Daily Encouragement

July 31 – Hezekiah’s Good Start

2 Chronicles 29:1-36
Romans 14:1-23
Psalm 24:1-10
Proverbs 20:12

2 Chronicles 29:3 — A good way to start on the very first month of his reign:

  • Repairing the LORD’s house (2 Chronicles 29:3)
  • Recalling the Levite’s responsibility (2 Chronicles 29:5)
  • Repenting for fathers’ sins (2 Chronicles 29:6)
  • Recognizing God’s wrath (2 Chronicles 29:9)
  • Restoring Israel’s covenant (2 Chronicles 29:10)
  • Rallying the city’s rulers (2 Chronicles 29:20)
  • Rendering the lambs’ blood (2 Chronicles 29:22)
  • Rejoicing in Asaph’s songs (2 Chronicles 29:30)
  • Receiving the people’s offerings (2 Chronicles 29:31)

Romans 14:3 — Paul is repealing virtually all of Kashrut (the Jewish dietary laws). Interesting that the prohibitions against eating blood are still maintained (Acts 15:29). He goes on to repeal the festivals and Sabbath (Romans 14:5). Notice that Paul did not reiterate the 4th Commandment in Romans 13:9.

Romans 14:10 — The Judgment Seat of Christ is introduced for the first time here. Erwin Lutzer is “amazed at the number of people who don’t realize that the Bible teaches that we shall all (Christians) stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ to give an account.” John MacArthur shows it will be an evaluation of our lives. John Piper reminds us “Salvation is owned by faith. Salvation is shown by deeds.” Hampton Keathley has an in-depth discussion of the doctrine of rewards. Adrian Rogers points out:

First, God will be judging both the saved and the sinners.
Next, God judges the saved as sons and daughters.
Then God judges the saved as servants.

Psalm 24:7 — The Prussian hymnwriter Georg Weissel draws from this verse when he composed the hymn, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates.

Proverbs 20:12 — From the Pulpit Commentary:

This apothegm, which seems to be nothing but a trite truism, brings to notice many important consequences. First, there is the result noted in Psalm 94:9, “He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?” Hence we learn the sleepless providence of God.

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Daily Encouragement

July 30 – Army Sizes in the Bible

2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27
Romans 13:1-14
Psalm 23:1-6
Proverbs 20:11

2 Chronicles 26:3 — Uzziah’s 52 years was just 3 years shorter than Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:1), but in contrast to Manasseh’s evil reign (2 Chronicles 33:2), Uzziah did what was right in the sight of the Lord (2 Chronicles 26:4).

2 Chronicles 26:13 — The 307,500 man army sounds impressive – discounting even today’s standards (the U.S. has 2,092,900 active service men and women + reserves), but let’s see how this compares to other counts we have in Scripture. Keep in mind that some of these are standing armies – they are ready to fight or are in reserve; some are the result of a census count, which means they are available to be drafted; lastly, some are expeditionary forces, i.e. soldiers in a moving army on a campaign.

  • 1,600,000 – David (Israel + Judah, but not Levi or Benjamin) / c. 950 BC / 2 Samuel 24:9, 1 Chronicles 21:5 {see explanation at DefendingInerrancy.com)
  • 1,160,000 – Jehoshaphat (Judah + Benjamin) / c. 850 BC / 2 Chronicles 17:14-18
  • 1,000,000 – Zerah the Ethiopian / c. 901 BC / 2 Chronicles 14:8
  • 800,000 – Jeroboam (Israel) / c. 912 BC / 2 Chronicles 13:3
  • 603,550 – Moses (Israel) / c. 1445 BC / Exodus 38:26, Numbers 1:46, Numbers 2:32
  • 601,730 – Moses (Israel) / c. 1407 BC / Numbers 26:51
  • 600,000 – Moses (Israel) / c. 1446 BC / Exodus 12:37
  • 580,000 – Asa (Judah + Benjamin) / c. 901 BC / 2 Chronicles 14:8
  • 400,000 – Abijah (Judah) / c. 912 BC / 2 Chronicles 13:3
  • 400,000 – Judges (Israel, but not Benjamin) / c. ??? / Judges 20:2, Judges 20:17
  • 330,000 – Saul (Israel + Judah) / c. 1050 BC / 1 Samuel 11:8
  • >320,000 – Ahaz (Judah) / c. 725 BC / 2 Chronicles 28:6-8
  • 307,500 – Uzziah (Judah) / c. 768 BC / 2 Chronicles 26:13
  • 300,000 – Amaziah (Judah) / c. 795 BC / 2 Chronicles 25:5
  • 210,000 – Saul (Israel + Judah / c. 1040 BC / 1 Samuel 15:4
  • 185,000 – Sennacherib and Rabshekah’s Expeditionary Force, both from Assyria / c. 701 BC / 2 Kings 19:35
  • 180,000 – Rehoboam (Judah+Benjamin) / c. 930 BC / 1 Kings 12:21
  • 42,360 – Zerubbabel (Exiles) / c. 516 BC / Ezra 2:64

Uzziah’s army was fairly small historically speaking, but depending on the strength of the surrounding kings, it was still significant, it was adequately supplied (2 Chronicles 26:14), and it had artillery (2 Chronicles 26:15). Because of Uzziah’s pride in the strength of his army, though, things went bad at the end of his life (2 Chronicles 26:16).

2 Chronicles 27:2 — Obedient kings were tough to find. Here’s a chart comparing each king’s general practice. If you have a better way to organize the data, let me know. This is not a fully precise chart (e.g. analyzing Uzziah’s sin of entering the temple shows a specific practice).

  • Worst – Burnt children (violated the 1st and 6th Command)
    • Judah: Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:1-2)
    • Judah: Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:6)
    • Judah: Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:1-2)
    • Judah: Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:6)
  • Worse – Sins of Ahab (Baal / 1st Command)
    • Israel: Ahab (1 Kings 16:31)
    • Judah: Manasseh (2 Kings 21:3)
    • Israel: Ahab (1 Kings 16:31)
    • Judah: Manasseh (2 Kings 21:3)
  • Bad – Sins of Jeroboam (Golden Calf / 2nd Command / 1 Kings 12:26-30)
    • Israel: Jehoram (2 Kings 3:3).
    • Israel: Pekah (2 Kings 15:28)
    • Israel: Jehoram (2 Kings 3:3).
    • Israel: Pekah (2 Kings 15:28)
    • Israel: Jehoram (2 Kings 3:3).
    • Israel: Pekah (2 Kings 15:28)
    • Israel: Jehoram (2 Kings 3:3).
    • Israel: Pekah (2 Kings 15:28)
  • Good – Solomonic Temple, but left sodomites, high places
    • Judah: Solomon (1 Kings 11:7) – built high places
    • Judah: Asa (1 Kings 15:14)
    • Judah: Solomon (1 Kings 11:7) – built high places
    • Judah: Asa (1 Kings 15:14)
  • Good – Solomonic Temple, removed sodomites, but left high places,
    • Judah: Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:43, 1 Kings 22:46)
    • Judah: Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:43, 1 Kings 22:46)
    • Judah: Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:43, 1 Kings 22:46)
  • Better – Solomonic Temple, removed high places
    • Judah: Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4)
    • Judah: Josiah (2 Kings 23:8)
    • Judah: Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4)
    • Judah: Josiah (2 Kings 23:8)

2 Chronicles 27:6 — A king that could be trusted with success, as opposed to Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:16).

2 Chronicles 28:9-13 — Remember that the LORD is the name Jehovah/Yahweh – the specific personal name for the God of Israel. So why should Israel that had been so disobedient to the LORD listen to a prophet of the LORD (2 Chronicles 28:9), or speak in the name of the LORD (2 Chronicles 28:9) about sins against the LORD (2 Chronicles 28:10) that results in the wrath of the LORD (2 Chronicles 28:11), or listen to a prophet of the LORD that might result in conviction among the leaders (2 Chronicles 28:13)? Pekah, the ruler at this time (2 Chronicles 28:6), was “Bad” not “Worse/Worst.” While he violated the 2nd Commandment by building the Golden Calf for the worship of the LORD in a city other than Jerusalem, he kept the 1st Commandment. Only a few kings (Ahab, Ahaz, Manasseh) actively promoted the worship of Baal over the LORD. The rest pulled an Aaron and declared a feast to the LORD (Exodus 32:5) to dedicate the molten calf (Exodus 32:4) as the god who brought Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 32:4). This was a direct violation of the 2nd commandment – not “another god” but “the God” in the wrong way (see Nadab & Abihu – Numbers 3:4).

2 Chronicles 28:23 — Everything is easier than repenting and following the LORD.

Romans 13:1 — The man who has called upon the name of the LORD (Romans 10:13), has a changed form (Romans 12:1), and has a relationship with government that reflects submission.

Romans 13:9 — Are we free from the law in the Age of Grace? Has the freedom to eat bacon extended to the freedom to do whatever? No – absolutely not! Commandments 6-10 – the entire second half of the Law – is directly restated and summarized, and even given enforcement power (Romans 13:4)!

Psalm 23:1 — From our good friend Patch the Pirate … very close to word perfect according to the KJV!

Proverbs 20:11 — Reputations start early. What’s yours?

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Daily Encouragement

July 29 – The Temple Builder’s Progeny Break Up the Temple

2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28
Romans 12:1-21
Psalm 22:19-31
Proverbs 20:8-10

2 Chronicles 24:7 — We think of the destruction of the Temple in 586 BC as disgraceful, yet when we realize that the descendants of Solomon (the sons of Athaliah would have also been the sons of Jehoram), the very builder of the temple’s descendants until the 6th generation “had broken up the house of God.”

2 Chronicles 24:10 — One of the few times you see “all the people” rejoicing about a mandatory tax, perhaps because the people realized that there was a king focused on eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in this building project!

2 Chronicles 24:17 — Can one man make a difference? Let’s see … when Jehoiada is not around, they kill his son (2 Chronicles 24:21) for speaking the words of God (2 Chronicles 24:20)! Interesting that Joash’s slaying of a priest is avenged by an Ammonite and a Moabite (2 Chronicles 24:26). They possibly had good intentions (avenge their friend), but God says it’s better to let a bad king be in power than to bring a better king (2 Chronicles 25:2) in the wrong way (see 1 Samuel 24:6).

2 Chronicles 25:4 — We’ve read of Moses prohibiting human rulers from punishing the children for the sins of their fathers (Deuteronomy 24:16). In other words, human vengeance is prohibited, but God can and does judge the children for the sins of their fathers (Exodus 34:7).

2 Chronicles 25:6 — National unity was the goal of Jehoshaphat as exemplified in the wife of Jehoram, and the fault of Amaziah. Separation is required from those who are not followers of our LORD (2 Chronicles 25:7). We can’t say “But I’ve already spent …” Whether its money spent on things that God warns us against, e.g. alcohol (Proverbs 20:1), drugs, pornography, etc. But “… the LORD is able to give thee much more than this.” Be willing, able, and ready to take a radical stand for God.

2 Chronicles 25:14 — “My God beat your god … so I will serve your god!” Honestly, I’m struggling to follow Amaziah’s logic here! The prophet will echo this struggle in 2 Chronicles 25:15. Speaking of bad logic, why pick a fight with a stronger nation (2 Chronicles 25:17)?

2 Chronicles 25:27 — The front gate of Lachish:

Romans 12:1 — Now that we have called upon the name of the LORD, what should we be doing? Serving Him! Put our all on the altar!

Another encouraging song from Earl Martin that can help us memorize Scripture:

Let’s put together a quick list:

  • Give your body to God (Romans 12:1)
  • Reject this world’s form (Romans 12:2)
  • Renew your mind in the Word (Romans 12:2)
  • Be humble (Romans 12:3)
  • Be sober (Romans 12:3)
  • Use our gifts (Romans 12:6)
  • Love one another (Romans 12:9-10)
  • Choose good over evil (Romans 12:9)
  • Prefer one another (Romans 12:10)
  • Serve the LORD (Romans 12:11)
  • Rejoice (Romans 12:12)
  • Be patient (Romans 12:12)
  • Pray (Romans 12:13)

… and we have 8 more verses to go! Make your own list of what a follower of Christ looks like!

Psalm 22:22 — Here’s what David says he will do following his salvation by the LORD. He will testify to the goodness of the LORD (Psalm 22:23, Psalm 22:25).

Proverbs 20:10 — Psst … don’t tell your atheist friends, but the State of Wisconsin conducted 315,166 inspections at 6,830 business locations in 2021 to make sure that Wisconsin merchants were not committing abominations to the LORD.

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Daily Encouragement

July 28 – Jehoshaphat’s Sad Legacy of “Unity”

2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21
Romans 11:13-36
Psalm 22:1-18
Proverbs 20:7

2 Chronicles 21:1 — We’ve spent four chapters with Jehoshaphat – the most we’ve spent with any king since Solomon, and the most spent until Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32).

2 Chronicles 21:4 — How did good king Jehoshaphat’s son become known for filicide (the killing of one’s son or daughter)? He became known because of the pattern of compromise that his father engaged in through his dealings with Ahab. Perhaps the political unity that led to joint fundraising and joint expeditions were meant to lead to a joint kingdom dream. Likely Jehoram didn’t pick his bride – his dad assigned his heir (his eldest male descendant) to the daughter of Ahab.

2 Chronicles 21:12 — Elijah dominated the Kings (from 1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 10), but this is the only mention of Elijah in the Chronicles, mainly because Elijah’s ministry was to the Northern Kingdom, while the Chronicles focus on the Southern Kingdom. Jehoshaphat kept intertwining himself with the Northern Kingdom (perhaps he wanted to undo Jeroboam’s split in 1 Kings 12:16). Unity, however, must be built on theology, not just proximity!

2 Chronicles 21:19-20 — What is the worst epitaph: that his bowels fell out or that he “departed without being desired?“

2 Chronicles 22:11 — Jehoshabeath (the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest) was used by God to preserve the line of the Messiah (Matthew 1:9)! By the way, who else was hidden as a small child (Exodus 2:3)?

2 Chronicles 23:1 — The covenant was renewed with a revitalized focus on the Word of the LORD (2 Chronicles 23:3) and the restoration of holiness (2 Chronicles 23:6). This covenant was expanded to all the people (2 Chronicles 23:16) and led to the purification of Israel (2 Chronicles 23:17).

2 Chronicles 23:19 — We have already read in 1 Chronicles about the 4,000 porters (1 Chronicles 23:5) and the list of their responsibilities (1 Chronicles 9:17-26). The point of writing about the porters again and their reintroduction is so that a new generation understood that the Temple had porters before and now in the rebuilt Temple they should fall in line with Joash’s renovations.

Romans 11:26 — God isn’t through with Israel yet! He has a plan for them, but today He has extended His mercy to you (Romans 11:30)!

Psalm 22:3 — Speaking of holiness, why did God forsake His son (Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46)? It is because of this: God is holy and cannot look on evil (Habakkuk 1:13). God made Jesus to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). This chapter records the sufferings and glory of Jesus.

  • First Cycle: Complaint to God (22:1-2) … then confidence in God (22:3‑5)
  • Second Cycle: Complaint (22:6-8) … then confidence and petition (22:9‑11)
  • Third Cycle: Complaint (22:12‑18) … then confidence and petition (22:19-31)

Proverbs 20:7 — The lapse of Jehoshaphat’s obedience led to his children loss of blessing. How will your behavior affect your descendants’ blessings?

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Daily Encouragement

July 27 – Good King Jehoshaphat Trusts God but Disobeys His Warning

2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37
Romans 10:14-11:12
Psalm 21:1-13
Proverbs 20:4-6

2 Chronicles 19:2 — Yesterday we pointed out Jehoshaphat’s compromise; today he is rebuked for it. Yes, good people can do much good (2 Chronicles 19:7), but by their alliances “help the ungodly.” Dr. Peter Masters, pastor of Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle, talks about the sad state of those who are ungodly. We cannot gloss over those partnerships. The good news is that Jehoshaphat seemed to hear the seer because he instructs the Levites to warn the people about the wrath (2 Chronicles 19:10) that he was warned about (2 Chronicles 19:2). But we read that while he heard the seer, he didn’t follow the seer for he didn’t just partner with Ahab, but also with Ahab’s wicked son, Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 20:35). Again, the prophets warned him that God was judging him for an unholy alliance (2 Chronicles 20:37).

Triumph of Jehosaphat over Adad of Syria as illustrated by Jean Fouquet (1470s) for Josephus‘ Antiquities of the Jews.

2 Chronicles 20:3 — Jehoshaphat was one of the few kings who didn’t try to solve battles on his own, but turned to the LORD and turned the whole nation to the LORD (2 Chronicles 20:4). His prayer was based on God’s past actions and promises (2 Chronicles 20:7) and the Solomonic dedication (2 Chronicles 20:9). This request was granted dramatically (2 Chronicles 20:17).

2 Chronicles 20:21 — How do you know the people really believed? They sent singers out “before the army.” That’s faith to go out armed with nothing but your vocal cords!

2 Chronicles 20:33 — This is the story of Jehoshaphat. Personally righteous, able to move the people to fear the LORD, but his desire for “unity” with the Northern Kingdom and his tolerance of the high places were the black marks on his impressive resume as a king following God. Today, many ministers are doing a great work for God, but they are allying themselves with those hostile to God. We must be willing to put faithfulness to God above “unity at any cost.”

Romans 10:14 — Yesterday we read about how salvation comes to those who believe in Jesus (that is done by calling on His name). God is sending out preachers with beautiful feet (Romans 10:15) with the Word of God (Romans 10:17); every Christian is called to go as well!

Romans 11:12 — God isn’t finished with the Israelites yet! It’s because of their rejection of Jesus that the Gentiles experience the riches of the Gospel. One day through their fulness, though, the world will be blessed even more.

Psalm 21:1 — Yes, in 2 Chronicles 20:27 we saw the king of Judah rejoicing in the salvation of God and for his answered prayers (Psalm 21:2). Never forget that the God of grace and salvation is also a God of wrath (Psalm 21:9).

Psalm 21:13 — Join with the Ambassador Baptist College Staff Quartet as they sing “Be Thou Exalted!

Proverbs 20:6 — Phil Cooke tells of the challenge of finding faithful men (and women):

For instance, in many cases, I’ve had media people here in Hollywood tell me they’ve worked for “Fox” – with the inference that it means Fox Film Studios, or Fox Television. But with a closer look, I discovered they’d been an assistant at a local Fox TV station in a small town in the Midwest.

In another situation I had a client excitedly hire a producer from a famous church’s TV ministry, thinking that if they worked for that famous church, she had to be amazing. But I decided to make a few calls and discovered she had actually been fired from the church, and they were adamant they would never hire her again!

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Daily Encouragement

July 26 – Royal Bible Teachers

2 Chronicles 17:1-18:34
Romans 9:25-10:13
Psalm 20:1-9
Proverbs 20:2-3

2 Chronicles 17:5 — Psalm 127:1 reminds us that except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain. Jehoshaphat’s father, Asa, was scared and used the treasures of the Temple (2 Chronicles 16:2) to protect his kingdom (2 Chronicles 16:3). Jehoshaphat, however, trusted God, and instead of gold going out, gold came in!

2 Chronicles 17:9 — The key to success was teaching the people the Law of the LORD. The people were under the Mosaic Covenant, and they needed to know and follow the laws of the Covenant. As people of the New Covenant (Dispensation of Grace), we need to know the commands of the New Testament:

2 Chronicles 18:1 — Here’s the main compromise in Jehoshaphat’s life: affinity with Ahab. While he was a fellow Israeli, Ahab was also a Baal worshipper (1 Kings 16:31). Faithfulness to God may separate us from loved ones who are not faithful to Him (Luke 12:53).

2 Chronicles 18:26 — The king threatened prison for an unpopular prophecy, but Micaiah isn’t concerned about a mere earthly ruler. He knows God has threatened false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:22) with death (Deuteronomy 18:20).

Romans 9:25 — My fellow Gentiles … God has made us His people, His beloved, and His children. God has opened the door to us in this Age of Grace!

Romans 10:5 — There are two ways to heaven: 1) Fulfill the Law, or 2) Let Christ fulfill the Law for you (Romans 10:4). How can we let Christ fulfill the Law for us? Confess Him and believe (Romans 10:9), no matter if you are Jew or Gentile (Romans 10:12). Call upon Him and be saved (Romans 10:13)!

Psalm 20:5 — Rejoice in God’s salvation!

Psalm 20:7 — Who will you trust in? The LORD or chariots, horses, bank accounts, 401k, pensions, new autos, etc.?

Proverbs 20:3 — As Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).

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Daily Encouragement

July 25 – The God of Rest

2 Chronicles 14:1-16:14
Romans 9:1-24
Psalm 19:1-14
Proverbs 20:1

2 Chronicles 14:2 — Did you notice something yesterday? The Chronicler never said whether Abijah did that which was good and right. He mentions a good incident, but then he omits whether Abijah did what was good and right (1 Kings 15:3-7a). Asa, on the other hand, lived up to his great-great-grandfather David’s love for God; the Scripture says that Asa sought the LORD (2 Chronicles 14:4).

2 Chronicles 14:6 — Are you agitated? Let God give you rest:

  • God started rest (Genesis 2:2)
  • God sanctified rest (Genesis 2:3)
  • God is said to rest (Exodus 16:23)
  • God scheduled rest (Exodus 23:11)
  • God signed by rest (Exodus 31:17)
  • God soothes with rest (Exodus 33:14)
  • God’s Sabbath is rest (Exodus 35:2)
  • God’s statute is rest (Leviticus 16:31)

Interestingly, this is the same phrase used in Joshua and Judges.

2 Chronicles 14:9 — Being outnumbered 2:1 is bad. A million-man army came against Israel, and Asa called upon the name of the LORD (2 Chronicles 14:10); the LORD answered (2 Chronicles 14:12)!

2 Chronicles 15:9 — A godly government attracted immigrants to the blessing of the LORD. There were conditions for these immigrants, however; some contained capital consequences if violated (2 Chronicles 15:13).

2 Chronicles 16:2 — What happened? Asa wasn’t scared by a million-man army, but now he’s scared of Baasha of the North! Hanani made this same observation (2 Chronicles 16:8). But unlike David’s response to Nathan (2 Samuel 12), Asa was angry (2 Chronicles 16:10), and from that point until the end of his life, he turned his back on the LORD (2 Chronicles 16:12). Interestingly, FiveThirtyEight.com has written an article on how Supreme Court justices go liberal with age; they surmise that it’s because of peer pressure, reputations, ideological drift, and other reasons.

2 Chronicles 16:9 — Here’s a song to help you hide this word in your heart!

Romans 9:3 — Accursed for my brethren. That is “agape” love. No room for antisemitism; the Messiah’s own flesh was of the seed of Abraham (Romans 9:5).

Romans 9:14 — Throughout our reading of the Bible this year, the contrast that this question raises has been stark. Are we more moral than God? Or do we need to adjust our definition of fairness to His?

Romans 9:22 – Ah, the controversial verse about election! John Piper weighs in, as does John MacArthur and non-Calvinists. Positions on double predestination affect the question – who fitted the vessels?

Psalm 19:1 — And back to Patch the Pirate for this song based on Psalm 19:1:

Psalm 19:7 — Interesting how we go from general revelation (the Creation by God) to specific revelation (the Law of God) so abruptly! Both warn the servant (Psalm 19:11). As Paul says, “thou art inexcusable” (Romans 2:1)!

Proverbs 20:1 — One of the most unpopular verses in the Bible. Alcohol has deceived tens of millions. Seek wisdom!

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Daily Encouragement

July 24 – What Was the Motives for the Piety of the Judean Kings?

2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22
Romans 8:26-39
Psalm 18:37-50
Proverbs 19:27-29

2 Chronicles 11:1 — Do you think Rehoboam was more bothered by their personal rejection of him or of the Lord’s desire for His people to dwell in unity (Psalm 133:1)?

2 Chronicles 11:9 — Chronologically, this is the first reference to Lachish as an Israelite city. We’ll hear more about Lachish when Hezekiah is fighting Sennacherib!

2 Chronicles 11:16 — This detail is left out of the Kings records. We read in 1 Kings 13 about the man of God who challenged Jeroboam’s false worship, but we don’t read about the many truly devout that followed the LORD God. Loyalty to the LORD must be stronger than family or tribal ties … but it lasted only three years.

2 Chronicles 12:5 — The first foreign invasion to reach Jerusalem since David had liberated the city almost a hundred years before. It happened because the people had forsaken the LORD.

2 Chronicles 13:10 — The political religion of Abijah is on display. While Abijah gives a tremendous challenge to the wayward tribes, we read in 1 Kings 15:3 that he walked in all the sins of his father, which 1 Kings 14:22-24 says was worship at the high places and carousing with sodomites. He defended the Temple and was vocal in his support of the LORD, but was it just because of his battles with Jeroboam? Or was it the one time Abijah did trust the Lord? See 2 Chronicles 13:18.

Romans 8:26 — If you’re feeling inadequate from our previous reading because of sin’s role in your life, this verse is encouraging. More so than a friend from church praying for you is the Spirit of God praying for you! He intercedes (vs. 26 & vs. 27), working all things for good (Romans 8:28) in order to conform us to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29) and to glorify us (Romans 8:30)! This is encouraging (Romans 8:31)! When we are afraid of a lack of supply (Romans 8:32), false accusations (Romans 8:33), condemnation (Romans 8:34), or just something in the way of Christ’s love (Romans 8:35-39), we can rejoice!

Psalm 18:37 — The Psalmist is experiencing the promised victory, and concludes by blessing the LORD (Psalm 18:46-50).

Proverbs 19:29 — Let’s contrast the blessings we read with the judgments that will come. Let’s prepare ourselves to avoid them!

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Daily Encouragement

July 23 – Good Ideas Leading to Compromise

2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19
Romans 8:9-25
Psalm 18:16-36
Proverbs 19:26

2 Chronicles 8:11 — Compromise begins with well intentioned ideas. Eventually we see massive destruction, but it starts with “good” ideas.

In 168 BC, Antiochus Epiphanes went into the temple, stole the treasures, setup an altar to Zeus, and sacrificed swine. A horrendous act by a foreign invader.

But 500 years before Antiochus, an Israeli-born King of Judah, the very son of Hezekiah built altars in the Temple to Baal and every other idol (2 Kings 21:3-5). Surprisingly, his father, the good king Hezekiah, took treasurers from the Temple and voluntarily gave them to Sennacherib, king of Assyria (2 Kings 18:15-16).

Three hundred years before Mannaseh, King Solomon tried to mitigate his compromise that disobeyed the LORD:

In the Old Testament, God regularly warned His people against intermarriage with foreigners: “For they will turn your sons away from following Me” (Deuteronomy 7:4; see also Exodus 34:12–17). And because the kings of Israel would lead by example, the Lord prohibited them from marrying wives who would turn their hearts away from a relationship with God (Deuteronomy 17:17).

Yes, Solomon kept many of the commandments (2 Chronicles 8:13), but God demands complete obedience.

2 Chronicles 9:27 — God blessed Solomon so that silver was as stones. Yet, the following kings were so afraid of losing their kingdoms that they took the treasures of the Temple to bribe their way to continuing in power. The northern kings were promised divine protection if they worshipped in Jerusalem, but they were so fearful that they rejected God’s offer (we read about Jeroboam in 2 Chronicles 6:6 and Jehu in 2 Kings 10:29).

2 Chronicles 10:8 — The son of the wisest man who ever lived rejected the counsel of the wise men of his father. How ironic!

Romans 8:10 — How can we have victory over sin?

  • The Spirit of God dwells in us (Romans 8:9)
  • The Spirit that resurrected Jesus can surely defeat mere sin (Romans 8:11)
  • The Spirit can mortify the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13)
  • The Spirit is leading us (Romans 8:14)
  • The Spirit is the sign we are the sons of God (Romans 8:14)

Romans 8:15 — What benefits do we have?

  • The ability to cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15)
  • We are heirs of God (Romans 8:17)
  • Future glorification with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  • Incomparable glory in the future (Romans 8:18)
  • Glorious liberty (Romans 8:21)
  • Redemption of our body (Romans 8:23)

Psalm 18:20-21 — Who gives us the strength to obey and keep the ways of the LORD? As Paul showed, God gives us the strength to obey, and if we use the power He has given us, we can have deliverance (Psalm 18:17).

Proverbs 19:26 — Many a child believes his parents are keeping him from his potential, yet he is bound for shame and reproach if he rejects their upbringing.

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Daily Encouragement

July 22 – The Fulfilled Prophecy of the Temple

2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10
Romans 7:14-8:8
Psalm 18:1-15
Proverbs 19:24-25

2 Chronicles 6:13 — This is the first use of the word “kneeled”; it describes how the great King Solomon showed his humility before the King of Kings. Later Daniel, the chief of the presidents under Darius the Mede, would kneel three times a day (Daniel 6:10).

2 Chronicles 6:32 — Often we hear 2 Chronicles 7:14 quoted about America, but the people mentioned in 2 Chronicles 7:14 actually make up the nation of Israel, not the nation of America. What part of this passage applies to America? 2 Chronicles 6:32-33 mentions “the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel.” What is the purpose of the stranger (us) coming and praying to the LORD? “That all the people of the earth may know thy name and fear thee.” Israel had a universal mandate to spread God’s fame throughout the world!

2 Chronicles 7:21-22 — We’ve rehashed the topic here often, but the Chronicler wrote during the post-exilic time. He is emphasizing to the people that it was prophesied by the LORD around 965 BC that the beautiful house of the LORD would become an astonishment. It was destroyed in 586 BC or roughly 400 years later. But why? Because the Israelites forsook the LORD God and disobeyed Him to serve other gods.

Romans 8:2 — Christ Jesus has given us the authority and power to be free from sin! Look at what changes:

  • our spiritual spouse (Romans 7:4)
  • the law that governs our life (Romans 8:2)
  • our walk (Romans 8:4)
  • our mind (Romans 8:5)

Psalm 18:3 — God’s salvation is analyzed in Romans but glorified in the Psalms!

Proverbs 19:25 — Interesting that the smiting of a scorner will not help the scorner, but it will help the simple. Yet, reproving one with understanding will help the one reproved.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.