When I was a teenager, my grandfather’s wife was our Bible Class for a while. She told us if we could do several things we would be gifted with a Thompson Chain Reference Bible. All I can remember is saying all of the books of the Bible forward and backward and the structure of the Books of the Bible. Here’s how the Bible is structured.
- The Law
- 1 Samuel
- 2 Samuel
- 1 Kings
- 2 Kings
- 1 Chronicles
- 2 Chronicles
- Song of Solomon
- Major Prophets
- Minor Prophets
- Paul’s Letters
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 1 Timothy
- 2 Timothy
- General Letters
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter
- 1 John
- 2 John
- 3 John
My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.
1 Then God told me, “Get a big sheet of paper and write in indelible ink, ‘This belongs to Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Spoil-Speeds-Plunder-Hurries).’”
2-3 I got two honest men, Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, to witness the document. Then I went home to my wife, the prophetess. She conceived and gave birth to a son.
I mean. A prophetess is basically a preacher. So these Christians who say women can’t preach… Let’s also not forget Deborah in Judges. The judges were THE supreme authority at the time.
3-4 God told me, “Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Before that baby says ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mamma’ the king of Assyria will have plundered the wealth of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”
5-8 God spoke to me again, saying:
“Because this people has turned its back
on the gently flowing stream of Shiloah
And gotten all excited over Rezin
and the son of Remaliah,
I’m stepping in and facing them with
the wild floodwaters of the Euphrates,
The king of Assyria and all his fanfare,
a river in flood, bursting its banks,
Pouring into Judah, sweeping everything before it,
water up to your necks,
A huge wingspan of a raging river,
O Immanuel, spreading across your land.”
Exodus 20:5 (King James Version (KJV)) “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;“. Some of what we are faced with today is a result of many of us making gods out of people, systems, governments, and things. God will not share His glory (Isaiah 42:8).
9-10 But face the facts, all you oppressors, and then wring your hands.
Listen, all of you, far and near.
Prepare for the worst and wring your hands.
Yes, prepare for the worst and wring your hands!
Plan and plot all you want—nothing will come of it.
All your talk is mere talk, empty words,
Because when all is said and done,
the last word is Immanuel—God-With-Us.
Tuh. Jesus is the last word. Isaiah said it and it is true. At the end of the day every thing we need is in him and everything is subject to his name. Periodt.
A Boulder Blocking Your Way
11-15 God spoke strongly to me, grabbed me with both hands and warned me not to go along with this people. He said:
“Don’t be like this people,
always afraid somebody is plotting against them.
Don’t fear what they fear.
Don’t take on their worries.
If you’re going to worry,
worry about The Holy. Fear God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
The Holy can be either a Hiding Place
or a Boulder blocking your way,
The Rock standing in the willful way
of both houses of Israel,
A barbed-wire Fence preventing trespass
to the citizens of Jerusalem.
Many of them are going to run into that Rock
and get their bones broken,
Get tangled up in that barbed wire
and not get free of it.”
16-18 Gather up the testimony,
preserve the teaching for my followers,
While I wait for God as long as he remains in hiding,
while I wait and hope for him.
I stand my ground and hope,
I and the children God gave me as signs to Israel,
Warning signs and hope signs from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
who makes his home in Mount Zion.
19-22 When people tell you, “Try out the fortunetellers.
Consult the spiritualists.
Why not tap into the spirit-world,
get in touch with the dead?”
Tell them, “No, we’re going to study the Scriptures.”
People who try the other ways get nowhere—a dead end!
Frustrated and famished,
they try one thing after another.
When nothing works out they get angry,
cursing first this god and then that one,
Looking this way and that,
up, down, and sideways—and seeing nothing,
A blank wall, an empty hole.
They end up in the dark with nothing.
Their gods have no power. Baal anyone (1 Kings 16:16-40)?!
A Child Has Been Born—for Us!
1 But there’ll be no darkness for those who were in trouble. Earlier he did bring the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali into disrepute, but the time is coming when he’ll make that whole area glorious—the road along the Sea, the country past the Jordan, international Galilee.
2-7 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!
The joy of a great celebration,
sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
all their whips and clubs and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
will do all this.
John 8:12 (KJV): Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
God Answered Fire with Fire
8-10 The Master sent a message against Jacob.
It landed right on Israel’s doorstep.
All the people soon heard the message,
Ephraim and the citizens of Samaria.
But they were a proud and arrogant bunch.
They dismissed the message, saying,
“Things aren’t that bad.
We can handle anything that comes.
If our buildings are knocked down,
we’ll rebuild them bigger and finer.
If our forests are cut down,
we’ll replant them with finer trees.”
11-12 So God incited their adversaries against them,
stirred up their enemies to attack:
From the east, Arameans; from the west, Philistines.
They made hash of Israel.
But even after that, he was still angry,
his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.
13-17 But the people paid no mind to him who hit them,
didn’t seek God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
So God hacked off Israel’s head and tail,
palm branch and reed, both on the same day.
The bigheaded elders were the head,
the lying prophets were the tail.
Those who were supposed to lead this people
led them down blind alleys,
And those who followed the leaders
ended up lost and confused.
That’s why the Master lost interest in the young men,
had no feeling for their orphans and widows.
All of them were godless and evil,
talking filth and folly.
And even after that, he was still angry,
his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.
18-21 Their wicked lives raged like an out-of-control fire,
the kind that burns everything in its path—
Trees and bushes, weeds and grasses—
filling the skies with smoke.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies answered fire with fire,
set the whole country on fire,
Turned the people into consuming fires,
consuming one another in their lusts—
Appetites insatiable, stuffing and gorging
themselves left and right with people and things.
But still they starved. Not even their children
were safe from their greedy hunger.
Manasseh ate Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,
and then the two ganged up against Judah.
And after that, he was still angry,
his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.
Psalm 46:10 (KJV) Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (KJV) And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1 Corinthians 14:40 (KJV) Let all things be done decently and in order.
1 Kings 19:12 (KJV) And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
I probably should have, at least could have, quoted these scriptures the other day when I was talking about chaos and organization.
Today I thought about how we are so busy and have so much going on.
We pray but it’s a one-sided conversation. We tell God what we want and what’s wrong. We tell God what we need. I’m sure we thank Him. We tell Him who He is (Jehovah, omnipotent, etc.). Then we go our way.
The cares of life consume us. We don’t sit still or in prayer to wait to hear from Him. I’m using ehe collective we. This isn’t all, 100% of God’s children.
We have cluttered minds and homes. We stay talking, moving, and doing. We expect God to just show up. More of this line of thought I just can’t seem to get away from.
But, we haven’t stopped to gauge if all of what we are saying and doing line up with His will for us. We expect big, huge, grandiose things and answers. Um but that ain’t always how He moves.
The principle of meditation is appropriate for believers. I haven’t studied its original but I’m willing to guess someone took prayer and flipped it, expanded it, and meditation is here.
I advise us to make real, actual time a s space for God. To be still. To be quiet. To be organized. Naturally. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. I promise you it will change your life. It’s changed mine!
I just had to gather myself.
Someone said I hope everything goes great.
I almost said it’s gonna go.
I course corrected and said it will.
I have to fix my mouth and my attitude.
If God sent me He is going to go before me and make the crooked places straight (Isaiah 45:2).
Life and death are in my tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
Woman’s promised son was dead. She went to the man of God. She didn’t complain. She started off telling people it shall be well. As she got closer to the prophet, she said it is well. Even though her son lay dead, she didn’t speak what she saw. She spoke what she knew to be possible after having a son she never expected to have. (2 Kings 4:8-37)
Just because I know how it has been doesn’t mean I know how it will be.
I have to make God big. Bigger than me. Bigger than my feelings. Bigger than my assumptions. Bigger than my circumstances.
Because nothing is too hard for him (Jeremiah 32:27).