Covetousness (1)

“Let your conduct be without covetousness.”                 Heb 13:5 NKJV

Covetousness begins with craving, then evolves into conniving to get what you want. Achan, Ahab, Ananias and Sapphira were willing to steal, lie and kill to get what they wanted. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” This Scripture means that what you have in Christ is greater than whatever else you don’t have! Covetousness is: (1) Wanting status but not wanting to serve; wanting control so that you can be at the center; wanting wealth strictly for yourself; wanting praise from others. (2) Wanting the right things but for the wrong reasons. “If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work” (1Ti 3:1 NKJV). Wanting to make an impact is a good thing, but you must want it for the right reasons. If you want it for personal recognition and power over others, that’s covetousness. (3) Wanting the right things but at the wrong time. A young couple says, “We love each other. We’re going to get married in three months. But we want to sleep together now.” They want the right thing for the right reason, but they want it at the wrong time. That’s covetousness. (4) Wanting the right things but in the wrong amount. Covetousness is wanting more than is required for your needs, and to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. Understand this: more of anything other than God will never satisfy the longing for fulfillment He’s placed within you. Only when you acknowledge that, will you find true and lasting happiness.

http://theencouragingword.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/covetousness-1/

The End Of Ahab’s Selfish Family

Elisha the prophet called one of the followers of the prophets and said to him, “Tighten your belt, take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth in Gilead. When you arrive there, look for Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, and when you go in take him into an inner room, away from those who are with him. Then from the flask pour oil on his head, and say, ‘Jehovah declares, I have anointed you to rule over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee without delay.”

So the young man went to Ramoth in Gilead. When he arrived, the officers of the army were sitting together. And he said, “Commander, I have a message for you.” Jehu said, “To which of us?” He replied, “To you, O commander.” Then Jehu rose and went into the house; and the young man poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Jehovah the God of Israel says, ‘I have anointed you to rule over Jehovah’s people, over Israel!'” Then he opened the door and hurried away.

When Jehu came out to the servants of his master, they asked him, “Is all well? Why did this insane fellow come to you?” He answered, “You know the man and his message.” But they said, “You are deceiving us. You must tell us.” Jehu replied, “He said this to me: ‘Jehovah says, I have anointed you to rule over Israel.'” Then each quickly took his garment, laid it at his feet on the bare stairs, and blew the horn and cried, “Jehu is the ruler of Israel.” So Jehu plotted against Joram.

Now Joram, with all the Israelites, had been defending Ramoth in Gilead against Hazael king of Aram, but Joram had gone back to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which he had received from the Arameans when he fought with Hazael king of Aram. So Jehu said, “If it is your will, let no one escape from the city to bring news to Jezreel.” Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went toward Jezreel.

While the watchman was standing on the tower of Jezreel, he saw the cloud of dust about Jehu, as he came, and said, “I see a cloud of dust.” Joram said, “Send a horseman to meet him and ask whether he comes with peaceful purpose.” So the horseman went out to meet him and said, “The ruler of Israel asks, ‘Do you come with peaceful purpose?'” Jehu replied, “What have you to do with peace? Turn and follow me.” So the watchman said, “The messenger went to them, but does not return.” Then Joram sent out a second horseman who went to them and said, “The ruler of Israel asks, ‘Do you come with peaceful purpose?'” Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Turn and follow me.” So the watchman said, “He also went to them but does not return; however, the driving is like the driving of Jehu, for he drives very fast.”

Then Joram said, “Get my chariot ready,” and when it was ready he went to meet Jehu and found him in the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Do you come with peaceful purpose, Jehu?” Then Joram turned to flee, but Jehu drew his bow and struck Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow went through his heart, and he fell down in his chariot.

Then Jehu said to Bidkar, his charioteer, “Take him up and throw him into the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for I well remember that, as you and I rode together after Ahab, his father, Jehovah pronounced this sentence upon him: ‘Surely I saw yesterday the blood of Naboth and his sons, and I will punish you on this same piece of land.’ So throw him into this piece of land, as Jehovah said.”

Then Jehu arrived at Jezreel. As soon as Jezebel heard of it, she painted her eyes, arranged her hair, and looked out of the window. As Jehu came in at the gate, she said, “Is all well with you, you traitor, you murderer of your master?” But he looked up to the window and cried, “Who is on my side? who?” Two or three slaves looked down at him, and he said, “Throw her down.” And they threw her down and the horses trampled on her. When Jehu had gone in and had had something to eat and drink, he gave this command, “Look after this woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull, the feet, and the hands. When they went back and told Jehu, he said, “This is what Jehovah declared by his servant Elijah when he said, ‘On the piece of land at Jezreel the dogs shall eat Jezebel’s flesh, and her body shall be as refuse on the surface of the field, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.'”

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/The-End-Of-Ahabs-Selfish-Family.shtml

Micaiah’s Courage In Telling The Truth

For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. But in the third year, when Jehoshaphat the ruler of Judah came to visit the ruler of Israel, Ahab said to his followers, “Do you not know that Ramoth in Gilead belongs to us; yet we sit still instead of taking it from the king of Aram?” Then he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth in Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied, “I am with you, my people are as your people, my horses as your horses.”

And Jehoshaphat said to the ruler of Israel, “Ask now what Jehovah has to say.” So Ahab gathered the prophets together (in all about four hundred men), and asked them, “Shall I go to fight against Ramoth in Gilead or shall I not?” They said, “Go up; for Jehovah will give it into your hands.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there any other prophet of Jehovah, that we may ask him?” The ruler of Israel answered, “There is another by whom we may ask of Jehovah, Micaiah, the son of Imlah, but I hate him; for he prophesies for me nothing good, but only evil.” Jehoshaphat said, “Do not say so.”

Then the ruler of Israel called a servant and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah, the son of Imlah.” The messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, “See, the prophets have all of them promised the ruler of Israel success. Agree with them, and prophesy success.” But Micaiah said, “As surely as Jehovah lives, I will speak what he says to me.”

When he came to Ahab, he said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth in Gilead to fight, or shall we not?” He answered him, “Go up and conquer! Jehovah will give it into your hands!” But Ahab said to him, “How many times shall I warn you to speak nothing to me in the name of Jehovah but the truth?” He said, “I saw all the Israelites scattered upon the mountains as sheep that have no shepherd. And Jehovah said, ‘These have no master; let each of them go home in peace!'”

The ruler of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would prophesy for me nothing good, but only evil?” Micaiah said, “Hear then the message from Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne and all the host of heaven standing about him. And Jehovah said, ‘Who will deceive Ahab, so that he will go up and fall at Ramoth in Gilead?’ One suggested one thing and another, another, until a spirit came out and stood before Jehovah and said, ‘I will deceive him.’ Jehovah said to him, ‘By what means?’ He said, ‘I will go out and become a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then Jehovah said, ‘You shall succeed in deceiving him. Go out and do so.’ So Jehovah has now put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, for he has decided to bring evil upon you.”

Then Zedekiah came near and struck Micaiah a blow on the cheek and said, “How was it that the spirit of Jehovah went from me to speak to you?” Micaiah replied, “Indeed, you shall see on the day when you shall go from one hiding-place to another.” Then the ruler of Israel said, “Take Micaiah back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the ruler’s son, and say, ‘This is the ruler’s command: Put this fellow in prison and feed him with a scanty fare of bread and water until I return successful.'” Micaiah said, “If you indeed return successful, Jehovah has not spoken by me.”

Then Ahab, the ruler of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, the ruler of Judah, went up to Ramoth in Gilead. And the ruler of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will dress myself so that no one will know me, and go into the battle, but you can put on your robes.”

But a certain man shot an arrow, and by chance it struck the ruler of Israel between the breastplate and the lower part of his armor. So Ahab said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn about and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” But the battle grew more intense, so that Ahab stayed until evening propped up in his chariot in the sight of the Arameans, and the blood ran out of the wound into the bottom of the chariot. And that evening he died.             About sunset the cry went out through the army, “Each to his town and each to his land, for the ruler is dead!” So they went to Samaria and buried Ahab there. And when they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, the dogs licked up his blood just as Jehovah had said.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Micaiahs-Courage-In-Telling-The-Truth.shtml

 

Ahab The Thief

Now Naboth, the Jezreelite, had a vineyard in Jezreel next to the palace of Ahab, who ruled at Samaria. So Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it as a vegetable-garden, for it is near my palace; and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it is more pleasing to you, I will pay you its value in money.” But Naboth answered Ahab, “May Jehovah save me from the crime of giving you what has come down to me from my fathers!”

So Ahab went into his house sullen and in bad humor because of what Naboth had said to him. And he lay down on his bed and covered his face and would eat no food.

But Jezebel his wife came to him and said, “Why are you in such bad humor that you will not eat?” He replied, “Because I made this offer to Naboth, ‘Give me your vineyard for its value in money, or else, if it is more pleasing to you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ But he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.'” Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “Are you not the one who now rules in Israel? Rise, eat, and set your mind at rest. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth.”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal and sent the letters to the leaders and officials who lived in Naboth’s city. In the letters she wrote, “Proclaim a fast and put Naboth in front of the people. Then set up two base men before him and let them bring this charge against him: ‘You cursed God and the ruler of Israel.’ Then carry him out and stone him to death.”

The leaders and officials of Naboth’s city did as Jezebel commanded in her letters to them. They proclaimed a fast and put Naboth in front of the people. Then the two base men came in and sat before him, and the scoundrels in the presence of the people said, “Naboth cursed God and the ruler of Israel.” Then they carried him out of the city and stoned him to death. And they told Jezebel, “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Rise, take the vineyard of Naboth which he refused to sell you, for Naboth is not alive but dead.” As soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he went down to the vineyard of Naboth to take it. But this command came from Jehovah to Elijah, the Tishbite, “Rise, go down to meet Ahab, the ruler of Israel, who lives in Samaria; he is just now in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take it. Say to him, ‘This is the message of Jehovah, “Have you killed and also taken his vineyard? In the very place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth there they shall also lick your blood.”‘” Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have. And Jehovah has declared: ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.'” When Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and ate no food.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Ahab-The-Thief.shtml

God’s Low Whisper

Now when Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah had put the prophets to death with the sword, she sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “As surely as you are Elijah and I am Jezebel, may the gods do to me what they will and more too, if I do not make your life as the life of one of those prophets by to-morrow about this time.”

Then he was afraid and fled for his life. And he came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness and sat down under a desert tree, and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

Then he lay down and slept under the desert tree, but an angel touched him and said to him, “Rise, eat!” When he looked, he saw there at his head a loaf, baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. But the angel of Jehovah came again the second time and touched him and said, “Rise, eat, or else the journey will be too long for you.” So he rose and ate and drank and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mountain of God.

Then Jehovah passed by, and a very violent wind tore the mountain apart and broke the rocks in pieces before Jehovah; but Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake; but Jehovah was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but Jehovah was not in the fire. After the fire there was the sound of a low whisper. As soon as Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then he heard a voice saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very jealous for Jehovah the God of hosts, for the Israelites have forsaken thee, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword, and I only am left; and they seek to take my life.”

Then Jehovah said to him, “On your way back go to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you arrive there, anoint Hazael to rule over Aram, Jehu, the son of Nimshi, to rule over Israel, and Elisha, the son of Shaphat, to be prophet in your place. Then every one who escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death; and every one who escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. Yet I will spare seven thousand in Israel–all who have not worshipped Baal and kissed his image.”

After he had left, Elijah found Elisha the son of Shaphat, as he was ploughing with twelve pairs of oxen. When Elijah went up to him and threw his mantle upon him, he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Elijah said to him, “Go back, for what have I done to you?” So Elisha turned back and took one pair of oxen and offered them as a sacrifice and, using the wooden ploughs and yokes as fuel, boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people to eat. Then he arose and followed Elijah and served him.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Gods-Low-Whisper.shtml

The Prophet Of Fire

In the third year of the famine this command came from Jehovah to Elijah: “Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.” So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab.

The famine was so severe in Samaria that Ahab had called Obadiah, the overseer of the palace. Obadiah was very loyal to Jehovah; for when Jezebel tried to kill the prophets of Jehovah, he took a hundred and hid them in a cave and kept them supplied with bread and water. Ahab said to Obadiah, “Come, let us go through the land to all the springs and to all the brooks, in the hope that we may find grass, so that we can save the horses and mules and not lose all of them.” So they divided the land between them, Ahab going in one direction and Obadiah in another.

While Obadiah was on the way, Elijah suddenly met him. As soon as Obadiah knew him, he fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” He answered, “It is; go, tell your master: ‘Elijah is here.'” But Obadiah said, “What sin have I done, that you would give your servant over to Ahab to kill me? As surely as Jehovah your God lives, there is no nation nor kingdom where my lord has not sent to find you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made each of the kingdoms and nations take an oath, that no one had found you. Now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, Elijah is here!’ As soon as I have left you the spirit of Jehovah will carry you to a place unknown to me, so that when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will put me to death, although I, your servant, have been loyal to Jehovah from my youth! Have you not been told what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of Jehovah, how I hid a hundred by fifties in a cave and fed them continually with bread and water?” Elijah answered, “As surely as Jehovah of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will show myself to Ahab to-day.”

So Obadiah went to Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah. As soon as Ahab saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is it you, you who have brought trouble to Israel?” He answered, “I have not brought trouble on Israel, but you and your father’s house have; because you have failed to follow the commands of Jehovah and have run after the Phoenician gods. Now therefore call together to me at Mount Carmel all the Israelites and the four hundred and fifty prophets of the god Baal who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

So Ahab sent for all the Israelites and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. Then Elijah came to the people and said, “How long are you going to falter between worshipping Jehovah or Baal? If Jehovah is the true God, follow him, but if Baal, then follow him.” But the people were silent. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left as a prophet of Jehovah, but there are four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. Let us take two oxen; let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, without lighting any fire, and I will dress the other ox and lay it on wood, without lighting any fire. Then you call on your god and I will call on Jehovah. The god who answers by fire is the true God.” All the people answered and said, “It is a fair offer.”

Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the oxen for yourselves and dress it first, for you are many, and call on your god, without lighting any fire.” So they took the ox which he gave them and dressed it, and called on their god from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us.” But there was no voice nor answer, although they leaped about the altar which they had built.

When it was noon, Elijah mocked them, saying, “Call loudly, for he is a god; either he is thinking, or he has gone out, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened!” Then they called loudly and cut themselves, as was their custom, with swords and lances until the blood gushed out upon them. When noon was past, they cried out in frenzy until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was neither voice nor answer nor was any attention paid to their cry.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people drew near to him, and he rebuilt the altar of Jehovah which had been thrown down. Then around the altar he made a ditch that would hold about two bushels of seed. When he had placed the pieces of wood in order, he cut up the ox and laid it on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt-offering and on the pieces of wood.” And he said, “Do it the second time”; and they did it the second time. He said, “Do it the third time”; and they did it the third time, so that the water ran round the altar. And he also filled the ditch with water.

When it was time to offer the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Jehovah, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy command. Hear me, O Jehovah, hear me, that this people may know that thou, Jehovah, art God, and that thou mayst win their hearts.”

Then the fire of Jehovah fell and burned up the burnt-offering and the wood, the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and cried, “Jehovah, he is God; Jehovah, he is God.” But Elijah commanded them, “Take the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape!” So they took them down to the Brook Kishon and there put them to death.

Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink; for there are signs of a heavy rain.” So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel and crouched down upon the earth, with his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” But seven times he said, “Go again.” So the servant went back seven times, but the seventh time he said, “There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising out of the sea.” Then Elijah said, “Go, say to Ahab, ‘Make ready your chariot; go down, that the rain may not stop you.'” In a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. And as Ahab rode toward Jezreel, Elijah was given divine strength, so that he tightened his belt and ran before Ahab to the entrance to Jezreel.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/The-Prophet-Of-Fire.shtml

Elijah And The Widow’s Son

When Asa had been ruler of Judah for thirty-one years Omri became ruler over Israel, and he ruled twelve years. He bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he built a city on the hill and named it Samaria, after Shemer, the owner of the hill.

When Omri died, Ahab his son ruled in his place. But Ahab displeased Jehovah more than all the kings who had ruled before him. He married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and then began to worship the Phoenician god Baal. He also built an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he built in Samaria.

Then Elijah from Tishbe in Gilead said to Ahab, “As surely as Jehovah the God of Israel lives, whom I serve, there shall be no dew nor rain for years except as I announce it.”

Then this message from Jehovah came to Elijah: “Go from here and hide yourself near the Brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”

So he obeyed the command of Jehovah and lived near the Brook Cherith. The ravens brought him bread every morning and meat every evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there had been no rain in the land.

Then this message from Jehovah came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath which belongs to Sidon, and live there. I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he went to Zarephath.

When he came to the gate of the city, a widow was there gathering sticks. Calling to her, he said, “Bring me, I beg of you, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” As she was going to get it, he called after her, “Bring also a bit of bread with you.” She replied, “As surely as Jehovah your God lives, I have nothing baked, and only one handful of meal in the jar and a little oil in the jug. Now I am gathering a few sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” Elijah said to her, “Fear not; go and do as you have said, but first bake for me a little dough and bring it to me. Afterward make some for yourself and your son. For Jehovah the God of Israel declares: ‘The jar of meal shall not be empty, nor the jug of oil fail, until Jehovah sends rain upon the earth.'”

So she did as Elijah directed; and she and her child, as well as Elijah, had food to eat. From that day the jar of meal was never empty and the jug of oil did not fail, as Jehovah had said through Elijah.

Now after this the woman’s son fell sick; and his sickness was so severe that he stopped breathing. So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to remind me of my sin by taking the life of my son!” He said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him up into the upper room where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. Then he prayed earnestly to Jehovah and said, “O Jehovah, my God, hast thou also brought misfortune upon this widow, with whom I am staying, by taking the life of her son?” And he stretched himself upon the child three times and prayed to Jehovah and said, “O Jehovah, my God, I pray thee, give back this child’s life to him again.”

So Jehovah listened to Elijah’s prayer; and the life of the child came back to him, and he sat up. Then Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house and gave him to his mother; and said, “See, your son lives!” The woman said to him, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the message of Jehovah that you speak is true.”

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Elijah-And-The-Widows-Son.shtml