At Issue – Education


Job 8:8–13

Getting a degree (or multiple degrees) is a wonderful, satisfying accomplishment that we should look on with pride. However, our society tends to value formal education more than the wisdom of age. Reflecting on Job’s suffering, Bildad urged him to learn from the instruction of former generations. While there’s great value in both education and in learning from our elders, there’s also a difference between a formal education and wisdom—applying that knowledge. No matter how many degrees you have, education doesn’t make you always right or better than others. Work at having a teachable heart that learns from others, not one that hides behind a degree.


Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

Week 8 Monday

February 17. 2020




“And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of His people He will take away from off all the earth, for the Lord has spoken it.”

Isaiah 25:8

Amplified Bible


In Narrow Ways


“Some lives are set in narrow ways,

By Love’s wise tenderness.

They seem to suffer all their days

Life’s direct storm and stress.

But God shall raise them up at length,

His purposes are sure,

He for their weakness shall give strength,

For every ill a cure.”

John Oxenham

Bees In Amber


Today’s Study Text:


“And one of the King of Israel (Jehoram’s) servants answered and said, ‘Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah. And Jehoshaphat said, ‘The word of the Lord is with him. So the King of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the King of Edom went down to (Elisha). And Elisha said unto the King of Israel, ‘What have I to do with thee? Get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother.’ And the King of Israel said unto him, ‘Nay: for the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.’ And Elisha said, ‘As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the King of Judah, I would not look toward  thee, nor see thee.”

II Kings 3: 11-14





“The Presence of Jehoshaphat”


“God can bring good out of the extremes of our own folly.”

J. I. Packer

Knowing God



What influence and affect do I think Jehoshaphat’s presence had on the outcome of the disaster in the desert wilderness in Edom?

Has there ever been an experience in my life where I have seen the affect of good triumph over the influence of evil?


“When our lives are yielded to the Spirit’s control, God is certain to work through us in leaving His mark on those around us.”

Henry and Mel Blackaby





“Occasions of adversity best discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man (or woman) frail, but the reveal what he (or she) is.”

Thomas á Kempis

15th Century



The word “occasion,” as defined by Webster’s Dictionary means: “an occurrence or incident and the time which it happens.”


If we take this definition and apply it to the verses found in II Kings 3: 11-14, we uncover the fact that Elisha had followed, evidently behind, the pack of three kings from Judah, Israel and Edom who had decided, without much forethought, to take on the King of Moab in war.


Now to better understand what was transpiring, King Jehoshaphat, the only worshipper of God, asked if they couldn’t consult a prophet of God for advice. Especially since they had run out of water and were in desperate straits. Heavenly advice was what this king felt they needed now.


Fortunately, one of King Jehoram’s servants knew Elisha was close at hand. However, we find that there was a distinct difference between how he referred to Elisha and how King Jehoshaphat referred to Elisha. The servant of Jehoram said that Elisha was the guy who, “poured water on the hands of Elijah.” In other words, this servant referred to Elisha as nothing but a house-boy or helper of Elijah’s. We could even go so far as to find his reference to Elisha rather demeaning.


However, when King Jehoshaphat heard that Elisha was close at hand, he stated, “The word of the Lord is with him.”


Elisha’s influence and reputation had already spread throughout Judah, even though this was not the main area of his ministry. And so, because of King Jehoshaphat’s faith in the word of Elisha, the three kings went to meet with this man of God.


Elisha had quite a message for this group. But first of all, he directed his comments toward the wayward King of Israel, Jehoram. F. W. Krummacher, in his fascinating, in-depth volume entitled, Elisha, offers this perspective:


“Elisha first addresses Jehoram. This unprincipled monarch merited an open rebuke. What had he cared hitherto for Jehovah, or for any of his prophets? But now that the Almighty had suddenly stopped him in his career, a reluctant submission is extorted from him, so that this son of Jezebel no longer feels it beneath him to approach one of the Lord’s prophets in the humblest manner, to obtain his advice, intercession, and assistance.”


As author Krummacher observes though, King Jehoram’s desire for Elisha’s help on this “occasion,” when he found himself between a rock-and-a-hard-place, wasn’t due to some conversion experience, but rather it was induced in the same way even “the devils tremble and believe.” And Elisha knew this for he spoke very pointedly to King Jehoram when he asked, “Why don’t you go get help from the god of our dad and mom?” In other words, “Where is Baal when you need him?” Jehoram’s desire for Elisha’s aid was only because he faced a dead-end he couldn’t get out of.


With this knowledge, Elisha went a step further by telling Jehoram, “Were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the King of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee.”


It is this specific fact, highlighted on this specific occasion, which provides illumination for events that we encounter today in the 21st century for I believe that God’s mercy is extended to all because of those who like King Jehoshaphat, call out for God, in spite of rebellion and apostasy.


Our Father’s love reaches out to all, but in an age when there is widespread contempt and often absolute denial of the God of heaven and earth, the merciful dew from our Father reaches even those whose desire for heavenly wisdom is non-existent. I believe it is because there are children of God who intercede for those like Jehoram whose blatant apostasy is revealed directly, yet in times of extreme emergency, God’s servants, the Elisha’s in the camp, step forward to serve those who may not feel their need of God’s love and by doing so, salvation breaks forth as the sun’s early morning rays.


The next time you and I find ourselves feeling defeated by the evil we encounter around us, we can gain great encouragement as we reflect upon the words of Elisha, “I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat.”


Today, I believe there is a message from our Father in heaven, “I regard the presence of Marilyn…she’s a lighthouse at her job.” “I regard the presence of Rob for he is a bulwark for truth for Me in his home.”


I pray that God’s Word in my life today is, “I regard the presence of Dorothy” for it is this pronouncement of faithfulness that is what I yearn for and it is what I know you long for too on any given occasion and in every specific circumstance in your life when you can be a witness for your Father’s tender love.


I found the words penned by Dale Ralph Davis to be a clear warning to all of us as we think about this event in the wilderness of Edom:


“Chew a bit on Elisha’s words. Do you hear him? He is saying that Jehoram is beyond the help of Yahweh’s word – if it weren’t for Jehoshaphat. That is a frightening implication…How might you know if you are in danger of this? Well, if your pattern is to seek God, like Jehoram, only for your convenience so that you are trifling with God. That was Jehoram. He wanted to use the word of God in the moment but not to submit to it long-tern. Jehoramites view the word of God as something for emergency only…God is simply the airbag in the disasters of life.”


I find it uplifting and truth-filled to read the words of Matthew Henry as he sums up Elisha’s words to King Jehoram: “It is a good thing being with those that have God’s favour.” Just think of the “host” that was blessed by the presence of Jehoshaphat on this occasion. May the same be said about your presence and mine, today.


“God speaks to us today because we need His definite and deliberate direction for our lives…We need His counsel for effective decision making.”

Charles Stanley





“Open my eyes that I may see,

Incline my heart that I may desire,

Order my steps that I may follow

The way of Your commandments.”

Lancelot Andrews


“O God, the God of all goodness and grace,

who art worthy of a greater love

than we can either give or understand;

Fill our hearts, we beseech Thee,

with such love towards Thee

that nothing may seem too hard for

us to do or suffer

in obedience to Thy will;

and grant that thus loving Thee,

we may become daily more like unto Thee

and finally obtain the crown of life

which Thou hast promised to those

that love Thee;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

B. F. Westccott





Your friend,


Dorothy Valcárcel, Author

The Women Who Met Jesus



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Rebuilders Let Go Without Letting Up



Nehemiah is teaching us some valuable lessons on rebuilding. We have been looking, listening, and learning from him as he got started right and then went on to build a team spirit among his troops. We have just left him as the people answered his call to arms with a determined, “Let us rise up and build!” (Nehemiah 2:18). These were not idle words. Action was now following attitude. The people were setting their hands to the work (Nehemiah 2:18). The wall was going up. The process of the actual rebuilding was under way.

When studying this Old Testament book of Nehemiah, many readers find it easier to simply skip over chapter 3 and follow the narrative straight from chapter 2 to chapter 4. However, I am convinced that this third chapter of Nehemiah holds a real key to enabling the work of rebuilding to be completed. What do we find hidden in this chapter? It is the art of delegation. And our friend Nehemiah was the master of it.

Nehemiah let go without letting up. And that is the essence of delegation. Upon his return to Jerusalem, Nehemiah knew he could not accomplish this incredible task alone. So after getting off to a good start and building a team spirit, he began to delegate tasks to others. He let go of the ownership of the project’s details, but he never let up on his passion or commitment to see it through to completion, and he held others accountable for their tasks along the way.

So how did Nehemiah do it? How was he so successful with such an enormous task, and how was it accomplished in such a short period of time? Nehemiah left us a stellar example to follow by laying out five important principles that are essential to the delegation process: set clear objectives with specific tasks, pick the right person for the right job, be an example yourself, hold others accountable, and be generous in giving genuine pats on the back.

Content drawn from The Nehemiah Code: It’s Never Too Late for a New Beginning.


Family Traditions


These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family. Esther 9:28

In today’s hurry-up society, it’s easy for frantic husbands and wives, as well as their harried children, to feel isolated and lonely. They begin to feel more like a busy cluster of people simply living together in a house than a living, breathing family with a linked character and heritage.

One way to avoid this disconnection is to establish traditions that encourage closeness and fellowship. For instance, for many years the Dobson family has enjoyed several traditions during the holidays that center around food. Each year during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the women prepare marvelous turkey dinners with all the trimmings. Another favorite at these times is a fruit dish called ambrosia, containing sectioned oranges and grapes. The family peels the grapes the night before the big day. We look forward to these gatherings not just for the food, but for the laughter and warm family interaction that occurs when we come together.

Even more beneficial are traditions that reinforce God’s love for His children, such as attending church as a family, reading Scripture together, and singing songs of praise. They bring a sense of identity and belonging to marriages and families, providing a wonderful reminder that we are all brothers and sisters in the family of God.

Before you say good night…

What were your favorite family traditions as a child?

What new traditions could you implement to benefit your family?

Dear God, we praise You as the refuge and strength of our marriage and family. May the traditions that we establish bring glory and honor to Your name even as they bring each of us closer together in love. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.