Reading #1 – Judges 12
Reading #2 – Psalms 11
Reading #3 – Proverbs 18
Reading #4 – Acts 14
Reading #5 – 1 Kings 13
Judges 12 – Ephraim Fights With Jeptha. After winning the battle against the Ammonites, the people of Ephraim became angry that Jeptha had not invited them to the battle. Jephthah replied, “I summoned you at the beginning of the dispute, but you refused to come! You failed to help us in our struggle against Ammon. So when I realized you weren’t coming, I risked my life and went to battle without you, and the LORD gave me victory over the Ammonites. So why have you now come to fight me (2-3)?” This led to a conflict that would seem to be unnecessary. After Jeptha, three more judges would arise and die having accomplished nothing. Ibzan gave his daughters in marriage outside of the clan and sought wives for his sons outside of the clan. This groundwork for future problems (8-9).
1 Kings 13 – The Prophet Denounces Jeroboam. The Lord G_d gave 10 tribes to Jeroboam (11:30-31) because Solomon had turned his back on G_d. Jeroboam also turned his back on G_d and turned to the ways of the Egyptians by serving the idols of Egypt. A prophet was sent to denounce Jeroboam and foretell his demise. The prophet was told not to eat or drink anything while in Samaria and to go back to Judah by another route. This man was deceived by an old prophet. For the LORD gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.’” 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. G_d never changes his mind so a new prophecy that overwrites G_d’s word is a lie. But even after this, Jeroboam did not turn from his evil ways. He continued to choose priests from the common people. He appointed anyone who wanted to become a priest for the pagan shrines. This became a great sin and resulted in the utter destruction of Jeroboam’s dynasty from the face of the earth. But even after this, Jeroboam did not turn from his evil ways. He continued to choose priests from the common people. He appointed anyone who wanted to become a priest for the pagan shrines. This became a great sin and resulted in the utter destruction of Jeroboam’s dynasty from the face of the earth.
Psalms 11 – A Psalm of David. I trust in the LORD for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety (1)! The world is in turmoil as it faces its darkest hours. We cannot change the mind of man but we can live for G_d through these days. The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?” But the LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth (3-4). What can the righteous do? Then I bowed on my knees and cried, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” I clapped my hands and sang, “Glory, Glory to the Son of God.” I bowed on my knees and cried, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Then I clapped my hands and sang, “Glory, Glory to the Son of God (I Bowed My Knees and Cried Holy – Michael English).”
Proverbs 18 – Quality of Life. We have choices in life – live for the world or live for G_d. Nowhere in scripture will you find “live for G_d or die” rather, he opens his hand to “whosoever will”. To the one who takes His hand, he leads them to the place he would have for them. If you read the words of this section of Proverbs and turn the words around you will G_d’s promises for your life. Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook (4).
Acts 14 – Paul and Barnabus at Iconium. During this ministerial time, the two ministered to the people and many became believers. The problem was that there were also Jews who antagonized the people to poison their minds. When Paul healed a lame man, the people thought the two were “gods” and wanted to sacrifice to them. The Jews of the town once again poisoned the minds of the people. It seems that religious division is not new to our time. Ministry even in Paul’s time was dangerous because the god of this world, Satan, does not like it when we minister to the people under his thumb.