Five days a week, millions of children attend school were teachers and professors use words to teach them about that day’s lesson. Each week, pastors deliver, with words, sermons and messages designed to teach their congregations valuable lessons from the Bible. In workplaces around the world, words are used to teach new employees their jobs, and old employees new aspects of their long-held position. Self consciously or not, we all evaluate these teachers. Our decision on whether we like their teaching method and style is influenced not only by what they teach, but how they teach it.
As discussed in a previous lesson, Jesus was always talking, using words to teach others the truth of salvation and the truth of what was written in the Scriptures. Compare the way He taught, with the way the Pharisees taught. (Matthew 23)
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” (Matthew 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29, ESV) “Woe to you, blind guides.” (Matthew 23:16, ESV)
July 17, 2018: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for 2 Kings 11-15
Click here for the reading
Commentary: Ahab and Jezebel raised their children to be much like them. Their son, Ahaziah died a year after he became king, however their daughter Athaliah married the King of Judah, Jehoram. Athaliah sought power, killing her grandchildren to become queen. Only one young royal prince survived, Joash. Joash, as he was approximately seven years of age, and had several advisors ruling in his place, including a Godly priest. Together, they helped restore Judah to the worship of the Lord God and dedicated money for the rebuilding and restoration of the Temple. Chapter 13 demonstrates God’s willingness to forgive all sin and the final miracle of Elisha…after his death. The remaining chapters are summaries of the numerous kings of Israel and Judah. Very few were considered good kings and even the good kings made mistakes, such as Uzziah (Asariah), whose death was mourned by Isaiah. Uzziah greatly suffered after attempting to intrude on the office of priest.
Focus Verses: 15:9,18,24,28 The majority of the kings who ruled “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” Why do you think more disobeyed, rather than obeyed, the Lord? Does that same reasoning apply to society today? How is your relationship with the Lord?
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 11:17 am EDT
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected a request for clemency from Christopher Young. The son of Young's victim is, along with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to grant a one-time 30-day stay of execution.
Updated: Monday, July 9, 2018 11:22 am EDT
Christopher Anthony Young is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Thirty-four-year-old Christopher is convicted of the murder of 55-year-old Hasmukhbhai Patel on November 21, 2004, in San Antonio, Texas. Christopher has spent the last 12 years on Texas’ death row.
Christopher dropped out of school after the 9th grade. He worked as a laborer prior to his arrest. Christopher had previously been convicted of possessing marijuana, evading arrest, and three assault with bodily injury. He also attacked his mother when he was a juvenile.
On November 21, 2004, a security camera recorded a man, later identified as Christopher Young, entering a convenience store at 9:37 am. He appeared to be concealing something in his left pocket. After looking around the front of the store, Young approached Hasmukhbhai Patel, the owner of the store who was working near the rear. Young asked about the cost of cleaning clothes at the store before lowering his voice and demanding that Patel “give up the money.”
Patel and Young moved towards the front of the store, and Young could be seen holding a silver handgun. Young fired two shots at Patel, who was behind the cash register, where he had pressed the panic button. Patel attempted to flee, but Young chased him, cornering him behind the cash register, which blocked them from the view of the camera. Young emerged after a few seconds, concealing his handgun under his shirt.
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 11:28 am EDT
Robert J. Van Hook is scheduled to be executed at 10 am EDT, on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. Fifty-eight-year-old Robert is convicted of the murder of 25-year-old David Self on February 18, 1985, in David’s Cincinnati apartment. Robert has spent the last 32 years on Ohio’s death row.
Robert’s parents were both heavy drinkers and Robert began drinking as a toddler. His father started taking him to bars at the age of 9. Robert began using drugs, provided by his father, at the age of 11, and continued using drugs and alcohol into adulthood. Robert’s father was violently abusive to his mother, and at least once towards him. Robert was kicked out of the military for his drug and alcohol abuse, to his great distress. Robert had also attempted suicide numerous times.
On February 18, 1985, Robert Van Hook went to a gay bar in an attempt to find someone whom he could rob. Van Hook approached David Self. The two men talked and drank fro several hours before leaving the bar and going to David’s apartment. Van Hook maneuvered David into a “vulnerable position,” and strangled David until he was unconscious. Using a kitchen knife, Van Hook killed and mutilated David and then fled the apartment, taking several of David’s valuables with him.
Van Hook fled to Florida, where he was arrested by police six weeks later. Van Hook confessed to the crime. He was convicted and sentenced to death in August 1985.
The Ohio Parole Board recommended, by a vote of 8-1, that Ohio Governor John Kasich deny clemency for Van Hook. Van Hook's lawyers argued before the board that clemency should be granted due to emotion and physical abuse suffered during Van Hook's childhood - alleging that these issues were not fully explored by his trial attorneys. They also claim that Van Hook is remorseful for his crimes. Prosecutors rejected this claim, noting that Van Hook stabbed a fellow inmate in prison last year. On Friday, June 29, 2018, Governor Kasich announced that he would follow the recommendation of parole board and not grant clemency. The Ohio Supreme Court has also announced, without comment, that they will not halt the execution.
This is not Van Hook’s first execution date. After the controversial January 2014 execution of Dennis McGuire, executions were halted in Ohio due to ongoing legal challenges to the execution protocol. Read more information here. As Ohio schedules its executions several years in advance, numerous execution dates were rescheduled, and sometimes multiples times for the same person. Executions resumed in Ohio on October 19, 2016, with the execution or Ronald Phillips.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of David Self. Please pray for strength for the family of Robert. Please pray that if Robert is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Robert may come to find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.
July 13, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 28
China: Twenty-eight-year-old Zhao Zewei has been sentenced to death for a knife attack at a school in northern China that resulted in the deaths of 9 children. Eleven others were injured in the attack. Police believe that he attacked the school because of a long-held grudge. Zhao was arrested at the scene.
Egypt: Eleven members of the terrorist group, Muslim Brotherhood, have been sentenced to death for murdering three policemen. The policemen were killed and their vehicles burned.
India: The Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for four men were fatally gang raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, Nirbhaya, on a bus in New Delhi. That brutal attack sparked outrage internationally, and led to strong anti-rape laws. A total of six men were arrested for the crime. One committed suicide in prison, while another was a juvenile and spent three years in a reform facility before being released.
The Madras High Court has confirmed the death sentence of 23-year-old S Dhasvanth, an engineering graduate who has been convicted of raping and murdering a 7-year-old girl. Dhasvanth lured the girl into his apartment with a dog. He then raped and strangled her to death before placing her body in travel bag and dumping it on a highway. He has also been accused of murdering his mother while he was out on bail and fleeing. That case is still pending.
Iran: On Saturday, July 7, 2018, eight prisoners were executed by hanging. It has not been reported where the execution took place, however, the prisoners were being held at Evin Prison. The inmates were identified as Soleiman Mozafari, Esmail Sufi, Rahman Behrouz, Seyyed Majed Mortezai, Sirous Azizi, Ayyoub Esmaili, Khosro Ramezani and Osman Behrouz. All were convicted of being involved in 2017 terrorist attacks on the parliament at Tehran and at the Shrine of Ayotollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Also on Saturday, Afghan national Naeem Manduzehi was executed by hanging at Zahedan Central Prison. He was convicted of murder. Naeem had father nine children and was born in 1970.
Do you aspire to be a “better Christian?” Do you want to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the Lord? Well, I’ve got good news for you! It is possible! In as little as one year, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries can help you transform your relationship with the Lord!
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
Right there! That is how you are going to grow and deepen your relationship with the Lord! You have to take the first steps and draw near to Him! You have to actively seek after a relationship with the Lord. How?
A great starting point is simple: daily study of His Word, the Bible. God has given us the Bible as a history book, a textbook, a praise book, a philosophy book, a book of warning of the coming future, and so much more! By following along with our “52 Week Bible Reading Plan” (available here), daily study will allow you to completely read through the Bible in one year. It is perfect for beginners who don’t know where to start, or for those who have already read the Bible a couple dozen times. Each reading, each study can bring new meaning and realization.
The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries wants to help you! Each day, we will post a summary of the day’s reading on our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org. We will also post specific verses to focus on each day. Read through the entirety of the day’s reading. Then come back and re-read the focus verses. Prayerfully contemplate the questions asked about the reading. If you miss a day, don’t worry! Past commentary can be found under our “Scriptures” tab.
Our 2018 Daily Bible Study begins on December 31, 2017, but join us anytime! So, are you ready to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the Lord this upcoming year? Then let’s go!