I know, I missed posting last week (the 'b' word again, I'm afraid). And this week I nearly didn't make the meeting due to a particularly mild version of 'man-flu' which saw me spend most of yesterday in bed and contemplating the same for the rest of today. But it was good to be with the guys (when isn't it?!) and my shares went something like this:
8:11 - "Solomon brought Pharoah's daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said, "My wife must not live in the palace of David King of Israel, because the places the ark of the LORD has entered are holy."" Solomon was marrying a wife from another nation - which he shouldn't have been - and it seems as if he's acutely aware of this by the fact that he realises that he can't/shouldn't take her to a holy place where God has been. It's the fact that, despite knowing this, he still went ahead and did it that really struck me.
24:2 - "Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest." I didn't get to share this as someone else already had, but I think several of us had it down. The importance of a role model/mentor/spiritual leader is seen here in that during Jehoiada's life Joash did what was right. But it also shows something negative about Joash, namely his over reliance on this mentor. So... mentors are good and have an important role to play, but over reliance on them isn't.
12:1 & 26:16 - "After Rehoboam's position as king was established and he had become strong he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the LORD." & "But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall." I was struck by the fact that it was after God made them strong/successful/secure that they abandoned God. I sometimes think that it's easier to rely on God when we're really 'in need' of Him. Then, when we perceive that we're not, we forget the Lord and try and walk in our own strength. The consequence? Disaster.
Next week is a 3-booker: Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. I realised this week that in terms of pages we have now covered well over half of the bible since we began meeting together last September/October. For me it has been one of the greatest blessings of the past 6/7 months. There's still a way to go before we finish up in June - but I am nothing but excited about how God will continue to speak to us as we read His word together.