Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Greedy Ornery King

By Mary Vee
Jeremiah 22

From the Journals of Jeremiah

Photo Courtesy
Josiah died. His son Shallum was crowned king, although he should never have been king.

As Josiah's oldest son, Shallum accepted the crown to rule over Judah when his father died. 

Shallum didn't want to please anyone but himself. 

Before many days passed after his father's death, Shallum ordered a new palace to be built just for him. He taxed the people to pay for the supplies. After taxing them, he forced the people to build the palace and didn't pay them any money for their work. None at all.

Shallum bragged to everyone about the huge palace being built just for him. There would be huge rooms, large windows, panels made of cedar, and the walls painted red. 

He walked around with his nose in the air. Shallum the rich and powerful king of Judah.

Really he should be called Shallum the wicked and ornery king of Judah.

Josiah never asked for riches. Instead he gave to the people. He got rid of all the idols and taught the people to worship the God of the Universe. The one who made us and loves us. Josiah did what was right and just. During Josiah's reign everything went well in Judah. This was their reward from God.

Josiah did everything he could to help the poor and needy. God said, "Isn't that what knowing me means?" Yes. Of course it is. 

But Shallum, greedy, ornery Shallum worked to get whatever he wanted even if he hurt people, stole from people, and threatened to kill people.

Yes, Shallum may have been rich with things, but his father, Josiah was rich with blessings from God, including peace and protection for the whole country.

Pharaoh Neco, attacked from Egypt and took Shallum as a prisoner. Shallum never returned to Judah. He died in Egypt, never seeing his beautiful palace again.

1. Who was Josiah's oldest son?
2. What did his son do as soon as he became king?
3. How did he pay for it?
4. Who did the work? How much were they paid?
5. How was Josiah different from his son?
6. What happened to Shallum?
7. Did he ever come home? Why?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hudson Taylor-The Cambridge Seven

By Mary Vee
Year: 1884 
Hudson Taylor: age 52

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Cambridge Seven Part 1

Cambridge University Photo Courtesy

There are times when God wants us to let Him drop wonderful gifts in our laps. Much like the finances that He provided from people we never asked or had even met!

There are other times when God wants us to do our part. We had asked Him for seventy new missionaries to go to China to help with the work.

I met with Mr. Dwight L. Moody had become quite famous as an evangelist. He wanted to help us find the men and women who would be called by God to be missionaries to China.

Moody and a his friend, Sankey received an invitation to speak at Cambridge University for a week of meetings. They arrived on a Sunday and felt maybe they should leave. They didn't dress like proper cultured Englishmen, nor did they act like one. 

The turn out for first meeting surprised the men. One thousand, seven hundred students showed up. The men stepped onto the platform and prepared to speak. The students mocked them and made fun of them.

Sanky sang a few hymns. Sadly, at the end of each verse someone from the crowd shouted 'Encore', which usually is a compliment but not this time. The student said it with a sarcastic voice. Mr. Sanky kept singing what he planned and ignored the rude behavior.

When he finished, Mr. Moody came to the platform to speak. Several students from the crowd interrupted him with mean words, but he kept talking as if he couldn't hear them. At the end of his message Mr. Moody invited anyone who wanted to stay for a time of pray to come forward. Four hundred students stayed to pray while the others left.

God had blessed this meeting way more than Mr. Moody realized. Among the four hundred students who stayed to pray were seven men who God would use to do great things.

While many students came to cause problems at this meeting, God used the meeting for His good. Next week I will tell you about some of the men. You may have heard of them.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr.and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Josiah-Evil Came When the Good King Died

By Mary Vee
II Kings 23, II Chronicles 35

From the Journals of Jeremiah

This was the time when countries went to battle to conquer and take the land of other countries.

Egypt was to our southwest and Assyria was to our north. 

King Josiah had done a great job leading the people of Judah back to worshiping God and God alone. Although everything went well for us, our country happened to be stuck in the middle of Assyria and Egypt.

A while ago, the prophet Jonah had gone to Nineveh as God told Him to. God warned the people of Nineveh they would be destroy for all their evil. The people said they were sorry and stopped..for a little while.

One day the Pharaoh Neco from Egypt decided to fight the Assyrians at Carchemish. To get there he had to go through Israel and Judah.

King Josiah became very concerned. He didn't want the Egyptians to conquer our land. He called his army to battle and marched them to meet Neco in battle. 

Neco told his army to let Josiah through so they could talk. "Why did you come? I don't have any reason to fight with you. I didn't come to attack you this time, I am at war with someone else. God told me to hurry, so leave me alone or you will be destroyed, too."

I guess Josiah didn't believe Neco. He put on a disguise and went to battle at the plains of Megiddo.

Archers from Neco's army shot King Josiah. 

"Take me away. I am badly wounded," said Josiah. His men took him to another chariot and drove to Jerusalem. Josiah died.  

Everyone from Judah and Jerusalem loved Josiah and mourned his death. He was buried in the tombs with the other kings.

God inspired me to write several poems to show my sadness over Josiah's death. Men and women from Jerusalem and Judah sang these laments and after some time they became a traditional song to sing in Israel.

Not only did we weep over the death of a good king, but also because we knew his son, Jehoahaz the new king of Judah, was evil.

Pharaoh Neco attacked and put king Jehoahaz in chains and carried him off to Egypt. He forced Judah to pay him lots of money and put Jehoahaz's brother, Eliakim on the throne. Eliakim was no better than Jehoahaz. He didn't worship God and God alone. He made the people pay lots of money to Neco from Egypt. We hardly had anything to eat.

I wish Josiah was still king.

1. Who was pharaoh of Egypt?
2. Who did pharaoh attack?
3. We don't know exactly why Josiah attacked this pharaoh, but what might have happened?
4. What happened to Josiah in the battle?
5. Why did the people mourn?
6. Who became the new king?
7. What happened to him?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Josiah-Reaching the Finish Line

By Mary Vee
II Kings 23, II Chronicles 35

From the Journals of Josiah

I felt like I was running a race and would not touch the finish line until every idol in Judah and Israel had been destroyed and every priest who taught the people to worships these idols removed.

And when my men and I found no more to destroy, I went home--to Jerusalem.

At last my kingdom could freely worship God and not be distracted by evil idols. 

We celebrated the passover feast. What a huge gathering. All the people came and gave their offerings to the Lord. I appointed godly men as priests and encouraged them in their duties.

I then called the Levites together, the priestly tribe of Israel and told them to put the sacred ark in the temple that Solomon, son of David, king of Israel built. I then called the rest of the people to join us. "Prepare yourselves by gathering into families according to the directions written by David king of Israel and his son Solomon."

They stood in the holy place, each tribe with a group of Levites nearby. The offerings were given to the priests and the people did what the Lord commanded through Moses. 

I provided a total of thirty thousand sheep and goats, three thousand cattle, all from my personal possessions for all the working people who were there.

My officials also gave to the people and the priests twenty six hundred sheep and goats and three hundred cattle. Others freely gave as well. 

The priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions as I had ordered and offered the gifts to the Lord as was written in the Book of Moses. The priests worked until nightfall.

At this time the entire service of the Lord was carried out for the celebration of the Passover and the offerings on the altar as I had ordered. We welcomed our Israelite brothers.

The Passover had not been done like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel. None of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover like we did today having the priest, the Levites, and all Judah and Israel. This Passover was celebrated in this, my eighteenth year of reign. 

I don't think I have experienced a more wonderful time than this celebration of what God has done for us. I can't wait to celebrate again next year.

1. What did Josiah insist on finishing before he went home?
2. Where was his home?
3. Who is Josiah?
4. What special celebration did Josiah lead the people in having?
5. What special group of people came to the celebration?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hudson Taylor-God Gave More than We Asked

By Mary Vee
Year: April 1883 
Hudson Taylor: age 51

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
I arrived back in England a short time ago and was happy to see my wife Jennie again. She had returned to England quite a while before I did to take care of family problems. I missed her very much.

After settling in, I went over to our China Inland Mission office to see how things were going. The poor man I'd left in charge had grown exhausted. Piles of paperwork laid all over the office. Phone called to be made. It would take several people to get all the work done.

The Lord had given us this missionary work, now we needed more people to get the job done. Before I left China I had prayed with each missionary in every province, asking God to send more workers. We chose to ask for seventy new missionaries. The same number as what Jesus sent out.

From the looks of the office, we will need more workers here too. The office staff joined me in asking God for more people. 

While we worked on cleaning up the office in England, France and China went to war. The people of England listened to us ask for more workers, but they felt missionaries should not go to China, they could, after all get killed. 

But the strangest thing happened. Suddenly, many godly men and women signed up to become missionaries. They learned their training in a short time and requested to go to China right away. Even with the war going on! 

Another strange thing happened. The people of England became excited to hear about the missionaries and their adventures in China. They began to give money to support the work. In no time at all, the mission had paid all the debts. 

Men like Spurgeon, Moody, C.T. Studd, and George Mullerhad joined our efforts to encourage missionaries to go tell the people of China about the God who loves them.

I had come back to England exhausted and sick. This news, though, has been the best medicine God could have given me!

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr.and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Josiah - A Strong Man Who Took a Stand

By Mary Vee
Ii Kings 23, II Chronicles 34

From the Journals of Josiah

Photo Courtesy
We had no excuse for worshiping other gods. We'd foolishly wanted to be like the countries around us.

Over time, many idols made their way into Judah, because, sadly, our people let them come. Baal, Asherah, the starry hosts, Molech, the sun, Topheth, Chemosh. What were we thinking?

We had everything. God had given us this land and asked only that we worshiped Him. Give thanks for what He had done. And know that we could go to Him for help at any time. But the kings before me had led our nation away and up to this time, so had I. My heart is broken.

Anger filled me. I took men and went throughout Judea to:

1. Get rid of all the priest who served idols.
2. Take the Asherah poles down from the temple and carried them to the Kidron Valley where we burned them.
3. Took down the booths where women did weaving for Asherah
4. Destroyed all the high places where incense to idols had been burned.
5. Broke the shrines at the gates
6. Destroyed Topheth where the people worshiped Molech by hurting their children.
7. Removed the horses at the front of the temple that had been dedicated to the sun god.
8. Burned the chariots dedicated to the sun god.
9. Pulled down the altars on the roof and altars in the courts of the temple, smashed them to pieces and put the rubble in the Kidron Valley
10. Destroyed the high places that Solomon had built for Asherah, for Chemosh, and for Molech.
11. Smashed the sacred stones and the Asherah poles east of Jerusalem.
12. Got rid of all the false prophets and false spiritual people

Then I went out to all the territories of Israel and removed all the idols that God hated. I told them to worship only God. And as long as I was alive I knew they worshiped only the almighty God who loves all of us. 

This was the least I could do for the God who saved us from captivity, gave us a land, and promised to care for us.

1. What had the people of Judah done wrong?
2. Why did the people worship idols?
3. Why was Josiah angry?
4. What are some of the things Josiah did?
5. After Josiah finished in Judah, where did he go? And what did he do there?
6. What did the people do the rest of Josiah's days?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Josiah-Bad News Changed the People

By Mary Vee
Ii Kings 22, II Chronicles 34

From the Journals of Shaphan, the secretary

The news priest Hilkiah, the other officials, and I took back to King Josiah had good and bad.

The good news was: God was pleased with King Josiah.

The bad news was: God said He would punish Judah for worshiping other gods instead of Him. The punishment will happen after King Josiah dies, which means the rest of us probably have several years before God allows an army to conquer us. But it will happen.

The officials and I entered King Josiah's chambers and told him what the prophetess Huldah said. 

King Josiah cried. "This is terrible! We all deserve punishment and have wronged the Almighty God. We must act right away. I want all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to meet me."

In a short time the elders arrived. They bowed before the king. King Josiah stood and said, "Walk with me to the temple of the Lord. I want everyone to join me including the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites, every person front the least to the greatest, poor to rich. Call out to everyone you see to join us."

When he arrived, a great crowd had gathered by the courts. Josiah stood by his pillar and asked for the scroll, the one that had just been found in the temple. I handed it to him. He unrolled the paper and read the words of the Book of the Covenant.

When he finished, King Josiah raised his arms and looked to heaven." Oh God, I promise to follow you and keep your commands, regulations, and decrees with all my heart and soul. I will obey the words of the covenant written in this book."

He look out at all the people and said, "You must pledge yourselves to obey the covenants in this book." 

King Josiah wasn't asking. He meant his words. 

Immediately, the people cried out to God, pledging to keep the commands, regulations, and decrees with all their heart and soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in the book Josiah just read to them.

The moment the crowd silenced, the king turned to priest Hilkiah, the assistant priest, and the doorkeepers and said. "Go now and destroy everything made for the false gods: Baal, Asherah, and all the starry hosts. Burn them in the fields of the Kidron Valley outside of Jerusalem."

The king paced. I think he is planning much more to honor God and to teach the people of Judah to honor Him. 

1. What good news did the messengers have for the king?
2. Did the news make him happy?
3. What bad news did the messengers have for the king?
4. What did King Josiah do when he heard the bad news?
5. Josiah had everyone come to the temple including the rich and the poor. Why?
6. What promise did Josiah make.
7. What did he tell the people do?
8. What did Josiah tell Hilkiah and the other temple workers to do?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hudson Taylor-God Will Always Give What We Need

By Mary Vee
Year: April 1882-1883 
Hudson Taylor: age 51

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
I understand men and women in England don't think of the ministry here in China on a regular basis. We all think of the place we're in are most.

As a result there are times when we here in China receive many funds to support the work and times we receive very little.

This may seem odd to you, but during the time I lived, we didn't have cell phones or computers. The only way to get mail that carried news or money was by ship. And a ship took three months to get from England to China.

So when we had barely enough money to buy food, and prayed for help, we were asking God for something that had to happen months ago. The great thing about our God, is He can handle dealing with things ahead. He knew we would be in need right now. He knew we would pray and ask for help. And He knew that months ago. So He would have put in someone's heart to send money before we even asked!

God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we imagine. He likes to make us laugh and surprise us with special gifts. 

One day a missionary friend, Mr. Parrott and I were walking in a field. We talked and prayed to God about the need for more missionaries and funds to keep the work here in China going. As we walked, Mr. Parrott's foot hit something in the grass. He bent down and picked up a bag of coins.

"See! See what I found!!" He tossed the bag from one hand to the other. "If we have come to the hills to ask God for help, He is able to give us all the money we need."

I really needed that encouragement. In truth, I've been so tired lately. My sweet wife, Jennie, went back to England to take care of some things. I never fully recovered from dysentery. I am lonely. I'm not the young man here in China I once was. And although I understand the importance of being here, I think others need to take over. I'd like to go home.***

I am ready to go back to England.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr.and Mrs. Howard Taylor

***Author's note: This story reminded me of the the prophet Elijah who gave his life working and doing God's will. When he grew older he became tired. He was afraid of Jezebel and ran away to hide. There, God sent an angel to give him food and drink. Elijah rested. I think Hudson Taylor is going through the same thing, don't you?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Josiah-God Sees Our Heart

By Mary Vee
Ii Kings 22, II Chronicles 34

From the Journals of Shaphan, the secretary

Photo Courtesy
King Josiah sent the priest Hilkiah, and a few others from his staff, including me, to the prophetess Huldah. He wanted us to ask her a question.

She lived here in Jerusalem, so we didn't have far to walk.

We went to her small home and showed her the parchment that had been found in the temple. She read it then sat down. "You realize what this is, don't you? This is the Book of the Law."

"Yes," we all answered. "The king has sent us to you. He wants you to ask the Lord what is meant by the words in this book." I shuffled my feet remembering King Josiah's concern. She most likely will give us some bad news.

She left us alone for a time and went outside. We waited, hoping that the Almighty would not  send his anger for the country's disobedience of His law. 

The prophetess Huldah opened the door and walked into the room. She didn't smile. "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says, 'I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people. All the curses written in the book that has been read to King Josiah will come true because the people have turned away from me. 

"'The men and women of Judah have burned incense to other gods and have done evil with their hands. I will punish them. 

"'Tell the king this message: Because your heart listened to my words and was humble when you heard the words, and because you showed how sorry you were by tearing your robe and crying in my presence, I have heard you. You will not see the punishment I will bring on the people of Judah. It will happen after you die.'"

She folded her hands together and shook her head. "I wish I had better news to share. The Lord has spoken."

She walked us to the door. We talked about the message all the way back to the palace. It would be my duty to report to the king. How I wish the news was different.

1. Where did the king send his messengers?
2. Why did he send them?
3. What did the messengers have with them?
4. What news did they hear?
5. Why did God spare King Josiah?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Josiah-The Lost Scroll Read

By Mary Vee
Ii Kings 22, II Chronicles 34

From the Journals of Shaphan, the secretary

Photo Courtesy
I had never touched anything so important before in my life.

I am but the secretary, yet in my hands rested the missing Book of the Law given by the Almighty God, Himself. 

For years no one knew where it had been placed. For years the people of Jerusalem and Judah had been persuaded to worship Baal, Molech and other false gods. For years--the people, God's people, had walked away from Him.

I'm not exactly sure why the scroll was found at this time. I suppose it might have something to do with King Josiah's willingness to restore the temple and to encourage the people to worship God. 

I surrounded myself with the best guards and paraded the parchment to the palace, where King Josiah was. I tried to plan ahead what to say, but couldn't find the words to prepare. This scroll in my hands had the very words of God written on it.

I walked down the corridor to the king's chamber, trembling with excitement. A guard announced my arrival. King Josiah gave me permission to enter his chamber.

He sat on his throne in the midst of a crowded room, no doubt citizens bringing their issues to his attention. He stopped his work to invited me to speak. His tutors and advisors stood on both sides of his chair, ready to offer their comments. Josiah may have been a young king, but had shown his gift as a leader already.

I bowed. "King Josiah, Your officials are doing everything you told them to do. They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have given it to the supervisors and workers." I showed him the scroll. "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book."

I carefully unwrapped the parchment and read the words written on it.

I had barely finished the last word when the king stood and tore his robe. A person tears their clothes when they are very sad about something. "Go," he said. "Go to Hilkiah and the other priests and tell them to talk to the Lord for me, the remnant in Israel, and Judah. Ask Him about the words written in this book that has been found." 

He closed his eyes and cried out. "Great is the Lord's anger that is poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord. They have not obeyed all that is written in this book."

I left right away to do what he said. Even as I walked down the corridor, I could hear him cry out. What terrible things have we done? How could he know to ask God for help at such a young age?

1. What did the high priest, Hilkiah, find?
2. Where did he find it?
3. Why did Shaphan, the secretary feel so honored?
4. Who did Shaphan show the missing item to?
5. After Shaphan read, what did King Josiah do? Why?
6. What did King Josiah tell Hilkiah, the high priest to do?
7. Why did King Josiah cry?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hudson Taylor-The Blind Man Who Walked Fifty Miles To Get Help

By Mary Vee
Year: April 1882-1883 
Hudson Taylor: age 51

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
In the mountain villages, the Chinese people do not have access to medicine or doctors. The few missionary doctors who come to China experience so many blessings they fill journals with the stories. But these doctors simply couldn't do all the work. Those that are here pray-how they pray all day for medical students to come.

Some of their friends from medical school wrote back saying going to China was a crazy idea. They felt they should be missionaries in their homeland first.

Dr. Schofield and other missionaries in China continued to pray for God to send help. Here are a few wonderful reasons why:

One day a poor man heard of the miraculous work done by the doctor in the village fifty miles away. The fifty-five year old, practically blind man begged for help to find his way along the road until at last he arrived at the hospital.

Dr. Shoefield smiled. He knew how to help this man. Using chloroform to make the man sleep during surgery, Dr. Shoefield removed cataracts from both eyes. The recovery took a while, but when the bandages were removed, the man could hardly speak. His lips widened into a smile and he said, "I can see." He walked the fifty miles back home, without any help.

During the time the man had medical care, Dr. Shoefield and the nurses told him about Jesus. He also went to the streets where the people gathered and told them about Jesus. As each day went by the people grew to trust him and listened to his words about a loving God who truly cared about them.

There was also a Chinese woman who lost her job because she became blind. She didn't know what to do and was so unhappy she jumped into the river hoping to drown. When that didn't work, she jumped into a well. A friend brought the woman to Dr. Shoefield.  He was able to operate on her eyes and restore her sight. After her eyes healed, the woman told him she could see. She was so happy, not only that she could see, but also to learn about the God who loved her. She wanted to stay and work for Dr. Shoefield. He hired her to sew, do some housework, and most important, help with the female patients.

Dr. Shoefield became sick with typhoid fever. He had been a missionary for three years. He became very sick. Before he died he said, "These three years in China have been by far the happiest of my life."

Twenty years later our mission had fourteen doctors working in seven hospitals and clinics.
Thank you, Jesus, for sending help.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr.and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Josiah-Look What I Found

By Mary Vee
Ii Kings 22, II Chronicles 34

From the Journals of High Priest Hilkiah

Photo Courtesy
King Josiah has reigned for eighteen years. For such a young king he has done a good job.

As high priest in the temple, I have many duties. This morning, I started my day working in the temple as usual. I didn't have much to do. The kings before Josiah had turned away from God.

Early in the day, though, the king sent some men here to the temple with a message. One said, "King Josiah wants you to take the money given by the people of Manasseh, Ephraim, and the entire remnant of Israel and Judah, Benjamin, and Jerusalem and give it to the men who are supervising the repairs on the temple. The supervisors are to pay the workers, the carpenters, builders, and masons.

"The king also wants the money used to buy wood and prepared stone to repair the temple. He says the supervisors are to be trusted to pay the men what is right.

I stopped my work, immediately, and thanked God. Yes! At last we can return to worshiping the God who has given us life. I was also excited because the temple had needed repairs for a long time, but like I said, previous kings wouldn't give us permission to fix it.

I went into the chamber where the coins had been hidden behind a locked door. As I gathered the money for the project, I noticed a parchment. I pulled it out of the pile. "What is this?" I set the money down and unrolled the scroll. 

My heart nearly stopped when I saw the words. "This is the Book of the Law of the Lord that was given through Moses! It's been missing for years." I turned and called for the men sent by King Josiah. "Shephan. I have found the Book of the Law. It was right here!"

He followed my voice and stared at the scroll in my hand. "Look!" I handed the precious parchment to Shephan. 

He read it and said, "Do you realize what this is?"

"I know! After all these years. Isn't this exciting!"

Shephan rolled the parchment and held it close to his chest to protect it. "I'm going to take this to the king right away. Won't he be surprised."

I can hardly breathe. First we finally received permission to repair the temple and now the missing scroll has been found. Thank you, God for sending us a King who cares about Your temple. Thank You. Praise Your name.

1. Who is the high priest in this story?
2. What message did King Josiah send to the high priest?
3. Where did the high priest go?
4. What did he accidentally find?
5. Do you think he really found this by accident?
6. Who did the high priest give the object to?
7. What did this man plan to do?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Jeremiah-Who Should We Believe?

By Mary Vee
Jeremiah 4-7

From the Journals of the prophet Jeremiah

Photo Courtesy
Sometimes it is much easier to listen to people who say what we want to hear.

I have been warning the people of Judah about the terrible army that would come and take over our cities. 

God also told me to warn the people about the bad prophets. The ones who keep saying nothing will happen. Everything is fine. 

Everything is not fine. So many men and women still worship the false idols and don't obey God's commands.

God has given the men and women of Judea many chances to say they are sorry and to worship Him. He told me to warn them that a terrible punishment is coming. I do. Then a short time later, one of the bad prophets tells the people not to worry.

And they believe the bad prophets!

Why? The answer is simple. We, as people, always hope for the easy answer. We want to know we won't get in trouble for disobeying.


An army from the north will come. The homes and businesses will be destroyed. The Judean people will be taken away and forced to be slaves in a far away place where their masters speak a language they cannot understand.

When I talk with the men and women, I see the confusion on their face. They don't know who to believe.

The answer is simple. If you believe the person who says you can keep doing wrong and not get in trouble, you are listening to the wrong person. He is not a real prophet.

God said, "Change your ways and your actions and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in the lying words spoken by others. If you really change your ways and actions and treat each other justly and don't follow other gods, then I will let you live in this place. The land I gave your forefathers."

Do you think they will listen?

1. Who is the prophet in this story?
2. What did God say will happen to the people of Judea?
3. Who are the people listening to?
4. Why are the people confused?
5. What does God want the people of Judea to do?