Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Solomon-Decisions! What Should I Do?

By Mary Vee
I Kings 3

From Solomon's Scrolls

I had dealt with several small issues already as king of Israel before the first big problem tumbled into my chamber.

Fortunately, my father David, was alive when I first sat on the throne. Technically he was the king, but I did the work. Not every king had the opportunity to train for the position like I did. Especially from such a great and respected king as my father.

He has gone on to rest with his fathers leaving me to reign by myself.

I worked hard to set a satisfactory daily routine to address all the issues and duties required of me. Being a king is not an easy job. I rarely had time to play or spar with my friends. Any one who thinks a king sits around and eats all day does not understand all the responsibilities we have.

I'm not complaining. In truth, God knew I would struggle and would need help. He asked me in a dream not too long ago what I wanted. The only thing I wanted was to do my job well. I needed to help the people, to be the best king for them during my reign. We are still a baby nation and need to grow together. Every decision I make needs to be right.

No disasters had happened during this short beginning time with me reigning alone, without my dad's help, until two women came to my chambers.

They came during the assigned time to have their argument settled. Two guards walked with the women to the place where they could stand before me. One carried a baby. They bowed and waited for me to speak.

"What do you wish to say?"

The first woman bowed again and said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. On the third day after my son was born, she delivered her baby. Only the two of us lived in the house at the time. No one else was with us.

During the night, this woman's son died because she rolled over on him. She got up from her bed, discovered what happened, picked up her dead son and put him next to me while I slept. She picked up my son and took him to her room. 

The next morning I got up to feed my son. I saw that the baby was dead. I picked him up and looked at him closely in the morning light and saw that it was not the son I had borne."

The first woman stepped back. Before I had a chance to call on the second woman she lunged forward with her fist in the air. "No! The living baby is my son. The dead one is yours."

The first woman shook her head and leaned toward the second woman, "No! The dead one is yours. The living baby is mine."

On and on the two women argued. Aaaaa! I signaled the guards to restrain them. How could I possibly know who told the truth? I had no way of knowing.

And then an idea came to me. I raised my arm and shouted to the guards over the noise of the women, "Bring me a sword." 

The two women silenced immediately. Their eyes went wide and they both took a step back. A guard brought me a sword. I held it up and out toward the guard, "Cut the living child in two and give one half to each woman."

Not even a second passed before the first woman fell forward weeping and pressing her hands together begging for mercy. "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" She looked at the baby in the guard's hands. Her shoulders slumped and she wept. Her hands clasped over her heart.

The second woman sneered and allowed a nasty grin to show. "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"

I signaled the guard with the sword to stop. I sat back on the throne and clearly saw the truth. God had given me the wisdom I had asked for. Truly the answer was clear at this time. I spoke with the soft voice my father frequently used with those he shared compassion. "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him . . . she is the mother."

After that day, the people of Israel looked and spoke to me in a different way. They learned that God had truly blessed me with a gift. The gift of wisdom to administer justice to his people.

photo courtesy of

1. A king's job is an _____________ job, according to Solomon.
2. Solomon asked God for the gift of ______________.
3. Two __________ and One ____________ came to Solomon to settle their argument.
4. The first __________ said ___________
5. The second ___________ said ____________
6. Solomon ordered the guard to bring him a _____________. He said he would _________
7. The first ______________ said _____________
8. The second ____________ said _______________
9. Because of the gift of ____________ that God gave Solomon he knew what to do.
10. Solomon decided _____________________

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hudson Taylor-God Sent A Helper, A Friend

By Mary Vee

From Hudson Taylor's Notes

I had lived in China for a year and a half. 

I'd learned so much, I felt as though China had always been my home. I miss England, of course, but feel comfortable here.

Recently, God sent a Scottish missionary, William Burns to team with me. He was seventeen years older, like a father for me. We got along quite well and after much prayer together, chose to leave on my tenth missionary journey on December 17, 1855.

I had previously told you about the thirty mile restriction from ports placed on foreigners and Mr. Burns conviction that we obey God's charge to go into all the world to preach the Gospel. We intended to travel beyond thirty miles on this journey.

On past missionary journeys, I found myself in trouble way too often. I always went to the center of the city to gather the people and to preach and found myself arrested or attacked. The people did not trust foreigners. Now that I dress like a Chinese, the people are more willing to listen to the Gospel. But it isn't enough.

Mr. Burns taught me an important lesson. Start preaching as we enter the city. Let the people on the outer edges of the city get to know us, rather than spread rumors. Tell them first about the love of God and let them invite others to hear our message. What a great idea!

We preached in temples, tea shops, and anywhere people gathered.

While preaching In the city on Nanxun, just south of Tai Hu, the Great Lake, we discovered a group of people had staged a terrible play in a field outside the city. It encouraged Chinese families to sell their daughters and to gamble.

Mr. Burns jumped on the stage and called out to the people, "What are you doing? This type of behavior will lead you to hell."

The leaders of the play grabbed both Mr. Burns and me and walked us away from the property. Some of the leaders in Nanxun came to us and asked us to try again to stop the wicked activity outside the city.

The next day Burns and I went back to the field. This time I jumped to the stage and ordered the people to stop. As the men came to force me to leave, Burns stood boldly and ordered them to sit down. I managed to say "Pity your own souls," before being dragged off the stage. I must admit, though, the guards did not hurt me.

The men let me go and walked back to the play. I followed them and this time stopped in the middle of the crowd. I stood on a stool and shouted, "What you see all around you is wrong. You know I am right"

Burns joined me. "Would you like your own daughters to be sold like these women?" 

The people in the crowd mumbled, "No." 

Burns shouted again, "They why buy other men's daughters?"

Some of the people listened and left. But not everyone. 

We did what God asked. It would have been nice if all the people had listened. Then the play would have stopped. Unfortunately, not everyone listens to the Truth.

This did not stop us. I will tell you more next time.

Please pray for the people from Nanxun that they will have ears to hear about God's love.

J. Hudson Taylor 

Do you have any questions?

Photo courtesy of

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. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Solomon-Two Women and One Baby

By Mary Vee
I Kings 3

From The Second Woman's Journal

Another woman and I saved our money by sharing one house. We each only had to pay half the rent that way. Neither of us were very rich and both of us had been pregnant.

The other woman, I'll call her Lydia, which isn't her real name,but will make telling my story easier to tell, gave birth to her baby four days ago. She had a boy. He was beautiful. I had hoped I would have a boy like him.

Yesterday, she helped me with the birth of my child. I too had a boy. He was handsome. He'd grow up to be someone important and take care of me.

I wanted to keep my baby by my side every minute. Last night, I brought him with me to my bed. I loved listening to him breathe. I fell asleep to the sweet sound. 

But in the middle of the night, I woke and found myself on the other side of my baby. I picked him up and didn't hear him breathe. He didn't make a sound.

In the morning Lydia would find out and brag that she was better because she still had a son and I did not. I couldn't let this happen. I took the baby from my bed to Lydia's room. She slept soundly, not hearing my steps. 

I set the baby who no longer breathed next to her and picked up her baby. His body felt warm and his little heart pattered. I brought him back to my room and set him on my bed. This time I would be very careful not to roll on my baby.

The next morning Lydia screamed and wailed. I ran into her room and asked what was wrong. She sobbed but managed to say her baby had died. I gave her the right amount of sympathy then went back to my room to spend time with my baby. My son.

A few minutes later Lydia came into my room carrying her baby. The one with no life. She glared at me. "This is not my son."

"You're crazy. Of course that is your son. You're upset and need to rest."

She pushed her way into my room and looked at my son. "He is not your baby. That is my son. I've looked at this baby in my arms in the morning light and see clearly, he is not my son."

"Calm yourself. You'll be fine in a few days. Now please leave me alone. I need to feed my baby."

"She raised her fist. "I will take this matter to the king and win. You'll see."

I didn't say anything else to her that morning. Solomon, the new king is young and will be persuaded easily. There is no way he will know the truth for sure. I went back to feeding the baby and listening to him breathe.

author's note, next Wednesday, we will see what happens.

photo courtesy of

1.  The two women each had a _____________
2.  "Lydia" gave birth (pick one) first   second
3.  The woman telling the story accidentally ___________________
4.  She went to Lydia's room and ________________
5.  The next morning Lydia discovered the problem and said she would _____________
6.  The woman didn't seem worried about who would win because _______________
7.   The woman telling the story did several things wrong. Name those things.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Solomon-The Ultimate Dream

By Mary Vee
I Kings 3

From Solomon's Journals

We had a problem. A temple had not been built. A single place for the people to gather, offer their sacrifices, and worship the Lord. The people offered sacrifices mostly anywhere in high places. 

My father, David had wanted to build a temple, but the Lord told him no. 

I did what I could to show the Lord my love for Him by obeying and following all the ways of my father, David. If only I could be as good of a king as he was. I spoke to all the people and led them to the one place God would be pleased with our sacrifices. We journeyed to Gibeon to the Tent of Meeting, the one Moses made long ago, and worshipped the Lord.

My heart's desire was to honor the Lord and my father, David. That night we camped in Gibeon. I fell asleep quickly and had a dream. In my dream the Lord appeared to me, imagine my surprise. He had never appeared to me before.

The Lord stood before me with a kind and loving face. He said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."

I didn't have to think of an answer. I knew what to say right away. Such an important job had been given to me. I felt like a little kid trying to do the work of an experienced man. Even if I happened to make a right choice, I questioned my decision, never sure I had done what was best.

I took a breath and told Him my heart. "O Lord, you made me king in place of my father, David. It is such a huge responsibility. I feel like a little kid not knowing what to do. I am here among Your people, a great nation that has too many people to count."

I wet my lips and sighed. "If I could have one thing, I would ask for a discerning heart to govern the people and to be able to understand the difference between right and wrong. No one could govern this great people of Yours without help."

He smiled. "Since you have asked for this and not for a long life or great riches or for one of your enemies to die, I will give you what you asked. I will give you a discerning heart. No one will ever have the ability to discern justice as you. And because you have asked with a wise heart, I will also give you the things you did not ask for, both riches and honor. In your lifetime, there will be no king equal to you. And, if you walk in my ways, and obey my laws as your father, David did, I will also give you long life."

I woke as He finished speaking and realized it had been a dream. But that didn't mean the Lord had not spoken to me. I had heard before that the Lord's messages given to people in a dream are always true.

We journeyed back to Jerusalem that day. I led a group of people to the ark of the Lord's covenant and offered sacrifices to the great God, Almighty, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

After the sacrifice I went back to my home, with confidence. God had given me what I needed to lead His nation.

photo courtesy of

1. What was the problem?
2. How did David want to solve the problem? 
3. Did God let him?
4. Why did Solomon take the people to Gibeon?
5. Solomon had a dream in Gibeon. Who appeared in the dream and what did that person say?
6. How did Solomon answer the person in the dream?
7. God was so pleased with Solomon's answer that He gave him _____ and ____
8. Af first Solomon felt unsure about being able to govern the people. How did he feel at the end of today's story?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Beyond the Treaty

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

I had become quite comfortable with my routine in Shanghai. My greatest goal was to become accepted in the Chinese culture so that they would be willing to listen to preachings about the Word of God.

My ninth missionary journey, which I last told you about, was disastrous. I had ventured beyond the thirty mile restriction for foreigners to minister to Chinese residents on an island and nearly landed in jail.

The treaty of Nanking allowed foreigners to visit and live in certain port cities. The foreigners also had permission to travel thirty miles beyond.

I remind you of this because a visitor, William Burns, an evangelist from Scotland, landed at Shanghai's port. We met and became quite good friends right away. 

We sat down and had tea. During the conversation I shared what happened and why I had not ventured out since. He learned from me the importance of dressing like the Chinese and having hair styled with a long braid as the local men wear. 

I learned from him the importance of an evangelist for a church. He told me of his passions to represent the church whenever visiting Chinese cities. Once he helped the Amoy Chinese, rescuing many from slaughter when the Triads and imperialists warred in their city. 

We spent hours and days getting to know each other and sharing what God allowed us to do in China. During one of those talks, William said, "You know, Taylor, our calling from God is of greater importance than the obedience of the Nanking treaty. I suggest we get on our knees and pray that God will open the door for us to travel beyond the thirty mile limit to share His message. This my friend is the only way we will be able to be missionaries in inland China."

"I quite agree with you, Burns. It is my heart's desire to share God's love with those who live in the mountain villages and beyond."

God put in our hearts to plan a missionary journey.

December 16th, 1855 we preached in the church I had planted. During the afternoon we kneeled before God, praying for His blessings on our travels for the next day. This would be my tenth missionary journey. I am not sure how many Burns had ventured. 

God filled our hearts with joy, confirming His calling for us to take this journey. We paid workers to prepare and load our boat. The sails unfurled the next morning, Monday, December 17th, capturing the wind and sending the ship up the river. We had hired two boats for safety. 

I walked into my cabin and praised God for His blessing. My room far exceeded any cabin from earlier journeys. A small window allowed in light, yet prevented nosy people from peeking in to see my work. There were two comfortable chairs for guests, a table and chair, and storage underneath my bed. I felt like a king.

God blessed the first moment of this journey. I can't wait to see what happens. Next time I will write more of our journey and the great lessons I learned from Burns. I am thankful God sent him to work alongside me.

If you have a moment, please pray God's blessings on this journey.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China

Do you have any questions?

Photo courtesy of

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. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Solomon-An Unusual Wedding Gift

By Mary Vee
I Kings 3 and 9

From Pharaoh, King of Egypt's Scrolls

I am very happy to announce the marriage of my daughter to the new king of Israel. 

Solomon, the new king, sitting on the throne of his father, David, came to me requesting an alliance. I didn't need my advisers to tell me this was a great idea. Israel will serve as a protector from any country wishing to attack from the east and armies attacking by land from the north. Yes. This was a good idea.

As part of the alliance I agreed to give my daughter in marriage to Solomon. This will seal our agreement.

The wedding was held here, in the palace. All the fine, Egyptian foods and performers showed off the greatness of Egypt. I've never seen my daughter so happy. And, I must admit, Solomon is a handsome young man. 

After the wedding, Solomon took his bride back to the City of David, her new home. He said she would live there until the palace, Temple of the Lord, and wall around Jerusalem were built. I am confident he will take great care of my daughter. 

Now for a wedding gift. Let's see. I need something that would please Solomon. Something he needs. Hmmm. I called in my advisers and asked for suggestions. 

"You could send him gold, wheat and nuts," one said.

"No. He has all the food he needs."

"Or, Great Pharaoh, you could conquer one of the Canaanite inhabited cities," another said.

"Yes. A perfect idea. The Israelites have not conquered all the cities in their land. My army can go in to a Canaanite inhabited city, burn it to the ground, and turn it over to Solomon. Yes this will be my gift. We will attack Gezer. Go, put this plan in motion right away."

Days later, my captain came to the throne room. "Great Pharaoh, Gezer has been conquered and burned to the ground as you ordered."

"Good, call the scribe." 

I sent a note to Solomon and my daughter announcing my gift. And now, the two will be happy and our alliance complete.

1. _________________ was the new king of Israel.
2. The new king married _____________________ 
3. Solomon wanted an _______________________ with Egypt.
4. Pharaoh wanted an alliance to _______________ Egypt from _____________
5. Pharaoh gave Solomon and his wife what gift?

Now here is your thinking question. Do you think Solomon, king of Israel should have made an alliance with Egypt? Why or why not? This is a great family discussion question or one to have with your church. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Solomon- Casting out the Evil Ones

By Mary Vee
I Kings 2

From Solomon's Diary

As the new king of Israel, it is my duty to cast out those who had harmed the name of my father's house.

In my last post, I mentioned what my brother, Adonijah did. He has since been executed. 

Next on my list was to bring Abiathar, the priest, to justice. The guards brought him to the throne room as I ordered. He stood trembling in my presence, and so he should. He knew what he did wrong. "Abiathar."

"Yes, my lord." He bowed.

"You chose to leave my father's house to join my rebellious brother, Adonijah in his attempted takeover of the throne. To fulfill the words of the priest, Eli, I have removed you from the priesthood. Your life, however will be spared since you carried the ark and had suffered along with my father in many past times."

Abiathar bowed. "Thank you, my lord."

I waved my permission for him to leave.

Next on my list was Joab. I sent for him, but the guards were unable to bring him. "I'm sorry, my lord," one said, "but he has sought refuge in the Tabernacle and is holding the horns of the altar and will not let them go."

Benaiah stood in my throne chamber. "Benaiah, go to the Tabernacle and strike down Joab for leaving my father's house and joining forces with my brother Adonijah."

Benaiah ran to the temple and stood at the outer curtain. Not long after Benaiah, returned to the throne room. "My lord, I stood outside and called to Joab saying, 'Come out at once, Joab. By the king's orders, you are to come out at once.' He refused to come outside the Tabernacle saying he would die there."

I shrugged. "Very well. Do as he says. Strike him down in the Tabernacle to avenge the innocent blood of Abner and Amasa which he killed and thereby bring peace to my father's house."

Benaiah did as I ordered, and buried Joab in the wilderness. I then promoted Benaiah as the captain in Joab's place, and Zadok as priest in Abiathar's place.

The last one to be taken care of was Shimei. The one who cursed my father, David, when he sat on his throne. I called for Shimei to be brought to me.

He bowed and I signaled for him to approach my throne. "Shimei, you are to build a house here in Jerusalem. Live her as you like, but you are not to leave for any reason. The day you leave, you shall be put to death. You will make the decision to die if you try to leave."

He bowed again. "Yes, my lord. thank you. I will do as you say."

Three years later, two of Shimei's slaves ran away. He heard news where they fled. Shimei mounted his donkey to recapture his slaves and bring them back to his home in Jerusalem.

I called for Shimei to come to my throne chamber again. "Did I not make it clear to you that you were not to leave the city of Jerusalem and did you also agree to follow my orders?"

He nodded.

"I also clearly stated your punishment if you left the city. Death."

He nodded

"And now, remember all the evil things you said to my father. Evil words that have since been unpunished. The day has come for your punishment." 

I called Benaiah to come forward. "Take Shimei and put him to death for the evil he has done against my father's house."

And now I can say, I have done as my father requested. May our country live in peace.

1. ______________, Solomon's brother was punished because he tried to take over his father's throne.

2.  ______________, the priest followed Solomon's brother __________ in the take over.

3. ______________. the captain of the army followed Solomon's brother __________ in the take over.

4.  ______________ had cursed David

5.  Adonijah's punishement was ___________

6.  Abiathar's punishment was ______________

7.  Joab's punishment was ________________

8.  Shimei's punishment was __________________

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Ping Pong

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Shanghai's late summers are very hot. The food decays quickly and there wasn't a system for trash. The whole city smelled terrible. It seemed a good time to take a ninth missionary journey.

I took tow Chinese servants with me to Chongming and Xinkaihe. We docked on the island of Xinkaihe on October 19th and planed to spend six months. Unlike Shanghai, I quickly found a room to rent on the top floor of a factory and set up medical facilities.

Soon many Chinese came for needed surgeries. I used the opportunity to tell them about Christ. The people welcomed me in as a fellow Chinese. No one yelled, foreign devil. Wearing Chinese clothes and having my hair in the same style as the men, helped tremendously.

Xinkaihe wasn't far from Shanghai. Anytime I ran short of supplies, I returned to my home. On my last visit I opened my mail and found money from Mr. Berger, the only one who has faithfully supported me.

Not all my mail was good. One time I received a legal document from Chongming saying I broke the treaty of Nanking. This treaty made the rules where non Chinese people could live. Anyone who rented an apartment to a non Chinese person would be punished. This meant I could not rent my apartment in Xinkaihe.

I checked on the matter and found out who caused the trouble. Doctors in Xinkaihe became angry that I helped the people for free. Those same doctors charged more than the people could afford and didn't tell any of them about Jesus. I needed to keep my apartment in Xinkaihe. Many Chinese asked Jesus to be their Savior after visiting the office.

I never received a formal demand to appear before the magistrate. I also didn't want to be in trouble for not taking care of the problem. When I visited the magistrate's office, he didn't have time to see me.

Hmmm I thought. Maybe I can stay in my apartment and help the people of Xinkaihe. One day a doctor from the city came to me a demanded a bribe to leave me alone. He said he could make the city officials leave me alone if I paid the bribe. I refused.

The news spread to Shanghai where I received a letter ordering me to appear before the Vice Consul. This was terrible news. The Consul could fine me five hundred dollars for having the apartment in Xinkaihe. I wrote to the mission board in England and asked for help. In truth I didn't expect an answer.

I went to the meeting and reminded the Vice Consul that a other countries had businesses and lived beyond the treaty limits. One flew a French flag. "I don't care, the Vice Consul said. Either leave the apartment in Xinkaihe or suffer punishment."

I packed my things, as he ordered, but planned to ask another official for help. The official was to arrive in Shanghai soon. Sadly, he never came.

Days later I received more news. Elizabeth, the woman I wanted to marry sent a letter saying she never wanted to see me again. The mission would not send the needed money to fight the battle. And another letter said the Christians in England were angry with me for not trying harder to keep the apartment.

Ahhh. Do you know the feeling when no one can be pleased? Yes. That is exactly how I felt.

I returned to my home in Shanghai, teaching, giving medical help,and preaching the Word of God.

I feel like my hands are bound. The whole of China needed to her about God's love. There must be something that can be done.

Please pray for me that God will show a way.

J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions?

photo courtesy of

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. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Solomon- Grace and Justice

By Mary Vee
I Kings 2

From Bathsheba's Diary

One of David's sons, Adonijah, asked to speak to me. As one of David's wives, and the mother of David's son, Solomon, I decided to see what he wanted to say. Although, I was cautious since Adonijah recently attempted to steal the throne.

When he arrived I asked, "Do you come in peace?"

He bowed. "Oh, yes. I come in peace. I have something I wish to discuss with you."

"All right. Say what is on your mind."

"You know as well as I do that the kingdom was mine. I am older than Solomon and the rightful hear to the throne instead of him. All of Israel expected me to be king. But, the kingdom was given to my brother as the Lord decreed. Since I do not have the kingdom, I have but one request."

"I'm listening."

"Will you speak with King Solomon, your son. I know he will not refuse to hear you. Ask if I may have Abishag, the one who took care of my father in his last days, as my wife."

I didn't see any problem with the request. "Very well, I will speak to King Solomon."

He bowed and left the room.

I sent a servant to King Solomon and requested to speak to him. As I expected he invited me to the throne room right away. He rose from his chair and came to me, greeting me as he walked. He walked me back to his chair and called his servants to bring a second chair for me. The chair was placed on his right side.

"Mother, you came to speak with me. What did you wish to say?"

"I have a request."

"Ask for anything you want."

"Give Abishag to your brother, Adonijah, as a wife."

He didn't say anything for a moment. "Mother, why did you ask for me to give Abishag to my brother for a wife? You may as well have asked for me to give him the kingdom, for he is my older brother. And then he and Abiathar the priest and Joab the former captain will take over the country as they planned.

"I had promised to spare his life as long as he was good."

He rose to his feet and raised his fist in the air. "May God do to me and more if Adonijah made this request to steal the kingdom. I promise before the Lord who lives, the one who has confirmed me and set me on the throne of David my father  The one who has made this house for me as He promised. Adonijah will be put to death today!"

Guard, bring Benaiah to me at once.  Benaiah arrived in only a few moments. "Yes, my lord."

Solomon sat back in his throne seat. "Find Adonijah and run him through with the sword, for today he attempted to steal the throne."

1. Who is king?
2. Who is the king's older brother?
3. Who is Bathsheba?
4. What did Adonijah ask Bathsheba to do?
5. How did Solomon greet his mother?
6. Did Solomon give Adonijah what he wanted? Why or why not?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

David-The Death of a King

By Mary Vee
I Kings 2

From Solomon's Notes

I knew my father, king David, would soon die. He knew it too. I loves him so and didn't look forward to the days to come.

He called me into his bed chamber and said, "Solomon, my son, I will not be here much longer. You must be strong and prove yourself a man."

My dad meant so much to me. He lived to please and honor God and to help the people of our country. If only I could be as good of a king when I sit on his throne.

I gave him something to drink. He had to work so hard to swallow. He then said, "Keep the charge of the Lord your God. Walk in His ways to keep His commandments, judgements  and testimonies as it is written in the Law of Moses. When you do, you will prosper where ever your turn and the Lord will fulfill His word which He spoke to me,'If your sons will listen and learn to walk before Me in truth will all their heart and soul, there will always be a son of yours on the throne.'"

"I will, father, I will do my best."

He squirmed to get comfortable  then said,"Solomon, my son, there are some details I need to take care of for me."

"Yes, father, I will do them. What are they?"

"First, remember what Joab did to me and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner and Amasa. He killed them both. He also killed during a time of peace and counted those on his war belt. Use your wisdom and don't let him go to his grave in peace. He wrongly killed those men."

"Second, show kindness to Barzillai the Gileadite and his sons. He stayed faithful to me when I hid from your brother, Absalom. Allow his sons to eat at your table."

"Third, Shimei, a Benjamite is here. He cursed me with a malicious curse back when I went to Mahanaim. He came to me, down at the Jordan, the day I returned to my throne. For the sake of those around I told him I would not put him to death for the evil he did. After I have gone, use your wisdom by punishing him for his guilt. You will know what to do to him. Send him to his grave early."

I pressed my arm on his and spoke softly. "I will take care of all these things, father."

Not long after, my father, David the King of Israel and Judah, took his last breath and rested with his fathers. We buried him in the City of David. My father reigned over Israel forty years, for seven of the years he reigned in Hebron, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty three years.

I sat on the throne during my father's last days, ruling as he would have. But now he is gone and I must rule by myself. I hardly know how to judge the people or what to do. I wish he was here...I miss him so.

photo courtesy of

1.  Who is Solomon?
2.  Who was his father?
3.  David asked Solomon to keep what?
4. David asked Solomon to punish Joab because he did what?
5. David asked Solomon to treat ______ with kindness because he __________
6. David asked Solomon to punish Shimei because he _________
7. And Solomon said he would ________

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hudson Taylor-When Hopeless Trials End in Good

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Last post I told you about my eighth missionary journey. The time following brought new problems and trials I had not expected.

I gradually became accustom to my shaved head and braid hanging down from the small patch of hair at the back of my head. My own hair grew longer and could be used in the braid. The local people welcomed me in and grew more and more intrigued with learning about the God who loves them.

Belonging in the Chinese culture became quite important to me because I missed friends and family from England sorely. I still loved Elizabeth and wanted her to come to China to be my wife. I recently wrote more letters to her parents asking their permission to let her marry me.

Both her father and mother agreed to change their minds and welcomed me to marry their daughter . . . if I moved back to England. 

My heart ripped in two when I read their letter. I could not give up the work God assigned me here in China to return to England, even if the woman I loved lived there. 

I received less money each month from my sponsoring missionary agency. It seemed the director suffered from mental health issues and wrote some rather cruel letters to people who contributed money to the mission. Those people in turned refused to send any more money. Had Mr. Berger not discovered the situation and chose to send his money directly to me instead of through the mission, I would have nothing.

However, the money from one man barely paid the rent on my house and bought little food. I  can't remember a time when I was not hungry.

To top matters off, Dr. Parker had finished his move to Ningbo. I had grown to love his children like an uncle. We played together and I had many evening chats with their father. There will be no English connection near for me, now that he has left.

Heart broken from not being able to marry Elizabeth, hungry from lack of funds, and lonely from Dr. Parker and his family leaving. Most missionaries would sigh and want to give up. Yes, I had moments like that as well, but they were only sparks. Because God gave me a gift that helped me more than anything I thought I needed. 

God helped my love to grow for Him intensely. I hungered for His Word and His fellowship. I longed to be with the Chinese people who lived near me. I woke in the morning excited to tell the Chinese people about the God who loves them, to provide medical help to those in need and to run my school. 

The boys in my school asked hundreds of questions about God. They couldn't learn enough or fast enough to satisfy their heart cravings. The number of patients who came to my clinic grew to large crowds who begged to stay and hear about the God who loves them. 

And the best of all, just a moment while I wipe the tear, my servant and friend, Guihua asked Christ to be his Savior. 

I may have wanted a wife, food, and friendship, but God gave me so much more. How could I possibly return to England?

Instead, I will plan a ninth missionary journey, which I will tell you about next time.

J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions?

Photo courtesy of

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. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

David-A Coup Squashed

By Mary Vee
I Kings 1

From the Prophet Nathan's notes

There. David said it. In front of witnesses.

He proclaimed his son Adonijah would not be king. Instead Bathesheba's son, Solomon would rein on his throne . . .that very night. 

After comforting Bathsheba with these words in his bed chamber, David set his decree in motion. The poor man could not even sit, he was so ill. Yet he pulled together all his strength to see this decree through. 

David called for Zadok the priest, Benaiah, and myself to his chambers. "Follow my orders exactly as I say. Have my son, Solomon, ride on my own mule to Gihon. Once there, you, Zadok and Nathan, are to anoint Solomon king over Israel. Blow the horn and say, 'Long Live King Solomon!'"

Next, escort Solomon back here to the throne and have him sit in my place. Do this because I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judea.

Benaiah raised a fist and shouted, "Amen! Solomon shall be king instead of Adonijah. As the Lord has been with you, my king, may He also be with Solomon and make his throne greater than your throne."

We left the king's sick bed chamber and looked for Solomon and found him in his room. "Come, quickly, Solomon. Your father, David has decreed you are to be the next king. We must hurry. If Adonijah succeeds in returning to the throne before us, your life will be at risk."

He did not show a cocky or frightened spirit. Solomon had learned to obey the word of his father. He followed us through the corridors of the palace to the king's stable. There we ordered the stableman to bring David's mule.

Solomon mounted the mule and rode as we walked to Gihon as David ordered. A group of Cherethites and Pelethites joined us in our march. Once we arrived, Zadok took the horn of oil from the Tabernacle and anointed Solomon. Everyone with us blew horns and shouted "Long Live King Solomon!"  

We gathered a great many people, parading with flutes and rejoicing so loud over our new king I thought the earth would split with their sound.

As the cheering rang to the hills, a spy, who attended Adonijah's celebration, came to me. "Nathan, Adonijah heard the noises as they finished their celebration meal. Joab asked what the noise was all about. Jonathan ran into the room and Adonijah gave him permission to speak right away because he proved himself to be loyal and trustworthy. 

"Jonathan looked frightened. 'No! I do not have good news. King David has made Solomon king. He sent Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites to anoint Solomon king over Israel and Judah! The rejoicing you here are all these men plus all the people who have joined the celebration. My lord, Adonijah, Solomon sits on the kings throne at this very moment!' 

"When Jonathan finished those words everyone at Adonijah's celebration ran out of the room screaming for their lives. Adonijah ran himself, like a wild man, to the altar and grabbed the horns, refusing to let go."

Moments later a guard reported the same words to Solomon. "Adonijah is afraid of you, King Solomon. He stands at this very moment grasping the horns of the altar and screaming, 'Let King Solomon swear to me that he will not kill me with the sword.'

As I expected, King Solomon proved himself worthy of his crown from his very first decree. He said, "If Adonijah proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall. But if wickedness is found in him, he will die. Now, go get Adonijah and bring him here."

The guards escorted Adonijah to King Solomon's throne. There he fell to the ground and begged for mercy. Solomon raised his hand and said, "Go to you house."

1.  Who did David say would NOT be king?
2.  Who did David say will be king that very night?
3.  What had Adonijah done?
4.  What did David tell Nathan the prophet and Zadok the priest to do?
5.  When Adonijah heard the news what did he do?
6.  What was Solomon's first decree?
7.  Which one of David's sons did God want as the next king, Adonijah or Solomon?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

David-Scandal and Palace Coup

By Mary Vee
I Kings 1

From the Prophet Nathan's Journal

This is the time for new beginnings. I understand you are celebrating a new year. We too are experiencing something new, but, I refuse to celebrate this event.

Recently, King David became too sick to go about his business as king. He is rather old and will probably die soon. His son, Adonijah, the fourth child born to David, knew his father's last day would come soon and assumed he was the next rightful king. 

He stood before the king's court and said, "I will be king." He ordered chariots and horsemen to be brought to him. Next he appointed fifty men to run before the chariots, showing the people he had authority. David did not punish Adonijah for this behavior.

Adonijah was handsome like his brother, Absalom, who died shortly after overthrowing the palace. Adonijah called Joab, the captain of the army and Abiathar, the priest.  Unbelievable. I thought they would have learned to not participate in these takeovers after Absalom's failed attempt. 

Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and healthy cattle near EnRogel to proclaim his kingship. He also invited all his brothers, the king's sons, the men of Judah, and the king's servants to the celebration. But he didn't invite me or Solomon.

What does this tell us? Uh huh. He knew Solomon had been chosen to be the next king and he knew I would defend the Lord's will. 

Adonijah may think he will succeed, but I still have a say. I went to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother and said, "Did you hear Adonijah has become king and David our lord does not know it?"

Her brows deepened with worry. "No, I hadn't heard. David said my son, Solomon, would be the next king."

"Yes, I know. He told me. We need to act quickly. Please do as I say. Go immediately to King David and say to him 'My lord, didn't you promise me Solomon would reign and sit on your throne after you? Why then has Adonijah become king?' Then, while you are still talking with the king, I will come in to the king's chamber and confirm your words."

"I will go right away." She rushed toward the door then turned back. "Thank you, Nathan."

She ran to David's chamber and begged to speak with him on an urgent matter. David, of course invited her into his room where he lay covered with several blankets and shivering. Once he realized she was there he said, "What is your wish?"

She bowed before him and said the words I gave her. "And as for you, my lord, the eyes of all Israel are on you, waiting for you to tell them who will sit on the throne after you. If you do not speak, then Solomon and I will be counted as offenders and be imprisoned."

As she finished her words and left his room I stepped into the king's chamber and waited to be announced. When David gave me permission to see him, I bowed low, with my face to the ground. "If I may, my lord. Have you said Adonijah will be king after you and sit on your throne? He went down today and sacrificed many oxen, healthy cattle, and sheep. He invited all your son's, the commanders of your army, and Abiathar the priest.

"They are having a party at this very moment celebrating Adonijah as the next king and shouting, 'Long Live King Adonijah!' But, he has not invited me, Zadok, Benaiah, or Solomon. Did you do this without telling me?"

David took a small drink and said, "Call Bathsheba to me."

We called her back right away. She stood next to David's bed and bowed. David looked at me then at Bathsheba. "As the Lord lives who has redeemed my life from every distress, just as I promised to you before the Lord God of Israel, saying 'Solomon, your son, will be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place,' this I will certainly do this day."

I am not surprised David honored his word. Now we need to stop the Coup.


1.  Who is Adonijah?
2.  What did do?
3.  Who wasn't invited to Adonijah's party?
4.  ________________ did know what Adonijah did. She thought __________ had been chosen.
5. Who told David about the problem?
6. What did David do?
7. What still needs to be done?