Subscribe to the 2021 Bible Reading Plan

* indicates required

 

At King Street Church, we believe that the Word of God is vital to a growing walk with Jesus.  We make reading the Bible a priority at our church with a new Bible Reading Plan every year.  It is our desire that the church body would read the Scriptures together, and come to a ever-deepening understanding of God’s purpose and plan for our lives.  We welcome others around the world to join us in this quest!   Scroll down to the bottom of the page to enter your email and receive the daily readings.

If you would like to hear messages that focus on biblical teaching, visit us at www.kingstreetchurch.com.

Read Through the Bible in 2021

This year we will be reading the whole Bible.  Each day the reading will be accompanied by a short devotional by Michael Alcorn.

Ways to Read

  • – Subscribe via the sign box below to receive daily emails
  • – Text DAILY to 717.401.7777 to receive the readings and questions via a text message
  • – Visit bible.kingstreetchurch.com daily to read the passage and respond to the questions. 

 

April 19 | “God in a Box” – 2 Chronicles 4-6

April 19  |  “God in a Box” – 2 Chronicles 4-6

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 2 Chronicles 6.18 – “But will God really dwell on earth with men?  The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you.  How much less this temple I have built!” Is it possible for God to be confined to a certain space or location as we are?  We can only be in one place at one time.  Is the same true of God?  Solomon built a temple for the Lord.  It says that when the temple was finished and the ark of the covenant was set in its place, God’s glory and presence came to dwell between the cherubim above the ark.  If God was there, was He only there?  If He wasn’t only there, then why did God manifest His presence in that specific location? In Psalm 139.7, David asks the rhetorical question, “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?”  The obvious assumed answer is nowhere.  We cannot flee from His presence because His presence is everywhere.  God cannot be put in a box.  However, this then begs the question, “What is the meaning of God manifesting His glory between the cherubim above the mercy seat of the ark?”  God is not limited by time and space and cannot be confined to any one location.  He is everywhere.  However, God manifested His presence visibly above the ark so that the Israelites could know that He was with them.  This did not mean that He was limited to that location.  It just means that He gave them the blessing and privilege of physically seeing that He was with them. What about today?  Is there anywhere in the world where we can physically see the localized manifest presence of God?  Well, Ezekiel 10.18 says that the glory of the Lord departed from the temple around 597 B.C. because of the people’s idolatry.  He’d had enough.  He would no longer dwell among them and to this day that is true.  There is no one location where God visibly and physically manifests Himself. However, He does manifest Himself in one particular location on earth – in the hearts of those who have put their trust in Christ and serve Him as Lord.  1 Corinthians 3.16 says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”  God lived among the Israelites visibly over the ark because He had not yet given the Spirit to dwell in the hearts of believers.  Yet for us, God permanently dwells in our bodily temple as He does in the hearts of all those who believe. So, while we cannot physically see God – or at least the cloud that is hiding His brilliant glory – we have something better.  We have God Himself living in us.  The Holy Spirit sanctifies, guides, convicts, and controls the believer when we submit to His control.  We have something much better than an ark.  We can more than just see that the presence of God is here.  We can sense and know that the Spirit lives in our temple and glorifies Himself through us.  So, in a sense God can be put in a box – our hearts, but as Solomon said about the temple, He is by no means limited to or confined by it.  Nevertheless, He wants to live in our hearts.  Does He dwell in yours?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

2 CHRONICLES 4

He made a bronze altar twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high. He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, figures of bulls encircled it—ten to a cubit. The bulls were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held three thousand baths. He then made ten basins for washing and placed five on the south side and five on the north. In them the things to be used for the burnt offerings were rinsed, but the Sea was to be used by the priests for washing. He made ten gold lampstands according to the specifications for them and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. He made ten tables and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. He also made a hundred gold sprinkling bowls. He made the courtyard of the priests, and the large court and the doors for the court, and overlaid the doors with bronze. 10 He placed the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner. 11 And Huram also made the pots and shovels and sprinkling bowls. So Huram finished the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of God: 12 the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; 13 the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network, decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars); 14 the stands with their basins; 15 the Sea and the twelve bulls under it; 16 the pots, shovels, meat forks and all related articles. All the objects that Huram-Abi made for King Solomon for the temple of the Lord were of polished bronze. 17 The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Sukkoth and Zarethan. 18 All these things that Solomon made amounted to so much that the weight of the bronze could not be calculated. 19 Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in God’s temple: the golden altar; the tables on which was the bread of the Presence; 20 the lampstands of pure gold with their lamps, to burn in front of the inner sanctuary as prescribed; 21 the gold floral work and lamps and tongs (they were solid gold); 22 the pure gold wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers; and the gold doors of the temple: the inner doors to the Most Holy Place and the doors of the main hall. 

2 CHRONICLES 5

When all the work Solomon had done for the temple of the Lord was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated—the silver and gold and all the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of God’s temple. Then Solomon summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. And all the Israelites came together to the king at the time of the festival in the seventh month. When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the Levites took up the ark, and they brought up the ark and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The Levitical priests carried them up; and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted. The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and covered the ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends, extending from the ark, could be seen from in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt. 11 The priests then withdrew from the Holy Place. All the priests who were there had consecrated themselves, regardless of their divisions. 12 All the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives—stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, 14 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 6

Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.” While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. Then he said: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hands has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David. For he said, ‘Since the day I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, nor have I chosen anyone to be ruler over my people Israel. But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’ “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’ 10 “The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 There I have placed the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with the people of Israel.” 12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 13 Now he had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high, and had placed it in the center of the outer court. He stood on the platform and then knelt down before the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 14 He said: “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today. 16 “Now, Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as you have done.’ 17 And now, Lord, the God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David come true. 18 “But will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 19 Yet, Lord my God, give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. 20 May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 21 Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive. 22 “When anyone wrongs their neighbor and is required to take an oath and they come and swear the oath before your altar in this temple, 23 then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty and bringing down on their heads what they have done, and vindicating the innocent by treating them in accordance with their innocence. 24 “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you and when they turn back and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication before you in this temple, 25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors. 26 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 27 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance. 28 “When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 29 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of their afflictions and pains, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— 30 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart), 31 so that they will fear you and walk in obedience to you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors. 32 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, 33 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name. 34 “When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to you toward this city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 36 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near; 37 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly’; 38 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and toward the temple I have built for your Name; 39 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you. 40 “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 41 “Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness. 42 Lord God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David your servant.”

April 18 | “Trust” – 2 Chronicles 1-3

April 18  |  “Trust” – 2 Chronicles 1-3

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 2 Chronicles 1.14 – “Solomon accumulated chariots and horses.” Remember back in 1 Samuel what Samuel told the people a king would do to them?  They asked for a king because they wanted to be like all the other nations.  It was not enough that the Lord was their king.  They wanted a human king.  Samuel warned them in advance that the king would take their sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses.  He would conscript others to be bakers, soldiers, and cabinet members.  It’s called bureaucracy and Israel had all of it and to pay all these people the king would have to levy taxes, of course. Solomon became very wealthy and accumulated a horde of horses and chariots.  In time, it seems that he began to trust in his power and wealth more than he did in the Lord.  He later turned away from the Lord and departed from the ways of his father David.  Psalm 20.7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”  It seems that Solomon began to trust in chariots and horses instead of the name of the Lord his God. In what do you trust?  What if you lost all your material possessions today?  Would your security be gone?  Are you relying on your own version of “chariots and horses”?  Be careful what you accumulate.  Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6.19-21).  Are your treasures on earth or in heaven?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

2 CHRONICLES 1

Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great. Then Solomon spoke to all Israel—to the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, to the judges and to all the leaders in Israel, the heads of families— and Solomon and the whole assembly went to the high place at Gibeon, for God’s tent of meeting was there, which Moses the Lord’s servant had made in the wilderness. Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon in front of the tabernacle of the Lord; so Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there. Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the Lord in the tent of meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it. That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” 13 Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting. And he reigned over Israel. 14 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 15 The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 16 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue—the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. 17 They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.

2 CHRONICLES 2

Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself. He conscripted 70,000 men as carriers and 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills and 3,600 as foremen over them. Solomon sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre: “Send me cedar logs as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in. Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on the Sabbaths, at the New Moons and at the appointed festivals of the Lord our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel. “The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him? “Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled workers, whom my father David provided. “Send me also cedar, juniper and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants are skilled in cutting timber there. My servants will work with yours to provide me with plenty of lumber, because the temple I build must be large and magnificent. 10 I will give your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, twenty thousand cors of ground wheat, twenty thousand cors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine and twenty thousand baths of olive oil.” 11 Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon: “Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you their king.” 12 And Hiram added: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son, endowed with intelligence and discernment, who will build a temple for the Lord and a palace for himself. 13 “I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill, 14 whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your skilled workers and with those of my lord, David your father. 15 “Now let my lord send his servants the wheat and barley and the olive oil and wine he promised, 16 and we will cut all the logs from Lebanon that you need and will float them as rafts by sea down to Joppa. You can then take them up to Jerusalem.” 17 Solomon took a census of all the foreigners residing in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600. 18 He assigned 70,000 of them to be carriers and 80,000 to be stonecutters in the hills, with 3,600 foremen over them to keep the people working. 

2 CHRONICLES 3

Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David. He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign. The foundation Solomon laid for building the temple of God was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide (using the cubit of the old standard). The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits long across the width of the building and twenty cubits high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold. He paneled the main hall with juniper and covered it with fine gold and decorated it with palm tree and chain designs. He adorned the temple with precious stones. And the gold he used was gold of Parvaim. He overlaid the ceiling beams, doorframes, walls and doors of the temple with gold, and he carved cherubim on the walls. He built the Most Holy Place, its length corresponding to the width of the temple—twenty cubits long and twenty cubits wide. He overlaid the inside with six hundred talents of fine gold. The gold nails weighed fifty shekels. He also overlaid the upper parts with gold. 10 For the Most Holy Place he made a pair of sculptured cherubim and overlaid them with gold. 11 The total wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long and touched the temple wall, while its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the other cherub. 12 Similarly one wing of the second cherub was five cubits long and touched the other temple wall, and its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the first cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits. They stood on their feet, facing the main hall. 14 He made the curtain of blue, purple and crimson yarn and fine linen, with cherubim worked into it. 15 For the front of the temple he made two pillars, which together were thirty-five cubits long, each with a capital five cubits high. 16 He made interwoven chains and put them on top of the pillars. He also made a hundred pomegranates and attached them to the chains. 17 He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.  

April 17 | “Giving” – 1 Chronicles 25-29

April 17  |  “Giving” – 1 Chronicles 25-29

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 1 Chronicles 29.14 – “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?  Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” At the end of 1 Chronicles, David is at the end of his life.  He is making preparations for Solomon to become king and for the building of the temple, which Solomon would undertake.  This chapter describes the more than generous giving of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and precious stones by all the Israelites.  These were all for the temple.  “They had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord” (29.9). David comments that it is an amazing thing that people are even able to give generously to God.  Everything comes from Him.  When we give to Him, we are really only giving back to Him what is already His.  It all belongs to Him. Think about your attitude when you give to the Lord (if you give).  Do you do it out of obligation, guilt, pressure, habit, or out of love, gratitude, and joy?  Are you amazed that you have the opportunity to give to a God who owns everything already or are you upset that you have to part with “your” hard earned money?  Is it an opportunity or an obligation?  David looked at it as an opportunity?  What’s your perspective?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

1 CHRONICLES 25

David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service: From the sons of Asaph: Zakkur, Joseph, Nethaniah and Asarelah. The sons of Asaph were under the supervision of Asaph, who prophesied under the king’s supervision. As for Jeduthun, from his sons: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah, six in all, under the supervision of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied, using the harp in thanking and praising the Lord. As for Heman, from his sons: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael and Jerimoth; Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti and Romamti-Ezer; Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir and Mahazioth. (All these were sons of Heman the king’s seer. They were given him through the promises of God to exalt him. God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.) All these men were under the supervision of their father for the music of the temple of the Lord, with cymbals, lyres and harps, for the ministry at the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the supervision of the king. Along with their relatives—all of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord—they numbered 288. Young and old alike, teacher as well as student, cast lots for their duties. The first lot, which was for Asaph, fell to Joseph, his sons and relatives 12 the second to Gedaliah, him and his relatives and sons 12 10 the third to Zakkur, his sons and relatives 12 11 the fourth to Izri, his sons and relatives 12 12 the fifth to Nethaniah, his sons and relatives 12 13 the sixth to Bukkiah, his sons and relatives 12 14 the seventh to Jesarelah, his sons and relatives 12 15 the eighth to Jeshaiah, his sons and relatives 12 16 the ninth to Mattaniah, his sons and relatives 12 17 the tenth to Shimei, his sons and relatives 12 18 the eleventh to Azarel, his sons and relatives 12 19 the twelfth to Hashabiah, his sons and relatives 12 20 the thirteenth to Shubael, his sons and relatives 12 21 the fourteenth to Mattithiah, his sons and relatives 12 22 the fifteenth to Jerimoth, his sons and relatives 12 23 the sixteenth to Hananiah, his sons and relatives 12 24 the seventeenth to Joshbekashah, his sons and relatives 12 25 the eighteenth to Hanani, his sons and relatives 12 26 the nineteenth to Mallothi, his sons and relatives 12 27 the twentieth to Eliathah, his sons and relatives 12 28 the twenty-first to Hothir, his sons and relatives 12 29 the twenty-second to Giddalti, his sons and relatives 12 30 the twenty-third to Mahazioth, his sons and relatives 12 31 the twenty-fourth to Romamti-Ezer, his sons and relatives 12

1 CHRONICLES 26

The divisions of the gatekeepers: From the Korahites: Meshelemiah son of Kore, one of the sons of Asaph. Meshelemiah had sons: Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth and Eliehoenai the seventh. Obed-Edom also had sons: Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, Sakar the fourth, Nethanel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh and Peullethai the eighth. (For God had blessed Obed-Edom.) Obed-Edom’s son Shemaiah also had sons, who were leaders in their father’s family because they were very capable men. The sons of Shemaiah: Othni, Rephael, Obed and Elzabad; his relatives Elihu and Semakiah were also able men. All these were descendants of Obed-Edom; they and their sons and their relatives were capable men with the strength to do the work—descendants of Obed-Edom, 62 in all. Meshelemiah had sons and relatives, who were able men—18 in all. 10 Hosah the Merarite had sons: Shimri the first (although he was not the firstborn, his father had appointed him the first), 11 Hilkiah the second, Tabaliah the third and Zechariah the fourth. The sons and relatives of Hosah were 13 in all. 12 These divisions of the gatekeepers, through their leaders, had duties for ministering in the temple of the Lord, just as their relatives had. 13 Lots were cast for each gate, according to their families, young and old alike. 14 The lot for the East Gate fell to Shelemiah. Then lots were cast for his son Zechariah, a wise counselor, and the lot for the North Gate fell to him. 15 The lot for the South Gate fell to Obed-Edom, and the lot for the storehouse fell to his sons. 16 The lots for the West Gate and the Shalleketh Gate on the upper road fell to Shuppim and Hosah. Guard was alongside of guard: 17 There were six Levites a day on the east, four a day on the north, four a day on the south and two at a time at the storehouse. 18 As for the court to the west, there were four at the road and two at the court itself. 19 These were the divisions of the gatekeepers who were descendants of Korah and Merari. 20 Their fellow Levites were in charge of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries for the dedicated things. 21 The descendants of Ladan, who were Gershonites through Ladan and who were heads of families belonging to Ladan the Gershonite, were Jehieli, 22 the sons of Jehieli, Zetham and his brother Joel. They were in charge of the treasuries of the temple of the Lord. 23 From the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites and the Uzzielites: 24 Shubael, a descendant of Gershom son of Moses, was the official in charge of the treasuries. 25 His relatives through Eliezer: Rehabiah his son, Jeshaiah his son, Joram his son, Zikri his son and Shelomith his son. 26 Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries for the things dedicated by King David, by the heads of families who were the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and by the other army commanders. 27 Some of the plunder taken in battle they dedicated for the repair of the temple of the Lord. 28 And everything dedicated by Samuel the seer and by Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner and Joab son of Zeruiah, and all the other dedicated things were in the care of Shelomith and his relatives. 29 From the Izharites: Kenaniah and his sons were assigned duties away from the temple, as officials and judges over Israel. 30 From the Hebronites: Hashabiah and his relatives—seventeen hundred able men—were responsible in Israel west of the Jordan for all the work of the Lord and for the king’s service. 31 As for the Hebronites, Jeriah was their chief according to the genealogical records of their families. In the fortieth year of David’s reign a search was made in the records, and capable men among the Hebronites were found at Jazer in Gilead. 32 Jeriah had twenty-seven hundred relatives, who were able men and heads of families, and King David put them in charge of the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh for every matter pertaining to God and for the affairs of the king.

1 CHRONICLES 27

This is the list of the Israelites—heads of families, commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and their officers, who served the king in all that concerned the army divisions that were on duty month by month throughout the year. Each division consisted of 24,000 men. In charge of the first division, for the first month, was Jashobeam son of Zabdiel. There were 24,000 men in his division. He was a descendant of Perez and chief of all the army officers for the first month. In charge of the division for the second month was Dodai the Ahohite; Mikloth was the leader of his division. There were 24,000 men in his division. The third army commander, for the third month, was Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest. He was chief and there were 24,000 men in his division. This was the Benaiah who was a mighty warrior among the Thirty and was over the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was in charge of his division. The fourth, for the fourth month, was Asahel the brother of Joab; his son Zebadiah was his successor. There were 24,000 men in his division. The fifth, for the fifth month, was the commander Shamhuth the Izrahite. There were 24,000 men in his division. The sixth, for the sixth month, was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite. There were 24,000 men in his division. 10 The seventh, for the seventh month, was Helez the Pelonite, an Ephraimite. There were 24,000 men in his division. 11 The eighth, for the eighth month, was Sibbekai the Hushathite, a Zerahite. There were 24,000 men in his division. 12 The ninth, for the ninth month, was Abiezer the Anathothite, a Benjamite. There were 24,000 men in his division. 13 The tenth, for the tenth month, was Maharai the Netophathite, a Zerahite. There were 24,000 men in his division. 14 The eleventh, for the eleventh month, was Benaiah the Pirathonite, an Ephraimite. There were 24,000 men in his division. 15 The twelfth, for the twelfth month, was Heldai the Netophathite, from the family of Othniel. There were 24,000 men in his division. 16 The leaders of the tribes of Israel: over the Reubenites: Eliezer son of Zikri; over the Simeonites: Shephatiah son of Maakah; 17 over Levi: Hashabiah son of Kemuel; over Aaron: Zadok; 18 over Judah: Elihu, a brother of David; over Issachar: Omri son of Michael; 19 over Zebulun: Ishmaiah son of Obadiah; over Naphtali: Jerimoth son of Azriel; 20 over the Ephraimites: Hoshea son of Azaziah; over half the tribe of Manasseh: Joel son of Pedaiah; 21 over the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead: Iddo son of Zechariah; over Benjamin: Jaasiel son of Abner; 22 over Dan: Azarel son of Jeroham. These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel. 23 David did not take the number of the men twenty years old or less, because the Lord had promised to make Israel as numerous as the starsin the sky. 24 Joab son of Zeruiah began to count the men but did not finish. God’s wrath came on Israel on account of this numbering, and the number was not entered in the book of the annals of King David. 25 Azmaveth son of Adiel was in charge of the royal storehouses. Jonathan son of Uzziah was in charge of the storehouses in the outlying districts, in the towns, the villages and the watchtowers. 26 Ezri son of Kelub was in charge of the workers who farmed the land. 27 Shimei the Ramathite was in charge of the vineyards. Zabdi the Shiphmite was in charge of the produce of the vineyards for the wine vats. 28 Baal-Hanan the Gederite was in charge of the olive and sycamore-fig trees in the western foothills. Joash was in charge of the supplies of olive oil. 29 Shitrai the Sharonite was in charge of the herds grazing in Sharon. Shaphat son of Adlai was in charge of the herds in the valleys. 30 Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels. Jehdeiah the Meronothite was in charge of the donkeys. 31 Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the flocks. All these were the officials in charge of King David’s property. 32 Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a man of insight and a scribe. Jehiel son of Hakmoni took care of the king’s sons. 33 Ahithophel was the king’s counselor. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s confidant. 34 Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar.  Joab was the commander of the royal army.

1 CHRONICLES 28 

David summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the warriors and all the brave fighting men. King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’ “Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the tribe of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. Of all my sons—and the Lord has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time.’ “So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever. “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” 11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. 12 He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. 13 He gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the Lord, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service. 14 He designated the weight of gold for all the gold articles to be used in various kinds of service, and the weight of silver for all the silver articles to be used in various kinds of service: 15 the weight of gold for the gold lampstands and their lamps, with the weight for each lampstand and its lamps; and the weight of silver for each silver lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand; 16 the weight of gold for each table for consecrated bread; the weight of silver for the silver tables; 17 the weight of pure gold for the forks, sprinkling bowls and pitchers; the weight of gold for each gold dish; the weight of silver for each silver dish; 18 and the weight of the refined gold for the altar of incense. He also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and overshadow the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 19 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.” 20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. 21 The divisions of the priests and Levites are ready for all the work on the temple of God, and every willing person skilled in any craft will help you in all the work. The officials and all the people will obey your every command.”

1 CHRONICLES 29

Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?” Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly. 10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.” 20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord your God.” So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king. 21 The next day they made sacrifices to the Lord and presented burnt offerings to him: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams and a thousand male lambs, together with their drink offerings, and other sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the Lord that day. Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the Lord to be ruler and Zadok to be priest. 23 So Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king in place of his father David. He prospered and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the officers and warriors, as well as all of King David’s sons, pledged their submission to King Solomon. 25 The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over Israel ever had before. 26 David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. 27 He ruled over Israel forty years—seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 28 He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor. His son Solomon succeeded him as king. 29 As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, they are written in the records of Samuel the seer, the records of Nathan the prophet and the records of Gad the seer, 30 together with the details of his reign and power, and the circumstances that surrounded him and Israel and the kingdoms of all the other lands.

April 16 | “Mercy” – 1 Chronicles 21-24

April 16  |  “Mercy” – 1 Chronicles 21-24

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 1 Chronicles 21.13 – “David said to Gad, ‘I am in deep distress.  Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.’” When I played baseball in high school, we had what was called the “mercy rule.”  This meant that if one team was ahead by ten runs or more after the fifth inning, the game would be ended and the last two innings would not be played.  Mercy means not getting the punishment or the bad things we deserve.  The leading team would have been well within their rights to “pile it on” if the game had continued, but mercy was given to the losing team in order to not make things any worse than they already were. In 1 Chronicles 21, David has sinned by ordering a census of the people.  The Bible never clearly says why this was such a great sin, but it seems that by counting the people, especially the fighting men, David was putting trust in the people and his soldiers instead of in the Lord.  As a consequence of his sin, God gives David the choice of punishment: three years of famine, three months of being “swept away before your enemies,” or three days “of the sword of the Lord – days of plague in the land.”  David rightly chose to “fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great” and God does relent, but not after severe punishment. If we got what we deserved, we would all be condemned to hell.  We are all sinners and deserve punishment.  However, God, being rich in mercy, chose to do something about our situation.  He sent His Son, Jesus, to take the punishment we deserve so that we can receive mercy.  Romans 12.1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”  Because of His great mercy, we owe our lives to Him.  Have you given Him your life – all of it?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

1 CHRONICLES 21

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.” But Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?” The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah. But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” The Lord said to Gad, David’s seer, 10 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’” 11 So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: 12 three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord—days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” 13 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” 14 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. 15 And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 16 David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown. 17 David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd, have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people.” 18 Then the angel of the Lord ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 19 So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord. 20 While Araunah was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the angel; his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21 Then David approached, and when Araunah looked and saw him, he left the threshing floor and bowed down before David with his face to the ground. 22 David said to him, “Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me at the full price.” 23 Araunah said to David, “Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this.” 24 But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.” 25 So David paid Araunah six hundred shekels of gold for the site. 26 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. 27 Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there. 29 The tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

1 CHRONICLES 22

Then David said, “The house of the Lord God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” So David gave orders to assemble the foreigners residing in Israel, and from among them he appointed stonecutters to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God. He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed. He also provided more cedar logs than could be counted, for the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought large numbers of them to David. David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death. Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God. But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. 12 May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. 14 “I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them. 15 You have many workers: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as those skilled in every kind of work 16 in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.” 17 Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon. 18 He said to them, “Is not the Lord your God with you? And has he not granted you rest on every side? For he has given the inhabitants of the land into my hands, and the land is subject to the Lord and to his people. 19 Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the Lord.”

1 CHRONICLES 23

When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.” David separated the Levites into divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Belonging to the Gershonites: Ladan and Shimei. The sons of Ladan: Jehiel the first, Zetham and Joel—three in all. The sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel and Haran—three in all. These were the heads of the families of Ladan. 10 And the sons of Shimei: Jahath, Ziza, Jeush and Beriah. These were the sons of Shimei—four in all. 11 Jahath was the first and Ziza the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; so they were counted as one family with one assignment. 12 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel—four in all. 13 The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name forever. 14 The sons of Moses the man of God were counted as part of the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. 16 The descendants of Gershom: Shubael was the first. 17 The descendants of Eliezer: Rehabiah was the first. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous. 18 The sons of Izhar: Shelomith was the first. 19 The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth. 20 The sons of Uzziel: Micah the first and Ishiah the second. 21 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar died without having sons: he had only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married them. 23 The sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth—three in all. 24 These were the descendants of Levi by their families—the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the Lord. 25 For David had said, “Since the Lord, the God of Israel, has granted rest to his people and has come to dwell in Jerusalem forever, 26 the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the articles used in its service.” 27 According to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from those twenty years old or more. 28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the Lord: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the special flour for the grain offerings, the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. 30 They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. They were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them. 32 And so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the tent of meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the Lord.

1 CHRONICLES 24

These were the divisions of the descendants of Aaron: The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died before their father did, and they had no sons; so Eleazar and Ithamar served as the priests. With the help of Zadok a descendant of Eleazar and Ahimelek a descendant of Ithamar, David separated them into divisions for their appointed order of ministering. A larger number of leaders were found among Eleazar’s descendants than among Ithamar’s, and they were divided accordingly: sixteen heads of families from Eleazar’s descendants and eight heads of families from Ithamar’s descendants. They divided them impartially by casting lots, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar. The scribe Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded their names in the presence of the king and of the officials: Zadok the priest, Ahimelek son of Abiathar and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites—one family being taken from Eleazar and then one from Ithamar. The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malkijah, the sixth to Mijamin, 10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, 11 the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shekaniah, 12 the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim, 13 the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab, 14 the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, 15 the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Happizzez, 16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezkel, 17 the twenty-first to Jakin, the twenty-second to Gamul, 18 the twenty-third to Delaiah and the twenty-fourth to Maaziah. 19 This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the temple of the Lord, according to the regulations prescribed for them by their ancestor Aaron, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded him. 20 As for the rest of the descendants of Levi: from the sons of Amram: Shubael; from the sons of Shubael: Jehdeiah. 21 As for Rehabiah, from his sons: Ishiah was the first. 22 From the Izharites: Shelomoth; from the sons of Shelomoth: Jahath. 23 The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth. 24 The son of Uzziel: Micah; from the sons of Micah: Shamir. 25 The brother of Micah: Ishiah; from the sons of Ishiah: Zechariah. 26 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The son of Jaaziah: Beno. 27 The sons of Merari: from Jaaziah: Beno, Shoham, Zakkur and Ibri. 28 From Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons. 29 From Kish: the son of Kish: Jerahmeel. 30 And the sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth. These were the Levites, according to their families. 31 They also cast lots, just as their relatives the descendants of Aaron did, in the presence of King David and of Zadok, Ahimelek, and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites. The families of the oldest brother were treated the same as those of the youngest.  

April 15 | “Victory” – 1 Chronicles 18-20

April 15  |  “Victory” – 1 Chronicles 18-20

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 1 Chronicles 18.6b, 13b – “The Lord gave David victory everywhere he went.” I am a big sports fan.  I have witnessed the elation that comes from huge victories in the sporting arena.  I have also witnessed how quickly the victors can fall as well as how even in the midst of these victories they can feel empty and unsatisfied. The times described in these chapters were a high point in the history of Israel and in the life of David.  Israel was united behind one king who loved the Lord and served Him.  As a consequence, things were going great for Israel.  God expanded their territory and “gave David victory everywhere he went.” Of course, the “victories” described here refer to military victories.  Even David was a man who sinned (see 2 Samuel 11-12) and fell short of the glory of God.  David died a physical death.  He needed a savior to provide him victory over death. Ultimate victory only comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  We will all have various degrees of success and victory throughout our lives, but when we die the only victory that will really matter is whether we have victory over death through Christ.  1 Corinthians 15.55-57 says, “‘Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?’  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Do you have assurance of this ultimate victory?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

1 CHRONICLES 18

In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Gath and its surrounding villages from the control of the Philistines. David also defeated the Moabites, and they became subject to him and brought him tribute. Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah, in the vicinity of Hamath, when he went to set up his monument at the Euphrates River. David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses. When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought him tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went. David took the gold shields carried by the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. From Tebah and Kun, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, David took a great quantity of bronze, which Solomon used to make the bronze Sea, the pillars and various bronze articles. When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer king of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Hadoram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer, who had been at war with Tou. Hadoram brought all kinds of articles of gold, of silver and of bronze. 11 King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold he had taken from all these nations: Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek. 12 Abishai son of Zeruiah struck down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He put garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went. 14 David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelek son of Abiathar were priests; Shavsha was secretary; 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief officials at the king’s side. 

1 CHRONICLES 19

In the course of time, Nahash king of the Ammonites died, and his son succeeded him as king. David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father.  When David’s envoys came to Hanun in the land of the Ammonites to express sympathy to him, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, “Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Haven’t his envoys come to you only to explore and spy out the country and overthrow it?” So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved them, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away. When someone came and told David about the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.” When the Ammonites realized that they had become obnoxious to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent a thousand talents of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from Aram Naharaim, Aram Maakah and Zobah. They hired thirty-two thousand chariots and charioteers, as well as the king of Maakah with his troops, who came and camped near Medeba, while the Ammonites were mustered from their towns and moved out for battle. On hearing this, David sent Joab out with the entire army of fighting men. The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance to their city, while the kings who had come were by themselves in the open country. 10 Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans. 11 He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai his brother, and they were deployed against the Ammonites. 12 Joab said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to rescue me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will rescue you. 13 Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.” 14 Then Joab and the troops with him advanced to fight the Arameans, and they fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites realized that the Arameans were fleeing, they too fled before his brother Abishai and went inside the city. So Joab went back to Jerusalem. 16 After the Arameans saw that they had been routed by Israel, they sent messengers and had Arameans brought from beyond the Euphrates River, with Shophak the commander of Hadadezer’s army leading them. 17 When David was told of this, he gathered all Israel and crossed the Jordan; he advanced against them and formed his battle lines opposite them. David formed his lines to meet the Arameans in battle, and they fought against him. 18 But they fled before Israel, and David killed seven thousand of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers. He also killed Shophak the commander of their army. 19 When the vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Arameans were not willing to help the Ammonites anymore.

1 CHRONICLES 20

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, Joab led out the armed forces. He laid waste the land of the Ammonites and went to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and left it in ruins. David took the crown from the head of their king—its weight was found to be a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones—and it was placed on David’s head. He took a great quantity of plunder from the city and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then David and his entire army returned to Jerusalem. In the course of time, war broke out with the Philistines, at Gezer. At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the Rephaites, and the Philistines were subjugated. In another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod. In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. These were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.

April 14 | “Forever” – 1 Chronicles 14-17

April 14  |  “Forever” – 1 Chronicles 14-17

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 1 Chronicles 17.11 – “When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.  He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.  I will be his father and he will be my son.” Forever is a powerful word.  There is no fudging on forever.  Either it is or it isn’t.  There is no “sort of forever” or “somewhat forever.”  So, when God says “forever,” it’s a big deal.  God told David that He would put one of his sons on the throne after him and He would “establish his throne forever.” We know that after the exile, there were no more Israelite kings.  There were descendants of David, but they were not kings.  So, how can this promise be true?  How can David’s house rule forever?  Look at what the angel Gabriel said to Mary about her son: “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1.31-33).  Jesus was David’s son.  He is also God’s Son.  He will reign forever. He reigns now in the hearts and lives of those who believe in Him.  His kingdom is already here on earth, but not yet fully consummated.  We are waiting for the return of our King when He will reign in fullness.  The best news is that as believers we get to be part of this forever.   1 Thessalonians 4.16-17 says, “The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”  There’s that word again.  What could be better than being with Jesus forever?  Thank God today for His “forever” promises.

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

1 CHRONICLES 14 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs, stonemasons and carpenters to build a palace for him. And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel. In Jerusalem David took more wives and became the father of more sons and daughters. These are the names of the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet. When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went out to meet them. Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim; 10 so David inquired of God: “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?” The Lord answered him, “Go, I will deliver them into your hands.” 11 So David and his men went up to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, God has broken out against my enemies by my hand.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. 12 The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, and David gave orders to burn them in the fire. 13 Once more the Philistines raided the valley; 14 so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, “Do not go directly after them, but circle around them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. 15 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” 16 So David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army, all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. 17 So David’s fame spread throughout every land, and the Lord made all the nations fear him. 

1 CHRONICLES 15

After David had constructed buildings for himself in the City of David, he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord chose them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.” David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it. He called together the descendants of Aaron and the Levites: From the descendants of Kohath, Uriel the leader and 120 relatives; from the descendants of Merari, Asaiah the leader and 220 relatives; from the descendants of Gershon, Joel the leader and 130 relatives; from the descendants of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the leader and 200 relatives; from the descendants of Hebron, Eliel the leader and 80 relatives; 10 from the descendants of Uzziel, Amminadab the leader and 112 relatives. 11 Then David summoned Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab the Levites. 12 He said to them, “You are the heads of the Levitical families; you and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. 13 It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” 14 So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves in order to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the Lord. 16 David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman son of Joel; from his relatives, Asaphson of Berekiah; and from their relatives the Merarites, Ethan son of Kushaiah; 18 and with them their relatives next in rank: Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel, the gatekeepers. 19 The musicians Heman, Asaph and Ethan were to sound the bronze cymbals; 20 Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah were to play the lyres according to alamoth, 21 and Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, Jeiel and Azaziah were to play the harps, directing according to sheminith. 22 Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it. 23 Berekiah and Elkanah were to be doorkeepers for the ark. 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer the priests were to blow trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also to be doorkeepers for the ark. 25 So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of units of a thousand went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-Edom, with rejoicing. 26 Because God had helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed. 27 Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the musicians, and Kenaniah, who was in charge of the singing of the choirs. David also wore a linen ephod. 28 So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps. 29 As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.

1 CHRONICLES 16

They brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before God. After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each Israelite man and woman. He appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to extol, thank, and praise the Lord, the God of Israel: Asaph was the chief, and next to him in rank were Zechariah, then Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel. They were to play the lyres and harps, Asaph was to sound the cymbals, and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow the trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God. That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner: Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 11 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 12 Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 13 you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. 14 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 15 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, 16 the covenant he made with Abraham,  the oath he swore to Isaac. 17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: 18 “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.” 19 When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, 20 they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. 21 He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: 22 “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” 23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. 24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 25 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 27 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. 28 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. 30  Tremble before him, all the earth!  The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. 31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” 32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! 33 Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. 34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” 36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.” 37 David left Asaph and his associates before the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister there regularly, according to each day’s requirements. 38 He also left Obed-Edom and his sixty-eight associates to minister with them. Obed-Edom son of Jeduthun, and also Hosah, were gatekeepers. 39 David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the Lord at the high place in Gibeon 40 to present burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning and evening, in accordance with everything written in the Law of the Lord, which he had given Israel. 41 With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the Lord, “for his love endures forever.” 42 Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were stationed at the gate. 43 Then all the people left, each for their own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

1 CHRONICLES 17

After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.” Nathan replied to David, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.” But that night the word of God came to Nathan, saying: “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in. I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt to this day. I have moved from one tent site to another, from one dwelling place to another. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their leaders whom I commanded to shepherd my people, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 10 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also subdue all your enemies. “‘I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’” 15 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation. 16 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, Lord God, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men. 18 “What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant, 19 Lord. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises. 20 “There is no one like you, Lord, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 21 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 22 You made your people Israel your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God. 23 “And now, Lord, let the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house be established forever. Do as you promised, 24 so that it will be established and that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty, the God over Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And the house of your servant David will be established before you. 25 “You, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. So your servant has found courage to pray to you. 26 You, Lord, are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. 27 Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever.”

April 13 | “Obed-Edom” – 1 Chronicles 10-13

April 13  |  “Obed-Edom” – 1 Chronicles 10-13

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 1 Chronicles 13.14 – “The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the Lord blessed his household and everything he had.” It’s easy to miss the story of Obed-Edom.  We just get one sentence about him here in 1 Chronicles 13, but he experienced for three months something we all desire for our lives.  David was bringing the ark up to Jerusalem after the Philistines had captured it in battle and carried it away.  However, he made a mistake.  He did not inquire of the Lord or follow His instructions regarding how to carry the ark.  Uzzah touched the ark trying to steady it when the oxen pulling the cart stumbled and he was struck down dead.  You didn’t touch the ark.  David got mad and left the ark there in Obed-Edom’s house. Obed-Edom was a foreigner.  He was a Philistine from Gath.  He almost certainly did not worship the Lord.  However, here on his doorstep lands the ark of God – the very object on which God manifested His presence on earth.  We aren’t told anything about how Obed-Edom feels about all this, but we are told that the ark remained there for three months and that the Lord blessed his household and everything he had.  Obed-Edom enjoyed the Lord’s favor.  He enjoyed God’s presence with him.  It was a sweet time for him and his family and I am sure that he was sorry to see the ark go after three months and remembered those three months for the rest of his life. There is a simple equation exposed in this story.  Closeness to the Lord equals blessing.  Can you ever think of a time in your life when you can say that you were far from God, yet were blessed?  I can’t.  Similarly, I cannot think of a time in my life when I was close to God when I was NOT blessed.  So, how do we enjoy this intimacy with and the blessings of the Lord?  God says, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you” (James 4.8).  We take a step and He takes a step, but notice that we have to act first.  Will you take the first step?  If you will, you will be blessed through intimacy with the Father just as Obed-Edom was.

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

1 CHRONICLES 10 

Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him. Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died. So Saul and his three sons died, and all his house died together. When all the Israelites in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them. The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They stripped him and took his head and his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news among their idols and their people. 10 They put his armor in the temple of their gods and hung up his head in the temple of Dagon. 11 When all the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men went and took the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones under the great tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days. 13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse. 

1 CHRONICLES 11

All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’” When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel. David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites who lived there said to David, “You will not get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David. David had said, “Whoever leads the attack on the Jebusites will become commander-in-chief.” Joab son of Zeruiah went up first, and so he received the command. David then took up residence in the fortress, and so it was called the City of David. He built up the city around it, from the terraces to the surrounding wall, while Joab restored the rest of the city. And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him. 10 These were the chiefs of David’s mighty warriors—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the Lord had promised— 11 this is the list of David’s mighty warriors: Jashobeam, a Hakmonite, was chief of the officers; he raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. 12 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty warriors. 13 He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines. 14 But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory. 15 Three of the thirty chiefs came down to David to the rock at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 16 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 17 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 18 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out to the Lord. 19 “God forbid that I should do this!” he said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.  Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors. 20 Abishai the brother of Joab was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 21 He was doubly honored above the Three and became their commander, even though he was not included among them. 22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 23 And he struck down an Egyptian who was five cubits tall. Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s rod in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 24 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 25 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard. 26 The mighty warriors were: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem, 27 Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite, 28 Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, Abiezer from Anathoth, 29 Sibbekai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite, 30 Maharai the Netophathite, Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite, 31 Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite, 32 Hurai from the ravines of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite, 33 Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite, 34 the sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan son of Shagee the Hararite, 35 Ahiam son of Sakar the Hararite, Eliphal son of Ur, 36 Hepher the Mekerathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, 37 Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai son of Ezbai, 38 Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar son of Hagri, 39 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah, 40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad son of Ahlai, 42 Adina son of Shiza the Reubenite, who was chief of the Reubenites, and the thirty with him, 43 Hanan son of Maakah, Joshaphat the Mithnite, 44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham the Aroerite, 45 Jediael son of Shimri, his brother Joha the Tizite, 46 Eliel the Mahavite, Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam, Ithmah the Moabite, 47 Eliel, Obed and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.

1 CHRONICLES 12

These were the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish (they were among the warriors who helped him in battle; they were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed; they were relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin): Ahiezer their chief and Joash the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Berakah, Jehu the Anathothite, and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty warrior among the Thirty, who was a leader of the Thirty; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah and Shephatiah the Haruphite; Elkanah, Ishiah, Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam the Korahites; and Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham from Gedor. Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains. Ezer was the chief, Obadiah the second in command, Eliab the third, 10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 13 Jeremiah the tenth and Makbannai the eleventh. 14 These Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand. 15 It was they who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks, and they put to flight everyone living in the valleys, to the east and to the west. 16 Other Benjamites and some men from Judah also came to David in his stronghold. 17 David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from violence, may the God of our ancestors see it and judge you.” 18 Then the Spirit came on Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said: “We are yours, David! We are with you, son of Jesse! Success, success to you,  and success to those who help you, for your God will help you.” So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands. 19 Some of the tribe of Manasseh defected to David when he went with the Philistines to fight against Saul. (He and his men did not help the Philistines because, after consultation, their rulers sent him away. They said, “It will cost us our heads if he deserts to his master Saul.”) 20 When David went to Ziklag, these were the men of Manasseh who defected to him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu and Zillethai, leaders of units of a thousand in Manasseh. 21 They helped David against raiding bands, for all of them were brave warriors, and they were commanders in his army. 22 Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God. 23 These are the numbers of the men armed for battle who came to David at Hebron to turn Saul’s kingdom over to him, as the Lord had said: 24 from Judah, carrying shield and spear—6,800 armed for battle; 25 from Simeon, warriors ready for battle—7,100; 26 from Levi—4,600, 27 including Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, with 3,700 men, 28 and Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 officers from his family; 29 from Benjamin, Saul’s tribe—3,000, most of whom had remained loyal to Saul’s house until then; 30 from Ephraim, brave warriors, famous in their own clans—20,800; 31 from half the tribe of Manasseh, designated by name to come and make David king—18,000; 32 from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command; 33 from Zebulun, experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty—50,000; 34 from Naphtali—1,000 officers, together with 37,000 men carrying shields and spears; 35 from Dan, ready for battle—28,600; 36 from Asher, experienced soldiers prepared for battle—40,000; 37 and from east of the Jordan, from Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, armed with every type of weapon—120,000. 38 All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king. 39 The men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for their families had supplied provisions for them. 40 Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel. 

1 CHRONICLES 13

David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our people throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.” The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people. So David assembled all Israel, from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. David and all Israel went to Baalah of Judah (Kiriath Jearim) to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who is enthroned between the cherubim—the ark that is called by the Name. They moved the ark of God from Abinadab’s house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it. David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets. When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. 10 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God. 11 Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. 12 David was afraid of God that day and asked, “How can I ever bring the ark of God to me?” 13 He did not take the ark to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the Lord blessed his household and everything he had.

April 12 | “Restoration” – 1 Chronicles 5-9

April 12  |  “Restoration” – 1 Chronicles 5-9

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 1 Chronicles 9.1-2 – “The people of Judah were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness.  Now the first to resettle on their own property in their own towns were some Israelites, priests, Levites and temple servants.” As we mentioned yesterday, Chronicles was written to and for a people who had been exiled from their land, the very land promised to them by their God.  Everything seemed like it was over.  The had been unfaithful to God and God had brought on them the punishments promised long ago if they ever turned away from Him to serve other gods.  It seemed like God was done with them.  Was He? Chapter 9 of 1 Chronicles begins to recount the return of some of the people to Israel.  Yet, they were still under the hand and authority of the king of Persia.  However, they had begun to return. Things weren’t the same, but God was still at work in them.  He had not given up on them.  There was still hope. The good news is that no one is ever too far from God to be brought back into His loving arms.  God still loved Israel.  He still loves us even when we sin and turn away from Him.  He is the father of the prodigal son who is waiting with open arms for him to come back even when His son has made terrible choices.  You may have done things that you think mean that you can never again be close to God.  That’s not true.  God will always forgive when we return to him in repentance and humility.  We are never too far away.

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

1 CHRONICLES 5

The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright, and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph)— the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel: Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi. The descendants of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, and Beerah his son, whom Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria took into exile. Beerah was a leader of the Reubenites. Their relatives by clans, listed according to their genealogical records: Jeiel the chief, Zechariah, and Bela son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel. They settled in the area from Aroer to Nebo and Baal Meon. To the east they occupied the land up to the edge of the desert that extends to the Euphrates River, because their livestock had increased in Gilead. 10 During Saul’s reign they waged war against the Hagrites, who were defeated at their hands; they occupied the dwellings of the Hagrites throughout the entire region east of Gilead. 11 The Gadites lived next to them in Bashan, as far as Salekah: 12 Joel was the chief, Shapham the second, then Janai and Shaphat, in Bashan. 13 Their relatives, by families, were: Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jakan, Zia and Eber—seven in all. 14 These were the sons of Abihail son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz. 15 Ahi son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, was head of their family. 16 The Gadites lived in Gilead, in Bashan and its outlying villages, and on all the pasturelands of Sharon as far as they extended. 17 All these were entered in the genealogical records during the reigns of Jotham king of Judah and Jeroboam king of Israel. 18 The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 men ready for military service—able-bodied men who could handle shield and sword, who could use a bow, and who were trained for battle. 19 They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. 20 They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him. 21 They seized the livestock of the Hagrites—fifty thousand camels, two hundred fifty thousand sheep and two thousand donkeys. They also took one hundred thousand people captive, 22 and many others fell slain, because the battle was God’s. And they occupied the land until the exile. 23 The people of the half-tribe of Manasseh were numerous; they settled in the land from Bashan to Baal Hermon, that is, to Senir (Mount Hermon). 24 These were the heads of their families: Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah and Jahdiel. They were brave warriors, famous men, and heads of their families. 25 But they were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors and prostituted themselves to the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria (that is, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria), who took the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh into exile. He took them to Halah, Habor, Hara and the river of Gozan, where they are to this day. 

1 CHRONICLES 6

The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. The children of Amram: Aaron, Moses and Miriam. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Eleazar was the father of Phinehas, Phinehas the father of Abishua, Abishua the father of Bukki, Bukki the father of Uzzi, Uzzi the father of Zerahiah, Zerahiah the father of Meraioth, Meraioth the father of Amariah, Amariah the father of Ahitub, Ahitub the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Ahimaaz, Ahimaaz the father of Azariah, Azariah the father of Johanan, 10 Johanan the father of Azariah (it was he who served as priest in the temple Solomon built in Jerusalem), 11 Azariah the father of Amariah, Amariah the father of Ahitub, 12 Ahitub the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Shallum, 13 Shallum the father of Hilkiah, Hilkiah the father of Azariah, 14 Azariah the father of Seraiah, and Seraiah the father of Jozadak. 15 Jozadak was deported when the Lord sent Judah and Jerusalem into exile by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. 16 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. 17 These are the names of the sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei. 18 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites listed according to their fathers: 20 Of Gershon: Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son, 21 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son and Jeatherai his son. 22 The descendants of Kohath: Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son, 23 Elkanah his son, Ebiasaph his son, Assir his son, 24 Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son and Shaul his son. 25 The descendants of Elkanah: Amasai, Ahimoth, 26 Elkanah his son, Zophai his son, Nahath his son, 27 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son and Samuel his son. 28 The sons of Samuel: Joel the firstborn and Abijah the second son. 29 The descendants of Merari: Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzzah his son, 30 Shimea his son, Haggiah his son and Asaiah his son. 31 These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark came to rest there. 32 They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them. 33 Here are the men who served, together with their sons: From the Kohathites: Heman, the musician, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, 34 the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah, 35 the son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai, 36 the son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah, 37 the son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, 38 the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; 39 and Heman’s associate Asaph, who served at his right hand: Asaph son of Berekiah, the son of Shimea, 40 the son of Michael, the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malkijah, 41 the son of Ethni, the son of Zerah, the son of Adaiah, 42 the son of Ethan, the son of Zimmah, the son of Shimei, 43 the son of Jahath, the son of Gershon, the son of Levi; 44 and from their associates, the Merarites, at his left hand: Ethan son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluk, 45 the son of Hashabiah, the son of Amaziah, the son of Hilkiah, 46 the son of Amzi, the son of Bani, the son of Shemer, 47 the son of Mahli, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi. 48 Their fellow Levites were assigned to all the other duties of the tabernacle, the house of God. 49 But Aaron and his descendants were the ones who presented offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense in connection with all that was done in the Most Holy Place, making atonement for Israel, in accordance with all that Moses the servant of God had commanded. 50 These were the descendants of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son, 51 Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son, 52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son, 53 Zadok his son and Ahimaaz his son. 54 These were the locations of their settlements allotted as their territory (they were assigned to the descendants of Aaron who were from the Kohathite clan, because the first lot was for them): 55 They were given Hebron in Judah with its surrounding pasture lands. 56 But the fields and villages around the city were given to Caleb son of Jephunneh. 57 So the descendants of Aaron were given Hebron (a city of refuge), and Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, 58 Hilen, Debir, 59 Ashan, Juttah and Beth Shemesh, together with their pasture lands. 60 And from the tribe of Benjamin they were given Gibeon, Geba, Alemeth and Anathoth, together with their pasturelands.  The total number of towns distributed among the Kohathite clans came to thirteen. 61 The rest of Kohath’s descendants were allotted ten towns from the clans of half the tribe of Manasseh. 62 The descendants of Gershon, clan by clan, were allotted thirteen towns from the tribes of Issachar, Asher and Naphtali, and from the part of the tribe of Manasseh that is in Bashan. 63 The descendants of Merari, clan by clan, were allotted twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun. 64 So the Israelites gave the Levites these towns and their pasturelands. 65 From the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin they allotted the previously named towns. 66 Some of the Kohathite clans were given as their territory towns from the tribe of Ephraim. 67 In the hill country of Ephraim they were given Shechem (a city of refuge), and Gezer, 68 Jokmeam, Beth Horon, 69 Aijalon and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasturelands. 70 And from half the tribe of Manasseh the Israelites gave Aner and Bileam, together with their asturelands, to the rest of the Kohathite clans. 71 The Gershonites received the following: From the clan of the half-tribe of Manasseh they received Golan in Bashan and also Ashtaroth, together with their pasturelands; 72 from the tribe of Issachar they received Kedesh, Daberath, 73 Ramoth and Anem, together with their pasturelands; 74 from the tribe of Asher they received Mashal, Abdon, 75 Hukok and Rehob, together with their pasturelands; 76 and from the tribe of Naphtali they received Kedesh in Galilee, Hammon and Kiriathaim, together with their pasturelands. 77 The Merarites (the rest of the Levites) received the following: From the tribe of Zebulun they received Jokneam, Kartah, Rimmono and Tabor, together with their pasturelands; 78 from the tribe of Reuben across the Jordan east of Jericho they received Bezer in the wilderness, Jahzah, 79 Kedemoth and Mephaath, together with their pasturelands; 80 and from the tribe of Gad they received Ramoth in Gilead, Mahanaim, 81 Heshbon and Jazer, together with their pasturelands. 

1 CHRONICLES 7

The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron—four in all. The sons of Tola: Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam and Samuel—heads of their families. During the reign of David, the descendants of Tola listed as fighting men in their genealogy numbered 22,600. The son of Uzzi: Izrahiah. The sons of Izrahiah: Michael, Obadiah, Joel and Ishiah. All five of them were chiefs. According to their family genealogy, they had 36,000 men ready for battle, for they had many wives and children. The relatives who were fighting men belonging to all the clans of Issachar, as listed in their genealogy, were 87,000 in all. Three sons of Benjamin: Bela, Beker and Jediael. The sons of Bela: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri, heads of families—five in all. Their genealogical record listed 22,034 fighting men. The sons of Beker: Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth and Alemeth. All these were the sons of Beker. Their genealogical record listed the heads of families and 20,200 fighting men. 10 The son of Jediael: Bilhan. The sons of Bilhan: Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Kenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish and Ahishahar. 11 All these sons of Jediael were heads of families. There were 17,200 fighting men ready to go out to war. 12 The Shuppites and Huppites were the descendants of Ir, and the Hushites the descendants of Aher. 13 The sons of Naphtali: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem—the descendants of Bilhah. 14 The descendants of Manasseh: Asriel was his descendant through his Aramean concubine. She gave birth to Makir the father of Gilead. 15 Makir took a wife from among the Huppites and Shuppites. His sister’s name was Maakah. Another descendant was named Zelophehad, who had only daughters. 16 Makir’s wife Maakah gave birth to a son and named him Peresh. His brother was named Sheresh, and his sons were Ulam and Rakem. 17 The son of Ulam: Bedan. These were the sons of Gilead son of Makir, the son of Manasseh. 18 His sister Hammoleketh gave birth to Ishhod, Abiezer and Mahlah. 19 The sons of Shemida were: Ahian, Shechem, Likhi and Aniam. 20 The descendants of Ephraim: Shuthelah, Bered his son, Tahath his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, 21 Zabad his son and Shuthelah his son. Ezer and Elead were killed by the native-born men of Gath, when they went down to seize their livestock. 22 Their father Ephraim mourned for them many days, and his relatives came to comfort him. 23 Then he made love to his wife again, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. He named him Beriah, because there had been misfortune in his family. 24 His daughter was Sheerah, who built Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah. 25 Rephah was his son, Resheph his son, Telah his son, Tahan his son, 26 Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, 27 Nun his son and Joshua his son. 28 Their lands and settlements included Bethel and its surrounding villages, Naaran to the east, Gezer and its villages to the west, and Shechem and its villages all the way to Ayyah and its villages. 29 Along the borders of Manasseh were Beth Shan, Taanach, Megiddo and Dor, together with their villages. The descendants of Joseph son of Israel lived in these towns. 30 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah. Their sister was Serah. 31 The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malkiel, who was the father of Birzaith. 32 Heber was the father of Japhlet, Shomer and Hotham and of their sister Shua. 33 The sons of Japhlet: Pasak, Bimhal and Ashvath. These were Japhlet’s sons. 34 The sons of Shomer: Ahi, Rohgah, Hubbah and Aram. 35 The sons of his brother Helem: Zophah, Imna, Shelesh and Amal. 36 The sons of Zophah: Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah, 37 Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran and Beera. 38 The sons of Jether: Jephunneh, Pispah and Ara. 39 The sons of Ulla: Arah, Hanniel and Rizia. 40 All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders. The number of men ready for battle, as listed in their genealogy, was 26,000.

1 CHRONICLES 8

Benjamin was the father of Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second son, Aharah the third, Nohah the fourth and Rapha the fifth. The sons of Bela were: Addar, Gera, Abihud, Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, Gera, Shephuphan and Huram. These were the descendants of Ehud, who were heads of families of those living in Geba and were deported to Manahath: Naaman, Ahijah, and Gera, who deported them and who was the father of Uzza and Ahihud. Sons were born to Shaharaim in Moab after he had divorced his wives Hushim and Baara. By his wife Hodesh he had Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malkam, 10 Jeuz, Sakia and Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of families. 11 By Hushim he had Abitub and Elpaal. 12 The sons of Elpaal: Eber, Misham, Shemed (who built Ono and Lod with its surrounding villages), 13 and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of families of those living in Aijalon and who drove out the inhabitants of Gath. 14 Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, 15 Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16 Michael, Ishpah and Joha were the sons of Beriah. 17 Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, 18 Ishmerai, Izliah and Jobab were the sons of Elpaal. 19 Jakim, Zikri, Zabdi, 20 Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21 Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath were the sons of Shimei. 22 Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23 Abdon, Zikri, Hanan, 24 Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, 25 Iphdeiah and Penuel were the sons of Shashak. 26 Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, 27 Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zikri were the sons of Jeroham. 28 All these were heads of families, chiefs as listed in their genealogy, and they lived in Jerusalem. 29 Jeiel the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maakah, 30 and his firstborn son was Abdon, followed by Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 31 Gedor, Ahio, Zeker 32 and Mikloth, who was the father of Shimeah. They too lived near their relatives in Jerusalem. 33 Ner was the father of Kish, Kish the father of Saul, and Saul the father of Jonathan, Malki-Shua, Abinadab and Esh-Baal. 34 The son of Jonathan: Merib-Baal, who was the father of Micah. 35 The sons of Micah: Pithon, Melek, Tarea and Ahaz. 36 Ahaz was the father of Jehoaddah, Jehoaddah was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri, and Zimri was the father of Moza. 37 Moza was the father of Binea; Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son and Azel his son. 38 Azel had six sons, and these were their names: Azrikam, Bokeru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel. 39 The sons of his brother Eshek: Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second son and Eliphelet the third. 40 The sons of Ulam were brave warriors who could handle the bow. They had many sons and grandsons—150 in all. All these were the descendants of Benjamin.

1 CHRONICLES 9 

All Israel was listed in the genealogies recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. They were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness. Now the first to resettle on their own property in their own towns were some Israelites, priests, Levites and temple servants. Those from Judah, from Benjamin, and from Ephraim and Manasseh who lived in Jerusalem were: Uthai son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, a descendant of Perez son of Judah. Of the Shelanites: Asaiah the firstborn and his sons. Of the Zerahites: Jeuel. The people from Judah numbered 690. Of the Benjamites: Sallu son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hassenuah; Ibneiah son of Jeroham; Elah son of Uzzi, the son of Mikri; and Meshullam son of Shephatiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah. The people from Benjamin, as listed in their genealogy, numbered 956. All these men were heads of their families. 10 Of the priests: Jedaiah; Jehoiarib; Jakin; 11 Azariah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the official in charge of the house of God; 12 Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah; and Maasai son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer. 13 The priests, who were heads of families, numbered 1,760. They were able men, responsible for ministering in the house of God. 14 Of the Levites: Shemaiah son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, a Merarite; 15 Bakbakkar, Heresh, Galal and Mattaniah son of Mika, the son of Zikri, the son of Asaph; 16 Obadiah son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun; and Berekiah son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, who lived in the villages of the Netophathites. 17 The gatekeepers: Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, Ahiman and their fellow Levites, Shallum their chief 18 being stationed at the King’s Gate on the east, up to the present time. These were the gatekeepers belonging to the camp of the Levites. 19 Shallum son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his fellow gatekeepers from his family (the Korahites) were responsible for guarding the thresholds of the tent just as their ancestors had been responsible for guarding the entrance to the dwelling of the Lord. 20 In earlier times Phinehas son of Eleazar was the official in charge of the gatekeepers, and the Lord was with him. 21 Zechariah son of Meshelemiah was the gatekeeper at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 22 Altogether, those chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds numbered 212. They were registered by genealogy in their villages. The gatekeepers had been assigned to their positions of trust by David and Samuel the seer. 23 They and their descendants were in charge of guarding the gates of the house of the Lord—the house called the tent of meeting. 24 The gatekeepers were on the four sides: east, west, north and south. 25 Their fellow Levites in their villages had to come from time to time and share their duties for seven-day periods. 26 But the four principal gatekeepers, who were Levites, were entrusted with the responsibility for the rooms and treasuries in the house of God. 27 They would spend the night stationed around the house of God, because they had to guard it; and they had charge of the key for opening it each morning. 28 Some of them were in charge of the articles used in the temple service; they counted them when they were brought in and when they were taken out. 29 Others were assigned to take care of the furnishings and all the other articles of the sanctuary, as well as the special flour and wine, and the olive oil, incense and spices. 30 But some of the priests took care of mixing the spices. 31 A Levite named Mattithiah, the firstborn son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with the responsibility for baking the offering bread. 32 Some of the Kohathites, their fellow Levites, were in charge of preparing for every Sabbath the bread set out on the table. 33 Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night. 34 All these were heads of Levite families, chiefs as listed in their genealogy, and they lived in Jerusalem. 35 Jeiel the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maakah, 36 and his firstborn son was Abdon, followed by Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 37 Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah and Mikloth. 38 Mikloth was the father of Shimeam. They too lived near their relatives in Jerusalem. 39 Ner was the father of Kish, Kish the father of Saul, and Saul the father of Jonathan, Malki-Shua, Abinadab and Esh-Baal. 40 The son of Jonathan: Merib-Baal, who was the father of Micah. 41 The sons of Micah: Pithon, Melek, Tahrea and Ahaz. 42 Ahaz was the father of Jadah, Jadah was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri, and Zimri was the father of Moza. 43 Moza was the father of Binea; Rephaiah was his son, Eleasah his son and Azel his son. 44 Azel had six sons, and these were their names: Azrikam, Bokeru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. These were the sons of Azel.

April 11 | “Whew!” – 1 Chronicles 1-4

April 11  |  “Whew!” – 1 Chronicles 1-4

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 1 Chronicles 2.1-2 – “These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.” 1 Chronicles does not start easily for the reader, does it?  It just jumps right in with the names.  No introduction.  No stories.  Just names.  Recently, my wife asked me if I actually read all the names when there is a long list.  I must say that I don’t take a whole lot of time sounding them out in my head, but I do try to read every word, even if I go over some of the names rather quickly.  If you made it through today’s reading having read every word, you deserve a pat on the back.  In fact, if you even made it through it by skimming the names and skipping over some, you deserve a pat on the back. This stuff is hard to get through.  Which begs the question, “Why?”  Why do we need these lists of names?  What’s the point?  Why all this torture for the reader?  Well, we must remember that this book was written after the Israelites were exiled form their land.  They were wondering what God’s plan was for them.  Did He even still have a plan for them?  What about the promises God had made to Abraham, Jacob, and David?  David had been promised descendants on his throne forever.  What was to become of that? Well, that is the point of these names.  God had not forgotten.  They are a reminder of His faithfulness in the past and that He would reestablish a Davidic king on the throne one day.  God’s promises are secure.  They will all come to pass.  They trace the line of descent from Adam to Abraham to David through the evil kings who caused God to send them into exile to lists of David’s descendants who would have lived at the time of this book’s writing.  The fact that David had descendants living among them in Babylon was a reminder that God could still bring about His promises.  In fact, He would.  God’s promises are sure.  Take some time today to meditate on some of the things that God has promised you as a child of the King through faith in Jesus – the rightful eternal King who will reign on David’s throne forever.

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

1 CHRONICLES 1

1 Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah. The sons of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth. The sons of Japheth:  Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras. The sons of Gomer:  Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah. The sons of Javan:  Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites. The sons of Ham:  Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan. The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raamah and Sabteka.  The sons of Raamah:  Sheba and Dedan. 10 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on earth. 11 Egypt was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 12 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites. 13 Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, 14 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 15 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 16 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. 17 The sons of Shem:  Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.  The sons of Aram:  Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek. 18 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber. 19 Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan. 20 Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan. 24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah 27 and Abram (that is, Abraham). 28 The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael. 29 These were their descendants: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael. 32 The sons born to Keturah, Abraham’s concubine:  Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.  The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan. 33 The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah. 34 Abraham was the father of Isaac.  The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel. 35 The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah. 36 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz; by Timna: Amalek. 37 The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. 38 The sons of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. 39 The sons of Lotan: Hori and Homam. Timna was Lotan’s sister. 40 The sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam. The sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. 41 The son of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran and Keran. 42 The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan. The sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. 43 These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned: Bela son of Beor, whose city was named Dinhabah. 44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah succeeded him as king. 45 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites succeeded him as king. 46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him as king. His city was named Avith. 47 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah succeeded him as king. 48 When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth on the river succeeded him as king. 49 When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan son of Akbor succeeded him as king. 50 When Baal-Hanan died, Hadad succeeded him as king. His city was named Pau, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, the daughter of Me-Zahab. 51 Hadad also died. The chiefs of Edom were: Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel and Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom.

1 CHRONICLES 2

1 These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah. These three were born to him by a Canaanite woman, the daughter of Shua. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death. Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar bore Perez and Zerah to Judah. He had five sons in all. The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. The sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Kalkol and Darda—five in all. The son of Karmi: Achar, who brought trouble on Israel by violating the ban on taking devoted things. The son of Ethan: Azariah. The sons born to Hezron were: Jerahmeel, Ram and Caleb. 10 Ram was the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, the leader of the people of Judah. 11 Nahshon was the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, 12 Boaz the father of Obed and Obed the father of Jesse. 13 Jesse was the father of Eliab his firstborn; the second son was Abinadab, the third Shimea, 14 the fourth Nethanel, the fifth Raddai, 15 the sixth Ozem and the seventh David. 16 Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. Zeruiah’s three sons were Abishai, Joab and Asahel. 17 Abigail was the mother of Amasa, whose father was Jether the Ishmaelite. 18 Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wife Azubah (and by Jerioth). These were her sons: Jesher, Shobab and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 Hur was the father of Uri, and Uri the father of Bezalel. 21 Later, Hezron, when he was sixty years old, married the daughter of Makir the father of Gilead. He made love to her, and she bore him Segub. 22 Segub was the father of Jair, who controlled twenty-three towns in Gilead. 23 (But Geshur and Aram captured Havvoth Jair, as well as Kenath with its surrounding settlements—sixty towns.) All these were descendants of Makir the father of Gilead. 24 After Hezron died in Caleb Ephrathah, Abijah the wife of Hezron bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa. 25 The sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron: Ram his firstborn, Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. 26 Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27 The sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel: Maaz, Jamin and Eker. 28 The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. 29 Abishur’s wife was named Abihail, who bore him Ahban and Molid. 30 The sons of Nadab: Seled and Appaim. Seled died without children. 31 The son of Appaim: Ishi, who was the father of Sheshan. Sheshan was the father of Ahlai. 32 The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother: Jether and Jonathan. Jether died without children. 33 The sons of Jonathan: Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel. 34 Sheshan had no sons—only daughters. He had an Egyptian servant named Jarha. 35 Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to his servant Jarha, and she bore him Attai. 36 Attai was the father of Nathan, Nathan the father of Zabad, 37 Zabad the father of Ephlal, Ephlal the father of Obed, 38 Obed the father of Jehu, Jehu the father of Azariah, 39 Azariah the father of Helez, Helez the father of Eleasah, 40 Eleasah the father of Sismai, Sismai the father of Shallum, 41 Shallum the father of Jekamiah, and Jekamiah the father of Elishama. 42 The sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel: Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph, and his son Mareshah, who was the father of Hebron. 43 The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44 Shema was the father of Raham, and Raham the father of Jorkeam. Rekem was the father of Shammai. 45 The son of Shammai was Maon, and Maon was the father of Beth Zur. 46 Caleb’s concubine Ephah was the mother of Haran, Moza and Gazez. Haran was the father of Gazez. 47 The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. 48 Caleb’s concubine Maakah was the mother of Sheber and Tirhanah. 49 She also gave birth to Shaaph the father of Madmannah and to Sheva the father of Makbenah and Gibea. Caleb’s daughter was Aksah. 50 These were the descendants of Caleb. The sons of Hur the firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim, 51 Salma the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth Gader. 52 The descendants of Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim were: Haroeh, half the Manahathites, 53 and the clans of Kiriath Jearim: the Ithrites, Puthites, Shumathites and Mishraites. From these descended the Zorathites and Eshtaolites. 54 The descendants of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth Beth Joab, half the Manahathites, the Zorites, 55 and the clans of scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, Shimeathites and Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the Rekabites.

1 CHRONICLES 3

1 These were the sons of David born to him in Hebron: The firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel; the second, Daniel the son of Abigail of Carmel; the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah. These six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months. David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel. There were also Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet—nine in all. All these were the sons of David, besides his sons by his concubines. And Tamar was their sister. 10 Solomon’s son was Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11 Jehoram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14 Amon his son, Josiah his son. 15 The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, Jehoiakim the second son, Zedekiah the third, Shallum the fourth. 16 The successors of Jehoiakim: Jehoiachin his son, and Zedekiah. 17 The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive: Shealtiel his son, 18 Malkiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah. 19 The sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei. The sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah. Shelomith was their sister. 20 There were also five others: Hashubah, Ohel, Berekiah, Hasadiah and Jushab-Hesed. 21 The descendants of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, and the sons of Rephaiah, of Arnan, of Obadiah and of Shekaniah. 22 The descendants of Shekaniah: Shemaiah and his sons: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah and Shaphat—six in all. 23 The sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah and Azrikam—three in all. 24 The sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah and Anani—seven in all.

1 CHRONICLES 4

1 The descendants of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Karmi, Hur and Shobal. Reaiah son of Shobal was the father of Jahath, and Jahath the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. These were the sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi. Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These were the descendants of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah and father of Bethlehem. Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah. Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Haahashtari. These were the descendants of Naarah. The sons of Helah: Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan, and Koz, who was the father of Anub and Hazzobebah and of the clans of Aharhel son of Harum. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 11 Kelub, Shuhah’s brother, was the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton. 12 Eshton was the father of Beth Rapha, Paseah and Tehinnah the father of Ir Nahash. These were the men of Rekah. 13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah. The sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.  14 Meonothai was the father of Ophrah. Seraiah was the father of Joab, the father of Ge Harashim. It was called this because its people were skilled workers. 15 The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah and Naam. The son of Elah: Kenaz. 16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel. 17 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher and Jalon. One of Mered’s wives gave birth to Miriam, Shammai and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18 (His wife from the tribe of Judah gave birth to Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soko, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah.) These were the children of Pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah, whom Mered had married. 19 The sons of Hodiah’s wife, the sister of Naham: the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maakathite. 20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-Hanan and Tilon. The descendants of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-Zoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah son of Judah: Er the father of Lekah, Laadah the father of Mareshah and the clans of the linen workers at Beth Ashbea, 22 Jokim, the men of Kozeba, and Joash and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and Jashubi Lehem. (These records are from ancient times.) 23 They were the potters who lived at Netaim and Gederah; they stayed there and worked for the king. 24 The descendants of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah and Shaul; 25 Shallum was Shaul’s son, Mibsam his son and Mishma his son. 26 The descendants of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zakkur his son and Shimei his son. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers did not have many children; so their entire clan did not become as numerous as the people of Judah. 28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar Shual, 29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31 Beth Markaboth, Hazar Susim, Beth Biri and Shaaraim. These were their towns until the reign of David. 32 Their surrounding villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Token and Ashan—five towns— 33 and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath. These were their settlements. And they kept a genealogical record. 34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel, 36 also Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 and Ziza son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah. 38 The men listed above by name were leaders of their clans. Their families increased greatly, 39 and they went to the outskirts of Gedor to the east of the valley in search of pasture for their flocks. 40 They found rich, good pasture, and the land was spacious, peaceful and quiet. Some Hamites had lived there formerly. 41 The men whose names were listed came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. They attacked the Hamites in their dwellings and also the Meunites who were there and completely destroyed them, as is evident to this day. Then they settled in their place, because there was pasture for their flocks. 42 And five hundred of these Simeonites, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, invaded the hill country of Seir. 43 They killed the remaining Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day.

April 10 | “Lost” – 2 Kings 21-25

April 10  |  “Lost” – 2 Kings 21-25

DEVOTIONAL

By Pastor Michael Alcorn 2 Kings 22.11 – “When the king (Josiah) heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.” It’s hard to believe, but it seems that God’s people had lost His word.  It’s pretty hard to live according to His word if you’ve lost your Bible.  However, after Hezekiah’s reforms, Manasseh stooped to the lowest of lows.  He was the Ahab of Judah.  He “filled Jerusalem with innocent blood” and provoked the Lord to anger.  Manasseh actively led the people away from the Lord just as his father Hezekiah had led a return to Him.  By the time Manasseh’s grandson Josiah became king, they couldn’t even find the Book of the Law (and weren’t looking for it!). When the Book of the Law was found and read to Josiah, he tore his robes.  He was grieved because he knew that the people were living in direct disobedience to the law.  He called all the people together and renewed the covenant.  The people said they would live by it (as they always said – then didn’t).  Josiah removed all the idols, poles, high places, sacred stones, and altars.  God said, “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did” (2 Kings 22.25). The admirable thing about Josiah was that when he realized his and the people’s sin, he did something about it.  He mourned over it, repented, and made the necessary changes.  He didn’t wink at it and let it continue as long as it made life easy for him.  What do we do when we realize our sin – when we realize that we are lost?  Do we hide it and try to forget about it?  Do we do whatever is easiest?  Or like Josiah do we seek the Lord and ask Him to help us to change?  The first time I ever read the Bible, I was directly confronted with all the sin in my life.  I knew I either needed to change and live for God or quit claiming I was a Christian.  The same is true in our lives today when we are confronted with our sin.  How will we respond?  Let’s hope we all respond like Josiah.

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

2 KINGS 21

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.” But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites. 10 The Lord said through his servants the prophets: 11 “Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. 12 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies; 15 they have done evil in my eyes and have aroused my anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.” 16 Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 17 As for the other events of Manasseh’s reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 18 Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza. And Amon his son succeeded him as king. 19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He followed completely the ways of his father, worshiping the idols his father had worshiped, and bowing down to them. 22 He forsook the Lord, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in obedience to him. 23 Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace. 24 Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 As for the other events of Amon’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. And Josiah his son succeeded him as king.

2 KINGS 22

1Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the Lord. He said: “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the Lord— the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple. But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.” Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: “Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple.” 10 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. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 13 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” 14 Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter. 15 She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’ 18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’” So they took her answer back to the king.

2 KINGS 23

1Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant. The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people. He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes that were in the temple of the Lord, the quarters where women did weaving for Asherah. Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the gateway at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which was on the left of the city gate. Although the priests of the high places did not serve at the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests. 10 He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molek. 11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the Lord the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melek. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun. 12 He pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts of the temple of the Lord. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley. 13 The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon. 14 Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones. 15 Even the altar at Bethel, the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin—even that altar and high place he demolished. He burned the high place and ground it to powder, and burned the Asherah pole also. 16 Then Josiah looked around, and when he saw the tombs that were there on the hillside, he had the bones removed from them and burned on the altar to defile it, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by the man of God who foretold these things. 17 The king asked, “What is that tombstone I see?” The people of the city said, “It marks the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and pronounced against the altar of Bethel the very things you have done to it.” 18 “Leave it alone,” he said. “Don’t let anyone disturb his bones.” So they spared his bones and those of the prophet who had come from Samaria. 19 Just as he had done at Bethel, Josiah removed all the shrines at the high places that the kings of Israel had built in the towns of Samaria and that had aroused the Lord’s anger. 20 Josiah slaughtered all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem. 21 The king gave this order to all the people: “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem. 24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord. 25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. 26 Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to arouse his anger. 27 So the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.’” 28 As for the other events of Josiah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo. 30 Josiah’s servants brought his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in place of his father. 31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 32 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his predecessors had done. 33 Pharaoh Necho put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath so that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and he imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34 Pharaoh Necho made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt, and there he died. 35 Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh Necho the silver and gold he demanded. In order to do so, he taxed the land and exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land according to their assessments. 36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah; she was from Rumah. 37 And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his predecessors had done. 

2 KINGS 24

During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he turned against Nebuchadnezzar and rebelled. The Lord sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by his servants the prophets. Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to forgive. As for the other events of Jehoiakim’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? Jehoiakim rested with his ancestors. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded him as king. The king of Egypt did not march out from his own country again, because the king of Babylon had taken all his territory, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River. Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father had done. 10 At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem and laid siege to it, 11 and Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city while his officers were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his attendants, his nobles and his officials all surrendered to him. In the eighth year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner. 13 As the Lord had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord. 14 He carried all Jerusalem into exile: all the officers and fighting men, and all the skilled workers and artisans—a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left. 15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother, his wives, his officials and the prominent people of the land. 16 The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand skilled workers and artisans. 17 He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah. 18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 19 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence. Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

2 KINGS 25

1So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it. The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat. Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah, but the Babylonian army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, and he was captured. He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him. They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down. 10 The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon. 12 But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields. 13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 15 The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls—all that were made of pure gold or silver. 16 The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the movable stands, which Solomon had made for the temple of the Lord, was more than could be weighed. 17 Each pillar was eighteen cubits high. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was three cubits high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its network, was similar. 18 The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers. 19 Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men, and five royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of the conscripts who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land. 22 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to be over the people he had left behind in Judah. 23 When all the army officers and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite, and their men. 24 Gedaliah took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid of the Babylonian officials,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.” 25 In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood, came with ten men and assassinated Gedaliah and also the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah. 26 At this, all the people from the least to the greatest, together with the army officers, fled to Egypt for fear of the Babylonians. 27 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. He did this on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. 28 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. 30 Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived.

Sign up to receive your daily reading

To enable this feature you must be authorized

Contact Us