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July 5: Saul and David

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 10-11, Psalm 128, Luke 8:16-25, Colossians 2:16-23 1 Chronicles 10-11: Having listed the genealogies, and given the lesson that they went into exile because they breached faith with God (9:1), now we come to the story of Saul, who stands as an example of one who breached faith with God (10:13). He did not keep the command of God; he consulted a medium (10:13). He did not seek guidance from God (10:14). If you wish to be blessed by God, be faithful to God, listen to his Word, seek him and be guided by him in all that you do, think, say or see. By contrast then comes David. David “became greater and greater for the LORD of hosts was with him” (11:9). God was with him, and therefore God ensured that David became greater and greater. Of course, David was not alone: he had a team. The famous...

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July 4: Keep Faith

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 7-9, Psalm 127, Luke 8:1-15, Colossians 2:8-15 1 Chronicles 7-9: More genealogies, and it is tempting indeed to skip over them! The beginning of chapter 9, though, reminds us of the purpose of these particular records of names and forebears: So all Israel was recorded in genealogies, and these are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their breach of faith (9:1). These records of names show the returning exiles their heritage, and also act as a warning that they would be faithful as many of their forefathers were not. Tradition is a great thing if the tradition is great, and can have good effect as long as the lessons learned from it are good. The Israelites’ tradition was on the one hand very great, but on the other hand tarnished. They were to be reminded that they...

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July 3: Lessons from History

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 5-6, Psalm 126, Luke 7:36-50, Colossians 2:1-7 1 Chronicles 5-6: The chronicler continues to intersperse into his genealogy moral and spiritual lessons that he wants his readers to learn from his chronological survey of Israelite history via the names of the individuals and their family trees. Unlike modern family trees, these ancient genealogies were written to tell a story, to be a kind of CV or résumé  of the story that is being told—in this case that there is an ancient lineage to the people of God returning from exile. In particular, though, the chronicler shows in a couple of places his special concern that his readers not miss the lesson of this history of Israel: flee idolatry, worship God alone, be faithful to his covenant. The beginning of chapter 5 tells of Reuben and his birthright loss to Joseph because of Reuben’s sin (5:1-2). We may have special...

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July 2: Jabez

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 3-4, Psalm 125, Luke 7:18-35, Colossians 1:15-29 1 Chronicles 3-4: The genealogies continue—precious records for those wanting to trace their lineage back beyond the exile and so authenticate their God-given promise to the land, and establish their own connection to that promise in their particular families and persons. David’s family, especially exalted, is given extended attention (1 Chron. 3), weighted by his significance in God’s economy. In chapter 4 comes the famous (famous then, and more recently renowned through a book written about him) Jabez (4:9-10). Matthew Henry, a commentator writing long before any more recent publications on Jabez, said this about him: “The way to be truly great is to be truly good and to pray much.” Such a judgment, of course, needs to be modified (as Henry in his commentary does) by the reality that not all of us are as blessed as Jabez was. We may...

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July 1: Hope

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 1-2, Psalm 123-124, Luke 7:11-17, Colossians 1:1-14 1 Chronicles 1-2: These two chapters are unlikely to furnish the bestseller portions of Scripture (if such were allowed to be), and they seem to be hard work even for the most dedicated student of the Bible. But they are here for a reason—not purposelessly preserved for us—and it is our task to discern that reason. It is evident that these genealogies, filling in some gaps even in the genealogy of Christ, were written to encourage and assure those who might think that God’s work in them would fail after the experience of the exile. God had preserved his seed, and there would be a shoot that would arise again from the stump of Jesse, of the seed of David—Christ the Messiah. But what is the purpose for us? It tells us that even when it seems as if God’s work has been...

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June 26-30, 2016

In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” June 26-30 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month. With this in mind, God Centered Bible will not have a devotional for June 26-30, but will pick back up on July 1, 2016, with 1 Chronicles. We welcome your comments also during these days with insights you’ve found during the first 25 days. To receive God Centered Bible devotionals directly in your inbox, sign up here....

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June 25: Exile

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Kings 24-25, Psalm 122, Luke 7:1-10, Philippians 4:14-23 2 Kings 24-25: Now Judah is a vassal state of Babylon (24:1), but it does not yet know its place—nor accept the discipline that has come through Babylon. Jehoiakim rebels against Nebuchadnezzar (24:1), and so foreign armies are sent against Judah to destroy it, “according to the word of the LORD” (24:2). Continuing to do what is evil in God’s eyes, Jehoiachin then reigns, and Babylon besieges the city (24:8-10). Jehoiachin is taken prisoner, and all Jerusalem’s treasures are taken captive, too (24:11-16). His uncle is made king (by Babylon) in Jehoiachin’s place, with his name changed to Zedekiah to underline his allegiance to Babylon (24:17). He too does what is evil in the eyes of the LORD, and he too unwisely rebels against Babylon (24:19-20). This time Nebuchadnezzar comes and destroys Jerusalem (25:1-21). Desperately, tragically, Zedekiah watches as his sons are...

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June 24: Reform

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Kings 22-23, Psalm 121, Luke 6:43-49, Philippians 4:8-13 2 Kings 22-23: The boy king Josiah is a model and example in his godliness, turning neither to the right nor the left out of the way of God (22:1-2). It begins with him showing good management, trustworthy dealing with others, and fair recompense to workers regarding the house of the LORD (22:3-7). He has a heart for God and his ways—and it shows from the start. But then Josiah is given a shock. The high priest tells the secretary sent by the king that he has found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD (22:8). Stop and consider: in this temple, it was astonishing news that a Bible was found. Who could have thought that things could have become so rotten that a high priest discovered a Bible and was surprised? The secretary takes it to the king,...

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June 23: Pray

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Kings 20-21, Psalm 120, Luke 6:37-42, Philippians 4:1-7 2 Kings 20-21: Hezekiah becomes sick. God’s word comes to him that he will die (20:1). But he pleads to God to have mercy (20:2-3). And before Isaiah has even left the middle court, the word of the Lord returns to him saying that Hezekiah will have another fifteen years and be delivered from the hand of Assyria (20:4-7). While there is life, there is still time to pray. Ask God now to use you powerfully in whatever years remain to you, and restore you that you may serve him. God gives Hezekiah a powerful sign that his word will come true (20:8-11). Our God is a God of miracles. Hezekiah foolishly, though, shows off all his treasures to envoys from Babylon (20:12-15). Pride comes before a fall, and Hezekiah does not realize that while God has granted a delay on his...

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June 22: A Righteous Man

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Kings 18-19, Psalm 119:169-176, Luke 6:27-36, Philippians 3:15-21 2 Kings 18-19: At last! A good king! Praise God for leaders who fear God. What a relief! What joy for those over whom such a leader has authority—authority he uses to bless, not revile, and for which he knows he is accountable to the living God. Hezekiah rules with righteousness, as none of the kings of Judah either before or after did (18:5). He even removes the high places, those popular strongholds of pagan worship (18:4). Note what he did: he trusted in the LORD (18:5); he held fast to the LORD (18:6); he kept the commandments of the LORD (18:6). He trusted, he persevered, he obeyed. Trust; persevere; obey. Not a bad trifecta of a watchword for a leader. Note also what happened as a result of this faithfulness: the LORD was with him; wherever he went out he prospered (18:7)....

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