Calling All Worshippers

Lord, You are the only Truth & Way. Teach us to fear You alone, bowed down & worshipping You in thought word & deed with reverential awe for our lives are in You.

MINI SCRIPTURE SOAKING BIBLE STUDY ~ Part One

Several years ago, the Lord laid on my heart to write Bible studies.  These are called Scripture-Soaking Bible Studies because participants “soak” in His Word.  We read the Scripture, then we read it again, then we write what we learn from it.   The more time we spend in His Word, the more He writes the Truth of His Way on our heart so we can stand strong against views contrary to Him which surround us and exalt themselves as truth.  This is a “mini” Scripture Soaking Bible Study in that we will complete it via just a few blog posts. ~ Elizabeth

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

We are called to be worshippers – a people who know who God is and in light of His supreme sovereignty, almighty power and victorious inscrutable Way – freely lay down our wills and our burdens in order to simply contemplate His majesty and seek to enter His most intimate presence while we are still on earth before we enter heaven.  We worship Him in thought, word, song and action, seeking to make every breathe a sacrifice of praise because He is.

Sometimes we are at risk for treating worship as just another activity, when it should be a lifestyle.  (And it is a lifestyle which is a gift and not a burden or obligation!)  Sometimes treating worship with complacency (which is not authentic worship) can happen because we don’t remember or have never learned how God promises to respond when we worship Him above all else.

God is unchanging.   Therefore how He responded to the worship of the people in the Old Testament is how we can expect Him to respond to us as well. A wonderful depiction of how God responds to worship beyond anything we can imagine when we believe in Him for who He is and trust Him with all our circumstances is a story of Jehoshaphat found in the book of 2 Chronicles.

Now let us begin our study.  We will read through the relevant Scripture (Bible verses).  Questions will follow each section.  At the end of each question will be the Scripture reference where the answer can be found.  These questions will cause us to contemplate portions of the Scripture which are most revelant for us in light of the topic of this “mini” study by highlighting their message.  In addition, pertinent notes will be placed below sections of verses in italics.  To gain the most from this mini-study, please print this out, write the answers to the questions and add notes of your own!   

Lord, open our eyes to see and our ears to hear what You would have us know about You and Your Way through this study! ~ Elizabeth

2 CHRONICLES 17 (Amplified) ~Jehosphaphat becomes King of Judah.

1JEHOSHAPHAT HIS son reigned in Asa’s stead and strengthened himself against Israel.

     2And he placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had taken.

     3The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the first ways of his father [David]. He did not seek the Baals

     4But sought and yearned with all his desire for the Lord, the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not after the ways of Israel.

     5Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor.

Why was the Lord with Jehoshaphat (for him and not against him)? (2 Chron 17:3-4)

What did the Lord do for Jehoshaphat because Jehosphat honored God above all and put no other god before Him?  (2 Chron 17:5)

NOTES: Jehoshaphat was blessed by God because Jehoshaphat treated God as Lord.  He knew that he was under God and wanted to be subservient to Him.  He understood God had all power and all knowledge and was worthy of worship, and that we cannot say we are for God and with God if our actions show otherwise.  In order to receive the blessings God promises to all those who align themselves with Him, the alignment must be authentic.  And so Jehoshaphat did not seek wisdom, knowledge, power, provision, protection or blessing from anything or anyone but God.  He set about to eliminate any potential source of wisdom and power which was not God.

Verse 3 tells how he did not seek the Baals, who were idols and not the real God. 

Verse 4 describes how though an earthly king, Jehoshaphat knew God was so much more and yearned for Him alone.  He also wanted to honor Him and so chose to try to live according to God’s commandments.  He did not do as others did, but put obedience to the invisible, one true God first.

In verse 5 once again God reveals one of His most basic traits: He is an “if-then” God.  In other words, if we are a specific way, then He promises to respond in a certain way.  Here it validates that if we put God first in all things, then He will make sure we have all that we need in every regard.  He will be our “covering”, protecting and providing for us perfectly.

     6His heart was cheered and his courage was high in the ways of the Lord; moreover, he took away the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.

Verse 6 describes one more of Jehoshaphat’s key actions during his reign.  He had all other altars to all other so-called gods removed from his kingdom (Judah).  There would only be honor given to the one true God.  Jehoshaphat understood that God is not to be mocked.  Either we treat Him as God or we do not.  There is no middle ground. (Middle ground is compromise and thus subject to the same treatment as if we blatantly declared and acted as if God were not our God.)

     7Also in the third year of his reign he sent his princes Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah to teach in the cities of Judah;

     8And with them were the Levites–Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah; and with these Levites were the priests Elishama and Jehoram.

     9And they taught in Judah, and had the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went about throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

What were the princes, Levites and princes sent into all the cities of Judah to do?

In verses 7-9 we learn about how Jehoshaphat sent out princes, Levites and priests to teach the entire population (in all the cities and villages) about God.  We cannot worship what we do not know.  In order to know God is worthy of worship, we must know Him. Jehoshaphat knew that in order for the entire kingdom to come under the covering of God’s Lordship with perfect protection and provision, the populace would have to know enough about God to bow to Him.  Yet the generation before had not followed God and therefore not taught the current generation the Truth about the Lord God.  Therefore Jehoshaphat dispatched the princes, Levites and priests to teach them.  The equipping the people of the kingdom of Judah received as a result became the critical pre-requisite for what they would do when crisis came and what God would do in response.

     10And a terror from the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.

Why didn’t the other kingdoms who surrounded Judah make war against Judah and Judah’s King Jehosphaphat?

Jehoshaphat had a fear of the Lord.  He knew who God was so he would do anything in an effort to live a life pleasing to God – which honored Him.  (The Bible says the for us the reverential worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning of true Wisdom from God.[Job. 28:28]. ) As a direct consequence of Jehoshaphat putting God on the throne of his life with the proper reverential, worshipful fear of the Lord, God protected Jehoshaphat by causing all the kingdoms surrounding Judah to be afraid of Judah and therefore to leave them in peace for a particular time period.

To be continued in the next post…. Meanwhile we hold all these revelations in our minds and hearts until then, when the foundation of faith laid by Jehoshaphat, which caused the people to know God well enough to trust Him and worship Him with reverential fear and awe, becomes the critical component to their survival.

Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result in December 2009 I was in the studio beginning to record CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.  Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.  It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2  or CDbaby.com  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.  Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby or amazon.com links.  May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season.

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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