Saturday, August 31, 2013

Elijah Delivers God's Message to Ahab

By Mary Vee
I Kings 21

From Elijah's Journals

The Lord spoke to me this morning. He said, "Go down and meet Ahab, king of Israel, the one who rules Samaria. He is now in Naboth's vineyard where he has gone to take possession of it."

Ahab had done something very bad and now he would hear his punishment from the Lord.

I went to Naboth's vineyard and found Ahab standing there. Celebrating his new vineyard. I requested to speak to the king.

Ahab nodded to the messenger. "Yes, bring him to me." 

I walked close to the king and looked in his eyes for a moment. The man had eyes of delight that he had no right to have. But after a moment, Ahab's eyes lost their spark. "What did you come to bother me about this time, Elijah?"

"I have a message from the Lord for you."

Ahab turned to those standing around him and laughed. "So you have found me, my enemy!"

"I have found you, yes." I answered. 

"Well, then, speak your message."

"Because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord He will bring disaster on you. He will consume your descendants and cut off from you every last male in Israel--slave or free. He will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked Him to anger and have caused Israel to sin." 

I turned to Jezebel. "And also, concerning Jezebel, the Lord said, "Dogs will devour you by the wall of Jezreel."

I finished my message by turning back to king Ahab, "Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country."

Ahab's eyes grew quite wide. He looked at the vineyard and back at me. He tore his cloths and put on sackcloth and fasted. He hung his head low and walked in meekness. He did this for days.

I had returned to my home where I received another message from the Lord. He said, "Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son."

I returned to the palace and told the king the message. 

photo courtesy of

1. Where did the Lord tell Elijah to go?
2. Who was Elijah to speak to?
3. What message did Elijah give?
4. Why did Ahab wear sackcloth and fast?
5. When God saw Ahab wearing sackcloth and fasting what did He say?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ahab-Tattling to Queen Jezebel

By Mary Vee
I Kings 21

From King Ahab's Guard's Journal

The King returned from his visit to Naboth's vineyard in a foul mood. He stomped to his chambers, barely saying a word. 

One of the servants informed Jezebel of the king's anger. She ran straight to him and said softly. "What is wrong, my king? You won't eat or drink."

King Ahab mumbled a few words. Jezebel's shoulders soften. "You can tell me, what is wrong?"

"You know, Naboth, the owner of the beautiful vineyard I can see from my balcony?"


"I went to him this morning and asked to buy his land. I offered him money, I offered him a trade." He huffed and balled his fist. "Naboth, that greedy nothing of a man said no. He said the vineyard had been given to him, passed down in his family for generations. He refused to give me his land." Ahab slammed his fist on the throne. "What am I going to do now? Step out on my balcony and stare at the most beautiful vineyard that I can't touch?"

Jezebel stepped closer and folded her arms. "Is this how you act as king over Israel? What's the matter with you? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I'll get you the Naboth's vineyard."

Jezebel stormed out of the king's chamber and ordered a scribe to follower her. She practically ran to her room, fueled with rage. "Hurry up Scribe. Write these letters at once."

"Yes, my queen."

"Write these words to the elders and nobles who live in Naboth's city: Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in an important place among the people. Be sure to seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them say Naboth has cursed both God and the king. Then take Naboth out and stone him to death."

The scribe did as he was told then gave her the letters to sign and seal. The letters were then given to the elders and nobles as Jezebel requested.

The next day the leaders proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth in an important seat. Two scoundrels sat down opposite him and shouted, "This man, Naboth, the one whom you have seated in an important place, has cursed both God and the king."

The men seated around Naboth didn't give him a chance to speak. They dragged him outside the city and stoned him to death. 

That same night messengers delivered a message to Queen Jezebel. "Naboth is dead."

She ran from her chamber with a huge smile on her face. "King Ahab!" He gave her permission to enter. She ran to him. "My dear king, get up and take possession of the Naboth's vineyard. He is no longer alive, but dead."

The king smiled for the first time in two days. "Really?" He hurried from his chamber and ran all the way to his new vineyard. "At last!" He took a deep breath. "My vineyard." He folded his arms and smiled with pride.

A messenger ran up to him, quite out of breath. "King Ahab. Elijah the prophet wants to speak with you."

photo courtesy of
*** author's note: Sounds like Ahab is about hear God's opinion, and his consequence

1. Why was king Ahab unhappy?
2. Who did he tell?
3. What did she do?
4. What happened to Naboth?
5. What did Ahab do when he heard the news?
6. Who is going to visit Ahab?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hudson Taylor- He Calls and He Sends

By Mary Vee
Year: July, 1865 
Hudson Taylor: age 33

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Stephen and Richard Truelove boarded the ship Corea and set out for China, called by God. Unfortunately, Richard became sick on the ship. His stomach could not handle sailing. He hoped the sensation would go away, but it didn't. And when the captain became side tracked after seeing a stranded ship and returned back to England, Richard took the opportunity to leave the ship.

It became clear to me that none of this was a coincidence. God knew Richard would not be able to survive in the stress and difficult work ahead of him in China. But now, Stephen needed a new partner, because we in the missionary office believed in sending workers two by two, as Jesus did.

George Crombie had been living in the missionary house, preparing diligently for a future departure to China. I thought about George. There seemed to be one slight problem in asking him to go. He was engaged to Anne Skinner and planned to get married right before the originally planned date for his departure.

We went to George and explained the problem. The ship, Corea, was to set sail again. Stephen needed someone to go with him. 

George answered "Let me pray about this. Give me one hour." 

During the time he prayed, his sweetheart, Anne crept into to prayer room and placed her hand on his shoulder. She whispered in his ear, "Go. Go to China and show the people there that you love the cause of God more than me." She wasn't angry. This was the words of a servant's heart. One who knew God had called George.

George left the prayer room with the face of a happy man. "I will go."

We hurried to gather the clothes and supplies he would need and on April 12th, 1865, George and Stephen started their long journey to China.

George showed his great faith weeks later when he mailed several letters back to England from their stop in the Canary Island. The one letter he did not write was to Anne. He knew God would provide the funds and approval for his sweet Anne to leave England and sail for China.

Here is the rest of this beautiful story: Anne left on a ship bound for China two weeks after George, days before his letters arrived in England. She arrived safely in Ningbo and stayed in a missionary family's home, helping them while she learned the work. On a sunny October 1, 1865, George and Anne were married in Ningbo, China.

How good and how pleasant our God is. He calls and He sends. 

Please pray for all five new missionaries sent from England to Ningbo, China to have a strong conviction to carry out the work God has called them to do.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--home, in England--wishing I could be in China
Blessed by God

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. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ahab- Naboth Beautiful Vineyard

By Mary Vee 
I Kings 21

From Naboth's Journal

There had been a terrible draught in our country, for three long years. Those of us who remained faithful to the Lord knew God held back the rains to punish the evil deeds done by king Ahab. But when the Almighty restored the rains recently, my vineyard bounced back to life.

I loved getting out of bed, rushing to my fields and sinking my fingers into the soil. I pruned the dead and weak vegetation, watered, and weeded the land. This tender care paid off. The plants grew strong and flower blossoms multiplied. This is sure to be the best crop I've ever had.

Late in the morning, I received an unusual visitor. The royal chariots approached my home. It made such a clatter my whole family could't help but notice. I told my wife to stay inside, and went out to greet the king. 

I bowed as his chariot came to a stop. "Your majesty."

He stayed in his chariot, standing high above me. "Let me buy your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth."

I didn't have to think even for a second. I could be a rich man if I accepted the king's offer, but  my heart would be sad every day of my remaining life. We don't have much, barely enough to survive, but we do have this land. My father plowed these fields and gave it to me for an inheritance. Our family has worked hard to produce the best crops possible. We never slacked in watering, weeding, planting; we love this land. No, I couldn't sell it to the king.

"I'm sorry, your majesty. I cannot give you the inheritance of my fathers."

The king didn't say anything and I didn't need to look up at his face to see his anger. Everyone knew of his uncontrollable temper. And the worst response from him was no sound. I am sure he will go to Queen Jezebel like a child complaining they didn't get their favorite toy. I fear something awful will happen.

This I know, God has placed in my heart not to sell this land, and I will obey God, no matter what the result.

photo courtesy of

1. What did Naboth love to do?
2. After the rains, Naboth was able to ___________
3. Who was the unusual visitor?
4. What did the visitor want?
5. What did Naboth answer?
6. Why?
7. What did Naboth know would happen.
8. Was he sorry about his decision?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ahab-A Spoiled King Wants a Poor Man's Vineyard

By Mary Vee
I Kings 21

From Ahab's Scrolls

First thing every morning I walked to the balcony off of my chamber room and gazed out at the land. For three years in a row I saw nothing but brown grass and dead plants, a punishment of no rain. I blamed God and the prophet Elijah for that. 

Elijah said I was a wicked king. Hah!  My wife Jezebel wanted to worship the gods from her home country, what's wrong with that? Elijah said we should only worship the Almighty God and I needed to stop teaching the people to worship Jezebel's god's. The people worshiped Jezebel's god's to please me and I liked that. 

Well, no matter. The rains had returned and the land looked wonderful. We won a battle against the Arameans. I'd say that counts as success. 

I looked out the window and saw a vineyard beyond the palace property. It belonged to Naboth. The vegetables blossomed with bright colors. Imagine how the tasty grapes and vegetables from his vineyard. My mouth watered and I wanted some. 


The door opened and two guards entered. "Sire?"

"I wish to visit Naboth."

The guards and I left a few moments later in the royal chariot. The distance was short and we could have walked, but I wanted Naboth to know the king approached his land. 

As I expected, Naboth ran out of his house toward the chariot. He bowed. "Your majesty, what brings you here to my humble home?"

Humble indeed. The man wore the clothes of a poor man. His house looked simple, nothing more than a small structure. He should be thankful I honored him with my presence. 

"Naboth, Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange, I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth."

Naboth lowered his head. "This is my inheritance from my father. This land has been in my family for years. the Lord forbid that I should give you the work of my fathers. I am sorry, I cannot sell it to you."

How dare he speak to the king in such a manner! He should have been grateful I wanted his land. He could have taken the money and built a better home, a larger vineyard. But, no, he insists to keep his father's land! I want it.

I didn't say another word to him, I couldn't. Anger filled me with such rage I couldn't speak. 

Then I knew what to do. I would go back to the palace and speak with Jezebel. She would have a good idea. One that would force Naboth to sell me his vineyard. Hah. I raised my hand in the air. I would have this vineyard before the week ended.

photo courtesy of

1. King Ahab looked out his window one day and saw Naboth's ___________
2. Describe the vineyard.
3. King Ahab called his guards and road his _________ to Naboth's.
4. What did King Ahab ask Naboth? 
5. What did he offer Naboth?
6. What did Naboth answer?
7. What did King Ahab decide to do.

Author's Note: when we can't have what we want how would God want us to act? Do you think Ahab acted as God wanted him to?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Stephan's Changed Life

By Mary Vee
Year: July, 1864-65 
Hudson Taylor: age 32-33

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

While it is true we have had many trials, I can't help but share the good moments. Everyone needs encouragement, right? Whether you are on a foreign mission field, or living in your home country doing the career God has given you, you are a missionary, one called by God to share His good news to the people who work with you.

Stephan Barchet was a German who didn't realize the importance of sharing God's love to whomever he met. He left his country and traveled to England to take part in the grand social life. 

While visiting England someone gave him a copy of the booklet The Lord's Dealing with George Muller. He buried it under other papers on the nightstand in his hotel and went out to the city streets to have fun. That night he met a new friend who also loved the social life of the city. They went wherever people gathered for a good time. 

The next week, Stephan went by himself around the city. Late that night, he knocked on his friend's apartment door. "You simply must join me. I found a wonderful place to go, it will be a lot of fun." His friend didn't open the door. Stephan knocked again. "Wake up, let's go out on the town." When his friend didn't answer, Stephen opened the door a little ways and called to his friend again. He glanced at the floor and saw his friend laying there, dead. Stephen called for help, but it was too late.

Having fun in the city no longer sounded like a good idea. Stephan walked back to his hotel and thought about his friend who love to have fun. "Where would I be if I'd died like that?" Inside his hotel room he bowed his head, saddened not only by his friends death, but by what he'd done with his life. "I've done nothing!"

He prayed for God's mercy then pulled opened a Bible and began to read. He stopped only to pick up the booklet about George Mueller and read a few pages from there. The next day he came to one of my meetings. He listened to the message telling how God loves him and the need for missionaries in China. Afterwards he came to me and said, "I feel called to go to the mission field in China. I have no commitments and want to begin studying the Chinese language and medicine immediately."

Who was I to say no? By inviting Stephan to join our studies, I could watch him for the sincerity of his decision. He worked diligently and learned quickly, never straying from his decision. 

In March, 1865, we received word two spaces opened aboard a ship due to set sail for China. Those working with the trainees thought about who was best prepared to go. We decided together to choose Stephan Barchet.

Stephan's face brightened when we told him the news. He tried on some Chinese clothes and laughed. "I am really going to China!" 

The next Sunday, we went to a church on the West End of London and told them about Stephan. The people attending the church had little money. Many barely had enough to provide food for themselves. Yet, the church as a whole agreed to provide the support for Stephan to go to China.

He boarded the Corea for the six month trip to China. Praise God for sending this man who had changed so deeply.

Please pray for all missionaries to have a strong conviction to carry out the work God has called them to do.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--home, in England--wishing I could be in China
Blessed by God

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. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Prophet's Message to Ahab

By Mary Vee
I Kings 20

From a Prophet's Journal

God sent me a message. 

Apparently, king Ahab spared the life of king Ben-Hadad. Unbelievable. 

I am to convey the message to him in a way that will let Ahab know how serious his disobedience was. 

As I walked along a road, the Lord told me to command the man walking with me, "Strike me with your weapon." I did as the Lord said. The man looked at me as if I had asked for a bag of gold. 

"No, I cannot do this," he said.

When God gives a command, no matter how odd it may seem, we are to obey. I turned to him and said, "Since you did not obey the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you."

After the man walked away, I heard the lion's roar.

The Lord told me to find another man and give the same message. Farther up the road I saw a man. I hurried to catch up to him. "Strike me, please." The man obeyed, wounding me.

I stumbled to the side of the road and waited for king Ahab to come. I disguised myself with a headband pulled down over my eyes. After a while, I heard the foot soldiers calling out, "Make way for the king." 

When his chariot rolled past I called out to him, "Your servant went into the thick of the battle. Someone came to me and said, 'Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life or you can pay a talent of silver.' While I hurried here and there doing my work, the man disappeared."

King Ahab called back, "Then you know what will happen. You will either lose your life or have to pay a talent of silver."

I pulled off the headband from my eyes and looked at the king.

His eyes grew wide. "You are a prophet!"

"Yes. I have a message for you from the Lord. 'You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore you will lose your life, and your people will lose their lives instead of his people."

Ahab closed his eyes. His face reddened and he tightened his hand into a fist. He didn't say a word other than to command his soldiers to move on. He returned to his palace in Samaria.

For three years Ahab and king Ben-Hadad kept peace. And then...

photo courtesy of

1.  How did the prophet know Ahab spared king Ben-Hadad's life?
2.  What did God tell the prophet to say to the man walking with him?
3.  What punishment did the man receive for not obeying?
4.  What did God tell the prophet to do next?
5.  What did that man do?
6.  What disguise did the prophet wear?
7.  What message did the prophet give king Ahab?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ahab-The Bad Guy is Spared

By Mary Vee
I Kings 20

From the Messenger's Journal

We'd barely caught our breath from running away. The Israelites conquered us like we were ants. Our king, his officials, and a few others hid in an inner room of Aphek, the closest city to the battleground.

Not knowing when the Israelites could burst through the door and find us, the officials immediately met with the king Ben-Hadad. They said, "Look, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful. Let's go to him with sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads. Perhaps after he sees us, he will take pity and spare your life."

I knew what they really wanted was their own lives spared. Either way, if their plan worked, both the king and the official's would be spared."

Ben-Hadad thought for a moment then nodded. "This is good."

They sent me out to purchase sackcloth and ropes and bring the supplies back. I did so and piled the material and rope in the middle of the floor. All the officials dressed as the king in the sackcloth and tied the ropes around their heads. 

The officials led the way, leaving king Ben-Hadad safely out of reach. The Israelites welcomed the officials and led them to the king. King Ahab granted permission for them to speak.

"Your servant Ben-Hadad requests you grant him permission to live."

King Ahab looked at their clothes and raised his eyebrows as if surprised. "Is he still alive? He is my brother."

The officials looked at each other and smiled. They whispered to each other, "This is a good sign, surely he will spare our king." 

The head official turned back to king Ahab and said, "Yes, your brother Ben-Hadad!"

Ahab lifted his cup and said, "Go and get him."

The official hurried back to king Ben-Hadad and told him the good news and brought him back to the Israelites. Ahab was sitting in his royal chariot. He signaled Ben-Hadad to climb up and sit next to him.

Ben-Hadad pressed his hands together and bowed. "I will return the cities my father took from your father. You may set up your own market areas in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria."

Ahab said, "If you will make this treaty with me, I will set you free." The two kings agreed and Ahab set our king, Ben-Hadad free.

I must admit my surprise at the ending. Had Ahab come to our king, I know we would not have spared his life. I wonder if Ahab has some trick, some secret plan he is plotting for another day.

Note: The messenger had a good reason to be suspicious. Be sure to come back next time to see what happens.

Photo courtesy of

1. Where did Ben-Hadad hide?
2. Who was he hiding from?
3. What plan did his official suggest?
4. What did Ahab do when he saw the officials?
5. What did Ahab do when he saw Ben-Hadad?
6. What did Ben-Hadad offer to give back?
7. What did Ahab decide to do with Ben-Hadad?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hudson Taylor- I Desperately Need Help

By Mary Vee
Year: July, 1864 
Hudson Taylor: age 32

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

A letter arrived from my friend James. He and his family have had a rough time in China. The poor man must have sobbed as he wrote:

"I never expected to see beggars and refugees like this. The poor creatures are homeless, without a source for food or water. They are starving and contracting horrible diseases. Many die. I say to myself, 'Why is Mr. Taylor staying in England making books while thousand are perishing without medicine for their soul and bodies?'"

I couldn't return yet, I needed a little more time to heal from my own illnesses. Those of us in England devoted more time in prayer, asking God to send more missionaries to help with the work in Ningbo. Miss Jean Notman expressed an interest saying she would love to go to China right away. We provided her with clothing and supplies and booked a passage on a ship.

Four Christian women boarded the ship and shared a cabin. During the voyage, Miss. Notman became upset with the conditions and requested a better cabin for herself. She billed the extra cost to me. This was the first sign of a problem. After arriving in Ningbo she went with the other women to the mission compound. The missionaries showed the new arrivals their sleeping quarters and the work there. Once again Miss Notman showed her displeasure. The work bored her. She quit after a short time and married a local Chinese man.


We continued to pray, ask, and train others to go to China.

Isn't it odd how certain names describe a person's personality completely? Mr. Richard Truelove desperately wanted to go to China. He moved into the large home where missionaries received training and studied the Chinese language. New Chinese clothes were made for him and other supplies purchased for his trip. His excitement grew as the day of departure drew closer.

Truelove was to board the Corea with another missionary but missed the departure time. He found other transportation and caught up with the ship at the last port in England. While on the ship, Truelove became quite seasick. He might have overcome the sickness and been a great help in Ningbo, but this was not to be.

Not long after leaving England, the captain found a deserted ship carrying valuable cargo. He and his crew decided to tow the ship back to England and sell the goods. Once the ship docked back in England, Truelove got off, choosing not to sail on to China.

Two great candidates. Two more helpers to ease the burden in China. Neither one succeeded. 

My heart is burdened more than I can bear. 

Oh, Lord, how will we help the people of China if those we send don't stay to do the work?

Please pray for all missionaries to have a strong conviction to carry out the work God has called them to do.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--home, in England--wishing I could be in China
Blessed by God

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. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ahab-Some People Never Learn

By Mary Vee
I Kings 20

The Messenger's Journal

We suffered a terrible loss last year. My king, Ben-Hadad of Aram became angry with the Israelites and attacked them. He knew from the first moment the Israelites were weak and could be conquered easily. He laughed as their soldiers marched toward our camp and finished his party before sending our army out to attack. 

But the battle did not go as he thought. The Israelite's God protected them. They came after our army as if we were fleas, attacking and chasing us until we suffered great losses. 

Once Ben-Hadad returned to his home he called a meeting of his advisors. "What should we do," the king asked.

The officials replied, "Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they. Here is what we suggest: Remove all the kings from their commands and replace them with officers. You must also raise an army like the one you lost--horse for horse and chariot for chariot--so we can fight Israel on the plains. Then surely we will be stronger than they."

Ben-Hadad smiled. "This is good advice. Guards, bring drink for all of us. Let's celebrate our new plan to conquer Israel. 

The king and his officials worked all winter long preparing for this battle. They purchased and trained horses, prepared officials, and sharpened weapons. Ben-Hadad chose Aphek for the battleground. 

When spring came and the ground suitable for battle, the army marched against Israel. We settled in a camp and waited for the Israelite army to come for battle. We didn't have to wait long before the Israelites marched to the area and set up camp. 

The Israelite army looked small. Ben-Hadad laughed, "The Israelite army is no bigger than two small flocks of goats while our army covers the countryside. My friends, we are assured the victory of this battle." 

We waited seven days before commencing the battle. During that time I crept to the Israelite camp and learned a man of God told king Ahab of the Israelites they would win. Their God said he would deliver the vast army of Ben-Hadad into the Israelite hands and by this the king would know their God is the Lord.

I reported all this information back to Ben-Hadad, but he wouldn't listen to me. "You are foolish to listen to these lies. Someone must have know you were there."

The battle began. Instantly, the Israelite army took the advantage. They inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on our army in one day. Our men became scared and fled to the city of Aphek. They ran inside the city walls and cowered. As they lined against the inside of the wall, the structure collapsed killing twenty-seven thousand of them.

Those of us who survived were frightened. The Israelite God is more powerful than any other god.

photo courtesy of

1.  Although Israel won the victory, what did king Ben-Hadad from Aram decide to do?
2.  His advisors told him to _________ to prepare for a battle.
3.  When was the battle to take place.
4.  Where was the battle to take place.
5. The two armies arrived at t he battlefield. How did Ben-Hadad describe the Israelite army?
6.  Who promised the Israelites they would have a victory?
7.  Who instantly took the advantage in this battle. Why was this side winning?
8.  What happened to those who ran away?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ahab-Conquering Ben-Hadad

By Mary Vee
I Kings 20

From a Messenger's Journal

My job is to spy on the Israelite army. I have been sent from Ben-Hadad of Aram.

Only a few days ago the Israelite king, Ahab, gave into my master's demands by giving us all the gold, silver, the king's wives and his children. My king, Ben-Hadad laughed at how easy he could take such riches. He said, "Why should we stop there? Let's take more!"

I have kept watch on king Ahab's army, which he assembled soon after Ben-Hadad demanded more wealth from Israel. Young Israelite officers, 232 men and 7,000 other soldiers gathered at noon. 

I ran back to Ben-Hadad to let him know the Israelites had formed an army. He sat in a large tent with 32 other kings drinking and laughing. With a great army formed by all these nations they knew the Israelites would be squashed. 

It took a long time to get the Ben-Hadad's attention with all the noise. He finally looked at me with drunken eyes. I don't think he could understand my words, but I tried anyway. "My lord, men are advancing from Samaria."

The kings burst out laughing. Ben-Hadad held his hand up to silence the other drunk kings. "Let's be nice to the poor, little Israelites." He laughed some more and drank from his cup. He turned to his captain. "If the Israelites have come out to make a treaty, take them as prisoners and let them live. if they come for war, take them as prisoners, and let them live. I have plans." He turned back to the other kings and toasted with his drink.  

Our army went out to face the Israelites knowing full well we'd win. I hid far enough away to watch the battle and be ready to report back to my king.

The battle did not go as we thought. The Israelite officers marched forward with the army behind them. They attacked every unit of ours and won with every stroke of their weapon. Our captains soon called for a retreat but the Israelites chased, continuing their victorious attack.

I ran back to Ben-Hadad to tell him and the kings what happened. He left the other kings and ran to his horse taking with him a group of horsemen for protection. I ran alongside to escape with my life.

After reaching our home, Ben-Hadad called a meeting of his officials. They reported: "My lord, this was a huge loss for us. The Israelite gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. Let us plan an attack for next spring, one that is not in the hills."

Ben-Hadad, wiped sweat from his forehead. "Unbelievable. How did they do that?"


1. Ben-Hadad is the evil king from ___________
2. He wanted to conquer ______________
3. When the messenger told him the Israelites were coming to attack he thought ______
4. What happened during the battle?
5. When Ben-Hadad heard the news what did he do?
6. How did the Israelite army win this battle? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Holding Down the Work in China

By Mary Vee
Year: July, 1862-63 
Hudson Taylor: age 30-31

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

I had often told you of my desire for five new missionaries to go to China to continue the work while I recovered from my illness here in England. 

There would be hardship for those who go, but there would also be reward.

Dr. Parker returned to China after marrying a second wife. The dear sweet lady fit in quite well, willing to be a missionary to China with her husband.

My father asked a friend, James Meadow to consider going to China as a missionary. His first response, "Of course I'll go," and then he asked to pray about his decision to have the Lord's blessing.

He did as he said, spending the entire night in prayer, and felt a firm leading from God to go to China. James was engaged to Martha. They talked about going to China together and she agreed. They held their wedding ceremony then prepared to go to Ningbo.

James and Martha did not have the funds to pay for their travel. No one expected them to raise so much by themselves. Before anyone asked, Mr. Berger, the godly man who had so often sent me money, had once again reserved cabins on a ship heading to China for anyone interested in going as a missionary. James and Martha hurried to pack their belongings and boarded the boat.

Maria and I purchased the necessities we knew they would need and gave them the gifts at a going away party we threw for them. 

A weekly Saturday prayer meeting was established at 1 Beaumont Street in England the day they left.

The rest I report to you based on letters received from James. 

Their ship ran into war torn waters in China. Not the best greeting for a first time missionary. I remember my first days in Shanghai. Lost, unable to speak the language, and looking so different from everyone standing around me. I understand completely how James felt. 

James and Martha set up their ministry in Ningbo in the same neighborhood I had worked. Troubles began immediately when other missionaries in nearby areas teased them for their differences. James had been trained as a Methodist and knew his Bible well. But others criticized him for religious differences. This on top of seeing a great need and not being able to speak the language wore heavily on his heart. How I wish I could go there to comfort him.

December of 1862 brought sad news for us. Dr. and Mrs. Parker's infant child died and my co-worker, Mr. Jones became quite ill. He planned to return to England to receive needed medicines and rest. 

Shortly after, Dr. Parker died in a fatal accident, leaving his new wife alone in China. The people of Ningbo had loved him so much they gave him a grand funeral. 

Two days later Mr. Jone's family left for England to give him a chance to overcome his illness. Unfortunately, he died while on the ship.

I know, such bad news. Missionary life is not easy. We go to foreign countries where we are not use to the diseases, try our best to stay healthy, but sometimes fail. 

This also happened to James. He became very ill with chicken pox, which most adults do not catch. He suffered terribly. His wife, Martha, who was in her eighth month of pregnancy, moved in with Mrs. Parker to keep from catching his disease. Their son was born June, 1863.

Although more missionaries went to help, we lost some who stayed behind to do the work. 

Oh, Lord, how will we help the people of China if we continue to get ill?

Please pray for the health of all the missionaries of the world that they may have the strength to carry out the work God has called them to do.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--home, in England--wishing I could be in China
Blessed by God

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. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ahab- Attacked by Greedy Ben-Haddad

By Mary Vee
I Kings 20

From King Ahab's Scrolls

I am the king of Israel. Ben Haddad is the king of Aram and a very greedy man. He recently threatened to wage war unless we paid his asking price, our silver, gold, all my wives, and children. 

I was frightened. What can I say? I handed over all the silver and gold from the treasury and then told my wives and children they must go with him, too. 

Fool that I was, Ben-Haddad saw my fear and sent another messenger who said, "My master demands your silver and gold, your wives and your children. But about this time tomorrow I am going to send my officials to search your palace and the houses of your officials. They will take everything that is important to you."

This last demand went too far.

I called all the elders of the land for a meeting and said, "Ben-Haddad is a trouble maker. When he sent for my gold, silver, wives, and children I didn't refuse. I gave him everything he asked. Now he wants to raid all the palace and official quarters?"

The elders whispered amongst each other saying, "No. Don't listen to him or agree to his demands. He must be stopped."

I agreed with them and called Ben-Haddad messengers to my chambers. "Tell king Ben-Haddad I was willing to do all he demanded the first time, but this demand was too much." I dismissed the messengers to deliver my words.

Not long after, another messenger came from Ben-Haddad. "May the gods deal with me severely if enough dust remains in Samaria to give each of my men a handful."

Threaten me? He had the nerve to threaten the king of Israel? "Tell your master, this: 'One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.'"

My scout, who followed the messenger reported back to me. "King Ahab, the messenger delivered your message as you asked. Ben-Haddad was at a party drinking. He became very angry when he heard your message. He threw down his cup and shouted, "Prepare to attack." I ran back to you before they captured me.

I didn't know for sure what should be done. As I dismissed the messenger a prophet requested to seem me. I hoped he would have the answer I needed. "Yes, send him in."

The prophet bowed. "The Lord has said, 'Do you know Ben-Haddad's vast army? I will give it into your hands today and then you will know I am the Lord.'"

The news was good, but I had questions about this message. "Who will conquer the his army?"

The prophet answered, "The Lord says, 'The young officers of the commanders will do it.'"

I understood but I had more questions. "Who will start the battle?"

The prophet answered, "You will."

Come back next time and I will tell you what happened at the battle.


photo courtesy of

1.  Ahab is the king of ____________
2.  Ben-Haddad is the king of ___________
3.  Who sent a messenger to king Ahab?
4.  What was the first message?
5.  What was the second message?
6.  King Ahab did as he was asked for the first demand. What did he do for the second?
7.  Who delivered a message from the Lord, and what did God say?