- Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king.
- He reigned 55 years.
- He did everything detestable to the Lord.
- He built altars to idols
- He sacrificed his own son
- He shed so much innocent blood that Jerusalem was filled from end to end
- The Lord promised to wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes out a dish, over and turning it upside down
- Amon was 22 years old when he became king.
- He followed the ways of his father.
- He was assassinated by his own officials.
- The people of the land killed the assassins and those who plotted against King Amon.
- Josiah was eight years old when he became King.
- He reigned in Jerusalem 31 years.
- In his 18th year of reign, he repaired the temple of the Lord.
- They found the Book of the Law.
- When Josiah heard the words of the book, he tore his robes and inquired more of the Lord through the prophet Huldah.
- The Lord said, through Huldah, that He is going to bring disaster to Jerusalem and its people, as it is written in the Book of the Law that Josiah has heard/read.
- Josiah will be spared because he was responsive and humbled himself. He will not see the desolation take place.
- When Josiah heard this, he took action. He called all the elders of Judah & Jerusalem. He renewed the covenant. All the people pledged themselves to the covenant.
- He removed and desecrated the idols, the sacrificial place Topeth, sun god idols.
- He reinstituted the Passover celebration on his 18th year… after so many years (since days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah)
- He removed the mediums and spiritists. “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses” v 25
- But the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger because of Manasseh.
- Josiah was killed in battle at Megiddo by Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt.
- Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king. He reigned for 3 months.
- He was captured by Pharaoh Necho and put into chains at Riblah.
- Necho imposed a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
- Jehoahaz died in Egypt.
- Necho put Eliakim son of Josiah as king, renamed him Jehoiakim.
- Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king. He reigned 11 years.
- He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
- Josiah understood the prophecy from the book of the Law and acted on it.
- Only Josiah did good in the eyes of the Lord.
- But still the Lord’s anger due to Manasseh’s actions did not fade.
- Josiah was spared.
- If only Israel had done according to the Lord’s wishes, they would have been spared from the disasters to come.
- Actions have consequences.
- Idol worship and sacrifice are detestable to the Lord. This would anger him very much.
- God will use other people, as Pharaoh Necho, to do His biddings.
Lord you are mighty and the one and only true God. Thank you for reminding me of your greatness, power, blessings, and of your love for us. I understand that actions have consequences, it may be in my lifetime and can be to the next descendants. I pray Lord that I will follow you all the days of my life. I hope that my household and my descendants would do the same too. It is my utmost desire that your peace, contentment, and joy will always be in our hearts. Amen.
Gideon Is Visited
11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” 13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 The Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” 15 He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 But the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.”
Sign of the Fleece
36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, 37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.” 38 And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” 40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.
- Angel of the Lord visited Gideon while he was beating wheat out of the wine press.
- The Angel of the Lord told him to deliver Israel through Gideon
- Gideon was the youngest among his siblings
- Gideon’s family is the least (powerful? resources? rank? noble?) in Mannaseh
- God encouraged Gideon by saying “surely I will be with you and you will defeat Midian as ONE man.”
- Gideon asked for two signs of confirmation from God
- God favors the least (ranking of heaven)
- God asks us when we are doing something (not when we are lazy, bum), Gideon was saving the wheat
- Gideon was closed to God (he spoke directly) yet he asked for confirmations
- God gave the confirmations
- In between these (v17-35), Gideon offered sacrifices to God. He honored God. He wanted to be close to God. He saw God face-to-face. They destroyed altars of Baal.
- We need to be close to God, in direct conversation with Him, to be able to understand and do what He wants us to do
- We need to clean up, destroy our own idols, hindrances, stumbling blocks, before God can use us for His glory, bigger purpose.
- We can ask for confirmations when God tells us to do something BIG
Lord, I confess my idols to you. I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to cleanse me, and fill me with Your awesome power. Lead me Lord, give me direct & clear signs on what to do with my life, plans for today and the days after. I submit everything to you. Help me, direct my life. In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.
Nadab, then Baasha, Rules over Israel
25 Now Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and in his sin which he made Israel sin. 27 Then Baasha the son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon.
28 So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah and reigned in his place. 29 It came about as soon as he was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30 and because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, because of his provocation with which he provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger.
31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
War with Judah
32 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah became king over all Israel at Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel sin.
- These were kings/rulers of Israel.
- The son did evil as his father has done, they mocked God.
- People conspired against the leader
- Baasha struck down all the household of Jeroboam, according to the word of the Lord
- Monkey see monkey do (son did as his father did)
- Evil begets evil
- Israel was at war for the longest time
- Do not mock God.
- Unrepented Evil begets evil
- The Lord does what He promises.
- As a ruler, the punishment for evil is more severe.
3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; 19 and he took food and was strengthened.
Saul Begins to Preach Christ
Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and whohad come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
23 When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him,24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death; 25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.
- God’s light put Saul to the ground in awe
- Saul recognized the Lord… after the Lord asks him “why are you persecuting Me?”
- The Lord made it known to him that it is Him, Jesus
- People around Saul heard the voice too but saw no one
- Saul’s eyes were open but he could not see anything.
- 3 days without sight, food, or water. What could he have been thinking during this experience? Fasting? Purification?
- God spoke to Ananias in a vision.
- God sent Ananias to help Saul
- Saul proclaimed that Jesus is God throughout Damascus.
- Saul’s disciples believed so much in him that they rescued him from death. This is despite of what Saul has done before.
- Similarities to Moses, John, etc who are in awe when they met God
- We ask God questions we know the answers.
- The Christian experience is a personal experience… but people around you will notice.
- God blesses, protects, and rescues those whom He anointed.
- Am I still in awe with God?
- When I ask God, what does He tell me?
- Am I still in the covering and protection of God?
- Who are the people sent by God to help me in fulfilling His mission?
- Am I still doing His mission for me? Do I know my mission?
verse 38 “Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing my statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you”.
King Solomon in his latter years drew farther away from God. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. His wives turned his heart away from God. He built idols. Idols that his wives worshiped. Idols that he too, worshiped.
The Lord became angry with Solomon. He tore apart Solomon’s kingdom. But He did this during Solomon’s son’s (Rehoboam) reign, in respect to his father David. As David was honorable in the sight of God.
When King Solomon died, Rehoboam took over. All the assembly of Israel asked him to lighten the service his kingdom asks and they will be forever loyal servants, as King Solomon made the yoke hard. The elders counseled for this but Rehoboam’s peers were against it. Rehoboam listened to his peers. It was all downhill from there.
God then gave the blessing to Jeroboam to rule over Israel with a conditional blessing (1 Kings ch 11 v 38).
Obedience is followed by blessing. Not the other way around.
Disobedience is sin. Sin keeps us away from God. Obeying God brings us closer to God.
ch 12: Listen to the counsel of the elders.
Interesting… I only knew of Mock Objects in Unit Testing. In learning NodeJS development, I came to learn about the different types of “Test Doubles”. So I’ve been referring to all of these as Mocks! aha!
They are, as per my notes:
- Mocks – another object with the same interface. Used in Behaviour verification. i.e. expecting a method to be called once, returning x when parameter y is such, and returning z when parameter y is another.
- Stubs – objects with pre-programmed behaviour, simpler than mocks. Can be used for both behaviour and state verification
- Spies – used to record interactions with other objects. i.e. # of calls, arguments passed, returned values, test if callback was called
- Dummies – objects that are passed around for “parameter compliance” but never really used
- Fakes – upgraded Stub but with working implementation, usually shortcut so not production ready. i.e. in memory database
A lot of overlaps, eh? The article below might help further. I also learned about the “Tell-Don’t-Ask” OO principle. cool!
March 29, 2016 from odb.org
At times, God may allow our resources to dwindle so that we rely on His strength to keep going. Our needs showcase His power, but He is the One who says, “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).