8/5/11

Impossible?


Using money as toilet paper; could it ever really happen?  Probably not, but who knows?  There have been so many unexpected things over the years that anything is possible.  Just think, in a little over a month, it will be a decade since we saw airplanes destroy the World Trade Center in New York City!!!  Sometimes the unthinkable does happen; here is one such instance from the Old Testament...

WEB: II Kings Chapter 6

[24] It happened after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. [25] There was a great famine in Samaria. Behold, they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. [26] As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!”

[27] He said, “If Yahweh doesn’t help you, from where could I help you? From of the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” [28] The king said to her, “What ails you?”

She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ [29] So we boiled my son, and ate him: and I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him;’ and she has hidden her son.”

[30] It happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes (now he was passing by on the wall); and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth underneath on his flesh. [31] Then he said, “God do so to me, and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stay on him this day.”

[32] But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. Then the king sent a man from before him; but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? Behold, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold the door shut against him. Isn’t the sound of his master’s feet behind him?”

[33] While he was still talking with them, behold, the messenger came down to him. Then he said, “Behold, this evil is from Yahweh. Why should I wait for Yahweh any longer?”


World English Bible: II Kings Chapter 7

[1] Elisha said, “Hear the word of Yahweh. Thus says Yahweh, ‘Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.’”

[2] Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, “Behold, if Yahweh made windows in heaven, could this thing be?”

He said, “Behold, you shall see it with your eyes, but shall not eat of it.”

[3] Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate. They said one to another, “Why do we sit here until we die? [4] If we say, ‘We will enter into the city,’ then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. If we sit still here, we also die. Now therefore come, and let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they save us alive, we will live; and if they kill us, we will only die.”

[5] They rose up in the twilight, to go to the camp of the Syrians. When they had come to the outermost part of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no man there. [6] For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great army: and they said one to another, Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come on us. [7] Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their donkeys, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. [8] When these lepers came to the outermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and ate and drink, and carried there silver, and gold, and clothing, and went and hid it. Then they came back, and entered into another tent, and carried there also, and went and hid it. [9] Then they said one to another, “We aren’t doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we keep silent. If we wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”

[10] So they came and called to the porter of the city; and they told them, saying, “We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but the horses tied, and the donkeys tied, and the tents as they were.”

[11] He called the porters; and they told it to the king’s household within. [12] The king arose in the night, and said to his servants, “I will now show you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry. Therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive, and get into the city.’”



[14] They took therefore two chariots with horses; and the king sent after the army of the Syrians, saying, “Go and see.”

[15] They went after them to the Jordan; and behold, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. The messengers returned, and told the king. [16] The people went out, and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of Yahweh. [17] The king appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to be in charge of the gate: and the people trod on him in the gate, and he died as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. [18] It happened, as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria;” [19] and that captain answered the man of God, and said, “Now, behold, if Yahweh should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?” and he said, “Behold, you shall see it with your eyes, but shall not eat of it.” [20] It happened like that to him; for the people trod on him in the gate, and he died.

Things happen! Samaria was besieged by Syria and there was a great famine.  But Elijah said that tomorrow there would be an abundance of food.  HUH? Things worked out just as he said to the surprise of everyone; great!!  So, I guess the world is really full of surprises after all.  America may encounter another period of inflation like during the Carter presidency, but God is in control and if we turn to him, everything will turn out fine!!!

OT Bible Reading 8/5


Aug. 5
Ezra 4-6

Ezr 4:1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple to Yahweh, the God of Israel;
Ezr 4:2 then they drew near to Zerubbabel, and to the heads of fathers' houses, and said to them, Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as you do; and we sacrifice to him since the days of Esar Haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here.
Ezr 4:3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses of Israel, said to them, You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves together will build to Yahweh, the God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.
Ezr 4:4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,
Ezr 4:5 and hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Ezr 4:6 In the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
Ezr 4:7 In the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian character, and set forth in the Syrian language.
Ezr 4:8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:
Ezr 4:9 then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites,
Ezr 4:10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over, and set in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the country beyond the River, and so forth.
Ezr 4:11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent to Artaxerxes the king: Your servants the men beyond the River, and so forth.
Ezr 4:12 Be it known to the king, that the Jews who came up from you are come to us to Jerusalem; they are building the rebellious and the bad city, and have finished the walls, and repaired the foundations.
Ezr 4:13 Be it known now to the king that if this city is built, and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and in the end it will be hurtful to the kings.
Ezr 4:14 Now because we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not appropriate for us to see the king's dishonor, therefore have we sent and informed the king;
Ezr 4:15 that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers: so you shall find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time; for which cause was this city laid waste.
Ezr 4:16 We inform the king that, if this city be built, and the walls finished, by this means you shall have no portion beyond the River.
Ezr 4:17 Then sent the king an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and in the rest of the country beyond the River: Peace, and so forth.
Ezr 4:18 The letter which you sent to us has been plainly read before me.
Ezr 4:19 I decreed, and search has been made, and it is found that this city of old time has made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.
Ezr 4:20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all the country beyond the River; and tribute, custom, and toll, was paid to them.
Ezr 4:21 Make a decree now to cause these men to cease, and that this city not be built, until a decree shall be made by me.
Ezr 4:22 Take heed that you not be slack herein: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
Ezr 4:23 Then when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
Ezr 4:24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Ezr 5:1 Now the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem; in the name of the God of Israel prophesied they to them.
Ezr 5:2 Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God, helping them.
Ezr 5:3 At the same time came to them Tattenai, the governor beyond the River, and Shetharbozenai, and their companions, and said thus to them, Who gave you a decree to build this house, and to finish this wall?
Ezr 5:4 Then we told them after this manner, what the names of the men were who were making this building.
Ezr 5:5 But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not make them cease, until the matter should come to Darius, and then answer should be returned by letter concerning it.
Ezr 5:6 The copy of the letter that Tattenai, the governor beyond the River, and Shetharbozenai, and his companions the Apharsachites, who were beyond the River, sent to Darius the king;
Ezr 5:7 they sent a letter to him, in which was written thus: To Darius the king, all peace.
Ezr 5:8 Be it known to the king, that we went into the province of Judah, to the house of the great God, which is built with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls; and this work goes on with diligence and prospers in their hands.
Ezr 5:9 Then asked we those elders, and said to them thus, Who gave you a decree to build this house, and to finish this wall?
Ezr 5:10 We asked them their names also, to inform you that we might write the names of the men who were at the head of them.
Ezr 5:11 Thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and are building the house that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.
Ezr 5:12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.
Ezr 5:13 But in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, Cyrus the king made a decree to build this house of God.
Ezr 5:14 The gold and silver vessels also of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;
Ezr 5:15 and he said to him, Take these vessels, go, put them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in its place.
Ezr 5:16 Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundations of the house of God which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even until now has it been in building, and yet it is not completed.
Ezr 5:17 Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem; and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.
Ezr 6:1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the archives, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.
Ezr 6:2 There was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a scroll, and therein was thus written for a record:
Ezr 6:3 In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king made a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be built, the place where they offer sacrifices, and let its foundations be strongly laid; its height sixty cubits, and its breadth sixty cubits;
Ezr 6:4 with three courses of great stones, and a course of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king's house.
Ezr 6:5 Also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought to Babylon, be restored, and brought again to the temple which is at Jerusalem, everyone to its place; and you shall put them in the house of God.
Ezr 6:6 Now therefore, Tattenai, governor beyond the River, Shetharbozenai, and your companions the Apharsachites, who are beyond the River, you must stay far from there.
Ezr 6:7 Leave the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in its place.
Ezr 6:8 Moreover I make a decree what you shall do to these elders of the Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the River, expenses be given with all diligence to these men, that they be not hindered.
Ezr 6:9 That which they have need of, both young bulls, and rams, and lambs, for burnt offerings to the God of heaven; also wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the word of the priests who are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail;
Ezr 6:10 that they may offer sacrifices of pleasant aroma to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.
Ezr 6:11 Also I have made a decree, that whoever shall alter this word, let a beam be pulled out from his house, and let him be lifted up and fastened thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this:
Ezr 6:12 and the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow all kings and peoples who shall put forth their hand to alter the same, to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with all diligence.
Ezr 6:13 Then Tattenai, the governor beyond the River, Shetharbozenai, and their companions, because that Darius the king had sent, did accordingly with all diligence.
Ezr 6:14 The elders of the Jews built and prospered, through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
Ezr 6:15 This house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
Ezr 6:16 The children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.
Ezr 6:17 They offered at the dedication of this house of God one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
Ezr 6:18 They set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.
Ezr 6:19 The children of the captivity kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
Ezr 6:20 For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves together; all of them were pure: and they killed the Passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brothers the priests, and for themselves.
Ezr 6:21 The children of Israel who had come again out of the captivity, and all such as had separated themselves to them from the filthiness of the nations of the land, to seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, ate,
Ezr 6:22 and kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for Yahweh had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

NT Bible Reading 8/5, 8/6


Aug. 5, 6
Acts 21

Act 21:1 When it happened that we had parted from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.
Act 21:2 Having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail.
Act 21:3 When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload her cargo.
Act 21:4 Having found disciples, we stayed there seven days. These said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
Act 21:5 When it happened that we had accomplished the days, we departed and went on our journey. They all, with wives and children, brought us on our way until we were out of the city. Kneeling down on the beach, we prayed.
Act 21:6 After saying goodbye to each other, we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.
Act 21:7 When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers, and stayed with them one day.
Act 21:8 On the next day, we, who were Paul's companions, departed, and came to Caesarea. We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.
Act 21:9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.
Act 21:10 As we stayed there some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
Act 21:11 Coming to us, and taking Paul's belt, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit: 'So will the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.' "
Act 21:12 When we heard these things, both we and they of that place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.
Act 21:13 Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."
Act 21:14 When he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, "The Lord's will be done."
Act 21:15 After these days we took up our baggage and went up to Jerusalem.
Act 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us, bringing one Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we would stay.
Act 21:17 When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.
Act 21:18 The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present.
Act 21:19 When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry.
Act 21:20 They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.
Act 21:21 They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs.
Act 21:22 What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come.
Act 21:23 Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow.
Act 21:24 Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law.
Act 21:25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality."
Act 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.
Act 21:27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him,
Act 21:28 crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!"
Act 21:29 For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
Act 21:30 All the city was moved, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Immediately the doors were shut.
Act 21:31 As they were trying to kill him, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Act 21:32 Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul.
Act 21:33 Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done.
Act 21:34 Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he couldn't find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks.
Act 21:35 When he came to the stairs, it happened that he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd;
Act 21:36 for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, "Away with him!"
Act 21:37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer, "May I speak to you?" He said, "Do you know Greek?
Act 21:38 Aren't you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?"
Act 21:39 But Paul said, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people."
Act 21:40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,