Thursday, September 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 20:8-9

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 20:8-9
"And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the Lord the third day?
And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?"

Hezekiah answered for the shadow to go down ten degrees, time would go backwards. This is exactly what happened. I pondered on the asking of a sign. When a wicked man asks for a sign it brings destruction upon him. In this case Hezekiah was a righteous man and believed in God. He wasn't asking for a sign to believe, he asked so he could worship the Lord at the right time. He wanted a sign to be faithful and show his gratitude in sparing his life. I love that the sign for the faithful was an amazing sign in the heavens. The creator of time controlled time. As Hezekiah life was spared another 15 years, the time on the eternal clock adjusted in a measure.

Day 908

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 19:14

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 19:14
"And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord."

I had several favorite verses I marked in this chapter. But, this  one stood out. The reason for it is because I remembered hearing someone mention in a genealogy class how after doing research on their brick wall they would take their research log and papers and spread them out on their bed. Then they would kneel down in prayer and present it to the Lord. Seeking to understand how it all connected, and what steps they needed to take next. I had never heard of anyone doing that before, but when they said it, I knew it was a truth.

I've never had an opportunity or need to do that. Yet those words have stuck with me for many years now. Popping up at random times so they are never forgotten. Maybe someday I will need to do this. The exciting thing to me today was seeing that this was a truth that is confirmed in the scriptures. I love finding things like this, scriptural evidence as a second witness to what the spirit told me before hand.

Day 907

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 18:3-4

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 18:3-4
"And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did.
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan."

It looks like Judah finally has a righteous king. Hezekiah begins by cleaning out the pagan places of worship. That is something I have been paying attention to each time they have mentioned if the king was righteous or not. There has been a long stretch of those that were righteous but kept the high places. In the end they were not completely righteous. Now there is hope.

What I pondered on was the brass serpent that Moses made. Moses lifted it up on a pole so those that were bitten by the firey serpent could look towards it and live. This symbol represented Christ and looking towards it was looking towards him. Some just wouldn't do it because of how simply an act it was, and so they died. So now we have people not only looking towards the brass serpent, but they are burning incense to it. They are worshiping it, and not what it actually represented. It is a perversion. I sat and tried to think of what I could liken it to in my day. I know there is an example but it wouldn't form in my mind. I can tell it will be something to ponder on in the coming days. All that kept coming to me were those that appear to worship the last days, reading all types of signs for his coming, but in their zeal forget the Lord and their preparation to meet him. They would much rather see the signs of his coming, then see Him. I do believe the faithful will see the Savior before he ever appears to the world as a whole.

Day 906

Monday, September 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 17:6

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 17:6
"In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes."

This is the scattering of Israel into the north countries. They were carried away captive by Assyria in 721 B.C. All because they no longer feared the Lord but feared other Gods instead. They were rebellious and unrighteous so the Lord's protection was no longer over them. This is so hard to see happen to once beautiful Israel. With the bad also comes good, for Israel needed to be scattered so the seed of Abraham could bless the earth. You have to scatter seeds before you can gather them.

I pondered on the tenth Article of Faith.
"We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory."

I was just reading an article earlier today that spoke of how unique America was with all the nationalities of the earth found here. You could not say we were just one race or people.

Even with all that I found a quote by President Russell M. Nelson from June 2013. "The gathering is not a matter of physical location; it is a matter of individual commitment. People can be 'brought to the knowledge of the Lord' without leaving their homelands."

Day 905

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 16:2-4

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 16:2-4
"Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord his God, like David his father.
But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel.
And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree."

As I have been reading through the reign of the different kings I have found it interesting how many times I am told that the king did right or wrong in the sight of the Lord, yet it goes on to mention that the "high places" remained. In these cases it is referencing pagan worshipping and not the holy temple. I have wondered how you can be a righteous king and let the "high places" remain? Maybe they didn't touch them but they gave their people the right to worship how they wanted? I do wonder what Israel would be like if just one of those kings had removed them completely from the land? Then I thought of my land and those that are pagan worshippers. Even if they know they are one or not. I can't remove them. Because they are around me doesn't make me wicked or effected by them. There will be opposition in all things. It seems the message is do what is right and the things of wickedness will have no power over you.

Ahaz not only sacrifices his son by fire, he then perverts the ways of the Lord and changes the method of sacrifices in the temple. This is the risk that you run when you touch the things you're not suppose too.

Day 904

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 15:25, 30

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 15:25, 30
"But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.
And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah."

The word conspiracy stood out to me in the last chapter. In this chapter a form of this word is mentioned four times. I noticed that as conspiracy built so did the murders of their leaders, and eventually being made captive by a foreign land. Out of all the things I see happening in the world right now I sure hope that isn't something we begin to see next.

I searched the scriptures and read all the verses that mentioned conspiracy. Interestingly there was no mention of that word in the Book of Mormon. Instead it's called "secret combinations". There are more references to secret combinations in the Book of Mormon than the combined use of conspiracy in the Bible and Doctrine & Covenants. What an odd thing to ponder on today. Feels like a question for a board game on random scripture facts.

Day 903

Friday, September 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 14:10, 19

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 14:10, 19
"Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?
Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there."

This chapter is on Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah. I have to say the generations and names are beginning to blur on me. Totally wish I had kept a genealogy of all these kings, it would help keep things straight in my mind.

As I read these verses all I could think of is "Pride goeth before a fall", which is actually based on this verse.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
(Proverbs 16:18)

Destruction, rather it be physical or spiritual comes as an end result of pride. It is a very damaging and destructive thing. The very think I have to work my hardest at. Humility isn't a natural state. It's something that has to be continually worked at. When I think I'm getting close to it, it just left. Sure hope I can figure that one out some day.

I know monitoring it and continually checking myself, on where I stand is helping. Well at least I can tell what my danger signs are and hear when warning bells begin to ring. Yup, you just crossed the line and went out of bounds on that one. What I want is to not even cross that line. Maybe I need supersonic hearing so I hear the warning bells the moment they are triggered, and not when the decibels get unbearable. That's actually given me some good thoughts to ponder on. Maybe its not so bad to hear warning bells if I hear them when I first touch the line. The warning bell is the spirit and that is exactly his role. What I need, is to be able to hear the still small voice of the spirit, before it has to shout. What protects against pride is drawing closer to the spirit.

Day 902

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 13:3-4

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 13:3-4
"And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazel king of Syria, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael, all their days.
And Jehoahaz besought the Lord, and the Lord hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them."

I pondered on the anger of the Lord and how he just didn't help Israel. Their enemies were allowed to come upon them. That is how they were delivered into their hands. He didn't bring it against the people, truly they brought it upon themselves. All it took was them to turn back to God and the means to deliver themselves from oppression was given them. I pondered on how I cannot curse God when bad things happen. There is a reason why we suffer, and mostly it so I will turn my heart back to him.

Day 901

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 12:2

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 12:2
"And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him."

I pondered how listening to a prophet or apostle, a messenger of God, it will cause me to do what is right in the sight of the Lord. If I follow strange voices and those that teach of their own doctrine I can be lead astray. Over the many years of sitting and pondering the scriptures, I have come to learn that I am never given an original thought. Things may come to me that I have never heard of, or understood before. They are new thoughts to me. When taught by the spirit I am given eternal truths. These are not original things, others learned them before me. Then soon after I will find a second witness through the words of the prophets confirming what the spirit had taught me. I find it such a marvelous thing. This follows the law of witnesses and is as revelation should be. I find comfort in that.

Day 900

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 11:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 11:2-3
"But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.
And he was with her hid in the house of the Lord six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land."

Joash must have been a one year old baby when Athaliah rose up and destroyed all the royal princes of the house of Judah. I just had to think of that small child hid in the house of the Lord for safety. Of all the places to hide that is where I would want to be. He was surrounded by priests and protected by them. By the time he is anointed king he is seven years old. I think out of all the wickedness that have filled the house of Judah and Israel it was necessary to raise a child up without corruption. His parents could not teach him evil. Athaliah herself was an example of being raised by evil parents. He father was Ahab and her mother Jezebel. She learned to worship Baal from her mother. Now Joash (or Jehoash) would be raised by those that loved God and worshiped him. I can see the Lord giving him every chance to know how to do right. The rest will be up to what he chooses.

Day 899

Monday, September 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 10:30-31

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 10:30-31
"And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin."

I really don't get this chapter. Rather bloody with the severing of seventy sons of Ahab's heads. Then gathering all the worshippers of Baal together and killing them. I totally get what they were doing was wrong and had been warned of the cleansing long before it came. The Lord used Jehu as the tool to fulfill that promise. What I guess I don't understand is how Jehu now would dare to not walk in the ways of the Lord afterwards. All I can think is that somehow Jehu went beyond the mark of what the Lord required.  He does appear to be a rather bloodthirsty man. He lost his heart with his zeal.

Day 898

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 9:1-3

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 9:1-3
"And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead:

Elisha gives this son of the prophets a charge to pour the box of oil on top of Jehu's head and says, "Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel." I pondered on how Elisha didn't do it himself. Instead he sent one worthy to do it for him. Isn't that just like how priesthood keys are given today? The prophet holds all the priesthood keys on the earth today. He in turns sends others to set apart Stake Presidents and Bishops, and ordain others to their priesthood callings. The Lord's house is a house of order.

Day 897

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 8:11-12

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 8:11-12
"And he settled his countenance steadfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.
And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child."

It's easy to forget that not only does a prophet see amazing spiritual things, they can also see the horrible events to come. What must it have been like for John the Revelator, Nephi and the brother of Jared to see my day? I know just watching the news I weep. What must it be like to be a prophet and know what is to come.

Day 896

Friday, September 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 7:1

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 7:1
"Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.

Benhadad had besieged Samaria and food was selling for a great price. Elisha prophesized that there will be plenty the next day, and flour will sell at an unheard of price. He is scorned. How did the prophesy come to pass?  The Syrians heard the noise of the unseen chariots of fire that surrounded them. They thought the king of Israel had hired others to fight them so they fled. Leaving behind all their provisions. What does this tell me? Never mock the words of a prophet. For the one that mocked Elisha was trampled to death. Spiritual death is a far worse fate.

Day 895

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 6:16-17

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 6:16-17
"And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."

I have often thought of this verse. I know angels have surrounded me, even though I have not seen them with my natural eye, I have felt them. Then I thought of the young man being able to see the chariot of fire and I wished I could have seen them too. I pondered on seeing things with the natural eye verses my spiritual eyes. Obviously, this young man could not see them with his natural eyes, he had to be given spiritual eyes to see the chariots of fire surrounding them. How many times have I dismissed seeing things with my spiritual eyes because I did not see them with my natural eyes. It was just last month that I had such and event happen. What a difference this last time made for I could finally recognize it for what it was. I think I have seen far more spiritually in my life than I realized at the time. It has taken a lifetime to understand where I see with spiritual eyes. I'm sure it will take an eternity to know how to use them.

Day 894

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 5:10-11

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 5:10-11
"And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper."

Naaman has leprosy and is sent to be healed. He is so disappointed that the prophet Elisha doesn't come out to see him. That instead he sends a messenger and is told to simply wash in the Jordan river seven times. What he was expecting was a big show and is upset when that doesn't happen. The request is so small he doubts that it will work.

Then one of his servants wisely says to him "My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?"

With this Naaman does as the Elisha told him and is made clean. I pondered on how listening to the words of the prophet and obeying has never been a personal one on one invitation to me. The closest I come is LDS General Conference. How many times in the past have I wanted to hear some great announcement or prophecy made during it. I have come to learn that the faithful following of the peaceful things of the gospel, emphasized at conference time, have blessed my life in the months that follow.

Day 893

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 4:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 4:2-3
"And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
The he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few."

What a faith promoting chapter. When times are tough this is one where I can stop and ponder on the miracles and power of God. How following the living prophet will protect me not only spiritually but temporally also. I love this story of the women who's husband dies and the creditors are coming to take her sons to be bondmen. All she has is pot of oil and the faith to follow the living prophet. She inquires what she is to do and then follows his council to gather and borrow all the empty vessels she can together.

Then she shuts her door with her sons and her inside and pours out the oil into the vessels. As she faithful does so, all the pots are filled and the oil still remains in the pot of oil that she has. Once she does this she turns again to Elisha and is told to now go and sell the oil to pay her debts. Then she and her children can live upon the rest. I know this happened. I am sure this will happen again. It totally made me think of the Self-Reliance class I just completed. The Lord is prepare us for great things. It made me think of my mason jars and how fruitful my the little plants in my garden are. They are filling my jars as the Lord has promised me he would.

Day 892

Monday, September 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 3:14

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 3:14
"And Elisha said, As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee."

This verse made me think of these two other scriptures.

"And there had been murders, and contentions, and dissensions, and all manner of iniquity among the people of Nephi; nevertheless for the righteous sake, yea, because of the prayers of the righteous, they were spared." (Alma 62:40)

"But, behold, it is for the righteous' sake that it is spared. But behold, the time cometh, saith the Lord, that when ye shall cast out the righteous from among you, then shall ye be ripe for destruction; yea, wo be unto this great city, because of the wickedness and abominations which are in her." (Helamon 13:14)

I pondered on how vital the righteous are to preserving a nation.

Day 891

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 2:3, 5

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 2:3, 5
"And the sons of the prophets that were at Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."

The spirit of prophesy falls upon Elisha and the sons of the prophet. They knew that Elijah was going to be taken from them before it even happened. I'm sure they didn't know Elijah would be taken up to heaven in a whirlwind upon a chariot of fire. They only knew something was coming. Each time Elisha tells the sons of the prophets to hold their peace.

Though not totally the same thing it did make me recall recent events. How many times did my family and close friends all say privately to each other, I know something is going to happen, I just don't know what. Since this hurricane and flooding in Texas hit I no longer have that feeling resting upon me. It's kinda like the clock has been rest and people haven found the goodness in each other again. Now I wonder what will the nation and people do with it? Have we learned from what has just happened? I wonder how long this reprieve will last?

Day 890

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 1:13-14

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Kings 1:13-14
"And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.
Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight."

I as struck by the response of third captain that came to the hill where Elijah sat. This time he didn't mock Elijah he came with a humbled heart. He knew that Elijah had the power to call down from heaven fire that could consume him and his men. It amazes me that the second captain even dared to mock as the first one did. Both of them had the fate of being consumed by fire.  This captain recognized he needed to act differently. This made me ponder on how many times I have had to repeat the same mistakes a couple of times before I learned to humble myself and do things the Lord's way. If only I could be better at making mistakes only once and learning from them the first time.

Day 889

Friday, September 1, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 22:6-8

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 22:6-8
"Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear?  And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.
And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might inquire of him?
And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so."

At first I wondered how you could have 400 prophets. Then I saw that Jehoshaphat asks for a prophet of the Lord. I realized that when the king of Israel asked his prophets what he should do, they never mentioned they inquired of the Lord. The king of Israel is Ahab who obviously had sold "himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord" (1 Kings 21:25) again. These prophets may have said the Lord shall deliver, but they did not say they asked him.

Why did Ahab not like the prophet Micaiah? Because he didn't prophesy good concerning him. Is there any wonder in that? Then I pondered on how this is like people today. We want to get everyone else's opinion first and not inquire of the Lord. Then when we hear a prophet we don't like what they have to tell us. We think them outdated and out of touch. They couldn't possibly understand our situation. Yeah, I've seen this. Sadly I think I've been at times there. I don't ever want to be there again. I have found following the opinions of others and not the Lord's just leads me to foolishness.

Day 888

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 21:29

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 21:29
"Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house."

After Elijah brings the word of the Lord's displeasure with Ahab to him, and the penalty he will face, Ahab is repentant. He rents his clothes, puts on sackcloth and fasted and went about softly, meaning dejectedly.  He wasn't doing this for show he was in mourning for what he had done, and what he was to face. For that he is forgiven. This is a lesson in what is required to turn God's judgment. A humble heart and repentance. Now if he can only stay that way. I pondered on why evil would still come in Ahab's son's days. I think Ahab's son was learning evil from his father and mother and this was the course he was on. In a way this reminds me of Alma and Alma the younger. The father may have repented but the son had been raised seeing his father's wickedness. Just because the father's heart changed doesn't mean the child will necessarily follow after them on the new path.

Day 887

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 20:13, 22, 28, 42

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 20:13, 22, 28, 42
"And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.
And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.
And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people."

I couldn't find anything inspiring in this chapter. I decided to write down each time a prophet had come to the king of Israel. I see that three times they deliver the message the Lord will deliver Syria into their hands. Each time the king of Israel does as he is told. Then he is deceived by the king of Syria who dressed in sackcloth on their loins and ropes upon their heads asking for mercy. They didn't have a repentant or humble bone in their body. It was meant to take advantage and deceive. What they wanted was to live. For this the king of Israel makes a covenant with them. So I wondered what was wrong with this. Why later is the Lord displeased and says he will take his life instead?

Obviously there were prophets around the king of Israel. What the king of Israel never did is send for them. They always came to him on an errand from the Lord. So he was being warned that Syria would be delivered into his hands, so "ye shall know that I am the Lord". I guess the king of Israel never learned that lesson was for him to know the Lord too. When he was deceived and ready to covenant with Syria what he needed to do was first inquire of the Lord. Even to send for the prophets to know the Lord's council. He did none of that. That was probably an even greater offense to the Lord. The king of Israel never knew him.

Day 886

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 19:11-12

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 19:11-12
"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

I know there are signs of the Lord's second coming. I know we are to watch for them but I am troubled at times at how much people divine to understand signs. I fear they are wresting the scriptures. I have pondered over this especially with the recent solar eclipse and followed shortly after by a major hurricane and flooding. Yesterday as I was pondering on this the impression came to me these types of events are all a witness of God's power. Some of them may wake people up to our great situation. Of themselves they do not prepare me for the Lord's second coming.

What I have to remember is he's not in the wind, rain, the stars, fire or the earthquake. It is his spirit I need to hear the whisperings of. He can speak to me in the still small voice and tell me all that I should do. It is listening and obeying his voice that will save me in the end, something a sign will never do.

Day 885

Monday, August 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 18:21

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 18:21
"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word."

This made me think of Matthew 6:24
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

One thing I noticed is "the people answered him not a word". I pondered on why that would be? They didn't want to make a commitment. That would mean they are basically sitting on the fence. There is no safety in that action. For you have basically told God no.  You are still doing your will and not his. They were waiting for the master to make the reward good enough, then they might commit. I remember being that way, there is no peace in that behavior. All spiritual growth is stopped. You just stay sitting on the fence unable to move. I had to get knocked around pretty bad before I decided that fence just wasn't a comfortable place to sit.

Day 884

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 17:13-15

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 17:13-15
"And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days."

I love this story. I do believe that such things can happen, and did happen. It reminds me of a great promise given me in my patriarchal blessing. "May your basket always be full. As you remember those less fortunate, and share of your temporal substance, you will be source of temporal strength and of service to the Lord; and you will always have sufficient for your needs and the needs of your family."

This is near to the promise given to the widow of Zarphath. I ponder on her often, and even did so yesterday as I put some food I had dehydrated into canning jars. I do not know what is ahead of me, but I am putting by what the Lord blesses me with for a time of need. This is something the church and prophets have counseled me to do. I have not always been faithful in doing this, but I feel a desire to be obedient now. I am trying to prepare every needful thing, going as basic and modestly as I can. My diet now is based on my food storage. I eat what I store and store what I eat. I see great wisdom and economy in this plan.  I do not plan on having guns to protect my food when hard times come. I will share with those in need, because I believe in my promise, that my basket will always be full if I am of service to the Lord. If I follow the words of the prophet, and have done all that I can do, I know miracles will come.

Day 883

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 16:13

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 16:13
"For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, by which they sinned, and by which they made Israel to sin, in provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities."

There are several similar verse like this one throughout this chapter. Once again many kings are named and none follow the Lord. The thing I pondered on is now God's anger is kindled when the leader causes the people to sin. I could see why that would be. If of myself I want to sin that is between me and God. But, if I was to start to destroy others with my sins and cause others to sin then that is something God would have to stop. That is greater than any sin of my own I could commit, for it would make another loose their way.

Day 882

Friday, August 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 15:11, 14

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 15:11, 14
"And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father.
But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the Lord all his days."

This chapter had so many kings, and all were wicked except Asa. As I read this chapter this was the only thing I could dwell on that was good. I get so very tired of wickedness. I can only image what the God thinks of his children today. Just seems things grow darker and darker as each day passes. I just need to look for the light and keep focused on that. How grateful I am for my high places, the house of the Lord, and the peace that it brings.

Day 881

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 14:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 14:2-3
"And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.
And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child."

Jeroboam's son Abijah is sick and he tells his wife to disguise herself and visit the prophet Ahijah. He wanted to know what would happen to the child. I found it interesting that he didn't send his wife to seek a blessing to make his son well. He wanted a fortune teller, not a prophet. This made me sit and ponder on a number of things. The prophet is not deceived at all, the Lord prepared him for her coming. The words that the prophet spoke were not of any comfort. In fact the chastisement and rebuke are very strong. The "fortune telling" he receives is the end of his kingdom. I pondered on how anyone that uses a prophet or the priesthood to seek for a sign or divination will hear words they wished they never heard. It will be a cursing instead of a blessing. It did make me think of someone I knew that used priesthood blessings in such a manner. What they really wanted was someone to tell them their future. It is little wonder that person has since apostatized.

Day 880

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 13:16-19

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 13:16-19
"And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither shall I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:
For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
So he went with him and did eat bread in his house and drank water.

I sat and wept for this "man of God out of Judah". He delivered his message to Jeroboam and was faithful in seeking and following the word of the Lord while with him. Then he is deceived by an "old prophet in Beth-el" and follows his invitation to go back to his house. This was against what the Lord had warned him of, and later he is killed. Would I not want to listen also to a prophet? Obviously this was no longer a prophet of God that he meet. How would I know the difference?

I decided that if I am on an errand of the Lord, and the path is told me different by anyone else I should inquire of the Lord who's errand I am on first. I should not take the word of another just because of their position. If they are of the Lord I would get the same answer. In fact I have been encouraged by my prophet to pray for confirmation and receive my own testimony of things. This story teaches the importance of what I have been taught.

Sadly, this has made me think of recent events for me. A family I love and have admired is now on a strange path, following false gods and teaching priestcrafts and occult practices. I have given my single warning and must leave them to themselves. What troubles my soul are those that will follow them, just because of what they used to be. I know the very elect are being deceived. How grateful I am for the scriptures and living prophets and apostles on the earth. I will not be deceived if I keep from strange paths, and do not drink their water. God has named all his laws and if I do not find them in the scriptures then they are not his. The way is very straight and clear ahead.

Day 879

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 12:26-28

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 12:26-28
"And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."

Jeroboam was only looking to himself and his gain. He is a classic story of someone setting up a priestcraft. He didn't want the people to go up to Jerusalem to worship in the house of the Lord, because he was afraid of losing them. Then he sets up his own version of things to worship. Even down to feasts. It's all an imitation of what God offers, mingled with what is pleasing to man. I pondered on how the people could even accept what he offered.

He offered them two golden calves to worship. Don't they know the story of Moses receiving the ten commandments and the the children of Israel having Aaron make the golden calf? Then I thought maybe they didn't. Maybe it has been so long since it happened that they no longer tell the stories to their children. Maybe they are not reading the scriptures as they should. I pondered on the danger the saints today can have too in not doing this. How important it is to read the scriptures daily. To know these stories and apply them in my life every day. There are so many lessons to learn from each story that I can never tire of studying the scriptures and pondering them in my heart. From this story I can see how easy it can be to be lead astray by false doctrine when I do not have the scriptures written upon my heart.

Day 878

Monday, August 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 11:2, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 11:2, 4
"Of the natinos concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away this heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father."

I thought it very interesting that the gift the Lord gave Solomon was a wise and understanding heart. It is this very heart that turned from God. In this he showed an incredible lack of wisdom. The very thing the Lord blessed him with lead to his downfall. I guess as the Lord can make weak things strong, Satan can turn around and take our strengths and make them our weaknesses. For Solomon's heart was turned from God in the name of love. Interesting how love can sound so beautiful but can become so twisted. For his love of these strange women did he seek to study and understand their gods? He must have thought himself wise enough to not be in danger of being lead astray. God warned Israel of this very thing.

"Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee, and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise." (Deuteronomy 12:30)

If Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived could be lead away, then how much easier could it be for me, if I studied false gods too? This is something I have felt the warning about over and over again. The most recent was watching the docuseries "Scientology and the Aftermath". I was a couple episodes into it when I had this very strong warning come into my mind to leave it alone. Don't watch and learn any more about their practices, even if it is presented in a way that exposes it in a bad light. I do not need my mind dwelling on such things. I had the impression that one lie can even be twisted in another lie. In the exposing of one lie your mind will think that whatever the person next presents as truth is true, even if that is also a lie. I saw a very cunning plan of the adversary laid out in front of me. I wish I knew how to describe the impression and warning that I had. All I know is I just had to turn it off and walk away, even when I found it very interesting. I may not be as smart as Solomon, but the spirit can give me all the wisdom I need to protect me from what I do not understand. The greatest protection to me is obedience.

Day 877

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 10:9

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 10:9
"Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice."

The queen of Sheba came to test Solomon with hard questions. When she had seen all of Solomon's wisdom and the house that he built, his acts and prosperity, and the happiness of all his men and servants these were the words that she spoke. I think they are the highest compliment anyone could ever give.

Day 876

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 9:8-9

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 9:8-9
"And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house?
And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have  taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil."

I could not help but think of the pilgrims coming to America for religious liberty. For generations America has served the God of this land. Now as its people grow in darkness the God that they serve is themselves. It is Lucifer that teaches man such a thing. So they grow without any consideration or feeling for others, and war among themselves. I feel so incredibly distant from it all. I am so grateful to my Lord for his protection and the peace that surrounds me. I know even if destruction comes there is a purpose if only to open the eyes of those that are headed into forbidden paths. I feel it is a time to wait upon the Lord until I am needed.

Day 875

Friday, August 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 8:54

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 8:54
"And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven."

As I was reading this it sure reminded me of a temple dedicatory prayer. Such marvelous spiritual and temporal blessings promised. So many warnings and protect and promises. Things were a little different for they were still practicing the Mosaic Law. Before the dedication they sacrificed so many sheep and oxen, that it could not be told or numbered for the multitude. After the dedicatory prayer Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord with 22,000 oxen, and 120,000 sheep. I cannot even imagine that scene. Would not the priest just be dripping in blood. Covered as if from every pore like Christ himself before his ultimate sacrifice.

Day 874

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 7:25

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 7:25
"It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward."

This chapter describes in more detail the appearance of the temple and what was contained inside it. I sat wishing I could see what it looked it. When it  mentioned lilies I thought of the lilies I have see in the temple decor in various temples. When I got to the twelve oxen with the sea set upon them I knew this as our baptismal fonts of today. This is something I have seen. I had to sit and look at photos of the various temple's baptismal fount. I photo of the Salt Lake Temple baptismal font made me think of the one Solomon built. I did see the font in brass in some and then it's covered white with gold leafing. I like what seemed to be the current version. I will have to actually go take a look at the font the next time I am at the Salt Lake Temple.

Day 873

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 6:1, 29-30

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 6:1, 29-30
"And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.
And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.
And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without"

It made me cry to realize how long God's people had to wait before they would have a temple. It was the very first temple of God. The tabernacle was before it, but this was a permanent structure.  There was no wonder that such precious things went into it. For this was the house of the Lord, and it deserved the best of what they had.

I was once asked why my faith puts so much money into building our temples, when the money could have been given to the poor. I think in materials the temple of Solomon cost far more than what is put into the temple's today. We do not have gold covering the walls, doors, and floors. It is more modest in comparison, but nonetheless of the highest quality and beauty.

Christ said "For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always." (John 12:8)

As I sit quietly in the temple and pondered I have no idea the financial status of the person sitting next to me. I have been poor, and in ways still am, and my soul has been comforted by knowing I belong. I cannot explain the rest it has given my soul to sit in such beautiful peaceful surroundings when I could never have that beauty in my home. The temple offers more to me than any handout anyone could have given me. As I have come to rely on the Lord he has provided for me. I have come to learn that if you want to bless the poor, you bring them to the house of the Lord. In His holy temple he gives more than money can ever buy.

Day 872

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 5:4-5

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 5:4-5
"But now that Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.
And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name."

I was thinking how blessed Solomon was to have had peace on every side of him. Then I realized that part of that purpose was in order to build a house of the Lord. I sat and pondered on the temple building today. How many temples have gone up in relative peace. I wonder if we will continue to build temples if unrest increases?  Now is the time for building temples, because when unrest comes the saints will need them more than ever. The temple is truly a place of rest for me. There is comfort and peace.

Day 871

Monday, August 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 4:22, 29

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 4:22, 29
"And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore."

This chapter goes on to tell of the vastness of king Solomon's wealth. I looked at the footnote for the work "provision" and it takes me to 1 Samuel 8:15.

"And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants."

These were the words of Samuel the prophet, warning Israel what to expected when they wanted a king. I pondered on why Solomon appears to be a good king. I think the difference not only is his wisdom and understanding, but the "largeness of heart" given him. This would be a protection to the people because Solomon heart would do what was best for them. I pondered on how important God's gift of  "largeness of heart" truly was in order for Solomon to be full of wisdom and understanding. If the heart was missing in this then Solomon could not have the depth of wisdom and understanding greater than anyone that every lived.

Day 870

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 3:4-5, 15

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 3:4-5, 15
"And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.
In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants."

In this chapter I was really struck by the large number of 1,000 burnt offerings Solomon gave to the Lord.  Then as I read that God said "Ask what I shall give thee", I pondered on what an amazing thing to be asked. What would I say?

In response Solomon asked for an understanding heart to judge the people, and he was promised this and more. When Solomon awoke he saw that is was a dream. Yet he then went and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and gave a feast to all his servants.

The promise in the dream is realized when two harlots come to him to judge who was the mother of the living child. Solomon showed great wisdom is discerning the true mother. This story is so familiar. Yet this time I saw something different. I think the reason Solomon was so blessed is due to the offerings he gave to the Lord before and after his dream. He gave before he was blessed and after the promise. He didn't just give a little, he gave a lot. This made me reflect on the widows mite. The size of the offering is relative to what would be a sacrifice for me.

Day 869

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 2:3-4

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 2:3-4
"And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statues, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel."

What I pondered on is how the Lord's promises have two parts. Whatever the Lord says will come to pass, if I keep my end of the covenant with him. It is only by my actions that promised blessing maybe lost.

Day 868

Friday, August 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 1:5, 9-10

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 1:5, 9-10
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants:
But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not."

So David's son Adonijah plots to obtain the kingdom and sets himself up to be king. I found it very interesting that the very people he left behind were the most important people he needed next to him. David had promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be king after him, and that is the brother Adonijah left out. He also left out Nathan the prophet, and the mighty men.

When David is told about what Adonijah has done he calls for Solomon to be anointed king. I love seeing how the Lord is always one step ahead of evil. Solomon is anointed king with nothing standing in his way. When Adonijah guests hear the trumpet and the news proclaiming Solomon king they all begin to fear, rise up and go their way. The party is over for Adonijah. Solomon gives his brother another chance to show himself a worthy man. Adonijah bows himself down to Solomon in the end. I can see so much wisdom in the Lord in the way things worked out.

Day 867

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 24:1, 3, 10

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 24:1, 3, 10
"And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
And Joab said unto the king, Now the Lord thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, and hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?
And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."

I didn't get what happened here. Wasn't David told to number Israel? Once it's done David says he sinned in doing it. Then the Lord calls his prophet Gad to go to David to choose which of three punishments would come upon the people. I had to think about this one. Hadn't Moses been told to number Israel? Why was it now a bad thing for David to have done?

I realized that the Lord was angry at Israel, but who was "he"? I turned to the footnote and learned,
"And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel."  (1 Chronicles 21:1)

I went back to Joab words "why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?" Then I asked myself why did Moses number Israel? It was for the Lord's purposes. From those numbers they order the leaders of the tribes, and armies. They divided inheritances. There was great purpose in numbering Israel at that time.  What was David's purpose? Why would he delight in this? If he was inspired by Satan then it wasn't for a good purpose. It had to be for his pride. He delighted in what he had control over. That is what he was tempted in. His purposes were his own and not the Lord's. That is the evil that came into his heart.

As I sat and pondered on this and reflected on my life, I can see it's not always easy to tell when Satan is driving me to puff myself up. When those things happen I am headed for a great fall.

Day 866

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 23:15-16

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 23:15-16
"And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, which is by the gate!
And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord."

In battle these three mighty men risked their lives and went without command to Bethlehem to bring back its waters to David. Then he doesn't drink it, but pours it out. What a waste I thought. Was that not like a slap in the face for the service they offered? I just had to sit and ponder of what just happened. Then I saw that David was so moved by their bravery that the highest honor that water could be given was to the Lord. If I was one of those men I should be honored to have that water poured out to the Lord. Sitting and pondering on this made me realize I don't always see the gift, or the act of receiving a gift, with its true intent.

Day 865

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 22:48-49

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 22:48-49
"It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,
And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man."

That brought back memories that probably should be painful, but are not. I only grieve for the "violent man". How much have they lost because of their actions? How much have I gained because the Lord strengthened me? For me I would not change a thing.

Day 864

Monday, August 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 21:1, 3

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 21:1, 3
"Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord?"

I pondered on how David's people suffered because of the sins of Saul. Then I realized some of those same people acted on the words of Saul. Yes, they as a people had to atone for what they did contrary to the will of the Lord. Just because they had a righteous ruler now, didn't mean they had escaped justice for what they had done.

Day 863

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 20:16

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 20:16
"Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee."

I pondered on how it took one wise woman with courage enough to speak to Joab to find out what the issue was and solve it. Most problems can be solved if I seek to understand, listen, and then speak.

Day 862

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 19:4-5

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 19:4-5
"But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of they daughters, and lives of they wives, and the lives of thy concubines;"

Joab spoke some hard words to David to get him out of mourning. The thought just kept coming to me. Who and what we mourn for doesn't always makes sense. The grief of a rebellious child can cause mourning on so many levels. Family is still family even if they turned on you. It can open so many wounds on so many different levels. David might not have even been mourning for Absalom, but for himself. It is not mine to question why someone mourns. It simply is what it is. Mourning is a process that needs to be worked out. Sometimes reality is a hard thing to bare. It is often the words of a friend that can touch our hearts, but it is best done with care.

Day 861

Friday, August 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 18:5, 33

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 18:5, 33
"And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!"

It is rather heart breaking that even though David's son Absalom would have killed his father to have the kingdom, David never sought revenge. He truly loved and mourned his son. I know similar grief as a parent. The mourning isn't so much what they were are the time, it's what they had the potential to become. I think would have been, are the most heartbreaking things to bare. Does not my Heavenly Father know this pain even greater than I? It is a pain only the Lord can carry for me.

Day 860

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 17:2

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 17:2
"And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only:"

This may have been what Ahithophel's presented to Absalom, as his plan to over through David.  What I pondered on is how that is the adversaries plan too.  Get me so tired that I don't rest, take care of myself, and just get weary, disappointed and full of frustration. I just read something else about this just before reading my scriptures.

This is what Jeffrey R. Holland posted on Facebook.
"For those of you who earnestly seek to bear another’s burdens, it is important that you refortify yourself and build yourself back up when others expect so much of you and indeed take so much out of you. No one is so strong that he or she does not ever feel fatigued or frustrated or recognize the need to care for themselves.

Jesus certainly experienced that fatigue, felt the drain on His strength. He gave and gave, but there was a cost attached to that, and He felt the effects of so many relying on Him. When the woman with an issue of blood touched Him in the crowd, He healed her, but He also noted that “virtue had gone out of him.”

I have always been amazed that He could sleep through a storm on the Sea of Galilee so serious and severe that His experienced fishermen disciples thought the ship was going down. How tired is that? How many sermons can you give and blessings can you administer without being absolutely exhausted? The caregivers have to have care too. You have to have something in the tank before you can give it to others."

I'm not feeling over tired right now, but I know with the load I have been carrying that I getting really close. I really need to schedule some of my projects in a better manner so the crunch isn't all at once to meet my deadlines. I'm going to heed the little warning I felt impressed to ponder on tonight and refortify myself before I am all burnt out.

Day 859

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 16:12

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 16:12
"It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day."

It was really hard to find a favorite verse in this chapter. People were just treating David badly. Then I realized in all of it David bore it patiently and willingly. He wasn't angered and ready to seek revenge. That is why I liked this verse it shows David is willing to wait and see what the Lord will do.

All of this makes this verse more understandable.

"Now, I speak unto you concerning your families - if men will smite you, or your families, once, and ye bear it patiently and revile not against them, neither seek revenge, ye shall be rewarded;"
(Doctrine & Covenants 98:23)

Day 858

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 15:2-4

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 15:2-4
"And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.
And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.
Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

Absalom is just trouble. After reading this chapter and how he conspires against David, and caused him to flee Jerusalem, I went back to see how Absalom gained his supporters.

It was that little voice, that took those looking for judgment into his confidence. Boy, does he sound like a politician. Flattering words, and offering to solve all their problems. What I see is no humility at all. When a person is looking for judgment in a matter they already feel wronged. They were prime candidates. They were so open to hearing anyone that would bring them justice, or make things go in their perceived favor. I wondered how I could stop from listening to such a person. All I could think of is to make sure the spirit is with me, so I know when to walk away from such a man.

The other thing I pondered on was how Absalom said "Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel." Meaning he's a member of the church just like them. He is here to help them when the king (or prophet) is incapable of doing so. I think this also point to a lesson in the seeds of apostasy.

Day 857

Monday, July 31, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 14:30-31

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 14:30-31
"Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.
The Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?"

Absalom wants to see his father king David. He kept asking Joab to come see him so he could ask to be sent to the king. Finally, Absalom gets desperate enough that he burned Joab's field to get him to come to him. Not a very nice thing to do but it was effective.

What this made me think about is how sometimes the issues I have before me aren't really the issue. It's something else the Lord is trying to tell me or get my attention on in the matter, or just get me to move in another direction. I will have a trial and while getting through that trial I have been given greater blessings instead. Sometimes the field is on fire because its the only way to get my attention.

Day 856

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 13:14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 13:14-15
"Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.
Then Amnon hated her exceedinghly; so that he hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise be gone."

It was a pretty terrible thing that Amnon did to his sister Tamar. What I noticed though was his behavior afterwards toward her. He acted like he had a right to hate her. This hatred was driven by his guilt, yet he didn't want to acknowledge his actions in this. He made it the victim's fault. It was anyone else's fault but his. He could not even acknowledge what he had done was wrong. It made me think now things never change. I see this behavior still happening today.

Day 855

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 12:14

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 12:14
"Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."

Because of David's sin with Bathsheba, the illegitimate child born from that union was to die. I do not mourn for the child, for it was taken into the bosom of the Lord. It was David and Bathsheba that would suffer for the loss of their child. I pondered on why that needed to be. I think with the eye for an eye, mosaic law that they lived under that sign needed to be given, that David would not prosper in wickedness. Even the enemies of the Lord could not say that God was not being just in this matter. It gave no rise to scorn. It made me think of Uzzah that touched the ark of the covenant to steady it and died for it, because he was not a Levite. God had to show a stiffnecked people there were penalties for breaking his commandments. The child did not suffer, it was his parents that did. David lost his eternal exaltation. Yet at the end the Lord is pleased with David and Bathshebe and their new son Solomon. Eventually the Savior's mortal line would come through them.

Day 854

Friday, July 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 11:1

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 11:1
"And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem."

The is the story of David and Bathsheba, and how he tried to cover his sin to the point he has her husband Uriah killed in battle.  For this David lost his exaltation. What I pondered on is where it first went all wrong for him. I kept working my way backward in the story. Until I was back to verse one. "But David tarried still at Jerusalem."  David wasn't where he was suppose to be. It says this was "at the time when kings go forth to battle".  If David had been doing what he was suppose to be doing he never would have slipped down the slop he should have never gotten on. There is protection in being were I need to be, and doing as I am suppose to be doing. The Lord will be with me, and the spirit will be my guide if I am doing as he would have me do.

Day 853

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 10:2

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 10:2
"Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon."

I didn't recall any mention of Nahash showing kindness to David. I then searched the scriptures and couldn't find that answer. All I can think is this must have happened during the time that Saul persecuted David and he fled to the land of the Philistines. I thought it rather sad that David's motives were not taken at face value. That instead princes of the children of Ammon have to cast doubt and suspicion. This all made me think about how nations can never get along if we cannot stop war long enough to trust but verify.  

Day 852

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 9:1, 3

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 9:1, 3
"And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?
And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?  And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet."

This is just so touching and sweet that David wants to honor the house of Saul for the sake of his love for Jonathan. Then he finds that Jonathan did have a son, who was also lame. David then promises to take care of him, and that he is eat at his table continually.

I pondered on how David's impression to remember his friend, were timely in caring for the needs of Jonathan's son. How important it is for me to be listening and make inquires as the spirit directs. You just never know if they will lead you to someone in need.

Day 851

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 8:11

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 8:11
"Which also king David did dedicate unto the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued;"

Dedication made me think of the law of consecration. In the Scripture Study Helps I found this on the subject.

"To dedicate, to make holy, or to become righteous. The law of consecration is a divine principle whereby men and women voluntarily dedicate their time, talents, and material wealth to the establishment and building up of God's kingdom."

I remembered reading these quotes in my "Starting and Growing My Business for Self-Reliance" manual (pg 9). I had to go find them and record them because I didn't want to forget them. It had really struck me when I read them.

"The Lord has the power to help us become self-reliant. He has said "Behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles" (2 Nephi 27:23). As we dedicate, or consecrate, our efforts in our businesses to the holy purpose of becoming self-reliant, the Lord will guide us through inspiration. As we show our faith by listening for and obeying promptings, the Lord will do His miracles and make more out of our efforts than we could ever do on our own."

"To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes."  (D. Todd Christofferson)

Day 850

Monday, July 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 7:20, 22

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 7:20, 22
"And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant.
Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears."

This made me ponder on those moments when I say my prayers and am at a loss of what to say. God knows my heart, my trials, my desire, and my needs. I feel it rote to tell them to Him. When I try it seems so hollow.  In such moments I have found what I need to do is tell my God how great thou art. It's not so much a prayer of thanks because my prayers of thanks are just focusing on me and what I have received. Instead these prayers just worship God and acknowledge all that he had done. How wondrous and glorious he is. Truly praises to a God and King. I have seen my prayers that don't even reach the ceiling, turn to prayers the reach the heavens. I am learning to be grateful when I feel like my prayers are hollow, because that is when I change them to acknowledging God's great works, and the contrast could not be any greater. My God always acknowledges he has heard me.

Day 849

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 6:6-7

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 6:6-7
"And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God."

I couldn't figure out why Uzzah had to die for steading the ark. He was trying to protect it? Then I read the footnotes and found this.

"Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever."
(1 Chronicles 15:2)

Uzzah must have not been a Levite, and not authorized to carry the ark, and put his hand on it. His death was a consequence for disobedience. It was very powerful lesson for all of Israel. They are still living the law of Moses and have clearly been warned of these things. Sacred things must be handled with care. It made me think how I cannot treat the things of the temple lightly too.

Day 848

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 5:3, 10, 12

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 5:3, 10, 12
"So all the elders of Israel came to the king of Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel.
And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.
And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.

I cried when I read that David was finally anointed king over Israel. I wonder if the people did too?  Finally Israel has a righteous king. I pondered on how David grew great. First he knew it was the Lord that had done this for Israel's sake, not David's. That would leave you with a lot of humility. Then in verses 19 & 23 it says "David inquired of the Lord" and in verse 25 "David did so, as the Lord had commanded him."  This shows David obedience and faithfulness to the Lord's will. I love David these are the traits I would want too.

Day 847

Friday, July 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 4:10-11

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 4:10-11
"When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:
How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?

Once again someone tries to kill an "enemy" of David thinking to gain his favor. I pondered on how right David's response was to kill those that murdered, even more so when it was to get gain. For the peace of the land this needed to be done. I read several articles on the church's position of murderers. I couldn't help but reflect on that fact that this was something David himself eventually had an issue with.

"And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land.
(Doctrine & Covenants 42:79)

"We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of the government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment."
(Doctrine & Covenants 134:8 - declaration of belief regarding governments and laws)

Day 846


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 3:1

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 3:1
"Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker."

I pondered on how doors opened up to strength the house of David. The ripple effect of one single false claim against Abner turned his loyalty to David, and weakened Saul's son Ish-bosheth support.

This make me think of this scripture

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."  (Alma 37:6)

David in his youth was anointed by Samuel to be king over Israel. Over the years David must have wondered how it would all happen. After Saul's death David inquired of the Lord on where to go and was told Hebron. From there he was made king of Judah. I pondered on times when I know things are going to happen just not how they will happen. What I have to do is just trust in the Lord and the plan as it is given me. The Lord always has a better plan that what I can envision.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

Day 845

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 2:1

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 2:1
"And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? and he said, Unto Hebron."

Saul is dead and I love how David doesn't just take the crown and bracelet that were brought to him and claim the kingdom. He turned to the Lord. He doesn't move until the Lord answers him and instructs him on the course he needs to take. I pondered on no matter the trial or task ahead of me this should be my first course of action too.

Day 844

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 1:10, 14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 1:10, 14-15
"So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.
And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?
And David called on of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died."

I sat puzzled for a while and wondered why David had the young Amalekite killed that brought the news of Saul and Jonathan's death and the defeat of Israel to him. The Amalekite tells him that he slew Saul after Saul leaned upon his spear and was yet still alive. Well now it made sense to me why some parts of this story said Saul killed himself and others that he was slain. The slayer knew Saul was about to die.  So again why did this man have to also die?

I think it must be because the Amalekite did it for gain. I'm not sure one could ever slay another for mercy. He then took Saul's crown and bracelet and brought them to David. There must have been a motive thinking he would have favor with the next king. In looking at the footnotes I see my impressions were right.

"When one told me, saying, behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:"  (2 Samuel 4:10)

Day 843

Monday, July 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 31:13

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 31:13
"And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days."

In this chapter it records the death a Saul and his 3 sons, including Jonathan. What stood out to me was how the men that recovered their bodied, fasted an incredibly long seven days after burning and burying their bones. I have fasted for others to be healed but I never thought of fasting after someone died. Recently, I had started fasting for joy, just in gratitude for all the Lord has done for me. I needed nothing else, just held my monthly fast for the joy of it, and I was filled with joy. But fasting for sorrow, and mourning that had not occurred to me. Yet, now I see it has always been in the scriptures. I would imagine if I can fast for joy to have joy, that one in mourning could fast to find comfort and peace. One could fast for another in mourning so they would be comforted.

As I pondered more on this new thought I realized I felt absolutely no sorrow for the death of Saul. I did for Jonathan, but not Saul. I was rather done with Saul. You know that's not really the right way to feel about any person. Maybe if I felt that way about someone's death that I would very much need to fast to be in the right frame of mind in the matter. In the case of Saul maybe I would need 7 days to right myself with fasting. It did make me wonder if there are parts of the story of Saul that are missing from the bible.

Day 842

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 30:8, 16

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 30:8, 16
"And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah."

I pondered on timing. How it does works for our advantage when we trust in the Lord. David first went off to battle with the Philistines to fight against Israel. A tender mercy of the Lord is that the Philistine leaders sent him back to the land he had been given. When David arrives at home he finds the town burned and their families taken captive. David then turns to the Lord and inquires on what to do. He is told to pursue and all would be recovered. Then he happens upon a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite. He had been left behind 3 days prior because he became ill. From this encounter David is able to learn it was the Amalekites that raided their town and took their families captive. The servant then leads them to where they are camped. Upon arrival they find the Amalekites in the middle of celebrating. They are eating, drinking and dancing. Not really good activities prior to being attacked. With this advantage David and his men are able to slay the Amalekites and recover their families and all the spoils of their enemy.

If David hadn't been sent back from going to battle with the Philistines, his family would have been long gone and probably not recoverable upon his return. He wouldn't have meet the person that could tell them who had burned the city and taken their families captive. He also wouldn't have meet the enemy when they had full bellies, drunk with wine and energy spent with dancing.

I pondered on why the Lord couldn't have sent David back home in time to protect their family and city. Then I realized he would have meet the enemy in their prime and might not have been victorious over defending them. Neither would he have benefited from the enemies spoils of war gathered from raiding other towns.

No, the timing of this was perfect. As hard as this whole situation was for everyone involved, it showed that the Lord would still bless them in the end.  

Day 841

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 29:8-9

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 29:8-9
"And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to battle."

The Philistines are going up to battle against Israel. When they discovered that David and his men are coming with them to fight, they tell Achish to make him return back to the land he had given him. Interesting that they didn't just kick David and his men out of their land completely.

What I see here is a tender mercy of the Lord. David has fled Israel because of Saul. He has been faithful to the man that took him in. Now he was showing his loyalty by being willing to take up arms to defend the land with them. That must have broken his heart to think of fighting against Israel. Now the Philistines are impressed to make him return back to the land where he has been residing among them.

I sat and pondered on times I have been asked to do things I didn't want to do. But, I knew it was right to agree to do so, so I said I would with a heart willing to serve. Then the thing was called off, changed or told I was no longer needed. I have always felt it was a tender mercy of the Lord.

Day 840

Friday, July 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 28:15

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 28:15
"And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answered me no more, neither by prophet, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do."

I do not believe for a minute that it is Samuel speaking to Saul in this chapter. After pondering on this, this is some of what I see.

The Philistines come up to battle against Israel and when Saul saw them "he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled".  Fear is a tool of the adversary, so I can tell the condition of Saul's heart.  Samuel was now dead so Saul couldn't turn to him. He inquired of the Lord and He answered him not, neither by dreams, Urim or prophets. This is my first clue that if the Lord was going to speak to Saul he would have done it through the tools given for such communication.

So what does Saul do now? He looks for a woman with a familiar spirit. That is what led him to the witch of Endor, seeking a revelation from Samuel. Which is wrong on so many levels. This witch then calls up Samuel. She saw gods ascending out of the earth. I pondered on the times Heavenly Father, the Lord, and angels have appeared to men. They come from above, the heavens, I cannot recall any time they came from below. The only thing that crawls from the pit below is Lucifer or his followers. This is what the witch of Endor saw.

This witch of Endor was a follower of Satan. She had no power to bring Samuel from the grave for all that is there is a rotting corpse. Samuel was a righteous prophet of God and his spirit is residing in paradise awaiting the resurrection. She was not calling him down from heaven. She has no power or authority to do so. What she called from the pit was some being cast out into hell.

Then as I go over the words this false Samuel speaks I think about Satan's ability to quote scriptures. To give 99% truth and the 1% percent lie that leads us down to hell. Of course he knows what Saul has been told in the past by the Lord and Samuel. All that Satan is doing is leading Saul to absolute defeat and despair. Saul is so afraid at this point his strength is gone, and he is sore afraid. I thought again on great spiritual experiences, like Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove and how afterwards he is left with no strength, but soon recovers. There was no despair but enlightenment. Saul had none of that.

So why did Satan appear to Saul as Samuel? I think it was a great desire to have Saul despair to the point he would take his own life. There was not one word of repentance and needing to turn his heart back to God. He wanted Saul to have no hope and just give up. If Samuel had been sent from God to speak to Saul there would have been chastisement, but also a call for repentance. Isn't that exactly what happened to Saul in the New Testament, that became a new man named Paul?  Seeking revelation through darkness will only brings darkness. If it was from God there would be hope.

Day 839

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 27:1, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 27:1, 4
"And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him."

I read this chapter several times over. I cannot tell if the spirit led David or not.  All I can tell is that escaping to the land of the Philistines more than likely preserved his life. All I could think of is Doctrine & Covenants 122:7-8

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wade after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever."

Day 838

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 26:12

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 26:12
"So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them."

I was struck by the words "deep sleep". I had heard of the Lord causing a deep sleep before, but I wondered how many actual references in the scriptures there are. There are 18 references to deep sleep. I read all of them.

It seems the Lord can use a deep sleep to blind the wicked from his righteous work. He can also use it to bring visions of the night. He's used it as a tool for the righteous to flee, or for them to achieve his errand. He even used it when he removed one of Adam's ribs.

This made me think of this verse.

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 37:37)

Since I was a child I have always said my prayers before going to bed at night. I could never fall asleep without doing so. What a comfort it is to me to know the Lord will watch over me while I am sleeping.

Day 837

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 25:21

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 25:21
"Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good."

Such an interesting "coincident" for me to read this story tonight after just having a very similar experience happen to me minutes before reading this. I had helped someone in need for a very long time, and I thought our relationship one I could ask a favor. Especially now that they were in a good place. Sadly, I saw a side of them I didn't realize existed. I could not believe the words that came from their mouth. I begged their pardon for asking and said it was fine, it was totally their decision.

I would be lying if I said it was not somewhat grieved a little inside. I had the thought "Why is it ok to have me help and support them, but not ok to ask for support in return?"  I asked myself if I would have invested so much time and effort in helping them in their want, if I knew how they would feel in my small need? No, I did what I needed to do because I loved them and they needed me. I would do it all again, and will probably have the same opportunities in the future. My behavior would not change either way.

Seeing that I had other resources I don't know why I felt to ask them. It just felt like the right thing to do. When I needed help I just thought of them. Maybe from this experience they needed to learn something about themselves. More than likely I needed to learn more about me. After-all there are no coincidences.

As I sat reflecting on all this I realized it was a good experience for me to go through. I could see growth in myself in how I react. Years ago I would have fumed and been angry and never wanted to help them ever again. I would have held a grudge for a very long time. I have none of that now inside of me. Yes, I had a moment of pain, honestly I cannot expect anyone to do things for me when they don't want to. I have no idea what may be going on in their life right now. I might think them in a good place, but obviously they are not. I am so grateful to the Lord that I have other resources to turn to.

Day 836