Pages

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WEDNESDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Samuel, serving as Israel’s judge, was growing old and needed help with his responsibilities. He appointed his oldest two sons, Joel and Abijah, as assistants and they responded to this great honor by taking advantage of the people: “They were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice” (I Samuel 8:3b, NLT).

So instead of asking Samuel to find some honest helpers, the people of Israel asked for a king “like all the other nations” (I Samuel 8:4b). And when Samuel consulted the Lord about this, He told him, “Do everything they say to you, for it is Me they are rejecting, not you” (I Samuel 8:7, NLT). How sad to think after all He’d done for them, they’d treat Him so shabbily. How sad to think how shabbily we sometimes treat the Lord after all He’s done for us!

Israel’s request, however, hadn’t taken the Lord by surprise. Long before, Jehovah had spoken to the people through Moses: “‘You are about to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you take it over and settle there, you may think, ‘We should select a king to rule over us like the other nations around us.’ If this happens, be sure to select as king the man the Lord your God chooses’” ((Deuteronomy 17:14-15a).

The Lord knew that His people would at some point want a king “like the other nations.” The God who is More Than Enough knew that His own people would one day openly declare Him inadequate. And knowing this, instead of wiping them off the face of the earth – which I certainly would have if I’d been Him – He simply gave Moses specific stipulations about how a king was to conduct himself so that these instructions would already be in place:

“The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the Lord”
(Deuteronomy 17:17a).


Well, how’d Israel fare on that one? First Kings 11:3 tells us that Solomon “had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.”  
And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself’” (Deuteronomy 17:17b).

“Hezekiah received the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses – the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils” (II Kings 20:13a).

Like saying “sic ‘em” to a dog, Hezekiah let Babylon know that Judah (Israel and Judah had split by this time) had treasures galore. Hezekiah had wanted to show off for his visitors and Isaiah let him know what a costly sin this had been: “The time is coming when everything in your palace – all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now – will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord” (II Kings 20:17).

The Lord doesn’t give us His commands to keep us from enjoying life. On the contrary, He gives us His commands: (A) to keep us in His will so that He can bless us; and (B) to keep us from the consequences that sin sets in motion.

“God is not a cosmic killjoy. I know some people who believe He is. They think God runs around saying, ‘There’s one having fun; get him!’ They believe God wants to rain on everybody’s parade. But that isn’t so. God made you. He knows how you operate best. And He knows what makes you happy. The happiness He gives doesn’t stop when the party’s over. It lasts because it comes from deep within.” (John MacArthur)

Tomorrow we’ll look at the rest of God’s instructions for Israel’s kings.

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!

Plus Size Gradient Gown With Empire Waist imagewww.Roamans.com has an impressive sale section right now:

$179.99-$199.99 GRADIENT GOWN w/EMPIRE WAIST - $59.99; sizes 14W, 16W, & 18W.

$69.99-$74.99 VIVID BLUE RUFFLE PEPLUM MAILLOT SWIMSUIT - $21.37; sizes 14W-34W.

$59.99-$64.99 BOW BLAZER SKIRT SUIT - $25.99; 2 color choices; sizes 14W-34W.

$179.99-$199.99 EMPIRE FIT & FLAIR GOWN - $60.01; white; sizes 16W & 18W. This would make a beautiful wedding dress for a simple wedding.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

TUESDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

First Samuel 7:12 adds this note in parentheses: “It was at Mizpah that Samuel became Israel’s judge” (NLT). “Samuel continued as Israel’s judge for the rest of his life” (I Samuel 7:15).

“As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba. But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice” (I Samuel 8:1-3).

In his later years, Samuel called upon his two eldest sons to assist him in serving the people of Israel. Unfortunately, they were nothing “like their father.”

Soon Israel got a bellyful of bad boys Joel and Abijah (not to be confused with other Biblical people with the same names). “Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. ‘Look,’ they told him, ‘you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.’

Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. ‘Do everything they say to you,’ the Lord replied, ‘for it is Me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want Me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned Me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them”
(I Samuel 8:4-9).

“It is Me they are rejecting, not you.” The people of Israel didn’t ask Samuel to replace Joel and Abijah with godly judges. They jumped straight in and asked for a king. As the Lord told Samuel, He was the One Israel was rejecting.

All the Lord asked the people to do was obey Him. He didn’t put any harsh demands on them. He was infinitely patient and loving with them. And how did they thank Him? By wanting to be “like all the other nations.”

Folks, if you think the Lord is a harsh taskmaster, you don’t know Him. He loves us so much and has given us His Very Best. Israel found out the hard way that their earthly kings didn’t always have the people’s best interests at heart – to put it mildly.

Like the old saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” the Israelites thought life would be better with an earthly king running the show. From the time the kingdom divided into Israel and Judah, there was never a good king over Israel. And, even though the line of David continued to reign in Judah in keeping with God’s promise, their bad kings far outnumbered their good ones.

As with any person or nation who chooses to sin, the results of that sin can be prove to be horrific. Don’t compromise your faith in order to “fit in” with the very people believers shouldn’t be trying to impress in the first place. Pray to resist that temptation and, instead, to stand out as set apart by God for His glory and service.

“No sin is small. It is against an infinite God, and may have consequences immeasurable.” (Jeremy Taylor)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!



www.SuitBargains.com has some really good buys right now, including some very nice neckties. Right now all orders include FREE SHIPPING:

$69 BRUNO PIATTELLI NAVY/GOLD STRIPED SILK TIE - $19.99.

 $59.50 CADINI MAROON POLKA DOTS SILK TIE - $15.99.

$35 GH LE COLLEZIONI BROWN GEOMETRIC SILK TIE - $9.99.

$39.99 BOCARA SEAFOAM/SAGE STRIPED SILK TIE - $15.99.

Monday, July 29, 2013

MONDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

After finishing our look at the kings of Israel and Judah – having begun with David – I decided to back up and see how Israel ended up with an earthly king in the first place. And this is where we learn that once the twelve tribes of Israel (before the nation split into the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Southern Kingdom of Judah) had settled into the “Promised Land” and divided it into the individual tribes’ own territories, there was no central government or leader.

Eventually Samuel set up a sort of circuit court – see First Samuel 7:16. Samuel and other judges also served as military leaders on many occasions. Sadly, the Book of Judges ends with these words: “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

“Israel had no king.” Israel had never had an earthly king and their behavior made it clear that Jehovah wasn’t respected as their Righteous King and Ruler.

Before we get to Israel’s first earthly king, we need to cover a little background. Yesterday I’d said that the Israelites had taken the Ark of the Lord with them into battle against the Philistines. The Ark was captured by the Philistines, but the Lord sent such a severe plague on the Philistines that they sent the Ark back to Israel. Still, the Israelites were terrified of the Philistines.

“Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, ‘If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then He will rescue you from the Philistines.’ So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord. Then Samuel told them, ‘Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.’

So they gathered at Mizpah and, in a great ceremony, drew water from a well and poured it out before the Lord. They also went without food all day and confessed that they had sinned against the Lord. (It was at Mizpah that Samuel became Israel’s judge.) When the Philistine rulers heard that Israel had gathered at Mizpah, they mobilized their army and advanced.

The Israelites were badly frightened when they learned that the Philistines were approaching. ‘Don’t stop pleading with the Lord our God to save us from the Philistines!’ they begged Samuel. So Samuel took a young lamb and offered it to the Lord as a whole burnt offering. He pleaded with the Lord to help Israel, and the Lord answered him.

Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel. But the Lord spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them. Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means ‘the stone of help’), for he said, ‘Up to this point the Lord has helped us!’”
(I Samuel 7:3-10, 12, NLT).

Samuel set up a memorial stone to commemorate the Lord’s great victory over the Philistines and His protection over His people Israel. “He named it Ebenezer (which means ‘the stone of help’)…” Some of you may be old enough to recall the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – you can see all it in its entirety here: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/o/comethou.htm. The words are powerful when you understand them:

“Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I’m come.” Unlike most of us who sang it, the writer, 18th century pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson, understood what raising his Ebenezer meant – he was lifting up Jesus, the Stone of Help. Only in and through Christ do we have victory.

Jesus said, “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Myself” (John 12:32). Not only was Jesus lifted up in victory on a cruel rugged cross, He is lifted up in honor every time we call on His Name. Need a victory? Lift up your Ebenezer.

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Sanita - Nikka

Here are some impressive bargains from www.6pm.com; all include FREE SHIPPING:

$120 SANITA "NIKKA" BLACK LEATHER SANDAL - $34.99; sizes 36 (5.5-6) & 37 (6.5).

$99 KENNETH COLE REACTION "ESSEX" HANDBAG - $34.65 in 3 color choices.

$134.95 SPY OPTIC "HAYMAKER" MEN'S SUNGLASSES - $47.23.

$107 RAEN OPTICS "NORA" LADIES' SUNGLASSES - $32.10.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SUNDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

What started out as a look at King David turned into a study of all the kings of Israel and Judah. I’d like to back up now and see how Israel ended up with an earthly king in the first place.

While the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, Moses served as their leader and judge. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, seeing how Moses was constantly swamped with matters people brought before him, gave him some good advice: “Select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves” (Exodus 18:21-22a, NLT).

And that was how things were done. But once the twelve tribes of Israel had settled into the “Promised Land” and divided it into the individual tribes’ own territories, there was no central government or leader. Eventually Samuel set up a sort of circuit court and judged cases himself. How do we know this? First Samuel 7:15-16 tells us, “Samuel continued as Israel’s judge for the rest of his life. Each year he traveled around, setting up his court first at Bethel, then at Gilgal, and then at Mizpah. He judged the people of Israel at each of these places.” (To learn more about Samuel’s special birth and early life, read First Samuel 1-3.)

Samuel and other judges also served as military leaders on many occasions. Deborah – see Judges 4 and 5 – was both a prophet and a judge and led Israel to a great victory over Jabin, a Canaanite king in Hazor. Over and over we see the pattern: Israel ignored God’s commands and He allowed them to be oppressed by a pagan power; then a judge would arise to help God’s people.

The last chapter of the Book of Judges ends on this sad note: “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

“Israel had no king.”
No, they had never had an earthly king as their leader, but more importantly, their behavior was a clear indicator that God was not respected as their Righteous King and Ruler.

If you read First Samuel 4-6, you see how Israel carried the Ark of the Lord into battle and it was subsequently captured by the Philistines. The Lord sent such a severe plague on the Philistines that they sent the Ark back to Israel. But the Israelites were still terrified of these enemies.


“Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, ‘If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then He will rescue you from the Philistines.’ So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord. Then Samuel told them, ‘Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you’” (I Samuel 7:3-5).

“If you are really serious about… the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images…”
Folks, you can wear out the church doors and ALTAR, but until you ALTER your behavior, there’s no inward change.

Almost every sitcom on TV has one central subject: illicit sex. If you’re watching it, you, my friend, are inviting a foreign god – the enemy – into your household. What about the books and magazines you read? What you look at on the internet? If you wouldn’t be comfortable with Jesus sitting down beside you and looking at it with you, then you shouldn’t be looking yourself.

Besides, if you’re His, He’s not only beside you, He’s within you in the form of His Holy Spirit. “If you are really serious about… the Lord…,” live like it – in private and in public.

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Ranch House Chip & Dip Platter

See what these Smithsonian-inspired items are on sale for at www.SmithsonianStore.com:

$90 RANCH HOUSE CHIP & DIP PLATTER - $39.99. Hand-painted with authentic Pendleton motifs featuring aspects of the classic design of Southwest Native American art; dishwasher and microwave safe.

$135 ARTISAN SAFARI PLATTER - $59.99 Signed by the highly skilled South African artisan who made it, the hand-painted design is applied to a fine clay bisque and fired with a lead-free glaze. Food, microwave and dishwasher safe. Approximately 12" diameter.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

SATURDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Hoshea was the last king of Israel around 723 B.C. Zedekiah was the last king of Judah around 586 B.C. – remember, when dealing with B.C. dates, the lower the number, the more recent the date. The kingdom of Judah far outlasted Israel. Before Israel was divided into the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah, there was one king over all the tribes, the first of whom was Saul, the second of whom was David.

After David came Solomon whose son and successor Rehoboam caused the nation to split. Rehoboam and the lineage of David continued as rulers over Judah while a mishmash of leaders ruled over Israel. But the end of the temporary kingdoms of Israel and Judah (Israel was reestablished as a nation in 1948 after World War II) didn’t mean the end of the line of rulers out of the house of David. As Second Chronicles 13:5 says, “Don’t you realize that the Lord, the God of Israel, made a lasting covenant with David, giving him and his descendants the throne of Israel forever?” (NLT).

Forever? Yes. “For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born” (John 7:42, referring to Micah 5:2). As heaven overflowed with the Good News of Jesus’ birth, the angels shared their celebration with the shepherds, declaring, “The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11).

That same Lord, Jesus Christ, has power and dominion over all things and all people. Whether or not a person acknowledges His Lordship, He remains the Head of Everything: “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all” (Romans 10:12a, NIV). Jesus is “Lord of all” – both "Jew and Gentile," believer and unbeliever.

How can Jesus be Lord over those who don’t believe? Lord is who He is. A person’s unbelief doesn’t change that. What makes the difference for those who believe? He’s also their Savior. Like it or lump, He’s “Lord of all;” but having Him as Savior is an option. And receiving or rejecting Jesus as Savior is the one choice that determines a person’s eternal destination.

So what about those who don’t believe Jesus is God in the Flesh? The Day is coming when “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and… every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11, NASB).

Unbelievers will one day have to admit the truth: He is Lord. But here’s the absolute horror we all need to lay hold to: those people who wait until that Great and Terrible Day to hit their knees and confess Him as Lord will never have the opportunity to confess Him as Savior.

Who do you know that doesn’t know Jesus? Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell them how much He loves them.

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Patchwork Coverlet

www.VivaTerra.com, a company dedicated to offering environmentally friendly products, has quite a few items in their final clearance section:

$269 PATCHWORK COVERLET - $98; 96"x102".

$49 GENUINE CITRINE CRYSTALS TAPER CANDLEHOLDER - $19.

$198 VELVET PATCHWORK POUF HASSOCK - $79; 24" diameter x 14" high.

$149 SRAGHNA AMBER GLASS TEAPOT - $59; holds 32 oz.

Friday, July 26, 2013

FRIDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord warned King Zedekiah, “If you surrender to the Babylonian officers, you and your family will live, and the city will not be burned down. But if you refuse to surrender, you will not escape! This city will be handed over to the Babylonians, and they will burn it to the ground” (Jeremiah 38:17b-18, NLT).

But Zedekiah refused to heed God’s message.  "When King Zedekiah and all the soldiers saw that the Babylonians had broken into the city, they fled. But the Babylonian troops chased the king and caught him on the plains of Jericho. They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who was at Riblah in the land of Hamath.

There the king of Babylon pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah. He made Zedekiah watch as they slaughtered his sons and all the nobles of Judah. Then they gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. Meanwhile, the Babylonians burned Jerusalem, including the palace, and tore down the walls of the city”
(Jeremiah 39:4a, 5-8).

“Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, sent to Babylon the rest of the people who remained in the city as well as those who had defected to him. But Nebuzaradan left a few of the poorest people in Judah, and he assigned them vineyards and fields to care for” (Jeremiah 39:9-10).

Only three kings ruled an undivided nation of Israel: Saul, David, and Solomon. At Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam listened to the foolish advice of his peers and caused the majority of Israel’s tribes to pull away from him and follow Jeroboam, a man who was not of the lineage of David. Rehoboam ended up ruling the Southern Kingdom – what became known as Judah – consisting of mostly the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

Because of their unfaithfulness, Israel was destroyed as a nation. Around 723 B.C. Israel’s capital of Samaria was conquered by the Assyrians and the people were taken captive to Assyria. Years later – around 597 – Jerusalem, Judah’s capital, was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who put Zedekiah on the throne as Judah’s last king. Zedekiah rebelled and around 586 B.C., just as Jeremiah had foretold, Jerusalem was destroyed and its people taken away into Babylon.

But had God given up on these people? Absolutely not.

In Amos 9:14-15 we read: “‘I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.”

After World War II, in 1948, Israel was restored as a nation; but of those living there today, according to the Jerusalem Center for Current Affairs, “Only 27 percent believe that God will punish them for not observing His commandments.” Seems to me somebody hasn’t done a lot of checking up on how that attitude has worked for them in the past.

In this girl’s opinion, Amos is speaking of a future time as described in Revelation 21:1-4: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

The New Jerusalem will last forever. The people “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9b) who have placed their faith in the Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, will also live forever. In peace. Perfect peace. Hallelujah!

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!



Lots of good buys on www.CharlotteRusse.com, plus there's an automatic extra 25% off the sale price at checkout:

$24.99 STUDDED FAUX LEATHER WRISTLET CLUTCH - $9.99.

$21.99 BROWN MINI STUDDED CROSSBODY BAG - $8.99.

$39.99 OLIVE DOUBLE-BREASTED COTTON TRENCHCOAT - $19.99; sizes S-L.

$22.99 LONG-SLEEVED ZEBRA PRINT BLOUSE - $11.49; sizes XS-M.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

THURSDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Zedekiah had been appointed by Nebuchadnezzar to replace Jehoiachin whom he had taken into captivity. Yet even after seeing what had happened to Jehoiachin, Zedekiah still rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, breaking “an oath of loyalty in God’s Name” (II Chronicles 36:13a, NLT). God warned and warned the people, but “All the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful” (II Chronicles 36:14a) and they even “scoffed at the prophets” (II Chronicles 36:16b) sent to give them an opportunity to repent.

When Zedekiah rebelled, the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem, surrounding the city and preparing to starve and/or burn them out. At this point of desperation, Zedekiah actually sent for Jeremiah and asked him to pray for the people of Judah. “Later King Zedekiah… asked him, ‘Do you have any messages from the Lord?’ ‘Yes, I do!’ said Jeremiah. ‘You will be defeated by the king of Babylon’” (Jeremiah 37:17). Since this wasn’t the answer Zedekiah wanted to hear, Jeremiah was arrested.

Zedekiah continued to secretly consult Jeremiah, asking him what he should do: “Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘This is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the Babylonian officers, you and your family will live, and the city will not be burned down. But if you refuse to surrender, you will not escape! This city will be handed over to the Babylonians, and they will burn it to the ground’’” (Jeremiah 38:17-18). Again, Zedekiah listened, but since he didn’t like the message, he didn’t heed it.

Aren’t we sometimes like Zedekiah? We want the easy way, not the hard way. We want it our way, not someone else’s way. But God’s way is the only right way – true life isn’t multiple choice; the only real life is in Christ. The last thing Zedekiah would ever see was the result of his rebellion against God.

“When King Zedekiah and all the soldiers saw that the Babylonians had broken into the city, they fled. They waited for nightfall and then slipped through the gate between the two walls behind the king’s garden and headed toward the Jordan Valley. But the Babylonian troops chased the king and caught him on the plains of Jericho.

They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who was at Riblah in the land of Hamath. There the king of Babylon pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah. He made Zedekiah watch as they slaughtered his sons and all the nobles of Judah. Then they gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon”
(Jeremiah 39:4-7).

What had Jeremiah told him? “If you refuse to surrender, you will not escape.” It’s impossible to imagine the terror and pain Zedekiah went through as he watched his own sons executed and awaited his own fate.

What else had Jeremiah told him? “If you refuse to surrender…, This city will be handed over to the Babylonians, and they will burn it to the ground." While Zedekiah watched the slaughter of “his sons and all the nobles of Judah,” “the Babylonians burned Jerusalem, including the palace, and tore down the walls of the city” (Jeremiah 39:8).

Needless pain. Needless destruction. All because of man’s refusal to turn to the Savior.

“I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”
(Ezekiel 18:32, NIV). “Seek Me and live!” (Amos 5:4b, NIV). “Obey My commands and live!” (Proverbs 7:2a, NLT).

God has sent us countless warnings and every person will one day stand, “without excuse” (Romans 1:20b, NIV), before the Lord and “give an account” (Romans 14:12b, NIV) of his or her life. Has yours been well-spent in service to your Heavenly Father?

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Mens Pitchoff Mountain Shorts

Check out these clearance items from www.AbercrombieAndFitch.com:

$50 MEN'S PITCHOFF MOUNTAIN SHORTS - $16.99; waist sizes 28-36.

$90 MEN'S WOLF POND HOODIE - $36.99; blue; sizes S-L.

$58 LADIES' KAYLIN SWEATER - $22.99; white stripe or blue stripe; sizes S-L.

$38 LADIES' DARK BROWN WOVEN LEATHER BELT - $14.99; size XS/S.

WEDNESDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Zedekiah was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar to replace Jehoiachin who was taken into captivity. Jeremiah tells us that Jehoiachin spent 37 years in prison in Babylon before Nebuchadnezzar’s son and successor “Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to Jehoiachin and released him from prison on March 31 of that year.

He spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and gave him a higher place than all the other exiled kings in Babylon. He supplied Jehoiachin with new clothes to replace his prison garb and allowed him to dine in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. So the Babylonian king gave him a regular food allowance as long as he lived. This continued until the day of his death”
(Jeremiah 52:31b-34, NLT).

Half a lifetime in prison and then a beggar at the table of a pagan king. Not much to brag about in Jehoiachin’s record. But what of Zedekiah who succeeded him?

It seems completely insane that he would rebel against Nebuchadnezzar who, during Jehoiachin’s reign, had already taken “all of Jerusalem captive, including all the commanders and the best of the soldiers, craftsmen, and artisans” (II Kings 24:14a). Didn’t leave Zedekiah much to work with, but he rebelled just the same.

And Zedekiah’s rebellion included breaking “an oath of loyalty in God’s Name” (II Chronicles 36:13a). Folks, that alone should make your hair stand on end. To swear “in God’s Name” is to make a vow not only between you and the other earthly party – be it a court of law or an individual – but it’s also a vow to the Lord that what you are saying is trustworthy and that you’ll fulfill whatever commitment you have made.

But Zedekiah wasn’t alone in his wrongdoing. “All the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful. They followed all the pagan practices of the surrounding nations, desecrating the Temple of the Lord that had been consecrated in Jerusalem” (II Chronicles 36:14).

Yet “the Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent His prophets to warn them” (II Chronicles 36:15a). And how did they respond?

“The people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done” (II Chronicles 36:16).

The Lord may be “merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love,” (Joel 2:13b), but He still has His limits. Judah had reached them. And as much as it grieved God’s heart to do so, it was time for the axe to fall in Jerusalem.

The really sad part is that the same passage from Joel says that “He is eager to relent and not punish” (Joel 2:13c). Eager. If only they would have turned to Him.

So many bad things had happened to get Judah’s – and Israel’s – attention, and yet they ignored the One who only wanted to love them. The nation of Israel had bitten the dust long before. Now it was Judah’s time to face the music.

“God’s patience is infinite. Men, like small kettles, boil quickly with wrath at the least wrong. Not so God. If God were as wrathful, the world would have been a heap of ruins long ago.” (Sadhu Sundar Singh)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!

Seachem Reef StrontiumHere are some deals from websites for pet lovers:

Got a salt water tank? $5.49 SEACHEM REEF STRONTIUM is sale-priced at $2.29 for 100ml.

$17.99 PREVUE T3 ANTIMICROBIAL BIRD CAGE LINER - $7.35; 9"x100'.

$9.19 IAMS HEALTHY NATURALS WEIGHT CONTROL FOOD FOR CATS - $5.59; 3.5 lbs.

$17.99 BRIGHT EYES TEAR STAIN ELIMINATOR FOR DOGS - $7.19; 2 oz.

$7.99 BED-E-BAG HAMSTER BEDDING - $2.96.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

TUESDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

One verse succinctly wraps up the brief reign of Jehoiachin: “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. Jehoiachin did what was evil in the Lord’s sight” (II Chronicles 36:9, NLT).

Jehoiachin wasn’t even able to hold onto his kingship as a mere figurehead under the authority of Babylon: “King Nebuchadnezzar took all of Jerusalem captive, including all the commanders and the best of the soldiers, craftsmen, and artisans – 10,000 in all. Only the poorest people were left in the land.

Nebuchadnezzar led King Jehoiachin away as a captive to Babylon, along with the queen mother, his wives and officials, and all Jerusalem’s elite. He also exiled 7,000 of the best troops and 1,000 craftsmen and artisans, all of whom were strong and fit for war. Then the king of Babylon installed Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, as the next king, and he changed Mattaniah’s name to Zedekiah”
(II Kings 24:14-17).

So Mattaniah’s name is changed to Zedekiah and he becomes the next puppet king under Babylon’s authority. How did things work out for him?

“Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and he refused to humble himself when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him directly from the Lord” (II Chronicles 36:11-12).

“He refused to humble himself when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him directly from the Lord.”
Zedekiah may have only been a kid, but he was around during the final days of good King Josiah’s reign. He saw the evil and short-lived rules of those that followed Josiah, so why would he think that he would fare any better by ignoring Jehovah?

Zedekiah came into office knowing that the only power he had was whatever authority the Babylonians allowed him. But foolish, foolish Zedekiah even “rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, even though he had taken an oath of loyalty in God’s name” (II Chronicles 36:13a).

Just as Jeremiah’s warnings meant nothing to Zedekiah, taking an oath “in God’s name” didn’t mean a thing, either. It was simply a necessity to get himself on the throne in Judah.

“Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man, refusing to turn to the Lord, the God of Israel” (II Chronicles 36:13b). And like so many other “hard and stubborn” men, he was in for a fall. The biggest fall yet.

And he wasn’t alone in his stupidity. “Likewise, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful. They followed all the pagan practices of the surrounding nations, desecrating the Temple of the Lord that had been consecrated in Jerusalem.

The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent His prophets to warn them, for He had compassion on His people and His Temple”
(II Chronicles 36:14-15).

How is it possible for the Lord to still love these wayward people? The Lord gives us an answer in Isaiah 41:9b: “I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” He may have allowed all sorts of misery to come upon His people, but He continued to love them and call to them.

He hasn’t changed, you know. He may let you go through some very rough waters if you ignore His warnings, but He will never ever “throw you away.”

“When you look at the Cross, what do you see? You see God’s awesome faithfulness. Nothing – not even the instinct to spare His own Son – will turn Him back from keeping His Word.” (Sinclair B. Ferguson)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!

A reminder about all the freebies out there. For the low, low price of media rate shipping, you can receive a new-to-you book, audiobook, or movie. For only 49 cents + media rate postage, you can receive a new-to-you music CD. How? Join these three online clubs and list your own items. Each time you mail one of your items to a requesting member, you receive points to use to request free items for yourself. It's fun; it's easy; & membership is free!

www.PaperbackSwap.com - get paperbacks, hardcovers, or audiobooks for free; you pay postage on the ones you send to other members.

www.SwapADVD.com - get DVDs for free; you pay postage on the ones you send to other members.

www.SwapACD.com - get CDs for 49 cents each; you pay postage only when you send a CD to another member.

Monday, July 22, 2013

MONDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Jehoiakim ruled Judah as a puppet king under the authority of the Egyptians and then became subject to the Babylonians who were the next to take power over Judah. Jehoiakim tolerated this position for a while, paying heavy tribute to keep the Babylonians at bay. But after a time, he rebelled (see II Kings 24) and things clearly didn’t go well for him.

The prophet Ezekiel wrote a funeral song that included some details about the capture and transport of Jehoiakim. Ezekiel 19:9 declares: “With hooks, they dragged him into a cage and brought him before the king of Babylon” (NLT). Arrogant, self-serving Jehoiakim became a pathetic captive.

As do all who continue to dabble in sin. I don’t know who to credit for this, but I’m sure you’ve heard this very fitting quote: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” That’s exactly where Jehoiakim found himself.

The Bible doesn’t tell us how Jehoiakim died. The historian Josephus says that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, put Jehoiakim to death and then had his body thrown outside the city gates. Remember what the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah? “He will be buried like a dead donkey – dragged out of Jerusalem and dumped outside the gates!” Jehoiakim was thrown “into a cage” and “dragged out of Jerusalem” before being killed and tossed “outside the gates” “like a dead donkey.”

Jehoiakim’s son managed to hang onto the throne of Judah for a short time. “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. Jehoiachin did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father had done” (II Kings 24:8a, 9).

Having already experienced the rebellion of Jehoiachin’s father Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar was no longer willing to sit back and collect tribute payments from Judah. So, “During Jehoiachin’s reign, the officers of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up against Jerusalem and besieged it. Nebuchadnezzar himself arrived at the city during the siege.

He took Jehoiachin prisoner. As the Lord had said beforehand, Nebuchadnezzar carried away all the treasures from the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. He stripped away all the gold objects that King Solomon of Israel had placed in the Temple. King Nebuchadnezzar took all of Jerusalem captive, including all the commanders and the best of the soldiers, craftsmen, and artisans – 10,000 in all. Only the poorest people were left in the land.

Nebuchadnezzar led King Jehoiachin away as a captive to Babylon, along with the queen mother, his wives and officials, and all Jerusalem’s elite. He also exiled 7,000 of the best troops and 1,000 craftsmen and artisans, all of whom were strong and fit for war. Then the king of Babylon installed Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, as the next king, and he changed Mattaniah’s name to Zedekiah”
(II Kings 24:10-11, 12b-17).

After countless unheeded warnings, the unrepentant people of Jerusalem were carried away from the land the Lord had given them. Despite all they saw happening to their country; despite having seen the demise of their sister nation of Israel; the people refused to turn to God.

Calling yourself a Christian no more makes you one than calling a car an airplane can make it fly. If you belong to Jesus, your outward behavior reflects the Holy Spirit inside you.

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Munro American - Ava

Here are some deals from www.6pm.com; most are in very limited supply & sizes. All include FREE SHIPPING:

$180 MUNRO AMERICAN LADIES' BLACK KID LEATHER HEELS - $19.99.

$109 JONES NEW YORK RED LUREX V-NECK TUNIC - $20.99.

$75 FITZWELL MEN'S BIG/TALL SWEATER - $14.99-$19.99.

$99 OLE'ION MEN'S SNEAKER - $24.99.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

SUNDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Jehoiakim was such an evil king that his name and deeds crop up all over the place. A few examples:

(1) He killed a prophet simply for delivering God’s message. During the time Jeremiah was warning the people of Judah to repent, another prophet named Uriah was also delivering God’s messages. “…he predicted the same terrible disaster against the city and nation as Jeremiah did. When King Jehoiakim and the army officers and officials heard what he was saying, the king sent someone to kill him.

But Uriah heard about the plan and escaped in fear to Egypt. Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Acbor to Egypt along with several other men to capture Uriah. They took him prisoner and brought him back to King Jehoiakim. The king then killed Uriah with a sword and had him buried in an unmarked grave”
(Jeremiah 26:20b-23, NLT).

(2) He burned the Word of God. “During the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king in Judah, the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: ‘Get a scroll, and write down all My messages against Israel, Judah, and the other nations. Begin with the first message back in the days of Josiah, and write down every message, right up to the present time. Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings” (Jeremiah 36:1-3).

Baruch the scribe wrote down the Lord’s message on a scroll and then, according to Jeremiah’s instructions, “read these messages from the Lord to the people at the Temple” (Jeremiah 36:8b). When some of the officials heard about the scroll, they had Baruch read it to them.

“Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened. The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by. It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance”
(Jeremiah 36:20-24a).

(3) And then he demanded the arrest of Jeremiah and Baruch. But the Lord had hidden them” (Jeremiah 36:26b).

Did Jehoiakim actually think he could do away with the Word of the Lord? “After the king had burned the scroll on which Baruch had written Jeremiah’s words, the Lord gave Jeremiah another message. He said, ‘Get another scroll, and write everything again just as you did on the scroll King Jehoiakim burned.’ So Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary, Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time He added much more!” (Jeremiah 36:27-28, 32).

“Only this time He added much more!”
Jeremiah didn’t add to the message – the Lord did; and you should read the whole passage to see what He had to say this time. Jehoiakim received multiple warnings from God, multiple opportunities to repent and lead the nation back to Jehovah. Yet time and time again Jehoiakim rejected the Lord and chose evil.

“It’s bad enough for me to make choices that hurt my own relationship with God. How much more serious is it to be the cause of someone else deciding to sin? Not only must I choose the pathway of holiness for God’s sake and for my own sake; I must also do it for the sake of others.” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!

Marc by Marc Jacobs - Tootsoe Flower Tablet CaseYou don't normally expect to find deals on www.SaksFifthAvenue.com, but they have some fairly impressive ones right now:

$58 MARC BY MARC JACOBS TABLET CASE - $23.20.

$50 TORY BURCH iPHONE 5 CASE - $20.

$48 SAKS FIFTH AVENUE MEN'S COLLECTION STRETCH COTTON CREWNECK TEE - $14.40. S & XXL in purple or aqua; M, L & XXL in fuchsia.

$28 DIESEL MEN'S SOLID RED COTTON KNIT BOXER BRIEFS - $8.40. Size M.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

SATURDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Unlike his father Josiah who used his position as king to honor the Lord and help the people of Judah, Jehoiakim was all about himself. Even though he was under the thumb of the Egyptians, he still wielded what power he had to enslave his own people as workers to build himself a grander palace. Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord sent a message to the self-absorbed Jehoiakim:

“What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbors work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor. He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.’ But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king!

Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know Me?”
(Jeremiah 22:13-16).

“Isn’t that what it means to know Me?” Josiah may have made a big mistake in going out to fight against the Egyptians, but the rest of his life was spent in faithful service to the Lord. “He was just and right.” “He gave justice and help to the poor and needy.” And what were the results of these actions? “God blessed him.” “Everything went well for him.” The proof that Josiah truly knew the Lord was in the way he treated other people. And the way Josiah treated other people aligned him to receive God’s blessings.

The Lord’s message through Jeremiah continued: “‘But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.’ Therefore, this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah: ‘The people will not mourn for him, crying to one another, ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ His subjects will not mourn for him, crying, ‘Alas, our master is dead! Alas, his splendor is gone!’ He will be buried like a dead donkey – dragged out of Jerusalem and dumped outside the gates!” (Jeremiah 22:17-19).

Suffice it to say the people of Judah wouldn’t miss having Jehoiakim as their king. So how did Jehoiakim leave the throne?

“King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and captured it, and he bound Jehoiakim in bronze chains and led him away to Babylon”
(II Chronicles 36:6).

From a puppet ruler under the Egyptians, Jehoiakim descends to the level of prisoner in the hands of the Babylonians. In his eleven years of rule, he’d left quite a mark on the land – or more correctly, quite a scar. Jehoiakim’s track record was as appalling as his end.

“Live so that when the final summons comes you will leave something more behind you than an epitaph on a tombstone or an obituary in a newspaper.” (Billy Sunday)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Palm Tree Tote in sale-sale-accessories

Here are some good buys from www.FreePeople.com; FREE SHIPPING w/$100 or more:

$98 PALM TREE TOTE - $39.95.

$58 RITA SUNGLASSES - $19.95.

$38 YEE HAH LADIES' STRAW COWBOY HAT - $9.95. One size fits most.

$48 EAGLE PENDANT NECKLACE - $19.95. Made in the USA.

Friday, July 19, 2013

FRIDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

After the death of Josiah, “the people of the land anointed Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and made him the next king” (II Kings 23:30b, NLT). Jehoahaz spent only three months on the throne of Judah, but in that short length of time, he was recorded as having done “evil in the Lord’s sight” (II Kings 23:32a).

Jehoahaz was not Josiah’s eldest son – there were three brothers older than him. First Chronicles 3:15 lists “The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, Jehoiakim the second son, Zedekiah the third, Shallum the fourth.” Shallum apparently took the name “Jehoahaz” upon becoming king. How’d he beat his older brothers to the throne? It would seem he was preferred by the people of Judah over his brothers. In anointing Shallum/Jehoahaz, they threw aside the established protocol of enthroning the first-born.

“Pharaoh Neco put Jehoahaz in prison at Riblah in the land of Hamath to prevent him from ruling in Jerusalem. The king of Egypt then installed Eliakim, the brother of Jehoahaz, as the next king of Judah and Jerusalem, and he changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God” (II Chronicles 36:4a, 5).

Jehoiakim may have been a mere puppet king controlled by the Egyptians, but he still wielded his power with an iron fist. The prophet Jeremiah delivered the Lord’s message concerning the evil, self-centered Jehoiakim:

“What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbors work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor. He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.’ But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king!” (Jeremiah 22:13-15a).

“A beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king!”
God wanted Jehoiakim to understand that his greatness as a ruler and as a person didn’t depend on his stuff – not his material wealth or any other outer trappings; what mattered was who Jehoiakim was on the inside.

Just as “A beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king,” material possessions aren’t the gauge of a great person. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with owning a nice home, a nice car, a nice anything you can afford – as long as those things aren’t the focus of your life. When is having any of this stuff wrong? When funding it takes priority over giving to the Lord. When acquiring it is your focus rather than Jesus.

“Contentment is one of the most distinguishing traits of the godly person, because a godly person has his heart focused on God rather than on possessions or position or power.” (Jerry Bridges)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!



Take a look at these buys from www.Williams-Sonoma.com; FREE SHIPPING w/$49 or more & code SHIP4FREE:

$25 CHRIS COSENTINO: BEGINNINGS COOKBOOK - $10.99; 60+ recipes for Italian first courses.

$39.95 PRINTED PAISLEY NAPKINS - SET OF 4 - $11.99.

$59.95 AVIARY JACQUARD PLACE MATS - SET OF 4 - $19.99.

$275 FLUTED PORCELAIN JAR - $129.99.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

THURSDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

You may recall that when the Book of the Law (the Pentateuch or first five books of the Old Testament) was found in the Temple, “Hilkiah the priest… went… to consult with the prophet Huldah. ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people. All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true. For My people have abandoned Me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.’

But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people… You tore your clothing in despair and wept before Me in repentance. So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died...’”
(II Kings 22:14a, 16-19a, 19c, 20a, NLT).

Josiah failed to consult the Lord before taking his troops out to fight against the Egyptians. He was subsequently wounded and died before ever reaching middle age. “He was buried there in the royal cemetery. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him. The prophet Jeremiah composed funeral songs for Josiah. Then the people of the land anointed Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and made him the next king” (II Chronicles 35:24b-25a, II Kings 23:30b).

“Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. Pharaoh Neco put Jehoahaz in prison at Riblah in the land of Hamath to prevent him from ruling in Jerusalem. He also demanded that Judah pay 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold as tribute” (II Kings 23:31a, 33).

Who put Josiah’s son in prison? Neco, the same guy Josiah had gone out to fight against. The same guy that had warned Josiah not to interfere with his plans to fight in support of the Assyrians. What had Neco told him? “I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation” (II Chronicles 35:21b). But Josiah’s actions prompted Egypt’s forces to turn against Judah.

Jehoahaz spent only three months on the throne of Judah, but in that short length of time, he was recorded as having done “evil in the Lord’s sight” (II Kings 23:32a). True to His Word as always, though, Josiah didn’t live to see “the promised disaster” the Lord was going to allow in Judah.

I’ve said it a zillion times, but it’s so important for us to realize that we must never mistake God’s patience for indifference. He wants and expects those who claim His Name to live according to His ways. When we choose not to, we set in motion consequences that will inevitably come to pass. Thus was the track record of Judah.

After marching into Jerusalem, “The king of Egypt then installed Eliakim, the brother of Jehoahaz, as the next king of Judah and Jerusalem, and he changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. Then Neco took Jehoahaz to Egypt as a prisoner. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God” (II Chronicles 36:4-5).

Jehoiakim (formerly Eliakim) became a puppet king completely controlled by the whims of the Egyptians. Jeremiah the prophet had written the songs that were sung at Josiah’s funeral, but Jeremiah had something entirely different to say about his son Jehoiakim. We’ll see just what tomorrow.

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” (Billy Graham)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Belted Floral Chiffon Ruffle Front Dress - maurices.com

You'll like these bargains from www.Maurices.com. Sizes are limited, but if you look thru their sale section, you're bound to find some deals in your size & at fabulous prices!

This $44 BELTED FLORAL CHIFFON DRESS is now $39.98 w/an extra 75% off - you'll pay less than $10! Size XL only.

This $28 STRIPED DRAWSTRING SIDE COVERUP/SLEEVELESS TANK is now 75% off - you'll pay $7. Plus size 2 only.

This $29 DRAPE BUST GLITTER TANK is now $24.98 w/an extra 75% off - you'll pay  $6.24. Size XS only.

WEDNESDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Josiah led in major reforms to turn the people of Judah back to the Lord. Then thirteen years after the big Passover celebration that had taken place during his eighteenth year as ruler, he decided to stick his nose and his army where they didn’t belong: “King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River… Josiah and his army marched out to fight him” (II Chronicles 35:20b).

There was only one reason for Josiah to get involved in this battle: he knew that Egypt was supporting the Assyrians against the Babylonians and that one of these two world powers was going to come out on top. Pitting his army against the Egyptian forces meant Josiah was siding with the Babylonians. Why? Should the Babylonians end up the winners, Judah would have scored points with a very powerful ally.

I can’t help but wonder if Josiah was having a midlife crisis. He’d become king at only eight years of age. Now here he was barely 39 years old and he’d already accomplished more than many men before him had managed in a lifetime. Maybe he got the urge to spice up his good and peaceful life with a little battlefield experience – who knows? Whatever the reason, he led his troops out to fight the Egyptians.

And what did Neco do? He sent Josiah a message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or He will destroy you” (II Chronicles 35:21b, NLT).

Granted, it was odd for a pagan leader to claim he was on a mission from God. But Neco was certainly not the first pagan the Lord used to get another nation’s attention. In Habakkuk 1:12b, we read: “O Lord, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us, to punish us for our many sins.” God, being God, can use whom He chooses when and wherever He chooses to do whatever He chooses.

“But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back”
(II Chronicles 35:22a).

Why didn’t Josiah know that the Lord had spoken through Neco? Because he never asked Him. Nowhere do we read that Josiah consulted the Lord before ordering his troops to war.

Rather than heed Neco’s warning, Josiah “disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, ‘Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!’” (II Chronicles 35:22b-23).

“So they lifted Josiah out of his chariot and placed him in another chariot. Then they brought him back to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried there in the royal cemetery. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him” (II Chronicles 35:24). Josiah, arguably the best king Judah ever had, cut his life short by failing to consult the Lord before launching into battle.

And why did Josiah want to fight in the first place? To score points with the Babylonians. He already had the most powerful Being in all creation on his side. He needed nothing else. He needed no one else. God was more than enough for Josiah and He’s more than enough for you, too.

“When hindrances confront us in the path of duty, we are to recognize them as vessels for faith to fill with the fullness and all-sufficiency of Jesus.” (A. B. Simpson)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Check out these buys from www.RedEnvelope.com:

leather wallet$69.95 LADIES' LEATHER WALLET - $24.99. 3 color choices.

$129.95 LEATHER & CANVAS TOTE - $49.99. Ivory.

$99.95 LADIES' LEATHER CLUTCH WALLET - $34.99. Camel.

$59.95 LEATHER E-TABLET SLEEVE - $23.99. 2 color choices.

$129.95 LEATHER EXCURSION iPAD CASE - $51.99. Black or brown.

$129.95 RECTANGULAR MOTHER-OF-PEARL NECKLACE - $51.99. Personalization - $10 extra.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TUESDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

“During the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David. Then in the twelfth year he began to purify Judah and Jerusalem” (II Chronicles 34:3a, NLT). Having done away with the idols the people had been worshiping, Josiah was fervently seeking to restore the Temple and worship of the One True God at the time the priest Hilkiah found the Book of Instruction that had been forgotten in the long-neglected Temple.

Hilkiah had uncovered the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament, written by Moses and also called “the Book of the Law.” He showed it to Josiah, who immediately repented, saying, “The Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing everything it says we must do” (II Kings 22:13b). Afterwards, Josiah read the Book to all the people and he and “all the people pledged themselves to the covenant” (II Kings 23:3b).

Then Josiah reinstituted the celebration of Passover. “None of the kings of Israel had ever kept a Passover as Josiah did, involving all the priests and Levites, all the people of Jerusalem, and people from all over Judah and Israel. This Passover celebration took place in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign” (II Chronicles 35:18b-19). Josiah and the people of Judah turned to the Lord and their country was blessed for their obedience.

Josiah ruled over Judah for another thirteen years. But then he messed up. Two huge empires were struggling for world power: the Assyrians and the Babylonians. When Josiah heard that “King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River… Josiah and his army marched out to fight him” (II Chronicles 35:20b).

Why would Josiah take his army out to fight the Egyptians who were in no way bothering Judah? He was choosing sides. Egypt, having allied itself with the Assyrians, was headed into battle against the Babylonians. Josiah, deciding to align himself with the empire he expected to come out on top, decided to attack the Egyptian army.

See, the Assyrian capital of Nineveh had been conquered by the Babylonians, forcing the Assyrians to move their capital first to Harran, which was also taken over by the Babylonians, and then to Carchemish. The Egyptian army was on its way to help the Assyrians prevent the Babylonians from taking over Carchemish. But Josiah decided to stick his nose in the battle.

Judah was in no danger whatsoever. The only reason for choosing sides was in the hope of having the Babylonians look favorably on Judah. In other words, Josiah wanted the Babylonians as an ally. No matter how powerful the other forces, when you’ve got the God of the Universe on your side, you don’t need another ally – He is all-sufficient.

“King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: ‘What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or He will destroy you.’ But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back”
(II Chronicles 35:21-22a).

Josiah had no reason to believe that God had truly spoken to the Egyptian leader. But neither did Josiah have any reason for a back-up plan like having the Babylonians on Judah’s side. Wasn’t God more than enough to watch over Judah?

If Jesus Christ is not sufficient, He’s not God. If He is your God, He’s more than enough to sustain you. Align yourself fully with the Savior and let Him deal with the enemies around you.

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Timbuk2 Kickstand iPadĀ® Case in Black/Black/Black/Gunmetal - Closeouts

www.SierraTradingPost.com is loaded with fabulous bargains! Check these out:

$49 TIMBUK2 KICKSTAND iPAD CASE - $19.95.

$78 WUSTHOF SILVERPOINT 4-PC UTILITY SET - $29.95; includes kitchen shears + small, medium, & large all-purpose kitchen knives.

$99 COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR MOBEX CAMPUS BACKPACK - $39.95.

Monday, July 15, 2013

MONDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

After Josiah was shown the Book of the Law Hilkiah found in the Temple, he read it to all the people and he and “all the people pledged themselves to the covenant” (II Kings 23:3b, NLT). If we look back at Deuteronomy 31, we see that the public reading of this Book was to be on a regular basis.

Moses gave the Book of the Law to the priests and commanded them, “At the end of every seventh year, the Year of Release, during the Festival of Shelters, you must read this Book of Instruction to all the people of Israel when they assemble before the Lord your God at the place He chooses. Call them all together – men, women, children, and the foreigners living in your towns – so they may hear this Book of Instruction and learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully obey all the terms of these instructions. Do this so that your children who have not known these instructions will hear them and will learn to fear the Lord your God. Do this as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy” (Deuteronomy 31:10b-13).

In Joshua 8:34-35 we read of Joshua reading the “Book of Instruction” in a public assembly. The Bible doesn’t record another public reading of the Book until over 500 years later when Jehoshaphat sent priests and Levites out with “copies of the Book of the Law of the Lord” (II Chronicles 17:9a). These spiritual leaders “traveled around through all the towns of Judah, teaching the people” (II Chronicles 17:9b). By the time Josiah reads the Book to the people, at least another 250 years have passed.

“Then Josiah announced that the Passover of the Lord would be celebrated in Jerusalem, and so the Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month. The entire ceremony for the Lord’s Passover was completed that day. All the burnt offerings were sacrificed on the altar of the Lord, as King Josiah had commanded. All the Israelites present in Jerusalem celebrated Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover. None of the kings of Israel had ever kept a Passover as Josiah did, involving all the priests and Levites, all the people of Jerusalem, and people from all over Judah and Israel. This Passover celebration took place in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign” (II Chronicles 35:1, 16-19).

Josiah lived to intentionally do God’s will. His actions were deliberate, his influence life-changing. Even nation-changing.

Don’t just live. Live intentionally. Live with passion. Live with purpose. Live knowing that every day could be your last opportunity to make an impact for the Kingdom. What is your intentional plan for today?

“The present is the only time in which any duty may be done or grace received.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Love leaves legacy. How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.” (Rick Warren)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


If you're not familiar with www.1SaleADay.com, you're gonna like it! Deals are good for ONE DAY, like these for today:


7-11-backup-main$199.99 APPLE iPOD TOUCH CURRENT 4TH GENERATION LOADED WITH GOODIES - $139.99 w/FREE SHIPPING. In black or white.

$69.99 2-PACK OF 2600mAh POWER BANKS ADD UP TO 40 HOURS OF POWER TO YOUR CELL PHONE or TABLET - $17.99 w/FREE SHIPPING. Built-in flashlight; 5 color choices.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

SUNDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

In the course of clearing out and readying the Temple for restoration, Hilkiah the high priest made a discovery. He told Shaphan the court secretary, "‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!’” (II Kings 22:8a, NLT). Hilkiah had uncovered the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament, written by Moses and called “the Book of the Law.”

“Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it. Shaphan went to the king and reported, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.’ So Shaphan read it to the king” (II Kings 22:8b-9a, 10b).

“When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing everything it says we must do’” (II Kings 22:11-13).

“We have not been doing everything it says we must do.”
Josiah heard the words of the scroll and immediately realized how far from the Lord he and the people of Judah/Israel truly were. “So Hilkiah and the other men went to the New Quarter of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe” (II Chronicles 34:14).

“She said to them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people. All the curses written in the scroll that was read to the king of Judah will come true. For My people have abandoned Me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger will be poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched.’

But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before Me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord. So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You yourself will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city and its people’”
(II Kings 22:15-20a).

“So they took her message back to the king. Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the prophets all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple. The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all His commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant” (II Kings 22:20b-23:3).

Josiah’s commitment prompted a mutual commitment from the people. “And throughout the rest of his lifetime, they did not turn away from the Lord, the God of their ancestors” (II Chronicles 34:33b).

“When you see someone’s influence reflected so profoundly in the lives of other people, you have identified someone who is by definition a leader.” (John MacArthur)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


3IN1 IMPACT BLUE HARD BELT CLIP CASE KICKSTAND FOR APPLE IPHONE 5 5TH GEN

These deals are all from www.eBay.com & include FREE SHIPPING:

$34.99 3-IN-1 IMPACT BLUE HARD BELT CLIP CASE KICKSTAND FOR iPHONE 5 - $5.99.

$29.99 DELTON CX1 ONYX WIRELESS BLUETOOTH HEADSET - $7.95.

$24 BURBERRY LONDON 0.15ML EAU DE PARFUM - $9.95.

$49.99 MACALLY PINK BOOKSTAND FOLIO CASE/COVER/STAND FOR APPLE iPAD 2nd 3rd 4th GEN - $9.99.

Friday, July 12, 2013

SATURDAY'S BARGAINOMICS BIBLE PASSAGE

Josiah became Judah’s king at the young age of eight. By the time Josiah had become a teenager, the emptiness of Judah’s idolatrous lifestyle led Josiah to seek the Lord and, in doing so, he began a sweeping religious housecleaning throughout Judah and beyond. Having removed the pagan idols and purified the Temple of the Lord, it was time to put the Lord’s house back into pristeen condition.

To accomplish this, he “sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and grandson of Meshullam, the court secretary, to the Temple of the Lord. He told him, ‘Go to Hilkiah the high priest and have him count the money the gatekeepers have collected from the people at the Lord’s Temple. Entrust this money to the men assigned to supervise the Temple’s restoration. Then they can use it to pay workers to repair the Temple of the Lord. They will need to hire carpenters, builders, and masons. Also have them buy the timber and the finished stone needed to repair the Temple. But don’t require the construction supervisors to keep account of the money they receive, for they are honest and trustworthy men’” (II Kings 22:3-7, NLT).

“Don’t require the construction supervisors to keep account of the money they receive, for they are honest and trustworthy men.”
It’s often said that people judge others by their own standards. Such was the case with Josiah. Being a man of integrity himself, he had no problem trusting “the men assigned to supervise the Temple’s restoration.”

These men “restored what earlier kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin. The workers served faithfully under the leadership of Jahath and Obadiah, Levites of the Merarite clan, and Zechariah and Meshullam, Levites of the Kohathite clan. Other Levites, all of whom were skilled musicians, were put in charge of the laborers of the various trades. Still others assisted as secretaries, officials, and gatekeepers” (II Chronicles 34:11b-13).

“Still others assisted.”
Reminds me of a church mission trip. Not everybody who goes to help build a church is a skilled craftsman, but every willing body is able to contribute. The person who refills the nail aprons or brings the fresh cooler of ice water is helping the project along. Ditto for those who are entertaining children, preparing meals, doing laundry, and sweeping up the sawdust and scraps at the worksite. When God’s people work together, Kingdom work gets done and God blesses it.

Clearing, cleaning, and repairing the Temple led to a wondrous discovery: “Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!’ Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it” (II Kings 22:8).

Hilkiah had uncovered a scroll containing the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament, written by Moses and called “the Book of the Law.” In Deuteronomy 31:24-26, we read: “When Moses had finished writing this entire body of instruction in a book, he gave this command to the Levites who carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant: ‘Take this Book of Instruction and place it beside the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, so it may remain there as a witness against the people of Israel.”

Like everything else within the Temple and the land, the things of God had been shoved aside and forgotten. Does Jesus seem distant from you these days? If so, He hasn’t gone anywhere, but you may have.

Everything in today’s world clamors for our attention. Find a regular time and place to get away from the noise and bustle and spend time getting reacquainted with the Lover of Your Soul.

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

BARGAINS OF THE DAY!


Kenmore Hand Grater Stainless at Kmart.com

Take a look at these bargain kitchen gadgets from www.Kmart.com:

$9.99 KENMORE STAINLESS STEEL HAND GRATER - $3.50.

$9.99 KENMORE ELITE STAINLESS & SILICONE BASTING BRUSH - $4.

$9.99 KENMORE ELITE DUAL PIZZA WHEEL - $4.

$9.99 KENMORE ELITE SILICONE & STAINLESS STEEL ICE CREAM SPADE - $4.