Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Joash-The End of Peace

by Mary Vee
II Kings 12-13, II Chronicles 24

From an Official in king Joash's House

Photo Courtesy
I was not pleased with the choices king Joash made.  After the priest Jehoiada died, Joash listened to the advice of the bad officials in the palace. They convinced him to stop worshiping the Lord and to return to the worship of Baal.

At the time, I couldn't do anything about the situation. The people of Judah followed their king's lead and returned to their Baal worship. As expected, our time of peace ended. God sent the terrible army of Aram to attack as punishment.

At the turn of the year the army of Aram marched against us. Strong and courageous. Without God's help we didn't stand a chance. The army of Aram killed all the leaders of the people and stole everything of value. They didn't need a large army, God had sent Aram as a punishment since we no longer worshiped Him.

Hazael, king of Aram attacked Gath then turned to attack Jerusalem. 

Joash listened to more bad advice. To save the city he took all the sacred objects dedicated by his fathers and the gifts he himself had dedicated, along with all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the Lord and of the royal palace and gave them to Hazael, king of Aram. Hazael accepted the gift and withdrew his troops.

This was too much. Clearly king Joash had no intentions to bring Judah back to worshiping God. I and a few other officials met together. We made a plan to get rid of Joash. 

King Joash had been severely wounded by the Arameans. He went to bed to recuperate. 

I called the officials together again. "Joash is not leading our country the way he should. Look, he has given all the gold and treasures from the temple to Hazael. Remember last week when he ordered the death of Zechariah, son of the priest Jehoiada? Zechariah only came to warn Joash of what God would do. We must get rid of Joash before he destroys the country."

They agreed with me. We went together to king Joash's room, closed the door, and killed him.

Because Joash turned away from the Lord, he was not buried in the tombs of the kings, however, we did bury him in the City of David.

His son, Amaziah was crowned the new king of Judah. Hopefully Amaziah will bring Judah back to worshiping God.


1. What did Joash do wrong?
2. Who attacked Judah?
3. What did Joash do to make them stop attacking?
4. Why were these officials upset with Joash?
5. What did the officials do?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hudson Taylor-In Times of Trials the Mission Thrived

By Mary Vee
Year: February 1871 
Hudson Taylor: age 39

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
After Maria, my wife, died, I felt lonely. We had sent our three older children back to England to keep them in good health. Little Charlie stayed with me in China and received care from a woman in Ningbo .

There seemed to be so much work to do. Many of the missionaries became ill with dysentery, cholera, and other diseases. I had letters to write to keep our supporters informed, administrative work, medical care to provide to the sick, and preaching the Gospel as often as six times a day. I kept plenty busy. 

Riots, threats, and a massacre of several missionaries were nothing more than the work of the evil one who attempted to discourage us and make us want to leave. The missionaries in our group had a strong spirit and refused to leave showing God remained strongly involved in the work.

Here are a few of the blessings showing God work here in China: John McCarthy's training school for new missionaries is doing well. The students visit tea shops to practiced their new language skills and tell the people about God's love.

I walked many miles to visit our missionaries in Ningbo, Fenghua, Taizhou, and Wenzhou. They have reported growing churches.

Over in Hangzhou, Jennie Faulding and Mrs. Wang visited many women in their homes. Several of Jennie's students had memorized most of he New Testament. 

Wang Lae-djun travelled along the Qiantang River. With his own money, he set up four mission posts where seven missionaries started a new ministry.

My favorite story to share is about John Cardwell who evangelized the area of Poyang Lake. One time local people who hated foreigners greeted him with a shower of stones. He planted his feet firm and said, "Is this the way to treat a visiting stranger?" A few men in the crowd ordered the stone throwers to stop. 

And another time, when John walked along the river a person called out, "Foreign Devil." Cardwell took the man's hand and placed it beside his. He said, "Our hands are the same! Why do you call me a foreign devil? If our hands are similar and I am a foreign devil then you must be a native devil."

Hah! The local people stopped calling him a foreign devil after that!

Illnesses weakened many of us. A break from the work would strengthen and restore our bodies.

One day I received a letter from the Bergers, the husband and wife who ran the administrative duties and finances in England. The two had become ill and finances for the mission had sorely dwindled. They asked me to return home and go on a speaking tour to let people know about the ministry. This would hopefully stir up new interest in China Inland Missions.

I must admit the letter revived my soul. I too was sick and in need of time back in England to rest. While there I could visit with my other children, tell them their mother's last words, hug them, and raise support for the mission. 

I invited a few other missionaries,, the Meadows, who were in need of a break to sail back home with me. Jennie Faulding agreed to help Mrs. Meadows with her newborn child. Once everything had been arranged and the duties reassigned, I went to the home where my two-year-old son, Charlie, had been cared for and packed his bags. 

James and Elizabeth Meadows, Jennie Faulding, little Charlie, and I boarded a boat to sail back to England.

Please pray that our journey is safe, and pray for the twenty-five missionaries with their eighteen children and forty-five Chinese workers who remain scattered around inland China to carry on the work.

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, February 22, 2014

King Joash-A Good King Who Listened to Bad Advice

By Mary Vee
II Chronicles 17-20

From the prophet Zechariah's Scrolls

Photo Courtesy
My story is short. I haven't much time to share it. Even now I hear the officers coming.

The last priest for the temple of the Lord was Jehoida, my father. Upon his death, God called me to be a prophet.

It seemed only days after my father's death when officials went to Joash, king of Judah, and persuaded him to stop all worship at the temple of the Lord, the God of our fathers. They convinced him to rekindle the worship of Asherah poles and idols like his father had done. 

Joash quickly enjoyed the approval of the officers. He followed all their suggestions and gave no evidence of wanting to worship God. 

This I do know. When the king stops worshiping God, the people follow his example. 

The Lord spoke to me of his anger. He'd sent several prophets to the people to convince them to return to their worshiping of Him. The prophets brought warnings of God's punishment if they didn't turn from their wicked ways, but still the people wouldn't listen.

Then the Spirit of God came upon me. I wanted to remind Joash of what my father did for him. How my father risked his life to hide Joash as a baby--sparing him from death. How my father taught him the commands of the Lord and how to lead the people in a way that pleased God. How the country saw good while they repaired the temple and worshipped the Lord.

The Spirit of God gave me a message to bring to the people. I stood in the gathering place and called the people to listen. "This is what God says: 'Why do you disobey the Lord's commands? You will not prosper. Because you have walked away from the Lord, He has walked away from you.'"

The crowd became angry. They raised their fists and shouted at me. "Kill him. He only wants to cause us trouble."

The officers reported the matter to king Joash and recommended that I be killed. Joash listened to their advice, and said, "Very well. Stone him to death in the courtyard of the Lord's temple."

The officials marched to the temple, dragged me to the courtyard as the king commanded and announced to all the people around to stone me.

My last words to king Joash, which will be recorded for me, were, "May the Lord see what you have done and how you have killed the Lord's prophet and hold you as responsible."

1. Who is king of Judah at this time?
2. Who was the priest who hid the king as a baby?
3. Who was the priest's son?
4. What did God ask Zechariah to do?
5. What did the officers do?
6. What did king Joash decide to do?
7. Why was the prophet Zechariah stoned to death?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Joash-The Temple is a Mess

By Mary Vee
II Kings12 and II Chronicles 24

From Joash's Scrolls

While it is true that my country, Judah, has returned to peace since Queen Athaliah was killed, I have seen many problems in urgent need of fixing.

The people had worshiped other gods for such a long time. They didn't know what was right  in God's eyes anymore. As king, it became my duty to bring this nation back to God. But I am young and don't want to cause any problems.

Thankfully, Jehoida, the priest who kept me safely hidden from Queen Athaliah until I was crowned, counseled me what to do almost daily. 

Jehoida selected wives for me when I grew older. I was married and had sons and daughters. 

One day I walked by the temple and was shocked to see the broken condition it was in. I'm not sure why I hadn't noticed before. Doors and walls had cracks, the surface of the furniture marred--I knew in my heart this had to be the first project to help bring the people back to worshiping the one true God.

I called all the higher priests together and said, "Collect all the money the people bring as sacred offerings to the temple of the Lord. This includes the money collected in the census, the money received from personal vows, and the money brought voluntarily to the temple. Every priest is to receive the money from one of the treasurers and give it to be used to repair whatever damage is found in the temple."

I called the priests and the Levites and said to them, "Go to the towns of Judah and collect the money due annually from all Israel to repair the temple of your God." They didn't move right away. I stood straight and raised my voice. "Do it now."

The Levites still didn't do as I said. I knew my young age kept them from taking me seriously.

Athaliah's sons had broken into the temple of God and used its sacred objects for the Baals they worshiped.

By the time I had ruled twenty-three years, I felt tall and strong in spirit enough to command the people and expect obedience. I called Jehoida, the priest and asked, "Why haven't you forced the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by Moses the servant of the Lord and by the assembly of Israel for the Tent of the Testimony?"

He didn't answer right away. 

I looked him straight in the eye. "You and the priests are not to take any more money from your treasurers. Instead, hand that money over to the workers to repair the temple."

The priests agreed to stop collecting money from the people and to hire workers to repair the temple as I asked.

The priest, Jehoida took a chest and drilled a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar on the right side as the people entered the temple of the Lord. The priests who guarded the entrance put all the money that was brought to the temple of the Lord into the chest.

A proclamation was sent out to the people to bring contributions for the repair of the temple. The officers and people gladly did so. The money was collected and shown to my guards then given to masons, bronze and iron workers, and carpenters to restore the Lord's temple. The workers acted in complete honesty.

The men worked hard rebuilding the temple of the Lord as it once was. When they finished, they brought the extra money back to me. We then used the funds to make new dishes, and other articles of gold and silver to be used in the temple.

Jehoida offered sacrifices to the Lord for the people until his last day. He died at age one hundred and thirty.

I will miss him very much. 


1. Why didn't the Levites listen to king Joash?
2. What had Queen Athaliah's sons done to the temple?
3. What did Joash ask the people to do with their money?
4. Were the workers honest?
5. What did the workers do with the extra money?
6. What did the temple look like when they finished?
7. Who helped Joash?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hudson Taylor-Spare the Children

By Mary Vee
Year: February 1870 
Hudson Taylor: age 38

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
The donations to the mission barely provided for our needs. We learned to live with whatever God provided for us.

Still with the constant threats of riots and the dwindling supplies, our children did not receive the nourishment they needed.

The Chinese suffered as well with poor nutrition. Disease spread like fire.

Our five-year-old son, Samuel had stomach issues that caused him pain every time he ate or drank.

Maria and I sat down to discuss our children and their needs. We loved them so very much and wanted them near us, but knew if they stayed, they would all perish from the diseases. We prayed, then decided the best choice would be to send them back to England.

We chose our assistant, Emily, to be the children's escort. She too, needed a time to rest and heal after coming down with tuberculosis. 

I rushed to Shanghai to book a passage for the March voyage for the children and Emily and hurried back. Only a day after I returned, my son, Samuel died. 

After caring for his funeral, Maria and I hurried to get the other children ready for their voyage. She made clothes for them to wear in England, and I prepared three months of school work to occupy them on the ship. We set sail on a small junk on the river system toward Shanghai.

I hugged Maria as the ship pulled away. The children waved and wiped floods of tears from their faces. Sad, yet confident we did the best for our children, we journeyed back to the mission.

Time moved very slow. 

We wanted to hear of the safe arrival of our children in England. 

At last a letter arrived from the Bergers. Mrs. Berger said she didn't recognize the visitors at first but then looked at their Chinese shoes and immediately knew the children were ours. She welcomed them into her home, gave them food, and a warm place to stay.

Near the hottest part of the summer, Maria gave birth to our son. She wanted to name him Noel because it meant peace. Riots and disease continued to spread without control in the area. Having this new little boy with the name Noel meant so much to us. 

After his birth, Maria became sick with cholera and was unable to feed little Noel. We found someone else to feed him, but the little one still became quite sick. In July, Noel died. We buried him next to his brother, Samuel.

Maria's health improved a little before she had a relapse. The sweltering heat didn't help her illness. I stayed with her and did what I could to make her feel comfortable. I left the room to get a cup of tea and heard her call to me. 

I walked into the room and saw her face in the candlelight. I knew then she would go to see Jesus shortly. She said, "You know, darling, that for ten years there has not been a cloud between me and my Saviour. I cannot be sorry to go to Him. But, it does grieve me to leave you alone at such a time. Yet…He will be with you and meet all your needs."

She asked for all our Chinese friends to come into the room and asked those who were unsaved to come to Jesus and meet her in heaven. She asked me to tell our children in England she loved them. She then wrapped her arm around my neck, and the other on my head. Her lips moved but no words came. She closed her eyes and fell asleep in Jesus arms.

I wiped my tears and utter a prayer, "Thank you Lord for giving me her and for the twelve and a half years of happiness we've had together. Thank you for taking her to Your own blessed presence. I dedicated myself anew to Your service."

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Please excuse the tear stains on this post.

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, February 15, 2014

Prophet Joel

By Mary Vee
Joel 1,2

From the Scrolls of Joel the Prophet

While king Joash was still very young, famine broke out in the country. Queen Athaliah, and kings before her had led the people away from worshiping the Almighty. No one cared to follow the ways given by David and Moses. 

I believe Joash will lead the people back to worshiping God, but this will take time.

God sent me with a warning to give the people. If they listened and turned from their wicked ways, the famine would end. Here is what God had me say:

I am writing to warn everyone of what you need to do.

Look about you at the horrible damage done by the locust. They have eaten all our crops, and what the adult locusts didn't eat, their young have devoured. 

Wake up, everyone and look around you. A nation has invaded our land. It is powerful with its vast army.

Morn, turn from your wicked ways. 

The vines, wheat, barley, pomegranates, palm and apple tree have all dried up or have been eaten. We will starve.

Call a holy fast, call everyone to the house of the Lord your God and cry out to the Lord.

The food has been cut off. The storehouses are in ruins. How the cattle cry for food, even the sheep are suffering. 

Oh, Lord, I call out to you. Fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. The wild animals pant in want for a drink. The streams have dried up.

Blow the horns, sound the alarm.

Let all who live in the land tremble for the day of the Lord is coming. 

It is close at hand

Who can endure it?

"Even now," says the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning."

Tear your heart and not your clothes. 

Return to the Lord your God 
for he is gracious and compassionate, 
slow to anger 
and abounding in love. 

He will stop all the trials. 

Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing.

1. Who is the prophet giving the warning?
2. What is happening in the land?
3. What does God want the people to do?
4. If the people obey, what will the Lord do?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

King Joash-At last, Judah Can Rest.

By Mary Vee
II Kings 11

From the scrolls of Jehoiada, 
Priest for the Living God in Judah

Photo Courtesy
Last week, I, Jehoida, high priest in Judah, wrote about the courage God gave me to put young Joash on the throne. 

He was just a boy. I knew. But Judah could no longer tolerate the evil Ahtaliah as queen. Everyday she remained on the throne the kingdom fell farther away from worshiping the Almighty, the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Something had to be done. Now.

I called the other priests and soldiers for a meeting. They followed through with the preparations I requested and a crowning ceremony for seven-year-old Joash followed,

We didn't hold back the noise and cheering that followed. The country had to witness the changing of rule. Unfortunately, this meant Athaliah, would also find out. 

I must admit my courage slipped a bit. I had to stay focused, and knew that God would keep--even make his promise happen. A son of David would be on the throne. Don't forget, Athaliah thought she killed all of the royal family before taking the throne. My sweet wife, Jehosheba rescued Joash before Athaliah reached the room where the princes stayed.

From my position, I saw Athaliah stomping toward the temple of the Lord. She stopped suddenly and looked at Joash standing by the pillar as was the custom for a newly crowned king.

I didn't stop the officers and people from shouting their cheers and blessings. Neither did I stop the trumpeters from blowing their horns. 

Still, above all the sounds, Ahtaliah's voice suddenly boomed. "Treason! Treason!" She tore her robe to show her anger.

Before she could voice a single command I stepped forward and ordered the commanders of units of a hundred troops. "Bring her out between the ranks and put to sword anyone who follows her."

Despite my desires, Athaliah could not be killed while she stood on the ground of the temple of the Lord. Instead, we waited as she stomped about, shouting and attempting to retake control of the throne. When she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds, the soldiers put her to death.

This ended the horrible reign of Athaliah over Judah and began the reign of young Joash, a son of David.

We, God's people, the priests, and king Joash stood at the temple of the Lord and made a covenant to be the Lord's people. We all marched to the temple of Baal and tore it down, smashing the altars and idols and killed the evil priest of Baal as he stood in their temple.

Oversight of the temple of the Lord was returned to the Levites as David had assigned. They presented burnt offerings of the Lord as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing. Just as David had ordered. Doorkeepers were also stationed at the gate of the Lord to prevent those who were unworthy to enter. 

I took the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and called all the people of the land to join us as we brought young Joash down from the temple of the Lord and paraded through the city into the palace through the Upper Gate. We led young Joash to the throne room and watched him sit. 

Oh my, if only you could have heard the people rejoicing, singing praises to God, and cheering for the new king of Judah, Joash, a son of David.

In my private room I wiped a tear and couldn't help but smile. At last. The city was quiet, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword.

Young Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years I had the strength to instruct him. We can rest in our worship.


1. Who was the Priest for the temple of the Lord?

2. Who was hidden in the temple for seven years?
3. Who did they hide this person from?
4. Why did they hide this person?
5. What did Queen Athaliah do when she heard the noise?
6. All the people, priests, and troops led a seven-year-old boy where?
7. Why?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hudson Taylor-Giver of Second Chances

By Mary Vee
Year: February 1869 
Hudson Taylor: age 37

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
I am a believer in second chances. 

Jesus provided the way for you and me to have a second chance. What right have I to not give it to others?

Following the Lord's leading to become a missionary in China is a big decision. I must admit, adrenaline powers much of the preparations for such a decision. But once a missionary arrives here in China, second thoughts creep in. 

Sometimes we are so accustomed to doing things as we did in our native country we can't adapt. Other times, we make mistakes, not knowing our action is not acceptable in the foreign country. 

Sure each missionary goes through training, and the instruction is updated based on current missionary experiences, but somethings simply need to be learned on site.

Mr. J. Cardwell arrived in China not long ago. He planned to serve Christ in the province of Jiangxi. 

While in England preparing to leave for China, a close friend of Mr. Cardwell invited him to his home. The friend encouraged Mr. Cardwell to follow his heart and go to China. He had a map on his wall. "Look here, Cardwell. See this place with a lake? It's called Poyang lake and is located in the province of Jiangxi. See all the rivers branching out from the lake? You could travel by boat to all these cities from there! Let's pray it be the Lord's will you be sent there."

He and his friend did pray. After seven years, Cardwell and his wife sailed to China but did not have a chance to go to the province of Jiangxi. Instead they worked in Taizhou in Zhejiang province, which was a far distance from where he wanted to go.

Life did not go well for Cardwell and his wife in Taizhou. One sickness after another hit him hard, stifling his ability to help the ministry. He and his wife both struggled with the change. The weather, language, food, clothing, daily routine all overwhelmed them.

Cardwell's wife became pregnant. Rather than calling me to care for her medical needs like the other missionaries do, he took her to the hospital at Ningbo and charged the costs to the mission.

This extra costs took a lot of the needed funds to support the ministry.

Some of his new missionary friends suggested he and his wife should return to England. This seemed a bit rash to me. The money had been spent. Sending him home wouldn't solve anything.

I remembered him telling me about his desire to start a ministry on Poyang Lake. I suggested he visit the area. Unfortunately, he again misused mission funds when booking passage on a nice steamer. He couldn't pay the sum and tried to charge the cost to the mission. 

The captain became so angry he refused to give discounts to any future trips taken by missionaries sailing on his ships.

I can't say I was happy about what Cardwell did, but I still think the man needed a chance to turn things around. He and his family reached Lake Poyang in December 1869. His health improved remarkably. 

Situated in the place he longed to serve, and with improved health, Cardwell plunged into his ministry. Soon stories reached me from other missionaries, reporting the fantastic voyages and courageous journeys Cardwell took into areas untouched by missionaries.

Cardwell built up a church in Jiujiang and it grew in numbers, proving to be a center for China Inland Mission workers. 

We've all made crazy mistakes. It's important to give second chances. Who knows what will become of the person if only they could have a chance to try again.

Fine missionary Mr. Cardwell turned out to be. Very fine, indeed.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
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, February 8, 2014

Seven-year-old Joash Crowned King

By Mary Vee
II Kings 11

From the scrolls of Jehoiada, 
Priest for the Living God in Judah

Photo Courtesy
Seven long years have passed since Jehu became king of Israel and destroyed the temple of Baal in Israel. Why do I say long years? Because during that time, Athaliah killed all the royal family in Judah then took the throne. She has tormented the citizens in Judah since she began her rule.

What Athaliah didn't know was my wife, Jehosheba, rescued the youngest prince and hid him here in the temple with us. He has been cared for, tutored, and educated in the duties of a king as much as he could understand. 

When he turned seven, the other priests and I agreed little Joash would be ready to sit on the throne. We just needed to get rid of Queen Athaliah. This would not be an easy task. She had a lot of power.

I called the commanders of units of a hundred men. I asked them to go throughout Judah and tell the Levites and heads of Israelite families for all the towns to come meet with me. 

The other priests and I sneaked them in to an inner chamber where we showed them young Joash. They were quite surprised and cheered. They made a covenant with the young king to serve him. 

I said, "The king's son shall reign. This is to keep the Lord's promise to have a son of David on the throne. This is what you need to do to help put Joash on the throne. 

"One third of the priests and Levites who go on duty on the Sabbath are to keep watch at the doors.

"One third of the priests and Levites watch the royal palace.

"One third of the priests and Levites watch the Foundation Gate. 

"Any other priests or Levites are to be in the courtyards of the temple of the Lord. No one is to enter the temple of the Lord except the priests and Levites on duty since they are consecrated.  All other men are to guard what the Lord has assigned.

"The Levites are to stand around the king, each man with his weapon in his hand. Anyone who enters the temple must be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes."

The men left to do as I asked. In the meantime, my sons and I brought the king's son up to the main part of the temple and put the crown on him. We gave young Joash a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. I poured oil over his head to anoint him and shouted, "Long live the king!"

And now we wait for Athaliah to hear the news. 


1. Is Athaliah a good queen?
2. Athaliah did what to become queen?
3. Who was hidden from her and why?
4. After seven years, priest Jehoida decided it was time to do what?
5. He called the commanders and took them inside the temple to see ________
6. The Levites were to hold their weapons and make sure ________ entered the temple.
7.  Priest Jehoida and his sons brought _______ to the main part of the temple, poured oil over ______________ and shouted ________________.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

King Jehu Rids Israel of Baal Worship

By Mary Vee
II KIngs 10

From the Journals of Jehu

Photo Courtesy

I've rid Israel and Judah of the kings who lead the people astray. Elisha sent a priest to anoint me king. I knew right away what needed to be done. 

The time for Baal worship had to end.

I couldn't tolerate the disrespect for the living God. The people need to either put their trust in the Almighty God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or worship Baal. They could not worship both. The time for action had come. 

I had already devised the plan I am about to carry out.

"Guard, send an announcement to bring all the people together for a meeting."

"Yes, my lord."

The guard left. It took some time before a large crowd gathered. I pressed my shoulders back, ready to show my authority as the new king and learn who the true worshipers of God were.

I stepped out on the balcony, looked out at the large mass of people, and raised my hand to quiet them. "Ahab served Baal a little. I will serve him much. Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all of his ministers and all of his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live."

It will be quite interesting to see who is willing to show their dedication to God by putting their life on the line. I continued my speech. "Call an assembly in honor of Baal."  The people dispersed sharing the news with each other. I couldn't tell, yet, who would choose to be on the Lord's side and who would choose to come to the meeting.

The temple of Baal filled. I could barely squeeze through the crowd. All the ministers of Baal came. Not one stayed away. There was no place to stand from one end of the temple to the other. 

I turned to the keeper of the wardrobe. "Bring robes for all these ministers of Baal."

He and his staff quickly obeyed until every minister of Baal received one.

My friend and trusted assistant, Jehonadab, joined me on the platform. I quieted the large group of Baal ministers and spoke.  "Look around and see that no servants of the Lord are here with you--only ministers of Baal." The men did as I asked then we went in to the shrine of Baal to make sacrifices and burnt offerings as was the custom. 

What the ministers didn't know was I had placed eighty men outside the temple with this warning. "If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life."

As soon as I had finished making the burnt offering to Baal, I whispered to the guard and officers, "Go in and kill them. Don't let any of the ministers of Baal escape." The guards followed my instructions exactly and threw the bodies out . They entered the shrine of the temple of Baal and brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it then demolished it. The guards then tore down the temple of Baal. It has since been used as a bathroom to this day.

With this, the Baal worship led by the evil ministers and the evil king had been destroyed.

The Lord spoke to me the next day. "Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of israel to the fourth generation."


1.  What did Elisha send the priest to do?
2.  What were the Israelites doing wrong?
3.  Who led them to do these things?
4.  Who did Jehu call together for a meeting?
5.  After they all were gathered in the temple for Baal, what did Jehu do?
6.  Then what did he have the guards do?
7.  What did God say about all of this?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hudson Taylor- A New Pony

By Mary Vee
Year: February 1869 
Hudson Taylor: age 37

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Mr. and Mrs. Judd arrived in Yangzhou to help with the missionary work here. 

I insured they were properly warned about the dangerous life they would have, despite all we'd done to insure peaceful relationships with the Chinese. The mob had pretty much left the mission home alone, but this didn't mean they couldn't be stirred up to cause trouble again.

The Judds said they would work where ever needed and were happy to try to continue the work in Yangzhou.

After my meeting with them, I noted Mr. Judd's health problems. I thought about his issues and what we could do to help him. 

China is a difficult place for foreigners to live. There are many new diseases our immune system has not learned to fight. Our health is of great importance.

I returned to my workroom and saw my friend George Duncan. "George, would you do me a favor?"

"Sure what do you need done?"

"I know you have a mind for horses. Be a good man, go and buy a good riding horse for me. You can do that, right?" I knew he could. The man loved horses.

"I'll get on the job right away." He took the needed money and hurried out of the house as if he was asked to buy his favorite new toy.

It didn't take him long to return. "I have found an outstanding animal. One I am sure will meet your needs."

I didn't have to glance up from my work to see the brining smile on his face. "Well done, George. Thank you. Find a suitable place to put the horse. And then, if you will, tell Mr. Judd I'd like to meet with him."

George set out straight away and later returned with Mr. Judd. George left us to talk privately.

I looked up from my work. "Mr. Judd, I could use your help."

"I am willing to do whatever is needed."

"Good. Good. I have a new horse. I'm not really good with animals, you see. Would you be willing to look after it for me?"

"Yes. I'd be more than happy to!"  

He went straightaway and purchased a saddle then took the horse for a good run. He did an excellent job caring for the horse, keeping it groomed, exercised, and fed. 

Soon Mr. Judd lost a few pounds and then a few more. He continued to lose weight and seemed healthier. 

Some time later, I overheard Mr. Judd speaking to someone. The other person asked him if I had ever ridden the horse. Mr. Judd said, "No. The man is quite busy, you know. But he has paid all the expenses for me to keep the horse in fine shape."

The conversation made me smile. Mr. Judd didn't know the reason for purchasing the horse was to give him exercise to lose weight.

Fine missionary Mr. Judd turned out to be. 

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of torment

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, February 1, 2014

Sweet and Courageous Jehosheba Hid the Prince

By Mary Vee
II Kings 11

From Jehosheba's Journal

The castle was in mass chaos. The king, Ahaziah had been hunted down and killed. Many of the princes who would inherit the throne had been killed. Most likely the rest will be killed as well.

Right now, I am hiding in one of the rooms with the door slightly open.


Trying to decide what to do.

Photo Courtesy
King Ahaziah's mother, Athaliah, is running through the corridors shouting commands to kill everyone from the royal family in the house of Judah. 

If she is successful, she will become queen. This would be a terrible thing because she is Jezebel's daughter and just as evil.

I, too, am at risk. King Ahaziah was my brother. I have an advantage, though. I am the wife of the priest Jehoiada. With my connections, I have access to many places in the palace that others do not have. 

I couldn't hide forever, though. Not here in the palace. 

One of the princes needed to be spared to someday take the throne from her. I ran to the room where the princes played. They didn't understand what was about to happen to them. I wished I could spare them all, but that was impossible. 

I opened the door and hurried inside. Some of the princes worked with their tutors, some played and others rested. I looked around the room until the youngest came to my view. I ran to his crib, grabbed little Joash who was only one-year-old, and signaled his nurse to follow. "Hurry."

She asked no questions and did all that I asked.

We escaped through another way and ran to the Temple of God. We ran through corridors and down stairs to an inner chamber of the temple where little Joash could not be heard.

I opened the door of a room and led them inside. "This isn't much to offer, but at least his life will be spared."

The nurse took Joash from my arms and hugged him. "Thank you."

"I don't know how long you will have to hide here. I will send someone to you once a day to see what your needs are. You must not leave this area to prevent Athaliah from finding you."
Jehosheba rubbed her hand over the little boy's head. "I am quite certain Athaliah will take over the throne shortly after killing Joash's brothers. He must stay hidden until his safety is certain. This may take years."

The nurse nodded. "I understand and will do everything in my power to care for him."

I knew she would. Her desire to protect the young prince outweighed any loyalty she may have for Athaliah.

I returned to my husband, Jehoida, the priest and told him what I had done.

1. Who is Jehosheba's brother? _____________________
2. Why was there chaos in the palace?
3. Who is Jehosheba's husband?
4. Who did Jehosheba want to save?
5. How old is the one she saved?
6. Where did she take him?