Hezekiah, 13th King of Judah

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King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.

A little background before we begin: the nation of Israel divided after King Solomon (because Solomon abandoned the Lord – 1 King11)  The north, or Samaria, had 10 tribes and the south, Judah had 2 tribes. Long story short, North Israel- Samaria  was ultimately destroyed while  Hezekiah reigned in Judah, the kingdom of Israel was  taken captive by Assyria and the people were scattered among the nations. The remaining nation of Judah stood alone. The bible tells us the that the fall of Israel was due to the sins of their kings and the people. I’m not talking about one or two sins, I’m talking about years and years of the people rejecting God, rejecting God’s laws, refusing to listen to warning and finally meeting their ultimate destruction.

Enter King Hezekiah at age 25 as King of Judah. Now Judah was not without fault, but within Judah, God saw a remnant of righteousness and King Hezekiah was one who stood out at being righteous before the Lord.   The Kings had the power to bring sin or righteousness into the nation with their leading. Hezekiah’s father, King Ahaz was a wicked king, even sacrificing his own sons and being in alliance with Assyria, yes the nation who destroyed their own family to the north, Israel. Hezekiah, his son,  steps in and changes everything – for the good.

Hezekiah begins to rule in the 3rd year of King Hoshea of Israel. Just 6 years later, Samaria/Israel is wiped out and destroyed by Assyria leaving only southern Judah ruled by Hezekiah standing strong. Samaria/ Israel falls during Hezekiah’s of Judah’s 6th year because ” Israel refused to listen to the Lord their God and obey him” . Assyria eventually goes after Judah, because, unlike his father, Hezekiah will not submit to Assyria. Assyria is  unsuccessful, all  thanks to the Lord’s amazing help, his angelic army, and his strategic maneuvers.

Hezekiah’s story begins in 2 Chronicles 29 and 2 Kings 18 (Also in Isaiah)

K Hezekiah did what was pleasing to the Lord

  • He repaired and opened the Temple doors
  • Demanded the Levites purify themselves and once again lead the people to worship the Lord
  • Cleansed the temple
  • brought back the Passover
  • during his reign, the leaders of Simeon completely destroyed the descendants of Ham and the Meunites- No trace of them remains today. They destroyed them and took their land. They also destroyed the few Amalekites who survived.
  • Brought back the feasts of the Lord
  • held the greatest celebration to the Lord since the days of Solomon
  • He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, obeying all the commands of Moses
  • He conquered the Philistines in Gaza
  • he broke the bronze serpent that Moses had made because the people of Israel had been offering scarifies to it. They had named it Nehushtan
  • Brought goods back into the storehouses for the Priests
  • brought knowledge to the people by having Levites teach the knowledge of the Lord
  • repaired walls, erected towers, put up a second wall , reinforced terraces
  • manufactured weapons and shields
  • built special treasury buildings for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and other valuables
  • built a pool and dug a tunnel to bring water into the city
  • saved a nation because of his humble heart and obedience to God
  • He constructed many storehouses for grain, new wine and olive oil.
  • He made many stalls for his cattle and pens for his flocks of sheep and goats
  • He built many towns and God gave him great wealth
  • He blocked up the upper spring of Gihon
  • he brought back the Passover and feasts of the Lord
  • he purified the priests, the temple and the people
  • collected and recorded Proverbs of King Solomon Pr 25-
  • He brought back and obeyed all the commands of God, the commands the Lord have to King David
  • “And so he succeeded in everything he did” 2 Chronicles 32:30
  • lived during time of prophet Isaiah and prophet Micah of Moresheth

Once the Temple and priests were cleansed, he gathered the people and made a great offering/ sacrifice to the Lord for the sins of all the people

Imagine this first gathering of worship:

 The entire assembly worshiped the Lord as the singers sang and the trumpets blew, until all the burnt offerings were finished. Then the king and everyone with him bowed down in worship. King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the psalms written by David and by Asaph the seer. So they offered joyous praise and bowed down in worship…. So the Temple of the Lord was restored to service.  And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had done for the people, for everything had been accomplished so quickly.

This was an amazing day for the people, imagine everyone in the land coming together as one to offer praise and honor the Lord with song and rejoicing, but also with repentant hearts and acknowledgment of their sin and God’s mercy

This was just the beginning! He sent word inviting the people of Ephrain, Manasseh, Jerusalem, all Israel to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. At this time, the people had not celebrated Passover. Word went out to all the people, some mocked them and others humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

A HUGE crowed assembled to celebrate God’s holy feast of unleavened bread! They removed the idols and the pagan altars. Although they missed the original day of Passover, instead of waiting for the proper day the following year, they held the Passover a month later than usual. The local people were not properly prepared or cleansed for this special feast so  Hezekiah prayed,  “May the Lord, who is good, pardon those 19 who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.”  And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.

I find it amazing how quickly and instantly God hears prayers – there is no time delay or a waiting period. There may be a waiting period to be answered, but God immediately hears prayers. (also see Daniel, his prayer was instantly heard and instantly answered but demonic forces stood in the way of the answer arriving)

Imagine this holy celebration! It was the GREATEST CELEBRATION since the days of King Solomon:

The people of Israel in Jerusalem joyously celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for 7 days! Each day the Levites and priests sang to the Lord, with  loud instruments The celebration continued for seven days. Peace offerings were sacrificed, and the people gave thanks to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.The entire assembly decided to continue the festival another seven days, so they celebrated joyfully for another week.  The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, including the priests, the Levites, all who came from the land of Israel, the foreigners who came to the festival, and all those who lived in Judah. There was GREAT JOY, for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David’s son. Then the priests and Levites stood and blessed the people, and God heard their prayer from his holy dwelling in heaven.

Wow, just wow.

After the celebration, the people continued to destroy all the idols, pillars, poles, shrines and pagan altars. K. Hezekiah made so many good changes, by good, I mean by bringing the people back to the Lord. Teaching them, bringing knowledge of God’s word to the people, restoring the duties of the priests and Levites in order to Honor the Lord as well as bringing the tithes of people back to the temple. The people gladly gave until there was an overflow of abundance.

TROUBLE COMES, Here comes Assyria….

King Sennacherib of Assyria invades Judah (remember, he had just destroyed Samaria and taken the land captive and Hezekiah’s father was bf with Assyria) . Hezekiah strategically blocks the Assyrians water supply, increases military strength, creates new weapons and enforces protection around the city. He tells the people: “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!  He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.

TAUNTING WORDS OF DISCOURAGEMENT AND DESPAIR

King Sennecherib of Assyria mocks King Hezekiah of Judah and his hope in God. His words are meant to discourage and crush the hope of the people. He mocked the God they hoped in. (2 Chronicles 32) The Assyrians shouted the threats and hopelessness to all who had gathered along the wall to listen. Instead of speaking in Arabic, they shouted in Hebrew so all the people could hear and understand. And they shouted:

  • What makes you think your God can rescue you from me?
  • Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you! Don’t listen to your king!
  • your king, Hezekiah, will never be able to rescue you from my power.
  • Don’t let your king fool you into trusting in the Lordby saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’
  • no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors.
  • Hezekiah is misleading you
  • Make a peace treaty with me and you will be blessed
  • perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the Lordour God!’ But isn’t he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah?
  • Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria?
  • Which of their gods was able to rescue its people from the destructive power of my predecessors?
  • the God of Hezekiah will also fail
  • What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?
  • What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lordcan rescue Jerusalem from me?”

These words of discouragement were shouted to all the people gathered on the walls of the city in their own language so they could understand and try to terrify them. King Hezekiah’s men tell the men to Assyria to shhhhhh! and talk in Arabic so the people wouldn’t hear but they refused and said ” King of Assyria wants all the people to hear it, for when we put you to seige, they will suffer with you! You will be hungry, thirsty so much you will eat your own dung and drink your own urine”

However, the king had commanded the people to be silent and not to answer the Assyrians so the people did not utter a word. The Kings men reported to Hezekiah and  tore their clothes in despair as they went. Hezekiah joins them, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and went to the Temple. He sent his men to call on Isaiah and request prayer  and tell the Lord how the king of Assyria had defied the living God.

ISAIAH STEPS IN

The prophet Isaiah and K.Hezekiah cried out in prayer.  and the Lord sent and angel to destroy the Assyrian army 185000 of them, the ground was littered with corpses when the rest of the Assyrian army awoke! God hears prayer! As prophesied, King Sennecherib of Assyria went back to Ninevah, his capital, and as he was worshiping his god Nisroch, his 2 sons killed him with a sword and Esahadon became next ruler of Assyria..see below for full story:

King Hezekiah sends messengers requesting prayer and and update on what is going on with Assyria.  Isaiah reports to K. Hezekiah: ” The Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian King’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land where I will have him killed with a sword”

Then, as the Lord had said,  King Sennecherib  is called back home to Assyria and eventually killed by his own sons.(with a sword)- and even on his way back home, before his death, he sent more threats to Hezekiah, saying don’t trust in your God! He deceives you with promises.

Hezekiah prays in the temple with the letter spread out before the Lord and asks the Lord to look at the words , listen to the defiance against the living God.

Isaiah sends message to King of Assyria/ King Sennecherib 2 Kings19:20-30

The daughter of Zion laughs in your face –  oh Assyria, you are despised, we shake our heads as you walk by, what a joke you are

Who do you think you’ve been defiling? Against who did your raise your voice? No one messes with our God, the living God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, No one.

You think your men and your chariots make you so great? you think because you’ve destroyed nations that you are above God? You sit in your abundance of pride, but God is not mocked.

Your end approaches. Have you not heard? The Lord planned this out before you existed! Long ago, and now it is happening. I planned for you to crush those nations, that was the Lord, not your own power.  But Oh Assyria, the Lord know you very well. He knows where you go, where you came from, the words youve spoken against Him and now the Lord says ” I will put a hook in your nose and a bit in your mouth. I will make your return by the same road on which you came”

Isaiah gives Hezekiah a promise from the Lord (vs29) and another word against the king of Assyria- that their armies would not enter Jerusalem, nor surround it, the king will return to his own country

THAT NIGHT!

An angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 18500 Assyrian soldiers

Hezekiahs untimely death and sickness about this time- Hezekiah is in his 14th year of reign and all this stuff with Assyria just went down…

Hezekiah becomes deathly ill,  Isaiah brings a word from the Lord to him ” Get your affairs in order, you are going to die, you will not recover” but prayer….. Hezekiah prayed to the Lord and before Isaiah had left, the Lord said – Go back and tell Hezekiah, I have heard his prayer and in 3 days I will heal you. I have seen your tears. I will add 15 years to your life and I will rescue you and this city from Assyria- for the sake of my servant David.

The SUN GOES BACKWARDS? FIG OINTMENT?

Read 2 Kings 20:7-11 We have and odd verse that Isaiah made a fig ointment that was put on the kings boils, then he was healed. Also a sign was given to Hezekiah proving God would heal him, he was given the option of the shadow on the sundial to forward 10 steps or backward 10 steps, Well Hezekiah says backwards, because it always goes forward. And Isaiah prayed, and the Lord caused the shadow to move 10 steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!

Sin of PRIDE Sneaks in the Heart 

After the Lord healed him, scripture says : “But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.  Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.

The Test of Hezekiah’s heart

You have to read the version in Chronicles, Isaiah and Kings to get the full picture . Here it is:

God withdrew himself from Hezekiah in order  to test him and see what was really in his heart.  This happened when Hezekiah decided to show the ambassadors from Babylon every single thing he owned when they visited him”

The son of the king of Babylon heard Hezekiah was healed of his sickness (boils) and sent good wishes and a gift to Hezekiah. Hezekiah welcomed the people of Babylon into his house and showed them everything in his royal treasuries.

This reminds me of a verse in 2 John :If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.” Hezekiah should not have let the ambassordors to Babylon in his house nor shown them all he had.

Somehow, that I do not understand, this was a test of Hezekiah’s heart. Was he firm in standing with God? Did he honor God’s house? Who did he trust? it seems he did not pass this test.

Isaiah soon comes along and questions Hezekiah about what he’s just done..yeah- showing the enemy all your treasures, being their friend and bringing them into your house. The Lord then sent a message: The time is coming when everything in your palace, all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left. Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile” and the King thought to himself ” At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime” ( Hezekiah knew something more)

We always need to be on alert for sin in our heart. K. Hezekiah became proud and the Lord was angry,  The anger came against the land of Judah and Jerusalem but not during K. Hezekiah’s lifetime

Hezekiah in book of Jeremiah:

Hezekiah was remembered among the people in Josiah’s day (Hezekiah’s great grandson) for honoring God’s prophet when doom was pronounced on  them. Usually a king would kill a bearer of bad news, but when the prophet Micah prophesied disaster and ruins, King Hezekiah respected the words and instead of killing him, King Hezekiah and the people turned from their evil ways, begged for mercy and worshiped the Lord. Then the Lord changed his mind about the disaster had pronounced against them.

Hezekiah in Proverbs

He collected the proverbs of King Solomon.(over 200 years had passed, Hezekiah was 13 kings after Solomon. See proverbs 25, probably chapters 25-29, Here are a few King Hezekiah collected

Don’t visit your neighbors too often,
    or you will wear out your welcome.

Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
    is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather
    or pouring vinegar in a wound

It’s not good to eat too much honey,
    and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.

A person without self-control
    is like a city with broken-down walls.

Hezekiah did not have a godly example of a father: (133 years of history condensed below)

Understand that Hezekiahs father, King Ahaz, was a wicked king – the opposite of his son Hezekiah. Ahaz reigned for 16 years starting at age 20. Hezekiah’s righteousness was probably taught to him from his mother -which might explain why her name is mentioned ” His (Hezekiahs) mother was Abijah, (Abi) the daughter of Zechariah”. He also knew much about history which is evident during his reign, as well as the laws of God. Ahaz, his father, rejected the Lord, he sacrificed his sons in the fire, he burned incense to shrines, shut the temple doors so no one could worship the Lord, he worshipped Ball, he made pagan shrines in all the towns, he rearranged the temple and sacrificial times and made his own rules based on what he saw the pagans doing in Assyria and their idol worship.

Hezekiah ruled for 29 years beginning at age 25. At age 39 he was given another 15 years to live. He died at age 54-55 and his (wicked) son Manasseh (age 12) ruled in his place, he was king of Judah for 55 years until his son Amos ruled (2 years)  then Josiah (age 8) rules for 31 years. King Hezekiah was a great and godly king, he did much good yet the sin of pride came in as a destroyer. Just like we see with King Solomon who, although a great and wise king, died in his sins. How easily the world pulls us into sin. We need to be diligent in our walk along the narrow path – a path that is difficult and few find it. Don’t get caught on the highway to hell, the path that is wide, easy and many choose- Matthew 7,  Isaiah is accused of walking this “narrow path” in Isaiah 30:11 ‘Get off your narrow path and stop telling us about your Holy One of Israel

Verse to think about:

Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:8

 

 

Mark 14:51 A certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

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This is such a strange verse. I usually pass over it as I read thinking it’s waaaaay over my head to figure this one out, however this week I stopped, pondered, dove into the words and wondered and wondered away as I asked God, what in the world! is going on here?

—-a naked man running away in the night after men had laid hold of him, then he dropped his linen cloth………who memorized that verse in bible class?

  So here’s the scene:  It’s the night before Jesus’s death and Judas with his temple hierarchy come sneaking to find Jesus at Gethsemane (garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem). They did this privately because they feared the people would be in an uproar if they saw what they were up to. Jesus had been earnestly praying to God that this awful cup would pass – but also for God’s will only. Jesus’ friends kept falling asleep even though Jesus had asked them to stay awake and pray. Jesus, then, coming back to his disciples a 3rd time said 

“Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

  And then you know the rest, Judas kisses him, an armed crowd with swords and clubs surrounds Jesus, they seize and arrest Jesus, then he heals the ear of one of his attackers, then everyone deserts him…..then this verse :

Mark 14:51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him

So long story short, I think this is symbolic of the scapegoat when they sacrificed- or the scapebird- yeah, there’s a scape bird too (Lev 14 ).

However, let’s look at a few things or follow me along my thought process which made me believe, out of all my thoughts, that my final on this verse is scapegoat

1 . Linen…why linen!?! We know linen was mainly used for the high priests and also the temple hangings- hmmm but I’m not convinced I have a full answer here. Sure, Jesus is our high priest and he made a way for us through the veil..but let’s move on

2- Who else was naked? (besides demon possessed) Adam- and what did Adam do? He hid, he probably ran like this naked man did too. First Adam? last Adam? Is there a similarity? maybe, sure. Adam and this man both found themselves naked and one hid and the other ran. Yeah, but that can’t be the full story either

3- Was it symbolic of a new beginning – born naked and die naked like life and death, no, that can’t be it. Could it be shame? ehhhh , I’m not convinced

4- Did it have something to do with our garments? Revelation 16:15 Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.

5- Isaiah 20:3 Isaiah walked naked as a SIGN and a wonder

………………..okay so there is something symbolic in Mark 14:51-52

What do I think?

I think there’s a link between this action in the garden and the sin offering with the scapegoat in Leviticus 16:7

 He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.

15 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 

21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

 

Perhaps in Mark, the hands laid on The man we’re like the hands laid on the head of the live scape goat.

Update, I see it now! Do you know what this means?! This is the ultimate picture of forgiveness! Jesus is taking the sin of all his accusers right there at that moment, offering himself up as the sin offering. Wow! Look, the men laid hold of the man and then he ran off. So the men, like the priest laying his hand on the scapegoat, then the men coming to arrest Jesus laid their hands on this man and then Jesus, beside them was the ultimate sin offering. wow. wow. wow!

Image result for jesus gethsemane

 

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Peace out and show others your bravery in Christ just as the Israelites did when they marched out of Egypt  showing the Egyptians their bravery because they trusted in the Lord. That’s what God wants you to do. Be brave and represent Him with FAITH!

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Who exactly laid hold of whom? The translation in  bible says the men laid hold of him meaning the man in linen, However when you read the translation in Greek,

it says the man laid hold of the man, the young man is the definition of both the one laying hands on the man and the one in linen. It’s also translated servant so maybe the servant of the high priest who just had his ear replaced was the one who laid hold of this man in linen. The pluralization of the word ‘men’ is added, we only know a young man or young servant laid hold, seized or tried to restrain another young man or servant.

Now we think a young man or men laid hold of him- but often, that ‘ him’ is also plural in the bible. What if the young man tried to seized them- those trying to seize Jesus.- or is the him , Jesus?

Did the men try to seize the man in linen?

did the man in linen try to seize Jesus? the men or one man, like the priest’s servant?

Did one man of the accusers try to seize this man.

If you read the bible verse, it’s clear. When you did deeper and read the true meaning, we don’t know for sure who seized who. I believe the men or the servant’s young priest tried to seize the man in linen, for what reason? Maybe the man in linen was trying to seize them or Jesus. Anyways, what we do know is this- one or two were about to be seized. hands were laid on someone and one ran away dropping his linen. Was this linen used in the burial of Jesus? I don’t know if Joseph of Arimathea would have used that or used a new one, but knowing Joseph, I think he’d only want the best, not one that dropped on the ground, but I’ve been wrong before.

 

 

 

 

Our Eternal Home

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My house is being remodeled and it’s quite frustrating. I haven’t had a kitchen for 6 weeks, my floors are ripped up and all day long I hear jackhammers, workers talking loud and so much dust.  Besides that, which is really nothing- when I refocus on the blessings God gives me each day, we recently went through a hurricane, we were happy to be one of the few who still had power but we didn’t have water and when we did it wasn’t safe.   Many were without power for weeks, others lost homes and still others are suffering on the islands, the Keys and Puerto Rico. When I consider their destruction and tragedy , I am silent, really…I have nothing to complain about.

After the hurricane I was praying to God, I told Him how frustrated I was because I felt like I didn’t have a home , but the Lord reminded me that this home on earth is only temporary. I opened up the bible and every day His Word spoke to me. This is what I opened up to the first day:

  2 Cor 5:  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Now I know this can also relate to our earthly body, not our literal house, but it had great impact on me on that moment. Even if my body fails and my house falls apart, I know that this is not my eternal home. God has prepared a place for me and you (John 14) not built by human hands. We have a perfect home in heaven that is being prepared. This home will never be destroyed.

Besides all this, God has given us His peace through Christ Jesus. Even in my dusty, noisy home, I can find peace and joy. Though storms, frustrations and fears come, God has given us a way to stand unshakable ( Jeremiah 17:7-8) in faith and filled with peace no matter what we face. There are times in life when it feels like we need to walk through the fire. It could be sickness, death, divorce or any other trauma or tragedy but you see….. this is not the end, eternity lies before us and this eternity is clothed with promises of peace for you because of God’s love for you.

Image result for pilgrim passing through bible verse

Philippians 4:8 tells us to fix our thoughts on what is true, noble, and worthy of praise. I can find peace when I refocus my thinking. Another verse in Romans 3:4-5 and also in James 1 tells us to rejoice in our troubles because they are good for us, they make us stronger and they also prepare us to help others who go through the same things we suffered through. There is another verse that tells us not to think it’s a strange thing when we are going through something difficult “ Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you “ 1 Peter 4:12

Why do bad and annoying things happen? There are many reasons and there at times, no reasons. If we look at examples in the bible we see bad things happen when we sin, when we lose our focus, just because we belong to Jesus, a test, or no reason- we don’t have all the answers. This past Sunday I heard Charles Stanley say sometimes things come our way in life to show us some sin in our life we need to deal with or to open our eyes to repentance in order to save our souls that we might live with the Lord forever.

We can find peace in our storm. We can find comfort and sometimes, we can find answers. Like the reggae song says, Everything’s going to be all right in Christ. Those word are true, He will never let you down.

Last year I was dealing with a lot of head pain after my 3 concussions. Sometimes I could feel fear, worry, anxiety and depression trying enter my space and it wasn’t easy fighting it off. It took a lot of persistence but in all that time, when I laid in bed in pain, I had this strangest feeling that there was truly protection around me. It’s almost as if I could see it spiritually, it looked like a biblical Sukkot tent that was put up over me and there was so much peace and protection. It seemed, like there were wooden sticks set up and a white lined cloth like a tent covering it, and I was in it. I can’t sense it there anymore, but when I felt so bad I thought I would die, it was suddenly up over me. I knew, as if knowledge was imparted to me, that I was in God’s care and I didn’t need to worry anymore.

Image result for sukkot tent

Well, I didn’t know this was going to lead to all this talk and completely got off subject, but here I am.

My point today is – we have another eternal home that will never be destroyed. This is wonderful and makes me happy just thinking about it.  This earth will one day pass away but every word of God will stand the test of eternal time. Death isn’t forever, like King David once said when his son died, “ he cannot come back to me, but I can go to him”. David knew death wasn’t the end, he was confident he would one day be reunited with his dead son. In another verse Jesus reminds us of God’s words – That He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- Jesus said God is God of the living and not the dead.

Below are verses that God showed me that really spoke to my heart on my most frustrating of days. God showed me that He has a wonderful home for me and He truly loves each one of you. Trust Him and find His peace.

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2 Cor 5:  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human handsMeanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwellingbecause when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him,whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

John 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.“Come now; let us leave.

Let God’s truth renew you today

Comment 1 Standard

 

And now the prize awaits me; the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
– 2 Timothy 4: 8

 His Truth
God’s word sanctifies you. His truth preserves you, sets you free and will lead you into godliness. God’s truth casts down wrong doctrines, arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against God. It is through His truth, which is His Word, that we bring every thought into captivity to Christ.

You see, you trusted after you heard the truth and you believed, then were sealed with the Holy Spirit. No one can snatch you from His Hand. No one , no circumstance can every separate you from God’s love for you.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. – 2 Timothy 3: 16

 

Remember:

  • You can do all things through Christ, He strengthens you
  • You are no longer a slave to sin – you must master any sin trying to take over your life and subdue it.
  • Do not be an instrument of unrighteousness.
  • Sin will not have dominion over you. Are you a slave to a sin? What do you obey? What has dominion over you?
  • Do not obey the lusts of the flesh, but follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  • Trust in Him in all your ways and He will direct you in the path you are going. If you at crossroads, you must stop- consider the roads before you and ask God for direction. He will lead you in the right way and when you follow His leading, you will have peace.
  • Put on all your armor, He has equipped you for battle.
  • Stand firm in your faith and He will make you firm. Set your mind to serve the law of God and not the law of sin.

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, your inner man. Keep a close check on the thoughts you allow in. Put on the new man created according to God- holy and right and put away lying, hatred, unforgiveness, fighting, selfishness, covetous, complaining, jealousy, revenge, lust, laziness. Don’t be lazy. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Always be kind to others, patient, putting others first, quick to forgive, tenderhearted and always doing your best to be a peacemaker. Being a peacemaker doesn’t mean being a peacemaker when all is well for you, but in times when peace seems impossible- here is where you need to work hard to maintain peace. That is your calling.

Dear Lord,

    Remind me that my days are numbered and life is short. I am but a frail vapor , like a shadow. I trust only in you, even though others heap up riches , fame, desires of the flesh- yet all my hope , my desire and my trust is in you.
      Deliver me from my sins and do not put me to shame, for I trust in you. Make me beautiful forever in your eyes. Save me and deliver me from what the enemy tries to scheme. Put a wall of protection around me and all my family. Protect us from all evil. Raise up bars and gates so the enemy can not come in.  I bless those who speak against me, but remember their actions and see how I have obeyed your word. Bless my life and restore unto me 70times70 what the enemy has stolen.  
          Give ear to my cry, I wait patiently for the Lord. You pulled me up from the terrible pit and I delighted in you O God. You delivered me and I will tell others of your goodness, righteousness, lovingkindess and salvation.

  Your laws and righteousness are always in my heart.
In Jesus name,Amen 

 

My friends,  be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.

Eph 6:14, Ps 40:11, John 8:32, wph 4:15, Titus 1:1, 2 Cor 10;15, Eph 1″14, Jere 10, Phil 4:13, Romans 6:6,12,14, Ps 39-40, Eph 4, 2 Timothy 2:1