2 Kings 21, 22, & 23: Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, & Jehoiakim

Observations:

  1. Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king.
  2. He reigned 55 years.
  3. He did everything detestable to the Lord.
    1. He built altars to idols
    2. He sacrificed his own son
    3. He shed so much innocent blood that Jerusalem was filled from end to end
  4. The Lord promised to wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes out a dish, over and turning it upside down
  5. Amon was 22 years old when he became king.
  6. He followed the ways of his father.
  7. He was assassinated by his own officials.
  8. The people of the land killed the assassins and those who plotted against King Amon.
  9. Josiah was eight years old when he became King.
  10. He reigned in Jerusalem 31 years.
  11. In his 18th year of reign, he repaired the temple of the Lord.
  12. They found the Book of the Law.
  13. When Josiah heard the words of the book, he tore his robes and inquired more of the Lord through the prophet Huldah.
  14. 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.
  15. Josiah will be spared because he was responsive and humbled himself. He will not see the desolation take place.
  16. 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.
  17. He removed and desecrated the idols, the sacrificial place Topeth, sun god idols.
  18. 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)
  19. 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
  20. But the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger because of Manasseh.
  21. Josiah was killed in battle at Megiddo by Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt.
  22. Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king. He reigned for 3 months.
  23. He was captured by Pharaoh Necho and put into chains at Riblah.
  24. Necho imposed a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
  25. Jehoahaz died in Egypt.
  26. Necho put Eliakim son of Josiah as king, renamed him Jehoiakim.
  27. Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king. He reigned 11 years.
  28. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.

Interpretation:

  1. Josiah understood the prophecy from the book of the Law and acted on it.
  2. Only Josiah did good in the eyes of the Lord.
  3. But still the Lord’s anger due to Manasseh’s actions did not fade.
  4. Josiah was spared.
  5. If only Israel had done according to the Lord’s wishes, they would have been spared from the disasters to come.

Application:

  1. Actions have consequences.
  2. Idol worship and sacrifice are detestable to the Lord. This would anger him very much.
  3. God will use other people, as Pharaoh Necho, to do His biddings.

Prayer:

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.

 

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Isaiah 38:1-8 – Hezekiah Healed

Hezekiah Healed

38 In those days Hezekiah became [a]mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept [b]bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your [c]life. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city.”’

“This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that He has spoken: Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairway, which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz, to go back ten steps.” So the sun’s shadow went back ten steps on the stairway on which it had gone down.

Observations:

  1. Hezekiah was about to die due to sickness
  2. The Lord already told Hezekiah through Amoz son of Isaiah to prepare for his death
  3. Hezekiah prayed, poured out his feelings, and wept to the Lord to remember how he walked his life and what he has done for the Lord
  4. The bible did not mentioned that Hezekiah asked for an extension of his life. It only mentioned that he wept bitterly (great weeping).
  5. Then the Lord spoke directly to Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that the Lord will:
    1. add 15 years to his life
    2. deliver him and the city from the king of Assyria
    3. defend the city
    4. give him a sign — the shadow on the stairway to go back ten steps (A MIRACLE)

Interpretation:

  1. It could have been that the Lord spoke to Hezekiah directly but He wanted the prophets to know His power and purpose
  2. We can pray to God sincerely to change His mind. This is different from the character of God having unchangeable character. God wants repentance & humility. See following verse:

    Perhaps they will listen and each one will turn back from his evil way, and I will change my mind concerning the calamity that I intend to bring on them because of their evil deeds.”—Jeremiah 26:3.

  3. Why did Hezekiah become ill?  See 2 Chronicles: 24-26

    24 In those days Hezekiah became [o]mortally ill; and he prayed to the Lord, and [p]the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit [q]he received, because his heart was [r]proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 However, Hezekiah [s]humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah.

  4. When we become proud and lose track of God, God humbles us. It could be an experience, an illness, a loss — something to remind us of who God is. We need to repent.
  5. When Hezekiah repented, he poured out his heart to God.
  6. Even though Hezekiah did not say anything about what he wants (He just humbled himself, submitted himself to God), the Lord knew what was in his heart – to extend his life for a greater purpose. Hezekiah wanted his city to be delivered from Assyria. Perhaps Hezekiah knew that the city will not be in good hands because he did not have a successor at that time.
  7. The shadow is used as a clock in those times through the sundial – a sign to turn back time, give more life to Hezekiah.
  8. After his repentance, Hezekiah lived a more blessed life. 2 Chronicles 27-31:

    27 Now Hezekiah had immense riches and honor; and he made for himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and all kinds of valuable articles, 28 storehouses also for the produce of grain, wine and oil, pens for all kinds of cattle and [t]sheepfolds for the flocks. 29 He made cities for himself and acquired flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great wealth. 30 It was Hezekiah who stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all that he did.31 Even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

Application:

  1. We need always remember God and be careful of the sin of pride.
  2. We need to repent from our sins. To submit to Him, let Him take care of our future.
  3. Only then will we live a blessed life.

Gideon’s Purpose Revealed

Judges 6:11-16

Gideon Is Visited

11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the [a]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 [b]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, [c]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 [d]defeat Midian as one man.”

Judges 6:36-40

Sign of the Fleece

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel [a]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 [b]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.

Observations:

  1. Angel of the Lord visited Gideon while he was beating wheat out of the wine press.
  2. The Angel of the Lord told him to deliver Israel through Gideon
  3. Gideon was the youngest among his siblings
  4. Gideon’s family is the least (powerful? resources? rank? noble?) in Mannaseh
  5. God encouraged Gideon by saying “surely I will be with you and you will defeat Midian as ONE man.”
  6. Gideon asked for two signs of confirmation from God

Interpretations:

  1. God favors the least (ranking of heaven)
  2. God asks us when we are doing something (not when we are lazy, bum), Gideon was saving the wheat
  3. Gideon was closed to God (he spoke directly) yet he asked for confirmations
  4. God gave the confirmations
  5. 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.

Applications

  1. 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
  2. We need to clean up, destroy our own idols, hindrances, stumbling blocks, before God can use us for His glory, bigger purpose.
  3. We can ask for confirmations when God tells us to do something BIG

Prayer

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.

 

Ezekiel 36:24-32: The Lord will make us CLEAN

24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not [a]bring a famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 I am not doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!”

 Observations:
  • God is speaking to Israel
  • Israel has been wayward
    • They have worshiped idols
    • They have hardened their hearts, ignorant of their evil
  • The Lord promises to
    • cleanse them with water
    • give them a new spirit, new heart
    • remove the heart of stone from flesh and give a heart of flesh
    • put His Spirit within them
      • to cause them to walk in His statutes
      • to be careful to observe His ordinances
    • make them live in the land that He gave to their forefathers
    • make them His own people
    • make Him their God
    • save them from uncleanliness
    • feed them by multiplying the grain, the fruits, and the produce of the field
      • so that they will not receive disgrace of famine
  • And then Israel will remember the old ways and deeds that were not good
    • loathe themselves for past wrongdoings
  • The Lord does this for HIS sake
  • It ends with a command for Israel to be ashamed and confounded (very angry) at their sin

Interpretation

  • This is a promise coupled with a command for Israel to be angry and ashamed at sin (A call for REPENTANCE)
  • Idolatry, turning away from God hardens our heart
  • The Lord promises to bless us when we repent

Application:

  • Heart Check. Is there a sin I need to repent right now?
  • Am I ashamed and angry at my sin? How angry?
  • Do I believe enough in the character of God to make His promise?

1 King 15 : v 25-34 – Thou shall not mock God

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 [k]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.

 

Observations:

  1. These were kings/rulers of Israel.
  2. The son did evil as his father has done, they mocked God.
  3.  People conspired against the leader
  4.  Baasha struck down all the household of Jeroboam, according to the word of the Lord

Interpretation:

  1. Monkey see monkey do (son did as his father did)
  2. Evil begets evil
  3. Israel was at war for the longest time

Application:

  1. Do not mock God.
  2. Unrepented Evil begets evil
  3. The Lord does what He promises.
  4. As a ruler, the punishment for evil is more severe.

Acts 9 v 1-25: Saul’s Conversion

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said“I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the [c]voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he [d]could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 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 [e]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 [f]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 [g]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, [h]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 [i]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.

My observations:

  1. God’s light put Saul to the ground in awe
  2. Saul recognized the Lord… after the Lord asks him “why are you persecuting Me?”
  3. The Lord made it known to him that it is Him, Jesus
  4. People around Saul heard the voice too but saw no one
  5. Saul’s eyes were open but he could not see anything.
  6. 3 days without sight, food, or water. What could he have been thinking during this experience? Fasting? Purification?
  7. God spoke to Ananias in a vision.
  8. God sent Ananias to help Saul
  9. Saul proclaimed that Jesus is God throughout Damascus.
  10. Saul’s disciples believed so much in him that they rescued him from death. This is despite of what Saul has done before.

Interpretations:

  •  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.

Practical application(s):

  • 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?

1 Kings 11 & 12 – The Lord’s continuous blessing is given with continuous obedience

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).

My learning:

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.

Unit Testing with Javascript

http://gaboesquivel.com/blog/2014/unit-testing-mocks-stubs-and-spies/

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!

https://martinfowler.com/articles/mocksArentStubs.html