“To Share and Share Alike”
Gregory V. Boulware
The King of Babylon was named ‘Nebuchadnezzar.’ He was a very powerful man and the army he commanded was strong. The day came when he decided to attack Jerusalem. He and his army captured many of the elders. Although they had become prisoners and slaves of the ‘Babylonians,’ they were allowed to keep on worshipping the Lord God Jehovah.
God spoke to a prophet named ‘Jeremiah.’ He told him to send a message to the captives in ‘Babylon.’ The message reads:
“Live Peacefully in Babylon. You and your children will stay there for many years and then I will lead your people home again.”
The King of Judah at that time was called ‘Zedekiah.’ At first, he listened to the words of Jeremiah and did not make war on Babylon. Jeremiah told him that if he attacked Babylon, terrible things would happen to him, his family, and his people.
After some time had passed, he became angry with the prophet’s words. He thought he was powerful enough to go up against the Babylonians. He had Jeremiah arrested and thrown into a dungeon. The foolish king did plan to leave him there until he died. Unsurprisingly, the dungeon was a nasty and terrible place. There was no floor except for the dirt, rock and in some places; very deep mud. This was truly a deep and dangerous place. Jeremiah became stuck in one of the mud patches and began to sink. Fortunately for him, one of the king’s soldiers believed in Jeremiah’s words. He tossed him down a rope and hauled Jeremiah to safety from the sinking mud. He then found him a dry place in the dungeon where there was no mud to sink him.
Jeremiah predicted the Babylonian army would conquer the army of Judah. It did come to pass. With this defeat, King Zedekiah was blinded by the Babylonian soldiers, but before he lost his sight he was forced to watch them kill his sons!
Jeremiah was allowed to remain in Jerusalem once he was released from the dungeon. The Babylonians burned the city, took all the treasures, and made all of the rich people their slaves. Jeremiah decided to stay with the poor people. They were the only ones left. It was the final battle for the land of Judah – the country had been destroyed.
Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh was not a good king. When Hezekiah died, his twelve-year-old son became the new king. He urged his people to worship the idols his father had destroyed. He had them worship the sun, the moon, the stars and even the false god ‘Baal!’
God sent prophets to warn Manasseh, but they went unheeded and ignored. So God allowed the Assyrian army to capture Manasseh. They chained him and took him to the land of Babylon.
Finally, Manasseh realized the power of God. He prayed to the Lord and asked to be able to escape. God answered his prayer and allowed him to return to Jerusalem, promising to only believe in the One, True God.
He ordered the temples and altars of Baal destroyed. He also ordered the people of Judah to only pray to the Lord God Jehovah.
When Manasseh died, his son Amon became the new king. He also made sure that all of the idols of false gods such as Baal were destroyed, and have the people pray only to the Lord God Jehovah. The only problem with Amon was that he did not go far enough. Although he wanted his people to be good, he himself was not. He led a wicked and sinful life. Finally, some of his own generals assassinated him and declared Josiah, his eight-year-old son to be the new king.
Josiah wanted to be a good king. He wanted to be like the great King David. He spent much of his time searching for the God of his ancestors. When he was twenty he would personally supervise the destruction of the temples of Baal still standing in different cities. He set up a collection system in the temples of God to collect money to rebuild other temples. He put the High Priest Hilkiah in charge of collecting the donations.
One day, an excited workman came running to Hilkiah. While they were repairing an old temple, the workman had come across an ancient scroll! When they read it, they realized what it was. It was a lost scroll the listed all of the laws God had given to Moses!
The scroll was delivered to the king. Eagerly, King Josiah read the scroll. When he finished, he was so upset. The people had forgotten so many of God’s laws. So many of them were indeed sinful and wicked!
“Quickly,” the king said to his personal servants. “Let us go to the ‘Temple’ and pray to the Lord! We have to ask him to forgive us for forgetting so many of His Laws.”
God heard the King’s Prayers. He spoke to a prophetess named ‘Huldah’ who gave this message to the king:
“The Lord says because you were sorry for what your people have done, He will not send evil to them.”
Josiah called together all of the elders and priests. He read the lost scroll to them. He then passed a law saying only the worship of the Lord God Jehovah was permitted in this land. All idols were destroyed and for the rest of Josiah’s life, the people followed the laws of God.
A servant of King Ahab’s was known as ‘Obadiah.’ Even though he worked for the king and the evil Queen Jezebel, he still loved the Lord God Jehovah. He had once hidden prophets from the queen’s soldiers when she was trying to kill them all.
While he was out doing some errands for the king, Obadiah saw Elijah walking towards him.
“Go tell Ahab that I am coming to see him,” the prophet told him.
Obadiah was afraid the king would kill him if he returned with such news, but Elijah said the Lord would protect him from harm.
With that in mind, Obadiah went and told King Ahab that Elijah was coming to see him. Ahab did not kill Obadiah. Instead, he went out to meet with Elijah. The king said to Elijah, “So, it’s you, the man who brought disaster on all of Israel!”
Ahab believed in a different god named Baal. The followers of Elijah worshipped the Lord God Jehovah. Ahab wanted to bring all of his people together in the worshipping of Baal instead of the One, True God.
“It is you who are bringing disaster to Israel fool,” said Elijah to Ahab, “because you are making the people worship Baal!”
Ahab challenged Elijah and his God to a contest. Ahab ordered over 800 followers of Baal to gather on the top of Mount Carmel. He was going to show Elijah how powerful the god Baal really was.
Early the next morning, Elijah stepped out in front of the followers of Baal. He stood there until the crowd became silent.
“I am the only prophet of the Lord that is left. You all number over 800! Now watch! I have brought pieces of meat to sacrifice on two altars. I will place wood under both altars. I will pray to the Lord God Jehovah to light the fire under one altar and all of you pray to Baal to light the other. Then we shall see who the One True God is!”
The followers of Baal agreed and began praying. Around noon, when nothing had happened, Elijah said to them, “You’ll have to shout louder than that for Baal to hear you. Where is he?”
The followers of Baal prayed loudly all afternoon. They prayed loudly all through the evening. Nothing happened. Some of them even cut themselves with their knives and swords, giving some of their own blood to Baal. Nothing happened.
Finally, Elijah told the followers of Baal to gather round his altar. They watched as he dug a ditch around the altar and the meat. They watched as he poured water over the altar and the meat until it overflowed and filled the ditch. How, they asked themselves, could a fire start with everything so wet and soggy?
Then Elijah prayed to God. He said, “Lord! Answer me so these people will know you are the One True God!” Suddenly, fire flashed down from the heavens! It burned the meat and melted the altar. It turned the water in the ditch to steam.
When the people saw this they bowed down and said, “Jehovah is God! Jehovah is God!” The people then captured and killed all of the prophets of Baal. When Elijah saw this, he went to the top of the mountain and prayed to God. He sent a messenger to Ahab to tell him to prepare for a rainstorm. Sure enough, for the first time in three years, it began to rain again in the world.
David and his six hundred men were marching with the Philistines. They were gathered at the rear with King Achish. The Philistine officers did not like having David and his men in their army. David and his men were Israelites. They were the enemy as far as the Philistine officers were concerned. They were afraid that, in the heat of battle, David and his men would side with the Israelites. The Philistine officers came to King Achish and demanded the disbandment of the troop.
“Send the Israelites away! We don’t want them in our army!”
King Achish went to David and sadly said, “You and your men are some of the finest soldiers I have ever known, but you cannot fight alongside of our soldiers. My soldiers will not fight. They will not go into battle with you and yours.
David was very disappointed. He did however, understand the king’s position. He and his men marched back to the city of ‘Ziklag’ where they had been living with their families. Reaching the city, David and his men were horrified. The city was in ruins! While they were away, a tribe of ‘Amalekites’ attacked the city. The bandits had carried away all of their women and children!
David prayed to the Lord. “Tell me Lord,” he said, “If we go after the Amalekites, will we be successful?”
“Yes!” answered the Lord. “If you go after them, you will recover all that has been taken away from you.”
So David and his six hundred men went after the Amalekites. For three days they searched for them with very little success. Then, alongside of a road, David found a young boy who was almost starving. He was unfamiliar to David. “Who are you?” he asked the strange youngster while handing him food.
“I am an Egyptian,” said the boy. “I was the slave of an Amalekite, but he left me behind because I was sick and could not travel.
Suddenly, David knew that the Lord had sent this boy to him. “Do you know where the Amalekites went? Do you know where they are going?” asked David in desperation.
“Yes!” said the boy. “And if you promise me in the Good Lord’s name, that you will not kill me or return me to my former master, I will tell you!”
David promised and the boy led them to the secret Amalekite encampment. That night, David’s army attacked. They killed all of the Amalekites and rescued their own wives and children. They recovered everything that had been stolen from them. They also found many valuable treasures the Amalekites had horded on their many years of raiding other villages, towns, and villages.
David shared the new wealth with everyone, both the soldiers who did the fighting with those who stood guard. “Share and Share Alike!” said David. Later, when David later became king, Sharing Became the Law of the Land.
Have We, You, practiced and kept the ‘Covenant With The Lord Our God?’ If you haven’t, will you? Have you practiced love for your Brothers and Sisters? Where do we stand as a people? Have we been following the “Laws of The Lord God?” Do we truly share in the wealth of the land as a people? How has the reigning governing bodies included ‘We The People’ to share in the lawmaking and peacekeeping decisions over the lands and throughout the world? …Have they, will they change their evil ways and practice what is right? Will they, we, follow the order of “Shared and Shared Alike?”
Til Next Time…
From The Books of:
Jeremiah, Second Chronicles, chp. 34, first Samuel, Chp. 30, the ‘Old Testament’
‘The Holy Bible,’ The Holy ‘Qur’an,’ and the ‘Torah’
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