Day 233 – August 21, 2021
Scriptures: Psalm 78
Who is Asaph?
Twelve psalms are attributed to Asaph, mostly within Book Three (Pss 50; 73–83). The Bible includes several individuals named “Asaph,” but the psalm titles likely refer to Asaph, son of Berechiah (1 Chr 6:39). He was a Levite appointed by David to worship before the ark (1 Chr 16:4–7). David later established his family as temple musicians (1 Chr 25:1–2). His descendants continued this role throughout the period of the kings (2 Chr 35:15) and again after the exile (Ezra 3:10; Neh 11:17). (Barry, John D. et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016. Print)
Psalm 78 recounts the relationship between Israel and God. God has shown remarkable faithfulness and patience with his people. The Psalm narrates the ongoing relationship cycle of obedience, sin, rebuke, punishment and repentance.
It’s purpose is to be a parable. A story that calls the people to reflect on their own walk with God. How have they fallen into similar patterns of faithfulness and faithlessness? IT’s a parable that calls us to our own self-examination.
Will I trust in the Lord and walk with him?
Have a blessed day,
Day 232 – August 20, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 35-36, Psalm 117-118
2 Chronicles 36:22–23
22In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lordmoved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
23“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “ ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you—may the Lord their God be with them, and let them go up.’ ”
18The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
22The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
23the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The close of Chronicles leaves us with the despair of exile, and hope in the enduring love of God. Cyrus, though a foreign king, offers to restore the temple in Jerusalem and let people go back there to rebuild it.
Psalm 118 is frequently quoted in the New Testament. It was a testimony of the enduring love of God.
While God has “chastened me severely,” he hasn’t given Israel over to death, he hasn’t given up on his plan to rescue the world from sin and death.
Though the world hated Jesus and rejected him, God uses that rejected stone to build his kingdom. Jesus becomes the Cornerstone which is used to build the new temple, to build an eternal kingdom in which God dwells with his Spirit.
What the Lord has done in Jesus Christ, is marvelous in our eyes. The rejected stone is beautiful in our sight.
Build your life on the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. Give thanks to the Lord, for his Love endures Forever!
Day 231 – August 19, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 33-34, Psalm 16
“He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites—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 his 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, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book. Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors.” (2 Chronicles 34:30–33, TNIV)
“I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”” (Psalm 16:2, TNIV)
The reforms under Josiah inform us of our own response to Christ. We make a covenant with him, a new covenant through the blood of Christ. Remove all of the detestable idols from our lives and seek a covenant with the Lord. We declare with David, “Lord, apart from you, I have no good thing.” Let’s pursue the love of Christ, serve our Lord and walk with him.
Day 230 – August 18, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 31-32, Psalm 112
“Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:6–7)
We are called to follow in the steps of the righteous and faithful. Hezekiah was a great king, who walked faithfully with the Lord. As we look to his example, the above encouragement gives us a better sense of that which we are called. We have a deep faith, rooted and established in Christ. We can face trials and struggles knowing the God is with us, and leading us through.
Be encouraged today, God is with you and remembers you forever!
Day 229 – August 17, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 29-30, Psalm 95
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice,” (Psalm 95:6–7)
“The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.” (2 Chronicles 30:27)
Hezekiah’s reforms led to the blessings of God. The sound of worship hadn’t been heard in Jerusalem in a very long time. Hearts have turned towards God, in worship and praise. The sounds that were heard in Jerusalem, were also heard in heaven. They reached God’s dwelling.
What a beautiful picture of worship.
When we celebrate and praise God today, we do so with hearts that are turning towards him. May the reforms under Hezekiah’s leadership be our own. Let our hearts turn from the anxious idols of our world, and repent and turn towards Christ. Let us glorify the Lord together in the name of Jesus Christ.
May the praise of God be lifted up to the heavens, to the dwelling place of oru Lord.
Day 228 – August 16, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 26-28, Psalm 2
“Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.” (Psalm 2:10–11)
I love that Psalm 2 related to our 2 Chronicles reading today. Some of the kings were good men who loved the Lord and others, like Ahaz were not. Psalm 2 is a Messianic Psalm. It is all about kings and rulers. Specifically the kings of the world, and God’s king, who will become his Son. Understood from a a Christian perspective, we believe Psalm 2 to be speaking about Jesus who is the Christ. He was the long-awaited Messiah, who would set the world to rights. Kings and rulers take warning, Jesus is Lord and King!
That’s the content of Paul’s preaching in Acts 13. ““We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “ ‘You are my son; today I have become your father.’” (Acts 13:32–33)
Jesus is King.
You have life in his Kingdom.
Day 227 – August 15, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 24-25, Psalm 106
“Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy. Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 106:42–48)
The 106th Psalm gives a generic account of much of the Old Testament. We read a brief history of the repetitive cycle of obedience, disobedience, punishment, repentance, and restoration of Israel. “They were bent on rebellion.”
It is quite disheartening to read the story of obedience and disobedience in the story of 2 Chronicles. We just got the temple restored, everything fixed up, and then they return to worshiping the idol god Asherah! Come on!
As the account of 2 Chronicles nears its end, we are aware of our own cycle of obedience and disobedience. None of us are perfect either.
As much as we can focus on our own depravity and frailty, there is an incredibly important message within all of it.
God’s compassion and forgiveness.
“Yet he took note of their distress.”
As much as they turned from him, God remained cognizant and aware of their despair. God hears their cries for help.
The response is praise, to glorify God.
We may falter, but we can trust and know that the Lord takes note of us. He hears our cries. He’s there to help you.
Have a blessed day knowing you can turn to him and be saved.
Day 226 – August 14, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 21-23, Psalm 92
Have you attended the funeral of a faithful believer? Some of the best moments in my life are at the funeral of a beloved saint. To hear of their faithfulness and loving kindness on display, throughout their life is such an encouragement.
We get the opposite of that in the book of Chronicles.
“Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.” (2 Chronicles 21:20)
“Though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, Lord, are forever exalted.” (Psalm 92:7-8)
Jehoram died, to no one’s regret. What a tragedy of life. He lived a corrupted life that led people away from the Lord. Elijah rebukes him and his corrupted character.
Jesus teaches us that there are two paths. The path to life and the path towards destruction. You have a choice. Will you glorify God or not?
Choose the narrow way, the way of the Lord,
Day 225 – August 13, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 19-20, Psalm 48, 2 Thessalonians 3
2 Thessalonians 3:5 “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
2 Chronicles 20:17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’ ”
As we consider Jehaziel’s and Paul’s words today, let’s be encouraged to know that the Lord also directs us. We are encouraged today to know that God goes with us. We hear Paul’s prayer and encouragement, let’s join him in this prayer, “Lord, direct my heart, give me a steadfast spirit.”
Perhaps you need this simple but important encouragement.
God goes with us, it is his battle, he is victorious.
Day 224 – August 12, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 16-18, 2 Thessalonians 2
“So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
We are called to hold fast to the Word of God.
Micaiah spoke the word of the Lord. Whether it was favorable or not, or consequences on his life or not. He prophesied the truth, the hard and difficult message, no matter what.
As we consider 2 Thessalonians, Paul commends the Christians there to hold fast to the teachings that he passed on to them.
The warning is for those to not get caught up in all the confusion of various teachings, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way.”
Hold on to the Word of God.
Cling to the word today!
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.