TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 6:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'And I said, 'Here am I. Send me.'” Isaiah 6:8
God sat on a high throne. The train of his majestic robe was more glorious than any bride’s. It filled the temple. Angels were all around. Some flew back and forth calling “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. The whole earth is filled with his glory.” At the sound, the temple pillars shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
These are things Isaiah saw in a vision. He would never forget what happened next. As he saw God’s glory and heard the angels, Isaiah suddenly felt like he wasn’t good enough to be there. “Woe is me,” he said, “for my mouth is dirty with bad words.”
Then one of the angels came to him. He had a coal from the altar, and touched that coal to Isaiah’s lips. “God has taken away your guilt and sin,” he said.
Then Isaiah heard God’s voice: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
Without knowing what God would ask him to do, Isaiah replied, “Here am I,...
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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: Jeremiah 7:1-13
TO CHEW ON: "This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, 'This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!' " Jeremiah 7:3,4
People thronged to the temple after Josiah’s clean-up. Looking at the crowds in “church” you’d think that everything had changed in Judah. But for many people, once they were away from God’s house, nothing had changed.
Crime and murder were common. Widows and orphans were ignored. Foreigners were mistreated. People thought that these things didn’t really matter. They thought Jerusalem would never be destroyed because the temple was there. They had a superstitious faith that the temple would save them no matter what they did.
One day God told Jeremiah to stand at the entrance way of the temple. He was to give the worshipers this message from God: “Change the way you act. Don’t put your faith in the temple. Look at what happened to Shiloh where the ark used to sit. I will do the same thing to Jerusalem if you...
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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: John 2: 13-17
TO CHEW ON: “...Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:16
Jesus and His disciples went to the temple in Jerusalem for Passover. To celebrate the Passover, every worshiper had to offer an animal sacrifice and pay a tax. In Jesus’ time, the priests sold the sacrifice animals in the temple court (the outside section, like our lobby or foyer). They charged huge amounts of money for these birds and animals. They wouldn’t sacrifice any animals that weren’t bought from them."Jesus clears the temple" - Artist unknown
The tax had to be paid in temple coins. Money changers changed people’s everyday money into temple coins but they charged extra to make the exchange.
Jesus was furious when He went into the temple and found the priests were more concerned about making money than worshiping God....
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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: Lamentations 1:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the Lord brought on me in the day of his fierce anger?" Lamentations 1:12
What is the saddest thing that has ever happened to you? How did you handle your sad feelings - by crying, sleeping, staying busy, playing sports, talking to others, writing?
Lamentations is a Bible book that someone (most likely Jeremiah) wrote about a very sad time – the fall of Jerusalem.
It is poetry and full of word pictures. Jerusalem is compared to a widow. She was once married but now she is a slave dressed in clothes that are dirty with the sins she has done. Jerusalem’s former rulers are like deer who are starving and so weak they don’t have the strength to run away from the hunter. The roads leading to Jerusalem weep and its gates are empty.
Though Jeremiah escaped going to Babylon, this poem shows that he felt as sad as anyone. He loved his country. He loved Jerusalem. He hated to see it destroyed and its people taken away. Writing Lamentations probably...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Zechariah 8:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there' " Zechariah 8:4-5.
After winter comes ________After night comes _________After sadness comes _________
The Israelites had had years of sadness when they lived in Babylon. Now some of them had returned to Jerusalem. There was much to do – a city to clean up, homes to build, a temple to rebuild. Would things ever get back to the wonderful way they had once been?
God sent Zechariah, another prophet, to encourage everyone. His message was as hopeful as spring after winter, morning after night, joy after crying. “Jerusalem won’t always be like this,” he said. “Exiles from all over will come home. Then old men and women will visit in the streets. Boys and girls will play there."Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 2: 21-38
TO CHEW ON: "It had been revealed to him (Simeon) by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah ....She (Anna) never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying." Luke 2: 26 & 37
When Jesus was still a tiny baby (40 days, about six weeks old) Joseph and Mary brought him to the temple in Jerusalem and gave him to the Lord. They also had to bring a sacrifice - doves or pigeons. They were obeying a command God gave Moses hundreds of years earlier.
There were probably many people in the temple the day Joseph and Mary took Jesus there. Perhaps some stopped Mary to take a look at her new baby and say how cute He was. The temple workers (Levites) probably saw Jesus when they helped Joseph and Mary with their sacrifice. But only two people recognized that Jesus was not just an ordinary baby....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Haggai 1:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "You have planted much but have harvested little. You eat but never have enough. You drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in it." Haggai 1:6
“Pack your things, some of us are going home!” The exciting news spread amongst the exiles in Babylon. Zerubabbel, grandson of King Jehoiachin, led the happy travelers back to Judah.
But when they entered Jerusalem, what a mess they found! Houses were broken down. The streets were full of broken bricks and garbage. The temple was a heap of rubbish.
So the people got to work. They cleaned up the garbage. They made bricks and rebuilt their homes. Some started working on the temple. But they didn’t get very far. It was such a big job, they just quit in discouragement. Instead they worked in their fields, gardens and workshops to earn money to make their own houses nicer. It seemed, though, that no one was doing very well....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezra 3:7-12
TO CHEW ON: "With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: 'He is good: his love to Israel endures forever' And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid." Ezra 3:11
Haggai’s message to put God first got everyone’s attention. Zerubbabel called the priests together. They decided to again worship God even though there was no temple in which to do it. They built an altar outside and again made the sacrifices and kept the feasts the way God had said.
Next they took a collection of money for building supplies. What a busy time followed, clearing away the rubble of the old temple and bringing in logs, cut stones and bricks for the new one.
Finally the day came when the foundation of the new temple was in place. That day they decided to celebrate. The Priests and Levites got dressed in their special clothes. They brought their trumpets and cymbals and praised God with singing and music like in the time of King David. Then all the people watching gave a shout of praise. God’s house was back!...
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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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