From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/12:

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/12:

After Israel’s defeat over the Syrians during the last battle, the servants of the king say to Ben-Hadad – “Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they.” However they are wrong. The Lord says, “Because the Syrians have said, ‘The Lord is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys,’ therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” The Lord once again provides victory for Israel, proving that He is the God of the hills and the valleys! 

Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria, surrenders to Ahab, and Ahab makes a treaty with him. The Lord rebukes Ahab for not destroying Ben-Hadad – “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’” And this is exactly what will happen. Ahab will be killed in a battle against Syria (1 Kings 22:29-35), and the people will suffer at the hand of King Hazael, who will reign in Syria after he murders Ben-Hadad (2 Kings 8:7-15). “So the king of Israel went to his house sullen and displeased, and came to Samaria.”

“And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.” Ahab sees the vineyard and he craves what his eyes behold. However, Naboth refuses to hand over his inheritance to Ahab in accordance with the word of God – “You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess” (Deuteronomy 19:14). So once again, “Ahab went to his house sullen and displeased.”

When Jezebel sees her husband pouting, she says to him – “You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” Then Jezebel takes matters into her own hands. She wickedly schemes and falsely accuses Naboth of speaking against the Lord and the king, which results in him being stoned to death. The news of Naboth’s death cheers Ahab right up, so he leaves to go and enjoy his newly acquired vineyard.

Now the Lord is displeased. So God sends Elijah to pronounce judgment against the house of Ahab and Jezebel for their murder of Naboth and their idolatry. Elijah says the Lord is going to cut off the house of Ahab and dogs will eat Jezebel –  “But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up. And he behaved very abominably in following idols.” Soon in the story, the Lord will use the future king of Israel, Jehu, to accomplish all that he said regarding the destruction of the house of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kings 9:14-37). 

The reading ends with an alliance between Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and Ahab, king of Israel, through marriage. Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, marries Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter, Athaliah. When Ahab asks Jehoshaphat to unite with him in battle against Syria, Jehoshaphat says they will go to battle with Israel. However, Jehoshaphat requests that Ahab inquire of a prophet of the Lord instead of his four hundred false prophets who just tell Ahab what he wants to hear. Ahab responds, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.”

Ahab hates Micaiah because he speaks truth from the word of God. Therefore, Ahab’s real problem isn’t with Micaiah — it is with the Lord. As Christ followers, we are called to speak truth in love no matter the cost to ourselves, as we will see Micaiah do tomorrow, so keep reading. (1 Kings 20:23-22:9, 2 Chronicles 18:1-8)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/11:

Since the brook is now dry, the Lord sends Elijah to a Gentile widow in Zarephath. The Lord tells Elijah that He has commanded her to provide for him. And we see the widow shows great faith in the Lord as she feeds Elijah first from her last meal she was preparing for herself and her son before they die of starvation. The Lord rewards her faith by keeping her flour bin and oil jar full until the drought is over.

However, the widow’s faith waivers when her son dies. She blames his death on her own sin and asks Elijah if he came to kill her son. The Lord, who is always faithful, brings her child back to life when Elijah prays over the boy. Then the widow says to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.”

Later in the story, when Jesus is being rejected by His own people just as Elijah was rejected by the Israelites, He will use the story of Elijah going to a Gentile widow to rebuke the unbelieving Jews, and to illustrate that when they don’t believe, the Lord sends His prophets out to others, even to Gentiles – “But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow” (Luke 4:25-26). 

After three years and six months of drought, the Lord sends Elijah back to Ahab to tell him the drought is coming to an end. When Ahab sees Elijah he says, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” Ahab blames Elijah for their troubles instead of repenting of his wickedness and turning to the Lord for healing and restoration. Remember Solomon’s prayer after the temple was complete? Solomon specifically said, “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance” (1 Kings 8:35-36).  

Ahab and the people never repent, so the Lord throws down a challenge against Baal on Mount Carmel. Elijah asks the people whom they are going to serve, Baal or the Lord. The people do not respond. So the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and Elijah each build an altar on Mount Carmel. Elijah says, “the God who answers by fire, He is God!” The prophets of Baal go first, and they begin to call on their god to bring fire upon the offering, but Baal does not answer. In an attempt to get Baal to respond, they begin cutting themselves and shedding their own blood, but still nothing happens. Why does nothing happen? Because they are calling upon a god that has no power. Nothing happens because the prophets of Baal do not know the God who doesn’t require them to shed their own blood. They don’t know the God who is sending His own Son to shed His blood in order to provide salvation for anyone who has faith in Him. No, they don’t know that God, but Elijah does. So Elijah steps forward and prays, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” 

Then the Lord rains down fire and consumes the offering, and the people fall to the ground shouting “The Lord, He is God!” However, the people calling upon the name of the Lord is temporary, as they soon will turn back to idolatry. However, after the Lord responds, Elijah kills the prophets of Baal and then prays seven times for the Lord to send the rain. When Elijah sees a cloud as small as a man’s fist, he tells Ahab he better head home because Elijah knows the Lord is sending a powerful rain from that small cloud.

When Jezebel hears about the showdown on Mount Carmel, she seeks to kill Elijah. So Elijah flees into the wilderness, lies under a tree and says, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life.” Elijah went from a spiritual high on Mount Carmel to a spiritual low in the wilderness. He is so low that he wants the Lord to take his life. Remember when Moses felt the same way in the wilderness. Moses cried out to the Lord to kill him when he was overwhelmed and discouraged (Numbers 11:15). However, Elijah isn’t qualified to say when it is enough in his own life, just like Moses wasn’t. Only the Lord, our God and Creator, is qualified to know when it is enough — and He will take us home in His own timing after He has fulfilled all He has purposed for us. We saw that David believed this was true when he was on the run from Saul. David wrote – “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me” (Psalm 57:2).

Since the Lord still has plans for Elijah, the Lord refreshes him and sends him on a forty day journey to Mount Horeb where He gives Elijah exactly what he needs — an encounter with Him. On that mount, Elijah pours out his heart to the Lord saying, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” Then the Lord shows Elijah His power by passing by him in a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but He speaks to him in a gentle voice. The Lord ensures Elijah that He is raising up men, Hazael and Jehu, to use as tools in His hand to take down the wicked, which we will read about soon. Then He tells Elijah that he isn’t alone because there are seven thousand others who did not bow down to Baal. In addition, the Lord gives Elijah a friend in ministry, Elisha, who will succeed Elijah when it finally is enough and the Lord takes Elijah home to be with Him for eternity.

We end the reading with the Lord giving Israel victory over the Syrians, but the Syrians attack again tomorrow, so reading. (1 Kings 17:8-20:22)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/10:

There is war between Baasha, king of Israel, and Asa, king of Judah. Instead of trusting the Lord, Asa makes a treaty with the king of Syria, and the Lord rebukes him saying that the Lord works on behalf of those who rely upon Him – “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

The Lord says against Baasha, because he walks in the ways of Jeroboam, “I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. The dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Baasha and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the fields.” And since the Lord always does what He says, when Zimri becomes the king of Northern Israel he kills the entire household of Baasha. However, Zimri only lasts seven days as king, and Omri becomes the next king of Israel – “Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all who were before him. For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols.” 

After Omari’s death, his son Ahab becomes king of Israel and he “did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.”  

Jezebel brings her false prophets of Baal and Asherah to Northern Israel by the hundreds. Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, isn’t interested in a blended religion like Jeroboam created — she is trying to completely kill off all of the Lord’s prophets. So the Lord sends the prophet Elijah to Ahab to declare His judgment upon him and Israel because of their wickedness. Elijah tells Ahab there will be a drought, no dew nor rain, which is a direct challenge to their false god Baal since Baal is their god of fertility, whom they believed made the earth produce crops. The judgment of no rain is also one of the consequences that the Lord told his people would happen when He was giving them the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience in the wilderness. The Lord said if they turned from Him – “The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed” (Deuteronomy 28:24). We learn later in the story that it is through Elijah’s prayer that the Lord stops the rains and brings the rains – “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:17-18). 

Then the Lord sends Elijah to live in isolation by the Brook Cherith, where God will feed him by ravens. The Hebrew root meaning for Cherith is “cut off”. Elijah is cut off from society, having to fully trust in the Lord to miraculously provide for him through the ravens by the brook which is about to dry up. Elijah is cut off from being able to provide for himself or from being able to improve his situation. Elijah must rest in the Lord and wait on Him to act on his behalf. We end the reading with the brook drying up; however, the Lord will continue to care for Elijah. Tomorrow the Lord will send Elijah to a Gentile woman where once again He will provide in a miraculous way for those who have faith in Him.

Over in Judah, King Asa, who began well, did not end his life seeking the Lord – “Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.” After Asa dies, his son Jehoshaphat becomes the next king of Judah. Jehoshaphat walks in the ways of the Lord, leads the people in Bible literacy by sending the Levites all throughout Judah with the Book of the Law to teach the people, and fortifies the cities in Judah. 

At this point in the story, Judah has returned to the Lord, but Israel is steeped in idolatry. Tomorrow the Lord sends Elijah back to Northern Israel to confront Ahab and the false prophets. There is about to be an exciting showdown between Baal and the Lord on Mount Carmel, so keep reading! (1 Kings 15:16-22, 2 Chronicles 16:1-10, 1 Kings 16:1-34, 1 Kings 15:23-24, 2 Chronicles 16:11-17:19, 1 Kings 17:1-7)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/9:

Today the Lord has two prophets tell Jeroboam of his coming demise and the future destruction of his kingdom because Jeroboam sinned and made all of Israel sin against the Lord. 

1) The first man of God says to Jeroboam – “Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.” About three hundred years later, we will meet a king of Judah, a descendant of David, named Josiah who will come and destroy Jeroboam’s altars just as the Lord said (2 Chronicles 34).

2) Jeroboam sends his wife to the prophet Ahijah to inquire about his sick son, Abijah. Ahijah gives a message from the Lord to Jeroboam’s wife for Jeroboam – “Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart… but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods… therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone.” However, God has “found something good toward the Lord” in the sick child. Therefore, the Lord says that Jeroboam’s child will mercifully die and be spared the judgment coming upon the wicked. As Isaiah will later say—“Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come” (Isaiah 57:1).

When Jeroboam dies, his son Nadab becomes king of Israel, “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin.” Then a man named Baasha conspires against Nadab, kills him and becomes the next king of Israel. Baasha kills all in the house of Jeroboam, just as Ahijah prophesied. Baasha too does evil and walks in the ways of Jeroboam, as will all the following kings of Israel which will lead to Northern Israel’s downfall.

Over in Judah, the people are also doing evil in the sight of the Lord under the leadership of Rehoboam —“For they also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.” So the Lord allows the king of Egypt to come against Rehoboam and take away the treasures of the house of the Lord. When Rehoboam humbles himself before the Lord, the Lord relents from destroying him at that time.

After Rehoboam dies, his son Abijam becomes king of Judah and “he walked in all the sins of his father… his heart was not loyal to the Lord… Nevertheless for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, by setting up his son after him and by establishing Jerusalem.” 

Abijam’s son, Asa, is the next king of Judah, and he does what is good and right in the sight of the Lord. Asa leads a revival, turning the hearts of the people back to the Lord and clearing the land of idolatry. When Zeruah the Ethiopian comes against Asa and Judah, Asa responds by crying out to the Lord—“Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude.”

When we as Christians go through times of trouble, we are to call upon the name of the Lord, wait on God to act on our behalf, and trust that He will lead and guide us through the storm. No problem is too big for the Lord, as we see here with the battle against Egypt. The Lord hears the cry of Asa, He strikes the enemy and saves the oppressed, He leads Judah into victory, and He provides them with rest because God gives rest to those who rest in Him:

  • “And He said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest’” (Exodus 33:14)
  • “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses” (1 Kings 8:56).
  • “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm” (Psalm 37:5-8).
  • “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).
  • “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Hebrews 4:1-2).

Those who enter the rest are those who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately there are so many who do not enter into the rest that only Christ can provide because they put their trust in themselves, in a system, in a movement, in an organization, in a religion, in a government, or in anything else apart from the Lord. The only way to enter this rest is through Christ – “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

Tomorrow we meet more kings and the prophet Elijah arrives on the scene, so keep reading. (1 Kings 13:1-14:24, 2 Chronicles 12:13-14, 2 Chronicles 11:18-23, 2 Chronicles 12:1-12, 1 Kings 14:25-28, 2 Chronicles 12:15-16, 1 Kings 14:29-15:5, 2 Chronicles 13:1-22, 1 Kings 15:6-8, 2 Chronicles 14:1-8, 1 Kings 15:9-15, 1 Kings 14:19-20, 1 Kings 15:25-34, 2 Chronicles 14:9-15:19)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/8:

Today Solomon calls us to remember the Lord during our days on earth because one day we will stand before Him:

  • “but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
  • “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
  • “Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed…Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7)
  • “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

In Solomon’s later years, he chased after the lesser things in the world and turned from the Lord. However, at the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon comes to the right conclusion – “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” Solomon left behind his wisdom writings to warn us of the emptiness that is found in the world, and to teach us about the fullness of life that is found in the Lord and in walking in His ways. Solomon wants us to remember that all is fleeting under the sun apart from a relationship with the Son, Jesus Christ. And that’s a wrap on the Kingdom Era. Next up is the Divided Kingdom Era. 

Today Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, becomes king of Israel. The people ask him to lighten the heavy labor load that his dad, Solomon, put on them. Instead of listening to the wise counsel of the elders when they said “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever”, Rehoboam takes the terrible advice of his young buddies and says to the people “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke.”

“So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word, which the Lord had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” When Jeroboam, Solomon’s former servant, returns from Egypt, he leads a revolt against Rehoboam. Rehoboam assembles the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to fight against the other ten tribes of Israel, but the Lord says they shall not fight their brothers “for this thing is from Me.” Therefore the kingdom divides, and Jeroboam becomes king over ten tribes of Israel. 

Did you notice that the Lord was sovereign over the revolt in the kingdom? The Bible said “the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word.” The Lord is sovereign over everything, the good and the evil, in order to accomplish His plans and His purposes by His word. We have seen His sovereignty throughout the story, from the beginning in the Creation Era to where we are today in the Divided Kingdom Era. And we will see it until He sends His Son Jesus Christ as the final atoning Sacrifice for all who believe in Him. The Lord will remain sovereign over this world until the day He sends Jesus back to redeem His people, abolish evil for good, and create a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21) because whatever God says, He always does.

However, instead of trusting in the Lord and in the promises the Lord made to Jeroboam, Jeroboam decides to trust in himself and his own plans. When Jeroboam becomes the new king of Northern Israel, he fears if he allows the people to go to Jerusalem, their hearts will turn back to God and to King Rehoboam. Then he fears that if they turn to Rehoboam, they may want to kill him. So in an effort to coerce the people into staying in Northern Israel, Jeroboam manipulates Israel by forming a new blended religion that looks similar to the way they have been worshiping the Lord; except Jeroboam takes two golden calves and says “Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” Jeroboam then sets the calves up in Dan and Bethel, builds shrines on high places, and makes priests of every class instead of using the Levites, the sons of Aaron, as the Lord instructed. Jeroboam also changes the days for the corporate worship, “in the month which he had devised in his own heart.” The people fall for man’s manipulation because they were not seeking the Lord and obeying His word. Therefore, Jeroboam leads the entire nation of Israel into idolatry with this new religion of his imagination, which negatively impacts the Israelites for hundreds of years. 

Since the Levites are rejected by Jeroboam, they leave Northern Israel and go to Southern Judah and Jerusalem with all the others seeking to worship the Lord God of Israel. “So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.” 

Side note – There are 20 kings of Northern Israel (all evil) and 19 kings and 1 queen of Southern Judah (all from King David’s bloodline as the Lord promised and they are a mix of good, bad and in-between). The Lord will send prophet after prophet to each kingdom in an effort to get the people to turn from their idolatry and wicked ways back to the Lord. Unfortunately, the people will not heed the Lord’s warnings, and both kingdoms will eventually be overthrown. Northern Israel will last 209 years before they are overtaken by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Southern Judah will last 345 years before they are taken over by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. 

Tomorrow the Lord uses two prophets to rebuke Jeroboam for his wickedness. Keep reading.  (Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14, 1 Kings 12:1-20, 2 Chronicles 10:1-19, 1 Kings 12:21-24, 2 Chronicles 11:1-4, 1 Kings 12:25-33, 2 Chronicles 11:5-17)

14 Eras: 

Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26) ✔️

Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️

Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✔️

Conquest Era (Joshua) ✔️

Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✔️

Kingdom Era (1,2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✔️

Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) is up now! 

Eras to follow:  

Captivity, Return, Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End Times/New Beginnings

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 8/6:

Today Jeremiah tells the people, who would never heed God’s words, the horrors that will occur when Jerusalem is besieged. There will be a great famine and the people will resort to cannibalism – “I will make this city desolate and a hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its plagues. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his friend in the siege and in the desperation with which their enemies and those who seek their lives shall drive them to despair.” 

The Lord has Jeremiah break a potter’s flask in front of the people as a symbolic act for their inevitable calamities and say to them – “Behold, I will bring on this city and on all her towns all the doom that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks that they might not hear My words.”

Pashhur the priest becomes angry when he hears the word of God. So he beats Jeremiah and throws him in the stocks until the next morning. When Pashhur releases him, Jeremiah tells Pashhur that he and all his family will be taken as captives to Babylon where they will die along with his friends “to whom you have prophesied lies.”

Jeremiah’s calling upon his life creates quite the personal struggle for him. If he shares God’s words he is mocked and beaten. But Jeremiah says he can’t stay silent because, “His word was in my heart like a burning fire.” Jeremiah’s calling causes him so much angst that he even curses being born; however, Jeremiah will stay faithful to the Lord no matter the cost.

God never promises that life will be easy but He does promise to be with us through the difficult. Jeremiah remembers God’s faithfulness in the midst of his persecution – “But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten. But, O Lord of hosts, you who test the righteous, and see the mind and heart, let me see Your vengeance on them; for I have pleaded my cause before You.”

We will see more examples of God’s faithfulness to His people through hard trials with Daniel and his friends as we enter the Captivity Era. The Captivity of Judah occurs in 3 waves: 1) 605 BC when Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are taken to Babylon, 2) 597 BC when Ezekiel and King Jehoiachin are taken to Babylon, and 3) 587/586 BC when most of Jerusalem is destroyed by Babylon. Today we begin the Captivity Era with the book of Daniel as the first wave is taken into exile. 

In 605 BC Babylon besieged Jerusalem and Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, tells the master of his eunuchs (a eunuch is a man who has been castrated to serve in the court), “To bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.”

Daniel and his friends are determined to serve and honor the Lord in this foreign land, so they do not defile themselves with the king’s delicacies or wine. And since “God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs,” they were allowed to drink water and eat vegetables which made them healthier than the other men. 

“As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams…And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”

Keep reading to see how the Lord will use the knowledge and understanding He gave to Daniel and his friends to further accomplish His plans and purposes. 

(Jeremiah 19:1-20:18, Daniel 1:1-21)

#bibleliteracymovement #chronologicalbibleteaching

14 Eras:

Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26)✅

Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job)✅

Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✅

Conquest Era (Joshua) ✅

Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✅

Kingdom Era (1,2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✅

Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) ✅

Captivity Era (the rest of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) up now!

Eras to follow:

Return, Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End Times/New Beginnings

From today’s reading Tyndale’s the One Year Chronological Bible dated 8/5:

The Lord tells Jeremiah that He is about to pour out His anger on all the nations beginning with His own people, Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. He says although the people may not want to drink from His cup of wrath they most certainly will – “For behold, I begin to bring calamity on the city which is called by My name, and should you be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished, for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth.”

During the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, the Lord says to Jeremiah: “Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

So Jeremiah has Baruch, a scribe, write the scroll. Then Jeremiah instructs Baruch to read the scroll “in the hearing of the people in the Lord’s house on the day of fasting. And you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities. It may be that they will present their supplication before the Lord, and everyone will turn from his evil way.”

When Judah’s officials hear the words they look in fear at one another and say they will take these words to King Jehoiakam. However, King Jehoiakim does not fear the word of the Lord; instead, he takes the scroll, tears it up and burns it. Then he tries to seize Baruch and Jeremiah but the Lord protects them. 

The Lord instructs Jeremiah to prepare another scroll with the same words and say: “You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and cause man and beast to cease from here?’ Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: ‘He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. I will punish him, his family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed.’” Soon in the Story, Babylon is going to invade Jerusalem and take Jehoiakim, his family, his servants and others into captivity. Then the king of Babylon will place another descendant of King David as king of Judah (2 Kings 24:10-17).

At the hearing of the message of destruction that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah, Baruch says “Woe is me now! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.” Therefore the Lord says to Baruch – “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh…But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.” 

Baruch is discouraged by his personal suffering and by the chaos that is surrounding him. He was hoping for great things for himself but the Lord tells him that there is no life to be found in exalting yourself. True life is only found in trusting the Lord and exalting His Name. 

Jeremiah goes on to announce judgment against other nations; but the Lord gives great hope for His people – ”’I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity; Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease; no one shall make him afraid. Do not fear, O Jacob My servant,’ says the Lord, ‘For I am with you; for I will make a complete end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but I will not make a complete end of you. I will rightly correct you, for I will not leave you wholly unpunished.’”

Tomorrow the Divided Kingdom Era comes to an end as we enter the Captivity Era. Keep reading.

(Jeremiah 25:15-38, Jeremiah 36:1-32, Jeremiah 45:1-46:28)

#bibleliteracymovement #chronologicalbibleteaching

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 8/4:

After King Josiah was killed in battle, Egypt made Judah a vassal kingdom and imposed a tribute on the land. Jehoahaz, who did evil in the sight of the Lord, only reigns for three months in Judah before the king of Egypt, Necho, takes him off to captivity in Egypt. Necho then places Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim on the throne and changes his name to Jehoiakim.

Jehoiakim taxes the people to pay Egypt the silver and gold demanded by Necho. Jehoiakim is also a wicked king so the Lord sends Jeremiah with messages for both Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, the sons of Josiah. Jeremiah tells them that the palace will be destroyed and Jehoahaz shall die in Egypt where Necho took him captive. The Lord says about Jehoiakim – “Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence.” Therefore, Jehoiakim shall have a disgraceful burial and be, “Dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”

Then Jeremiah, standing outside the temple, warns the people to turn from their evil ways and heed the words of the Lord or He, “Will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” Well, this message from the Lord is not what the people want to hear so they threaten Jeremiah saying, “You will surely die!” However, Jeremiah does not back down. He says do what you want but if you kill me just know that you will have innocent blood on your hands because the Lord sent me with His Words. 

Others come to the defense of Jeremiah. They say remember when the prophet Micah also spoke against Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah and no one killed him. In fact, it led the people to repentance. So Jeremiah escapes death with the intervention of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan who was Josiah’s scribe during the religious reform.

“In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. And the Lord sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, and bands of the people of Ammon; He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken by His servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon.”

Jeremiah says since the people would never listen to the Lord, He is going to send them off to captivity, “And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” 

Tomorrow Jeremiah continues to speak of the Lord’s judgment upon Judah; and in two days reading the first wave will be taken into captivity. So keep reading. 

(2 Chronicles 36:1-4, 2 Kings 23:31-37, 2 Chronicles 36:5, Jeremiah 22:1-23, Jeremiah 26:1-24, 2 Kings 24:1-4, Jeremiah 25:1-14)

#bibleliteracymovement #chronologicalbibleteaching

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 8/3:

Zephaniah announces judgement against Judah’s enemies. Yesterday he said the Lord will destroy the Philistines and their coast land will be left for the remnant of Judah that will be brought out of captivity. Today he proclaims judgment against Moab and Amnon, Lot’s descendants, who have continually attacked the Israelites. The Lord says He will destroy Moab and Amnon like He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in the days that Lot and his daughters fled the destruction; and then His people will possess their land.

Highlighting God’s sovereignty over all the nations, Zephaniah says the Lord will also cut down Ethiopia and Assyria because of their wickedness. Then Zephaniah turns his attention to the city of Jerusalem who has not obeyed the voice of God – “Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, to the oppressing city! She has not obeyed His voice, she has not received correction; she has not trusted in the Lord, she has not drawn near to her God.” 

Although Judah has seen the Lord judge the nations around them for their wickedness, Judah still does not turn from their evil ways. Therefore, the Lord is bringing judgment upon His own people. However, the Lord will one day bring restoration – “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord… And you shall no longer be haughty in My holy mountain. I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.” Many commentators believe that the Lord is speaking of the day when Jesus returns and rules as the righteous King. In that day there will be great rejoicing – “Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more.”

The current king of Judah, Josiah, dies in battle because he does not heed God’s warning to not interfere with Necho of Egypt who was aligning with the Assyrians to attack the Babylonians. Then Jehoahaz, Josiah’s son, becomes the next king of Judah.

In addition to Zephaniah, the Lord is also using Jeremiah to speak of God’s judgment upon the nations, Philistia and Moab. Babylon will overthrow both these nations. The Lord says to Moab, “For because you have trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken. And Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, His priests and his princes together. And the plunderer shall come against every city; no one shall escape. The valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the Lord has spoken.” Chemosh is the national deity of the Moabites. And since Chemosh is a false god, he will provide no saving power for the Moabites. 

However, the Lord gives Moab a word of hope similar to that of Judah. He says, “Fear and the pit and the snare shall be upon you, O inhabitant of Moab… Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh perish; for your sons have been taken captive, and your daughters captive. Yet I will bring back the captives of Moab in the latter days.” Many believe the restoration that will occur in the latter days is a prophecy of the coming Messiah, when we will see Gentiles convert to Christ followers.

Tomorrow we learn that Jeremiah isn’t too popular with the people in Judah; not everyone wants to hear the truth from the Lord. However, Jeremiah will stay faithful to sharing the Word of God in spite of public opinion and his own comfort and security. Keep reading.

(Zephaniah 2:8-3:20, 2 Chronicles 35:20-27, 2 Kings 23:29-30, Jeremiah 47:1-48:47)

#bibleliteracymovement #chronologicalbibleteaching

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 8/2:

Habakkuk’s ministry was during the last days of Judah before the Babylonian invasion. Habakkuk is struggling with understanding the plans of the Lord so he takes his concerns to God – “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds.”

Habakkuk can’t understand why God is allowing all of this wickedness to occur. So the Lord responds – “For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and nasty nation” to bring judgement against Judah. But Habakkuk questions how the Lord can use people more wicked than Judah to judge Judah. The Chaldeans lived in the southern part of Babylon and were known for their cruelty. Habakkuk asks, “Shall they therefore empty their net, and continue to slay nations without pity?”

The Lord assures Habakkuk that He will judge the wicked in His perfect timing. The proud who walk in their own evil ways will be destroyed, “But the just shall live by faith.” The Lord is reminding Habakkuk not to worry about what he sees but to trust the Lord and walk by faith; because the Lord always acts on behalf of those who trust Him and wait on Him (Isaiah 64:4). So Habakkuk submits to the Lord in prayer. He remembers God’s goodness, His sovereignty over the world, and His protection for His people. Therefore, Habakkuk says, “I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

God also sends Zephaniah, a descendant of King Hezekiah, with a message for Judah during the days of King Josiah. Under the reign of King Josiah’s father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, the nation of Judah became corrupt and full of idolatry. Zephaniah’s message was one of judgment against Judah for turning their backs on the Lord and turning to the worship of false gods. The Lord says, “I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, the names of the idolatrous priests with the pagan priests—Those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops; those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord, but who also swear by Milcom; those who have turned back from following the Lord, and have not sought the Lord, nor inquired of Him.” And this is exactly what King Josiah is doing. King Josiah is ridding the land of Judah of idolatry and leading the people to the worship of the Lord.

Zephaniah says judgment is coming against the royalty and the merchants. Judgment is also coming against the complacent and no one will be able to hide from the Lord’s judgment – “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil.’”

At the end of the Story, Jesus will also have a word for the complacent or lukewarm – “‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth…Therefore be zealous and repent’“ (Revelation 3:15-19). 

A lukewarm person is so entangled in worldliness that you can’t distinguish them as a Christ follower. They do not spend their time seeking to know the Lord; nor do they have a real burden for lost people to come to know Jesus as their Savior. A lukewarm person goes about their life afraid to speak truth from the Word of God in order to avoid offending anyone. They simply perform the religious motions on Sundays and back to their worldly cares and concerns the rest of the week.

As Charles Spurgeon says, “Religion cannot long be lukewarm; it will either die out or it will kindle and set you all on fire.“ A person on fire for the Lord can live in a world full of chaos and evil but still have peace knowing that what the Lord said to Habakkuk is true. He will serve judgment to the wicked in His perfect timing and He will save those who have faith in Him. However, in order to be on fire for the Lord you have to know Him. In order to know Him, you have to spend time with Him through prayer and reading His Word. So keep reading!

(Habakkuk 1:1-3:19, Zephaniah 1:1-2:7)

#bibleliteracymovement #chronologicalbibleteaching