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July 25: With God, Failure Is Never the End of the Story

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36, Psalm 150, Luke 12:49-59, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-18 2 Chronicles 34-36: The story finally ends on a note of strange hope—Cyrus proclaiming the rebuilding of the temple (36:22-23). But in the meantime, we must wade through the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of further kings. Josiah was a good king (34:2). He started young: a mere eight years old (34:1). Let us not think that the young can do nothing for God. Out of the mouths of babes comes truth on occasion, and an eight-year-old can witness to God as well as any of us, sometimes better than the rest of us. Josiah “purged” Judah and Jerusalem of idolatry (34:3), and then began to repair the temple (34:8). In the midst of the repairs, a book is discovered (34:14-15). Think how degraded the worship of God was when The Book, the Word of God, is so...

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July 24: The Consequences of Ruler-ship, for Good or Ill

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 30-33, Psalm 149, Luke 12:38-48, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 2 Chronicles 30-33: By the end of these chapters we feel like asking, “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 13). But to begin with, we read more of the good king Hezekiah. He institutes a Passover feast (2 Chron. 30). He sends letters throughout the country calling on God’s people to repent and celebrate the Passover (30:1). Some laugh at his proclamation, but many come to the feast (30:10-13). The worship of God is put in order, with provision made for the priests so they could perform their duties, and “there was great joy in Jerusalem” (30:26). Let us gather together in rejoicing as we come before God, humbly, with repentance, finding him to be the delight of our lives and the joy of all nations. Then comes the infamous invasion of Sennacherib (32:1). Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah prayed and “cried...

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July 23: Two Kings

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 28-29, Psalm 148, Luke 12:22-34, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 2 Chronicles 28-29: Ahaz, at a mere twenty years of age, begins his reign, but it starts badly and continues worse (28:1). He did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD. In fact, he deliberately pursues idolatry in an extreme form: he fashions idols of Baal out of a more permanent metal, and burns his sons as an offering (28:2-3). The human sacrifice, which had caused the land to vomit up its previous inhabitants, had returned under the leadership of a king of God’s people. Heinous—and it would come with God’s wrath as a result. Judah is defeated (28:5). King Ahaz sends to Assyria for help (28:16). But the king of Assyria afflicts him instead of strengthening him (28:20). God is set against Judah. And then, in this time of distress, Ahaz becomes yet more unfaithful...

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July 22: Doing What Is Right Before the Lord

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 25-27, Psalm 147, Luke 12:13-21, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 2 Chronicles 25-27: More of the same lesson—he who honors God, God will honor—and it begins with Amaziah who did what was right before the Lord but not with a whole heart (25:2). He held something back from total commitment to God and suffered the consequences of his wavering resolve. He listens to a “man of God” and avoids fighting on the same side as Israel (25:7), and so wins a great victory with God’s power (25:11-12). But then having defeated the enemy, he brings back with him the very false gods which they had been worshipping as pagan idols and which had so obviously proved to be vanity (25:14). He then goes up to attempt to defeat Israel, presumably confident that as he had won a battle without them, he was stronger than they were, and found to his...

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July 21: Whom Do You Copy?

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 22-24, Psalm 146, Luke 12:1-12, 2 Thessalonians 2:6-12 2 Chronicles 22-24: In these chapters we learn of the importance of influence—mentors, forebears, examples, models. Ahaziah was made king, but he copied the ways of his mother and of the counselors who encouraged him to follow the ways of Ahab (22:3-5)—that is doing evil and not following the Lord. It is easy to think those who are older are necessarily wiser, that a teacher or a professor or (God forbid) a pastor must be speaking wisely when in fact they speak evil. Be careful whom you choose as your counselor or your model, the person you will emulate. Perhaps no choice is more important after the simple choice to follow God. We tend to do what we see even more than what we hear—especially if the words spoken are uttered by someone who is relationally near to us and...

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July 20: Two Ways to Live

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 20-21, Psalm 145, Luke 11:37-54, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 2 Chronicles 20-21: Jehoshaphat continues to show his godly wisdom. When faced with insurmountable problems (20:1-2) and naturally afraid, he “set his face to seek the LORD” (20:3). When we come across circumstances, enemies, situations or problems that we cannot solve or seem to rise above, our first recourse is to seek God. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast (20:3). This seeking of God was not merely to be his individual seeking, but a general calling upon God which he led the people to do. They together sought and cried out to God for rescue. Jehoshaphat’s prayer is recorded for us (20:5-12)—and it is well that it is. He appeals to God’s power (20:6), his covenant promise (20:7), and his honor (20:9). Then he lays the case straightforwardly before God (not thinking that he will be heard for his many ways), simply saying...

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July 19: Reform!

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 17-19, Psalm 144, Luke 11:29-36, 2 Thessalonians 1 2 Chronicles 17-19: There is much to learn from the reign of Jehoshaphat! Consider: The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David (17:3). God’s blessing/presence/support/approval is on Jehoshaphat because he is following the wise and godly pattern of great King David. Sometimes we look around for mentors, models, on which to base the pattern of our lives, whom we can emulate and copy. At times, we have such people ready on hand and nearby; at other times it appears we look in vain. But all of us can look back to the greats of yesterday, read their history, and learn from them. What would Jonathan Edwards do in this situation? How would George Whitefield speak in this circumstance? What would be the response of William Wilberforce to the cultural challenges of our day? How...

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July 18: A Key Spiritual Lesson

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 13-16, Psalm 143, Luke 11:14-28, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 2 Chronicles 13-16: The history of these chapters proceeds along fairly familiar lines to those who have been following the sacred history of these times, but in particular the chronicler takes pains to point out an especially significant spiritual lesson. Namely, that when we rely upon God, then God provides for us. The story of these chapters emphasizes this lesson over and over again: They cried to the LORD…And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam… (13:14-15). The men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers (13:18). The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God (14:7). The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you (15:2). What could be clearer? Cry to God,...

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July 17: Split

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 10-12, Psalm 142, Luke 11:1-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 2 Chronicles 10-12: Rehoboam is made king, but immediately he is faced with a challenge that proves beyond him. His subjects request that he lighten the yoke of “hard service” that his father had enforced upon them for all his great building projects (10:4). Rehoboam asks the advice of his father’s counselors who tell him to listen to the people in this instance, and if he does, then thereafter they will serve him (10:6-7). However, he also asks the advice of the young men—inexperienced, enthusiastic, hot-headed—who grew up with him (10:8-9). They tell him to answer the people with severity (10:10-11). It was a poor choice when he decided to go with the advice of the young men with whom he had grown up (10:13-15). Thereafter, Israel was split between north and south kingdoms (10:16-19). When Rehoboam attempts to take back...

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July 16: True Success

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 8-9, Psalm 141, Luke 10:38-42, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18 2 Chronicles 8-9: The chronicler lists Solomon’s extensive accomplishments in these two chapters. He is a “builder,” emphasized many times in chapter 8, who completed and finished the work that was given to him by God—building up, extending, magnifying and establishing Israel and Jerusalem, and especially the “house of the Lord.” The only hint that he is over-extending his reach is in his recruitment of “forced labor,” though the author is careful to note that this forced labor was not from the people of Israel themselves (8:7-8). That said, it seems apparent from the later tension that impacted Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, that Solomon had put his people under intense pressure to accomplish what he accomplished (10:4 and following). Chapter 9 indicates Solomon’s other main, great achievements, namely that of wisdom and wealth. His wisdom is emphasized by the famous witness of...

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