Conquering the Inevitable: Coping with Change Based on Insights from Nehemiah

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The siege lasted for eighteen months, during which time the people of Jerusalem were starved to the point of cannibalism see Lamentations — As the final defenses broke down and the Babylonians became victorious, King Zedekiah and his army fled toward the Jordan River but were captured. He was forced to watch as his family was murdered, and then the Babylonians put out his eyes and took him captive to Babylon. According to Jeremiah, the Babylonians took the remnant of the people captive to Babylon except for some who were left behind under Babylonian rule see Jeremiah — Thus Nebuchadnezzar was able to control Judah by keeping the leaders in captivity, and some few of the people were allowed to remain behind to harvest the crops.

The breakup and displacement of the Jews removed the threat of national revival. Life in captivity was not necessarily one of horror or slavery. The Jews were given a good deal of social freedom and economic opportunity. They proved to be enterprising in business and economic affairs, a gift valued by the Babylonians. The Babylonian Jews were allowed to move about freely, to live in their communities within or near the great cities, and to carry on their way of life. Anderson, Understanding the Old Testament, p. In fact, so secure was their life in Babylon that when Cyrus allowed the captive people to return to Judah to rebuild the temple seventy years later, many of them refused to leave Babylon.

Nevertheless, the captivity had a profound effect on Judaism. Scholars almost universally agree that the Jews never returned to image worship after the captivity. From earliest times the sin of idolatry had existed in Israel, and the prophets of every age had combated it. After the fall, idolatry ceased to be a problem for the Jews. The captivity seemed to impress upon the minds of the Jewish people that the God of Israel was, indeed, a jealous God. The prophets had been right in their warnings of the doom and destruction that would follow if the people did not repent and follow their God and Him only.

They reached the conclusion that only the God of Israel should be worshiped. Henceforth, Israel became a very zealous nation for its God. Eerdmans Publishing Co. For over eight hundred years, the scriptures that came from Moses were used more for special occasions such as the Sabbath than for reading daily. While it is true that knowledge alone will not keep a people on the straight and narrow path, it is just as true that without the word of God the iron rod they have no hope of staying on the path.

This lesson was impressed on the Jews during the captivity. Their leaders resolved to see to it that never again would the Jews be ignorant of the covenants and laws of the Lord. The great prophet and scribe Ezra did much to establish the tradition and practice of studying the law. Of this both Christians and Jews gave him the honour; and many of the ancient fathers attribute more to him in this particular than the Jews themselves; for they hold that all the Scriptures were lost and destroyed in the Babylonish captivity, and that Ezra restored them all again by Divine revelation.

These books he divided into three parts: 1. The Law. The Prophets. The Cethubim, or Hagiographa; i. Having the scriptures was not enough. They needed to be read and heard by all. In contrast, the Bible commands us not to covet anything that belongs to our neighbor—whether positions at work, salaries, economic opportunities or bank balances—but to develop a growing gratitude for what we have been given. How can we become more thankful? By giving thanks. We become more thankful through the simple act of giving thanks every day for whatever we have that we appreciate.

Giving thanks actually changes our attitude. Gratitude leads to contentment. Contentment is a delicious feeling in itself, and it is the antidote to greed and envy. In this vision, it is possible to have enough and to cease longing for more. And in a letter written from a prison cell, Paul shares something of his own journey.

Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians Both Paul and the far-from-wealthy Philippian church he is writing to were barely surviving economically.

Their attitude of being content in all economic situations challenges those who live in plenty to find contentment in what they have. Contentment is knowing what is enough. What is enough profit? Hours employed? Savings accumulated? House size? Given that none of us have a true gauge on what is sufficient and what is excessive, we will need help from others. What would it be like for Christians to meet in small groups to share their purchasing plans and reflect together whether they reflect true needs leading to gratitude and contentment, or envious aspirations that will lead merely to a sense of entitlement and discontent?

So few Christians have tried this that it is hard to know what effect it might have simply to share our ideas about what is enough in practical terms. Developing right attitudes to provision and wealth will inevitably lead to adjustment in the way we live. This was a well-used word in the Greek world. In ordinary usage, it referred to having something in common with someone. When Paul, in particular, uses koinonia , it carries this strong sense of partnership, including the call to financial partnership. God provided for the needs of the individuals, through the resources of community.

Of course, how this might be expressed in our various twenty-first century contexts will depend on a variety of factors. History has shown that collective ownership generally works out poorly. Yet some still practice full economic sharing within a highly-trusted community. Other faith communities might seek to pool donations from the wealthy to distribute to the poor. Still others might choose to give individually to specific people or to charitable organizations that provide for needy people.

The Bible prescribes not the method, but the attitude. God provides for his people in the plural, even though the resources may be entrusted to individuals as stewards. In fact, N. The temptation of those who have much to become isolated from those who have little is very real. High-fenced houses, air-conditioned cars, a circle of friends limited to our own socio-economic group, and a church similarly restricted—all these conspire to keep the well-to-do trapped in their own wealthy enclaves.

Those who have little are effectively banished from their world. This means wealthy people often have minimal or no relationship with those who struggle financially—either at home or abroad. Their understanding of the circumstances of those who lack basic provision is severely limited by the geographic and social distance. As noted earlier, the people of Israel were specifically commanded to care for widows, orphans fatherless and foreigners.

These same factors made them prone to isolation. To care for them, the people of Israel would first have to engage with them personally. Conventional hospitality is shown to friends and family. When those who have much get to know those who have little, perspectives can change. Hearing their stories, seeing their struggles first-hand, realizing that there is much to learn from them and also that we all have much in common—these all reshape our minds and hearts.

If God thinks it worthwhile to encounter we who are poor and weak compared to him, should we not follow his example and encounter those who are poor and weak compared to us? The poor are no longer just faceless numbers. They become real people with real needs and real lives. It is important for Christians to think generously about how such hospitality is given. While giving and investing money are essential means of expressing hospitality, more personal and closer-to-home expressions are also important.

Within every community there are many types of strangers, as we have seen. The problem is that for many people in well-paying jobs, living in well-to-do neighbourhoods, mixing in affluent friendship groups, and worshipping in prosperous church congregations, connecting with the poor is not likely to be a part of everyday life. Building personal relationships will require intentionally moving out of accustomed circles and into uncomfortable situations.

It may even require geographic travel or relocation. And if it is to be genuine Christian hospitality, as such it will need to avoid paternalism which disempowers others by doing for them what they can do for themselves and seek to minimize power imbalances. This may particularly be a challenge for those who experience financial success, and for whom status and success are the predominant currencies of self-worth.

It is hard to shed the prestige and privileges of power when our instinct is to fix problems from afar rather than to encounter people in the midst of their struggles. One of the biblical characters who models this kind of personal engagement with the poor is Job. I was a father to the needy, and I championed the cause of the stranger. Job , Job knew his poor neighbors, treated them as equals, felt a deep compassion for them and cared for them using his political and financial resources.

Learning to trust God for our provision is an ongoing challenge, particularly if we are prone to compulsive work habits. Gordon MacDonald, a U. The more we want, the more revenue we must produce to get it. The more revenue we must produce, the longer and harder we have to work. So we build larger homes, buy more cars, take on added financial burdens and then find ourselves having to work harder to pay for it all.

More work, less rest. But compulsive work habits are not limited to those who struggle with affluent culture. They are also the temptation of those who struggle to simply provide the basic necessities for themselves and their families. Either way, the biblical practice of Sabbath is important for maintaining a Godly perspective on provision and wealth. For the people of Israel, the weekly Sabbath ceasing from work was part of their covenantal responsibility—a day to re-centre on God, and to celebrate his love for them.

It was a gift from God to keep his people liberated from the grinding toil described in Genesis 3. The Sabbath rest is a regular repudiation of the covetousness for more. It is a statement to ourselves that there are other things in life besides producing and consuming. And that there is more to our identity than what we do or what we produce.

We are not the sum total of our bank accounts, nor of the work or responsibilities we carry. The Sabbath rest comes down to an act of trust. This is a challenge—both for those who struggle with the prospect of not having enough and for those who struggle with the peril of not recognizing what is enough.

Developing right attitudes to provision and wealth and making changes in our personal lives are a starting point for partnering with God to redeem the economic sphere of life. However, there is also a strong and consistent mandate throughout Scripture for those with wealth to use it to aid those in poverty.

RE: The Story of Nehemiah Week 2: RE-pent

The most obvious way and the one most written about in the Bible is through giving. However, investing and judicious spending are also valid responses to helping the poor. This is exactly what happened to the churches in Macedonia, as described in 2 Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9. These chapters form the fullest articulation in the New Testament of the practice of generosity and giving. According to Paul, the Macedonian churches spontaneously gave to the church in Jerusalem for the relief of its members enduring economic distress. Yet the Macedonian Christians themselves were poor.

Paul tells us that. During a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints. What is striking is that they did not give out of abundance, but in the midst of their own struggles. If we are ever to become givers, we have to begin giving now, out of whatever little we think we have.

If we wait until we think we have enough, we will never have enough. Paul observes that Jesus himself is the model for such giving. Why are we to give? It is because the One whom we follow modeled generosity to us. Paul goes on to argue that the wealthy should give to such an extent—and the poor should receive to such an extent—that a fair distribution results. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance.

His line of thought suggests that there are extremes of both wealth and poverty that are out of place in the Christian community. If there are brothers and sisters who are unable to provide for their basic needs, those who have a surplus need to respond. Yet Paul does not aim to use guilt to motivate us.

Our giving should be characterized not just by generosity, but also by joy. We should give because we want to, willingly—out of the overflow of a thankful heart. It is not easy to give generously. It is personally counterintuitive and deeply counter-cultural. Yet if we receive the gift of generosity from God, it is the gift of liberty from personal enslavement to wealth and cultural enslavement to the false gods of security and status. Of course, having determined to give, the questions of where and how need to be answered.

Wisdom is required to discern the most helpful and appropriate of a myriad of options.

News and Notes

When choosing to give through an agency, two considerations might be:. While giving is a fundamental way of using wealth to aid those caught in poverty, wise investment of wealth can also be very effective in helping the poor. There are many examples of how this can be achieved. However, over recent decades two broad movements illustrate what can be achieved by investment in the poorest communities. The first is the world of microfinance. Across the globe, though particularly in developing nations, co-operatives are established in poor communities to make loans to initiate small businesses.

As these businesses generate income, the start-up loan is paid back and the capital lent to new small businesses. At least, this is the intention. The effectiveness of microfinance seems to be uneven in various contexts, and it has its share of supporters and of critics. However, at its best, it is a mechanism for those with entrepreneurial abilities to obtain capital, create a value-adding business, provide for themselves, and benefit their communities.

Over time, with support and mentoring, the co-operative builds a reservoir of capital, which can be drawn on by individuals for urgent needs or borrowed in order to begin a business. The shared capital can also be used for enhancing the well-being of the whole community.

Savings-led co-operatives help poor communities to overcome one of the primary barriers for people improving their lot—that is, a lack of options for safely investing their minuscule savings. The productive capacity of the world is not close to being exhausted, although human ingenuity and diligent stewardship of natural resources and the environment are required. However, because the purpose of businesses is generally to benefit shareholders, not poor communities, they can also become powerful means of exploitation and abuse.

Hundreds of millions of Christians work in businesses that invest in, manufacture, distribute, sell or transport goods and services in poor regions. Perhaps they have the greatest opportunity of all to shape business strategy and operations in ways that aid poor people throughout the world. These enterprises are known to the contributor of this article, but are not documented in publicly-accessible sources.

It may seem odd to suggest that spending is potentially a way to aid those in poverty. We often associate spending with excessive consumption. But it often comes out instead as a desire to buy things cheaply, whether we need them or not. Somehow getting a bargain assuages our misgivings about buying things. In some cases, spending more for the items we consume may improve the lives of those who make and sell them. In the present global economy, many workers are paid too little to provide for their daily needs.

Meanwhile, those who purchase the goods and services they provide could easily afford to pay a higher price for the items. If there were a way for consumers to pay more—and for that increase to go to the workers who need it—spending could actually help aid poor people. Over the past few decades, a whole movement has grown in the developed world to seek to pay fair prices for products made in the developing world. Spending money is also commended in the Bible when the money is spent in generosity to others.

God commends spending lavishly on a dinner party for your neighbors, provided you are not looking for anything in return Luke It is only lavish spending on your own pleasures that the Bible forbids James However, this moves beyond the present topic of spending to aid the poor , so we will end this discussion here. Christians are called to work not only at the small enterprise and person-to-person level in seeking to alleviate poverty, but also at the macro or structural level. But the social, political and economic motivation and means to do so have never come together on a global scale.

(H-2) How Did the Captivity Affect the Jewish Nation?

This too is a form of human sin and error. We are to be involved in changing the organizations and systems of provision and wealth in our societies. Although we may feel too small and insignificant, too far removed from the halls of power in our society, God has a habit of using outsiders and insignificant people to bring great economic changes in societies. Born in the insignificant land of Canaan, sold into slavery in Egypt, imprisoned on false charges, and otherwise marginalized, he eventually reformed the economic structures of the great nation of Egypt.

With great prophetic foresight, he implemented an extensive network of storage cities, where harvested grain from the good productive years could be kept for times of famine. These were the original food banks!

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But because he did challenge and change the system, poor and rich alike were able to survive. Likewise, when the nation of Israel was held captive in Babylon, they found themselves powerless and disenfranchised. This became possible when a few young men, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were drafted into leadership roles within the Babylonian government.

Rather than succumbing to the temptations of luxury afforded by their new positions, they challenged the system. They risked their positions—and their lives—to fight injustice and inequity. By acting as agents of change, Daniel and his friends worked for—not against—the prosperity of their host nation.

In one case, this meant Daniel challenging the king directly. Wherever we find ourselves working—in government departments, political parties, non-governmental organizations, municipal structures, multinational corporations, small businesses, health or education systems, local neighborhoods—we too should seek to work for the welfare and prosperity of those we serve. This may require changing the priorities, structures, and processes of such organizations—particularly where they oppress or marginalize the vulnerable or the poor. Whether it be in advocating for fairer taxation systems, helping draft legislation against monopolistic or anti-competitive practices, or challenging the way employers and unions relate to each other in a particular industry, there are many opportunities for Christians to bring systemic change to the way provision and wealth are obtained.

One example, in the Book of Ezra, concerns Cyrus the Persian. God is not restricted to bringing about his redemptive purposes by working solely through his own people. Like Ezra and later in the story, Nehemiah we also can work with non-believers to redeem the world. Jeff Dykstra describes partnering with business, government and non-governmental organizations to reduce hunger Click to watch.

One way of doing this is partnering with individuals and organizations who are seeking to improve the economic realities of the poor in all kinds of ways. There are many non-Christian individuals and institutions undertaking great work in providing meaningful employment, small business opportunities, poverty relief and community development. We can work in solidarity and partnership with such people and causes. Of course, we need to be discerning here. It is important to ensure that the effects of such partnerships are consistent with biblical aims and values.

Nehemiah is one biblical character whose attitudes, lifestyle, strategies and priorities work together to change society for the betterment of poor people. As governor of the city of Jerusalem—working for a foreign power—he risks his position to advocate rebuilding of the city walls in order to protect the native mostly poor Jewish population.

Nehemiah is well rewarded materially for his leadership role. It would have been easy for him just to enjoy the privileges that went with his position. Yet when Nehemiah is approached by a group of Jews who are struggling economically he intervenes to help them. Like many Jews, they had ended up with crippling debt, forfeited their land, even becoming enslaved, because many wealthy people exploited unfair advantages during a tough economic climate.

Remarkably they did! Upon the death of King Josiah, Jehoahaz becomes king of Judah. His reign is only three months as the Egyptians assert their dominance over Israel. With massive war tribute demanded of him and the aggressiveness of the …. As the Assyrians escape westward to Carchemish, they find an unlikely ally in Egypt. When the Babylonians march west to attack the Assyrians at Carchemish, Pharaoh Necho force marches his army to the relief of the ….

In this episode, we cover the eighteen-year decline and fall of the Assyrian empire. It begins with the death of Ashurbanipal. Upon his death, a civil war breaks out in Assyria which severely weakens the Assyrian …. Within the palace of Jerusalem, another prophet of judgment arises. The prophet Zephaniah prophesies about the absolute destruction of the world, …. After King Josiah conducts his revival in Judah, geopolitical circumstances invite Josiah to expand his policies and revival into Northern Israel.

Josiah became king at the age of eight. In his sixteenth year, he began to encounter God and around his twenty-sixth year, something overtakes him. Modelling conversational prayer, the Prophet Habakkuk beseeches the Lord about the wickedness of the world. The Lord's answer speaks to the end of the Assyrians and the rise of the Babylonians.

Not satisfied with …. The calling of the prophet Jeremiah parallels the calling of the prophet Samuel, due to their age, the relational aspect and the immediacy of the prophecies. Despite this, something significant separates the calling of …. Join us as we introduce the next generation of kings and prophets. In an age of prophecy judgment and the resetting of empires and the introduction of new ones, we spend extra time presenting our future actors in the …. Following the Destruction of Sennacherib, the Assyrian empire recovered and rose to its highest heights. In this episode, we cover the Assyrian ….

After the death of Manasseh, Amon becomes king of Judah. His reign is very short and tragic. By comparing the life of Manasseh and Amon, we make an observation on the power of generational intercession. After the death of Hezekiah, Manasseh became king of Judah. Instead of following his father's ways, he pursued the exact opposite path going down …. The prophet Isaiah serves even after the death of Hezekiah. He prophesies about the Babylonian empire, the Persian Empire, a future ruler named …. The Assyrian army arrives at the Gates of Jerusalem.

Instead of receiving the gold stripped from the temple doors as a bribe, Sennacherib demanded …. After the fall of Lachish, the Assyrian army marches on Jerusalem as Hezekiah falls deathly ill. In this episode, we cover the events surrounding this moment and Hezekiah's healing.

Even before the Assyrian invasion of Philistia, Hezekiah falls deathly ill. Coinciding with the loss of huge sections of his country, populace and …. As we enter into one of the most exciting stories in the Old Testament, we cover Hezekiah's engineering achievement and we prime up for all of the events that occur around the BC time period including the Assyrian …. The story of Hezekiah is a lesson on how to radically change a country.

Starting as regent or co-ruler with his father, Hezekiah begins by …. After a three year siege, Samaria falls to the Assyrians marking the end of the nation of Northern Israel. In this episode, we cover the siege and the end of Northern Israel and discuss its best and worst kings and …. Not since the night of the first born of Egypt did the Angel of Death visit the earth, yet his services were required again in the year BC. According to Jewish tradition, the Angel of Death was named Azrael and a …. His riders make it to Ninevah and offer Jerusalem's treasures, but the treasures ….

In a final bid for survival, Aram and Northern Israel join forces and attack Judah leaving a devastating wake of destruction and death in their wake.


The wicked King Ahaz and the rest of the nation of Judah hide behind …. While the prophet Isaiah prophesies from the city, Micah prophecies from the country. The prophecies of Micah focus on the location of Judah and Israel, they vary dramatically from the time perspective. Speaking …. When Uzziah was struck with leprosy, Jotham became king In Jerusalem. He proves to be a faithful and great king. Upon his death, Ahaz becomes king …. In preparation for a life of visions and prophecies, Isaiah has a most powerful heavenly encounter. Tune in as Isaiah encounters the Lord in a ….

In this podcast episode, we cover the five kings of Israel from King Zechariah to Pekah and we end this episode foreshadowing Northern Israel's destruction as a nation. At the height of Northern Israel's power, God tells the prophet Hoshea to marry a prostitute. Hoshea married Gomer, the prostitute, and went on to have at least three children. Within a short while, Gomer leaves …. Around the year BC, the city of Rome was founded and two of the greatest Messianic prophets were born. In this episode, we discuss the founding of Rome and the birth of the prophets Isaiah and Micah and their ….

Last episode, we dropped Jonah off on a beach on the Eastern Mediterranean being spit out by a giant fish. Dehydrated, oxygen deprived, and humbled …. In the midst of the prosperity in the age of Jeroboam II, Jonah receives a word to preach to the gentile people in Ninevah. Instead of going to Ninevah, he goes in the opposite direction and runs from God. During the prosperity and rise of Northern Israel, a great increase comes over the Kingdom of Judah as well under the rule of King Uzziah. Uzziah is …. In the midst of Israel's prosperity in the age of King Jeroboam II, a prophet traveled from Judah to Bethel to confront the wickedness of his generation.

The prophet's name was Amos and he stepped onto a speaking …. Jeroboam II had a great head start. His father left him with a very stable government, free from internal and external enemies and a large army. Wondering his next move, the prophet Jonah speaks to the recovery of ….

Independent of our Biblical History timeline, but influencing by it …. Upon the death of Joash, Amaziah becomes king in Jerusalem. He's an interesting character, really ambitious and a good organizer of men and his kingdom, but his lack of character and poor decision making turns away …. Upon the death of Elisha, the entire nation of Israel celebrated him.

In this episode, we discuss additional similarities between Elisha and Jesus and the remarkable resurrection scene at his tomb. Upon the death of Jehoahaz, Jehoash becomes king in Israel. One of his first actions was to visit Elisha, who was dying from an illness. In this episode, we cover the kingship of Jehoash and Elisha's final prophecy …. Taking a break from our normal storyline, we discuss the inevitable threat on the horizon to Israel's existence - The Assyrian War Machine. In this episode, we discuss the Assyrian War Machine in a history talk ….

Steering off the Biblical road map, we cover Queen Dido and her escape from Tyre with billions in gold, the legend of the oxhide and the founding of …. In the thirtieth year of King Joash's reign, he commanded Jehoiada to collect the funds required to repair the temple from the years of neglect and …. After six years in hiding in a closet of the Temple of Jerusalem, Jehoida stages a well-orchestrated coup and restores the line of David.

When Athaliah learns of the death of her son, the king of Judah, the death of her family line in Israel and the gruesome loss of her mother, she loses it. In a delirious panic, she commands the death of the line of …. In line with the change in the spirit, Jehu is anointing king of Israel.

In one of the bloodiest accounts in the entire Bible, he kills the king of Israel, the king of Judah, the queen mother, all of the royal princes …. In this episode, we cover the statement by the Angel of the Lord to the shepherds …. As we head into the Christmas Season, we are going to take a break from the normal and do a two part special looking at two things mentioned by the angels outside of Bethlehem. The Peace of God and the Joy of the Lord. In this episode, we witness Elisha enter a new phase of his calling. No longer just an miracle worker and advisor, he must also appoint the kings of the next generation and move into the calling of a quiet national ….

After giving up raiding Israel, Ben Hadad conducts a full scale invasion of Israel.

(H-1) Introduction

The invasion is so successful, he takes over the country with …. The adventures of Elisha continue. We begin with the axhead floating and end with a military encounter. After Elisha walks into his governmental prophetic gifting as an advisor to the King of Israel, he becomes a …. In the midst of the chaos of dynastic struggles in Jerusalem, Northern Israel's idol worship, threats of violent conflict and the looming Assyrian ….

Even after the death of Ahab, dark seeds give birth to sinister acts in Jerusalem. Upon the death of Jehoshaphat, his son Jehoram becomes king and Ataliah, the daughter of Jezebel, becomes queen. In this episode, we …. Modeling the ministry of Jesus to come, Elisha preaches and heals all who are hungry and thirst for righteousness. In this episode, we cover five of his miracles in quick succession and we see how Elisha models the …. After King Jehoshaphat's stunning revival that overflowed into a battlefield victory, he gets persuaded by King Joram to join him in a punitive military campaign against Moab.

Jehoshaphat has justification for this …. Following the humiliating defeat of King Jehoshaphat in the Battle of Ramoth Gilead, the Moabites and two other nations joined forces to march on …. In an unbelievable dramatic finish to a most remarkable life, Elijah defies even our understanding of death.

With sealed instructions for the next generation prepared for Elisha, Elijah embarks on a journey that ….

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Due to unexpected house renovations and moving, please consider this an announcement that we will not be having any new episodes during September. After the disaster at Ramoth Gilead, Jehoshaphat fled for his life back to Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem, he received a prophetic rebuke and responded in Godly repentance and led his country in a second revival. After three years of peaceful relations between Ahab and Ben-Hadad, conflict broke out between Northern Israel and Aram. The conflict came about …. At the height of his power, King Ahab leads a coalition of nations to confront the Assyrians who have started their invasion westward to the Mediterranean.

As documented by the Assyrian Kurkh Stele in the British …. At the height of his power, Ahab remained unfaithful to God. Despite repeated rebukes by the prophets, his heart would not turn to God. Despite his ungodliness, King Ahab still had a moment in the sun. On the verge of losing his kingdom, he obeys the word of the Lord through an …. Once Elijah's mantle touches Elisha, he begins to prophecy. Soon after, there will be two power prophets walking the country-side of Northern ….

But, Jezebel …. After Ahab and Jezebel's corruption of the political and religious systems of Northern Israel and the leading of the people away from God, God's …. Upon the death of Omri, King Ahab quickly earns the moniker as 'doing more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. She …. Jehoshaphat was a Man of God. He removed the idols and high places in Judah …. To consider the complexity of the history the 9th Century BC, we need to cover the leading characters of this generation.

In this episode, we discuss the leading characters of this generation: Ben-Hadad, Shalmanesor …. In this podcast episode, we cover the four kings of Israel from King Baasha to Omri and we end this episode with the beginning of the reign of King Ahab and a preview of the next generation. In response to a listener question, we discuss the tragedy of Fort McMurray and the concept of God's judgment and our responsibility today. Special thanks to listener Dan from Northern Alberta on his great question and …. Upon the death of Abijah, Asa becomes king of Judah. He begins his reign with spectacular fashion and sends a huge Egyptian army back to the Nile.

As Pharaoh Shishak lords over his vast empire, including Isreal, judgment comes to the house of Jeroboam. His son dies from an illness and he receives a judgment word of prophecy. Soon after Rehoboam and apparently …. After appearing to truly repent, Rehoboam led Judah in a brief moment of walking back to God. As Israel's restoration appeared to be within grasp by ….

In this episode, we cover the crazy story of the prophet Jadon and his confrontation with Jeroboam at the grand opening of the Bethel idol worship …. King Rehoboam, of Judah, welcomes all who come to worship God in Jerusalem and appears to have an …. Taking a break from our normal episodes, we've created a political parody looking at the division of the two kingdoms from the vantage of our modern ….

Upon Solomon's death, Rehoboam was given the kingship. The spoiled billionaire playboy was immediately confronted by the people asking for lighter …. Before we transition away from the deep character development of David and Solomon, we take a break and discuss the upcoming two kingdoms, some …. At the end of King Solomon's life, most scholars believe he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes. Though Solomon still had the gift of wisdom, he suffered …. As Solomon bows his knees to every god around, his economy begins to decline and enemies arise up to challenge Israel.

Three distinct enemies arise …. At the height of Solomon's power, it stated every man owned his own fig tree or vine. By the end of his reign and after his death, Rehoboam, …. Once Solomon completes his palace, something triggers inside of him and over the course of time and through persistent disobedience and foreign …. The Bible is full of type and shadows of things to come.

At the height of King Solomon's power, he is a picture of the Lord's Reign at the end of …. After thirteen years of construction, King Solomon has completed his palace. The palace was a magnificent structure with three rows of fifteen cedar …. While King Solomon's palace was being built, he continued to strengthen the walls of Jerusalem, trade horses, accumulate treasure, exchange riddles …. In addition to his assistance with craftsmen and timber for the Temple of Jerusalem, King Hiram of Tyre partnered with Solomon to build ocean going ….

In Matthew , an expert in the law asked Jesus a question. He asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment. Jesus responded "Love the Lord …. Most of the Book of Proverbs was most likely written or compiled in King Solomon's first twenty years before his palace was completed. The grand opening of Solomon's Temple was fantastic! In the fourth year of his kingship, Solomon laid the foundation stones for the Temple of Jerusalem. Taking a total of seven years, Solomon built one ….

As the legend of Solomon grows, the prosperity of Israel only increases and nations come to meet this man full of wisdom and honor. The treasury …. Immediately after Solomon asks for wisdom, the Bible has the account of Solomon and the two Harlots. In one of the greatest judicial rulings in …. After a few years as King of Israel, Solomon begins to feel the weight of the kingship and struggles with administering justice to the people.

With …. King Solomon walks into an immediate two-fold blessing as king of Israel. These blessing are hidden in his two names. The name Solomon means Peace, …. After the failed coup of Adonijah, David gave Solomon very specific orders on how to deal with his internal enemies. His orders were a very distinct …. Before we advance into the story of Solomon, we are going to set aside some time to discuss some of the supernatural aspects of Biblical History and ….

Join us on this program as we have a talk history episode and discuss the intersections of Egyptian History to the History of God's people - the …. After David falls ill and he appoints his son Solomon to be king after him, he assembles all of the leaders of Israel and gives his final speeches.