Our fathers trusted in you. They trusted, and you delivered them. Psalm 22:4
2 Chronicles 21-23
2 Chronicles 21
Jehoram’s Wicked Reign in Judah
1 Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place. 2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat; Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. 3 Their father gave them great gifts of silver, gold, and precious things, with fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.
4 Now when Jehoram had risen up over the kingdom of his father and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword and also some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was 32 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6 He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab, for he had Ahab’s daughter as his wife. He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. 7 However the Lord would not destroy the house of David because of the covenant that he had made with David and because he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his descendants forever.
Edom and Libnah Revolt
8 During Jehoram’s reign, the Edomites revolted from under the authority of Judah and set a king over themselves. 9 Then Jehoram went there with his captains and all his chariots with him. He rose up by night and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots. 10 So Edom revolted from under the authority of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time from under his authority, because he had forsaken the Lord, the God of his fathers.
11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem play the prostitute and led Judah astray.
Elijah’s Letter to Jehoram
12 A letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying:
“The Lord, the God of David your father, says, ‘You have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but you have walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute like the house of Ahab did and have also slain your brothers of your father’s house, who were better than yourself. 14 Therefore, the Lord will strike your people with a great plague, including your children, your wives, and all your possessions, 15 and you will have great sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out day by day because of the sickness.’ ”
Jehoram’s Disease and Death
16 The Lord stirred up against Jehoram, the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians, 17 and they came up against Judah, broke into it, and took all the possessions that were found in the king’s house, including his sons and his wives so that there was no son left to him, except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
18 After all this, the Lord struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19 In process of time, at the end of two years, his bowels fell out because of his sickness, and he died in severe pain. His people made no funeral fire to honor him, like the fires for his fathers. 20 He was 32 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He departed without being missed, and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
2 Chronicles 22
Ahaziah Reigns Wickedly in Judah
1 The inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his place because the band of men who came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the oldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. 2 Ahaziah was 42 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. 3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab because his mother was his counselor in acting wickedly. 4 He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as did the house of Ahab, for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction.
Ahaziah Allies wtih Jehoram of Israel
5 He also followed their counsel and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead, and the Syrians wounded Joram. 6 He returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had given him at Ramah when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
7 Now the destruction of Ahaziah was of the Lord, in that he went to Joram, for when he had come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.
Jehu Kills the Rulers of Judah
8 When Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the rulers of Judah and the sons of the brothers of Ahaziah, serving Ahaziah, and killed them. 9 He sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (now he was hiding in Samaria), and they brought him to Jehu and killed him, and they buried him, for they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart.” The house of Ahaziah had no power to hold the kingdom.
Athaliah Queen in Judah
10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshabeath, the king’s daughter, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stealthily rescued him from among the king’s sons who were slain, and put him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she did not kill him. 12 He was with them hidden in the house of the Lord for six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.
2 Chronicles 23
Joash Anointed King in Judah
1 In the seventh year, Jehoiada strengthened himself and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into a covenant with him. 2 They went around in Judah and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the heads of families of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3 All the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of the Lord. He proclaimed to them:
“The king’s son must reign, as the Lord has spoken concerning the sons of David. 4 This is what you must do. A third of you, who come in on the Sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be gatekeepers of the thresholds. 5 A third shall be at the king’s house, and a third at the gate of the foundation. All the people will be in the courts of the Lord’s temple. 6 But let no one come into the house of the Lord, except the priests and the Levites who minister. They shall come in, for they are holy, but all the people shall follow the Lord’s instructions. 7 The Levites shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand. Whoever comes into the house, let him be slain. Be with the king when he comes in and when he goes out.”
8 So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they each took his men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath with those who were to go out on the Sabbath, for Jehoiada the priest did not dismiss the divisions.
9 Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds the spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David’s, which were in the house of the Lord. 10 He set all the people, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, near the altar and the house, around the king. 11 Then they brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him and gave him the covenant and made him king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and they said, “Long live the king!”
The Death of Athaliah
12 When Athaliah heard the sound of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the Lord. 13 Then she looked, and the king stood by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpets by the king. All the people of the land rejoiced, and blew trumpets. The singers also played musical instruments and led the singing of praise. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and said, “Treason! treason!” 14 Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were set over the army and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks, and whoever follows her, let him be slain with the sword.” For the priest said, “Do not kill her in the house of the Lord.”
15 So they made way for her. She went to the entrance of the horse gate to the king’s house, and they killed her there.
Jehoiada Restores the Worship of the Lord
16 Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, all the people, and the king, that they should be God’s people. 17 All the people went to the house of Baal, broke it down, broke his altars and his images in pieces, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.
18 Jehoiada appointed the officers of the house of the Lord under the hand of the Levitical priests, whom David had distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as David had ordered. 19 He set the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord, that no one who was unclean in anything should enter in. 20 He took the captains of hundreds, the nobles, the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the house of the Lord. They came through the upper gate to the king’s house and set the king on the throne of the kingdom.
21 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. They had slain Athaliah with the sword.
A Remnant of Israel
1 I ask then, did God reject his people? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, which he foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says about Elijah? How he pleads with God against Israel:
3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” a
4 But how does God answer him?
“I have reserved for myself 7,000 men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” b
5 Just the same then, at this present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace, otherwise work is no longer work.
7 What then? Israel has not obtained that which it seeks, but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were hardened.
8 According to what is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, to this very day.” c
9 David says,
“Let their feasting be a snare, a stumbling block,
and a trap for their allies.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they cannot see.
Always keep their backs bent.” d
The Ingrafting of the Gentiles
11 I ask then, did they stumble that they might permanently fall? May it never be! But from their fall, salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if their fall enriches the world, and their loss enriches the Gentiles, how much greater will be the blessing of their full restoration? 13 For I am speaking to you Gentiles. Since I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I am magnifying my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are of my own flesh and may save some of them. 15 For if the rejection of them is the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, but life from the dead? 16 If the first fruit of the dough is holy, so is the whole batch. If the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became a partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.” 20 True. By their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear, 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, nor will he spare you. 22 See then the goodness and severity of God. Toward those who fell, severity, but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness, otherwise you also will be cut off.
23 They also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from that which is by nature a wild olive tree and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
All Israel Shall Be Saved
25 So that you will not be wise in your own estimation, I want you to be aware of this mystery, brothers, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and so all Israel will be saved, just as it is written,
“There will come out of Zion the Deliverer,
and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27 This is my covenant with them,
when I will take away their sins.” e
28 Concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience, 31 so these also have now been disobedient, that by the mercy shown to you they may also obtain mercy. 32 For God has bound all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all.
33 Oh the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments,
and his ways past tracing out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to God,
that it will be given back to him again?”
36 For of him, and through him, and to him are all things.
To him be the glory for ever! Amen.
a 1 Kings 19:10,14
b 1 Kings 19:18
c Deuteronomy 29:4
d Psalm 2:7
d Isaiah 29:10
e Isaiah 27:9
Psalm of the Cross
For the Chief Musician; set to “The Doe of the Morning.” A Psalm by David.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me,
and from the words I am groaning?
2 My God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer,
and in the night I am not silent.
3 But you are holy,
you who inhabit the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in you.
They trusted, and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were delivered.
They trusted in you and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
the scorn of men and despised by the people.
7 All those who see me mock me.
They insult me with their lips.
They shake their heads, saying,
8 “He trusts in the Lord.
Let the Lord deliver him.
Let the Lord rescue him,
since he delights in him.”
9 But you brought me out of the womb.
You made me trust while at my mother’s breasts.
10 I was thrown on you from my mother’s womb.
You have been my God since my mother bore me.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near.
For there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded me.
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
13 They open their mouths wide for me,
like roaring, predatory lions.
14 I am poured out like water.
All my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax.
It is melted within me.
15 My strength is dried up like pieces of pottery.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me.
An assembly of evil men have enclosed me.
They have pierced my hands and feet.
17 I can count all of my bones.
They look and stare at me.
18 They divide my garments among themselves.
They cast lots for my clothing.
7 A righteous man walks in integrity.
Blessed are his children after him.