Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Walk with the Kings of Israel Wednesday


Hey y’all! I am so excited to be ending this walk with the kings of Israel with you! I do hope you enjoyed our time in the word together. Please do read 1 Kings 17. I would love to talk about that passage and how it relates to us today but unfortunately at this time we are unable to do that. So read it for yourself and email me your thoughts. It is a rich passage of Scripture.

Now Shallum, who assassinated Zechariah, only had the throne for one month. He was assassinated by a very violent man named Menahem. Menahem took the throne after this.

Menahem reigned for ten years. He also did evil during his entire reign.

Read 2 Kings 15:19
“Then Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom. Menahem exacted this money from Israel. Every wealthy man had to contribute fifty shekels of silver to be given to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria withdrew and stayed in the land no longer.”

Menahem wasn’t only a very violent guy but he also put an inconvenient tax on the people. Now you know how people feel about taxes. Considering our experiences in our time with taxes and the great debates that go on, how do you think these decisions made the people feel? I can imagine he was probably not a popular king with the people.

Menahem’s son took over the throne after him. He reigned two years. He also did evil like those before him. We have now seen several assassinations for transfers of power. Pekahiah’s reign too ends in assassination. A chief officer killed him taking 50 men with him on this task. He was killed in his own palace.


From his assassination of Pekahiah, Pekah now took over the throne. He reigned in Israel for 20 years. He was also a king who did evil.

Read 1 Kings 15:29-30.
“In the time of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh and Hazor. He took Gilead and Galilee, including all the land of Naphtali, and deported the people to Assyria. Then Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah son of Remaliah. He attacked and assassinated him, and then succeeded him as king in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah.”

Also, he teamed with the king of Aram to go and fight against his brother Israelites in Jerusalem. The war was not a success (Isaiah 7:1).

His reign was not very successful at all. He would be the one remembered in the history books as the one who lost much land and power. He also lost many people into captivity.

Hoshea conspires to kill Pekah and succeeds.

2 ki 15:30, 2 kings 17:1-6
Hoshea reigned for nine years. He also did evil but the text noted his sin was not like the kings who preceded him.

Since Assyria had a hold on a lot of their land, Hoshea started paying a tribute to Assyria to keep them from attacking. He ended up being a puppet king with Assyria calling the shots for six of those years. Finally Hoshea decided that he was no longer going to pay off Assyria. Instead he sent some help to Egypt. The king of Assyria did not like this so put Hoshea in prison and he attacked Samaria. The Israelites were under siege with Assyria for three long years. Finally the siege ended with Assyria overpowering Israel. All the people at this point were taken captive and deported to Assyria.

The rest of Chapter 17 explains the deportation. It is such a sad story. God recorded these things from the past to teach us (Romans 15:4). I think we can learn that we worship such a merciful and loving God. Yet He is no wimp or push over, He is the God of perfect justice. He encompasses the perfect balance of both. My heart just beats in awe of Him. As we know Israel sinned horribly against Him yet He still holds out the covenant to them and now to us. All we have to do is to accept what He did for us and follow Him. An easy and precious gift that I am so thankful for!

Precious Father, I love You with my entire being. Thank You for Your great mercy and justice. Thank You that You are our Father and that nothing can separate us from You love. Father, help us to learn from these people You recorded for us to learn from. Help us to live our lives fully devoted to You. Please cleanse my heart and reveal any idols that it may be worshiping. I cast those down before You in repentance. Father, keep us ever close to You. Help us to follow in Your ways alone. We love You. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Copyright 2008----------------Refresh My Soul Ministries---------------Angela Parsley

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Walk with the Kings of Israel Wednesday


Jeroboam II
After Jehoash’s death his son Jeroboam reigned on the throne. You would think that after all the sin that Jeroboam the first caused Israel to commit that Jehoash would not use the same name but unfortunately he did. In these days names meant a lot. I am guessing that this name held honor with it in Jehoash’s eyes. Why else would he name his son this? Especially since most of these kings have not walked away from the sins that Jeroboam I caused them to commit.

Jeroboam the second’s reign lasted 41 years. He also did evil in God’s eyes. We see that he had established a strong political kingdom because he took back some land for Israel. We are first introduced to the prophet Jonah here. He was the prophet who delivered this restoring word to Jeroboam.

Read 2 Kings 14:26
The LORD had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them. And since the LORD had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash.

Isn’t it interesting that God’s character is still merciful toward His children even in seasons of sin. God is faithful to those who He calls His own. God chose to use a great sinner, Jeroboam II, to save Israel. God is so patient and merciful.

After Jeroboam II’s death his son took the throne after him. His name was Zechariah and he ruled for the short period of six months. He also continued in doing evil in the eyes of the Lord as those before him.

Zechariah’s reign was cut short because he was assassinated by a man named Shallum. This took place in front of the people. When I think of this horrific act that was carried out in public, it reminds me of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. How does someone even do that? It was a time that lacked morals.

Read 2 Kings 15:12
So the word of the LORD spoken to Jehu was fulfilled: "Your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.”

Interestingly enough, just as the prophecy was spoken, Jehu’s family only reigned for 4 generations. Zechariah was the last. God’s word always stands true.

1-What do you think about the character of God with Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:26)? Do we have to be sinless for God to use us? Can you think of a time when God used you when you were at your worst?

2-Have you noticed that history tends to repeat itself. Explain your thoughts on this.

3-God’s word is always true. You never need to doubt it. Can you think of any words of prophecy in the Bible that you are especially fond of?

We are almost finished! Great job in your diligence of the study of God’s word. There are four more kings listed until the captivity of Israel. We will look at them next week.

Copyright 2008-Refresh My Soul Ministries-Angela Parsley

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Christmas Book Review

This is book two in a fictional series about some young adult friends who live in a house on Bloomberg place. It is an interesting story of four young adult girls discovering who they are in this world and what God means to their lives. Each young woman comes from a different background and their friendships seem to help grow one another.

This is a good easy read for anyone. This is the best time of year to read a Christmas novel. Also, it could make a good holiday gift for those readers you know. You can enter a contest to win a free book and a $25 gift card to the Collin Street Bakery if you leave a comment here on the centralized book tour blog site.

To check out more about the author, Melody Carlson go to her site here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hey y'all! I just wanted to give you a quick update.

I am still trying to finish the writing deadline for my girl's Bible study project.

I have not been on lately because I have been suffering from a debilitating migraine! Praise God it is finally gone today!

Homeschooling is going very good. The girls are doing so well. I am proud of them and their hard work.

Tony is doing okay but still dealing with the neck pain. His physical therapy is helping some though.

Thanks to all of you who keep us lifted in prayer. We know and feel them.
Much love,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Walk with the Kings of Israel Wednesday


Jehoahaz now becomes king after his father. His reign lasts 17 years. He unfortunately did evil in God’s eyes and persisted in the sins of Jeroboam (2 Kings 13:1-2).

This did not make God happy. God was in fact burning with anger. God really desires for us to want relationship with Him over anything else. He wants our whole heart devoted to Him. But He will not force it. Instead because of His justice and mercy He allows discipline with the hope it will bring us back toward Him. Just like we discipline our children, God does with us in His perfect knowledge and grace.

God allows, for a long time, the Israelites under Jehoahaz’s rule to be kept under military pressure and oppression from the opposing nation of Aram. See what Jehoahaz finally does in the passage.

Read 2 Kings 13:4-6 (emphasis mine).
Then Jehoahaz sought the LORD's favor, and the LORD listened to him, for he saw how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. The LORD provided a deliverer for Israel, and they escaped from the power of Aram. So the Israelites lived in their own homes as they had before. But they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit; they continued in them. Also, the Asherah pole remained standing in Samaria.”

Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God”. When things got hard and Jehoahaz is finally really feeling it he does seek out the Lord’s favor. Don’t you love how the Lord listens to Jehoahaz? God sees everything, nothing is hidden from Him. Sometimes He watches and waits for us to ask.

Sometimes He has to allow the heat to rise to get our attention. Jehoahaz finally gets this and looks to God. See what God does--He provides a deliverer. We are not told exactly who or what this delivered was but God provides it. When this happens the oppressive power of Aram stops.

Unfortunately though even after getting relief from this long military oppression they still do not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam. Seriously, what is wrong here? You think that they would learn but yet again they do not. This is so hard to understand but again and again we do see it as a pattern of human behavior. Even in our own behavioral patterns.

I want you to see what a huge deal this deliverer should have been to the people. There was great devastation experienced at the hands of the Aram army.

Read 2 Kings 13:7.
“Nothing had been left of the army of Jehoahaz except fifty horsemen, ten chariots and ten thousand foot soldiers, for the king of Aram had destroyed the rest and made them like the dust at threshing time.”

It is so sad when the answer is right before us. God will provide yet in our sin nature we persist in our sins. This was the case for the people of Israel again.

Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash is the next king on the throne. His reign lasted 16 years. He continued to walk in the sin of Jeroboam. He also had some military tension with his brothers of the southern kingdom of Israel and the country of Aram.

Now an interesting thing about Jehoash was that he was grieved over Elisha the great prophet’s illness because it was going to cause him to die. He wept over this. He also asked for his advice about the kingdom of Aram. This is interesting stuff to read. If you get a chance read 2 Kings 13:14-20.

Now read this about our God. I just love this passage.
Read 2 Kings 13:22-23.
Hazael king of Aram oppressed Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz. But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence.”

Now, is that not a great passage about God’s great mercy, grace, compassion and love for His people? There is absolutely nothing that can separate His loved ones from His love. He remembers, He sees, He delivers. God is so amazing. God is a covenant God who takes His covenants seriously. We could learn so much from Him about this. I could go on and on about this but because of this study I will end here.

One last thing to note about Jehoash is how he tried to refuse a war with his own people in the southern kingdom. But the southern kingdom became arrogant and persisted anyway. Jehoash attacked and won. He also took treasuries from the Lord’s temple back with him.

1-Take a look at your own sin patterns in your life. Do they resemble Israel’s? Why or why not?

2-Do you see when we seek God first that He will provide a deliverer? Share your thoughts.

3-I praise God for the new covenant we live in. God gave us Jesus the final deliverer. We stand in Him in righteousness before God through we still have not been brought to completion. Take a moment and just praise God for His great grace.

4-Doesn’t God’s stubborn love astound you? Explain a time when God persisted in His love for you while you continued in your stubborn ways.

Copyright 2008-Refresh My Soul Ministries-Angela Parsley

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Walk with the Kings of Israel Wednesday


As fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by God to Elijah, Jehu will be the next king (1 Kings 19:16-17). His reign lasts 28 years.

A violent new start occurs in the kingdom of Israel. Jehu’s reign fulfills all the prophecy about demolishing Ahab’s family and Jezebel. Jehu destroyed all the people close to or related to this family line. Then he went about demolishing all the ministers of Baal. He cleaned house completely of Baal worship.

Again, we have a great opportunity for a new start here with Jehu. We see prophecy fulfilled before our very eyes. We see the Lord commending Jehu for his obedience. Israel has yet another chance for a fresh start with this new leadership.

Read 2 Kings 10:28-30.
So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. The LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation."

Based on the passage, take a look at what Jehu failed to do?

He was so close to getting things right by cleaning house. God commends him for completing the work God had in mind to do. He is given the time frame of the fourth generation for his family being on the throne of Israel. Would that not put a fire in your heart to completely clean house?

He has done so much already why not take it all the way? Yet he continues the practices of the very first king in the northern kingdom—Jeroboam. Jehu was so close to a great start. He did demolish the most of the detestable things but not all of them. Full devotion was not toward God.

1-Have you ever realized it was time to clean house of the filth you may have lying around? Things like movies, music, or magazines which God would not deem fitting for His servants?

2-Have you ever partially cleaned up and justified some of the things being okay to keep around? After all, it has always been that way and it seemed to work. Explain.

3-If you have time, check out the amazing prophecy fulfillment by Jehu. You will find them listed in 2 Kings 9:6-10, 2 Kings 9:25-26, 2 Kings 9:36-37, 2 Kings 10:10-11, and 2 Kings 10:17. It amazes me how God’s hand was involved so much here.

Beloved, please see God for who He truly is in this. God is a God of perfect love and He loves you unconditionally. God is also a God of perfect justice. He is the one and only righteous judge. Some of this sounds harsh but we are not God. With some things we just have to stand in awe of Him and thank Him for His grace.

Next we will take a look at Jehu’s son Jehoahaz’s reign.

Copyright 2008-Refresh My Soul Ministries-Angela Parsley

Monday, November 3, 2008

Marriage Monday-Grace


This month's topic is to write about the grace in Christian marriage.

I can sum this up assignment by one word-priority! Without grace, marriage would be impossible. Without grace the Christian life would be impossible. What a beautiful picture marriage is to represent Christ and the church (ephesians 5).

When things don't go our way we can get bitter or better. The way to get better is by extending grace. The way to get bitter is the lack of grace extension.

My prayer for you all today is you will truly lavish grace on your husband and your marriage as you grow in grace together.

Robyn is hosting Marriage Monday this month. To see what others are saying go to her blog.
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