Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. Psalm 25:21

2 Chronicles 32-33

2 Chronicles 32

Sennacherib Invades Judah

1 After Hezekiah’s faithful deeds, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, entered into Judah. He encamped against the fortified cities, intending to win them for himself. 2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he was planning to fight against Jerusalem, 3 he took counsel with his officials and his warriors to stop the waters of the springs which were outside of the city, and they helped him.

4 So, many people gathered together and they stopped all the springs and the brook that flowed through the middle of the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find an abundance of water?”

5 Hezekiah strengthened himself by rebuilding all of the wall that was broken down and raising it up to the towers with the other wall outside. He strengthened Millo in the city of David and made an abundance of weapons and shields.

6 He set captains of war over the people and gathered them together to him in the wide open space at the gate of the city, and spoke encouragingly to them, saying, 7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or because of all the multitudes who are with him, for there is a greater one with us than with him. 8 With him, is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” The people rested on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Sennacherib Boasts against the Lord

9 After this, while Sennacherib king of Assyria was laying siege to Lachish with all his military forces, he sent messengers to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying: 10 Sennacherib king of Assyria says, “In whom are you trusting, that you remain under siege in Jerusalem? 11 Isn’t Hezekiah misleading you and giving you over to die by famine and by thirst when he tells you, ‘The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria?’ 12 Hasn’t the same Hezekiah taken away the high places and altars of the Lord, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You shall worship before one altar, and you shall burn incense on it?’

13 Don’t you know what my fathers and I have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any way able to deliver their land out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand? 15 Now therefore don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you in this way. Don’t believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers. How much less will your god deliver you out of my hand?”

16 His servants spoke yet more against the Lord God, and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters insulting the Lord, the God of Israel, and speaking against him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people from my hand, so shall the God of Hezekiah not deliver his people from my hand.”

18 They called out with a loud voice in the Jews’ language to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them, and to trouble them, that they might take the city. 19 They spoke of the God of Jerusalem as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men’s hands.

Jerusalem Delivered from Sennacherib

20 Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven.

21 The Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. When he returned in disgrace to his own land and came into the house of his god, his own sons killed him there with the sword. 22 Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. 23 Many brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from then on.

Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery

24 In those days Hezekiah was terminally ill, and he prayed to the Lord, and he spoke to him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately for the benefit done for him, because his heart was proud. Therefore there was wrath on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Notwithstanding, Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the anger of the Lord did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah.

27 Hezekiah had exceedingly great wealth and honor. He provided himself with treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of valuable vessels. 28 He made storehouses for the increase of grain, new wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of animals, and flocks in folds. 29 Moreover he provided for himself cities and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him abundant possessions. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all that he did.

31 However concerning the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, the Lord left him, to try him, that he might know everything that was in his heart.

Hezekiah’s Death

32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the tombs of the sons of David. All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

2 Chronicles 33

Manasseh’s Idolatrous Reign in Judah

1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem. 2 He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the Israelites. 3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he raised up altars for the Baals, made Asheroth poles, and bowed down and worshiped all the stars of the sky. 4 He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord said, “My name shall be in Jerusalem forever.” 5 He built altars for all the stars of the sky in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 He also forced his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and consulted with mediums and spiritualists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.

7 He set the engraved image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. 8 I will never again remove the feet of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them, all the law, the statutes, and the ordinances given by Moses.” 9 Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did more evil than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the Israelites.

Manasseh’s Repentance and Restoration

10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh, and to his people, but they did not listen. 11 Therefore the Lord brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.

12 When he was in distress, he begged the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 He prayed to him, and he was entreated by him, and heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.

14 Now after this, he built an outer wall to the city of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, to the entrance at the fish gate. He encircled Ophel with it and raised it up to a very great height, and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah.

15 He took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mountain of the house of the Lord, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. 16 He built up the altar of the Lord and offered sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving on it, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people sacrificed still in the high places, but only to the Lord their God.

18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also, and how the Lord was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up the Asherah poles and the engraved images, before he humbled himself: they are written in the history of Hozai. 20 So Manasseh rested with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house. and Amon his son reigned in his place.

Amon’s Evil Reign in Judah

21 Amon was 22 years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as did Manasseh his father, and Amon sacrificed to all the engraved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them. 23 He did not humble himself before the Lord, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more.

24 His servants conspired against him and put him to death in his own house. 25 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.

Romans 15:22-16:16

Paul’s Plan to Visit Spain and Rome

22 This is why I was hindered these many times from coming to you, 23 but now, no longer having anything keeping me in these regions, and having had a longing to come to you all these years, 24 whenever I travel to Spain, I will come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.

25 But now, I say, I am going to Jerusalem, serving the saints. 26 For it has been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are at Jerusalem. 27 Yes, it has been their good pleasure, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they owe it to them also to serve them in fleshly things.

28 When therefore I have accomplished this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of the Good News of Christ.

30 Now I beg you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to the Lord for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you in joy through the will of the Lord, and together with you, find rest. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Romans 16

Personal Greetings and Love

1 I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the assembly that is at Cenchreae, 2 that you receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of the saints, and that you assist her in whatever matter she may need from you, for she herself also has been a helper of many, and of myself.

3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own lives for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the assemblies of the Gentiles. 5 Greet the assembly that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ.

6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us.

7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners, who are notable among the apostles, who were also in Christ before me.

8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord.

9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved.

10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.

11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet them of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord.

12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Greet Persis, the beloved, who labored much in the Lord.

13 Greet Rufus, the chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

The assemblies of Christ greet you.

Psalm 25:15-22

15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me, and have mercy on me,
for I am alone and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged.
Oh bring me out of my distresses.
18 Consider my affliction and my travail.
Forgive all my sins.
19 Consider my enemies, for they are many.
They hate me with cruel hatred.
20 Oh keep my soul, and deliver me.
Let me not be disappointed, for I take refuge in you.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
22 Redeem Israel, God,
out of all his troubles.

Proverbs 20:16-18

16 Take the garment of one who puts up collateral for a stranger;
and hold him in pledge for a wayward woman.
17 Fraudulent food is sweet to a man,
but afterwards his mouth is filled with gravel.
18 Plans are established by advice;
by wise guidance you wage war!

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