Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2 Kings 25

They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon. … And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.

Please Father, help me to remember that it is spiritual warfare – it is ugly and costly and painful. Let me not be flattered and complacent with “gracious freedoms” while I (my thoughts, emotions, etc.) or those in my care are still in the custody of the enemy. Hearten me for this thing called war, strengthen my hands, my heart and my mind with Your presence. Oh Warrior Lord, teach me in the ways of the wise and the warrior, for Your Kingdom sake.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2 Kings 24

This sets the stage for the story of Daniel: Jewish kings who had done evil in the sight of the Lord being puny and dispensable vassals for enemies’ kingdoms rather than abundant life in the Promised Land and sweet “real-ationship” with the Most High God. The Lord sets up kings in any time and any place and He deposes them. And when the time is ripe for Your anger, You cast them out from Your presence. I wonder if the people felt the relentless change of power as a threatening thing or as a welcome relief? Were they hoping for a better life with each new ruler? Or did the shifts foster an apathetic mindset which lent itself to living for self? It seems the state of the union faltered more and more with each wicked leader…the leaders led the people to increase in the sin, (granted, with the occasional generational respite of a godly leader) and so the nation goes.

These circumstances cause me to reflect on my home, America. The people, my people are pursuing sin and evil in increasing manner, apart from a few, the leaders seem to open the gates to the floods of immorality, perversion and laziness. Lord, 200+ years ago we began in tough circumstances and yet, You prospered us. We had abundant life and freedom to the “real-ationship” with You; and we have been slowly squandering the privilege on the pride of life, the comfort and lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye. Whatever we want, however we can get it. How have we so cheapened ourselves and our voices that we can be bought for a cell phone? How can we be so deceived that we choose to live in extravagant comfort now without regard to our children and our children’s children? We choose to live now and don’t give thought to 10 years from now. God, help us. I know that Daniel is a great story of Your presence and faithfulness; please Father, raise up Daniels and Daniellas in our time. Please don’t let what began in pursuit of You end without You – not everyone chooses a life without You. Please help us to bless Your Name, to love You with all our essence, to be a true friend to Your people, to obey Your Word – like Daniel, Azariah, Meshael and Hananiah. Please let us choose You over ourselves, and any thing which would set itself up against You. You and You alone, Lord God. Please don’t any of our children be cast away from Your presence. Help us to be useful to Your purposes…good examples and not terrible warnings. Let us use our choices and voices with Kingdom purpose, divine discernment and godly wisdom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

2 Kings 23

Your people had mind-boggling ways to worship lesser gods.  So many places, so many names, so many styles.  You created humankind for worship - something in us draws us toward expressing ourselves, relating in that fashion.  You made people with a desire for the divine, the supernatural, the holy.  That appetite will not go unaddressed or unremedied, it will work its way into decisions, affiliations and lifestyles.  Holy Spirit, cause me to cooperate with Your perfect purpose, keep my focus on the God Most High.  Please, grant discernment to distinguish clearly between worlds that I would have such a distaste for the natural, the worldly, the evil that I will be unable to tolerate inaccurate worship, inappropriate meditations, and inapposite praise.  The plethora of places, priests, and so-called sacred spots causes me to wonder how have I decorated my life with similar things; allowed worldly ways to encroach on my patterns of life and embraced an unclean inheritance of my family.  Please strengthen my hands and my resolve to tear down, burn down and destroy those things which are not God-approved and God-centered.  Let me not work in mercy as I seek to purge my life of those despicable high places.  Holy Spirit, may my gift of worship be always and only offered to my God and Lord. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2 Kings 22

because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord … when you heard how I spoke … I also have heard you, declares the Lord.
thank You Lord for Your grace, for Your love which hears me, for Your sacrifice which saved me, for Your purpose which includes me. Holy Spirit, please lead me in the way of humility, of penitence of right response to You. To You.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2 Kings 21

Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another …
This strikes me as a description of abortion, terrible and fatal violence on the innocent, real pro-choice results. Lord, if you do nothing else for America, please remove this practice from our land.

Lord, two more things really call to me from this passage; one is that Manasseh burned his son in the fire as an offering……what does that do to the other children? What on earth? God help me to be an instrument of Your peace, a Spirit-bearer who brings Your grace, Your comfort, Your healing rather than stoking a ravenous appetite for destroying life. The second call came from “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My Name forever.” God, where do I place wrong things in the house in which You have placed Your Name? How do I corrupt the holy with the idol? Please, Holy Spirit, guide me into all Truth that I may only make Your Name more glorious in my life, in my worship, in my mind. You and You alone. And I pray for Jerusalem, please make Your Name and no one else’s (real or demonic) known there again.

Friday, November 16, 2012

2 Kings 20

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me…?”

Lord, You are worthy of obedience and what You say happens because it can’t not happen…all creation testifies to You. I am bothered that Heze took Your word for his passing; but wanted a sign (other than the healing, I guess) that You would be good for Your word. Where do I act like that? How do I focus or only take You seriously on half of what You say to me and ask for proof for the rest? Help me to receive Your words and respond in faith to all of them…walking in the confident hope of a daughter of the King. Thank You

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2 Kings 19

(from Assyrian envoy):   "Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered?"
… declares the Lord. “For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

Let me not question what You have done or said; but let me stand firmly on exactly what You have said confidently remembering what You and You alone have done. May my life bring You glory and praise. None other; but You. And thank You for what You do for Your Own sake and for Your servant David. I praise You and thank You for allowing me to be a witness to You and Your mighty works.