At harvest time, when the crops which had been sown by the Israelites were ready for the reaping, the Midianites came with their numbers of camels and ate up the crops. They were in great numbers like grasshoppers, and when they left, the land was bare, with no food for man or beast.


The children of Israel cried out to God and wanted to know why this great trouble had come upon them, and He sent them a prophet to tell them that it was because He had brought them up out of Egypt, and had delivered them from all oppression, and He had told them not to worship the gods of the country in which they lived, for He was the Lord their God; but they had not obeyed Him, and for this they were being punished.

There was a man among the Israelites who did not want to worship any but Jehovah. His name was Gideon, and one day as he sat threshing wheat by the wine-press to hide it from the Midianites, an angel of the Lord appeared and spoke to him, saying, "The Lord is with you, mighty man of valour."

"I have chosen you to save Israel."

So the next day Gideon took ten of his servants and went up to the hill on which had been erected an altar to Baal and the Asherah, the false gods whom the people were worshiping. He threw down the false altars, and built an altar to God in the same place, and on it he made a burnt offering to God.

The next morning when the people saw what had been done, they cried out to one another.

"Who has done this thing?" they shouted.

Then the men of the city went to Joash, Gideon's father, and they asked him to send his son out, that he might be put to death.

Gideon's father refused, saying, "Why should you plead for Baal? If he is a god, he should plead for himself against the one who has wronged him."

Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, and called a great army together. But before he sat out to save Israel, he wanted to be sure that he was the one chosen to do it, so he said to God: "If I am the one chosen to this task, I should like a sign. I will put this fleece of wool upon the earth. If the dew forms on the fleece, but not on the earth, I will know that it is indeed so."

And God did so that night. Then Gideon returned to his army, and prepared for the battle. But Jehovah said that his army was far too large, and he asked Gideon to send home all who were fearful and afraid. So twenty-two thousand went home, and then thousand remained. But Jehovah said that it was still too large, and sent home all but three hundred.

That night Gideon went alone to the camp of the Midianites, and he heard one man telling of a strange dream.

"I dreamed," said the man, "and lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came to a tent, and smote it that it fell and overturned it, and the tent lay along."

And the other answered, "This is nothing else save that sword of Gideon, for into his hand hath God delivered Midian and all the host. "

Gideon returned to his camp.

He called up his three hundred men, and gave each of them empty pitchers and lamps and trumpets. Then he led them to the enemy camp. When they came to the camp, the three companies blew with their trumpets, broke the pitchers, so that the lights shone out, and shouted, "The sword of Jehovah and of Gideon."
The Midianites were in utter confusion, and Gideon won an easy victory.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

33default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:30 am

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Jephthah's Daughter
Judges 10 to Judges 11

IN THE LAND of Israel east of Jordan there lived a man named Jephthah. His brothers despised him and drove him away from their father's home, so he went to live in the land called Tob. Here he became a strong man, and his brave deeds were told by many people. Finally even his brothers heard about them.
At this time the Israelites were in great trouble again. They had quit going to the tabernacle at Shiloh to worship God. Everywhere in the land they were bowing down before the gods that other nations worshiped. And the very nations whose gods they were serving began to trouble them. They began to make war against the Israelites and to take away their riches. The Ammonites came from the east and the Philistines came from the west and ruled over the Israelites. The Ammonites even threatened to take away the homes of the Israelites and to drive them out of their country. This was an unhappy time indeed for the people who had once enjoyed the blessings of God.

After suffering for eighteen years under the rule of their enemies, the Israelites remembered how God had long ago given them all the land and had made them stronger than all the nations who lived around them. So they cried to God for help, and they expected God to send a deliverer, just as he had done at other times when they were in trouble.

But God was much displeased with the people. He was not willing to help them, because they had turned away from him to worship the gods of other nations. He said, "Let the gods that you have chosen instead of me help you out of your trouble. I will not be your God when trouble comes upon you if you will not worship me when you have rest from your enemies."

Now the Israelites became very sorry for having sinned against the true God. They saw that the gods they were serving could never help them at all. They knew that true God whom their fathers had worshiped could deliver them out of the power of their enemies. So they tore down their idols and began to serve the Lord. They confessed their sins to the Lord and asked him again to help him.

When the Lord saw that the people were really sorry for their sins, he began to pity them. He saw them gather their soldiers together at a place called Mizpah, to fight against the Ammonites. But they had no leader.

Finally some one remembered Jephthah whose brave deeds had been told through all the land. They sent quickly for him to come to lead them to the battle against the Ammonites. But Jephthah was not willing to come. Not until his brothers had promised to treat him kindly would Jephthah return again with his family to his old home and help his people out of their trouble.

Jephthah knew that unless God would be with him he could not gain a victory over the Ammonites. So he asked God to help him, and he promised to give as a present to God the first thing that should meet him on his return home from the battle. This was not a wise promise; for Jephthah did not know what might come first to greet him on his return.

The Ammonites sent a message to the Israelites at Mizpah and wanted them to give up all the land east of the Jordan River; they said this land belonged to them first. But Jephthah sent back an answer that God would be the judge, for he had given the land to the people of Israel. Then the battle began; and the Israelites won the victory.

News of the victory reached Jephthah's home before he returned with the army of Mizpah. And everybody was glad because God had helped them again. Jephthah's daughter, his only child, came hurrying out to meet her father, singing for joy. But her song ended quickly when she saw her father's troubled face. He had remembered his promise to the Lord. Now he believed that he must give his only child as an offering to God. How sorry he felt because he had made such an unwise promise! He tore his clothes and cried out in distress. Then he told his daughter about the promise that he had made.

The people of other nations sometimes gave their children to their gods; but the law of Moses forbade the Israelites doing such a thing. Perhaps Jephthah had never heard that part of the law read, and he had often heard about the cruel custom of his heathen neighbors. He believed that he would need to keep his promise, although it was not a wise one. And his daughter urged him to keep it. because God had given him the victory over their enemies. But first she asked for two months time to spend alone with her friends in the mountains, weeping because she must soon be taken away from them. Afterwards she returned again to her father that he might fulfill his promise to God.

Jephthah judged Israel for six years after his victory over the Ammonites, and then he died.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

34default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:09 am

Pamela

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Samson and the Lion
Judges 13 to Judges 14:6
THE CHILDREN OF Israel made many other conquests after the fall of Jericho. On one occasion God caused both the sun and the moon to stand still in the heavens, that the day might be long enough for them to complete the defeat of their enemies.


At length they had possession of almost the whole land of Canaan, and they divided it by lot among their twelve tribes, the descendants of Israel's twelve sons. Then God gave them rest from the attacks of their enemies round about them; and for a while they served Him faithfully.

But after the death of Joshua, and those who had come with him into the promised land, the people began to forget God, and to worship false gods. So, to punish them, God allowed their enemies to distress them on every hand.

Yet, from time to time, He took pity upon them, and gave them rulers, called judges, under whom they were victorious in war. But, as soon as the judge was dead, they returned to their evil ways; and then God again let them fall under the power of their enemies.

The Philistines were the most powerful of nations that oppressed the Israelites; and to help them against these, God gave to them a judge named Samson.

Before he was born, an angel appeared to his mother and told her that her son should begin the deliverance of the people from the Philistines. She did not know it was really an angel, but told her husband that a man, who looked like an angel of God, had said these things to her.

Then Manoah, her husband, prayed to God that the man might come again, and tell them how they should bring up their child. So God sent the angel again, and they still thought he was a man.

But when they began to dress food for him, the angel bade them offer it to God as a burnt-offering; and when they did so, he went up, as it were, to heaven, in the flame that rose from the altar. Then they knew it was God's angel with whom they had been speaking.

When their child was born they called him Samson, and did all that the angel had said they should do with him. And God blessed Samson, and made him the strongest man that ever lived.
One day, when he was going with his father and mother into the country of the Philistines, a lion sprang out roaring against him; and God suddenly gave him such strength that he seized it with his hands and tore it to pieces.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

35default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:06 am

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Samson and the Gates of Gaza
Judges 14 to Judges 16

SAMSON MARRIED THE daughter of one of the Philistines; but afterward her father took her away from him, and, in revenge, he killed great numbers of them, and destroyed their crops and vineyards.


The Philistines then came out in great force against the men of Judah, and demanded that Samson should be given up to them. The men accordingly came to Samson, and said they must give him up to the enemy.

So Samson let them bind him with strong cords, and take him to the Philistines. But at that moment God gave him strength to snap the cords asunder; and, snatching up the jaw-bone of an donkey, he fell upon his enemies, and killed a thousand of them.

After this, Samson went to Gaza, a city of the Philistines, and at night the people shut him in, saying to each other that they would kill him in the morning.

But in the middle of the night he got up, tore down the gates of the city, and, throwing them upon his shoulders, carried them to the top of a hill in the neighborhood. His enemies now saw that they could not overcome him by force, so they bribed a woman to get from him the secret of his strength.

Samson deceived both her and them several times, but at last told her the truth, that if his hair were cut off, he should be no stronger than any other man. So, when he was asleep, she cut it off; and then, calling the Philistines, they took him, put out his eyes, and set him to grind corn.

But as he toiled in prison, God gave his strength to him again. So one day, when the great men of the Philistines were going to worship their false god Dagon, and would have Samson make sport for them, he begged the boy who led him in to let him rest against the pillars of the building where they were assembled.
Then, praying to God that He would once more enable him to destroy his enemies, he laid hold of the pillars, and, bending forward with all his might, pulled the building down, crushing both himself and thousands of the Philistines. Thus it happened that he killed more in his death than in life.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

36default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:55 am

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Samuel's First Prophesy
1st Samuel 3 to 1st Samuel 4:18
THE HIGH-PRIEST ELI had two sons, named Hophni and Phinehas, who were both priests. But they were exceedingly wicked men; and when the people who came to worship complained to Eli of the wickedness of the young men, he reproved them so gently that they gave no heed to what he said.


And God was displeased with him for not using his authority to make them do better.

One night, when Samuel was laid down to sleep, he heard a voice calling him; and thinking it was Eli, he got up and ran to him, to know what he wanted with him. But Eli bade him lie down again, for he had not called him.

Again the voice called "Samuel," and again Samuel ran to Eli, who told him he had not called. But the third time that Samuel heard the voice, and ran to Eli thinking it was he, Eli became aware that it was God Himself who was calling to the child.

So he bade him go and lie down again, and if the voice called him once more, to answer, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." Then, when he was laid down again, the voice called as before, "Samuel, Samuel."

And when Samuel answered as Eli had bidden him, God told him that he was going to punish Eli and his sons in a fearful manner, because the sons had made themselves hated for their wickedness and profanity, and Eli had not prevented it as he ought to have done.

In the morning Samuel rose, and, as was his office, opened the doors of the Temple. But he did not tell Eli what God had said to him in the night: he was afraid of doing so, it was so very sad.

Eli, however, bade him come to him and tell him all. And when the poor old man knew that it was God's will to destroy him and his family, he would not murmur at it: he only said, "It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him good."

Very soon after this the Israelites were fighting against the Philistines, and thinking they should be sure of victory if the ark of God were with them, they fetched it into their camp from Shiloh.

But for their sins God suffered them to be defeated; the ark was taken, and Hophni and Phinehas, together with thirty thousand of the Israelites, were slain. Poor old Eli meanwhile sat by the wayside, waiting for tidings of the battle.

And when word was brought him that his sons were killed and the ark taken, he fell of his seat backward, and broke his neck.
Some time after Eli's death, Samuel judged Israel in his place.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

37default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:56 am

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David Is Anointed King
1st Samuel 8 to 1st Samuel 16:13
WHEN SAMUEL WAS very old, he made his sons judges, with himself, over Israel. But his sons took bribes, and did other things that they ought not to have done; and the people of Israel became so discontented, that they came to Samuel and desired him to give them a king in place of him and his sons.


Samuel was grieved at this request; so he prayed to God to know what he should do. And God was displeased with the people for wishing to be governed by a king, like other nations, when He Himself was their king.

Nevertheless, He gave them leave to have one, and told Samuel whom he should choose. This was Saul, the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin.

So Samuel anointed Saul King over Israel as we have already seen; and when he was brought before them, all the people shouted, "God save the king!"

At first Saul was a good king, and did all that God commanded him. But he soon became disobedient; and as he persisted in ill-doing, God, who was patient with him for a while, at last determined that one more worthy than he should be chosen to be king after him and whose children should succeed to the throne in place of Saul's children.

So God bade Samuel to take a horn of oil, and go to Jesse, an Israelite who lived at Bethlehem, and anoint one of his sons, whom He would point out to him, as the future king over Israel.

Samuel was afraid of doing this, for he thought Saul, if he knew it, would put him to death. But God bade him go and offer a sacrifice at Bethlehem, and He would show him what to do.

So he went and called the chief men of the town, together with Jesse and his family, to the sacrifice. Then Jesse made his sons pass before Samuel, who, when he saw the eldest son, Eliab, a tall, fine-looking man, thought he must be the one whom God would choose to be anointed king.

But God said He would not have Eliab; for He looked at the heart of man, not at his outward appearance. So seven of Jesse's sons one after another, came before Samuel, and none of them did God choose.

Then Samuel asked if all Jesse's children were there. Jesse answered he had one more son, David, the youngest, who was away keeping sheep. So David was sent for. He was a beautiful youth, with golden hair; and as soon as he came, God bade Samuel anoint him, for he was the one whom He had chose.
So Samuel anointed him king. And the Spirit of God then came upon David, and remained with him from that day.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

38default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:57 am

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The Story of Saul
1 Samuel 9 to 1 Samuel 10:25
SAUL WAS THE son of Kish. He was tall and handsome and well-built, and from his shoulders upward, he was bigger than any of his people.


One day the asses of Kish strayed away and were lost; and Kish said to his son, "Take one of the servants with you and arise, go seek the asses."

They searched through Mount Ephraim, and through the land of Shalisha, but they did not find them. They passed through the land of Shalim, and through the land of the Benjamites, but still they could not find the asses.

Then Saul began to think of returning home, for they had been away for a long time, and he feared that his father would be anxious for their safety.

The servant suggested that they go to see a wise man who lived in a city near by and who had foretold many things which had come to pass. Together they went to the city to see the seer, and they met some maidens who told them that a sacrifice was being made that day and that the seer, whose name was Samuel, would be there to bless it; so they would be sure to find him.

Now, the Lord had told Samuel that he would send him a man from the land of Benjamin to be the captain and king of all the people of Israel. So when Saul appeared, Samuel pointed him out and said to the assembled people, "There is the man."

And to Samuel he said, "Come up with me to the high place. You shall eat with me today, and tomorrow I will let you go and you shall tell me everything that is in your heart. As for the asses, do not trouble about them, for they were found three days ago."

Saul was puzzled, for he could not understand the honor that was being bestowed upon him, but Samuel gave him no chance to protest. He took Saul and his servant to the feast, and gave Saul the choicest portion to eat.
The next morning Samuel anointed Saul, and led him before all the people and proclaimed him the new king. Saul tried to hide, but as he stood head and shoulders above all the other people, it was an easy matter to single him out. Amid the shouts and cheers of the people he was made King of Israel.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

39default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Thu May 01, 2008 8:15 am

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David and Goliath
1st Samuel 17:1-54
THE ISRAELITES AND the Philistines were now at war together, and the two armies were posted on two mountains, with a valley between them.


And while they were drawn up in sight of each other, a giant, named Goliath of Gath, came out of the camp of the Philistines, and challenged any one of the Israelites to come and fight with him.

If he killed the Israelite, then the Israelites were to yield to the Philistines; but if the Israelite killed him, then the Philistines would serve them. He was a huge giant, nine or ten feet high, clad from head to foot in heavy brazen armor.

The staff of his spear was as thick as a weaver's beam. And for forty days this terrible giant came out, defying all the Israelites. Even Saul himself, the king, who was a brave man, was afraid of him.

Now at this time the three eldest sons of Jesse were in Saul's army; and their father bade David, who was tending his sheep at Bethlehem, go to the camp with some parched corn, and bread for his brothers.

He arrived there just as the two armies were advancing to battle; and as he talked to his brothers, out came the giant, defying the Israelites, who fled at the very sight of him.

David was indignant at seeing the armies of God's chosen people so contemptuously treated by a heathen, and he asked those about him what should be done for the man who killed him.

They told him that he should have honors and riches, and that he should marry the king's daughter. Then Saul, hearing what David had said, sent for him; and David told the king that he would go and fight the giant.

Saul reminded him that he was but a youth, and the Philistine had been a soldier all his life. But David answered that he had killed a lion and a bear that had attacked his flock, and he knew that God would also help him to kill this great giant.

Then Saul would have given him armor and a sword, but David would not have them. He took only his staff and sling, with five smooth stones in his shepherd's bag, and went to meet the giant, who came on cursing and taunting him.

But David, running forward, took a stone from his bag, and slang it at the giant, whom it struck in the forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground, and David cut off his head with his own sword.
Then the Philistines took to flight when they saw that the giant was dead.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

40default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Fri May 02, 2008 8:03 am

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David Playing Before Saul
1st Samuel 18 to 1 Samuel 19
WHEN SAUL AND David, and the whole army were coming home in triumph, after the defeat of the Philistines, the women of Israel, as they passed along, came out of all their cities to meet them with dances and songs of joy.


And as they danced and played on instruments of music, they said, "Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands! And Saul was so much displeased at their thus giving more honor to David than they did to their king, that from that day he began to regard him with jealousy and distrust.

From the time that he had so sinned against God as to cause Him to give the kingdom of Israel after his death to another, Saul had become liable to fits of sadness and severe gloom.

God had withdrawn His Spirit from him, and he was miserable--almost mad. His servants, who were anxious to comfort him, thought that music would soothe the distressed mind of the king, and, as David played skillfully upon the harp, they would have him play before Saul.

And, whenever he did so, Saul was refreshed, and became cheerful again. But after he had grown envious of David's renown, twice, when David was playing before him, he threw a spear at him to kill him.

David, however, escaped unhurt. Saul then tried in various ways to destroy him by means of his enemies the Philistines, setting him on duties that seemed as if they must cost him his life.

Still God preserved David alike from the Philistines, and from Saul's own servant, whom the wicked king had commanded to put him to death. Then Jonathan, Saul's son, having sent David, whom he loved, to a place of safety, pleaded with his father for him, reminding Saul how faithful David had been to him, and what good service he had done the kingdom by killing the Philistine who had so frightened them all. And Saul yielded to the pleading of his son, and promised that he would do David no harm.

So he was brought back, and served Saul as before.

War, however, soon broke out again between the Israelites and the Philistines, and David again defeated them with great slaughter. This roused all Saul's ill-will against him; so that, when in one of his fits of gloom, David, as was his custom, was trying to cheer him with his harp, Saul rose and threw a spear at him with such force that, as David slipped aside, it stuck fast in the wall.
That night David made his escape and never returned.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

41default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Mon May 05, 2008 7:58 am

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Solomon Crowned King
1st Kings 2:1-11

WHEN ABSALOM WAS dead, the people were eager to fetch the king home again; so eager, that they quarreled among themselves because the men of Judah, David's own tribe, were the first to bring him on his way to Jerusalem.


And the quarrel ended in all the men of Israel again revolting from the king. Joab, however, who was a skillful soldier, though he was a very bad man, succeeded in putting down the insurrection.

But David's troubles were not yet at an end. First famine, and then pestilence, in which seventy thousand of the people died, afflicted his kingdom.

And then, when he was old and feeble, apparently near death, his son Adonijah set himself up to be king, after his father, instead of Solomon, whom God had appointed to succeed David.

By way of making his claim sure, Adonijah had taken upon himself royal state. Joab and other officers of the kingdom were with him, and the people acknowledged him as king.

News of this was brought to David, who at once determined to prevent disputes about the succession after his death by having Solomon crowned during his own lifetime.

So he called Nathan the priest, Zadok the prophet, and Benaiah the captain of his guard, and bade them, with a number of his officers, take Solomon, and, placing him upon the king's own mule (which it was death for any subject to ride), bring him down to Gihon, a fountain near Jerusalem, and there, with sound of trumpet, anoint, and proclaim him king over Israel.

So they took him thither, and proclaimed him king; multitudes following and shouting, "God save King Solomon!" till the city rang again.

Adonijah and his friends were at this time rejoicing together; and while they were feasting, in came one of their party to tell them that David had actually made Solomon king of Israel.

When they heard this, they were so frightened that each one stole away as quietly as he could. And Adonijah, fearing that his life might be forfeited for attempting to seize the kingdom, fled to the altar for protection; for he who laid hold of the horns of the altar was considered under God's protection, and therefore safe from his enemies.

But Solomon sent for him, promising him safety if he submitted to him. So Adonijah came, and did homage to his brother, who let him go home peaceably.
Soon after this David died, and was buried at Jerusalem.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

42default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Tue May 06, 2008 7:48 am

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The Judgment of Solomon
1st Kings 3:16-28

SOLOMON WAS THE greatest king that ever reigned in Israel; he was also one of the wisest men that ever lived. When he first came to the throne, God appeared to him one night in a dream, and asked what gift He should bestow upon him.


Solomon prayed that He would give him wisdom to govern his people. God was pleased that he had asked wisdom instead of riches, or conquests, or long life, and He told Solomon that because he had done so, not only would He make him wiser than any man who ever lived, but that he should be rich and famous above all kings of the earth.

And if he would obey Him in all things, long life should also be added to the other good gifts which were to be his.

In those days it was the custom for kings to sit in some public place, where such of their subjects as had wrongs to complain of might plead their cause before them, and obtain justice.

One day two women came before Solomon. One of them told him that she and the other woman both lived in one house, and each had a very young child; that in the night the child belonging to the other woman died, and its mother exchanged it for the living one, putting her own dead child in her neighbor's bed as she lay sleeping, and taking the living child to herself.

In the morning, the mother of the living child found out the cheat; but she whose child was dead would not give up the one that she had stolen, for she said it was her own. And the two women stood there before the king, each one contending that the living child was hers, and that the dead child belonged to the other.

Then Solomon desired his people to bring him a sword; and when it was brought, he bade them divide the living child in two, and give half of him to each of the women.

The woman who had falsely claimed the child made no objection to this decision. But the real mother could not bear it. Rather than have her son killed, she was willing to lose him altogether; and she cried, and in no wise slay it!"

Then the king saw at once to which of them the child belonged; and he said, "Give her the living child, for she is its mother."
And all the people of Israel, when they heard of this judgment of Solomon, knew that God had indeed given him wisdom to do justice among his subjects; and they held him in great awe and reverence.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

43default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Wed May 07, 2008 7:37 am

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The Queen of Sheba's Visit to Solomon
1st Kings 10:1-13
SOLOMON HAD VAST treasures of gold and silver, and precious things of every kind. His people also were rich and happy. Solomon worshiped and served God faithfully; and God, as He had promised, blessed him greatly.


When David had desired to build a house, or temple, for God's worship at Jerusalem, God had told him that his son Solomon should build it. So, when he came to the throne, Solomon built this temple of the richest materials, and in the most costly manner.

Hewn stone, cedar, olive-tree wood, fine brass, pure gold, silver, and precious stones, were there in abundance; and artificers from Tyre, who were famous for their skill, wrought them for him.

The Temple, which was placed on Mount Moriah, was seven years in building. When it was finished, Solomon dedicated it to God in a solemn assembly of the people; and the Lord God filled it with His glory, as He had done the Tabernacle in the wilderness.

The wisdom of Solomon was celebrated not only among his own people, but in all parts of the East, whose kings sent messengers to him, that they might hear it for themselves.

The Queen of Sheba came herself to Jerusalem, with a great train of people, and camels carrying gold, precious stones, and spices, as presents for the great king, that she might know, by conversing with Solomon, whether he was so wise as had been told her.

And when she heard his wisdom, and had seen the splendor of his court and palace, she was so overpowered that she fainted. And she said to the king that before she came she did not believe what had been told her in her own land of his wisdom and greatness, but now she saw that not even the half of it had been made known to her.

Happy were they who served before him, and continually heard his wisdom. And she gave thanks to God for having given such a king to his people Israel. Then, when Solomon had also given her costly presents, she and her train returned to their own country.

But as Solomon grew older, instead of serving and worshiping God as he had done, he began to worship false gods.
And then God, as He had threatened, let trouble come upon him and his kingdom, so that, after his death, ten of the tribes were taken away from his son, and set up into a separate kingdom, that of Israel, which was never again united to the kingdom of Judah.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

44default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Thu May 08, 2008 7:56 am

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Elijah Fed by Ravens
1st Kings 12:16 to 1st Kings 17

VERY SOON AFTER the separation of the twelve tribes the kingdom of Israel fell into idolatry. Jeroboam, its first king, set up golden calves in Dan and Bethel, the two extremities of his dominions, to prevent his people going up to Jerusalem (which belonged to the kingdom of Judah) to worship God.
But, though they worshiped these images, they had not entirely rejected the true God. It was under Ahab, the sixth king, a weak and wicked man, whose wife, Jezebel, was even worse than himself, that the worship of the true God was put down, and that of Baal established in its place.
God was angry both with Ahab and his people for their idolatry and persecution of his priests, who were put to death in great numbers; and, as a punishment for these sins, He sent Elijah to tell Ahab that for three years and a half neither dew nor rain should fall in the land of Israel.
As soon as Elijah had foretold this great evil, God bade him hide himself from the rage of Ahab in a certain place near the brook Cherith, where He had commanded the ravens to feed him.
So he went and dwelt by the brook, which afforded him water to drink, while the ravens, as God had said, brought him food morning and evening. But, as no rain had fallen, in time the brook dried up, and then God bade him leave his present hiding-place, and go to Zarephath, near Sidon; for He had commanded a widow, who lived there, to provide for him.
Elijah immediately went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, he saw the woman gathering sticks. He called her, and asked her to give him some water to drink; and as she was going for it, he begged her also to bring him a morsel of bread.
The poor woman turned round, and told him she had no bread. All that she had was a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a bottle, and she had just been gathering wood to cook it for herself and her son; after they had eaten it, they must lie down to die, for she knew not where to get more.
Elijah bade her do as she had said, but to make him a little cake first, and afterward for herself; for God, he assured her, would cause her meal and oil to last till the famine should be at an end.
So the woman made him the little cake first; and he, and she, with her family, were fed out of the handful meal and vessel of oil for many days. Neither of them failed till the day when God sent rain upon the earth, and so took away the famine.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

45default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Fri May 09, 2008 8:13 am

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Elijah Restores the Widow's Son
1st Kings 17:17 to 1st Kings 18:40
WHILE ELIJAH WAS with the widow of Zarephath, her son fell ill and died. His mother feared it was for some sin of hers that her child was taken from her, and that it was the prophet who had caused his illness.


In her distress, she said this to Elijah reproachfully. But he only bade her bring her son to him; and then, lying down with the child on his own bed, he prayed earnestly that God would let its soul come into it again.

God heard his prayer, and brought the child to life again; and Elijah carried him down to his mother.

When the three years and six months were past, God bade Elijah go again to Ahab, for He was now about to send rain upon the earth. At this time Ahab, and Obadiah, the governor of his household, a man who worshiped God, had gone in different directions to seek grass for the king's horses and mules.

As Obadiah went on his way, Elijah met him, and bade him tell his master where he might find Elijah; for Ahab, thinking it was he that had brought famine upon the kingdom, had angrily sought him in all countries.

Obadiah was unwilling to carry Elijah's message, for he feared that as soon as he had left him, God might command him to go to some other place, and then, when Ahab came and found no prophet there, he himself might be put to death for having misled the king.

But Elijah replied that he would assuredly show himself to Ahab that day; and then Obadiah went to tell him.

When Ahab met Elijah, he haughtily asked whether he were not the man that troubled Israel. But Elijah answered that it was not he, but Ahab and his family that had brought affliction upon the nation by their wickedness.

And he desired that the king would gather together all the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel, where he would offer sacrifice to God, and they to Baal; and the god whose sacrifice was consumed by fire from heaven should be acknowledged to be the true God.

Ahab did this. The priests of Baal built their altar, and from morning to evening kept crying, "O Baal, hear us!"

But there was no answer; their false god could do nothing for them. Then Elijah prepared his sacrifice; and when he called upon the Lord God, fire came down from heaven, that burnt up the sacrifice, and the wood, and even the stones of the altar.
And then all the people bowed to the earth, exclaiming, "The Lord He is the God! The Lord He is the God!"


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

46default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Mon May 12, 2008 7:30 am

Pamela

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Jehoash the Boy King
2nd Kings 12 to 2nd Kings 14:16
WHEN JEHOSHAPHAT DIED, his eldest son Jehoram became king in Judah in his place. His wife was Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and together they did a great many wicked things.


Jehoram slew all his brothers in order to get the riches which his father had left to them. He built places in the mountains of Judah and in Jerusalem for the worship of Baal.

When he died, after ruling for eight years, his son, Ahaziah, became the ruler. He, too, was very bad, and his rule was a short one. When he was killed, his mother saw that no one was left to take over the throne; so she planned to be the ruler herself.

Of course, Ahaziah had some children, who were her grandsons, and she had other grandchildren too, but she decided that they must all be killed so that she could be made queen.

Only one of the grandchildren escaped--a tiny baby named Jehoash. He was hidden away by his father's sister, and he was kept hidden for years, in a set of chambers built round the Temple.

Athaliah became the queen, and since she was so willful and powerful, even those who did not approve of her had to pretend that they did. She established the worship of Baal again, and even took some of the Temple treasures and placed them in the House of Baal.

Jehoash remained hidden in the temple for six years, and he was taught all about Jehovah and the laws of Jehovah by his aunt and her husband, who was the High Priest of the Temple. (That was why the child could remain hidden in the Temple chambers for so long.)

Finally the wickedness of the queen and her court became so great that the High Priest of the Temple decided that the only way to save the entire nation from destruction would be to place the young prince on the throne.

So after he had made his plans carefully, the Priest of Jehovah called the Guardsmen and soldiers of the temple together. He gave them weapons which had been hidden by David in the Temple.

Then he brought forth Jehoash from his hiding place, and the assembled gathering proclaimed him king.

Of course, Athaliah was very angry when she learned what had happened, but it was too late. She was driven out of the Temple; and as she was trying to escape, she was killed in the excitement.

As long as the Priest of the Temple, Jehoiada, was alive, Jehoash was a good king. He restored the Temple, which had fallen into bad repair through long neglect, and he brought the people back to the worship of Jehovah.
Jehoash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years in Jerusalem.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

47default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Tue May 13, 2008 8:09 am

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Jonah - The Prophet Who Tried To Run From God
Jonah 1-4
DURING THE YEARS that Elisha was the prophet in Israel, the Syrians were a strong nation, and they often warred against the Israelites. But after Elisha died the Syrian nation grew weaker, and by and by did not trouble Israel any more at all.


Then a new enemy arose, from the far east country. This new enemy was the Assyrian king, who was conquering many little countries round about. And all the while he was sending his armies nearer and nearer to the border-land of Israel, and the Israelites were beginning to fear him.

Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria, and the home of the great king. And Nineveh was a great city. It had stood for hundreds of years, and it had grown larger and larger until thousands and thousands of people lived inside its high walls. These people did not serve the true God, but worshiped idols. And year after year they became more wicked, until finally God thought he would destroy them all.

But God is very merciful. He knew the people of Nineveh had not known about him as had the people of Israel, for no prophets had ever come to warn them about their wrong-doings. So he decided to send them a prophet from Israel to tell them that their city would be destroyed because of their awful sins.

Jonah was the prophet whom God chose to send to Nineveh. But Jonah did not want to go to that wicked city so far from his homeland. He knew the Assyrians were enemies of the Israelites, and he thought it would be better if God would destroy their city than to give them a chance to repent of their sins. So Jonah thought, "I will not go to Nineveh. I will take a ship down at the Great sea, and I will sail away toward the west country instead of going toward the east country. Then maybe I can get so far away that God will not talk to me any more about going to preach to those wicked people of Nineveh."

Jonah went down to the seaside and found a ship ready to sail away. He paid his fare, climbed on board the ship, and started with the sailors to go to a city called Tarshish, far to the west. He thought he was very safe now, and he feared no longer that he should have to go to Nineveh. Indeed, he felt so safe that he went down into the ship and soon fell fast asleep.

But God knew all about Jonah's plans, and God was not willing for his prophet to disobey him. He had called Jonah to go to preach to the heathen people in Nineveh, and he sent a storm on the Sea which threatened to wreck the ship. The sailors became frightened and they called on their gods to quiet the winds; but the winds blew harder than ever. They did not know what to do. Finally the captain went down into the ship and found Jonah lying there asleep.

The captain woke Jonah and told him to call upon his God for help in this time of trouble. But Jonah did not feel much like asking God to help him when he was running away from the work that God had told him to do. No doubt his conscience began to trouble him greatly; and when he saw the strong waves dash against the ship and toss it about like a chip on the water, he feared that he should never again see dry land.

When the storm continued to rage, the sailors decided that one of them on board the ship must be the cause of the trouble, so they decided to cast lots and see on which one the lot would fall. And the lot fell on Jonah.

Jonah was a stranger among them, and the sailors wondered what terrible thing this stranger had done. They gather round him and asked, "Tell us, who are you and what is your business?" And Jonah told them that he was from the land of Israel and that he worshiped the God who had made the sea and the dry land. At once they were afraid, for they did not know about such a great God, and they thought surely he was angry. Jonah told them how he had tried to run away from God, and they believed that God was trying to punish him. Jonah, too, believed that God had sent the storm on his account.

"What shall we do to you that the storm may cease?" asked the frightened men when they saw that their ship would soon be dashed in pieces if the wind and waves continued to toss it about. And Jonah answered,, "Throw me overboard in the water, and then the storm will end." The sailors did not wish to treat Jonah so cruelly, but when they saw that all would be lost if they allowed him to remain on board the vessel, they picked him up and threw him into the sea.

But God was not yet finished with Jonah. He had prepared a great fish, and the fish swallowed Jonah and carried him about for three days and three nights before throwing him out onto the land. By that time Jonah was very willing to go to Nineveh and preach God's message to the people there.

When Jonah entered the city he began to cry out: "Within forty days Nineveh shall be destroyed!" On and on he went, for Nineveh was a great city, and in every street where he passed he cried out the same words. And the people stopped to listen to his strange message. They had never see a prophet of God before. Some of them ran to tell their King about Jonah's words, and the King was frightened. He rose from his throne and laid aside his rich garments and dressed himself in sackcloth. Then he sat down in ashes and became sorry for his sins. He commanded all the people of the city to do as he was doing, and to cry earnestly to God to spare their lives.

After Jonah finished preaching he went outside the great walls and waited to see the fire fall from the sky to burn up the enemies of the Israelites. But forty days passed by and no fire fell. Because the people believed Jonah's message and repented of their sins God did not destroy their city. Then Jonah became very much displeased. He feared that people might call him a false prophet, and he wanted to die instead of go back to his own county again.
God taught Jonah a lesson by allowing a gourd-vine to grow up in one night and make a shelter for him from the burning heat of the sun. Then God caused a worm to destroy the gourd, and Jonah became very unhappy. Again he wished that he might die. So the Lord spoke to Jonah and said, "You were sorry to see the plant die, though you did not make it grow. And should I not have more pity on the people of Nineveh than you have on a plant?" Jonah learned that God looks upon people of every nation as being precious in his sight, even though they do not know how to worship him.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

48default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Wed May 14, 2008 7:32 am

Pamela

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The Sad Ending of the Kingdom of Israel
2 Kings 17
THE PEOPLE OF Nineveh believed God's prophet and were ready to ask God to forgive their sins. They repented, and they were not destroyed. But the people of Israel did not believe the faithful prophets whom God sent to them, one after another. Some of them, of course, believed; but many of them did not. Their kings refused to worship God in the right way, and kept the golden calves, which the first king of Israel had made.


Many years passed by, and God saw that the Israelites would never return to worship him as they had done in the days of David and Solomon. Nineteen kings had ruled in the land of Israel, and many times God had helped those kings out of trouble. Still they would not lead their people back to the true worship.

At last God allowed an enemy to carry them all away to a strange land. Hoshea was king in Israel when the great Assyrian army came down into the land and took possession of it.

For a while Hoshea and his people paid a large sum of money each year to the Assyrian nation, and they were allowed to live in their own land. But when Hoshea refused to pay the money and sent to the king of Egypt for help, the king of Assyria sent his army again, and the army took Hoshea and all his people away from their homes and led them into heathen cities to keep them for slaves.

This was the terrible punishment that their sins of idol-worship had brought upon them. And they were never again allowed to return to live in their homeland.

The Assyrian king now ruled over all of the country where the ten tribes of Israel used to live. He wanted to have some people in that land, so he took some heathen people from cities in the east country and brought them to live in the cities of Samaria. He told them to work the fields and keep the vineyards, and pay him money from the crops they raised in Israel.

The new people in Israel were idol-worshipers. They did not know about the true God at all. After they had been in the land for some time they became afraid of the God of that land, for lions would come out of the woods and kill some of them when they went out to their fields to work.

They believed that the God of Israel was sending the lions among them because they did not know how to worship him. So they sent messengers back to Nineveh to tell the king about their troubles. They asked him to send a priest of the Israelite slaves back to Israel, that he might teach them to worship the Israelites' God.

The king sent a priests of the Israelites, and he went to live in Bethel. He told the strange people about the true God, and they, too, tried to worship him. But they continued to worship their own gods, and their religion became a mixture of right and wrong.
Even today some of the descendants of those people are living in Samaria, and their worship is a mixture of idolatry and the religion of the Jews.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

49default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Thu May 15, 2008 8:01 am

Pamela

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The Good King Hezekiah
2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32

AFTER THE PEOPLE of Israel were carried away into captivity by the king of Assyria, only the tribe of Judah remained of the twelve tribes that had entered the promised land under the leadership of Joshua. And Hezekiah was the king of Judah at that time.


Now the kingdom of Judah was very weak when Hezekiah took the throne. For many years it had been ruled by men who were not serving the true God, and they had even shut up the temple of the Lord.

Hezekiah began at once to restore the true religion. He called for the priests and the Levites to come to Jerusalem to cleanse the temple. Then when everything was ready for worship at the house of God, he sent invitations to the people in every part of the land of Judah and Israel, and commanded them to come to the Feast of the Passover, which they had not kept for many long years.

Some of the people only laughed when they received Hezekiah's invitation to attend the Feast. They had worshiped idols for so long a time that they did not care to return to Jerusalem again, to worship the true God. But many from the land of Judah came gladly, and there was a great meeting.

Hezekiah destroyed the idols out of his land, and tried to teach his people to do right. He found in Jerusalem the brass serpent that Moses had made in the wilderness. He saw that the people were burning incense before this brass serpent, just as if it were an idol, so he cast it into the fire. He tore down the altars that had been built to worship heathen gods, and did much to strengthen his kingdom.

The King of Assyria had gained power over Judah before Hezekiah took the throne. Every year the people of Judah had to pay Assyria a large sum of money. But Hezekiah was displeased to have his people oppressed by this heathen King. He decided to quit paying the money. He built up the walls of Jerusalem until they were very strong. Then he gathered an army and made ready to fight against the Assyrians.

But Hezekiah's army was only a handful compared to the hosts of Assyria. The enemies came into the land of Judah and took one city after another. Then they marched toward Jerusalem, and Hezekiah knew that his soldiers could not keep them away. He saw when too late that he had made a sad mistake when he refused to pay the money that the Assyrian King required of his people. So he sent word to the angry King, promising to resist him no more and to pay whatever that King should require.

The King of Assyria thought: "Now is my chance to spoil this little country of Judah." So he demanded a heavier tax than he had ever asked before. And Hezekiah took all the gold and silver that was in his palace, and all that he could find among the people, and even the gold and silver from the temple of the Lord to pay this tax. Still the King of Assyria was not satisfied. He sent a message, saying, "I am going to destroy your city and take you and your people away to a far country, just as I have done to your neighbors who lived in Israel. The gods of other nations did not help them when I came against them, and your God will not be able to save you."

Hezekiah was afraid when he heard this message. He knew that his army was not strong enough to drive away such a powerful enemy. He took the letter that this King had written and went into the temple to pray. There he spread the letter before the altar and asked God to help him and his people out of their trouble. Then he sent some of his princes to visit the good prophet Isaiah and ask him to tell them about God's will.

Isaiah answered, "The Lord has said that the King of Assyria shall not come into this city, nor shall he even shoot an arrow against it. But he shall go back to his own country by the way that he came, and there he shall be killed with a sword."

That same night an angel of God visited the camp of the Assyrian King and caused a terrible sickness to fall upon the soldiers. By morning many of them lay dead. All of the leaders in the army were among the dead men, and the King rose up and hastened back to his own land.

Never again did he return to fight against Hezekiah, for God had heard and answered the prayers of the good King. And years after this, while he was worshiping the temple of his god in Nineveh, two of his own sons killed him.

At one time Hezekiah became very sick, and there was no cure to be found for his sickness. Isaiah, the prophet, came to him and said, "God has commanded that you get ready to leave this world, for you must die."

Hezekiah did not feel that he could leave his people. He turned his face to the wall and prayed earnestly that God would make him well again. Then he wept bitter tears, and reminded God how faithfully he had tried to rule the people. And God heard Hezekiah's prayer.

Isaiah was returning to his home when the Lord spoke to him again, saying, "Go back to the King and tell him that I have heard his prayer and seen his tears; and now I will add fifteen years to his life. On the third day he shall be able to go up to the temple to worship."

Hezekiah was glad to hear Isaiah's second message. He asked for a sign from the prophet, and Isaiah answered, "The sign shall be according to your choice. Shall the shadow on the sun-dial go backward or shall it go forward ten degrees?"

The sun-dial was the instrument by which the King might know the time of day; for he had no clocks as we have now. And Hezekiah asked that the shadow might go backward, as it would not seem like a sign for the shadow to move forward. So Isaiah prayed, and the shadow moved backward ten degrees.

And Hezekiah was healed of his disease, according to God's word, and he lived for fifteen years more. During that time he built up his kingdom and became very rich.
He grew proud of his riches; but God rebuked him, and he humbled his heart again. When he died all the land mourned for him, because they knew he had been the best king Judah had known.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

50default Re: This Mornings Meditation on Fri May 16, 2008 7:24 am

Pamela

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King Josiah and the Story of a Forgotten Book
2 Chronicles 34, 35
IT WAS HOUSE-CLEANING time in the temple of the Lord. Many years had passed since this building had been repaired by the boy king, Joash, and during those long years the temple had been much neglected.


It had even been mistreated, for one king had set up altars for the idol of Baal right in the courts of the Lord's house. Now that king was dead, and his grandson, Josiah, was ruling the people of Judah. And because Josiah was trying to do right he had given the command that God's house should be repaired and made ready for the proper kind of worship.

Many skillful workmen were hired to help repair the temple. And the heathen altars were torn out of the temple courts and carried outside the city, where they were burned with fire. While this work was going on, the high priest was setting things in order in the rooms of the temple. And there, hidden away beneath some rubbish, he found a strange book.

This strange book proved to be the same as one Moses had written before he died. It was called the Book of the Law, for in it Moses had written the words of the law, which God gave to the Israelites.

And Moses had commanded that the book should be read in the hearing of all the people once every seven years. But now many years had passed by since the book had been read. And during those years the book had been entirely forgotten.

The high priest carefully removed the dust from this precious book and called for a servant of King Josiah. Shaphan, the servant, came quickly, and the high priest told him to carry the book of the King.

Now, Josiah had never heard the words of God's law before this time. He asked his servant to read aloud from the book, and Shaphan read about God's promise to bless the people if they should serve him faithfully. Then he continued to read, and Josiah heard about God's promise to punish the people if they should forsake him and turn to worship idols. Josiah was alarmed. He knew the people had disobeyed God's law, and he feared the awful punishments, which God promised to send upon them. He tore his clothes and wept bitter tears. Then he sent servants to a woman named Huldah, who was a prophetess, to ask her about God's plan to punish the people for their great sins.

Huldah told the servants that God would surely sent all the great punishments upon the people just as he had promised to do if they should forsake his law and worship idols. But because Josiah, the king, had humbled his heart and had wept tears of sorrow for their sins, Huldah said that God would not let the punishments come upon the land during his lifetime.

Josiah did not try to forget about the words of God's law. He wanted all his people to hear them, too. So he called for a great meeting at Jerusalem, and when the people came together he read to them out of the book. Then he promised God to keep that law and to serve God with all his heart. He commanded his people to keep the law, too. And they obeyed their King.

Afterwards Josiah prepared to keep the Passover Feast, which the Israelites were commanded in God's law to keep once every year. He assembled the people from every part of the land, and when they came together he gave from his own flocks many lambs for the Passover supper. And the people rejoiced together, and kept the Feast for seven days. Not since the days of the prophet Samuel had there been such a great Passover Feast as this one.

Josiah ruled the people for thirty-one years. He began to rule when he was only a child, eight years old. Of course some older men had charge of the important affairs of the kingdom until he grew to manhood. But Josiah longed to be a good king when he was only a boy. And at the age of sixteen he began to seek God earnestly, and God helped him to rule wisely.

At the end of Josiah's good reign the king of Egypt went out to fight against the Assyrian king, and he marched through the land of Judah. Josiah have him pass through the country so he called out his army and prepared to fight against him.

Now the king of Egypt did not wish to fight against Josiah, and he sent word for Josiah to return home from the battle-field; but Josiah would not go. He dressed himself in the clothes of a common soldier and went out to battle anyway.

And in the midst of the fight he was shot by an archer and wounded so severely that his servants brought him back to Jerusalem in a chariot.
Soon afterwards he died, and the people buried him among the honorable kings of Judah. The prophet of God wept for him, because he knew that Josiah was the last king who would ever try to keep the words that Moses wrote in the Book of the Law.


_________________
I am nothing without Him. For He is my Savior and my light.
He brings me to a land of promise and flourishes my generations. He keeps me from harm and wakes my sleeping eyes.
For more information on A Walk Toward Jesus go to www.awtj.org
http://awtj.webs.com

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