Love does not harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10
2 Chronicles 26-28
2 Chronicles 26
Uzziah Reigns in Judah
1 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah. 2 He built Eloth and restored it to Judah. After that the king rested with his fathers.
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem. 4 He did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
5 He sought God during the lifetime of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God, and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.
6 He went out and fought against the Philistines and broke down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod and among the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim. 8 The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah. His name spread abroad, to the entrance of Egypt, for he grew exceedingly strong.
9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and he fortified them. 10 He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock in the lowland and also in the plain. He had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields, for he loved farming.
11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men who went out to war by division, according to their number, made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains. 12 The whole number of family leaders, the mighty men of valor, was 2,600. 13 Under their hand was a mighty and powerful army of 307,500, who waged wars, to help the king against the enemy.
14 Uzziah prepared shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and stones for slinging for the whole army. 15 In Jerusalem, he made devices, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad, because he was helped tremendously until he became powerful.
Uzziah’s Pride, Leprosy, Death
16 But when he had become powerful, his heart became proud so that he acted corruptly, and he trespassed against the Lord his God; for he went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him 80 priests of the Lord, who were valiant men.
18 They resisted Uzziah the king, and said to him, “It isn’t for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed. It will not be for your honor from the Lord God.”
19 Then Uzziah was angry, and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. While he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the temple of the Lord, beside the altar of incense. 20 Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked at him and he was leprous in his forehead, and they cast him out quickly from there. Yes, he himself also hurried to go out, because the Lord had struck him. 21 Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and, being a leper, lived in a separate house, for he was cut off from the house of the Lord. Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from the first to the last, were recorded by Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. 23 So Uzziah rested with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the burial field which belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper.” Jotham his son reigned in his place.
2 Chronicles 27
Jotham’s Good Reign in Judah
1 Jotham was 25 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. 2 He did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done, except that he did not enter into the temple of the Lord. The people, however, still acted corruptly.
3 He built the upper gate of the house of the Lord, and he built much on the wall of Ophel. 4 Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built fortresses and towers. 5 He also fought with the king of the Ammonites, and prevailed against them. The same year, the Ammonites gave him 7,500 pounds of silver, 50,000 bushels of wheat, and 50,000 bushels of barley. The Ammonites also gave that much to him in the second year, and in the third. 6 So Jotham became mighty because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God.
7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham and all his wars and his ways, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. 8 He was 25 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. 9 Jotham rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.
2 Chronicles 28
Ahaz Reigns Wickedly in Judah
1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, like David his father, 2 but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and also made molten images for the Baals. 3 Moreover he burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the Israelites. 4 He sacrificed and burned incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
Judah Defeated by Syria
5 Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They struck him, and took from him a great multitude of captives, and brought them to Damascus. He was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with a great slaughter. 6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed in Judah 120,000 in one day, all of them valiant men, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. 7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, Azrikam the ruler of the house, and Elkanah who was next to the king.
8 The Israelites took captive, of their brothers, 200,000 women, sons, and daughters, and also took much plunder from them, and brought the plunder to Samaria.
9 But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded, and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria and said to them, “Because the Lord, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has reached up to heaven. 10 Now you intend to degrade the children of Judah and Jerusalem as male and female slaves for yourselves. Are you not also guilty of trespasses of your own against the Lord your God? 11 Now hear me therefore, and send back the captives that you have taken from your brothers, for the fierce wrath of the Lord is on you.”
12 Then some of the leaders of the Ephraimites–Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war, 13 and said to them, “You must not bring in the captives here, for you intend that which will bring on us a trespass against the Lord, to add to our sins and to our guilt; for our guilt is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.”
14 So the armed men left the captives and the plunder before the officials and the entire assembly.
Compromise with Assyria
15 The men who have been mentioned by name rose up and took the captives, and with the plunder clothed everyone who was naked among them, dressed them, gave them sandals, and gave them something to eat and to drink, anointed them, carried all the feeble among them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time king Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him. 17 For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and took captives. 18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland, and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and also Gimzo and its villages; and they lived there. 19 For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, because he acted without restraint in Judah and trespassed severely against the Lord. 20 Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria came to him and afflicted him instead of strengthening him. 21 For Ahaz took a portion from the temple of the Lord, and from the king’s house, and from the rulers, and gave it to the king of Assyria, but it did not help him.
22 In the time of his distress, this same king Ahaz trespassed yet more against the Lord, 23 for he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which struck him. He said, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, so I will sacrifice to them, that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.
24 Ahaz gathered the vessels of God’s temple, cut them in pieces, and shut up the doors of the temple of the Lord; and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked the Lord, the God of his fathers, to anger.
Hezekiah Succeeds Ahaz in Judah
26 Now the rest of his acts, and all of his ways, from the first to the last, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Ahaz rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, because they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel; and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.
Submission to Authorities
1 Let everyone be in submission to governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which comes from God, and those who exist are ordained by God. 2 Therefore he who resists the authority stands against the ordinance of God, and those who withstand will receive judgment for themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good work, but to evil. Do you want to be without fear of authority? Do that which is good, and you will have praise from the authority. 4 For he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil. 5 Therefore you need to be in submission, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s public servants, attending continually to these things.
7 Therefore give everyone what you owe. If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if customs, then customs; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Love Fulfills the Law
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does not harm a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.
Clothe Yourselves with Christ
11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already time for you to awaken from sleep, for salvation is now nearer to us than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone, and the day is near. Let us therefore throw off the deeds of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day; not in reveling and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and lustful acts, and not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh and its lusts.
A Psalm by David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd:
I shall lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his actions,
whether his deeds are pure and whether they are right.