7/9/11

The best for last


This sunset is somewhat special.  Most of the time, the whole sky gradually darkens until it turns a violet and then the black of night.  However, in this photo there is light grey and black mixed together against the fiery glow of a crimson sunset.  It seems to have a more distinct line of demarcation than usual.  The lives of some people are like this sunset; at the very end they are remarkably beautiful, golden in fact.  Simeon was one such man and here is his story.

Luke 2:21-35 (WEB)
21) When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22) When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord
23) (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”),
24) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
25) Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.
26) It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27) He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law,
28) then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29) “Now you are releasing your servant, Master, according to your word, in peace;
30) for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31) which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
32) a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.”
33) Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him,
34) and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against.
35) Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Simeon was a man like any other, but he received a special blessing... he would see the Christ before his death.  Sometimes the best things come late in life.  Sometimes the best is left for last.  Simeon's "sunset" marked the end of one age and the beginning of another; the Christ had arrived.  Not a bad way to finish!!!  Beautiful!!!

OT Bible Reading 7/9

July 9
2 Kings 13-15

2Ki 13:1 In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years.
2Ki 13:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin; he didn't depart from it.
2Ki 13:3 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, continually.
2Ki 13:4 Jehoahaz begged Yahweh, and Yahweh listened to him; for he saw the oppression of Israel, how that the king of Syria oppressed them.
2Ki 13:5 (Yahweh gave Israel a savior, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel lived in their tents as before.
2Ki 13:6 Nevertheless they didn't depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel to sin, but walked therein: and there remained the Asherah also in Samaria.)
2Ki 13:7 For he didn't leave to Jehoahaz of the people save fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen; for the king of Syria destroyed them, and made them like the dust in threshing.
2Ki 13:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did, and his might, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 13:9 Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 13:10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years.
2Ki 13:11 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh; he didn't depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin; but he walked therein.
2Ki 13:12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 13:13 Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat on his throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
2Ki 13:14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness of which he died: and Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over him, and said, My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!
2Ki 13:15 Elisha said to him, Take bow and arrows; and he took to him bow and arrows.
2Ki 13:16 He said to the king of Israel, Put your hand on the bow; and he put his hand on it. Elisha laid his hands on the king's hands.
2Ki 13:17 He said, Open the window eastward; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot; and he shot. He said, Yahweh's arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Syria; for you shall strike the Syrians in Aphek, until you have consumed them.
2Ki 13:18 He said, Take the arrows; and he took them. He said to the king of Israel, Smite on the ground; and he struck thrice, and stayed.
2Ki 13:19 The man of God was angry with him, and said, You should have struck five or six times: then you would have struck Syria until you had consumed it, whereas now you shall strike Syria just three times.
2Ki 13:20 Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
2Ki 13:21 It happened, as they were burying a man, that behold, they spied a band; and they cast the man into the tomb of Elisha: and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
2Ki 13:22 Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.
2Ki 13:23 But Yahweh was gracious to them, and had compassion on them, and had respect to them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.
2Ki 13:24 Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 13:25 Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash strike him, and recovered the cities of Israel.
2Ki 14:1 In the second year of Joash son of Joahaz king of Israel began Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah to reign.
2Ki 14:2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem.
2Ki 14:3 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, yet not like David his father: he did according to all that Joash his father had done.
2Ki 14:4 However the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
2Ki 14:5 It happened, as soon as the kingdom was established in his hand, that he killed his servants who had slain the king his father:
2Ki 14:6 but the children of the murderers he didn't put to death; according to that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, as Yahweh commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin.
2Ki 14:7 He killed of Edom in the Valley of Salt ten thousand, and took Sela by war, and called its name Joktheel, to this day.
2Ki 14:8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.
2Ki 14:9 Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife: and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle.
2Ki 14:10 You have indeed struck Edom, and your heart has lifted you up: glory of it, and abide at home; for why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you?
2Ki 14:11 But Amaziah would not hear. So Jehoash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.
2Ki 14:12 Judah was defeated by Israel; and they fled every man to his tent.
2Ki 14:13 Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
2Ki 14:14 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
2Ki 14:15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 14:16 Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 14:17 Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Ki 14:18 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 14:19 They made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there.
2Ki 14:20 They brought him on horses; and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.
2Ki 14:21 All the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2Ki 14:22 He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
2Ki 14:23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years.
2Ki 14:24 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: he didn't depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 14:25 He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the sea of the Arabah, according to the word of Yahweh, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath Hepher.
2Ki 14:26 For Yahweh saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter; for there was none shut up nor left at large, neither was there any helper for Israel.
2Ki 14:27 Yahweh didn't say that he would blot out the name of Israel from under the sky; but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.
2Ki 14:28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah, for Israel, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 14:29 Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zechariah his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:1 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.
2Ki 15:2 Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
2Ki 15:3 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2Ki 15:4 However the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
2Ki 15:5 Yahweh struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house. Jotham the king's son was over the household, judging the people of the land.
2Ki 15:6 Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 15:7 Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:8 In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months.
2Ki 15:9 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as his fathers had done: he didn't depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:10 Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and struck him before the people, and killed him, and reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:11 Now the rest of the acts of Zechariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
2Ki 15:12 This was the word of Yahweh which he spoke to Jehu, saying, Your sons to the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. So it came to pass.
2Ki 15:13 Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned the space of a month in Samaria.
2Ki 15:14 Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and struck Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and killed him, and reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:15 Now the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
2Ki 15:16 Then Menahem struck Tiphsah, and all who were therein, and its borders, from Tirzah: because they didn't open to him, therefore he struck it; and all the women therein who were with child he ripped up.
2Ki 15:17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.
2Ki 15:18 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: he didn't depart all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:19 There came against the land Pul the king of Assyria; and Menahem gave Pul one thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.
2Ki 15:20 Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and didn't stay there in the land.
2Ki 15:21 Now the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 15:22 Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
2Ki 15:24 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: he didn't depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:25 Pekah the son of Remaliah, his captain, conspired against him, and struck him in Samaria, in the castle of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh; and with him were fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:26 Now the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
2Ki 15:27 In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
2Ki 15:28 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: he didn't depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel Beth Maacah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria.
2Ki 15:30 Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and struck him, and killed him, and reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.
2Ki 15:31 Now the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
2Ki 15:32 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign.
2Ki 15:33 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok.
2Ki 15:34 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh; he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.
2Ki 15:35 However the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burned incense in the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 15:36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 15:37 In those days Yahweh began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah.
2Ki 15:38 Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.