TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 40: 27-31
TO CHEW ON: "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30,31
Isaiah continued to remind the people of Judah what God is like. It’s as if he has heard someone complain and say, “God doesn’t see me and my problems. He doesn’t know me or care about me. He’s ignoring me.”
To that Isaiah replied with some facts about God. Complete the things Isaiah told the people, using words from the word bank below: (Isaiah 40:28,29)1. God is _________2. He is the __________3. He doesn’t get _______ or ________4. Nobody can fathom his ___________5. Instead of getting weary, he gives ___ and ____
power tired weary
But they may have asked – and you might too – How does God give us these things? Verse 31 has the answer. God’s strength comes to us when we hope in the...
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Tags: trust problems Judah Isaiah hope God’s help God’s care
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 61:1-3
TO CHEW ON: "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners," Isaiah 61:1
If you’ve ever played Monopoly, you’ll know that if you get sent to “Jail” there are consequences. You must miss your turn. You don’t get to move around the game board like the other players. By the time you’re free again, all the best properties may be bought by others. Unless you have a “Get out of jail free” card. Then you get to go free!
The way Isaiah described the deliverer or Messiah who would come someday sounds a lot like a “Get out of jail free” card. As well as bringing good news to the poor and comfort to the brokenhearted, the promise was that He would free captives and release prisoners.Hundreds of years later, Jesus was about to give His first sermon. In front of the gathered listeners He started by opening the scroll of Isaiah...
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Tags: salvation prophecy Judah Jesus Isaiah good news God’s word forgiveness
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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Tags: prayer Judah God’s word God’s presence friendship 2 Chronicles
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 55:1-7
TO CHEW ON: "Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat!" Isaiah 55:1
Have you ever been very, very thirsty? What did you want more than anything?
Thirst is our body’s way of telling us we need water. In fact we would eventually die if we didn’t get the water we needed.
In today’s reading, though, when Isaiah invites thirsty people to come to water, he isn’t talking about physical thirst. He’s talking about a thirst in our hearts. Perhaps you have felt such a thirst. It might come as a fear in the night - wondering what would happen to you if you died. It might come as a need for love, praise, popularity or excitement. It might come as a desire to do something big and important in your life.
When that thirst comes, you could try to satisfy it with a variety of drinks. You could work hard at school to get the best marks so that people will praise you. You could dress in the latest clothes so that you will fit in with the cool crowd and be popular. You could work at sports...
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Tags: trust Judah Isaiah God’s care friendship
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 38:7-13
TO CHEW ON: “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.” Jeremiah 38:9
As he sank ever deeper in the filthy mud, Jeremiah wondered, is this it? Will I die here? He had done and said what God had told him to. But his message was so unpopular, King Zedekiah’s officials had put him in prison and then thrown him into this wet cistern.
But that wasn’t the end for Jeremiah. Ebed-Melech, an official in the palace, heard what had happened. He knew that it was not fair. He went to the king about it.
“These men have been most wicked in the way they treated Jeremiah,” he said. “They’ve put him in a cistern and he’ll starve to death.”...
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Tags: trust persecution Judah Jeremiah God’s help
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 36:1-26
TO CHEW ON: "The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes." Jeremiah 36:24
“I’m sure the people will change their ways when they hear all this,” Baruch said, as he put the final touches on the scroll.
God had told Jeremiah many months before to try another way to get the people to listen. “You write down all the things I’ve told you,” God told him. “Then read them to the people. When they hear about the judgments that are coming, surely they’ll change their ways.”
Jeremiah had hired Baruch as his secretary. He had spoken the things God had said to him, while Baruch wrote them on a scroll. It was slow work and took a long time. But finally they were done.
On a day when many people were in Jerusalem, Baruch read Jeremiah’s words at the crowded temple courtyard. Micaiah heard them. He hurried to a room where the king’s officials were gathered. “You’ve got to hear this!” he told them.
They invited Baruch to read Jeremiah’s scroll. After he finished they said, “This is serious. We’d better make sure the king hears this!”
On a cold winter...
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Tags: true/false rebellion prophecy Judah Jeremiah God’s word disobedience
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: Joel 2:28-32
TO CHEW ON: "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." Joel 2:28
If someone asked you, “What will happen next week?” could you tell them? What if they asked about tomorrow, or even later today?
Without God’s help, people have no way of knowing the future. But when God’s Spirit tells people what to say about the future, as He did to the Old Testament prophets, we get accurate predictions.
God gave Joel words to say about the distant future. He told about a time when God would pour out His Spirit on all people – old and young, women and men.
Hundreds of years later a small band of Jesus’ followers were gathered in a Jerusalem room. Jesus had recently died, risen again and gone back to heaven. Just before He left, Jesus told His followers to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.
That’s what they were doing this day when suddenly there was the sound of wind and the sight of fire tongues sitting on each person’s head. Then people began praising God in languages they didn’t...
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Tags: prophecy occult Judah Joel Holy Spirit God’s plan
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 20:1-11
TO CHEW ON: “'Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the Lord, the God of your father David says: "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life . . ."’” 2 Kings 20:5,6a
Hezekiah was very ill. The doctors expected him to die. Even the prophet Isaiah said, “Put your affairs in order, because you’re going to die.”
But Hezekiah didn’t want to die. As Isaiah left the room, he turned his face to the wall and began to cry. As he wept, he prayed, “God, I’ve tried to please you. I’ve served you wholeheartedly...”...
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Tags: sickness miracles memory verse Judah Isaiah healing God’s help 2 Kings
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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Tags: repent Judah God’s character discussion consequences 2 Chronicles
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jonah 1:17 and 2:1-10
TO CHEW ON: " He said:“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.' " Jonah 2:2When the sailors tossed Jonah overboard I’m sure he expected to drown. But that didn’t happen. Instead he was swallowed by a huge fish.
Imagine getting swept into that big mouth and then into the fish’s insides. Imagine Jonah telling you about it. Finish each of his statements.
Inside the fish it smelled __________, it felt ________________ , I saw ______________.
The three days Jonah spent inside the fish gave him lots of time to think. Then he prayed. Read his prayer (Jonah 2:1-9) then circle the words that tell how he felt:...
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Tags: prayer obedience Judah Jonah God’s plan God’s care consequences
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Nehemiah 2:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "The king said to me, 'What is it you want?' Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, 'If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.' ... And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my request." Nehemiah 2:4&8
“Jerusalem is a mess,” Hanani said. “Its walls are broken down and the gates are just charred rubbish.”
Nehemiah was shocked and sad to hear this news from his brother Hanani. Though Nehemiah had lived in Persia all his life, his heart was with his people in Jerusalem. He wished there was something he could do.
He thought of going to Jerusalem and getting to work on that wall. But that could never happen because King Artaxerxes had said that Jerusalem should not be rebuilt. And Artaxerxes was his boss. He would never let him leave his job for such a reason.
Yet over the next four months, Nehemiah couldn’t forget his dream of returning to Jerusalem. Every day he imagined...
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Tags: promises prayer Nehemiah memory verse Judah God’s help
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