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22 June 2017 Bible Reading

The two Books of Kings were originally one book, organized into two. They provide the inspired history of about 400 years from the death of David (c. 960 b.C.) until the release of Jehoiachin from Babylon (c. 560 b.C.). They help us understand why Jerusalem was destroyed (586 b.C.) and why the Jews were eventually restored from captivity in Babylon.

2 Kings 3-4:17
3 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. 2 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, but not like his father, and like his mother, for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made. 3 Nevertheless he held to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin. He didn’t depart from them. 4 Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder; and he supplied the king of Israel with the wool of one hundred thousand lambs, and of one hundred thousand rams. 5 But when Ahab was dead, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6 King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time, and mustered all Israel. 7 He went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me against Moab to battle?”
He said, “I will go up. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 8 He said, “Which way shall we go up?”
He answered, “The way of the wilderness of Edom.” 9 So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom, and they marched for seven days along a circuitous route. There was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. 10 The king of Israel said, “Alas! For Yahweh has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”
11 But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a prophet of Yahweh here, that we may inquire of Yahweh by him?”
One of the king of Israel’s servants answered, “Elisha the son of Shaphat, who poured water on the hands of Elijah, is here.”
12 Jehoshaphat said, “Yahweh’s word is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father, and to the prophets of your mother.”
The king of Israel said to him, “No, for Yahweh has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.” 14 Elisha said, “As Yahweh of Armies lives, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I respect the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward you, nor see you. 15 But now bring me a musician.” When the musician played, Yahweh’s hand came on him. 16 He said, “Yahweh says, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’ 17 For Yahweh says, ‘You will not see wind, neither will you see rain, yet that valley will be filled with water, and you will drink, both you and your livestock and your other animals. 18 This is an easy thing in Yahweh’s sight. He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand. 19 You shall strike every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.’”
20 In the morning, about the time of offering the sacrifice, behold, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
21 Now when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, they gathered themselves together, all who were able to put on armor, young and old, and stood on the border. 22 They rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. 23 They said, “This is blood. The kings are surely destroyed, and they have struck each other. Now therefore, Moab, to the plunder!”
24 When they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they went forward into the land attacking the Moabites. 25 They beat down the cities; and on every good piece of land each man cast his stone, and filled it. They also stopped all the springs of water, and felled all the good trees, until in Kir Hareseth all they left was its stones; however the men armed with slings went around it, and attacked it. 26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too severe for him, he took with him seven hundred men who drew a sword, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not. 27 Then he took his oldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. There was great wrath against Israel; and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.
4 Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead. You know that your servant feared Yahweh. Now the creditor has come to take for himself my two children to be slaves.”
2 Elisha said to her, “What should I do for you? Tell me: what do you have in the house?”
She said, “Your servant has nothing in the house, except a pot of oil.”
3 Then he said, “Go, borrow empty containers from of all your neighbors. Don’t borrow just a few containers. 4 Go in and shut the door on you and on your sons, and pour oil into all those containers; and set aside those which are full.”
5 So she went from him, and shut the door on herself and on her sons. They brought the containers to her, and she poured oil. 6 When the containers were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.”
He said to her, “There isn’t another container.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
7 Then she came and told the man of God. He said, “Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
8 One day Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman; and she persuaded him to eat bread. So it was, that as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat bread. 9 She said to her husband, “See now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God who passes by us continually. 10 Please let us make a little room on the roof. Let us set for him there a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp stand. When he comes to us, he can stay there.”
11 One day he came there, and he went to the room and lay there. 12 He said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13 He said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Behold, you have cared for us with all this care. What is to be done for you? Would you like to be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the army?’”
She answered, “I dwell among my own people.”
14 He said, “What then is to be done for her?”
Gehazi answered, “Most certainly she has no son, and her husband is old.”
15 He said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 He said, “At this season, when the time comes around, you will embrace a son.”
She said, “No, my lord, you man of God, do not lie to your servant.”
17 The woman conceived, and bore a son at that season, when the time came around, as Elisha had said to her.

Acts 14:8-28
8 At Lystra a certain man sat, impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked. 9 He was listening to Paul speaking, who, fastening eyes on him, and seeing that he had faith to be made whole, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet!” He leaped up and walked. 11 When the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 They called Barnabas “Jupiter”, and Paul “Mercury”, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Jupiter, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have made a sacrifice along with the multitudes. 14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them; 16 who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he didn’t leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
18 Even saying these things, they hardly stopped the multitudes from making a sacrifice to them. 19 But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the Good News to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into God’s Kingdom. 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled. 27 When they had arrived, and had gathered the assembly together, they reported all the things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith to the nations. 28 They stayed there with the disciples for a long time.

Psalm 140:1-13
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
140 Deliver me, Yahweh, from the evil man.
Preserve me from the violent man;
2 those who devise mischief in their hearts.
They continually gather themselves together for war.
3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent.
Viper’s poison is under their lips.
Selah.
4 Yahweh, keep me from the hands of the wicked.
Preserve me from the violent men who have determined to trip my feet.
5 The proud have hidden a snare for me,
they have spread the cords of a net by the path.
They have set traps for me.
Selah.
6 I said to Yahweh, “You are my God.”
Listen to the cry of my petitions, Yahweh.
7 Yahweh, the Lord, the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 Yahweh, don’t grant the desires of the wicked.
Don’t let their evil plans succeed, or they will become proud.
Selah.
9 As for the head of those who surround me,
let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
10 Let burning coals fall on them.
Let them be thrown into the fire,
into miry pits, from where they never rise.
11 An evil speaker won’t be established in the earth.
Evil will hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
12 I know that Yahweh will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
and justice for the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will give thanks to your name.
The upright will dwell in your presence.

Proverbs 17:22
22 A cheerful heart makes good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

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