Hosea 13-14

Hosea 13-14

Chapter 13: No Savior, but Jesus

“When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.” (Hosea 13:1) Whenever the people forgot God, and began to worship Baal… the Lord forgot them as well. “…thou shalt know no god but me: for there is not savior besides me.” (Hosea 13:4) Like a lion, the Lord will tear Israel apart! We must never forget the Lord, or worship others in place of the Lord! The sorrows of a woman in childbirth shall come upon Ephraim. Infants and pregnant women will be killed; Dryness and barrenness is prophesied.

However, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.” (Hosea 13:9) We can always turn back to the Lord for help, even in our darkest hour(s)!

Chapter 14: Ephraim will repent

Israel should turn in repentance to the Lord; “…return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” (Hosea 14:1) The Lord will heal their backsliding, and be as a dew to them, causing them to grow like a lily or a vine. The beauty of Israel shall be like an olive tree that has renewed Israel and turns them away from idols. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.

2 Kings 11-12

2 Kings 11-12

Chapter 11: Jehiada Destroys the House of Baal

When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead she went off to destroy all the royal heirs. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, who was also the sister of Ahaziah took Joash the sons of Ahaziah and took him and hid him away so that he would not be murdered. He was hidden with her for six years while Queen Athaliah reigned over the land. In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the captains of hundreds as body guards and escorts and brought them into the house of the Lord. There he made a covenant with them and made them take an oath that they would take 1/3 of them to come on duty during the Sabbath, that they might keep watch over the kings house, 1/3 at the gate of Sur and the other 1/3 at the gate behind the escorts. All of them are to watch out for the king and anyone who comes within range of the king shall be put to death. Jehoiada then gave the captains of the hundreds spears and shields that  had belonged to King David, that were in the temple of the Lord.

Joash is crowned King. Athaliah the queen (after hearing the commotion) came to see what was going on, and when she found that Joash was no crowned king and the people were shouting for him… she stripped off her clothes and shouted “Treason! Treason!” Jehoiada then commanded the captains to take her outside under guard and slay whoever follows after her, they then took her to the entrance of the king’s house and killed her there. Jehoiada then made a covenant with the Lord, the king and the people that they would be the “Lord’s” people.

All of the people of the land therefore came to the temple of Baal and tore it all down! Then they broke the altars and the images and killed Mattan the priest before the altars. Jehoash was seven years old when he became king.

Chapter 12: Jehoash (Joash) Reigns in Righteousness

Jehoash and Joash are only different spellings of the same name.

Jehoash reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheeba. Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the Lord with the help and instruction of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoash takes all the money and asks for more money to reconstruct the temple and any parts of the temple that was starting to fall apart.

After several years of no construction or very minimal restoration work… King Jehoash calls in the priests and tells them that they are taking too much money in their salaries and not enough is going to restore the temple. So they agree and take less money, the money is to be put into a chest then when the chest is full they are to empty the chest, count the money and then give the money out to those who are working on the temple, all of the workers, carpenters etc. Those who worked on the project dealt fairly and needed no management or Administration to get the job done with the money they had, because they all dealt fairly.

Hazael the king of Syria went up and fought against Gath and was able to take it in battle. Hazael with his victories then set his mind toward Jerusalem. Jehoash the king of Judah took all the sacred things that his fathers, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, kings of Judah had dedicated, his own sacred tings and all the gold in the treasuries and sent them to Hazael the king of Syria, which causes Hazael to go away from Jerusalem.

The servants of Jehoash formed a conspiracy against him and they killed Joash in the house of Millo. Jehoash was murdered and was buried in the City of David. Amaziah, his son reigned in his place.

1 Kings 17-18

1 Kings 17-18

Chapter 17: Elijah Raises a Little Child from Death

Elijah prays for a drought. Elijah came as a prophet of the Lord at a very crucial time int he wicked times of Israel. Elijah tells everyone that the heavens will be sealed and will not rain again, until the words are spoken from his mouth. Elijah tells everyone where the source of his power comes from… God!

Elijah is instructed of the Lord to leave the current city “Cherith” and go to the Brook of Cherith, which flows into Jordan, there he would be met by ravens that would feed him. There, the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening… and he drank from the brook. After a short while, the brook that he was at slowly dried up until there was no more water. There was no water, because it had not rained… this is exactly what Elijah had prayed for and he got it! Now he had to trust in the Lord to stay alive during this drought.

The Lord speaks to Elijah again and tells him to go to Zarephath where he has a widow lined up to provide for him. Elijah does as the Lord commands, even though this probably made no sense to him at all. When he arrives at the gate of the city, he finds a widow gathering sticks and he calls to her and asks her to bring a little water in a cup. He also asks her for a little bit of bread too.

The widow responds to Elijah by telling him that she has no bread, but a little flour and oil and with her gathering of sticks was going to go home to her son and there she was going to make her last meal (because she had probably run out of food) to die. Elijah responds back and makes a promise to her, that if she makes him bread first and then makes them both bread… that the flour and oil shall not go down until the day that the Lord makes it rain. So the lady does as Elijah had request and she ends up NOT running out of bread!

After a few days the woman and her son become sick. She then indirectly blames Elijah for what has happened; “…art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?” (1 Kings 17:18). Elijah comes in and takes her son in his arms and cries to the Lord and begs God to let the spirit of her son come back into his body. Elijah stretched himself out over the sons body and continued to plead, until the Lord listened and restored the sons soul to his body.

Chapter 18: Elijah Challenges the Prophets of Baal

The Lord comes again to Elijah and he tells him to go present himself to Ahab, because he was going to end the drought. When he went to present himself to Ahab, there was a sever famine in Samaria. The drought (after 3 years) finally came to an end.

Elijah meets Obadiah, who was in charge of the house of Ahab.But he meets him in an unexpected manner… Ahab was worried about the livestock dying of hunger so he commands Obadiah and others to search out pasture land with grass. On the search, Obadiah meets Elijah and immediately recognizes him and falls to the earth in fear (because he feared the Lord). Elijah tells Obadiah that he will see Ahad and that he would make sure he doesn’t get into trouble on his behalf.

When Ahad meets Elijah he blames a prophet of God for the problems of Israel, instead of seeing that his wickedness has actually led them into the problems that they now face. This is where the story and chapter get really interesting, Elijah challenges King Ahab to gather the idol prophets of Ball and Asherah for a meeting at Mount Carmel. So all the prophets gathered on Mount Carmel, the prophets HATED Elijah and their loyalty was to King Ahad and Queen Jezebel.

Elijah asks a question; “…How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him….” (1 Kings 18:21). The people were silent to his question. He tells everyone there that he is a prophet of God, the only one there. But the prophets of Baal number more than 450 men! Elijah proposes a test. In this test each side will pick out a bullock, kill it, cut it up and then put it on the altar with wood, but no fire underneath.

Then Elijah proposed a test; “…call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God…” (1 Kings 18:24). So the prophets of Baal start to pray to Baal and ask for fire to cook the meat. But after some time, there is no success… so Elijah tries to mock them a bit…. “…Cry aloud: for he is a god (Baal); either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or preadventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked” (1 Kings 18:27). So Elijah calls the people’s attention over to him (now that Baal’s people have failed).

Elijah takes 12 stones (to represent the 12 tribes of Israel), he built an altar out of the rocks and around the altar a trench. Elijah then commanded the people to drench his altar with water so much that it filled the trench that he had dug. Elijah then called out to the Lord in prayer; “…Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou  art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done  ball these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:36-38). Then when the people saw this, they fell to their faces and they knew that he was God. Then he commanded the people to grab the prophets of Baal who were trying to evade and he had them taken to the brook of Kishon, and there he killed them.

Elijah prays for the rain to come back, by praying on the top of Mount Carmel.

Judges 5-6

Judges 5-6

Chapter 5: Song of Praise

Deborah and Barak sing a song of Praise because of the deliverance of Israel from the Canaanite bondage.

This chapter is all poetry. I highly recommend anyone reading this to read the passages for yourself. It essentially summarizes what happens in the previous chapters and talks about how God should be praised and the Israelites should follow the commandments. Because of Deborah and Sisera they were freed from the bondage of the Canaanites. (of course because of the hand of God in using Deborah and Sisera the Israelites are free).

Chapter 6: Overthrowing the Altar of Baal

Again the Israelites do evil in the sight of the Lord and they are placed into bondage for under the Midianites for seven years.

The Lord hears the cries of the Israelites and sends a prophet. An angel of the Lord appears under an oak tree in Ophrah. The son of Joash, Gideon was busy thrashing wheat by a winepress to avoid the Midianites. The angel appears t Gideon and tells him that the Lord is with him, and that he is a “…mighty man of valour.” (Judges 6:12). Gideon asks how the Lord is with him, when Israel is suffering and they are in bondage to the Midianites. He also asks the angel about the lack of miracles that their ancestors had spoken of when they were freed from bondage from the Egyptians. The Angel responds with something to the effect of, God has come to ask you for help, right? Kind of like saying, hey he is here now… so let’s just do it.

The Angel commands Gideon to take down the altars of Baal and grove. Gideon agrees and does it by night. After tarrying down the altars he makes a sacrifice with a young bullock on the newly erected altar to the Lord God.

The next morning everyone is wondering who took the altar down, they find out it is Gideon and go to Joash (his father) and demand that he come out of the house, because he must die. Joash however talks the people out of killing his son, by saying that if Baal really is a god, then let him fight his own battle. If he really is a god, he will kill Gideon himself.

The Midianites and a bunch of other groups gather together and come to the children of Israel (most likely to make war with them). Gideon is warned by God about this and he calls the Israelites together by blowing a trumpet. Gideon, however is a little confused and is not sure it is God that is really talking to him. So he devises a test to prove that it is God speaking with him.

Test #1:

Gideon takes wool fleece and places it on the floor. The next morning if the fleece is wet with dew, but the rest of the ground is dry he will trust God and do as he has asked in saving Israel. The next morning he finds that the ground is dry and the fleece is wet with dew as he wrings out the fleece making a bowl of water.

Test #2:

Gideon however is still unsure, so he makes up a second test. He does however ask God to not be upset with him for his constant asking for signs. Gideon performs the same test, but this time he wants the fleece to be dry and the ground to be wet. The next morning the ground is wet and the fleece is dry. This seems enough to convince Gideon and he agrees to do what God has asked him to do.