Category Archives: Examining Every Scripture

In Conclusion (2 Kings Chapters 24-25)

A Study in 2 Kings“Behold, the days are coming,” declares The LORD
When I will raise up for David a righteous BRANCH
And HE will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
In HIS days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely
And this is HIS NAME by which HE will be called
‘The LORD our Righteousness.’
Jeremiah 23:5-6

In the study of the last two chapters of 2 Kings (chapters 24 and 25), and the last chapter of 2 Chronicles (2 Chr 36) we will both learn lessons from and witness:

  1. righteous king Josiah’s three sons and one grandson briefly reign in Judah (2 Chr 36:1-12)
  2. the fulfillment of GOD’s WORD concerning:
    1. HIS deliverance of Judah’s remnant into the hands of their enemies
    2. removing Judah from HIS land; sending then into Babylonian exile; including some of king Hezekiah’s sons who would serve in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace
    3. treasures taken from the king’s house into Babylon
    4. securing the holy things and treasuries from the temple of our Beloved LORD GOD
    5. the destruction of Jerusalem and HIS temple
  3. good figs and bad figs
  4. Jeremiah the prophet (2 Chr 36:11-12)
  5. the puppet governor Gedaliah (2 Kin 25:22-25)
  6. Cyrus king of Persia and his proclamation (2 Chr 36:22-23)            

King Josiah’s sons and grandson:

The last four kings to reign in Judah and Jerusalem before the Babylonian exile, were three sons and a grandson of king Josiah (1 Chr 3:15-16). None of them practiced righteousness, as their father and grandfather king Josiah had. Instead they did the same evil in the sight of our Beloved LORD GOD, as other kings before them. And as a result all four were removed from the throne and taken into exile:

  1. king Josiah’s youngest son Shallum (aka Jehoahaz):
    1. was put on the throne by people of Judah and Jerusalem after his father died (2 Kin 23:30)
    2. after three months the king of Egypt, Pharaoh Neco, forcibly removed him from power and imprisoned him in Egypt, where he died (2 Kin 23:31-34, 2 Chr 36:1-4, Jer 22:10-12)
  2. king Josiah’s second born son Eliakim (aka Jehoiakim):
    1. was made king by Pharaoh Neco in place of his youngest brother Jehoahaz (2 Kin 23:34, 2 Chr 36:4)
    2. Pharaoh Neco changed his name to Jehoiakim, and made him a puppet king (a figurehead who is installed by a powerful ruler of an empire in order to provide the appearance of local authority, while allowing political and economic control to remain among the empire). Pharaoh Neco ruled over king Jehoiakim for eleven years, and made him pay tribute as leader of a conquered nation (2 Kin 23:35-36)
    3. in king Jehoiakim’s last three years of reign, king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered Pharaoh Neco, and took all that belonged to him (2 Kin 24:7, Jer 46:2). Jehoiakim then became a puppet king for king Nebuchadnezzar paying tribute to him (2 Kin 24:1, Dan 1:1).
    4. after serving king Nebuchadnezzar for three years, king Jehoiakim decided to rebel against him (2 Kin 24:1); so king Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem surrounded it with his Babylonian army (Dan 1:1), forced king Jehoiakim to surrender, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon (2 Chr 36:6)
    5. king Jehoiakim was unlike his righteous father king Josiah, who through tears humbled himself and repented before our Beloved LORD GOD, when he heard The WORD of GOD. Instead, he despised The WORDs of GOD given through Jeremiah. King Jehoiakim would cut each page and throw it into the fire, once the page was read to him (Jer 36:1-28). As a result, GOD declared his body would not be buried at death, and none of his sons would permanently sit on the throne after him (Jer 22:17-19, Jer 36:29-31)
  3. king Josiah’s grandson, king Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin (aka Jeconiah, Coniah):
    1. became king when his father king Jehoiakim died; he reigned only three months and ten days when king Nebuchadnezzar returned to Jerusalem for a second invasion of the city. It was at this second invasion king Jehoiachin, his mother, his wives, his officials, the leading men of Judah and Jerusalem, men of valor, craftsmen and smiths, and men fit for war, were led away into Babylonian exile; eighteen thousand souls (2 Kin 24:8-16)
    2. king Jehoiachin was imprisoned for almost thirty-seven years in Babylon, but at the very end of the thirty-seventh years, he was released from prison. Jehoiachin was treated well by king Nebuchadnezzar’s son (Evil-merodach), who now reigned in Babylon, however king Jehoiachin would die in exile, never seeing his homeland again (2 Kin 25:27-30, Jer 22:24-27).
  4. king Josiah’s third born son Mattaniah (aka Zedekiah):
    1. Zedekiah was made king by king Nebuchadnezzar when his nephew was taken into Babylonian exile (2 Kin 24:17, 2 Chr 36:10)
    2. king Zedekiah served and paid tribute to king Nebuchadnezzar until he rebelled against him in his ninth year (2 Chr 36:11-13); causing king Nebuchadnezzar and his army to return to Jerusalem for the third and final invasion (2 Kin 25:1-7, 2 Chr 36:11-21, Jer 39:1-2).
    3. king Zedekiah sought the counsel of The LORD from Jeremiah, but he did not heed the counsel given (Jer 37:1-21, Jer 38:1-28). Consequently, he suffered the consequences. He tried to flee and was captured (Jer 52:7-9), his sons were put to death in front of him (Jer 52:10), he was blinded, and taken into Babylonian exile in bronze chains (Jer 52:11), all the homes in Jerusalem, including the temple were set on fire and all the walls around the holy city were torn down (Jer 52:12-14)

Reflecting on king Josiah, and his three sons and grandson, who sat on the throne after him; we must carefully consider how we as parents are raising our children. Do we train our children in the way they should live godly lives (Pro 22:6), by being an example (Deu 4:9). Do we daily and diligently teaching them The WORD of GOD (Deu 6:7, 2 Tim 3:14-15), while sharing our personal testimonies of HIS goodness, faithfulness, and power (Psa 78:3-8)? May our Beloved LORD GOD say of us, what HE said of HIS friend Abraham in Genesis 18:19 “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of The LORD by doing righteousness and justice.”

The fulfilment of GOD’s WORD

Like Israel, our Beloved LORD GOD sent HIS prophets to Judah, over and over, calling for repentance (2 Kin 17:13-14, Jer 7:25). But the people of Judah, like the people of Israel refused to turn from their evil ways, and refused to believe GOD’s warnings (2 Chr 36:15-16, Jer 7:26-28). So, in the final two chapters of 2 Kings (chptrs 24-25), we witness the fulfilment of GOD’s WORD to:

  1. deliver the remnant of Judah into the hands of their enemies (2 Kin 21:14, 2 Kin 24:2, Psa 106:42)
  2. remove Judah from HIS land (2 Kin 23:27), send them into Babylonian exile (2 Kin 20:16-18, 2 Kin 24:3-4, Jer 39:1-9), including some of king Hezekiah’s sons who would serve in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace (2 Kin 20:18, Dan 1:1-7)
  3. take treasures from the king’s house into Babylon (2 Kin 20:17, 2 Kin 24:13, Isa 39:6)
  4. secure the holy things and treasuries from HIS temple (Jer 27:18-22).
  5. destroy Jerusalem and HIS temple (2 Kin 23:26-27, 2 Kin 25:8-10, 2 Chr 36:19)

It’s important to point out three things about our wonderful LORD GOD, concerning Judah’s exile to Babylon, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the destruction of the temple. Indeed GOD’s WORD was fulfilled concerning these matters, but it was not the end of the story. First, our Beloved LORD GOD is merciful (Psa 145:8-9), a GOD of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19). From the very beginning when man fell in the garden, our merciful GOD through HIS plan of redemption (Gen 3:15), made a way for the banished one to be restored (2 Sam 14:14). As demonstrated, by HIS promise to restore the exiled descendants of Abraham back to the promise land (Jer 30:1-3). Second, our Beloved LORD GOD is faithful (Deu 7:9), HE promised king David would always have a lamp through his sons before HIMSELF in Jerusalem, the city where HE chose to put HIS NAME (1 Kings 11:36, 2 Kings 8:19). Therefore, the nation of Judah would only be in Babylonian exile for seventy years (Jer 29:10-14), both Jerusalem and HIS temple would be rebuilt (Isa 44:28), and king David’s descendant would reign on his throne forever (Luk 1:31-33). Third, our Beloved LORD GOD preserved the treasures of HIS temple for the time when Jerusalem and HIS temple would be rebuilt. King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem three times, and each time the treasures from the temple and palace were safely carried into Babylon (2 Kin 24:13, 2 Kin 25:13-17, 2 Chr 36:5-7, 2 Chr 36:9-10), and stored until our Beloved LORD GOD would return them with the exiles (Ezr 5:13-15, Ezr 1:1-11).

 Good figs and Bad figs

After king Josiah’s grandson was taken into Babylonian captivity, our Beloved LORD GOD showed HIS prophet Jeremiah, a vision in which there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of The LORD. One basket had very good figs, and the second basket had very bad figs, that were so rotten, they couldn’t be eaten.

Our LORD told Jeremiah the good figs were the captives of Judah, HE would send into Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans. Our Beloved LORD GOD would give these captives a heart to know HIM and return to HIM whole-heartedly. HE would watch over them in their exile, and bring them back to the promise land (Jer 24:4-7) at the end of seventy years (Jer 29:10). Among the good figs were members of the royal family, including Hezekiah’s descendants (2 Chr 36:20, Isa 39:7, Dan 1:3-5); Daniel the prophet (Dan 1:6-7, Mat 24:15); the three Hebrew boys, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah (Dan 1:6-7)… The bad figs who refused to voluntarily go into Babylonian exile were king Zedekiah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remained in the land, and those who went into Egypt for Pharaoh’s protection (Jer 24:8-10, 2 Kin 25:26, Jer 42:1-22).

The lesson of the good figs and bad figs is such a clear example of what happens when we trust in ourselves instead of trusting in The LORD GOD (Pro 3:5-7). Indeed through many examples in HIS WORD, we have seen time and time again that our Beloved LORD GOD does not do things the way we do things. HE told Joseph “one day he would rule over his family.” Instead of progressing as the leader of his family, Joseph was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, and put into prison. All which positioned him to be ruler in Egypt and protector of life (Gen 37:1-36, Gen chapters 39-50, Psa 105:17-24). Our GOD did not use weapons to conquer Jericho, instead trumpets sounded, fighting men marched for seven days, a war cry went up, and the fortified walls of Jericho fell (Jos 6:1-27). HE sent Gideon and three hundred men successfully into battle against an army so numerous they could not be counted, with only pitchers and torches in their hands (Judges chapters 6-8). And in this lesson, HE sends those HE considers good into captivity; away from all they know. What we consider a setback in the natural, is really a promotion in the spiritual. Which should teach us to continually trust HIM at all times (Psa 62:8), and seek HIS counsel in all circumstances (Psa 32:8, Psa 48:14).  

Jeremiah the prophet

Jeremiah was a young man called and anointed by GOD as a prophet (Jer 1:4-5). Jeremiah’s call came in the 13th year of righteous king Josiah’s reign, and lasted until the fifth month of Jerusalem’s Babylonian exile (Jer 1:1-3).

Our Beloved LORD GOD used Jeremiah to speak to the nation of Judah, Jerusalem, and the kings of Judah during the final twenty-two years before exile. After the fall of Judah and Jerusalem, our GOD continued to use Jeremiah to speak to the nation in captivity (Jer 29:1-14), the remnant left in the land (Jer 42:1-22), and the enemies of Judah and Jerusalem (Jer chapters 46-51). And that is the reason, this final study in 2 Kings (chapters 24 and 25), contain many Scripture references from The Book of Jeremiah, which provide great details of information.

Today, our Beloved LORD GOD uses The Book of Jeremiah, to still speak to us. HE forewarns us, as HE did Judah and Jerusalem, to listen, obey and serve HIM only. If we refuse to listen; refuse to repent of idolatry and willful sin in our lives; we too will suffer the penalty for sin (Rom 2:8, Eph 5:1-8, Col 3:5-6).

 The puppet governor Gedaliah

Gedaliah a Jew, was the son of Ahikam, and grandson Shaphan (Jer 43:6). Gedaliah’s father Ahikam, was among the men that king Josiah sent to inquire of inquire of The LORD for him concerning the words in The Book of The Law; which was found during the repair and restoration of the temple (Kin 22:13). King Nebuchadnezzar replaced king Zedekiah of Judah with Gedaliah to govern the cities of Judah for him (2 Kin 25:22, Jer 40:5).

All the Jews remaining in the land, and all those who had been scattered during king Nebuchadnezzar’s invasions heard Gedaliah, one of their own had been appointed governor. So the Jews went and sought refuge with Gedaliah (Jer 40:6-8, Jer 40:11-12). Gedaliah assured them, they did not need to be afraid of serving the Chaldeans/Babylonians (Jer 40:9). However, seven months after Gedaliah was appointed governor; Ishmael who belonged to the royal family of David, killed Gedaliah. Causing all the Jews to flee to Egypt out of fear (2 Kin 25:25-26, Jer 41:1-18).

It is critical in both our physical and spiritual life to always inquire of GOD, rather than trust in ourselves. In Proverbs 14:12, our Beloved LORD GOD tells us “there is a way which seems right to a man, but its end, is the way of death.” Gedaliah was warned that Ishmael had been sent by the king of Ammon to take his life, but he did not listen to the warning, and he did not inquire of GOD, so he was killed (Jer 40:13-16, Isa 41:1-2). Sadly Gedaliah, and eighty Jewish men, were murdered by Ishmael and his men (Jer 41:4-7).    

Cyrus king of Persia and his proclamation                                               

Our Beloved LORD GOD spoke through the mouth of HIS prophet Isaiah that Cyrus king of Persia, would rebuild Jerusalem, and lay the foundations of HIS temple (Isa 44:28, Isa 45:1-4). This prophecy was fulfilled more than 150 years later.

Cyrus had reigned over Persia and several other conquered nations for twenty-one years, when he captured Babylon from Darius the Mede (Dan 5:22-31). In his first year of reign over Babylon, The WORD of our GOD was fulfilled (2 Chr 36:22-23, Ezr 1:1). King Cyrus both issued a written decree, and sent out a proclamation throughout all of his kingdom, stating that any Jewish person in his kingdom who wanted to return to Judah, and assist in rebuilding GOD’s temple in Jerusalem, could go (Ezr 1:3). Additionally king Cyrus, called for neighbors of any returning Jew to support them with donations of gold, silver, goods, cattle, and freewill offerings (Ezr 1:4-6); and appointed a governor named Sheshbazzar, to return the gold and silver utensils to the temple in Jerusalem (Ezr 1:7-11, Ezr 5:13-17).    

Throughout the 2 Kings study, we have seen GOD’s WORD faithfully fulfilled. And in this study, though Cyrus did not know GOD, our GOD knew him (Isa 45:4-5) and called him by name (Isa 44:28, Isa 45:1), to carry out HIS purpose to rebuild Jerusalem, lay the foundation of the temple, and let the exiles go free (Isa 45:13). Just as our Beloved LORD GOD knew and loved us, before we knew HIM (Rom 5:8, Col 1:21-22). And we to have been called for a purpose (Rom 8:28).

When your days are complete, and you lie down with your fathers
I will raise up your descendant after you
WHO will come forth from you
And I will establish HIS Kingdom
HE shall build a house for MY NAME
And I will establish the throne of HIS Kingdom forever.
2 Samuel 7:12-13

Called By Name (2 Kings Chapters 22-23)

A Study in 2 KingsNow behold
There came a man of GOD from Judah to Bethel
By The WORD of The LORD
While Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense
He cried against the altar by The WORD of The LORD
And said, “O altar, altar, thus says The LORD
Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David
Josiah by name
And on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places
Who burn incense on you
And human bones shall be burned on you.'”
1 Kings 13:1-2

In the study of 2 Kings chapters 22 and 23, we witness our GOD of Truth (Psa 31:5, Isa 65:16), WHO is literally our GOD of Faithfulness (Deu 32:4, Psa 119:90), continue to demonstrate HIS WORD is true. As reflected in the foundational Scriptures (1 Kin 13:1-2), our Beloved LORD GOD called Josiah by name, more than 300 years before he would be born, and stated a specific deed of devotion he would perform (2 Chr 35:26-27). Throughout this study, our GOD will allow us to attest the truthfulness of HIS WORD, through the life of Josiah.

The Prophecy

Our Beloved LORD GOD sent an unnamed prophet from Judah to Bethel speak HIS WORD against an abominable altar set up by the first king of the newly divided northern kingdom of Israel. King Jeroboam did not trust in GOD to keep his promises, so he trusted in himself (1 Kin 12:26-32). As king Jeroboam was offering incense at this abominable altar, the prophet came and cried out against the altar by The WORD of The LORD:

O altar, altar, thus says The LORD
Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David
Josiah by name
And on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places
Who burn incense on you
And human bones shall be burned on you

As previously stated, this prophecy was pronounced, more than three hundred years before Josiah was born. Our Beloved LORD GOD called him by name, announced what family he would be born into, and declared the actions he would carry out against the pagan altar at Bethel and the false priests who were serving there (1 Kin 13:1-2).

Has such a specific prophecy occurred before? Yes, numerous times before, and countless times after, even up to this present day. In fact numerous detailed prophecies were spoken about our Precious LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST before HIS birth (Gen 3:15, Deu 18:15-19, 2 Sam 7:12-13, Isa 9:6-7, Mat 1:18-21, Luk 1:26-33, Luk 24:44-48). Additionally, before the birth of any of the following men, our Beloved LORD GOD also called them by name, and declared their future: The two sons of Abraham, Ishmael (Gen 16:11-16), and Isaac (Gen 17:15-22, Gen 18:9-15). Cyrus, the king of Persia (Isa 44:28, Isa 45:1-7, 2 Chr 36:22-23, Jer 29:10-14), and John the Baptist (Luk 1:13, Luk 1:59-63).

Did GOD know such specific things about us, before we were born? Of course! HE is GOD (Deu 4:35, Isa 45:5), HE is our Creator (Isa 40:28, Isa 44:24), HE knows the end of things, before one thing has occurred (Isa 44:6-7, Isa 46:9-10). As such, before we were formed in our mother’s womb, HE knew us (Jer 1:5), HE knew where we would live (Act 17:26), HE knows the length of our life (Psa 139:16, Job 14:5), and HE knows the purpose we have been born for (Pro 16:4, Act 13:36, Rom 8:28).

 The Prophecy Begins Fulfillment               

When Josiah, a direct descendant of king David of Judah was born, the prophecy begin its fulfillment:

  • At eight years old, Josiah began his reign over Judah (2 Kin 22:1-2)
  • In the eighth year of his reign (sixteen years old), he began to seek to know GOD for himself (2 Chr 34:3)
  • In the twelfth year of his reign (twenty years old), he began to purge Judah, Jerusalem, and the house of the LORD GOD of idolatry (2 Chr 34:3-7)
  • By the eighteenth year of his reign (twenty-six years old), the purge of the land and the temple was completed; he then sent orders for the house of the LORD GOD to be restored and repaired (2 Chr 34:8-13, 2 Kin 22:3-7)
  • during restoration and repair of the temple, Hilkiah the high priest finds The Book of The Law given by Moses (2 Chr 34:14-17), Shaphan the scribe brings it to king Josiah and reads it in his presence (2 Kin 22:10, 2 Chr 34:18)

The Prophecy is Fulfilled

  • When king Josiah hears the words of The Book of The Law, he tore his clothes and wept (2 Kin 22:11, 2 Chr 34:19)
  • king Josiah sent a small group to inquire of The LORD concerning the words written in The Book of The Law about Judah and its inhabitants (2 Kin 22:12-13, 2 Chr 34:20-21)
  • Our LORD confirmed through HIS prophetess Huldah, HIS WORD would come to pass in the land and on its inhabitants because of their grave disobedience and idolatry. HE however would spare king Josiah, for his tender heart toward GOD (2 Kin 22:14-20, 2 Chr 34:22-28)
  • king Josiah renewed the covenant; he gathered the entire nation from the greatest to the least; both he and the nation made a covenant with our LORD to walk in whole-hearted obedience; which the nation did, during the entire lifetime of king Josiah (2 Kin 23:1-3, 2 Chr 34:29-33)
  • king Josiah reformed the nation, during which he fulfilled the prophecy concerning the altar in Bethel (2 Kin 23:4-20)
  • king Josiah reinstituted the Passover (2 Kin 23:21-23, 2 Chr 35:1-19)

With the fulfillment of GOD’s WORD concerning king Josiah of Judah, we continue to witness that our Beloved LORD GOD’s WORD will not fail (Isa 55:10-11), it will surely come to pass (2 Kin 22:1-2, 2 Kin 23:15-18). GOD alone sets times and epochs/seasons (Act 1:7), and only HE sets the appointed time for HIS WORD to come to pass (Dan 8:19, Mrk 13:32-33, Act 17:31, Gal 4:4)

Did king Josiah die after the prophecy was fulfilled? Not immediately, over the next thirteen years, he completed the restoration and repair of the temple, and reinstituted the Passover. After all this, he went out to engage Pharaoh Neco, the king of Egypt on the plain of Megiddo (2 Chr 35:22). Pharaoh just wanted to pass through Judah on his way to battle against the Babylonians, at Carchemish on the Euphrates river (2 Chr 35:20). He warned king Josiah to turn away from him, because he was on a mission from GOD (2 Chr 35:20-21), king Josiah ignored him, and was killed (2 Kin 23:29, 2 Chr 35:22-23 ). There is an important lesson here that we the people of GOD need to make careful note of; king Josiah had an intimate relationship with our Beloved LORD GOD (2 Chr 34:3). So when Pharaoh Neco told him that he was on a mission from GOD, he simply refused to listen to the Pharaoh, instead of inquiring of GOD (2 Chr 35:22). No matter how many years we have walked with our Holy GOD, we should never lean to our own understanding (Pro 3:5). Instead we should continue to pray about everything (Php 4:6, Luk 18:1, Eph 6:18).

The Beginning of the End

With king Josiah’s death, came the beginning of the end. Because he was a good and righteous king,  Jeremiah the prophet, and all of Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him (2 Chr 35:24-5, Jer 22:10). Soon after occupation, destruction, and exile began in the land of Judah and against its inhabitants, as spoken by the WORD of our Beloved LORD GOD (2 Kin 23:26-27). And then king Josiah’s three sons and grandsons became kings in Judah:

  • Jehoahaz was made king by the people of Judah upon his father’s death. But he was king for only three months, when Pharaoh Neco forcibly removed him from his throne (2 Chr 36:1-3); first imprisoning him at Riblah in the land of Hamath, located on the high road between Palestine and Babylon (2 Kin 23:30-33). Pharaoh Neco eventually moved king Jehoahaz into Egypt where he died (Jer 22:10-12).
  • Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim, another one of king Josiah’s son a puppet king; changing his name to Jehoiakim (2 Kin 23:34-36). Jehoiakim, his brother Zedekiah, and his nephew Jehoiachin will be discussed further in our final study in 2 Kings.

But now, thus says The LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
And HE who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are MINE!
Isaiah 43:1

The Most High GOD Rules (2 Kings Chapters 21)

A Study in 2 KingsYou will be driven from human society
To live with the wild animals
You will be made to eat grass like an ox
And be drenched with dew from the sky
As seven seasons pass over you
Until you learn that the Most HIGH
Rules in the human kingdom
And gives it to whomever HE pleases
Daniel 4:29
(Complete Jewish BIBLE Translation)

I am continually in awe of our Beloved LORD GOD. HE indeed brings us hope through instruction and encouragement of The Scriptures (Rom 15:4). HIS timing, which brings us to this lesson in 2 Kings chapter 21, is for such a time as this. In this study we are reminded, the choice of the next American president, or any leader, belongs only to GOD.

Many Christians think only Nebuchadnezzar was taken off his throne, until he realized WHO truly rules over mankind (Rom 13:1-2). In this study in 2 Kings chapter 21 and 2 Chronicles chapter 33, we will learn that king Manasseh of Judah, was also removed from his throne until he recognized WHO GOD alone is (2 Chr 33:11-16).

Though king Manasseh’s father, king Hezekiah was a righteous king (2 Kin 18:1-7), his son Manasseh was an extremely wicked king:

  • He did evil  in the sight of The LORD. Not only did he do evil according to the abominations of the nations whom The LORD had dispossessed before the sons of Israel (2 Kin 21:2), He seduced the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do even more evil (2 Kin 21:9, 2 Kin 21:11, Lev 18:24-30, Deu 9:4-5).
  • He rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed (2 Kin 21:3) He reestablished the worship of false idols on elevated pieces of ground.
  • He erected altars for Baal (2 Kin 21:3), a false male fertility god whose worship was rooted in sexual activity.
  • He made an Asherah and set it in the house of The LORD (2 Kin 21:3, 2 Kin 21:7), where he and the unrighteous nation of Judah carried out temple prostitution in the name of this false goddess known as “queen of heaven” (Jer 7:17-20).
  • He worshiped all the host of heaven and served them (2 Kin 21:3) and built altars for them in two courts of the House of The LORD (2 Kin 21:5) He practiced astrology in our GOD’s very house.
  • He built altars in the House of The LORD (2 Kin 21:4) He brought much idolatry into the Temple of GOD.
  • He made his son pass through the fire (2 Kin 21:6) He worshiped Molech, sacrificing both infants and children to the false god.
  • He practiced witchcraft and used divination (2 Kin 21:6) He practiced every form of sorcery.
  • He dealt with mediums and spiritists (2 Kin 21:6) He sought out psychics and those who talk with the dead for counseling, instead of seeking out The true and living GOD (Isa 8:19).
  • He shed so much innocent blood in Jerusalem, until he filled it from one end to another (2 Kin 21:16). Not only did king Manasseh murder innocent infants and children through child sacrifice, according to the Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius, king Manasseh brutally killed many righteous men of GOD, including the prophet Isaiah.

Because king Manasseh’s sins were so grave, and he led the whole nation of Judah into those sins, king Manasseh was captured by the Assyrians and brought bound into Babylon with a hook in his nose, and bronze chains on his body (2 Chr 33:11-13). King Manasseh suffered greatly in the Babylonian prison until out of distress, he pleaded with The LORD his GOD and humbled himself greatly before HIM. Our Beloved LORD GOD was moved by his pleading, heard his supplication, and returned him to his kingdom in Jerusalem. King Manasseh now knew that The LORD was indeed GOD, whereupon he truly repented, and performed deeds appropriate to repentance (2 Chr 33:14-16). He did this by:

  • making Jerusalem and the land of Judah secure, through building walls and placing armies in fortified cities (2 Chr 33:14)
  • cleansing the temple and purging Jerusalem of all the idolatry and altars (2 Chr 33:15)
  • re-establishing the worship of only The true GOD in Judah (2 Chr 33:16)

However, because king Manasseh’s sins were so horrendous, he was buried in a garden instead of the tombs of the kings (2 Kin 21:18). And our sovereign LORD GOD would not turn from HIS wrath against Judah because all king Manasseh had done, until HE removed them from the promise land (2 Kin 23:26-27, 2 Kin 24:3-4). This is an important lesson for each one of us. Though are sins are forgiven, there will still be consequences for them. We not only have this example with king Manasseh and the nation of Judah. But we have another example in king David. Though our Beloved LORD GOD forgave him for taking Uriah’s wife, and then murdering him, he and his family would still suffer the consequences of his sins (2 Sam chptrs 11-17).

This very sad 21st chapter of 2 Kings is closes with king Manasseh’s son Amon taking the throne upon his father’s death. However he learned nothing from his father’s divine punishment. Instead he followed in his father’s sinful ways, was murdered after only reigning 2 years, and buried in a grave next to his father (2 Kin 21:19-26).

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities
For there is no authority except from GOD
And those which exist are established by GOD
Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of GOD
And they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves
Romans 13:1-2

Having A Heart After GOD (2 Kings Chapters 18, 19, 20)

A Study in 2 KingsAfter HE had removed him
HE raised up David to be their king
Concerning whom HE also testified and said,
“I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all MY Will”
Acts 13:22

What made king David “a man after GOD’s heart”? David was a man who loved (Psa 18:1, Psa 132:1-5), trusted (1 Sam 17:1-51, Psa 21:7, Psa 28:7), and obeyed GOD (1 Kin 14:8, 1 Kin 15:5). David also sought GOD’s counsel (1 Sam 23:1-5, 1 Sam 30:3-10, 2 Sam 2:1-4, 1 Chr 14:8-17).

Where there any other kings in Israel that had a heart after GOD? Yes, there were two descendants of king David, who had hearts after GOD; king Hezekiah, and king Hezekiah’s great grandson king Josiah. We will study king Josiah later, but we will examine king Hezekiah now, through 2 Kings chapters 18-20, 2 Chronicles chapters 29-32, and Isaiah chapters 36-39.

Our Beloved LORD GOD gave witness of king Hezekiah’s heart, through HIS WORD. HE showed us, king Hezekiah had the following traits, signifying both a personal relationship with HIM, and heart fully given to do HIS Will. King Hezekiah of Judah:

  1. trusted in GOD (2 Kin 18:5, 2 Chr 32:7-8)
  2. listened to GOD, by clinging to HIM, and fully obeying HIM (2 Kin 18:6)
  3. reformed a nation according to GOD’s commandments (2 Chr chapters 29-31)
  4. talked with GOD (2 Kin 19:14-19, 2 Chr 32:14-20)
  5. sought GOD (2 Kin 19:1-7, 2 Chr 31:21)
  6. whole heartedly served GOD (2 Chr 31:20-21)
  7. GOD was with him (2 Kin 18:7)

These seven traits present in righteous king Hezekiah, should also be present in the righteous today. You might ask, “how could we reform a nation?” Your transformation by GOD’s WORD and HIS Holy SPIRIT (Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 3:16-18), draws others to GOD where HE reforms lives (Mat 5:14-16, Jhn 4:39-42).

Can one today, really be a person after GOD’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14)? Yes, our JESUS is the same yesterday, as HE is today, as HE will be forever (Heb 13:8). And when your heart is filled with The SPIRIT of GOD (Jhn 14:23, Rom 8:9), your life will be fully surrendered to JESUS CHRIST (Rom 10:9, Luk 6:46-48, Act 5:32), causing you to be a person after GOD’s own heart. As evidenced by you:

  • actively living-in constant obedience to GOD (Psa 40:8, Psa 119:33-39, Psa 119:101-104, Jhn 4:34).
  • responding properly when confronted with sin (Gen 39:7-13, 1 Cor 6:18, Dan 3:8-18, Rev 12:11).
  • being drawn by GOD’s love (1 Jhn 4:19, Hos 11:3-4, Psa 73:25-26, SS 1:4), and holiness (Exd 15:11, Isa 6:1-7, 1 Pet 1:15-16).

Did king David and king Hezekiah leave any other legacies? Yes, they both lived miraculous lives of faith in GOD. King David had three distinct battles, where GOD fought on his behalf. First, the Philistine giant Goliath, was defeated by king David, who came against Goliath, in The NAME of The LORD, one slingshot, and five smooth stones (1 Sam 17:31-50). Second, GOD HIMSELF and the angel army fought against and defeated the Philistines on behalf of king David and his army (2 Sam 5:22-25). Third, when Absalom led Israel in battle against his father king David, the forest killed more people that day than the sword (2 Sam 18:8). King Hezekiah’s faith in GOD, also brought victory over an Assyrian army and its king, without he or his army personally engaging in battle (2 Kin 19:32-37, 2 Chr 32:1-23).

 Were king David and king Hezekiah continually obedient? No, only our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST continually walked in obedience (Jhn 4:34, Jhn 8:29, Heb 4:15, 1 Pet 2:22, 1 Jhn 3:5).

The legacy of king David includes two grave sins; one where the upright man Uriah was murdered, because king David lusted after and impregnated Uriah’s wife (2 Sam 11:1-27, 2 Sam 12:1-25); two, king David’s pride caused him to take a census of the fighting men of Israel. Putting his trust in their numbers, instead of GOD (1 Chr 21:1-30).

The legacy of king Hezekiah was marred, when our Beloved LORD GOD extended his life for fifteen more years, he became arrogant instead of humbling himself in gratitude (2 Kin 20:1-11, 2 Chr 32:24-26).

In conclusion, we remind you once again that our Beloved LORD GOD tells us in Romans 15:4 “for whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” What more can we learn from king David and king Hezekiah, two men with a heart after GOD? Both men were bold (2 Sam 22:1-51, 2 Chr 32:1-8). As stated in Proverbs 28:1, “the wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” The English word “bold” is transliterated from the Hebrew word “batach” (OT:982) and it means to be secure, confident, sure, reliant, trusting. This boldness only comes with an intimate relationship with our faithful, all powerful GOD (Pro 3:32, Jhn 14:21, 1 Jhn 1:5-7). And because of HIM and our confidence in HIM, and HIS WORD we do not run from our enemies we chase them (Lev 26:7-8); we do not fall, we stand (1 Cor 16:13, Eph 6:10-11); we do not give up, we endure (Jam 1:2-4).  

For The LORD will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught
Proverbs 3:26

Refused, Removed, Adulterated (2 Kings Chapter 17)

A Study in 2 Kings2 Kings Chapter 17 records the fulfillment of GOD’s WORD to send the northern kingdom of Israel into exile, because of their continual wickedness. Over and over, our Beloved LORD GOD sent HIS prophets, to Israel calling them to repentance (2 Kin 17:13), but they refused to listen, and turn from their evil ways (2 Kin 17:14-17). Finally, GOD fulfilled HIS promise and removed Israel from the promise land, sending them into Assyrian exile (2 Kin 17:6).

As we examine 2 Kings Chapter 17, not only will we see Israel refuse to obey GOD, until HE removed them from HIS land (Deu 11:8-12), but we will be introduced to different races of people who are exiled into Samaria (2 Kin 17:24). These people became known as the very Samaritans who exist even today, living in the West Bank. These foreign people adulterated the worship of GOD, as they continued to worship their own gods, while learning to honor our GOD, in order to appease HIM (2 Kin 25-33).

Refused (2 Kin 17:7-17, 2 Kin 17:34-40)

The people in the nation of Israel were not willing to obey The LORD GOD, and their numerous sins were great against HIM. The people in Israel:

  • practiced idolatry by honoring and serving other gods:
    • two molten calves of gold (introduced by king Jeroboam, 1 Kin 12:26-30)
    • made an Asherah, a Assyrian fertility idol
    • served a Canaanite idol, Baal
    • sacrificed their children to Molech (false god of Amon), by burning them alive
    • worshiped all the host of heaven
    • built for themselves high places in all their towns, and on every high hill and under every green tree
    • burned incense on all the high places as the wicked nations before them
  • did things secretly which were not right against The LORD their GOD (2 Kin 17:9, Psa 94:7, Isa 29:15, Eze 8:6-12)
  • provoked The LORD, by doing evil in HIS sight (Isa 65:2-3)

Though our Beloved LORD GOD continually warned Israel and Judah through all HIS prophets, “Turn from your evil ways and keep MY commandments, MY statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through MY servants the prophets.” They refused to listen, refused to repent, and refused to obey (2 Kin 17:13-15, 2 Kin 17:34-40, Jer 7:25-26).

How does GOD instruct Christians today, concerning Israel’s refusal? Let us began by citing two truths from The BIBLE. First truth, using the new living translation, “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now” (Ecc 1:9-11). Second truth, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction; so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope” (Rom 15:4). Both the Israelites of yesterday, and Christians today are GOD’s people (Deu 14:2, 1 Pet 2:9-10). And the behavior of our brethren the Israelites, serves as a witness to those of us today. Each one of us, must examine ourselves in light of Scripture, and ask ourselves the following questions.

  • Are there idols in my life, that I am I clinging to? (Php 3:19, Col 3:5)
  • Is there anyone or anything, I love more than I love GOD? (Job 23:12, Mat 10:37, Php 3:7-8)
  • What things do I refuse to repent of, or turn away from? (Isa 30:15, Heb 12:25)
  • What things keep me from fully obeying GOD? ? (Psa 119:34, 1 Tim 1:9-10, Tit 2:12)
  • What things which furnish no benefit to my soul, can I easily indulge in for hours, while having a hard time spending at least one hour with GOD? (Gal 6:7-8)
  • What ways am I willfully disobeying GOD’s WORD? (Luk 9:23, 1 Cor 15:33-34, 1 Jhn 2:15-16, Jam 4:4)
  • Am I knowingly not doing the right things? (Jam 4:17, 1 Kin 11:38)
  • Am I knowingly doing things the wrong things? (Gal 2:18, Heb 10:26, 2 Pet 2:20)

Additionally:

  • Is there something our Beloved LORD GOD keeps warning you about?
  • Do you keep hearing the same message over, and over, and over, and over?
  • Do you notice things are getting more difficult in your life?
  • Do you serve JESUS to please HIM, or to appease HIM?

Removed (2 Kin 17:1-6, 2 Kin 17:18-23)

From the time Israel came out of Egypt as one nation, our patient and merciful GOD spoke to them about obedience, called them to repentance, and warned them about the consequences of their sin (Jer 7:22-26, 2 Kin 17:7-20, Jer 7:29-34). But they refused to listen (2 Kin 17:34-40), and refused to take correction (Jer 7:27-28). Consequently, our Beloved LORD GOD removed them from both HIS sight (2 Kin 17:18), and HIS land that flowed with milk and honey (Exd 3:7-9). HE chose Shalmaneser, king of Assyria to carry the nation of Israel from the promised land to exile in Assyria (2 Kin 17:3-6, 2 Kin 17:23). HE would later send Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon to remove Judah into Babylonian exile (2 Kin 17:19, 2 Kin 24:10-16).

Our Beloved LORD GOD is speaking to many Christians today concerning obedience, repentance, and the consequences of their sin (Eze 18:20-32, Rom 2:5-8). But they like the Israelites refuse to listen (Jer 7:27-28, 2 Kin 17:34-40); and sadly, will eventually be removed from both HIS sight, and eternal life (Mat 7:21-23, Mat 25:8-12, Mat 25:41, Luk 13:22-27).

How do you know “many” Christians today are refusing to listen? First and foremost, JESUS HIMSELF told us beforehand “many” Christians for different reasons would refuse to listen to HIM, accept HIS correction, or obey HIM. We will discuss further who these many Christians are, but we will first stop and define the word “many”. It is an English word that has been transliterated from the Greek word “polloús” (NT:4183) and it means multitude, numerous, majority. So according to the word of our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST the majority of those who:

  1. once followed HIM will fall away (begin to distrust and desert HIM); they will abandon their faith in JESUS and obedience to HIS WORD because of affliction, persecution, and deception (Mat 13:20-21, Mat 24:10-12, 2 Ths 2:10-11, 1 Tim 4:1).
  2. call HIM “Lord” (Mat 7:22), professing to know HIM and have a relationship with HIM, as evidenced by their ministry in HIS NAME (Mat 7:21). However, HE will profess that HE never knew them. And HE will remove them from HIS presence (Mat 7:23). JESUS is truly LORD, to only those who obey HIM (Luk 6:46). HE also emphasizes in 1 John 2:3-6, those who truly know HIM are those who obey HIS WORD.
  3. appear to still know HIM (Mat 25:1-12); they look like virgins (undefiled by the world), waiting for HIS return. But there is no oil in their lamps, The Holy SPIRIT of GOD is missing from their souls. One of the symbols of the Holy SPIRIT in the Scripture is oil, which was used for anointing. We see Aaron set apart for the service of high priest to GOD, by anointing him with oil (Exd 29:7, Lev 8:12, Psa 133:2). Our Precious JESUS was anointed with The Holy SPIRIT of our Beloved LORD GOD as HE fulfilled HIS mission here on earth (Isa 61:1, Act 10:38). And we who obey, are anointed with HIS Holy SPIRIT (Act 5:32, 1 Jhn 2:27↔Jhn 14:26). But just as HIS Holy SPIRIT left the temple in Jerusalem when it was defiled (Eze 8:1-18, Eze 9:3, Eze 10:4, Eze 10:18-19, Eze 11:22-23), HE will depart from those who refuse to obey; who refuse to repent (1 Sam 16:14, Psa 51:11-12).
  4. think they know JESUS because they think they had fellowship with HIM, “We ate and drank in YOUR presence, and YOU taught in our streets”; they attended Church, Bible studies, small groups, and hung out with other Christians; yet HE will say to them “I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.” (Luk 13:22-28). Our Precious JESUS tells us that true fellowship with HIM is reflected in how we conduct our hidden lives (1 John 1:5-7, Psa 51:6).

 Adulterated (2 Kin 17:32-33, 2 Kin 17:41)

After Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, carried the nation of Israel into Assyrian exile (2 Kin 17:3-6); he brought men he had conquered from five other nations and settled them in the cities of Samaria. The people of these foreign nations brought their idolatry into the promised land, causing idolatry in our GOD’s land to continue; HE sent lions among them. In response, the Assyrian king sent a Levitical priest to teach the foreigners the ways of our LORD (2 Kin 17:28). Instead of learning HIS ways and serving HIM only, they served HIM, while continuing to serve their own false gods. Thus adulterating the worship of the true GOD in the promise land.

Please define “adulterating”? To adulterate, means to corrupt, contaminate, dilute with a lesser quality. This very day many of GOD’s people walk in an adulterated manner. They serve both JESUS and their modern-day idols of money (Mat 6:24), relationships (Luk 14:26-27), or desires for things of the world (1 Jhn 2:15-17). These are apostate believers who hold to a form of godliness, but do not walk obediently (2 Tim 3:5, Tit 1:16, 1 Jhn 2:4), because they do not want to hear GOD’s WORD (2 Tim 4:3-4). These once faithful Christians have become contaminated by unfaithfulness (Deu 32:5, Jer 3:21), corrupted with sin (Deu 31:29, Psa 14:3). Some might be thinking these last set of Old Testament Scriptures have nothing to do with the Christian today, but as previously mentioned we must consider Romans 15:4, and know that our Beloved LORD GOD has told us that all Scripture is inspired by GOD and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).

The Israelites who came out of Egypt did not enter the promise land because their unbelief in GOD, led to their continual disobedience (Psa 78:22, Heb 3:18). And we will suffer that same fate (unable to enter an eternity in the presence of our GOD), if we do not remain obedient and keep our faith in our LORD JESUS until the very end (Mat 24:13, Rev 14:12). the As we close, let us consider the following diagram:

Something to Consider diagram

Answers to John chapter 11

Lazarus+coming+out+of+the+graveNow a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany
The village of Mary and her sister Martha.
John 11:1

Here are just a few questions you should prayerfully consider when studying the aforementioned passage:

  1. John 11:1 mentions Lazarus, Mary, and her sister Martha:
    • What is Lazarus relationship with Mary and Martha? Lazarus is the brother of sister Mary and Martha.
    • What passages state this relationship? There are six passages of Scripture that state the relationship (John 11:2, John 11:19, John 11:21, John 11:23, John 11:32, John 11:39).

2. Why does John 11:2 mention what Mary did for our Precious JESUS? There are two answers. The first reason is found in Matthew 26:13, and Mark 14:9:

Truly I say to you
Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world
What this woman has done
Will also be spoken of in memory of her

The second reason in found at John 11:2 (we will discuss it in further detail at the next question).

  1. How many times and on what occasions did Mary anoint our LORD with oil, and wipe HIS feet with her hair? Mary anointed our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST with oil three times, but only two of the three times did she wipe HIS feet with her hair. All three times Mary anointed our LORD with oil is in the following chronological order with details:
    1. (Luk 7:36-50)
      1. she was the unnamed sinner in Bethany, who brought an alabaster vial of perfume (Luk 7:37)
      2. kneeling behind JESUS, she kissed HIS feet, as she anointed them with perfume (Luk 7:38)
      3. in her love and repentance she wept continually, covering JESUS feet with her tears, wiping them away with her hair (Luk 7:38)
      4. she was at the home of the critical, inhospitable Pharisee (Luk 7:36, Luk 7:39-47)
      5. JESUS forgave her sins (Luk 7:48-50)
      6. JESUS later identified her (Jhn 11:2)
    2. (Jhn 12:1-19)
      1. six days before the Passover, JESUS had dinner at Mary, Martha, and Lazarus home (Jhn 12:1-2)
      2. this occurred after HE had raised Lazarus from the dead (Jhn 12:1, Jhn 12:9-11)
      3. in her love and gratitude, Mary anointed the feet of JESUS a second time with perfume (Jhn 12:3)
      4. this second time Mary did not weep, as she anointed the feet of JESUS; but she once again used her hair to wipe his feet; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume (Jhn 12:3)
      5. this caused Judas Iscariot to question why was the costly perfume not sold and given to the poor (Jhn 12:4-5); Judas Iscariot had no love for our Beloved LORD JESUS, and no concern for the poor, he was a thief and only cared about himself (Jhn 12:6)
    3. (Mat 26:1-13, Mrk 14:1-8)
      1. two days before the Passover, JESUS was having dinner at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany (Mat 26:1-6, Mrk 14:1-3)
      2. this third time, Mary broke the alabaster vial (Mrk 14:3), and anointed the head of JESUS with the costly perfume it contained (Mat 26:7, Mrk 14:3)
      3. this final time, Mary was anointing HIS body beforehand for the burial (Mat 26:12, Mrk 14:8)
      4. this third anointing of JESUS by Mary, was more than Judas Iscariot could stand; he became indignant (Mat 26:8-9, Mrk 14:4-5); left and went to the chief priests our Beloved SAVIOR’s enemies (Mat 20:17-19, Mat 26:59, Mrk 14:10-11) to make a deal to betray HIM for the price of a slave (Mat 26:14-16, Mrk 14:10-11, Exd 21:32, Zec 11:12-13, Mat 27:3-30) 
  1. How did JESUS feel about Lazarus, Mary, and Martha? HE loved them (Jhn 11:5).
  1. Why did HE wait two days before going to heal Lazarus? JESUS was not going to heal Lazarus, HE was going to raise him from the dead. By waiting two days, JESUS knew:
    • because Lazarus was in the tomb for four days (Jhn 11:17), no one would doubt he was truly dead (Jhn 11:39)
    • resurrecting Lazarus from the tomb was a much greater miracle than restoring him from a sick bed. This powerful miracle would confirm HE truly was The SON of GOD, doing the works of HIS Heavenly FATHER (Jhn 10:34-38, Jhn 11:4)
    • many Jews who witnessed the miracle of Lazarus’s resurrection, believed that GOD had sent HIM, and begin to believe in HIM (Jhn 11:41-45) 
  1. If JESUS only waited two days before going to heal Lazarus, why was he dead for four days when JESUS arrived? Where JESUS was located at a place beyond the Jordan (Jhn 10:40, Mat 19:1), which took one day to walk from Bethany, and one day to walk to Bethany. So two days of traveling (walking 20-26 miles per day) and two days of waiting, is four days. Essentially, Lazarus was already dead when the messenger arrived (Jhn 11:3). 
  1. Where is Judea located? Judea is the Greco-Roman name for Judah. Under the Romans, in the time of CHRIST, it denoted the southernmost of the three divisions of Palestine (Matt 2:1-6, Mat 3:1-6, Mat 4:25). 
  1. The disciples objected to JESUS going to Judea, why? The Jews in Jerusalem were seeking to stone JESUS, because they accused HIM of blasphemy (Jhn 10:22-33, Jhn 10:39, Jhn 11:7-8).
  1. JESUS gave three answers to their objections, what were they and what did HE mean? The three answers JESUS gave to HIS disciples objections about going back to Jerusalem were:
    1. “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” We must work while it day (Jhn 9:4). As long as we have breath, we should be doing the will of GOD.
    2. “If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” As long as we are doing The FATHER’s will, we are safe, as we are walking in HIS Light (Jhn 9:5, Psa 23:4, Psa 3:5-6, Psa 27:1-3).
    3. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” Lazarus had died, and JESUS was going to resurrect him from the dead (Jhn 11:11-14), by calling him from the tomb (Jhn 11:43-44).
  1. Who is Thomas Didymus? He is one of the twelve disciples/apostles that our Beloved LORD JESUS chose after praying all night long (Luk 6:12-15). His name “Didymus” signified he was a twin. Why did he make such a statement? Either Thomas was being facetious (treating a serious issue with deliberate inappropriate humor), or he had a deep love for our LORD JESUS CHRIST and felt that returning to Jerusalem would be certain death. But he was unwilling for our LORD JESUS to do it alone. But either way, Thomas still faithfully followed our LORD JESUS.
  1. What did JESUS mean in John 11:25 that HE is the resurrection and the life? When we truly have faith in JESUS, our newness of life, our eternal life begins right here and now. We are no longer dead in our sins, even if we die physically, we live spiritually. And when we live spiritually, we will never die eternally (Rom 6:4-5, Jhn 12:50, Jhn 17:3)
  2. Why did JESUS weep, since HE knew HE would raise Lazarus from the dead? Our Precious JESUS CHRIST is the visible image of our Beloved invisible GOD (Col 1:15). So HIS every action, HIS whole being reflect our GOD. And our GOD is love (1 Cor 4:8), gracious and compassionate (Psa 116:5). HE cares for us (1 Pet 5:7), HE grieves when we sin (Psa 78:40-41), HE sympathizes with our weakness (Heb 4:15), and HE both rejoices (Zep 3:17) and weeps (Rom 12:15) with us.

A Lesson in Studying The WORD

True BIBLE Study

For Ezra had set his heart to study The LAW of The LORD
And to practice It
And to teach HIS Statutes and Ordinances in Israel
Ezra 7:10

Ezra was a scribe who was very knowledgeable in the law of Moses (Ezr 7:6), and set his heart to study, practice, and teach The WORD of GOD to Israel. In this lesson, we want to teach you how to study The WORD of GOD.  

What does it mean to study The WORD of GOD? To fully answer the question the word “study” must be defined, and then compared to the word “read”. Why, because each one of us should be studying GOD’s WORD not merely reading it. Reading through short devotions are fine, but studying GOD’s WORD is a must. I recently read an interesting article “Difference Between Studying and Reading” written by Evah Kungu on June 4, 2018, on the  www.differencebetween.net site. The article seemed very redundant to me, but had good insight. I have taken highlights from the article, shored-up definitions using both the English and Hebrew languages, and adjusted the diagram accordingly.

Both studying and reading are familiar terms within the learning process. Both are required, and are inter-dependent, e.g. reading helps with studying. These two processes, however, differ in performance and nature as defined below:

  • Studying is the process of fully concentrating and devoting ample time to a particular subject, in order to fully understand an array of topics within that subject:
    • it requires devotion of time and attention to
    • it is a detailed investigation and analysis of a subject or situation
  • Reading is the process of going through a topic within a given subject in order to gain information from it:
    • it requires acquiring information about a subject
    • perusing through texts to understand the concepts and meanings within the subject

Study versus Read

With these definitions in mind, please carefully read through John 11:1-57. Make notes in a journal what GOD spoke to your heart as you read through this passage. Next please, prayerfully study John 11:1-57, by answering the following questions. The answers will be provided in two weeks.

Here are just a few questions you should prayerfully consider when studying the aforementioned passage:

  1. John 11:1 mentions Lazarus, Mary and her sister Martha:
      1. What is Lazarus relationship with Mary and Martha?
      2. What passages state this relationship?
  2. Why does John 11:2 mention what Mary did for our Precious JESUS?
  3. How many times and on what occasions did Mary anoint our LORD with oil? How many times and for what reasons did she wipe HIS feet with her hair?
  4. How did JESUS feel about Lazarus, Mary, and Martha?
  5. Why did HE wait two days before going to heal Lazarus?
  6. If JESUS only waited two days before going to heal Lazarus, why was he dead for four days when JESUS arrived?
  7. Where is Judea located?
  8. The disciples objected to JESUS going to Judea, why?
  9. JESUS gave three answers to their objections, what were they and what did HE mean?
  10. Who is Thomas Didymus? Why did he make such a statement?
  11. What did JESUS mean in John 11:25 that HE is the resurrection and the life?
  12. Why did JESUS weep, since HE knew HE would raise Lazarus from the dead?

Looking for Help in The Wrong Places (2 Kings Chapter 16)

A Study in 2 KingsThe 2 Kings Chapter 16 BIBLE study, is the first study in this series, that we not only need to examine 2 Kings Chapter 16 and 2 Chronicles Chapter 28, but we will also need to examine one of the chapters of a major prophet (Isaiah 7:1-25) to get a better understanding of the events taking place in this Chapter 16. And how those events speak to every one of us in some way. Forewarning, this is not easy reading, so you will need to carefully consider what you are reading, pray constantly, and meditate earnestly. But it will be so worth, spending one-on-one time with our Beloved LORD GOD as HE demonstrates through Scriptures how destructive it is to seek anything or anyone for help, instead of seeking HIM.

In this study of king Ahaz our Beloved LORD GOD has provided several truths that each one of us should take to heart, or take seriously by carefully weighing what is being said:

  1. Our sins do not affect us alone:
    1. The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children (Exd 20:5). It is important to understand that the children are not responsible for the sins of their fathers (Eze 18:1-23), but the cumulative effect of generational sin, will affect the children unwilling to turn from sin (Mat 23:29-36). King Ahaz’s father and grandfather, “did right in the sight of The LORD, according to all that their fathers had done.” But they did not tear down the high places where the people of Judah, sacrificed and burned incense to false gods (2 Kin 15:3-4, 2 Kin 15:34-35). King Ahaz did not do what was right in the sight of The LORD; he personally offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places (2 Kin 16:4). Sadly, king Ahaz’s father and grandfather were builders of seaports, cities, fortified towers, wells, walls, and gates. King Ahaz was a builder of high places (2 Chr 28:25). What sins remain in your life that will be visited upon your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren? Have you inherited anger, dishonesty, unforgiveness, fault-finding, selfishness, cruelty, rebellion, materialism, complacency, hypocrisy… that will be visited on the next four generations after you, because you refuse to turn to The LORD?
    2. As demonstrated by king Ahaz (2 Chr 28:19, 2 Chr 28:5-18), and king David (2 Sam 24:1-25, 1 Chr 21:1-30), the sins of a king bring guilt on the people they reign over. King Ahaz’s refusal to serve our Beloved LORD GOD, brought a lack of restraint in the nation of Judah, causing them all to suffer judgment for idol worship (2 Chr 28:19). Did not Aaron commit this very sin with the children of Israel, in the wilderness (Exd 32:1-8)? What has your behavior taught those who follow your example? Do you trust in self rather than GOD? Do you make things happen by self-effort rather than GOD’s provision? Do you easily give up rather than patiently wait on GOD?     
    3. The sins of the priests (spiritual leaders) bring guilt on the people they serve (Lev 4:3). Urijah the high priest, blindly followed the commands of king Ahaz (2 Kin 16:10-16), instead of resisting, as the high priest Azariah and eighty priests resisted his grandfather king Uzziah (2 Chr 26:16-20). A spiritual leader can bring guilt on the people, because these leaders are recognized by the people as those who stand before GOD. And when they are not standing before GOD, listening to HIS council (Jer 23:21-22), they lead GOD’s people astray (Mat 15:12-14). Are you leading GOD’s people astray by your words or your behavior? Are you tickling ears rather than speaking truth?
  2. When one sins against GOD (Psa 51:4, 2 Chr 28:2), they injure themselves (Pro 8:36, Job 35:6-8, Jer 7:16-19). Sadly, there are many who turn from GOD in times of loss, tribulation, or disappointment. Some turn out of fear (Luk 22:31-34, Luk 22:54-62), others turn out of grief (Job 2:9-10) and even others turn out of anger (2 Sam 6:1-15). I pray each one of us, would always cling to our GOD (Deu 10:20, Deu 11:22), not letting anything, even death, separate us from loving and trusting HIM (Rom 8:35-39, Rev 14:12).
  3. You cannot stand before your enemies, if GOD is not with you (Lev 26:17, Lev 26:36-37, Num 14:30-45, Jos 7:11-13). King Ahaz chose not to serve GOD nor seek HIS help, and ended up being surrounded by, and suffering loss from four different enemies ― Aram (2 Kin 16:6, 2 Chr 28:5), Israel (2 Chr 28:6-8), Edom (2 Chr 28:17), and the Philistines (2 Chr 28:18). What constantly attacks you because you do not seek, trust, or obey our Precious LORD JESUS? Is it fear, depression, anxiety, loneliness, helplessness…
  4. Cursed (harmed, injured, or troubled), is the man who trusts in mankind, and makes flesh his strength (Jer 17:5, 2 Kin 16:7-9, 2 Chr 28:20-21). King Ahaz turned to a man (king Tiglath-pileser of Assyria) to help him against two enemies who wanted to dethrone him (kings of Aram and Israel), instead of turning to GOD. Trusting man to help instead of GOD, is futile, just as it was for king Ahaz, when he turned to the king of Assyria (2 Chr 28:20-21). You are flesh, and if you trust in yourself instead of trusting in GOD, you are cursed (Jer 17:5), and will suffer for it (Pro 3:5-8, Jer 42:1-22).
  5. Our Beloved LORD GOD is The Self-Existent ONE (Exd 3:13-15, Jhn 8:56-58), the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1:8), the First and the Last (Isa 41:4, Rev 22:13), the Beginning and the End (Rev 21:6). Which means, man’s behavior does not affect WHO HE is. HE remains a holy, just, gracious, righteous, compassionate, and forgiving GOD (Psa 116:5, 2 Tim 2:13, Isa 7:1-9). HE is faithful, even when we are faithless, because HE cannot deny HIMSELF (2 Tim 2:13). And for this reason, even in HIS wrath, there is still mercy (Hab 3:2). Though King Ahaz was extremely wicked, serving multiple false gods, and even tried to eradicate worship of the true GOD (2 Chr 28:22-25). But at the time he and all of the people of Judah became absolutely terrified, when hearing two of their enemies had united against them; our Beloved LORD GOD had compassion on them and sent HIS prophet Isaiah with words of comfort, peace and assurance (Isa 7:1-9). We have been called to be like our Beloved ABBA FATHER (Lev 20:26, 1 Pet 1:15-16), and that is why we must obey, not returning evil for evil (1 Pet 3:8-9). We must love when hated, bless when cursed, pray when mistreated, and be kind to evil and ungrateful men (Mat 5:43-48, Luk 6:27-36).

King Ahaz looked for help from everywhere, except from our Beloved LORD GOD. He looked for help from Molech by sacrificing his son to it (2 Kin 16:3, 2 Chr 28:3, Lev 18:21); from Asherah by sacrificing and burning incense on the high places and under every green tree (2 kin 16:4, 2 Chr 28:4); from Baal by making molten images of it (2 Chr 28:2); from man by seeking help from the king of Assyria (2 Kin 16:7-8, 2 Chr 28:20-21); from the false gods of Damascus by copying an altar in Damascus, and offering sacrifices on it (2 Kin 16:10-18, 2 Chr 28:22-23). King Ahaz refused to seek help from The ONE WHO could truly provided help, instead he insisted on looking for help in all the aforementioned wrong places.

Why would one seek help from anyone or anything besides GOD? For at least six reasons, they do not:

  1. believe that HE is GOD (Heb 11:6)
  2. know GOD (Jer 9:3, Jhn 10:3-5, 1 Cor 15:34), nor HIS WAYS (Jer 5:4-5)
  3. trust GOD (Jam 1:6-8)
  4. know GOD is where help comes from (Psa 33:20, Psa 121:2, Psa 124:8)
  5. understand our victory comes from GOD alone (Lev 26:7-8, Deu 32:30, Pro 21:31, Zep 3:17, 1 Cor 15:57)
  6. know all good things comes from GOD (Psa 34:10, Psa 84:11, Jam 1:17)

For they hated knowledge, and chose not to fear The LORD
They rejected MY advice, and paid no attention, when I corrected them
Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way
Choking on their own schemes
For simpletons turn away from ME—to death
Fools are destroyed by their own complacency
But all who listen to ME, will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm
Proverbs 1:29-33 (New Living Translation)

Until The End (2 Kings Chapter 15)

A Study in 2 KingsThis BIBLE study of 2 Kings Chapter 15, gives us glimpses into the lives of five kings from the Northern kingdom (Israel), and two kings from the Southern kingdom (Judah). During this study, we will examine 2 Kings chapter 15, but we will also need to examine 2 Chronicles chapter 26, and 2 Chronicles chapter 27, to get a better understanding of the two kings from Judah. King Uzziah of Judah, is a famous king, who had the second longest reign among all the kings in both Israel and Judah. His son, king Jotham was not as famous, but he too was powerful. King Jotham, followed in all the ways of his father, except that which caused his downfall. In this study our Beloved LORD GOD will provide the following truths:

  • “Until the end” means until the point that a person, or thing, ceases to be what he, or it was; the point of death, termination, or transfiguration (a complete change in form or appearance)
  • All those who take up the sword, shall perish by the sword
  • Our lives, affect the lives of our children and the generations yet to be born

King Uzziah of Judah (2 Kin 15:1-7, 2 Chr 26:1-23)
King Uzziah of Judah reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. And as long as he sought our Beloved LORD GOD, HE prospered him (2 Chr 26:5), by marvelously helping him (2 Chr 26:15). Because of our GOD, king Uzziah was a:

  • Warrior, whose fame spread far and wide:
    • He victoriously warred against the Philistines and Arabians (2 Chr 26:6-7)
    • The Ammonites paid tribute to him (2 Chr 26:8)
    • He always had an elite army battle ready (2 Chr 26:11-13)
    • His army, was not only fully equipped, but also had engines of war (2 Chr 26:14-15)
  • Builder, who built:
    • A seaport (Eloth aka Elath) on the Red Sea in the territory of Edom (1 Kin 9:26, 2 Kin 14:22, 2 Chr 26:2)
    • Cities (2 Chr 26:6)
    • Fortified Towers (2 Chr 26:9-10)
    • Hewed many cisterns, or dug many wells (2 Chr 26:10)
  • Farmer or man of the soil, who had many livestock, vineyards, and fertile fields (2 Chr 26:10)

King Uzziah did not remain faithful to GOD until the end. Just like his father king Amaziah, Uzziah fell because of pride (details about the fall of king Amaziah are found in the 2 Kings chapter 14 BIBLE study, titled “Pride before Destruction”). When king Uzziah became powerful, his heart became so filled with pride that he acted corruptly, and was unfaithful to our GOD. He decided to assume the role of burning incense on the altar of incense in the holy place of the temple; a role appointed by GOD only to HIS priests. When king Uzziah entered the temple to burn incense, Azariah the high priest, and eighty priests with him, opposed the king. King Uzziah became enraged at GOD’s priests, and our GOD struck him with leprosy. King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death (2 Kin 15:5, 2 Chr 26:16-23). According to the Jewish priest, scholar, and historian, Flavius Josephus, king Uzziah lived as a leper for the final eleven years of his life. Jotham, king Uzziah’s son, conducted his father’s civil duties as a judge until his death, when he became king (2 Kin 15:5, 2 Chr 26:21-23). Our Beloved LORD GOD has called each one of us to keep HIS commandments, and our trust in JESUS until the end (Rev 14:12, Mat 24:13, Rev 2:26). We cannot so trust in our righteousness, that we turn from HIM in the end (Eze 34:18). Our Precious JESUS CHRIST is our righteousness (2 Cor 5:21), and we must faithfully follow HIM until our time ends, or time itself is no more.

Five Israelite Kings who perished by the sword (2 Kin 15:8-31)
Our Precious LORD JESUS HIMSELF forewarned HIS disciples and us today, “for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” (Mat 26:52). And we see this truth demonstrated with the five kings mentioned in 2 Kings chapter 15:

  • Zechariah the king of Israel, and great-grandson of Jehu, was publicly assassinated by Shallum after reigning for 6 months (2 Kin 15:8-12). The dynasty (a line of hereditary rulers of a country) of Jehu begin with bloodshed, and ended with bloodshed. Jehu came into power through murdering every male of the house of Ahab, and Ahaziah king of Judah (2 Kin 9:1-28); it ended with the murder of his great-grandson Zechariah (2 Kin 15:10).
  • Shallum the king of Israel, reigned one month, after he publicly murdered Zechariah. He was then killed by Menahem (2 Kin 15:13-15). Truly Shallum experienced “He who digs a pit will fall into it. And he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him” (Pro 26:27)
  • Menahem, was the cruelest of the five Israelite kings (2 Kings 15:16-22). When Pul, king of Assyria, came against Israel for battle, king Menahem met him, and persuaded him to accept a thousand talents of silver instead of wage war. The king of Assyria accepted his offer and left. Later king Menahem, would exact fifty shekels of silver from every wealthy man in Israel, to get the money back he had paid to the king of Assyria (2 Kin 15:19-20). We are not told how he dies, but he reigned ten years in Samaria, and his son Pekahiah became king in his place.
  • Pekahiah the king of Israel, reigned for two years, when he was killed by his officer, Pekah, who conspired to kill him, to become king in his place (2 Kin 15:23-26). Pekahiah’s father Menahem took the throne of Israel by much bloodshed, and his son’s blood was shed as the throne was seized from him.
  • Pekah the king of Israel, reigned for twenty years in Samaria. Then Hoshea, the last king of Israel, before the deportation of the northern kingdom to Assyria, killed Pekah and begin to reign (2 Kin 15:27-31)

Unlike these five kings of Israel, who shed others blood so they could reign; our Precious KING JESUS CHRIST (Luk 1:30-33, Jhn 1:29, Rev 17:14, Jhn 1:1, Jhn 1:14, Rev 19:11-16) shed HIS blood that we might be redeemed and cleansed (1 Pet 1:18-19, 1 Jhn 1:7). Our Beloved SAVIOR also prevented HIS disciples from shedding blood, HIS last night before returning to our Heavenly FATHER (Mat 26:51-52).

Our lives, affects the lives of our children and the generations yet to be born
Through eight words “according to all that the father had done” we see several kings serve GOD as their fathers had. We will list and cite the Scripture reference for those kings, except Jotham, the son of Uzziah. We will give an abstract of king Jotham’s reign, as he is included in the conclusion of our study in 2 Kings chapter 15. There was one king in Israel and four kings in Judah that served GOD as their fathers had:

  • Ahaziah the son of king Ahab of Israel (1 Kin 22:53)
  • Uzziah the son of king Amaziah of Judah (2 Kin 15:3)
  • Jotham the son of king Uzziah of Judah (2 Kin 15:34). King Jotham, followed in all the ways of his father king Uzziah, except that which caused his father’s downfall. (2 Kin 15:32-38, 2 Chr 27:1-9). This king became mighty like his father, because he continually walked upright before The LORD (2 Chr 27:6). Jotham like his father was a builder, and he too built gates, walls, cities, fortresses, and towers (2 Chr 27:3-4). He quelled the uprising of the Ammonites, and they continue to pay tribute to him, as they had to his father (2 Chr 27:5).
  • Hezekiah the son of king Ahaz of Judah (2 Kin 18:3)
  • Jehoiachin the son of king Jehoahaz of Judah (2 Kin 24:9)

Many of the world’s professionals in family counseling say there is no blueprint on parenting, only one’s parenting style will affect the lifestyle and socialization skills of the child. As demonstrated here in The WORD of GOD, how you conduct your life, is how your children will conduct their lives. Your day-to-day behavior is their blueprint, and will affect the lives of your descendants for generations to come. Therefore, through CHRIST be an example in holiness.

Pride Before Destruction (2 Kings Chapter 14)

A Study in 2 KingsPride goes before destruction
And a haughty spirit before stumbling
Proverbs 16:18

In this BIBLE study of 2 Kings Chapter 14, our Beloved LORD GOD will instruct us concerning pride. We will begin by observing the behavior of king Amaziah of Judah. As we observe his behavior, we will:

  • define pride and GOD’s verdict of it
  • study sinful behaviors that spring from the root sin pride, observe how a proud heart has deceived many, and consider the outcome of those who walked in pride
  • carefully take into account how to overcome pride

Throughout The BIBLE our Beloved LORD GOD tells us of many things that are an abomination (something detestable, repugnant, loathing) to HIM; pride is one of them. Let’s take a moment and look at a couple Scriptures:

Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.
Proverbs 16:5

There are six things which The LORD hates
Yes, seven which are an abomination to HIM
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue
And hands that shed innocent blood
A heart that devises wicked plans
Feet that run rapidly to evil
A false witness who utters lies
And one who spreads strife among brothers
Proverbs 6:16-19

Why is pride an abomination to The LORD? It is a root sin (a sin from which many other sins grow). Pride can be defined many different ways, but we will only offer the following seven:

  1. Belief so excessive in one’s own abilities, that GOD’s grace is not recognized
  2. Arrogant (unreasonable trust in one’s own superiority, importance)
  3. Braggart (self-boasting)
  4. Conceited (exaggerated opinion of one’s self)
  5. Haughty (great pride in one’s self, disdain for others)
  6. Inordinate self-esteem
  7. Insolent (rude, disrespectful, insulting to others)

In our study of king Amaziah of Judah in 2 Kings 14:1-29 and 2 Chronicles 25:1-28, we learn that he was filled with pride. He half-heartedly obeyed GOD (2 Kin 14:3-4, 2 Chr 25:2), because of his inordinate self-esteem. Amaziah had an unreasonable conceit of his own superiority, choosing to do his own will over GOD’s. He was also insolent, disrespecting WHO our Almighty GOD is. Instead of seeking GOD’s counsel and help, when he was going to war against the Edomites, he hired 100,000 mercenaries from Israel for a current price of $3,202,800 (calculated as price per ounce of silver on 9/8/20 * 120,000 ounces or 100 talents of silver). It was only when our Beloved LORD GOD sent one of HIS prophets to warn Amaziah of the outcome of his foolish decision, that he turned from that course and sent the mercenaries home. Even when our merciful GOD helped him defeat the Edomites, he was not grateful for the blessing GOD gave him, instead he was arrogant. In his arrogance, not only did Amaziah completely forsake our GOD, to serve the lifeless idols he brought back from Edom (2 Chr 25:14-16); he also forced Israel into war (2 Kin 14:8-20, 2 Chr 25:17-28). As a result of his pride, Amaziah was badly defeated by Israel, Jerusalem ransacked, and he was murdered.

Our Beloved LORD GOD tells us “pride goes before destruction” and we have confirmation of HIS WORD with:

  • Satan ― Who wanted the glory that belonged to GOD alone (Isa 14:13-14). All that GOD had given him was not enough (Eze 28:12-19). Satan’s pride caused his fall (1 Tim 3:6). Satan was cast from heaven (Isa 14:12, Eze 28:16, Rev 12:7-9) and will spend eternity in hell (Mat 25:41, Rev 20:10).
  • Saul ― Trusted his own decisions above GOD’s commands (1 Sam 10:8, 1 Sam 13:4-15, 1 Sam 15:1-35). And was so proud of himself after his battle with the Amalekites, he built a monument for himself, at Carmel to commemorate his victory (1 Sam 15:12). Saul in his arrogance believed he could thwart GOD’s choice of a new king, by killing David (1 Sam chapters 18-24, 26-28). In this arrogance, he slaughtered eighty-five of GOD’s priests, thinking they had helped David escape from him (1 Sam 22:6-19). When he sought out a medium (necromancer or one who consults the dead), among those our LORD commanded be removed from Israel through death (Exd 22:18, Deu 18:10-11), and then vowed “as our LORD lives, he would protect her” (1 Sam 28:3-20), brought death on himself and his sons at the hands of the Philistines (1 Sam 31:1-13).
  • Nebuchadnezzar ― Looked out over his kingdom and took credit for what GOD had given him (Dan 4:29-33). GOD forewarned him in a dream (Dan 4:4-18) and by HIS servant Daniel, to break away from his sins by doing righteousness (Dan 4: 19-27). Nebuchadnezzar did not listen, and the sentence was carried out against him a year later (Dan 4:29-37).
  • Sinners and the disobedient ― Believe Satan’s lie, that they are like GOD (Gen 3:4-5, Eze 28:2), they rely on themselves instead of GOD. They trust in their own understanding (Pro 3:5, Pro 16:25, Pro 28:26, Eze 33:13), contend with GOD (Isa 45:9, 1 Sam 2:10, Rom 9:20) and HIS servants (Hos 4:4, Deu 17:12, Heb 13:17), and refuse to listen to HIS WORD (2 Ths 2:10-12, 2 Tim 4:4), or HIS messengers (Luk 10:16). Which brings both physical and spiritual death (Rev 20:14-15, Rev 21:8).

John Piper, the founder and senior teacher at desiringGOD.org, correctly expounded on Matthew 22:36-37 by stating, sinning is any feeling or thought or speech or action that comes from a heart that does not treasure GOD over all other things. A heart that prefers anything above GOD. A heart that does not treasure GOD over anything or anyone else. He also correctly defines sin according to Scripture as:

  • The glory of GOD not honored (Psa 22:22-23, Psa 50:23, Heb 13:15-16)
  • The holiness of GOD not reverenced (Lev 10:1-3, Num 20:8-13)
  • The greatness of GOD not admired (Exd 5:2, Exd 10:3-11)
  • The power of GOD not praised (Mat 12:22-31, Mrk 3:20-30, Rom 1:21)
  • The truth of GOD not sought (2 Ths 2:10-12, 2 Tim 4:3-4)
  • The wisdom of GOD not esteemed (Jer 36:1-26, Pro 1:7, Pro 23:9)
  • The beauty of GOD not treasured (Psa 27:4-5, Psa 26:8, Isa 33:17)
  • The goodness of GOD not savored (Psa 34:8, Psa 119:103-104, Isa 30:10-11)
  • The faithfulness of GOD not trusted (Deu 1:30-33, Deu 9:23, Zep 3:1-2)
  • The promises of GOD not believed (Psa 78:22-33, Psa 106:24-27, Jud 1:5)
  • The commandments of GOD not obeyed (Isa 42:23-24, Jer 7:24, Jhn 3:36)
  • The justice of GOD not respected (Pro 17:23, Pro 19:28, Luk 11:42)
  • The wrath of GOD not feared (Psa 36:1-4, 2 Kin 18:28-35, Rev 16:8-11)
  • The grace of GOD not cherished (Isa 26:10, 2 Pet 3:3-9)
  • The presence of GOD not prized (Job 21:14-15, Mat 8:34)
  • The person of GOD not loved (Jhn 8:42, 1 Jhn 5:1)

How do we overcome pride? By humbling, praying, seeking, and turning (2 Chr 7:14). When humbling yourself, you are willing to acknowledge your guilt by admitting (confessing) your sin (wrongdoing). When praying, you are not only asking our Beloved LORD GOD to forgive you (Psa 32:5-6, Pro 28:13, 1 Jhn 1:9), but you are also asking HIM to take the pride from within you. When seeking, you are seeking HIS presence. In HIS presence you will find answers to questions (2 Sam 21:1, Psa 73:16-17); In HIS presence your soul will find rest and refreshment (Mat 11:28, Act 3:19); In HIS presence you will experience peace and joy (Psa 16:11, Psa 21:6); In HIS presence you will relax in HIS safety and protection (Psa 27:5, Psa 31:20, Psa 42:5). When turning, you are repenting by turning your back on your wicked life (2 Kin 17:13, Eze 18:30-32, Eze 33:11, Act 17:30-31).

Thus says The LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy ONE of Israel,
I am The LORD your GOD, WHO teaches you to profit
WHO leads you in the way you should go
If only you had paid attention to MY commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea
Your descendants would have been like the sand
And your offspring like its grains
Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from MY presence
Isaiah 48:17-19