Monday, April 27, 2015

TAKE TIME: April 27-May 2, 2015 Assignment

Introduction:  This week we will conclude the book of II Chronicles just prior to the proclamation by Cyrus king of Persia stating that the people of Judah could return to their land. We will read the last 2 verses of this book when we begin our study of Ezra

  • Monday - II Chronicles 30:1-31:10
  • Tuesday - II Chronicles 31:11-32:22
  • Wednesday -  II Chronicles 32:23-33:25
  • Thursday - II Chronicles chapter 34
  • Friday - II Chronicles chapter 35
  • Saturday - II Chronicles 36:1-21
Memory Verse

 Review previous verses.

Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God for being a Lord of restoration.
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action
As we end the book of II Chronicles we are reminded that God punishes sin but He also makes a way of restoration. People need to hear about God's plan to restore their fallen life. Take the opportunity this week to use your own testimony to tell someone how God restored you to peace with Him through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. After all, "blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God!" What better peace can there be than to have peace with God?

Journal Through the Bible: Week 96 Thursday

II Chronicles 26:1-27:9

If you are timeline oriented like I am you will notice that we are now up to the reign of Uzziah, the first king to reign when Isaiah received his prophecy. His was a long reign, encompassing 52 years. It did not end well. He suffered from leprosy toward the end so his son, Jotham was coregent until Uzziah's death. Jotham learned lessons from his father's audacious behavior in the Temple. He behaved himself wisely as a result.

Like his grandfather, Joash, Uzziah (or Amaziah) had a prophet that helped him rule in a Godly manner. Joash had Jehoiada. Uzziah had Zechariah. This Zechariah is not the same as the son of Jehoiada whom Joash put to death nor is the prophet Zechariah that prophesied following the Babylonian exile. We'll examine that book of the Bible at a later date.

Does God issue any commands?

  • Not in this passage, however we are told that Uzziah broke one of the LORD'S commands that the priests only be allowed to burn incense upon the altar. (See Numbers 16 for another example of punishment upon those who did not obey.)

Does God make any promises?

  • God had promised success to the rulers of Israel and Judah who followed Him. In the early reign of Uzziah he enjoyed great successes as a result of God's fulfilling of these promises. This promise was specifically stated to David, especially concerning Solomon and his offspring. Uzziah even had new inventions made by cunning men of war to help him in his battles. His son, Jotham, also enjoyed great success because he followed the commands of the LORD.

Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Although Uzziah began well, his pride caused him to overstep his authority by offering incense as the priests were commanded to do. This is antithetical to the ministry of Jesus. In His public ministry Jesus at first encountered great success but He never overstepped the authority given to Him by His Father, nor was He overcome with pride.He humbly served in the capacity of servant until such time as He became our sacrifice, our offering of incense, and our High Priest.
  • Uzziah was guilty of trespass. Jesus died to take away our trespass.
  • Because of his leprosy, which was a punishment from God for his trespass, Uzziah was cut off from the house of the LORD. Because of our trespasses Jesus was cut off from God those hours on the cross when God would not look upon Jesus bearing our sin.

Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?
Not that I identified.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 96 Wednesday

II Chronicles chapter 25

Ah! Like father, like son. Amaziah's reign started off well but then he got caught up in idolatry just as Joash did and things went downhill from there. Amaziah defeated the children of Seir but then took their gods as his own.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God had commanded Moses in the law that children not be executed for the sins of the fathers, nor the fathers for the children, but each man shall die for his own sin. Amaziah followed that law when he put to death those who had assassinated his father, Joash.
  • Like his grandfather and great-grandfather Amaziah endeavored to unify Judah and Israel when he hired soldiers out of Israel to fight with his own soldiers against Seir (Edom, the descendants of Esau). God was not pleased with this so He sent a prophet to warn Amaziah of the consequences of his plan.
  • God sent a prophet to Amaziah to chastise him for taking the gods of Edom as his gods. This made Amaziah angry and he warned the prophet to stop speaking because he was not one of the king's counselors. (And then it tells us that Amaziah took someone's advice to declare war against Israel. He wouldn't listen to the good advice from the prophet but he listened to the foolish advice from one of his counselors.)

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that if the fighters of Israel that Amaziah hired went to battle with the men of Judah the battle would be lost.
  • When the prophet sent from God to chastise Amaziah for idol worship was rebuked he told Amaziah that God had determined to destroy him for his idolatry. (God used the foolish advice to declare war against Israel given by one of his counselors to fulfill this promise. Even the king of Israel warned him that it was a bad idea by comparing Judah to a thistle that would be easily destroyed. Amaziah did not listen so Judah was defeated, Jerusalem was assaulted, the temple and the kings house were robbed of treasures, and hostages were taken back to Israel.)

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • When Amaziah destroyed those who had conspired against his father, Joash, he followed the law that stated that each person should be accountable for his own sins. This is because each person is a sinner who cannot take the place of another. On the other hand, Jesus is not a sinner, and He died for the sins of others whether they be fathers, sons, mothers, or daughters. Those who will not accept Him as their substitute for sin will be required to pay for their transgressions themselves. No other person can take the place of another. (No one but God - Jesus - can have His righteousness imputed in the place of someone guilty of breaking the law.)

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 96 Tuesday

II Chronicles chapter 24

Many of the Temple items that were worth anything had been taken by Pharaoh Shishak during the reign of Rehoboam so once the Temple complex itself had been repaired the rest of the offerings that the people gave during Joash's reign were used to replace gold and silver vessels for ceremonial use.

Note that when Jehoiada the priest died he was buried in the city of David among the kings but Joash was not. What a fitting honor for the foster father, guardian, and protector of the rightful ruler! And what a rebuke to the way Joash's rule ended!

Does God issue any commands?
  • Joash referenced the commandment of Moses to collect money for the care of the Lord's House when he told the Levites to collect money from the people for this cause.
  • God sent prophets to Joash and the princes of Judah warning them of the consequences of their idolatry but they would not listen. Even Zechariah the priest, the son of Jehoiada (and Joash's own cousin) was put to death in the court of the Temple by the king's command.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that He would forsake Judah because they had forsaken Him. He said this through the prophet and priest, Zechariah. This was accomplished when God allowed a small band of the Syrian army to destroy a large amount of people in Judah and Jerusalem. They even wounded the king himself. Joash was then killed by his own servants who conspired against him. (Joash was buried in the City of David but not among the kings. What irony that the king was not buried among his kingly ancestors but his foster father was!)

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jehoiada was such a wonderful foster father to Joash that he was greatly honored at the time of his death. Jesus also had a wonderful foster father in Joseph. Although the Bible does not tell us anything about Joseph's death we know that he was specifically chosen by God to be Jesus' earthly guardian and that he did his job well. One does not need to be a biological father to be used of God to guide a young man.
  • Joash only lived a Godly life as long as his foster father, Jehoiada, was alive. After that he turned to idolatry. Conversely, Jesus lived a Godly life every day including after the death of His foster father. Evidently Joash was not much of a leader and ruler. He ruled righteously only when personally influenced by Jehoiada. On the other hand, Jesus lived a life of submission to Joseph as long as His foster father lived, but following Joseph's death Jesus' public ministry was based upon service to God. If Joseph was saved, and there is every reason to believe he was, his righteousness was through his foster son, Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus taught that God was no respecter of persons. His half-brother, James, picked up that theme and wrote about it in the book that bears his name. The burials of Jehoiada and Joash respectively show this principle. Jehoiada, the priest from the tribe of Levi was buried among the kings while Joash, the king was not. Jehoiada was considered worthy but Joash was not.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • In God's sight a man's station in this life is not what is important. The lives and deaths of Jehoiada and Joash illustrate this. God cares about the contents of our hearts and not about how important we are in this world. We will be rewarded in His Kingdom accordingly. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 96 Monday

II Chronicles chapter 23

There was great rejoicing when Joash, the descendant of David, was revealed as surviving the wicked attempt upon his life and was placed upon the throne of Judah!

Does God issue any commands?

  • Jehoiada was instrumental in reestablishing the sacrifices and offerings as established in the law of Moses. He also recommissioned the singers for the worship services at the Temple such as David had appointed.

Does God make any promises?

  • When Jehoiada gathered the captains and the Levites into his confidence concerning Joash, the son of Ahaziah whom he and his wife had kept hidden for over 6 years, he told them that Joash was a fulfillment of the promise that God made to David.
  • Jehoiada made sure that only the priests and Levites entered armed into the house of the Temple while the people were made to wait in the courtyards while the work of anointing the young king was accomplished.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The brazen Athaliah had no fear in entering the Temple and confronting the rightful heir to the throne and the people who followed him. This is such a picture of Satan who dared to approach the rightful Heir to the kingdoms of this world and tempted Him by demanding that Jesus bow down to him. He has no fear in confronting Christians either which is why we need to be vigilant and keep watch for this roaming lion.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • When the wicked ruler was deposed the people celebrated and rejoiced! When the ruler of darkness is deposed from his rule over this world all God's people will celebrate and rejoice also. What a day it will be when order has been restored, the wicked one destroyed, and the King reigns for all eternity!
  • The fall of the house of Baal, its altars and images is reminiscent of the description in Revelation when the angel says, "Babylon the Great is fallen!" Babylon the Great is not just a reference to a city and its commerce but is also a reference to its system of religion or religions.
  • Jerusalem was quiet once the opponent of the king was killed. New Jerusalem will likewise have a peaceful existence after the devil is cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity and Jesus lives among us.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 95 Saturday

II Chronicles chapter 22

The youngest son of Jehoram, Ahaziah (also known as Jehoahaz orAzariah) ascended the throne upon his father's death because the Arabians had killed all of his older brothers. He was an evil king who followed the advice of his wicked mother, Athaliah. He reigned only 1 year and upon Ahaziah's death his mother seized the throne of Judah for herself after attempting to kill all of the seed royal. For a few years it appeared that Satan had found a way to keep the Messiah from coming to fulfill God's promise that a direct descendant would one day come to rule and reign.

Does God issue any commands?
  • God had anointed Jehu the son of Nimshi to destroy the house of Ahab. This led to the deaths of both the king of Israel and the king of Judah.

Does God make any promises?
  • God had previously made a promise to David that he would have an heir on the throne of Judah forever. For this to happen (which means for the line to be continuous from David to Jesus, who will one day reign on His father David's throne) the seed royal could not be totally annihilated. Ahaziah's sister, Jehoshabeath, hid the young Joash when Athaliah killed all the other heirs to the throne. Jehoshabeath and her husband, Jehoiada the priest, kept Joash hidden in the temple for six years while Athaliah, who thought she had successfully killed all legitimate heirs to the throne, reigned.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • When Joash was an infant his guardian had to keep him secretly hidden from those who evilly desired to kill the rightful heir to the throne of David. When Jesus was an infant his guardian had to keep him secretly hidden from those who evilly desired to kill the rightful heir to the throne of David. In both cases, the descendant of David went undetected by Satan and those doing his bidding until such time as it was safe for the descendant of David to be revealed.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Even today the world and its leaders thinks that it has seized rule by killing the rightful Ruler. One day Jesus will come and depose those who have no right to reign. He will then ascend the throne of His father, David, and rule the world.