Do you believe in luck or coincidences? I don’t. At least not anymore since I became born again. With God, there are no coincidences. I can look back at my life and see God’s hand guiding me from one stage to another — even while I was a lost prodigal! As we read through the Old Testament, we see the hand of God and His Grace, Mercy and Blessings for those who obey his simple rules. As He laid out the law through Moses, He clearly states that if you obey, you’ll be blessed, but if you disobey, you’ll be cursed. In today’s stories, we see an example of both of these.
Remember the Shunamite woman whose son Elisha raised from the dead? She had welcomed Elisha many times to her home and even built him a guest room on the roof. Well, Elisha had warned her and her husband to flee the land because there was famine coming. Now, the famine was over and she came back, but could she get her land back? Let’s dig in…
2 Kings 8
Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “Take your family and move to some other place, for the Lord has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years.” 2 So the woman did as the man of God instructed. She took her family and settled in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3 After the famine ended she returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went to see the king about getting back her house and land. 4 As she came in, the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. The king had just said, “Tell me some stories about the great things Elisha has done.” 5 And Gehazi was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life. At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king about her house and land.
“Look, my lord the king!” Gehazi exclaimed. “Here is the woman now, and this is her son—the very one Elisha brought back to life!”
6 “Is this true?” the king asked her. And she told him the story. So he directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence.
What a coincidence! Nope! Not with God. This was a divine appointment. Because she was good to God’s prophet, Elisha, God was good to her. She didn’t ask God about her land, she went to the king, who just so happened to be listening to Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, tell her story. What do we learn here?
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yep, the Golden Rule!
- When a wise person tells you to do something — she KNEW Elisha was God’s prophet — DO IT! Had she stayed, she, her husband and son, may have died in the famine. She obeyed and was saved.
- With God, there are no such things as coincidences!
Unfortunately, the next stories are not so pleasant. They fall onto the other spectrum — disobedience.
Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad
7 Elisha went to Damascus, the capital of Aram, where King Ben-hadad lay sick. When someone told the king that the man of God had come, 8 the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift to the man of God. Then tell him to ask the Lord, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
9 So Hazael loaded down forty camels with the finest products of Damascus as a gift for Elisha. He went to him and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
10 And Elisha replied, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover.’ But actually the Lord has shown me that he will surely die!” 11 Elisha stared at Hazael with a fixed gaze until Hazael became uneasy. Then the man of God started weeping.
12 “What’s the matter, my lord?” Hazael asked him.
Elisha replied, “I know the terrible things you will do to the people of Israel. You will burn their fortified cities, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women!”
13 Hazael responded, “How could a nobody like me ever accomplish such great things?”
Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you are going to be the king of Aram.”
14 When Hazael left Elisha and went back, the king asked him, “What did Elisha tell you?”
And Hazael replied, “He told me that you will surely recover.”
15 But the next day Hazael took a blanket, soaked it in water, and held it over the king’s face until he died. Then Hazael became the next king of Aram.
Jehoram Rules in Judah
16 Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah began to rule over Judah in the fifth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab, king of Israel. 17 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 18 But Jehoram followed the example of the kings of Israel and was as wicked as King Ahab, for he had married one of Ahab’s daughters. So Jehoram did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. 19 But the Lord did not want to destroy Judah, for he had promised his servant David that his descendants would continue to rule, shining like a lamp forever.
20 During Jehoram’s reign, the Edomites revolted against Judah and crowned their own king. 21 So Jehoram went with all his chariots to attack the town of Zair. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he went out at night and attacked them under cover of darkness. But Jehoram’s army deserted him and fled to their homes. 22 So Edom has been independent from Judah to this day. The town of Libnah also revolted about that same time.
23 The rest of the events in Jehoram’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 24 When Jehoram died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Ahaziah became the next king.
Ahaziah Rules in Judah
25 Ahaziah son of Jehoram began to rule over Judah in the twelfth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab, king of Israel.
26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27 Ahaziah followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done, for he was related by marriage to the family of Ahab.
28 Ahaziah joined Joram son of Ahab in his war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. When the Arameans wounded King Joram in the battle, 29 he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he had received at Ramoth. Because Joram was wounded, King Ahaziah of Judah went to Jezreel to visit him.2 Kings 8 NLT
The legacy of Ahab continues. Similar to what Solomon did by marrying pagan women from other nations, these kings married from Ahab’s family. The northern kingdom doesn’t change and the southern kingdom of Judah, who was teetering on the brink, falls into paganism again. They turn to the worthless idols and fake gods of the pagans. The northern kingdom starts to infect the southern kingdom. Idolatry is a disease as ugly and as contagious as leprosy.
“Marry an unbeliever and you get the devil as your father-in-law.”Pastor Sandy Adams
It’s interesting that Hazael claims that he could never “accomplish such great things” like killing people. You cannot underestimate the evil that you are capable of doing outside the Grace of God.
Interestingly enough, in v. 19, we see that God “did not want to destroy Judah, for he had promised his servant David that his descendants would continue to rule, shining like a lamp forever.”That “lamp” is Jesus, the Light of the World!
La Palma Volcano Eruption
I’ve been monitoring the Cumbre Vieja Volcano eruption. The volcano has been spewing lava and ash for over a month now. La Palma is one of Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, but they belong to Spain, and they are mostly Roman Catholic. Lava from the volcano has consumed over 2000 buildings — both homes and businesses — and covered the bulk of the island in drifts of ash. It has displaced 7000 people, though no major injuries or fatalities. Since the lava moves so slow, communities are able to evacuate in time. However, there is no stopping the lava streams. This is a map of the area of destruction of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma. Below is a video of the gray show drifts, which are really ash.
Paganism is Alive and Well in the Catholic Religion
Something I saw on Instagram saddened me. This is a picture of the “Virgen de la Nieve” or Virgin of the Snow. The people of La Palma were planning a procession to honor her and pray to her to stop the volcanic eruption and destruction of their island.
I found this tweet of an actual procession. This is a different “Virgen” — “La Virgen del Pino” — the Virgin of the Pine.
In the tweet below, the bistro that’s about to be demolished by a wall of molten rock is in the town of Todoque, which is all gone now. Ironically, the Catholic church of Todoque was destroyed, too.
God Hates Idolatry!
If only they understood that this is the idolatry and paganism that God detests. Is the destruction of their island the wrath of God? I don’t know.
I do know that we are living in the end times. These are just the birth pains and they will get stronger and more frequent until God decides that it’s time to Rapture His True Believers. Be certain, any Catholic who does not accept JESUS as their savior and turn from their idolatry will be left behind!
It’s YOUR CHOICE!
There’s no time to beat around the bush.
What are you waiting for!
Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…
A Chart of the Kings of Israel and Judah
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
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