25 July 2017 Bible Reading
We cannot hope to understand the New Testament without mastery of the Old Testament. In today’s passage from Romans, Genesis 21:12; Genesis 18:10,14; Genesis 25:23; Malachi 1:2-3; Exodus 33:19; Exodus 9:16; and Isaiah 29:16; 45:9 are referenced.
2 Chronicles 14-16:14
14 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in David’s city; and Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2 Asa did that which was good and right in Yahweh his God’s eyes: 3 for he took away the foreign altars, and the high places, and broke down the pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles, 4 and commanded Judah to seek Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah; for the land was quiet, and he had no war in those years, because Yahweh had given him rest. 7 For he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities, and make walls around them, with towers, gates, and bars. The land is yet before us, because we have sought Yahweh our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. 8 Asa had an army that bore bucklers and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred eighty thousand: all these were mighty men of valor. 9 There came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an army of a million troops, and three hundred chariots; and he came to Mareshah. 10 Then Asa went out to meet him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa cried to Yahweh his God, and said, “Yahweh, there is no one besides you to help, between the mighty and him who has no strength. Help us, Yahweh our God; for we rely on you, and in your name are we come against this multitude. Yahweh, you are our God. Don’t let man prevail against you.”
12 So Yahweh struck the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar: and there fell of the Ethiopians so many that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before Yahweh, and before his army; and they carried away very much booty. 14 They struck all the cities around Gerar; for the fear of Yahweh came on them: and they plundered all the cities; for there was much plunder in them. 15 They struck also the tents of livestock, and carried away sheep in abundance, and camels, and returned to Jerusalem.
15 The Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded: 2 and he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin! Yahweh is with you, while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 Now for a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. 4 But when in their distress they turned to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. 5 In those times there was no peace to him who went out, nor to him who came in; but great troubles were on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 They were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city; for God troubled them with all adversity. 7 But you be strong, and don’t let your hands be slack; for your work shall be rewarded.”
8 When Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominations out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim; and he renewed the altar of Yahweh, that was before the porch of Yahweh. 9 He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who lived with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that Yahweh his God was with him. 10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 They sacrificed to Yahweh in that day, of the plunder which they had brought, seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep. 12 They entered into the covenant to seek Yahweh, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 and that whoever would not seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 They swore to Yahweh with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. 15 All Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and Yahweh gave them rest all around. 16 Also Maacah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah; and Asa cut down her image, and made dust of it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. 18 He brought into God’s house the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 There was no more war to the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.
16 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not allow anyone to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of Yahweh’s house and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben Hadad king of Syria, who lived at Damascus, saying, 3 “Let there be a treaty between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold. Go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.”
4 Ben Hadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they struck Ijon, and Dan, and Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 5 When Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and let his work cease. 6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and its timber, with which Baasha had built; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah. 7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on Yahweh your God, therefore is the army of the king of Syria escaped out of your hand. 8 Weren’t the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge army, with chariots and horsemen exceeding many? Yet, because you relied on Yahweh, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For Yahweh’s eyes run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly; for from henceforth you shall have wars.”
10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in the prison; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. 11 Behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet; his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he didn’t seek Yahweh, but to the physicians. 13 Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign. 14 They buried him in his own tombs, which he had dug out for himself in David’s city, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumers’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.
9 I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying, my conscience testifying with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers’ sake, my relatives according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers, and from whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God, blessed forever. Amen.
6 But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel. 7 Neither, because they are Abraham’s offspring, are they all children. But, “your offspring will be accounted as from Isaac.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as heirs. 9 For this is a word of promise, “At the appointed time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 Not only so, but Rebekah also conceived by one, by our father Isaac. 11 For being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “The elder will serve the younger.” 13 Even as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? May it never be! 15 For he said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I caused you to be raised up, that I might show in you my power, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then, he has mercy on whom he desires, and he hardens whom he desires. 19 You will say then to me, “Why does he still find fault? For who withstands his will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21 Or hasn’t the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel for honor, and another for dishonor?
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
19 The heavens declare the glory of God.
The expanse shows his handiwork.
2 Day after day they pour out speech,
and night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice has gone out through all the earth,
their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which is as a bridegroom coming out of his room,
like a strong man rejoicing to run his course.
6 His going out is from the end of the heavens,
his circuit to its ends;
There is nothing hidden from its heat.
7 Yahweh’s law is perfect, restoring the soul.
Yahweh’s testimony is sure, making wise the simple.
8 Yahweh’s precepts are right, rejoicing the heart.
Yahweh’s commandment is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever.
Yahweh’s ordinances are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and the extract of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is your servant warned.
In keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive me from hidden errors.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins.
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I will be upright.
I will be blameless and innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
Yahweh, my rock, and my redeemer.
20 Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler.
Whoever is led astray by them is not wise.