8/2/11

Just another day full of surprises


Today, my grandson asked me what animal produced its own alcohol.  I didn't know and when he told me, I was a bit surprised.  Its amazing how much there is to learn in this world; how much there is to marvel at.  Later, I took a few minutes and thought about how wonderful it was to be a Christian; that God would choose to have anything at all to do with someone like myself is truly amazing.  Consider the following passage from the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (WEB)
14) For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15) from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
16) that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;
17) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18) may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19) and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20) Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
21) to him be the glory in the assembly and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

God cares, directs and empowers humans.  I wonder why he chose us instead of simply making a better angel?  What is so special about us anyway?  I have known thousands upon thousands of people, most of them had obvious faults, but a few of them were truly spiritual people.  Even the top five people I have had the blessing to know and call friend still had things about them that were not flattering.  How can God care so much for those who are so flawed?  I haven't a clue, but I believe that HE does and that's all that is really necessary.  Sometimes you just need to accept things, like Hippos giving pink milk or that elephants make their own alcohol.  Isn't life wonderful!!!

OT Bible Reading 8/2

Aug. 2
2 Chronicles 31-33

2Ch 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, and broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and broke down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.
2Ch 31:2 Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites after their divisions, every man according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camp of Yahweh.
2Ch 31:3 He appointed also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of Yahweh.
2Ch 31:4 Moreover he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the law of Yahweh.
2Ch 31:5 As soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.
2Ch 31:6 The children of Israel and Judah, who lived in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of cattle and sheep, and the tithe of dedicated things which were consecrated to Yahweh their God, and laid them by heaps.
2Ch 31:7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month.
2Ch 31:8 When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed Yahweh, and his people Israel.
2Ch 31:9 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.
2Ch 31:10 Azariah the chief priest, of the house of Zadok, answered him and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of Yahweh, we have eaten and had enough, and have left plenty: for Yahweh has blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.
2Ch 31:11 Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of Yahweh; and they prepared them.
2Ch 31:12 They brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: and over them Conaniah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was second.
2Ch 31:13 Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad, and Eliel, and Ismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah, were overseers under the hand of Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah the ruler of the house of God.
2Ch 31:14 Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter at the east gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the offerings of Yahweh, and the most holy things.
2Ch 31:15 Under him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their office of trust, to give to their brothers by divisions, as well to the great as to the small:
2Ch 31:16 besides those who were reckoned by genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even everyone who entered into the house of Yahweh, as the duty of every day required, for their service in their offices according to their divisions;
2Ch 31:17 and those who were reckoned by genealogy of the priests by their fathers' houses, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their offices by their divisions;
2Ch 31:18 and those who were reckoned by genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their office of trust they sanctified themselves in holiness.
2Ch 31:19 Also for the sons of Aaron the priests, who were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every city, there were men who were mentioned by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all who were reckoned by genealogy among the Levites.
2Ch 31:20 Hezekiah did so throughout all Judah; and he worked that which was good and right and faithful before Yahweh his God.
2Ch 31:21 In every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.

2Ch 32:1 After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win them for himself.
2Ch 32:2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,
2Ch 32:3 he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the springs which were outside of the city; and they helped him.
2Ch 32:4 So there was gathered much people together, and they stopped all the springs, and the brook that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?
2Ch 32:5 He took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised it up to the towers, and the other wall outside, and strengthened Millo in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance.
2Ch 32:6 He set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the broad place at the gate of the city, and spoke comfortably to them, saying,
2Ch 32:7 Be strong and of good courage, don't be afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude who is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him:
2Ch 32:8 with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is Yahweh our God to help us, and to fight our battles. The people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
2Ch 32:9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (now he was before Lachish, and all his power with him), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying,
2Ch 32:10 Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, In whom do you trust, that you abide the siege in Jerusalem?
2Ch 32:11 Doesn't Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, Yahweh our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
2Ch 32:12 Has not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, You shall worship before one altar, and on it you shall burn incense?
2Ch 32:13 Don't you know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any wise able to deliver their land out of my hand?
2Ch 32:14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand?
2Ch 32:15 Now therefore don't let Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you after this manner, neither believe you him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of my hand?
2Ch 32:16 His servants spoke yet more against Yahweh God, and against his servant Hezekiah.
2Ch 32:17 He wrote also letters, to rail on Yahweh, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall the God of Hezekiah not deliver his people out of my hand.
2Ch 32:18 They cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city.
2Ch 32:19 They spoke of the God of Jerusalem, as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands.
2Ch 32:20 Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven.
2Ch 32:21 Yahweh sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. When he was come into the house of his god, those who came forth from his own bowels killed him there with the sword.
2Ch 32:22 Thus Yahweh saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side.
2Ch 32:23 Many brought gifts to Yahweh to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.
2Ch 32:24 In those days Hezekiah was sick even to death: and he prayed to Yahweh; and he spoke to him, and gave him a sign.
2Ch 32:25 But Hezekiah didn't render again according to the benefit done to him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath on him, and on Judah and Jerusalem.
2Ch 32:26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of Yahweh didn't come on them in the days of Hezekiah.
2Ch 32:27 Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he provided him treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of goodly vessels;
2Ch 32:28 storehouses also for the increase of grain and new wine and oil; and stalls for all manner of animals, and flocks in folds.
2Ch 32:29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much substance.
2Ch 32:30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
2Ch 32:31 However in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.
2Ch 32:32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
2Ch 32:33 Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the tombs of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. Manasseh his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 33:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, after the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel.
2Ch 33:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the Baals, and made Asheroth, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them.
2Ch 33:4 He built altars in the house of Yahweh, of which Yahweh said, In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.
2Ch 33:5 He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 33:6 He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and practiced sorcery, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.
2Ch 33:7 He set the engraved image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever:
2Ch 33:8 neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances given by Moses.
2Ch 33:9 Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did evil more than did the nations whom Yahweh destroyed before the children of Israel.
2Ch 33:10 Yahweh spoke to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed.
2Ch 33:11 Therefore Yahweh brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
2Ch 33:12 When he was in distress, he begged Yahweh his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
2Ch 33:13 He prayed to him; and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Yahweh he was God.
2Ch 33:14 Now after this he built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate; and he encircled Ophel with it, and raised it up to a very great height: and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah.
2Ch 33:15 He took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of Yahweh, and all the altars that he had built in the mountain of the house of Yahweh, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.
2Ch 33:16 He built up the altar of Yahweh, and offered thereon sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and commanded Judah to serve Yahweh, the God of Israel.
2Ch 33:17 Nevertheless the people sacrificed still in the high places, but only to Yahweh their God.
2Ch 33:18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel.
2Ch 33:19 His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the engraved images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai.
2Ch 33:20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 33:21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 33:22 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed to all the engraved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them.
2Ch 33:23 He didn't humble himself before Yahweh, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more.
2Ch 33:24 His servants conspired against him, and put him to death in his own house.
2Ch 33:25 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.