Bible in 365 Days – Day 161

DAY 161.png

Focus Chapters:

  • 1 Kings 15:16-22
  • 2 Chronicles 16:1-10
  • 1 Kings 16
  • 1 Kings 15:23-24
  • 2 Chronicles 16:11-14
  • 2 Chronicles 17
  • 1 Kings 17:1-7

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

2 Chronicles 16:1-4 NLT

In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving King Asa’s territory in Judah.

Asa responded by removing the silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace. He sent it to King Ben-hadad of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message:

“Let there be a treaty between you and me like the one between your father and my father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone.”

Ben-hadad agreed to King Asa’s request and sent the commanders of his army to attack the towns of Israel. They conquered the towns of Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all the store cities in Naphtali.

 

THE REACTION

2 Chronicles 16:7-9 NLT

At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers? At that time you relied on the Lord, and he handed them over to you. The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.”

Observation (s):

  1. Asa’s first reaction was to rely upon himself to get his nation out of trouble.

    In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving King Asa’s territory in Judah.

    Asa responded by removing the silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace. He sent it to King Ben-hadad of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message:

    “Let there be a treaty between you and me like the one between your father and my father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone.”

  2. Through Asa’s self-reliance he got his immediate desired result.

    Ben-hadad agreed to King Asa’s request and sent the commanders of his army to attack the towns of Israel. They conquered the towns of Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all the store cities in Naphtali.

  3. Asa’s self-reliance made him a fool. It cost him the opportunity to fully conquer his two enemies. This was an opportunity that God-reliance would have given him.

    At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers? At that time you relied on the Lord, and he handed them over to you. The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.”

     

Application:

We posit the myth of self-reliance with pride. For many of us, our first instinct, in the midst of trouble or as go-getters, is to rely upon ourselves. Only after we have tried self-orchestrated Plans A-Z do some of us decide to rely on God.

Here is what happens when you don’t rely on God, from the outset. Saul was deemed foolish when he took matters into his own hands and failed to wait on Samuel, God’s representative. Asa was labelled a fool when he sought to help himself by allying with his enemy instead of appealing to God. Are you a fool? Do you keep trying to do the things you are appointed to do without the anointing or backing of God? Saul lost God’s anointing, his appointment and the establishment of his lineage because of his foolishness. Asa lost the opportunity to fully conquer not one but two of his enemies (King Baasha of Israel and King Ben-hadad of Aram) because he was a fool who chose to rely upon himself. What have you lost or are on the verge of losing because you have chosen to not rely on God and have sought to accomplish your appointment and purpose by yourself?

Don’t be a fool! Rely on God not yourself.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 160

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Focus Chapters:

  • 1 Kings 13
  • 1 Kings 14:1-24
  • 2 Chronicles 12:13-14
  • 2 Chronicles 11:18-23
  • 2 Chronicles 12:1-12
  • 1 Kings 14:25-28
  • 2 Chronicles 12:13-16
  • 1 Kings 14:29-31
  • 1 Kings 15:1-5
  • 2 Chronicles 13
  • 1 Kings 15:6-8
  • 2 Chronicles 14:1-8
  • 1 Kings 15:9-15
  • 1 Kings 14:19-20
  • 1 Kings 15:25-34
  • 2 Chronicles 14:9-15
  • 2 Chronicles 15

 

Standout Verse(s):

2 Chronicles 12:1 NLT

But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord, and all Israel followed him in this sin.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Rehoboam was a spiritual freeloader who used God to accomplish the desires of his heart.

    But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord, and all Israel followed him in this sin.

  2. When Rehoboam accomplished all he needed, he abandoned God, leading God’s people astray.

    But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord, and all Israel followed him in this sin.

     

Application:

We frown upon people we label as opportunists, parasites or freeloaders. These are persons who takes advantage of others, using their resources and departing when they have everything they wanted, and some. Although we don’t often given it much thought, there are many of us who behave in such a way towards God.

A prime example of a spiritual freeloader was Rehoboam. Rehoboam cleaved to God until he was well established and his kingdom was strong. When he got what he wanted, from God, he turned his back on God and led God’s people astray.

Are you a spiritual freeloader? Do you take advantage of God’s kind nature, seeking Him because of what He can do for you? Do you use God only to accomplish the desires of your heart? Do you urgently seek God for His grace when you have nothing but depart from His presence the minute you have been established? Your behaviour counts both when you have nothing and when you have everything.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 159

DAY 159.png

Focus Chapters:

  • Ecclesiastes 11:7-10
  • Ecclesiastes 12
  • 1 Kings 12:1-20
  • 2 Chronicles 10
  • 1 Kings 12:21-24
  • 2 Chronicles 11:1-4
  • 1 Kings 12:25-33
  • 2 Chronicles 11:5-17

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

2 Chronicles 11:15 NLT

Jeroboam appointed his own priests to serve at the pagan shrines, where they worshiped the goat and calf idols he had made.

 

THE REACTION

2 Chronicles 11:14, 16 NLT

The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and moved to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons would not allow them to serve the Lord as priests.

From all the tribes of Israel, those who sincerely wanted to worship the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Jeroboam took a stance that went against what God had ordained, bringing idolatry into Israel.

    Jeroboam appointed his own priests to serve at the pagan shrines, where they worshiped the goat and calf idols he had made.

  2. The Levites, Jeroboam’s subjects, sided with what was ordained by God and left behind all they owned to be in a place that allowed them to stick with that stance.

    The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and moved to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons would not allow them to serve the Lord as priests.

  3. Other Israelites who desired to stand with God, followed suit after the Levites.

    From all the tribes of Israel, those who sincerely wanted to worship the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

     

Application:

How badly do you desire to follow the Lord’s ordinances?

The Levites and some Israelites left behind their homes and lands to go to Jerusalem where they could do as the Lord had instructed. These were men whom, according to the split of the nation of Israel, would have been Jeroboam’s subjects. However, when Jeroboam chose to take the path of the ungodly, introducing idolatry into Israel out of fear, these men of God departed from his kingdom. They chose to forsake their king and pasturelands and properties, moving instead to Judah and Jerusalem where the citizens still chose to be led by God.

Will you take a stance today? Will you chose to follow God’s ordinances? What are you willing to forsake to follow Christ?


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 158

DAY 158.png

Focus Chapters:

  • Ecclesiastes 7-10
  • Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

 

Standout Verse(s):

Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Those who wait for the perfect moment will never accomplish anything.

    Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
    If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

     

Application:

We often get caught up in envisioning and waiting for the perfect moment. Take a walk down memory lane of your life. Imagine some of the most incredible blessings you have experienced. Could you imagine how different things would have been if you had continued to wait for the “non-existent perfect moment”? There is a high chance that you would still be waiting and your blessing would have been non-existent!

Our definition of perfect requires no variations to our expectant scenario. God’s version of perfect is the time He has designated for us to move. God’s time for us to plant might not be perfect in our minds, but it is perfect for Him. The time God designates as our season of harvest may be cloudy but by God’s standards, it is still perfect.

Don’t stand still because there are prerequisite pieces that you are unable to see or risks and situations that we are not sure how they will pan out. If God says the time is perfect, the time is perfect.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 157

DAY 157.png

Focus Chapters:

  • Ecclesiastes 1:12-18
  • Ecclesiastes 2-6

 

Standout Verse(s):

Ecclesiastes 4:4, 6:9 NLT

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Envy of their neighbours can motivate people to success.

    Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors.

  2. Enjoy what you have.

    Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have.

  3. Constantly chasing success without enjoying the fruits of your labour is a meaningless endeavour.

    Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

    Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

     

Application:

Chasing success due to envy is a never-ending unsatisfactory cycle. There is always something that will be better than what you have. According to the standards of the world, the definition of success changes daily. Today your neighbour’s success is determined by their ability to drive a fancy car. Tomorrow, it’s their ability to own their own home in an established area. Next year, it is something quite outlandish and untenable.

Solomon was on to something when he exhorted others to enjoy what they have today. Enjoy what you have now! While it is okay to dream and chase better, don’t forget to enjoy the hard-won harvest of today. Before you know it, you are too old to enjoy your labours or you have reached the end of your time on earth and have not enjoyed the life or blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon you. Your efforts would have been for naught – meaningless, like chasing the wind.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 156

DAY 156.png

Focus Chapters:

  • 1 Kings 11
  • 2 Chronicles 9:29-31
  • Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

 

Standout Verse(s):

1 Kings 11:1-3 NLT

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Solomon disobeyed God’s instructions and married foreign women.

    Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.”

  2. Solomon’s love of his foreign wives was the root cause behind his heart straying away from the Lord.

    Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.

Application:

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Did you know that the people you love can become your treasure? Deep love brings with it a deep desire to please, giving the recipient of that love, power that can be easily abused. The people you love have the power to lead you astray. It is, therefore, critical to choose companions who share your fundamental belief systems.

Throughout his youth, Solomon loved and pleased God, yet he made one fundamental mistake. In his wisdom, he understood the importance of marrying to form foreign political allies. However, he disobeyed God’s precise instructions and made room in his life for foreign princesses and their foreign gods. He grew to love these women, giving them the control and room to sway him from his beliefs. In his old age, his love, for these women, turned his heart away from God to them and their gods. 

Are you choosing your companions wisely? Do they add or detract from your spiritual life? Don’t be like Solomon whose love for his wives caused him to stray from God.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 155

DAY 155.png

Focus Chapters:

  • Song of Songs 1-8

 

Standout Verse(s):

Song of Songs 2:15 NLT

Catch all the foxes,
those little foxes,
before they ruin the vineyard of love,
for the grapevines are blossoming!

 

Observation (s):

  1. Expect the little foxes of destruction at the point when your grapevines are blossoming.

    Catch all the foxes,
    those little foxes,
    before they ruin the vineyard of love,
    for the grapevines are blossoming!

  2. Be proactive! Plan for and catch the foxes before the wreak havoc before your harvest.

    Catch all the foxes,
    those little foxes,
    before they ruin the vineyard of love,
    for the grapevines are blossoming!

Application:

The grapevines are blossoming. Things are blooming. Love is in the air. Your relationship is coming along well. You are waiting expectatntly. All the efforts that you have placed into your dark and dry seasons are about to pay off. The season of reaping the rewards is just around the corner. This is the time to be extremely diligent.

Guard the fruits of your labour! Guard your blossoming grapevines. Watch out for the foxes! Catch all the foxes. Identify and catch the little things that can derail the progress that you have made and spoil your harvest. Look out for the persons who want to get in the midst of your vineyard and ruin your blossoming grapevines. Look out for signs that you may be self-sabotaging. Find and mitigate/remove the subtle instruments of destruction.

Guard the fruits of your labour. Guard your love diligently.


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