They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31

2 Kings 8-9

2 Kings 8

The Shunammite’s Land Restored

1 Now Elisha had spoken to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Get up and go, you and your household and stay for a while wherever you can, for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come on the land for seven years.”

2 The woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God. She went with her household and lived in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3 At the end of seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines. Then she went out to beg the king for her house and for her land. 4 Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Please tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5 As he was telling the king how he had restored the dead to life, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, begged the king for her house and for her land. Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.”

6 When the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed to her a certain officer, saying, “Restore all that was hers and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, until now.”

Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad

7 Elisha came to Damascus, and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick. He was told, “The man of God has come here.”

8 The king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand and go, meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord through him, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ ”

9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, 40 camels’ loads full of the finest products of Damascus, and came and stood before him and said, “Your son Benhadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ ”

10 Elisha said to him, “Go, tell him, ‘You will surely recover,’ however the Lord has shown me that he will surely die.” 11 He settled his gaze steadfastly on him, until he was ashamed. Then the man of God wept.

12 Hazael said, “Why do you weep, my lord?”
He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the Israelites. You will set their strongholds on fire, and you will kill their young men with the sword and will dash their little ones in pieces and rip open their pregnant women.”

13 Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he could do this thing of such magnitude?”
Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will be king over Syria.”

14 Then he departed from Elisha and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?”
He answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.”

15 The next day, he took a thick cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died. Then Hazael reigned in his place.

Jehoram’s Wicked Reign in Judah

16 In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being king of Judah then, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. 17 He was 32 years old when he began to reign. He reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab did, for he married Ahab’s daughter. He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. 19 However the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of David his servant, as he promised him to give him a lamp for his sons forever.

Edom and Libnah Revolt

20 In the days of Jehoram, Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah and set a king over themselves. 21 Then Joram passed over to Zair, and all his chariots with him. He rose up by night and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, and the captains of the chariots and the people fled to their tents. 22 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. 23 The rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

24 Joram rested with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

Ahaziah Reigns Wickedly in Judah

25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was 22 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri king of Israel. 27 He walked in the way of Ahab’s house and did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab did, for he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab.

28 He went with Joram the son of Ahab to wage war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead, and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29 King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel from the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

2 Kings 9

Jehu Anointed King of Israel

1 Elisha the prophet called one of the prophets’ sons and said to him, “Put your belt on your waist, take this vial of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you arrive there, find Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi and go in and make him rise up from among his brothers and take him to an inner room. 3 Then take the vial of oil, pour it on his head and say, ‘The Lord says: I have anointed you king over Israel.’  Then open the door, flee, and don’t wait.”

4 So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he came, the captains of the army were sitting. Then he said, “I have a message for you, captain.”
Jehu said, “For which of us?”

He said, “To you, Captain.” 6 He arose, and went into the house. Then he poured the oil on his head and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of God, over Israel. 7 You must strike your master Ahab’s house, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of God, at the hand of Jezebel. 8 For the whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every man, both slave and free, in Israel. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs will eat Jezebel on the plot of ground of Jezreel, and there shall be no one to bury her.’ ” Then he opened the door and fled.

11 When Jehu came out to the servants of his lord, one of them asked him, “Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?”
He said to them, “You know the man and how he talks.” 12 They said, “That is a lie. Tell us now.”

He said, “He said to me, ‘The Lord says, I have anointed you king over Israel.’ ”

13 Then they hurried, and each man took his cloak and put it under him on the top of the stairs and blew the trumpet, saying, “Jehu is king.”

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah

14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram.

Now Joram was keeping Ramoth Gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria. 15 But king Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel, of the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.

Jehu said, “If this is your thinking, then let no one escape and leave the city, to go and report it in Jezreel.” 16 So Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram lay there. Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram. 17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came and said, “I see a company.”

Joram said, “Take a horseman and send to meet them and let him say, ‘Do you come in peace?’ ”

18 So a horseman went to meet him and said, “The king says, ‘Do you come in peace?’ ”
Jehu said, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me!”
The watchman said, “The messenger came to them, but he isn’t coming back.”

19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “The king says, ‘Do you come in peace?’ ”
Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me!”

20 The watchman said, “He came to them and isn’t coming back. He drives like Jehu, the son of Nimshi, for he drives like a maniac.”

21 Joram said, “Get ready!”

They got his chariot ready. Then Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out to meet Jehu and found him on Naboth the Jezreelite’s land. 22 When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”

He answered, “What peace, so long as the prostitution of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft abound?”

23 Joram turned his hands and fled and said to Ahaziah, “This is treason, Ahaziah!”

24 Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, struck Joram between his arms. The arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his captain, “Pick him up and throw him in the plot of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for remember how, when you and I rode together after Ahab his father, the Lord laid this burden on him: 26 ‘Surely, yesterday I have seen the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will repay you on this plot of ground,’ says the Lord. Now therefore take him and cast him onto the plot of ground, according to the word of the Lord.”

27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. Jehu followed after him and said, “Strike him also in the chariot!” They struck him at the ascent of Gur, which is by Ibleam. He fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 His servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the city of David. 29 In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab, Ahaziah began to reign over Judah.

The Murder of Jezebel

30 When Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes, adorned her head, and looked out the window. 31 As Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, “Do you come in peace, Zimri, you murderer of your master?”

32 He looked up to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?”

Two or three eunuchs looked out at him.

33 He said, “Throw her down!”
So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, which trampled her. 34 Then Jehu went in and ate and drank. Then he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she was the daughter of a king.”

35 They went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull, the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36 They came back and told him of this.

He said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘The dogs will eat the flesh of Jezebel on the plot of Jezreel, 37 and the body of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field on Jezreel’s land, so that they won’t say: This is Jezebel.’ ”

Acts 16:16-40

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 As we were going to prayer, a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling. 17 Following Paul and the rest of us, she cried out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!” 18 She was doing this for many days. But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” It came out that very hour.

19 But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 When they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men, being Jews, are agitating our city 21 and advocate customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”

22 The multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes from them, then commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely, 24 who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.

The Conversion of the Jailer

25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were loosened. 27 The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, “Don’t harm yourself, for we are all here!”

29 He called for lights, sprang in, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas, 30 brought them out, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

33 He took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes and was immediately baptized, he and all his household.

34 He brought them up into his house and set food before them and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.

Paul and Silas are Released

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, “Let those men go.”

36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore come out and go in peace.”

37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? Most certainly not, but let them come themselves and bring us out!”

38 The sergeants reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39 and they came and begged them. When they had brought them out, they asked them to depart from the city. 40 They went out of the prison and entered into Lydia’s house. When they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them, then departed.

Psalm 143

I Stretch Out My Hands to You

A Psalm by David.

1 Lord, hear my prayer.
Listen to my petitions.
In your faithfulness and righteousness, answer me.
2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant,
for in your sight no man living is righteous.
3 For the enemy pursues me.
He has struck my life down to the ground.
He has made me live in dark places,
like those who have been long dead.

4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me.
My heart within me is desolate.
5 I remember the days of old.
I meditate on all your works.
I contemplate the work of your hands.
6 I spread out my hands to you.
My soul thirsts for you, like a parched land.


7 Hurry to answer me, O Lord.
My spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me,
so that I do not become like those who go down into the pit.
8 Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning,
for I trust in you.
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
for I lift up my soul to you.
9 Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies.
I run to you to hide me.

10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
11 Revive me, O Lord, for your name’s sake.
In your righteousness, bring my soul out of trouble.
12 In your loving kindness, cut off my enemies,
and destroy all those who afflict my soul,
For I am your servant.

Proverbs 17:26

26 Also to punish the righteous is not good,
nor to flog officials for their integrity.

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