2 CHRONICLES 19
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Jehoshaphat’s Reforms 19:1 Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem.
2 But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord.
3 Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asheroth out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.”
4 Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem. And he went out again among the people, from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
5 He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,
6 and said to the judges, “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord. He is with you in giving judgment.
7 Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.”
8 Moreover, in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed certain Levites and priests and heads of families of Israel, to give judgment for the Lord and to decide disputed cases. They had their seat at Jerusalem.
9 And he charged them: “Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart:
10 whenever a case comes to you from your brothers who live in their cities, concerning bloodshed, law or commandment, statutes or rules, then you shall warn them, that they may not incur guilt before the Lord and wrath may not come upon you and your brothers. Thus you shall do, and you will not incur guilt.
11 And behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the governor of the house of Judah, in all the king’s matters, and the Levites will serve you as officers. Deal courageously, and may the Lord be with the upright!”
2 CHRONICLES 20
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Jehoshaphat’s Prayer 20:1 After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle.
2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi).
3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court,
6 and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?
8 And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying,
9 ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’
10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy—
11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
13 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
14 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.
15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.
16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel.
17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.
19 And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”
21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say,“Give thanks to the Lord,for his steadfast love endures forever.”
22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.
The Lord Delivers Judah24 When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped.
25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much.
26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the Lord. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Beracah to this day.
27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies.
28 They came to Jerusalem with harps and lyres and trumpets, to the house of the Lord.
29 And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.
30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
31 Thus Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
32 He walked in the way of Asa his father and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord.
33 The high places, however, were not taken away; the people had not yet set their hearts upon the God of their fathers.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, from first to last, are written in the chronicles of Jehu the son of Hanani, which are recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.
The End of Jehoshaphat’s Reign35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah joined with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted wickedly.
36 He joined him in building ships to go to Tarshish, and they built the ships in Ezion-geber.
37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” And the ships were wrecked and were not able to go to Tarshish.
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The Blessings of Wisdom8:1 Does not wisdom call?Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights beside the way,at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates in front of the town,at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O men, I call,and my cry is to the children of man.
5 O simple ones, learn prudence;O fools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak noble things,and from my lips will come what is right,
7 for my mouth will utter truth;wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to him who understands,and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.Pride and arrogance and the way of eviland perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom;I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,and nobles, all who govern justly.
17 I love those who love me,and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,and filling their treasuries.
22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,so that the waters might not transgress his command,when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman,and I was daily his delight,rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited worldand delighting in the children of man.
32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,watching daily at my gates,waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds lifeand obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;all who hate me love death.”
1 THESSALONIANS 2
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Paul’s Ministry to the Thessalonians 2:1 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain.
2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.
3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive,
4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness.
6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.
8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers.
11 For you know how, like a father with his children,
12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,
15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind
16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!
Paul’s Longing to See Them Again17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face,
18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us.
19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?
20 For you are our glory and joy.
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