7/8/11

Highlights in the clouds


Often, I like to go swimming around sunset because the sky is marvelous at that time of day.  its not uncommon to see highlighted clouds, but in the shape of a horse?  During the past few weeks, I have noticed quite a number of clouds like these and have been wondering why I liked them so much.  So, today, when I saw this picture again, I thought of this passage and now I know.

Matthew 17:1-9 (WEB)
1) After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves.
2) He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light.
3) Behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him.
4) Peter answered, and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, let’s make three tents here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5) While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
6) When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were very afraid.
7) Jesus came and touched them and said, “Get up, and don’t be afraid.”
8) Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone.
9) As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Don’t tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”

Jesus. It reminded me of Jesus.  Don't get me wrong; Jesus is not a horse.  But, he is glorified and that is the attraction.  That is something worth remembering; he is attested to by God and worth listening to.  In this world, its hard to find something (or better, someone) to believe in, but Jesus fills the bill.  He alone reminds me that God cared enough to come as human and tell us what we need to know.  I may see highlighted cloud shapes in the future, but no matter what they look like, I will remember that Jesus is the glory of God.

OT Bible Reading 7/8

July 8
2 Kings 10-12

2Ki 10:1 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, even the elders, and to those who brought up the sons of Ahab, saying,
2Ki 10:2 Now as soon as this letter comes to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and armor.
2Ki 10:3 Select the best and fittest of your master's sons, set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
2Ki 10:4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, the two kings didn't stand before him: how then shall we stand?
2Ki 10:5 He who was over the household, and he who was over the city, the elders also, and those who brought up the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are your servants, and will do all that you shall bid us; we will not make any man king: you do that which is good in your eyes.
2Ki 10:6 Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If you be on my side, and if you will listen to my voice, take the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by tomorrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who brought them up.
2Ki 10:7 It happened, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and killed them, even seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him to Jezreel.
2Ki 10:8 There came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. He said, Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning.
2Ki 10:9 It happened in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, You are righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and killed him; but who struck all these?
2Ki 10:10 Know now that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of Yahweh, which Yahweh spoke concerning the house of Ahab: for Yahweh has done that which he spoke by his servant Elijah.
2Ki 10:11 So Jehu struck all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his familiar friends, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
2Ki 10:12 He arose and departed, and went to Samaria. As he was at the shearing house of the shepherds in the way,
2Ki 10:13 Jehu met with the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are you? They answered, We are the brothers of Ahaziah: and we go down to Greet the children of the king and the children of the queen.
2Ki 10:14 He said, Take them alive. They took them alive, and killed them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.
2Ki 10:15 When he was departed there, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him; and he greeted him, and said to him, Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart? Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me your hand. He gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.
2Ki 10:16 He said, Come with me, and see my zeal for Yahweh. So they made him ride in his chariot.
2Ki 10:17 When he came to Samaria, he struck all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spoke to Elijah.
2Ki 10:18 Jehu gathered all the people together, and said to them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu will serve him much.
2Ki 10:19 Now therefore call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshippers, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtlety, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.
2Ki 10:20 Jehu said, Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal. They proclaimed it.
2Ki 10:21 Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that didn't come. They came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was filled from one end to another.
2Ki 10:22 He said to him who was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. He brought them forth vestments.
2Ki 10:23 Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal; and he said to the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there are here with you none of the servants of Yahweh, but the worshippers of Baal only.
2Ki 10:24 They went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had appointed him eighty men outside, and said, If any of the men whom I bring into your hands escape, he who lets him go, his life shall be for the life of him.
2Ki 10:25 It happened, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and kill them; let none come forth. They struck them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.
2Ki 10:26 They brought forth the pillars that were in the house of Baal, and burned them.
2Ki 10:27 They broke down the pillar of Baal, and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine, to this day.
2Ki 10:28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.
2Ki 10:29 However from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin, Jehu didn't depart from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan.
2Ki 10:30 Yahweh said to Jehu, Because you have done well in executing that which is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
2Ki 10:31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of Yahweh, the God of Israel, with all his heart: he didn't depart from the sins of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 10:32 In those days Yahweh began to cut off from Israel: and Hazael struck them in all the borders of Israel;
2Ki 10:33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
2Ki 10:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 10:35 Jehu slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria. Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 10:36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
2Ki 11:1 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.
2Ki 11:2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were slain, even him and his nurse, and put them in the bedchamber; and they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not slain;
2Ki 11:3 He was with her hid in the house of Yahweh six years. Athaliah reigned over the land.
2Ki 11:4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the captains over hundreds of the Carites and of the guard, and brought them to him into the house of Yahweh; and he made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of Yahweh, and showed them the king's son.
2Ki 11:5 He commanded them, saying, This is the thing that you shall do: a third part of you, who come in on the Sabbath, shall be keepers of the watch of the king's house;
2Ki 11:6 A third part shall be at the gate Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so you shall keep the watch of the house, and be a barrier.
2Ki 11:7 The two companies of you, even all who go forth on the Sabbath, shall keep the watch of the house of Yahweh about the king.
2Ki 11:8 You shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand; and he who comes within the ranks, let him be slain: and be with the king when he goes out, and when he comes in.
2Ki 11:9 The captains over hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded; and they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath, with those who were to go out on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.
2Ki 11:10 The priest delivered to the captains over hundreds the spears and shields that had been king David's, which were in the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 11:11 The guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, around the king.
2Ki 11:12 Then he brought out the king's son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, Long live the king.
2Ki 11:13 When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the house of Yahweh:
2Ki 11:14 and she looked, and behold, the king stood by the pillar, as the manner was, and the captains and the trumpets by the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and cried, Treason! treason!
2Ki 11:15 Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, Have her forth between the ranks; and him who follows her kill with the sword. For the priest said, Don't let her be slain in the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 11:16 So they made way for her; and she went by the way of the horses' entry to the king's house: and there was she slain.
2Ki 11:17 Jehoiada made a covenant between Yahweh and the king and the people, that they should be Yahweh's people; between the king also and the people.
2Ki 11:18 All the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and broke it down; his altars and his images broke they in pieces thoroughly, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. The priest appointed officers over the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 11:19 He took the captains over hundreds, and the Carites, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of Yahweh, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king's house. He sat on the throne of the kings.
2Ki 11:20 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. Athaliah they had slain with the sword at the king's house.
2Ki 11:21 Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.
2Ki 12:1 In the seventh year of Jehu began Jehoash to reign; and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba.
2Ki 12:2 Jehoash did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him.
2Ki 12:3 However the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
2Ki 12:4 Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of Yahweh, in current money, the money of the persons for whom each man is rated, and all the money that it comes into any man's heart to bring into the house of Yahweh,
2Ki 12:5 let the priests take it to them, every man from his acquaintance; and they shall repair the breaches of the house, wherever any breach shall be found.
2Ki 12:6 But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house.
2Ki 12:7 Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and for the other priests, and said to them, Why don't you repair the breaches of the house? now therefore take no more money from your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house.
2Ki 12:8 The priests consented that they should take no more money from the people, neither repair the breaches of the house.
2Ki 12:9 But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of Yahweh: and the priests who kept the threshold put therein all the money that was brought into the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 12:10 It was so, when they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king's scribe and the high priest came up, and they put up in bags and counted the money that was found in the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 12:11 They gave the money that was weighed out into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of Yahweh: and they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders, who worked on the house of Yahweh,
2Ki 12:12 and to the masons and the stone cutters, and for buying timber and cut stone to repair the breaches of the house of Yahweh, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it.
2Ki 12:13 But there were not made for the house of Yahweh cups of silver, snuffers, basins, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver, of the money that was brought into the house of Yahweh;
2Ki 12:14 for they gave that to those who did the work, and repaired therewith the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 12:15 Moreover they didn't demand an accounting from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to give to those who did the work; for they dealt faithfully.
2Ki 12:16 The money for the trespass offerings, and the money for the sin offerings, was not brought into the house of Yahweh: it was the priests'.
2Ki 12:17 Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it; and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.
2Ki 12:18 Jehoash king of Judah took all the holy things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own holy things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and of the king's house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem.
2Ki 12:19 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 12:20 His servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and struck Joash at the house of Millo, on the way that goes down to Silla.
2Ki 12:21 For Jozacar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, struck him, and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

NT Bible Reading 7/8, 7/9

Jul. 8, 9
Acts 7

Act 7:1 The high priest said, "Are these things so?"
Act 7:2 He said, "Brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,
Act 7:3 and said to him, 'Get out of your land, and from your relatives, and come into a land which I will show you.'
Act 7:4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and lived in Haran. From there, when his father was dead, God moved him into this land, where you are now living.
Act 7:5 He gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. He promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when he still had no child.
Act 7:6 God spoke in this way: that his seed would live as aliens in a strange land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.
Act 7:7 'I will judge the nation to which they will be in bondage,' said God, 'and after that will they come out, and serve me in this place.'
Act 7:8 He gave him the covenant of circumcision. So Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
Act 7:9 "The patriarchs, moved with jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt. God was with him,
Act 7:10 and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
Act 7:11 Now a famine came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction. Our fathers found no food.
Act 7:12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers the first time.
Act 7:13 On the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph's race was revealed to Pharaoh.
Act 7:14 Joseph sent, and summoned Jacob, his father, and all his relatives, seventy-five souls.
Act 7:15 Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, himself and our fathers,
Act 7:16 and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.
Act 7:17 "But as the time of the promise came close which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
Act 7:18 until there arose a different king, who didn't know Joseph.
Act 7:19 The same took advantage of our race, and mistreated our fathers, and forced them to throw out their babies, so that they wouldn't stay alive.
Act 7:20 At that time Moses was born, and was exceedingly handsome. He was nourished three months in his father's house.
Act 7:21 When he was thrown out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and reared him as her own son.
Act 7:22 Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was mighty in his words and works.
Act 7:23 But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel.
Act 7:24 Seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, striking the Egyptian.
Act 7:25 He supposed that his brothers understood that God, by his hand, was giving them deliverance; but they didn't understand.
Act 7:26 "The day following, he appeared to them as they fought, and urged them to be at peace again, saying, 'Sirs, you are brothers. Why do you wrong one another?'
Act 7:27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?
Act 7:28 Do you want to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'
Act 7:29 Moses fled at this saying, and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
Act 7:30 "When forty years were fulfilled, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.
Act 7:31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. As he came close to see, a voice of the Lord came to him,
Act 7:32 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' Moses trembled, and dared not look.
Act 7:33 The Lord said to him, 'Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.
Act 7:34 I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt.'
Act 7:35 "This Moses, whom they refused, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?'-God has sent him as both a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
Act 7:36 This man led them out, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.
Act 7:37 This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, 'The Lord our God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.'
Act 7:38 This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living oracles to give to us,
Act 7:39 to whom our fathers wouldn't be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt,
Act 7:40 saying to Aaron, 'Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him.'
Act 7:41 They made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands.
Act 7:42 But God turned, and gave them up to serve the army of the sky, as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'Did you offer to me slain animals and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
Act 7:43 You took up the tabernacle of Moloch, the star of your god Rephan, the figures which you made to worship. I will carry you away beyond Babylon.'
Act 7:44 "Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen;
Act 7:45 which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered into the possession of the nations, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David,
Act 7:46 who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.
Act 7:47 But Solomon built him a house.
Act 7:48 However, the Most High doesn't dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says,
Act 7:49 'heaven is my throne, and the earth a footstool for my feet. What kind of house will you build me?' says the Lord; 'or what is the place of my rest?
Act 7:50 Didn't my hand make all these things?'
Act 7:51 "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do.
Act 7:52 Which of the prophets didn't your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers.
Act 7:53 You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn't keep it!"
Act 7:54 Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
Act 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Act 7:56 and said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"
Act 7:57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord.
Act 7:58 They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Act 7:59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"
Act 7:60 He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, "Lord, don't hold this sin against them!" When he had said this, he fell asleep.