Tag: double portion

The Power of our choices!

Scripture reading for April 9: 2nd Kings 1-3

“What can I do for you before I am taken from you?”  And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” (2nd Kings 2:9) 

This is essentially the same question God asked Solomon when He appeared to him a few years earlier. (1st Kings 3:5)  Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people.  God gives us choices.  One of the tensions in Scripture is between our free will and God’s sovereign will.  God is sovereign but He has chosen to work with man who is made in His image.  Part of that image is the ability to make choices.

Elijah had been instructed by God to tap Elisha to take his place some ten years earlier.  Elisha was the son of a farmer.  He was plowing with 12 yokes of oxen–a big rig of that day!  (1st Kings 19:19)  At God’s instruction, Elijah threw his mantle over him.  Scripture records that he left his oxen and ran after Elijah.  Then he sacrificed his oxen, burning his plowing equipment to offer the sacrifice.  Choices have consequences and rewards and often lead to more choices.

As the time for Elijah’s departure drew near, Elisha had to continually choose to stay near his mentor.  Elijah kept asking him to stay away, but he kept insisting on staying.  If we are going to get all that the Lord has for us, it means we must persevere!  Elisha asked Elijah for the double portion of his mentor’s spirit.  Elijah could not give that himself.  It must come from the Lord.  Elijah gave him a word of knowledge–that if he could see him when he departed he would have what he asked for.  (2nd Kings 2:10-12)  As they walked on together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind right before Elisha’s eyes and the mantle fell to earth!  It was an exciting exit for the prophet Elijah and an exciting transition for the prophet Elisha as he picked up the anointed mantle and began to do greater things than his mentor!

Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the final word from God. He has told HIs disciples to ask Him for whatever we need and He will do it.  (John 14:14)  He has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and bring forth the gifts of the Spirit as they are needed to glorify the Lord.  He has told us, that we will do even greater works because He has gone to the Father.  (John 14:11-14)  Ask the Lord today for what you need!  How much more will God the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask! (Luke 11:13)

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Mystery Babylon–gone in one hour!

Scripture reading for December 24th:  Revelation 18

“After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven.  He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated  by his splendor.  With a mighty voice he shouted:  “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!  She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.  For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries.  The kings of the earth committed adultery with her and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”  (Revelation 18:1-3)

John again saw a mighty angel announcing with a loud shout the fall of Babylon the Great.  Babylon the Great is pictured here as full of demons and evil spirits.  This city or corrupted system powered by the beast has been the source of pollution and drunkenness of all the nations and their kings.  Babylon is a business system that trades in valuable commodities:  Gold, silver, precious stones, fine cloth and the bodies and souls of men!  Getting money and riches has become idolatry for those involved.  God has decreed that He would judge Babylon and bring her down and it would take place in just one hour!  (Revelation 18:10, 17, 19)

“Then I heard another voice from heaven say:  “Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.””  (Revelation 18:4-6)  God again warns His people to come out of that wicked world system that is ripe for His wrath.  That system is seductive and participation in it’s sins will bring God’s wrath.  As the people of Babel built a tower up to heaven, so in the end times, the sins of the people in corrupt Babylon the Great have piled up to heaven!  God must judge because in her is found the blood of prophets and saints and the slain of the earth!  (Revelation 18:24)

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Restoration for Job

Scripture reading for June 3rd: Job 40-42

God continues His questioning of Job, who is now under conviction of being unworthy to say any more. (Job 40:4-5)  Job was to brace himself and give God some answers.  The first question was:  “Would you discredit my justice?”  The next related to the first:  “Would you condemn Me to justify yourself?” (Job  40:8)

Curiously, God then began to direct Job’s attention to two of the most fierce animals.  Behemoth was a fierce land animal that is perhaps the hippopotamus or elephant.  Leviathan was a fierce water creature that is perhaps the crocodile or fire-breathing dragon.  These two animals bring fear to the hearts of men because of their power and ability to dominate.  But at the end, God said that there was nothing on earth that was these creatures’ equal–a creature without fear.  He was king of all the proud!  What was God talking about?  Why this discussion of these fearful animals?  Could it be that God was teaching Job about Satan and his downfall, pride?

Job repented and came to a new understanding of  God’s greatness and trustworthiness.  God instructed the friends to offer sacrifice and have Job pray for them to avert His judgment.  Elihu was not mentioned and  we are not told why. After Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored Job to his former prosperity and gave him double all that he had lost.  (Job 42:10)  Job had seven more sons and three daughters.  This is the same as before and implies that he would see his others in heaven as well!

This story has a happy ending and teaches us all valuable lessons of faith.  We won’t always have all the answers and we must be careful when trying to help those going through trial and affliction.  We certainly don’t want to become like Job’s comforters!  We can be thankful that God is in control and that He is merciful and answers prayer.  We can also rest assured that God will work everything for good to those who love Him and keep the faith!

“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:10-11

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Restoration of Job

Scripture reading for June 3rd: Job 40-42

Finally, we come to the end of this long book of endless arguments concerning the nature of suffering, God’s character and justice, and God’s ability to work out everything according to the counsel of His Word.   God continues His questioning of Job, who is now under conviction of being unworthy to say any more. (Job 40:4-5)  Job was to brace himself and give God some answers.  The first question was:  “Would you discredit my justice?”  The next related to the first:  “Would you condemn Me to justify yourself?” (Job  40:8)

Curiously, God then begins to direct Job’s attention to two of the most fierce animals.  Behemoth is a fierce land animal that is perhaps the hippopotamus or elephant.  Leviathon is a fierce water creature that is perhaps the crocodile or fire-breathing dragon.  These two animals bring fear to the hearts of men because of their power and ability to dominate.  But at the end, God says that there is nothing on earth that is these creatures’ equal–a creature without fear.  He is king of all that are proud!  What is God talking about?  Why this discussion of these fearful animals?  Could it be that God is teaching Job about Satan and his downfall, pride?

Job repents and comes to a new understanding of  God’s greatness and trustworthiness.  God instructs the friends to offer sacrifice and have Job pray for them to avert God’s judgment.  Elihu is not mentioned.  We are not told why. After Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored Job to his former prosperity and gave him double all that he had lost.  (Job 42:10)  Job had seven more sons and three daughters.  This is the same as before and implies that he would see his others in heaven as well!  God does everything well!

This story has a happy ending and teaches us all valuable lessons of faith and trust in God.  We won’t always have all the answers and we must be careful when trying to help those going through trial and affliction.  We certainly don’t want to become like Job’s comforters!  We can be thankful that God is in control and that He is merciful and answers prayer.  We can also rest assured that God will work everything for good to those who love Him and keep the faith!

“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:10-11

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