Daily Bible Verse
July 26: 2 Chronicles 17-18; Romans 9:22-10:13; Psalm 20; Proverbs 20:2-3
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 17-18 2 Chronicles 17-18

2 Chronicles 17-18

Jehoshaphat Reigns in Judah

17 Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place and strengthened himself against Israel. He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim that Asa his father had captured. The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. His heart was courageous in the ways of the LORD. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.

In the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah; and with these Levites, the priests Elishama and Jehoram. And they taught in Judah, having the Book of the Law of the LORD with them. They went about through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat. Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute, and the Arabians also brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats. And Jehoshaphat grew steadily greater. He built in Judah fortresses and store cities, and he had large supplies in the cities of Judah. He had soldiers, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem. This was the muster of them by fathers' houses: Of Judah, the commanders of thousands: Adnah the commander, with 300,000 mighty men of valor; and next to him Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000; and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, a volunteer for the service of the LORD, with 200,000 mighty men of valor. Of Benjamin: Eliada, a mighty man of valor, with 200,000 men armed with bow and shield; and next to him Jehozabad with 180,000 armed for war. These were in the service of the king, besides those whom the king had placed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.

Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab

18 Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor, and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab. After some years he went down to Ahab in Samaria. And Ahab killed an abundance of sheep and oxen for him and for the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” He answered him, “I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.”

And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the LORD.” Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?” And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.” Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes. And they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them. And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.’” And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph. The LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”

And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what my God says, that I will speak.” And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And he answered, “Go up and triumph; they will be given into your hand.” But the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’” And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets. The LORD has declared disaster concerning you.”

Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which way did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?” And Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son, and say, ‘Thus says the king, Put this fellow in prison and feed him with meager rations of bread and water until I return in peace.’” And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”

The Defeat and Death of Ahab

So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” As soon as the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; God drew them away from him. For as soon as the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. But a certain man drew his bow at random1 and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” And the battle continued that day, and the king of Israel was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians until evening. Then at sunset he died.

Footnotes

[1] 18:33 Hebrew in his innocence

(ESV)

New Testament: Romans 9:22-10:13 Romans 9:22-10:13

Romans 9:22-10:13

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea,

  “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
    and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
  “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
    there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel1 be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” And as Isaiah predicted,

  “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
    we would have been like Sodom
    and become like Gomorrah.”

Israel's Unbelief

What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness2 did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,

  “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

10 Brothers,3 my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.4

The Message of Salvation to All

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Footnotes

[1] 9:27 Or children of Israel
[2] 9:31 Greek a law of righteousness
[3] 10:1 Or Brothers and sisters
[4] 10:4 Or end of the law, that everyone who believes may be justified

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 20 Psalm 20

Psalm 20

Trust in the Name of the Lord Our God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

20   May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
    May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
  May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and give you support from Zion!
  May he remember all your offerings
    and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah
  May he grant you your heart's desire
    and fulfill all your plans!
  May we shout for joy over your salvation,
    and in the name of our God set up our banners!
  May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
  Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
    he will answer him from his holy heaven
    with the saving might of his right hand.
  Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
  They collapse and fall,
    but we rise and stand upright.
  O LORD, save the king!
    May he answer us when we call.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 20:2-3 Proverbs 20:2-3

Proverbs 20:2-3

  The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
    whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
  It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
    but every fool will be quarreling.

(ESV)


Read More

July 25: 2 Chronicles 14-16; Romans 9:1-21; Psalm 19; Proverbs 20:1
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 14-16 2 Chronicles 14-16

2 Chronicles 14-16

Asa Reigns in Judah

14 Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years. And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the LORD gave him peace. And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God. We have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin that carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty men of valor.

Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. And Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried to the LORD his God, “O LORD, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” So the LORD defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the LORD and his army. The men of Judah1 carried away very much spoil. And they attacked all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the LORD was upon them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. And they struck down the tents of those who had livestock and carried away sheep in abundance and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

Asa's Religious Reforms

15 The Spirit of God came2 upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the LORD.3 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. They sacrificed to the LORD on that day from the spoil that they had brought 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. They swore an oath to the LORD with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the LORD gave them rest all around.

Even Maacah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. And he brought into the house of God the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels. And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.

Asa's Last Years

16 In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the LORD and the king's house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, “There is a covenant4 between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali. And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and let his work cease. Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.

At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless5 toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time.

The acts of Asa, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier that had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer's art, and they made a very great fire in his honor.

Footnotes

[1] 14:13 Hebrew They
[2] 15:1 Or was
[3] 15:8 Hebrew the vestibule of the Lord
[4] 16:3 Or treaty; twice in this verse
[5] 16:9 Or whole

(ESV)

New Testament: Romans 9:1-21 Romans 9:1-21

Romans 9:1-21

God's Sovereign Choice

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,1 my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion,2 but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

Footnotes

[1] 9:3 Or brothers and sisters
[2] 9:16 Greek not of him who wills or runs

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 19 Psalm 19

Psalm 19

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

19   The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above1 proclaims his handiwork.
  Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
  There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
  Their voice2 goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
  In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
  Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
  The law of the LORD is perfect,3
    reviving the soul;
  the testimony of the LORD is sure,
    making wise the simple;
  the precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
  the commandment of the LORD is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
  the fear of the LORD is clean,
    enduring forever;
  the rules4 of the LORD are true,
    and righteous altogether.
  More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
  sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
  Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
  Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
  Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
  Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.
  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Footnotes

[1] 19:1 Hebrew the expanse; compare Genesis 1:6–8
[2] 19:4 Or Their measuring line
[3] 19:7 Or blameless
[4] 19:9 Or just decrees

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 20:1 Proverbs 20:1

Proverbs 20:1

20   Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.1

Footnotes

[1] 20:1 Or will not become wise

(ESV)


Read More

July 24: 2 Chronicles 11-13; Romans 8:22-39; Psalm 18:37-50; Proverbs 19:27-29
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 11-13 2 Chronicles 11-13

2 Chronicles 11-13

Rehoboam Secures His Kingdom

11 When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God: “Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, ‘Thus says the LORD, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives. Return every man to his home, for this thing is from me.’” So they listened to the word of the LORD and returned and did not go against Jeroboam.

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and he built cities for defense in Judah. He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, fortified cities that are in Judah and in Benjamin. He made the fortresses strong, and put commanders in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. And he put shields and spears in all the cities and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin.

Priests and Levites Come to Jerusalem

And the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel presented themselves to him from all places where they lived. For the Levites left their common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of the LORD, and he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat idols and for the calves that he had made. And those who had set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers. They strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they made Rehoboam the son of Solomon secure, for they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon.

Rehoboam's Family

Rehoboam took as wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse, and she bore him sons, Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and concubines (he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters). And Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as chief prince among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. And he dealt wisely and distributed some of his sons through all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities, and he gave them abundant provisions and procured wives for them.1

Egypt Plunders Jerusalem

12 When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. And the people were without number who came with him from Egypt—Libyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians. And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the LORD, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’” Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The LORD is righteous.” When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. And as often as the king went into the house of the LORD, the guard came and carried them and brought them back to the guardroom. And when he humbled himself the wrath of the LORD turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover, conditions were good2 in Judah.

So King Rehoboam grew strong in Jerusalem and reigned. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel to put his name there. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.

Now the acts of Rehoboam, from first to last, are they not written in the chronicles of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer?3 There were continual wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David, and Abijah4 his son reigned in his place.

Abijah Reigns in Judah

13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah began to reign over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Micaiah5 the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah went out to battle, having an army of valiant men of war, 400,000 chosen men. And Jeroboam drew up his line of battle against him with 800,000 chosen mighty warriors. Then Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim that is in the hill country of Ephraim and said, “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! Ought you not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord, and certain worthless scoundrels6 gathered about him and defied Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and irresolute7 and could not withstand them.

“And now you think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David, because you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made you for gods. Have you not driven out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes for ordination8 with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are not gods. But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him. We have priests ministering to the LORD who are sons of Aaron, and Levites for their service. They offer to the LORD every morning and every evening burnt offerings and incense of sweet spices, set out the showbread on the table of pure gold, and care for the golden lampstand that its lamps may burn every evening. For we keep the charge of the LORD our God, but you have forsaken him. Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.”

Jeroboam had sent an ambush around to come upon them from behind. Thus his troops9 were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. And when Judah looked, behold, the battle was in front of and behind them. And they cried to the LORD, and the priests blew the trumpets. Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. The men of Israel fled before Judah, and God gave them into their hand. Abijah and his people struck them with great force, so there fell slain of Israel 500,000 chosen men. Thus the men of Israel were subdued at that time, and the men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers. And Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took cities from him, Bethel with its villages and Jeshanah with its villages and Ephron10 with its villages. Jeroboam did not recover his power in the days of Abijah. And the LORD struck him down, and he died. But Abijah grew mighty. And he took fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. The rest of the acts of Abijah, his ways and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.

Footnotes

[1] 11:23 Hebrew and sought a multitude of wives
[2] 12:12 Hebrew good things were found
[3] 12:15 After seer, Hebrew adds according to genealogy
[4] 12:16 Spelled Abijam in 1 Kings 14:31
[5] 13:2 Spelled Maacah in 1 Kings 15:2
[6] 13:7 Hebrew worthless men, sons of Belial
[7] 13:7 Hebrew soft of heart
[8] 13:9 Hebrew to fill his hand
[9] 13:13 Hebrew they
[10] 13:19 Or Ephrain

(ESV)

New Testament: Romans 8:22-39 Romans 8:22-39

Romans 8:22-39

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because1 the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,2 for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God's Everlasting Love

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be3 against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.4 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

  “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes

[1] 8:27 Or that
[2] 8:28 Some manuscripts God works all things together for good, or God works in all things for the good
[3] 8:31 Or who is
[4] 8:34 Or Is it Christ Jesus who died . . . for us?

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 18:37-50 Psalm 18:37-50

Psalm 18:37-50

  I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
    and did not turn back till they were consumed.
  I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
    they fell under my feet.
  For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made those who rise against me sink under me.
  You made my enemies turn their backs to me,1
    and those who hated me I destroyed.
  They cried for help, but there was none to save;
    they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
  I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
    I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
  You delivered me from strife with the people;
    you made me the head of the nations;
    people whom I had not known served me.
  As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
    foreigners came cringing to me.
  Foreigners lost heart
    and came trembling out of their fortresses.
  The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be the God of my salvation—
  the God who gave me vengeance
    and subdued peoples under me,
  who rescued me from my enemies;
    yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
    you delivered me from the man of violence.
  For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations,
    and sing to your name.
  Great salvation he brings to his king,
    and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
    to David and his offspring forever.

Footnotes

[1] 18:40 Or You gave me my enemies' necks

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 19:27-29 Proverbs 19:27-29

Proverbs 19:27-29

  Cease to hear instruction, my son,
    and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
  A worthless witness mocks at justice,
    and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
  Condemnation is ready for scoffers,
    and beating for the backs of fools.

(ESV)


Read More

July 23: 2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19; Romans 8:9-21; Psalm 18:16-36; Proverbs 19:26
Sun, 23 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19 2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19

2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19

Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the LORD has come are holy.”

Then Solomon offered up burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of the LORD that he had built before the vestibule, as the duty of each day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths. According to the ruling of David his father, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their offices of praise and ministry before the priests as the duty of each day required, and the gatekeepers in their divisions at each gate, for so David the man of God had commanded. And they did not turn aside from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites concerning any matter and concerning the treasuries.

Thus was accomplished all the work of Solomon from1 the day the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was completed.

Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Eloth on the shore of the sea, in the land of Edom. And Hiram sent to him by the hand of his servants ships and servants familiar with the sea, and they went to Ophir together with the servants of Solomon and brought from there 450 talents2 of gold and brought it to King Solomon.

The Queen of Sheba

Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, having a very great retinue and camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the LORD, there was no more breath in her.

And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the3 reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your wives!4 Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the LORD your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” Then she gave the king 120 talents5 of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. There were no spices such as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

Moreover, the servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum wood and precious stones. And the king made from the algum wood supports for the house of the LORD and for the king's house, lyres also and harps for the singers. There never was seen the like of them before in the land of Judah.

And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what she had brought to the king. So she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.

Solomon's Wealth

Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, besides that which the explorers and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land brought gold and silver to Solomon. King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels6 of beaten gold went into each shield. And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; 300 shekels of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. The throne had six steps and a footstool of gold, which were attached to the throne, and on each side of the seat were armrests and two lions standing beside the armrests, while twelve lions stood there, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made for any kingdom. All King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon. For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.7

Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and of gold, garments, myrrh,8 spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year. And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. And he ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates9 to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. And the king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. And horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all lands.

Solomon's Death

Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

The Revolt Against Rehoboam

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. And they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboam, “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” He said to them, “Come to me again in three days.” So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men,10 who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” And they said to him, “If you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us’; thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father's thighs. And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.” And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, King Rehoboam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the LORD might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Each of you to your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So all Israel went to their tents. But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram,11 who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and the people of Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Footnotes

[1] 8:16 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew to
[2] 8:18 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms
[3] 9:6 Hebrew their
[4] 9:7 Septuagint (compare 1 Kings 10:8); Hebrew men
[5] 9:9 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms
[6] 9:15 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
[7] 9:21 Or baboons
[8] 9:24 Or armor
[9] 9:26 Hebrew the River
[10] 10:6 Or the elders; also verses 8, 13
[11] 10:18 Spelled Adoram in 1 Kings 12:18

(ESV)

New Testament: Romans 8:9-21 Romans 8:9-21

Romans 8:9-21

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus1 from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Heirs with Christ

So then, brothers,2 we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons3 of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Footnotes

[1] 8:11 Some manuscripts lack Jesus
[2] 8:12 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 29
[3] 8:14 See discussion on “sons” in the Preface

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 18:16-36 Psalm 18:16-36

Psalm 18:16-36

  He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
  He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
  They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the LORD was my support.
  He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
  The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
  For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
  For all his rules1 were before me,
    and his statutes I did not put away from me.
  I was blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from my guilt.
  So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
  With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
  with the purified you show yourself pure;
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
  For you save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes you bring down.
  For it is you who light my lamp;
    the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
  For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
  This God—his way is perfect;2
    the word of the LORD proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
  For who is God, but the LORD?
    And who is a rock, except our God?—
  the God who equipped me with strength
    and made my way blameless.
  He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure on the heights.
  He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
  You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your right hand supported me,
    and your gentleness made me great.
  You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet did not slip.

Footnotes

[1] 18:22 Or just decrees
[2] 18:30 Or blameless

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 19:26 Proverbs 19:26

Proverbs 19:26

  He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
    is a son who brings shame and reproach.

(ESV)


Read More

July 22: 2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10; Romans 7:14-8:8; Psalm 18:1-15; Proverbs 19:24-25
Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10 2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10

2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10

Solomon's Prayer of Dedication

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits1 long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court, and he stood on it. Then he knelt on his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven, and said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart, who have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day. Now therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me.’ Now therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David.

“But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. And listen to the pleas of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen from heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

“If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath and comes and swears his oath before your altar in this house, then hear from heaven and act and judge your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing his conduct on his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.

“If your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and they turn again and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them again to the land that you gave to them and to their fathers.

“When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict2 them, then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way3 in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.

“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.

“If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.

“If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near, yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’ if they repent with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity to which they were carried captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their pleas, and maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you. Now, O my God, let your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayer of this place.

  “And now arise, O LORD God, and go to your resting place,
    you and the ark of your might.
  Let your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation,
    and let your saints rejoice in your goodness.
  O LORD God, do not turn away the face of your anointed one!
    Remember your steadfast love for David your servant.”

Fire from Heaven

As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD's house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

The Dedication of the Temple

Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the LORD. King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the LORD that King David had made for giving thanks to the LORD—for his steadfast love endures forever—whenever David offered praises by their ministry;4 opposite them the priests sounded trumpets, and all Israel stood.

And Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD, for there he offered the burnt offering and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat.

At that time Solomon held the feast for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from Lebo-hamath to the Brook of Egypt. And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they had kept the dedication of the altar seven days and the feast seven days. On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their homes, joyful and glad of heart for the prosperity5 that the LORD had granted to David and to Solomon and to Israel his people.

If My People Pray

Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king's house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished. Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’

“But if you6 turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you7 up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’”

Solomon's Accomplishments

At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the LORD and his own house, Solomon rebuilt the cities that Hiram had given to him, and settled the people of Israel in them.

And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and took it. He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the store cities that he built in Hamath. He also built Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars, and Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had and all the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. All the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, from their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyed—these Solomon drafted as forced labor, and so they are to this day. But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves for his work; they were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariots, and his horsemen. And these were the chief officers of King Solomon, 250, who exercised authority over the people.

Footnotes

[1] 6:13 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[2] 6:26 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew answer
[3] 6:27 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate (compare 1 Kings 8:36); Hebrew toward the good way
[4] 7:6 Hebrew by their hand
[5] 7:10 Or good
[6] 7:19 The Hebrew for you is plural here
[7] 7:20 Hebrew them; twice in this verse

(ESV)

New Testament: Romans 7:14-8:8 Romans 7:14-8:8

Romans 7:14-8:8

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Life in the Spirit

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.1 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you2 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,3 he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Footnotes

[1] 8:1 Some manuscripts add who walk not according to the flesh (but according to the Spirit)
[2] 8:2 Some manuscripts me
[3] 8:3 Or and as a sin offering

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 18:1-15 Psalm 18:1-15

Psalm 18:1-15

The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

18   I love you, O LORD, my strength.
  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.
  The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;1
  the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.
  In my distress I called upon the LORD;
    to my God I cried for help.
  From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.
  Then the earth reeled and rocked;
    the foundations also of the mountains trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
  Smoke went up from his nostrils,2
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    glowing coals flamed forth from him.
  He bowed the heavens and came down;
    thick darkness was under his feet.
  He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
  He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
    thick clouds dark with water.
  Out of the brightness before him
    hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
  The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
    and the Most High uttered his voice,
    hailstones and coals of fire.
  And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
    he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
  Then the channels of the sea were seen,
    and the foundations of the world were laid bare
  at your rebuke, O LORD,
    at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

Footnotes

[1] 18:4 Or terrified me
[2] 18:8 Or in his wrath

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 19:24-25 Proverbs 19:24-25

Proverbs 19:24-25

  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish
    and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
  Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
    reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.

(ESV)


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