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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB July 1

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Jul 01
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

There are things of interest this month. First of all, there is a total solar eclipse on the 1st of Av (July 21) that you might want to put on your calendar. I don't know if you'll be able to see it or not (I don't know what latitude it occurs at) but seeing it is not why it's noteworthy so much. This solar eclipse is the second of three consecutive total solar eclipses on the 1st of Av, beginning last July 08. If you watched Mark Biltz videos I recommended this past week, you'll understand more of what I'm talking about. Basically, Mark says that throughout the Bible and history, a solar eclipse is God's declaration of judgment on the nations (not Israel). And he also says that lunar eclipses are declarations of God's judgment on Israel. If you watched the videos, you'll be up on the tetrads coming in 2014 and 2015. Very enlightening!

The second thing to be aware of is the 9th of Av (July 30). Historically, this is a landmark for all kinds of happenings to Israel, all of which are bad. Says Wikipedia :

According to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6), the day commemorates five events: the destruction of the Temples (note the plural), the return of the twelve scouts sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan (with a bad report by ten resulting in terrible consequences for boht the spies and Israel), the razing of Jerusalem following the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and the failure of Bar Kokhba's revolt against the Roman Empire.

Other events occurring on the 9th of Av in history:

  • WWI began

  • Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in 587 BC

  • In 70 AD, Titus and the Roman 10th Legion destroyed the temple and burned it to the ground

  • In 1290 all the Jews were kicked out of England

  • In 1492 all the Jews were kicked out of Spain

  • Hitler's proclamation to kill the Jews was issued

  • Israel evacuated the Gaza strip

I am not prophesying doom and gloom, however, in light of the interesting math involved (three solar eclipses on the 1st of Av three years in a row), and remember that the Hebrew calendars change dates on the Gregorian calendar every year because they follow moon cycles. What are the chances?

Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years... Genesis 1:14 Mark Biltz reminds us that the sun, moon and stars are for signs and seasons. The Hebrew word for "signs" is "owth" which means, "signal, warning." The word for "seasons" is "mow ‘ed" which means, "appointed time." Let's plug in the values:

Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signals, warnings, and for appointed times and for days and years...

The tetrads that Mark Biltz teaches about are verifiable and mind-boggling. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the videos (posted this past week)! Or check out this website :

Exciting stuff!

2 Kings

18 As you read through this chapter, think about the voice of Satan coming against you in your battles. Think about the way he maneuvers to intimidate you, trick you, twist the truth, make you think God is against you, make you doubt that God will help you. It's a very telling encounter. But this passage is a good reminder of why we don't make deals with Satan. First, we find Hezekiah giving all he has (15-16) to make peace with his enemy. But though "Senny" (Sennacherib) indicates that it will be enough up front, Hezekiah discovers that no amount is enough. Senny can't be bought off-he will keep coming back until the object of his wrath is destroyed (in this case, Israel).

Senny uses lies and intimidation to get Israel to surrender to him. Satan does the same to us! "You're too small...God is too weak or too mean...Give up to me now or I'll ruin you...God is on my side and He's against you..." This exemplifies some of our tests of faith against our enemies and our temptations.

18:22 "But perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God!' But isn't he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah? Didn't Hezekiah tear down his shrines and altars and make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem worship only at the altar here in Jerusalem? Total twist. Hezekiah tore down the pagan shrines, but the people were so confused by the traditions and lies (much like we are today) that they weren't sure what the truth was.

18:23 "I'll tell you what! Strike a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. Haven't you heard this before? "Strike a bargain with me and big brother will watch out for you...do it my way and I'll give you what you're looking for."

18:25 What's more, do you think we have invaded your land without the Lord's direction? The Lord himself told us, ‘Attack this land and destroy it!'" This could be a truth or a lie. God may have set them up to be defeated! He delights in rescuing the underdog (thank goodness for me!).

18:31-32 These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well. Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one—a land of grain and new wine, bread and vineyards, olive groves and honey. Choose life instead of death! Keep in mind who is speaking here. Satan counterfeits the true promises of Jesus, but Satan ALWAYS promises more than he delivers. Remember, he is a liar and the father of all lies. There is no truth in him. He wants you to attribute to him the power, allegiance, and preference that is due to Jesus Christ! But the exact opposite of his promises will happen if you listen to him.

19:1, 14, 15 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the Lord. After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord's Temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed... The proper response to Satan's attacks and life-shattering lies: humble yourself (fast and repent), lay your concerns out before the Lord, and PRAY!

19:18 "Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God." A powerful prayer. God will not give His glory to another or His praise to idols (Isaiah)!

19:25 "But have you not heard? I decided this long ago. Long ago I planned it, and now I am making it happen. I planned for you to crush fortified cities into heaps of rubble.  Remember, God orchestrates these "GIANTS" in our lives to show everyone who He is. He wants to do so much through His children. Will we be the 10 spies who gave the bad report...or the 2 spies who said, "I am no grasshopper?" (If you are confused, you probably missed a reading)

Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." I am convinced that the Holy Spirit anoints a person with other-worldly courage for His will for them.

Psalm

149:6-9 Let the praises of God be in their mouths (the godly, afflicted ones), and a sharp sword in their hands—to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains, to execute the judgment written against them. This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones. Have you ever thought about the fact that God will use His faithful ones to help take vengeance on His enemies (our enemies, too)? This will come during the age of Judgment and will be corrective in nature. I'd never noticed this passage before and it is both comforting and eye-opening.

Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? I Cor. 6:3