Ezekiel, chapters 21-23

“[…] You will be remembered no more, for I myself, Jehovah, have spoken.”
~Ezekiel 21:32

The Bible says Jehovah God has been writing the names of faithful ones in the “Book of Life” since the beginning of mankind, so to speak. (Rev. 17:8)
Various prophets including Moses, David, Malachi, John (the Apostle), Paul and Jesus himself made reference to this symbolic book. (Ex. 32:32,33; Ps. 69:28; Mal. 3:16; Luke 10:20; Php. 4:3; Rev. 3:5)
If our choices reflect a healthy fear of God, even if we die, he will keep us alive in his memory until the time of the resurrection. (Luke 20:37,38; John 5:28,29)
On the contrary, how sad it would be to die without any hope of returning to life because we have offended God to the point that he has completely wiped us out of his memory.

Jeremiah, chapters 51 & 52

“‘[…] They will sleep a lasting sleep,
From which they will not wake up,’ declares Jehovah.”
~Jeremiah 51:39

The Bible explains that there are at least two different types of deaths.
One is the death of someone whom God will resurrect in Paradise, a death Jesus likened to sleep. (Luke 23:39-43; John 11:11-13)
The other death the Bible refers to is that which results in nothingness, nonexistence, simply dust and ashes. (Gen. 3:17,19; Isa. 66:24; Luke 12:4,5; Rev. 20:15)
God foretold through his prophet Jeremiah that Babylon’s leaders would receive permanent punishment for the war crimes they committed, reiterating in verse fifty-seven that they would not benefit from the resurrection hope. (Jer. 51:6, 9, 24, 25, 35, 47, 49, 56)
This prophecy was fulfilled in the year 539 b.C.E., when the city fell in one night to the Mede and Persian armies while the empire’s leaders celebrated a banquet. (Daniel 5:1-3, 30)
Because Jehovah God has appointed his son Jesus as judge, it is unwise for us to speculate whether someone who does not serve God today will not benefit from the resurrection in Paradise. (Acts 10:36,42)

2 Kings, chapters 12-15

“As some men were burying a man, they saw the marauder band, so they quickly threw the man into Elisha’s burial place and ran off. When the man touched the bones of Elisha, he came to life and stood on his feet.”
~2 Kings 13:21

Although the Bible mentions other resurrection accounts,* this is only one of two resurrections realized directly by Jehovah God (the other being that of Jesus) (1 Cor. 15:3-6).

Elisha had already been buried when this second cadaver was thrown into his grave, and since there is no consciousness in the grave, the resurrection should be credited to Jehovah, not Elisha, who to this day has no idea that his bones resurrected a man, because he is dead (Eccl. 9:5).

That Jehovah should be so merciful as to restore a random dead man’s life to him demonstrates God’s power and will to resurrect the millions of people who have been swallowed up by death (Ps. 141:7; Acts 24:15).

This will shall be carried out under Christ’s rule when his kingdom blessings have reached the earth (Matt. 6:10).

*The other resurrection accounts can be found at: 1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:32-37; Luke 7:11-17; 8:40-42; 8:49-56; John 11:38-44; Acts 9:36-42; 20:7-12.

2 Kings, chapters 1-4

“At this the boy’s mother said: ‘As surely as Jehovah is living and as you yourself are living, I will not leave you.’ So he got up and went with her.”
~2 Kings 4:30

The Shunammite woman is worthy of noting because of the fine example of faith, respect and hospitality that she displayed.
She displayed hospitality toward the prophet Elisha by offering him meals and a room to stay in, without expecting anything in return (2 Ki. 4:8-10, 13, 14).
She displayed respect toward her husband’s position as head of the household by consulting him before carrying out important decisions, despite being a “prominent woman,” (2 Ki. 4:8-10, 22, 23).
And she displayed faith in God because when her only son died, she ran and then clung to the prophet until he resolved to go see him (2 Ki. 4:19-21, 27-31).
Years earlier, when the prophet had promised her a son, she had replied, “Do not tell lies to your servant,” (2 Ki. 4:16).
Now, under these tragic circumstances, she firmly told her husband, “Everything is all right,” because she knew Elisha’s predecessor had resurrected a boy under similar circumstances (1 Ki. 17:20-22; 2 Ki. 4:23).
The Shunammite woman’s faith and behavior were compensated when her son’s life was restored to him (2 Ki. 4:35-37).
It is as Jesus stated, “Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will get a prophet’s reward,” (Matt. 10:41).
Therefor we should hold fast to our faith in the resurrection and demonstrate our faith with actions.

Exodus, chapters 30-33

“But now if you are willing, pardon their sin; if not, please wipe me out from your book that you have written.”
~Exodus 32:32

Moses is making reference to the “book of life,” a figurative book representing God’s memory of those who have passed away and whom he will one day resurrect (Rev. 3:5).
Shortly after Israel solemnly vowed to obey God, Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving instructions on how to institute pure worship (Exo. 24:3, 12).
Meanwhile, back at the camp, the people were growing restless.
They concluded something must have happened to Moses and asked his brother, Aaron, to make them a god- a tangible one that they could worship then and there (Exo. 32:1).
Aaron succumbed to the pressure and figured the gold idol he made was just as well a representation of Jehovah (Exo. 32:2-5).
Jehovah was furious and he explored the option of exterminating the nation in order to form a new nation stemming from Moses (Exo. 32:10).
Moses humbly appealed to God on behalf of his people, begging him to take other factors into account (Exo. 32:11-13).
Of course, Jehovah already knew he was going to give Israel the opportunity to repent time and again, but by planting the option of extermination, we can appreciate Moses’s self-sacrificing attitude and the great love he felt for those whom he led.
Moses was willing to be wiped out from existence because the extermination of his people would have signified he had failed them as a leader.
This leads me to ask myself: do I show similar concern for the welfare of those who have been commended to my spiritual tutelage?

feast to idol

Israelites deviated to idol-worship despite having solemnly sworn to vow only before Jehovah.

Genesis, chapters 32-35

Genesis 33:4~

E′sau ran to meet him, and he embraced him and kissed him, and they burst into tears.

When Esau last saw Jacob, he had plans to kill him (Gen. 27:41).

20 Years later, as described in the above passage, his heart has been softened.

He has taken on a more spiritual approach to life.

This teaches me that people can change for the better.

It is wrong to give up hope on someone without giving them time to reflect on their own actions and see the negative consequences of their bad decisions.

Usually it’s those closest to us that let us down. A family member or a best friend who was like a sister or brother.

God doesn’t give up on people from one moment to the next. He patiently waits for them to repent (2 Pet. 3:9).

And if we want to truly change, then it is imperative to ‘clothe ourselves in humility,’ as in the case of Esau (Col. 3:12).

Genesis 35:8~

Later Deb′o·rah, Re·bek′ah’s nurse, died and was buried at the foot of Beth′el under an oak. So he named it Al′lon-bac′uth [meaning: tree of weeping].

I had never taken this passage into account.

According to a Bible encyclopedia, Deborah lived for about another 125 years after Rebekah and Isaac married (it-1 p. 600).

She had left everything behind to accompany Rebekah south into a new family and new lifestyle, for Isaac’s household dwelt in tents.

In all this time she became a part of their family and they were moved to heartfelt grief upon her death.

I am touched by the inclusion of this small but telling detail in the Holy Scriptures.

In a book that selectively lists ancestries and important dates to provide historical proof and context, the fact that God included this about Deborah, a humble servant, tells us how much he values the lives of those who render sacred service toward Him (Matt. 10:29-31).

Bible map Patriarch's travels

Genesis, chapters 11-16

Genesis 14:11-16~

Then the victors took all the goods of Sod′om and Go·mor′rah and all their food and went on their way. They also took Lot, the son of A′bram’s brother who was dwelling in Sodom, as well as his goods, and they continued on their way.
After that a man who had escaped came and told A′bram the Hebrew. […]
Thus A′bram heard that his relative had been taken captive. With that he mobilized his trained men, 318 servants born in his household, and went in pursuit up to Dan. […]
He recovered all the goods, and he also recovered Lot his relative, his goods, the women, and the other people.

What I learned:

In this passage, the loyalty of Abram (later Abraham) is center stage as he valiantly steps up to the plate in the search and rescue of his relatives who were being held hostage.
Although it had been Lot who had decided to move his household into the area that wound up being a war zone, Abram pro-actively and without any self-interest or hesitation resolved to organize a campaign to save them.
Abram’s loyalty reminds me of the loyalty God feels for us when we are in trouble and out of options.
“Give thanks to Jehovah, for he is good;
His loyal love endures forever.”
(1 Chron. 16:34).
He is also a God of action, and even when someone falls into the most helpless of states- that is death- he promises to raise them in the resurrection.
“Your dead will live…” (Isa. 26:19).