2 Kings 2
November 24, 2022Day 329
Some time had passed, and Elijah’s time of ministry was coming to an end. God had something astonishing in store for this faithful prophet, and He must have given some hint to Elisha, because all that day, Elisha stuck like glue to Elijah’s side. When Elijah asked what blessing Elisha wanted, he asked for a double portion of the spirit of faithfulness and duty Elijah had shown. He did have the privilege of seeing his teacher taken to heaven, and the blessing passed to him. Now God had two men in heaven: Moses, representing those who die and will be resurrected, and Elijah, representing those who will go to heaven without dying when Jesus comes. Moses and Elijah are there now, still faithfully obeying God. They even got to encourage Jesus when He was here!
1 Kings 22
November 22, 2022Day 327
We have spent several chapters in Israel, the northern kingdom, with little mention of Judah, the southern kingdom. Here, Asa’s son, Jehoshaphat, joins forces with Israel’s wicked king. Even though he has the sense to ask for a real prophet of God, and that prophet says the battle will go ill, Jehoshaphat still goes to battle with Ahab. He even dresses up like Ahab! He’s lucky he didn’t die, as Ahab did despite his deception. Aside from this, Jehoshaphat follows God as his father did, though he does not remove the high places.
1 Kings 21
November 21, 2022Day 326
We can learn all we need to know about Ahab’s true character (and Jezebel’s too) in this story. Do you see how he throws a pouting tantrum because he can’t get what he wants? Then Jezebel commits murder to give it to him! And still God tries to work with Ahab, sending him a warning by the prophet. And Ahab listens! When he wears sackcloth and humbles himself, he must really mean it, because the God who reads hearts says He won’t send evil in Ahab’s days.
1 Kings 20
November 20, 2022Day 325
We can learn several interesting things from this chapter. First, did you notice that Ahab was fine with an enemy king taking his wives and children, but not with him taking his things? Yet, it is clear that God is still trying to reach Ahab, sending him messages and leading him to victory in some important battles, in ways to show He is God. He is also trying to reach the neighboring people, as in verse 28—He wants them to see He is God of everywhere, not just mountains! In heaven, we will meet people from these early centuries of the Bible who did learn to follow the true God, despite the mistakes of the Israelites.
1 Kings 19
November 19, 2022Day 324
We all have our weak moments. Even this powerful prophet of the Lord momentarily lost his trust that God had everything in hand. When he heard Jezebel was after him, he ran and ran and ran. Even the personal care of an angel was not enough to make him stop running. When he finally heard God’s voice, he claimed he was the only faithful one left. He wasn’t! At this point, apparently God decided Elijah needed some help. He sent him to find Elisha.
1 Kings 18
November 18, 2022Day 323
For three long years there has been no rain. People and animals have had a hard time, but God has cared for His own and brought them through. Now Elijah is sent to tell Ahab the drought is over. This is to make sure Ahab knows the whole thing is being orchestrated by God and Ahab’s “gods” can do nothing about it. The confrontation on Mt. Carmel is powerful. 450 pagan prophets yell and scream and dance, and even cut themselves (their “gods” are supposedly impressed by people torturing themselves). Then Elijah says quietly, “Come near.” He prays a simple prayer, and the drought is over.
1 Kings 17
November 17, 2022Day 322
We now begin a long series of much more detailed stories involving the prophet Elijah. Ahab and Jezebel have brought much evil to the land, and since they worship false gods that claim to control the weather, God decides to show them that’s not true by sending a drought and naming in advance how long it will be. He chooses some amazing ways to take care of His prophet, and of other faithful souls. This story is just one small sample of God’s care; we will learn later that there are 7,000 more faithful followers of God in Israel, and we can know He took care of them during the drought, too.
1 Kings 16
November 16, 2022Day 321
What a grim chapter! During good King Asa’s long reign, there is a procession of brief kingships in the north, all brawling and killing each other and outdoing each other in evil and in blasphemous idolatry. The shortest reign is only one week! This sorry list culminates in Ahab, who “did more to provoke the Lord…than all the kings…before him.” We will learn much more about Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel. What do you think the surrounding nations are learning so far, from watching the people who are supposed to represent the God of heaven?
1 Kings 15
November 15, 2022Day 320
This chapter briefly tells of several kings, both north and south. Most are evil, but in the middle, there is relief in the story of Asa, who, even though he doesn’t remove the high places, does make important reforms, and is devoted to God all his life. He rules 41 years—the longest reign since David and Solomon, but there are still wars during his reign. More and more often, the wars are not even with so-called outsiders, but between the tribes. It’s a good thing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob can’t see what their descendants are up to!