TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 7:11-22
TO CHEW ON: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
After Solomon had finished the temple, he built a luxurious palace for himself. One night when both those projects were done, God appeared to him again.
“I heard your prayer and chose your temple,” He said. Then God gave Solomon some advice. “Keep my laws like David your father did. Worship only me. If you do this, kings will always come from your family.
“But if you turn away from me and start worshiping idols, bad things will happen.”
1. Pick out the three bad things God named in 2 Chronicles 7:20:
A. I will send Israel back to Egypt to be slaves.B. I will uproot Israel from my land.C. I will reject this temple.D. I will burn your palace.E. I will make this temple an object of ridicule....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 5:1-14
TO CHEW ON: "Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God." 2 Chronicles 5:13b,14
At last the temple was finished. It was time to move the gold furniture and ark into their places. It was time to begin worshiping God in the temple. Solomon had kept his promise to his father. He had made the temple exactly like his dad had said. Now he wondered, would God be pleased with what he had done?
Solomon announced a holiday festival to dedicate the temple. People came from all over the country to celebrate. Priests and Levites got themselves ready to move the furniture. On the big day crowds lined the street and watched as the Levites carried the ark and the gold altar, lamp stands, basins, and all the other furniture from the tent David had made, to the temple.
When they arrived at the temple, they placed the ark in the gold-lined Holy Place.
Then they put all the other furniture where it belonged. As the carrying Levites left the temple the musical Levites played...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 29:1-11
TO CHEW ON: "He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side and said, 'Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.'” 2 Chronicles 29:4,5
What are you most likely to do when your room gets messy?- clean it up- nothingWhen Hezekiah, Uzziah’s great-grandson became Judah’s king, one of the first things he did was a clean-up job, even though the mess wasn’t in his room and it was a mess he hadn’t made. In the first month of his reign King Hezekiah called together the priests and Levites and told them to clean up the temple.
The reasons for cleaning it up were more than that Hezekiah was a neat-freak. After thirty two years of being ruled by evil kings (his father Ahaz and his grandfather Jotham), Hezekiah knew there was a connection between worshiping God and having His blessing. He wanted God’s blessing more than anything. And so he told the priests and Levites to take everything that didn’t belong in the temple out so that they could again worship God...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 23:11-17
TO CHEW ON: "Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; they presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him and shouted, 'Long live the king!' ” 2 Chronicles 23:11
Who is your favorite storybook wicked stepmother or evil queen? Did you know the Bible has an evil queen story?
Athaliah was the wife of King Jehoram. After Jehoram died, his son Ahaziah reigned, but for only one year. When the young king was murdered, evil Athaliah went to work. In a few brutal hours she killed all the king’s relatives. Then she crowned herself queen.
But someone escaped. Priest Jehoiada and his wife rescued Ahaziah's baby son Joash and hid him in the temple for six years.
When Prince Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada met with the army commanders. He told them to bring all the priests and Levites to Jerusalem. On a special day the priests, Levites and many people gathered outside the temple. Then Jehoiada and his sons brought out the seven-year-old prince. They put a crown on his head and everyone shouted “Long live the king!”
Queen Athaliah heard the noise. She...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 33:7-13
TO CHEW ON: "And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God." 2 Chronicles 33:13
“The Assyrians are coming!” A messenger blurted the news to King Manasseh.
Manasseh called his priests and told them to pray to the gods, check the omens, and make sacrifices. But not to the God of heaven. For Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son and Judah’s king, was not like his dad. Instead of worshiping God, he rebuilt hilltop shrines where people went to pray to statues of Chemosh and Baal.Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
He sacrificed his own sons to idols, was deeply into witchcraft and even built idol altars in the temple. God had tried to talk to Manasseh and the people, but they refused to listen.
The sacrifices Manasseh made that day did no good. He was captured by the Assyrian generals, chained and taken to prison in Babylon. There, in a dungeon and all alone, he had time to think. He remembered the things his father...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL:2 Chronicles 26:16-22
TO CHEW ON: "But after Uzziah became powerful his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense." 2 Chronicles 26:16
Back in Judah, years had gone by since King Joash’s reign had ended. Now sixteen-year-old Uzziah, Joash’s grandson, was king. Like his grandfather Joash, Uzziah was trained by a priest. Just like Joash he started out well. He strengthened the army, defeated his Philistine enemies, built cities, and gave lots of people good jobs on his farms and in his fields. Soon he was famous in the nations all around. Best of all, during this whole time he was careful to do what pleased God.
That is, until one day when his success went to his head. That day he decided there was nothing he couldn’t do. So he went into the temple, lit the incense in the portable burner called a censer, and was about to make a sacrifice on the altar when Azariah and a crowd of priests stopped him.
“What are you doing?” Azariah asked. “This isn’t right. Only priests are allowed to go into the temple...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 14:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, 'Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.'” 2 Chronicles 14:11
Judah’s king Asa (King Rehoboam, then Abijah, then Asa) put a lot of energy into pleasing God. He started out by smashing the idols and cutting down the Asherah poles all through Judah. Then he built walls around the cities to protect them. During most of his reign there was peace.
But one day a Cushite chieftain named Zerah threatened him. Asa and his army marched to the valley where Zerah was camped. When they looked down on the huge fighting force in front of them, they had good reason to be terrified. This army was way bigger with better weapons than theirs.
But Asa didn’t panic. Instead, he went right to God. He prayed the prayer above (2 Chronicles 14:11), telling God that He was the only one who could defeat Zerah’s army and...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 17:1-10
TO CHEW ON: “They (Jehoshaphat’s officials, Levites and priests) taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.” 2 Chronicles 17:9
How did you learn: to read, to do math, to play an instrument, science, nature and history?Cross out the one thing below that didn’t help:
1. By listening to teachers explain.2. By practicing what you learned.3. By someone telling you to learn these things.4. By watching DVDs.5. By memorizing and preparing for tests.6. By reading.
There are many things we can do to help us learn things. But simply having someone else tell us to do it (#3 above), isn’t enough.
King Jehoshaphat knew that. When he became king after his father King Asa died, he was careful to do everything he could to obey God. But he knew that for God to bless his nation, the citizens needed to follow God too. So he did more than simply tell them to follow God. He taught them God’s law and showed them how to obey it....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 16:1-13
TO CHEW ON: "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9
When Asa had been king for a long time, Baasha the King of Israel blocked the border between Israel and Judah.
1. The last time King Asa was faced with a problem (2 Chronicles 14:11) he had: (choose the correct answer):a] asked for help from Egypt.b] asked for help from God.
2. This time he (2 Chronicles 16:2):a] asked for help from Ben Hadad of Aramb] asked for help from God.
Shortly after that, the prophet Hanani came to him and asked, “Why did you make your own plan instead of asking for God’s help? Didn’t God help you in your fight against Cush? God is always looking out to help anyone who depends on Him. What you did was foolish. From now on you’ll always be at war.”
What Hanani said made Asa so angry, he put Hanani in prison.
After that Asa stubbornly refused to ask for God’s help with anything. A few years later when he got a disease in his feet, he only went to doctors. He ignored God completely....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 20:1-19
TO CHEW ON: "Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him." 2 Chronicles 20:3,4
What is the first thing do when:- the school bully and his friends are after you?- your Mom loses her job?- someone steals your bike?
King Jehoshaphat’s big problem was a huge army coming to fight him. When he heard this, he was worried. But he didn’t do things like make his army bigger, call for help from another king or panic. Instead he asked everyone to join him in fasting and praying to God, till he got God’s instructions of what to do next.
Many families came to Jerusalem from all over Judah to pray. They met outside the temple. Grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads, girls and boys stood there while Jehoshaphat prayed aloud.
No sooner had Jehoshaphat ended his prayer by telling God how helpless he felt than God’s Spirit gave Jahaziel, one of the Levites, a message. What three things did God say to Jehoshaphat through Jahaziel? (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 21:12-20
TO CHEW ON: "Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away to no one’s regret...." 2 Chronicles 21:20
One of the first things Jehoram did when he became king was kill all his brothers! This oldest son of Jehosphaphat did that so no one would try to become king instead of him. Next he married the daughter of evil King Ahab. Finally, he again started worshiping idols instead of God.
Prophet Elijah from Israel sent him a letter. “Because you are doing so many bad things, God will be against everything that is yours. You yourself will get sick and die.”
And that’s what happened. The Philistines and other hostile neighbors raided Judah and left with beautiful things from the palace. They kidnapped Jehoram’s sons and wives. Then Jehoram got sick. Only eight years after becoming king, he died of a painful disease....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chron 34:14-19 & 31
TO CHEW ON: "Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, 'Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.' And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes." 2 Chronicles 34:18,19
When King Josiah turned sixteen something changed. Perhaps after being king for eight years he realized what a hard job it was. Maybe he wished he had help and wanted to be sure that God was on his side. He may have asked, which god? For the people in Judah worshiped many gods.
Perhaps he remembered his grandfather, King Manasseh, and thought of how he had smashed the idols and taken down the Asherah poles after he got back from prison. Then he had told everyone to worship the unseen God of the temple.
However it came about, over the next four years, Josiah took down every altar and high place and pole connected with idol worship. Then he decided to clean up the temple too. He put the priests and Levites to work. One day as they were clearing out garbage, they found a book. It was the book of the...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 24:17-25
TO CHEW ON: "After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. They abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols." 2 Chronicles 24:17,18
Though Joel warned King Joash that bad things would happen if he didn’t return to God, he refused to change his ways. When Jehoiada’s son Zechariah warned him too, he killed Zechariah. After that things quickly fell apart.
Soon a small enemy army from Aram easily defeated Joash’s large army. In the end, Joash’s own servants murdered him in revenge for murdering Zechariah. Though Joash started out well, he ended badly.
The change in Joash came after Priest Jehoiada died. This man who saved his life had been just like a father to him. He encouraged Joash and helped him to follow God. But it seems Joash didn’t know God himself. For as soon as Jehoiada was gone, Joash turned away from God....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 36:15-20
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy." 2 Chronicles 36:15,16
Have you ever been in a situation where your teacher or parent keeps threatening to punish you, but never does? Maybe that’s how God’s many warnings felt to the people of Judah. Prophets had been telling them for years that God would judge them if they didn’t change their ways.
They probably thought that God’s patience would last forever. But they were wrong.
Finally the day came when Nebuchadnezzar made his final move. After a siege of Jerusalem, today’s reading tells us what happened (2 Chronicles 36:17-20). Complete the sentences by filling in the blanks using the words below.
1. People of all ages were ____ .2. The temple furniture and dishes were _____ to Babylon3. The temple and palaces were _______.4. The Jerusalem wall was ______ .5. Everyone still alive was ___________.6. There they...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 32:6-15 & 20,21
TO CHEW ON: “'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.' And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said." 2 Chronicles 32:7,8
Sennarcherib the fierce king of Assyria had already defeated Israel. Now he had his eye on Judah. He invaded the country with his powerful army. When soldiers surrounded the walled cities near Jerusalem, Hezekiah knew that he would soon be there.
Hezekiah did all he could to get ready. He cut off the water supply to the outside the walls of Jerusalem. He made the walls stronger. But most of all, he encouraged the people. “Don’t look at Sennarcherib’s strong army,” he said to them. “Instead, look at our big God.”
One day a messenger arrived with a letter. It was from Sennarcherib. “What are you trusting in?” the letter asked. “If Hezekiah is telling you that God will save you...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 12:1-14
TO CHEW ON: "Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed there was some good in Judah." 2 Chronicles 12:12
We left the story of Rehoboam a while back. He was the son of Solomon who said he would be a mean and bossy king. Ten tribes didn’t want Rehoboam to be their king. They chose Jeroboam to be king and were called Israel. We have been following what happened in Israel (King Jeroboam, King Ahab, the prophets Elijah and Elisha).
Meanwhile back in Jerusalem, Rehoboam ruled over the two tribes that stayed loyal to him. The part of the land he ruled was called Judah.
Rehoboam soon became a strong king in Judah. He forgot all about God and worshiping Him until King Shishak of Egypt started invading. In no time Shishak had captured all the nearby cities and was just outside Jerusalem.
Scared Rehoboam and his advisors were huddled in the city trying to decide what to do next when a prophet came to them. “You have abandoned God,” the prophet said to Rehoboam.“Now He is leaving you to Shishak.”
This made Rehoboam even more frightened. That day he decided...
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