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Daily Reading: 1 Kings 16

Scripture Focus: In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun. (1 Kings 16.34)

Devotional Thought: The prophetic curse, long forgotten, was about to be fulfilled. Hiel was hell-bent on rebuilding Jericho.

Merriam-Webster defines hell-bent as “very determined to do something especially when the results might be bad; stubbornly and often recklessly determined or intent.” You’ve known people like this, haven’t you?

· Someone who doesn’t care who he steps on, or what she compromises, in order to get that promotion at work

· Another who is determined to get the next “fix”, no matter what it may cost their family

· Or perhaps one who sacrifices health and relationships to get that next dollar

In today’s international scene we see examples of nations hell-bent on…

· Gaining nuclear weapons

· Wiping out Israel

· Becoming world powers

Whether an individual or a government, when people are hell-bent on doing something, innocent people suffer.

When Hiel laid the foundation of Jericho, his son Abiram died. Did no one think about the ancient prophecy? Did no one warn him? After Abiram died, did Hiel slow down to find out why? And, I wonder if Segub, Hiel’s youngest son, thought: “Dad, you’re not really going through with this are you?” How many family members have stood aghast at how their own fathers or mothers sacrificed them for their ambitions or addictions?

Hiel’s name means “Brother of God.” Even in the family of God, people can become hell-bent on their own ambitions and agendas. Let us listen to the voice of God who always calls us back to himself!

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for being so stubborn that I push ahead with my own agenda. Soften my heart so that I heed your warnings. Prevent my rashness from causing pain to myself and others. By your mercy and grace I pray. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 122.6-9

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

“May they be secure who love you!

7 Peace be within your walls

and security within your towers!”

8 For my brothers and companions' sake

I will say, “Peace be within you!”

9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,

I will seek your good.

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