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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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2 Kings 16-17,  Psalm 119:161-168,  Luke 6:17-26,  Philippians 3:10-14 2 Kings 16-17: Wicked King Ahaz—a whole chapter of his disastrous choices and activities makes somber reading (2 Kings 16). His father did better than he (2 Kings 15:32-36), as did his son (2 Kings 18:1-8), but Ahaz was an evil king. He even burned his…

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2 Kings 14-15,  Psalm 119:153-160,  Luke 6:1-16,  Philippians 3:1-9 2 Kings 14-15: The list of kings carries on, and there is not much to cheer us up in this panoply of decay that covers all the occasional good deeds that are done. Every now and then we read of a king who “did what was…

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2 Kings 12-13,  Psalm 119:145-152,  Luke 5:33-39,  Philippians 2:19-30  2 Kings 12-13: King Jehoash, son of Ahaziah (11:2), the boy king of Judah who began to reign at just seven years old (11:21), ruled for forty years (12:1). He did was right in the eyes of the Lord, fearing God and keeping his commandments, because…

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2 Kings 10-11,  Psalm 119:137-144,  Luke 5:27-32,  Philippians 2:12-18  2 Kings 10-11: Jehu now slaughters Ahab’s descendants (10:1-17). This does not make for pretty reading—and again, as so often in the Old Testament, we must remind ourselves that Jehu is functioning in the Old Testament theocracy as a vehicle for God’s temporal wrath. In the…

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2 Kings 8-9,  Psalm 119:129-136,  Luke 5:17-26,  Philippians 2:1-11 2 Kings 8-9: The chapters begin with beneficent greatness continuing to spread from the ministry of Elisha. The Shunammite, whose son he had restored to life, is warned to leave where she is because there will be a famine for seven years (8:1). When she returns,…

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