Week 38, Day 5

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The reading for today is 2 Chronicles 34-35; 2 Corinthians 6.

2 Chronicles 34

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and he walked in the ways of David his ancestor and did not deviate to the right or to the left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he began to seek the God of David his ancestor. And in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherahs, the idols, and the images. And he destroyed before him the altars for the Baals, and he cut down the incense stands above them. And the Asherahs, the idols, and the images he smashed. And he ground them to powder and sprinkled the dust over the burial sites of those who sacrificed to them. And he burned the bones of the priests on the altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins all around, he broke down the altars and the Asherahs and crushed the idols, grinding them to dust, and he cut down all the incense stands in all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Now in the eighteenth year of his reign after he purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the commander of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the house of Yahweh his God. And they came to Hilkiah the high priest and gave the money that was brought for the house of God, which the Levites, the guardians of the threshold, had gathered from the hand of Manasseh, Ephraim, and from the whole remnant of Israel, and from all Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they delivered it into the hand of the workmen who were appointed in the house of Yahweh, and they in turn gave it to those doing the work who were at work in the house of Yahweh, to repair and restore the house. And they dispensed it to the skilled craftsmen and the builders to buy stone for hewing and timber for the seams and for binding the houses that the kings of Judah had destroyed. And the men did the work faithfully. Over them as supervisors were appointed Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites from the Merarites, and Zechariah and Meshullam from the Kohathites. And other Levites, all who were skilled in instruments of song, were over the porters and were directing all who worked on each task. And some of the Levites were scribes, officials, and gatekeepers.

And when they brought out the money that had been brought to the house of Yahweh, Hilkiah the priest found a scroll of the law of Yahweh by the hand of Moses. And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have found a scroll of the law in the house of Yahweh!" Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan. And Shaphan brought the scroll to the king and also informed the king, saying, "All that was put into the hand of your servants they are doing. They have dispensed the money which was found in the house of Yahweh and have put it into the hand of the overseers and those doing the work." Then Shaphan the scribe reported to the king, "Hilkiah the priest gave to me a scroll." Then Shaphan read from it before the king. And when the king heard the words of the law, he tore his garments, and the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the servant of the king, saying, "Go! Seek Yahweh on my behalf and on behalf of those remaining in Israel and Judah concerning the words of the scroll that was found, for the anger of Yahweh that was poured out on us is great, because our ancestors have not kept the word of Yahweh, to do all that is written in this scroll."

Then Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum, son of Tikvath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the garments. (Now she was living in Jerusalem in the second district.) And they spoke to her concerning this. And she said to them, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: ‘Say to the man who sent you all to me: "Thus says Yahweh: ‘Behold, I am bringing disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants—all the curses written in the scroll that were read before the king of Judah— because they have abandoned me and burned incense to other gods so as to provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands. And my wrath will be poured out on this place and it will not be quenched.’ But to the king of Judah who sent you to seek Yahweh, thus shall you say to him: ‘Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: As for the words which you heard, because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and against its inhabitants and you humbled yourself before me and tore your garments and wept before me, now I also have heard,’ declares Yahweh. ‘Behold, I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see any of the disaster that I am bringing upon this place.’"’"

Then they sent word to the king, and he gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up to the house of Yahweh with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with the priests and the Levites—all the people from great to small—and they read in their ears all the words of the scroll of the covenant that was found in the house of Yahweh. And the king stood at his position. And he made the covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh and to keep his commands and statutes and regulations with all his heart and with all his soul, to do the words of the covenant that were written on this scroll. Then he obligated all who were found in Jerusalem and in Benjamin, that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would do according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. And Josiah removed all the detestable things from the whole land that belonged to the Israelites and obligated all who were found in Israel to serve Yahweh their God. All his days they did not turn aside from following Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.

2 Chronicles 35

Josiah kept the Passover to Yahweh in Jerusalem. And they slaughtered the Passover sacrifice on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests at their posts and encouraged them in the service of the house of Yahweh. And he said to the Levites who were teaching all Israel, who were sanctified to Yahweh, "Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. There is no need to carry it on your shoulders. Now serve Yahweh your God and his people Israel. And prepare yourselves according to your families, according to your working groups, according to the decree of David king of Israel and according to the decree of Solomon his son. And stand in the sanctuary according to the clans of your families for your brothers, the lay people, and a part of the family of the Levites. And slaughter the Passover lamb and consecrate yourself and prepare for your brothers to do according to the word of Yahweh by the hand of Moses.

Then Josiah provided for the lay people sheep, lambs, and young goats, all for the Passover for all who were found there, to the sum of thirty thousand, along with three thousand bulls. These were the possession of the king. And his officials contributed a freewill offering to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, commanders of the house of God, gave to the priests two thousand six hundred Passover lambs and three hundred bulls. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jehozabad, commanders of the Levites, contributed to the Levites five thousand Passover lambs and five hundred bulls.

And when the work had been completed, the priests stood at their positions and the Levites in their working groups according to the command of the king. And they slaughtered the Passover lamb, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hand, and the Levites flayed the sacrifices. And they set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the clans of the families for the lay people, to offer to Yahweh according to what is written in the scroll of Moses. And thus they did with the bulls. Then they roasted the Passover lamb in the fire according to the ordinance. And they boiled the holy offerings in pots, in kettles, and in dishes and brought it quickly to the lay people. And afterward they prepared for themselves and for the priests, since the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were busy with offering the burnt offerings and the fat until night. So the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron. And the singers, the descendants of Asaph, were at their stations according to the decree of David and Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, the seer of the king. And the gatekeepers were at each gate. They did not need to depart from their service, for their brothers the Levites had made preparations for them.

So all the service of Yahweh was prepared on that day to keep the Passover and to sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar of Yahweh, according to the command of King Josiah. And the Israelites who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days. And there was no Passover like it kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. And none of the kings of Israel kept a Passover like that which Josiah and the priests and the Levites, and all of Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, kept. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.

After all of this that Josiah had prepared for the temple, Neco the king of Egypt went up to make war at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went up to meet him. And he sent messengers to him, saying, "What is there between us, O king of Judah? I am not against you yourself this day, but against the house making war against me. And God has commanded me to make haste. Stop opposing God, who is with me that he will not destroy you." But Josiah did not turn his face from him, but he disguised himself to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, and he went out to fight in the plain of Megiddo. And the archers shot King Josiah, and the king said to his servants, "Take me away, for I am badly wounded." So his servants took him out of the chariot and transported him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. And he died and was buried in the burial sites of his ancestors. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned over Josiah. And Jeremiah uttered a lament for Josiah, and all the male and female singers have spoken in their laments about Josiah to this day. And they made them a requirement in Israel, and behold, they are written in the laments.

Now the remainder of the words of Josiah and his loyal love for what is written in the law of Yahweh and his words, from the first to the last, behold, they are written in the scroll of the kings of Israel and Judah.

2 Corinthians 6

Now because we are fellow workers, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

"At the acceptable time I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you."

Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation! We are giving no one an occasion for taking offense in anything, in order that our ministry will not have fault found with it, but commending ourselves as servants of God in every way, in much endurance, in afflictions, in distresses, in difficulties, in beatings, in prisons, in disturbances, in troubles, in sleepless nights, in going hungry, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in love without hypocrisy, in the word of truth, in the power of God, with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and left hand, through glory and dishonor, through slander and good repute, regarded as deceivers and yet truthful, as unknown and yet known completely, as dying, and behold, we go on living, as disciplined, and yet not put to death, as grieving, but always rejoicing, as poor, but making many rich, as having nothing, and possessing everything.

We have spoken freely and openly to you, Corinthians; our heart is open wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your affections. Now the same way in exchange (I am speaking as to children), you open wide your hearts also.

Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers, for what participation is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what share does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said,

"I will live in them and will walk about among them,
and I will be their God and they will be my people."
Therefore "come out from their midst
and be separate," says the Lord,
"and do not touch what is unclean,
and I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you will be sons and daughters to me,"
says the all-powerful Lord.

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