1 Kings 21-22 B

These chapters! My goodness, the Old Testament is a wild ride. I hope you read them for yourselves, because these posts can hardly scrape the surface.

Here’s what jumped out to me:

 “Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, ‘Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.’ But Micaiah replied, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what the Lord tells me to say.’ ” 22:13-14

Micaiah is courageous and faithful with the message God has given him. He doesn’t waver in the presence of authority or in the threat of violence. He stands firm; he only says what the Lord tells him to say.

Does people-pleasing prevent you from sharing what God wants you to say? 

I love this Psalm: “In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.” Psalm 22:13-14

It is better to take refuge in the Lord. Why do I so quickly forget that?




1 Kings 19-20 B

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers’.” (19:4)

Elijah can’t even anymore. He seems to have a righteous anger about how hopeless the situation is. Rightly so, the LORD just handedly won a stand off against the preferred god of His own people, and it’s somehow still not over.

I love how gentle the LORD is with him in this moment. He sees Elijah’s despair and makes him a cake. “Arise and eat, the journey is too great for you.” God knows he doesn’t have what it takes, so He supplies the power.

I am struck by the frailties of our humanity in these chapters. Even a great prophet like Elijah doesn’t have the perspective to know it isn’t over. But the LORD gently helps him find a refuge and provides a replacement. It’s beautiful, even, to remember the continuation of this story. That Elijah doesn’t ever die, the LORD takes Him up in a chariot. He loves Elijah.

Meanwhile, back in the valley, Elijah doesn’t know that, not only does the LORD have other prophets, but they’re hard at work (getting punched in the face and stuff) while Elijah rests and finds his replacement.

The war in chapter 20 is strange, because why would God give victory to this horrible Ahab person?? (So nice He didn’t give this assignment to poor Elijah). But the LORD’s motive becomes clear:

“And a man of God came near and said to the king of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” (20:28)

This isn’t about anyone besides Him and His Great Name. He will walk away from the battle having cleared some things up. Namely His unlimited jurisdiction.

If you are someone who truly wants to see the glory of the LORD fill the earth, and for all people to know Him, but you’re tired and discouraged, because people are the worst, ask for His strength and perspective today.


1 Kings 17-18 B

These are two of my favorite stories in the Bible. I love the second half of 18. Here’s an overview Bethany wrote, I’ll just share what I noticed today:

Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” 

I always feel moved when God uses creation and animals within his work. I poked around online for a while to see if there was anything symbolic about ravens, but didn’t find much. They’re simple birds, smart, but not remarkable by any means, and it’s speculated that they don’t even bother to feed their young (Psalm 147:9, Job 38:41).

Yet these animals, a dime a dozen, still answer to the Lord. On one hand, I love this because it’s a slight glimpse of God exercising his power over his creation. And on the other, it reminds me that God allows me to choose him. We aren’t like the birds; we have a choice to obey him and join him in his work.

If we want to dance around in circles, worshiping our lifeless gods that don’t respond or make a sound (18:29), we have that choice.

God deeply loves you and desires to be loved back by you. If he simply wanted power and control, to dictate your every move with a heavy hand, he could do it instantly. But instead, he patiently waits out a relationship with us. He does things like using a starving widow, one of the least important people to that culture at the time, to tell a part of his story. He has mercy on her, rewarding her faithful hand that reaches into the bottom of the empty flour jar every morning. He demonstrates tangibly that he is our provider, he is sovereign over life, death, weather and fertility, as Baal followers claim their manmade god is.

Did these chapters change how you see God?





1 Kings 15-16 B

After a slower narrative start, the author of Kings hits the fast forward button on these guys: “This one followed the LORD, this one angered Him…”

While a mostly righteous king (Asa) reigns in Judah, Israel experiences a dizzying few decades of turn around.

It can feel like we’re missing out on some serious history, here, but the point of Kings is to highlight those who did, and did not, keep the LORD as Lord. Another detail included is this:

“In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.” (16:34)

I’m sure many cities were built and rebuilt at this time, but most noteworthy is the one which fulfills a prophecy almost 500 years old!

What do you think will be the most noteworthy aspect of your life? If I was alive at this time, I would not be mentioned, as my ancestors weren’t either!

What was going on with the average Israelite during these decades? I’m sure some still worshiped YHWH as best they could (He always keeps a remember for Himself), and others were confused, indifferent, or stoked about Asherah worship. Only God sees all of us, but it’s interesting to note how responsible He holds leaders.

This should push us to do a few things.

  1. Pray for our leaders
  2. Approach leadership positions cautiously and humbly
  3. Keep the LORD as Lord!

There will be more chapters like this, which cover a lot of time, but tomorrow we will slow down for a closer look at the life of Elijah, and the reign of Ahab.


1 Kings 13-14 B

“But the old prophet answered, ‘I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.’ ‘ But the old man was lying to him. So they went back together, and the man of God ate and drank at the prophet’s home. Then while they were sitting at the table, a command from the Lord came to the old prophet. He cried out to the man of God from Judah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back to this place and ate and drank where he told you not to eat or drink. Because of this, your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors.’ ” 13:18-22

These were pretty wild chapters (shrine prostitutes? Symbolic donkey and lion hang out in the road?!), but I was really upset about this part. Why would the old prophet do that? Ugh, it doesn’t sit right with me. I dwelled on it for a while, and unfortunately, recalled that usually when Scripture deeply rubs me the wrong way, it’s because it resonates with me personally.

The old prophet is holding up a mirror for me that I don’t really want to look into. Insecure and prone with pride. The Bible leaves out the exact details, but here’s what I speculate:

Jealousy. This man is described as “the old prophet”. As in, old news. As in, probably not prophesying anymore. His sons are visiting him, possibly even caring for him. He hears of a new man of God performing snappy new miracles and decides to take him down. Yikes.

Is there something in your life you’ve placed a little too much worth in?

I don’t want to be like the old prophet, and wow, I don’t want to be like the man of God either. He puts his life on the line for a meal (glad I’m not the only one who is often ruled by their appetite), and deliberately disobeys EXACTLY what God said to him.

I’m not convinced he entirely believed the prophet when he said God changed his mind and said it was okay to come over for dinner. It’s just easy to believe other godly people when they tell you what you want to hear. 

But we don’t answer to godly people, we answer to God. 

How do you go about sifting your decisions through God’s word? Who do you find yourself turning to when you need to make a decision? Someone who will tell you what you want to hear, or someone who will tell you the truth?




1 Kings 11-12 B

“So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, ‘You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’” (12:28‬)

The idolatry Jeroboam prescribed, to sway his people from traveling to Jerusalem to worship the LORD, was different from the idolatry Solomon ended his life practicing.

Solomon was adding gods to his pantheon. He knew they were separate deities with separate demands. They wanted different sacrifices, human sacrifices. They demanded sexual acts of worship. These were foreign gods.

What Jeroboam did was very much like what Aaron did in Exodus 32:4. The presence of the LORD was in Jerusalem and he didn’t want them going up there. The presence of the LORD was on Mount Sinai and the people didn’t want to go up there.

In both cases, these men made a more accessible, familiar “version” of the God who brought them up out of the land of Egypt. They weren’t changing His name or His track record, they were changing His nature to be made in their image, so as to not be so intimidated by Him.

Both are wrong!

Sometimes we let ourselves get away with this second type of idolatry because we don’t practice the first. We may not outrightly worship a god besides the LORD, but we do water Him down to be a more convenient version (which is no real version at all).

Convenience! There are even, now, two locations accepting “God of Israel” worship! This must have been excellent news for the people of Dan, who previously would have had to travel 150 miles to offer the annual sacrifices in Jerusalem.

This one is so easy to slip into. If something about God makes me uneasy, I have to decide if I will submit to that aspect of His character, or if I will reject it in order to form a more comfortable theology. Will I fashion a more comfortable god who isn’t so scary? (Side note: I get a little bothered when people want to translate “fear of the LORD” to “respect”. He is a hurricane on a mountain top! Be a healthy amount of afraid!)

Since it is so easy to slide into a cozy view of God, my best defense is to continue reading His word and getting to know who He says He is! Otherwise, it’s easy to go off what other people say He’s like, or what my faulty memory recalls Him to be. He’s always more than that. Always more loving, more awesome, more holy, more patient, more kind, more just.

Ask the LORD, today, if there’s an image of Him you’ve wrongly directed your worship.

Remember this conversation with a woman who lived in the north?

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’” (John‬ ‭4:20-24‬)


1 Kings 9-10 B

“So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth. People from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him. Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.” 10:23-24

Today’s chapters just really reiterated that our fleshly desires are a bottomless pit. Solomon truly could not have more money, resources, treasures or intellect, and yet, as we’ll soon find out, it’s not enough for him.

What do you tell yourself when you’re feeling discontent? “Once I obtain ____, I’ll be truly satisfied/less sad/less irritable/more productive, etc?

It’s always money for me. Money seems like the key to everything I’m missing. I’d have a clean house (yes, hiring someone to clean my bathrooms would be top priority), cuter clothes, a perfectly remodeled home, zero stress, I’d travel more, blah blah blah. Absolutely none of that is really true. Solomon had anything and everything anyone could possibly want and remember the book of Ecclesiastes? It’s all meaningless. Striving after the wind. 

Ultimately, I know money is not the answer. I believe God and the writers of the Bible who tell me so, and I know that things and food and clean bathrooms won’t bring me true contentment.

True contentment in my life has come directly from knowing, loving and being loved by Jesus. 

What do you find yourself longing for?




1 Kings 7-8 B

I enjoyed re-reading Carly’s thoughts form last time, so I thought I’d include them (not that today isn’t already a heavy reading day).

Something which stood out to me in seven, was the extensive use of pomegranates in decorating. Since this piqued my interest, i Wikipedia-ed it, and thought I’d share this tidbit:

“The pomegranate is a Jewish symbol of honesty and correctness, since it would contain 613 seeds, which as many pearls are the 613 prescriptions written in the Torah, (365 prohibitions and 248 obligations) observing which you are certain to keep wise behavior and fair. In reality the seeds of the pomegranate are in variable numbers (certainly about 600), but the fruit with its seeds recalls that number, which like many others, has precise references in Jewish numerology. The pomegranate for its many seeds is a symbol of productivity, wealth and fertility.”

So cool! I love everything in nature which reminds us of God’s design and instruction. It also said, Jewish tradition holds the pomegranate to be the fruit on the Tree of Life.

Now, I want to focus on these parts of eight which, I think, fit together:

“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart;” (8:23)

There are many characteristics of Our LORD God, the God of Israel, which make Him distinct from other gods. The LORD placed Israel at the crossroads of the earth, where Africa, Asia and Europe met, in order for people to hear about Him.

“When a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, comes from a far country for Your name’s sake (for they shall hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven Your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by Your name.” (8:41-43)

He is for all people! He may have chosen the people-Israel and the place-Jerusalem to be His heralds and homeland, but He chose them to get His name to everyone.

The God who created all peoples, has taught us His intended designs and instruction for life.

“The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His rules, which He commanded our fathers… that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the LORD our God, walking in His statutes and keeping His commandments, as at this day.” (8:57-58, 60-61‬)

People will know about Him through our obedience! It is good to remember His laws! Is there something (like a pomegranate) which can remind you of God’s instruction?


1 Kings 5-6 B

We have a guest blogger today! Tiffany Jensen is contributing her thoughts again and I hope you are stirred by them like I was:

Solomon had planned to build a house for God when he became king. He may have even planned to ask Hiram for the timber. What I find interesting is that Hiram sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that he was anointed king; and that’s when Solomon asked for the cedars to be cut. Solomon did not have to do the work of finding someone to supply timber, God provided that for him. Then we get to the details of what Solomon was having built. I don’t know about you, but I was trying to picture this beautiful building and the wonderful smell of fresh cut cedar. Why all the details about dimensions, decorations, support beams, or the fact that no tool was heard in the house while it was being built? God cares about details and He wants to provide us with good things. He is a good father.

I think that I have been so damaged by “prosperity gospel” messages that I have often ignored God’s tangible blessings in my life. There have been one too many late nights where I have been flipping through channels and landed on a pastor promising that if you give money to his church or mission that God will bless you monetarily in return. This has hardened my heart. Does God just give you money because you gave money to someone else? Or does He give you good gifts when your heart is in the right place and you are earnestly seeking His wisdom?

Several months ago my husband and I got an unexpected monetary gift. It came after a very stressful few months where trying to help someone didn’t work out very smoothly. So when the dust settled, I found myself sitting and thanking God that the difficult situation was over. But I didn’t thank Him for the money. I thought to myself, “money isn’t a blessing.” To which He swiftly replied, “why not?” I was instantly convicted of receiving a gift from God and not even acknowledging where it came from.

God’s blessings come in all different shapes and sizes. The important thing is to be like Solomon, seek wisdom. Seek God’s kingdom first. Live your life to honor Him and He will bless you for it. And when He does, acknowledge it.

Thank you, Tiff!



1 Kings 3-4 B

Wisdom is such a prize. It receives much praise throughout Scripture and especially, not surprisingly, in the literature of Solomon. Having wisdom increased his appreciation of it. He teaches us, throughout the Proverbs, where wisdom starts and how it functions. Today I was struck by the way Solomon asked for it.

“And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude.” (3:7-8)

It started in humility. Solomon recognized he was chosen, selected, appointed. Not based on his age or birth order, but because of God’s loving choice. 2 Samuel 12:24-25 speaks of Solomon’s birth and how the love of God was set on Him from the beginning.

The second thing I noticed is how he views the people, Israel. He doesn’t ask for wisdom to best govern “his subjects”, but he desires wisdom to steward the people belonging to God.

I pray for wisdom as often as I remember James 1:5, but I don’t always remember how I need it for situations God has appointed me for. I think this makes a huge difference.

What places and positions has the LORD set you in? How do you steward those things? What do you need His wisdom for? How do you see the people entrusted to your care? How do you imagine you got where you are?

Talk to the LORD about these today and pray for His wisdom. Then look expecting fruit!