Posts Tagged ‘Israelite’


Now when Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah had put the prophets to death with the sword, she sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “As surely as you are Elijah and I am Jezebel, may the gods do to me what they will and more too, if I do not make your life as the life of one of those prophets by to-morrow about this time.”

Then he was afraid and fled for his life. And he came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness and sat down under a desert tree, and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

Then he lay down and slept under the desert tree, but an angel touched him and said to him, “Rise, eat!” When he looked, he saw there at his head a loaf, baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. But the angel of Jehovah came again the second time and touched him and said, “Rise, eat, or else the journey will be too long for you.” So he rose and ate and drank and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mountain of God.

Then Jehovah passed by, and a very violent wind tore the mountain apart and broke the rocks in pieces before Jehovah; but Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake; but Jehovah was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but Jehovah was not in the fire. After the fire there was the sound of a low whisper. As soon as Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then he heard a voice saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very jealous for Jehovah the God of hosts, for the Israelites have forsaken thee, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword, and I only am left; and they seek to take my life.”

Then Jehovah said to him, “On your way back go to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you arrive there, anoint Hazael to rule over Aram, Jehu, the son of Nimshi, to rule over Israel, and Elisha, the son of Shaphat, to be prophet in your place. Then every one who escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death; and every one who escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. Yet I will spare seven thousand in Israel–all who have not worshipped Baal and kissed his image.”

After he had left, Elijah found Elisha the son of Shaphat, as he was ploughing with twelve pairs of oxen. When Elijah went up to him and threw his mantle upon him, he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Elijah said to him, “Go back, for what have I done to you?” So Elisha turned back and took one pair of oxen and offered them as a sacrifice and, using the wooden ploughs and yokes as fuel, boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people to eat. Then he arose and followed Elijah and served him.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Gods-Low-Whisper.shtml

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Smoke poured from his nostrils;      fierce flames leaped from his mouth.      Glowing coals blazed forth from him.

Psalm 18 celebrates God’s deliverance of David from danger and distress. “The ropes of death entangled me,” he writes, “floods of destruction swept over me” (18:4). Yet, as David cried out to the Lord, God heard him and came to deliver him.

The prose version of what happened next would read unimaginatively: The Lord rescued David from his enemies and kept him safe. But the Psalms are poetry, not prose. Psalm 18 delivers, not just the facts, but rather a vivid picture of God’s coming in awesome power to deliver David. This portrayal utilizes a variety of stirring images, including a mighty earthquake and a spectacular thunderstorm (18:7, 11-14). In verse 8, God is pictured as a sort of dragon: “Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him.”

Now that’s enough to get the attention of a ten-year-old boy! But what does it tell us about God? And how can we relate to a God with smoking nostrils? The images of Psalm 18 aren’t meant to convey literal truth about God’s nature. Rather, they are poetic, culturally embedded, and theologically powerful representations of God’s strength and judgment. In particular, they point to the mighty acts of God in Exodus, when he parted the waters of the Red Sea (Exod. 14:15-31) and visited the Israelites on Mt. Sinai with thunder, lightning, smoke, and an earthquake (see Exod. 19:16-20).

The good news of Psalm 18 is not only that God is mighty, but also that he is mighty for us. When we cry out to him, he comes to save us. Of course, one of the greatest ironies of God’s salvation is that it is ultimately centered in the apparent weakness and defeat of the cross. Yet, through the cross, God took upon himself the fire of his righteous judgment. In the death of Christ, God bore our punishment for sin, thus defeating the power of sin and even death itself. Psalm 18 invites us to celebrate God’s salvation in Jesus Christ: “I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies” (18:3).

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Why do you think God inspired the psalmist to depict his nature in such bold and shocking images? What images might you choose today to convey the saving power of God? Have you ever experienced a situation like that of David in Psalm 18? How did God rescue you?

PRAYER: Thank you, Almighty God, for the poetic images of Psalm 18.

You are indeed my rock, my fortress, my savior, my shield. You protect me in ways I can see and in ways I’ll never know. In you, I am safe for eternity.

You are a God of power, whose presence is like smoke and fire. Your word thunders. Your judgment strikes like lightning.

You are the one who reached down and rescued me from the deep waters of sin. You have delivered me again and again from the pits into which I have fallen.

O God, you are faithful, with complete integrity. You are pure in your grace and your judgment. You light my way. Indeed, you are perfect.

All praise be to you, God of power, God of mercy! Amen.

http://www.thehighcalling.org/reflection/god-dragon-0


When Solomon died, Rehoboam his son ruled after him. As soon as Jeroboam, who was still in Egypt, heard that Solomon had died, he returned at once to his home town, Zeredah in Mount Ephraim.

Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had come to Shechem to make him ruler. But they said to Rehoboam, “Your father laid a heavy yoke upon us. Now make the hard service of your father and the heavy yoke that he laid upon us lighter, and we will serve you.” He said to them, “Go away for three days; then come again to me.” So the people went away.

Then Rehoboam asked advice from the old men who had been in the service of Solomon his father during his lifetime and inquired, “What answer do you advise me to give this people?” They said to him, “If now you will serve this people and give them a favorable answer, then they will be your servants forever.”

But he rejected the advice which the old men had given him and asked the young men who had grown up with him and had been in his service. And he said to them, “What answer do you advise that we give to this people who have said to me, ‘Make the yoke that your father laid upon us lighter’?” The young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Make this answer to them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! While my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will make your yoke heavier; my father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scourges.'”

So when all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as he had directed, he answered the people harshly and did not follow the advice which the old men had given him, but spoke to them as the young men had advised, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will make your yoke still heavier; my father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scourges.” So Rehoboam paid no attention to the demand of the people.

When all Israel saw that he paid no attention to their demand they gave him this answer: “What interest have we in David? We have nothing in common with the son of Jesse! To your tents, O Israel! Now look out for your house, O David!”

So the Israelites went to their homes.

Then Rehoboam sent to them Adoniram, who was over the men who did forced labor. But when all the Israelites stoned him to death, Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. So Israel has refused to obey the house of David to the present day.

As soon as all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly of the people and made him ruler over all Israel. None remained loyal to the house of David except the tribe of Judah.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Rehoboams-Great-Mistake.shtml


The prayers of young children show us what they think of God. Here are two I read recently:

“Dear God, what does it mean that You are a ‘jealous’ God? I thought You had everything.”

“I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool.”

These children are right to think of God as the owner and creator of everything, the One who can paint beautiful sunsets. But how does God describe Himself?

Moses needed an answer to that question when he was about to lead the Israelites into the wilderness. He wanted to be assured of God’s presence and leading, so he asked Him to reveal Himself (Ex. 33:13,18). In response, God came down in a cloud and said: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, . . . by no means clearing the guilty” (34:5-7). He is good; He is just.

We too can know this God and be assured of His presence. He has revealed Himself in His creation and in His Word. As we ask Him to make Himself known to us, we’ll learn that He is even more than the owner and creator of everything!

Sing praise to God who reigns above, The God of all creation, The God of power, the God of love, The God of our salvation. —Schutz
In a world of superlatives, God is the greatest.

David and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the people of the land who had said to David, “You shall not come in here, for the blind and the lame will turn you back,” for they thought, “David cannot come in here.”

But David took the fortress of Zion, and lived there. He also built a wall around it, and called it the City of David.

David continued to grow more powerful, for Jehovah of hosts was with him. And Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to him, and cedar-trees and carpenters and masons, and they built a palace for him. So David knew that Jehovah had made him ruler over Israel and his kingdom powerful for the sake of his people Israel.

David again gathered all the chief men of Israel, thirty thousand in all, and went with all the people to Baal-Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God. They placed the ark of God upon a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, guided the cart. Uzzah went beside the ark of God, while Ahio went before it. David and all the people of Israel danced before Jehovah with all their might to the music of harps and lyres and drums and castanets and cymbals.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Jerusalem-Made-The-Capital-City.shtml

When they came to the threshing-floor of Nachon, Uzzah stretched out his hand to hold up the ark of God, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of Jehovah was aroused against Uzzah and he struck him down there, because he had stretched out his hand to the ark; so he died there in the presence of God. David was afraid of Jehovah that day, and said, “How can the ark of Jehovah come to me?” So David was not willing to remove the ark of Jehovah to the City of David, but carried it aside to the house of Obed-edom, the Gittite, and it remained there three months. But Jehovah blessed Obed-edom and all his family.

When the report came to David, “Jehovah has blessed Obed-edom and all his family because of the ark of God,” David joyfully brought up the ark from the house of Obed-edom to the City of David. When the bearers of the ark of Jehovah had gone six paces, David offered an ox and a fat animal as a sacrifice; and he danced before Jehovah with all his might, and he had about his waist a priestly garment made of linen. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of Jehovah with shouting and the blare of trumpets.

When they had brought in the ark of Jehovah and had set it in its place in the tent that David had built for it, he offered burnt-offerings and sacrifices to Jehovah. When David had finished offering these sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of Jehovah of hosts and gave to each of the many Israelites who were there, to both men and women, a roll of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.

This message also from Jehovah came to Nathan, the prophet: “You shall say to my servant David: ‘Jehovah of hosts declares, I took you from the pasture from following the sheep to be chief over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, to destroy all your enemies before you, and I will make you a name, like that of the great in the earth. When your life is ended and you are buried with your fathers, I will raise up your son after you, and I will make his rule strong. I will be a father to him, and he shall be my son. When he goes astray I will gently correct him. I will not withdraw my favor from him as I withdrew it from Saul. Your house and your dominion shall always stand firm before me; your authority shall stand forever.'”


Samuel had died and all Israel had mourned for him and had buried him in his own town Ramah. Saul, too, had put the mediums and those who had messages from the spirits of the dead out of the land.

Then the Philistines came and camped in Shunem, and Saul gathered all the Israelites and camped in Gilboa. But when he saw the army of the Philistines, he was terrified and filled with fear. So he asked of Jehovah whether he should go against them, but Jehovah did not answer him either by dream or by lot or by the prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Find for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go and ask through her.” His servants said to him, “There is such a woman at Endor.”

So Saul did not let any one know who he was, but put on other clothes and went, taking two men with him. And they came to the woman at night. He said, “Ask for me through some departed spirit and bring up for me the one for whom I shall ask.” The woman said to him, “You know what Saul has done, how he has driven from the land the mediums and those who have messages from the spirits of the dead. Why then are you trying to catch me, to put me to death?” But Saul swore to her by Jehovah, saying, “As surely as Jehovah lives, no punishment will come to you from this act.” Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up to you?” Saul said, “Bring up Samuel.”

When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me, for you are Saul?” Saul replied, “Do not be afraid! What do you see?” The woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming out of the earth.” Saul asked, “What does he look like?” She said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a cloak.” Then Saul knew that it was Samuel; and he bowed with his face to the earth and worshipped.

Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great trouble, for the Philistines are making war against me, and God has turned from me and answers me no more, neither by prophets nor by dreams. So I have called you to tell me what I shall do.” Samuel said, “Why do you ask of me when Jehovah has turned from you and become your enemy? He has taken the authority from your hand and given it to another, even to David. To-morrow you, with your sons beside you, shall fall, and Jehovah will deliver the army of Israel into the power of the Philistines.”

Then Saul fell at full length upon the earth, for the words of Samuel filled him with fear, so he had no strength left, for he had not eaten any food all that day and night. When the woman came to Saul and saw that he was in great trouble, she said to him, “See, I have taken my life in my hand and have done what you asked me. Now therefore, listen also to my advice and let me set before you a little food, and eat that you may have strength to go on your way.” Saul refused and said, “I will not eat”; but his servants, as well as the woman, urged him, until he listened to their advice. Then he rose from the earth and sat upon the couch. And the woman had a fat calf in the house which she quickly killed. And she took flour and kneaded it and baked from it bread without yeast. She set it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose up and went away that night.

The Philistines fought against Israel, but the Israelites fled from them and fell dead on Mount Gilboa. Then the Philistines closely followed Saul and his sons; and they killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. So the battle went against Saul, and when the archers found out where he was, he was severely wounded. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me with it, so that these heathen Philistines may not come and make sport of me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he was very much afraid. Saul, therefore, took his own sword and fell upon it. When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer died on the same day.

When the Israelites who were in the towns of the lowland and across the Jordan saw that the Israelites had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they left their towns and fled, and the Philistines came and took them.

On the next day, the Philistines came to rob the dead, and found that Saul and his three sons had fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent messengers through all the land of the Philistines to bring the good news to their idols and to the people. And they put his armor in the temple of Ashtarte and fastened his body on the wall of Bethshan.

When the inhabitants of Jabesh in Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, their brave men rose up and marched all night, and they took the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Bethshan and brought them to Jabesh and mourned over them there. Then they took their bones and buried them under the oak-tree in Jabesh and ate no food for seven days.

On the third day after David returned to Ziklag, after defeating the Amalekites, a man came from the camp of Saul with his clothes torn and with earth upon his head. When he came to David, he fell on the ground before him. David said to him, “Where do you come from?” He answered, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” David said to him, “How did the battle go? Tell me.” He answered, “The people fled from the battle-field, and many of them fell, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead!”

Then David and all the men who were with him tore their clothes and mourned and wept and went without food until evening, because Saul and Jonathan his son and the people of Jehovah had fallen by the sword.

David then sang this dirge over Saul and Jonathan:

“Weep, O Judah!
Grieve, O Israel!
On your heights are the slain!
How the mighty have fallen!

“Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
In life and in death they were never parted;
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions.

“O Jonathan, your death has mortally wounded me,
O Jonathan, my brother, for you I am sorrowing.
You were ever a friend to me most dear,
Your love meant far more than the love of women!

“How the mighty have fallen,
And the weapons of war vanished!”

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/The-Death-Of-Two-Brave-Warriors.shtml


When the Israelites and David returned from slaying the Philistines, the women came out from all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet Saul with tambourines, with cries of rejoicing, and with cymbals. The women sang gaily to each other and said,

“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his tens of thousands.”

Saul was very angry, for their words displeased him, and he said, “To David they give credit for ten thousands, but to me only thousands; what more can he have but the rulership?” So Saul kept his eye on David from that day onward. Saul feared David and did not let him stay near him. He made him commander over a thousand men; and David went out and came in at the head of the soldiers. In all that he did David acted wisely and had success, for Jehovah was with him. When Saul saw that he acted wisely, he was still more afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in at their head.

Michal, Saul’s daughter, also loved David, and when they told Saul, he was pleased, for he said, “I will give her to him, that she may lead him to destruction and that the Philistines may capture him.” So Saul commanded his servants, “Say to David secretly: ‘See, the ruler is pleased with you and all his servants love you; now therefore become his son-in-law.'” When Saul’s servants told this to David, he said, “Do you think it easy for me to become the son-in-law of a ruler when I am poor and have no reputation!” When Saul’s servants told him David’s answer, he commanded, “Say to David: ‘Saul wishes no price for his daughter except the proof that you have killed a hundred Philistines;'” for Saul thought that David would be killed by them.

So David went with his men and killed a hundred Philistines; and Saul gave him his daughter Michal as his wife. Then Saul knew that Jehovah was with David and that all Israel loved him, so he feared David still more.

Then Saul commanded his son Jonathan and all his servants to put David to death. But Jonathan was very fond of David. And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Do not sin against your servant David, for he has not wronged you and his behavior toward you has been excellent; for he risked his life and killed the Philistine, so that Jehovah saved all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin by shedding innocent blood in killing David without cause?”

So Saul listened to Jonathan and gave his solemn promise: “As surely as Jehovah lives, he shall not be put to death.”

Then Jonathan called David and told him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul and he was with him as before.

But there was war again, and David went out and fought against the Philistines and killed so many of them that they fled before him. Then an evil spirit from Jehovah came upon Saul while he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand and while David was playing on the lyre. Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but David slipped away so that Saul drove the spear into the wall; and David fled and so escaped.

That night Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, so as to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not save your life to-night, you will be killed to-morrow.” So Michal let David down through the window; and he fled away and escaped. Then Michal took the household god and laid it in the bed, and she put a pillow of goat’s hair under its head and covered it with a garment. And when Saul sent messengers to seize David, she said, “He is sick.”

Again Saul sent the messengers to the house of David with the command, “Bring him up to me on the bed, that I may put him to death.” When the messengers came in, there was the household god in the bed with the pillow of goat’s hair under its head. Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go?” Michal answered Saul, “He said to me: ‘Let me go; why should I kill you?'”

https://trinityspeaks.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post