2 Chr 19-20; 2 Kings 1; Psalm 20; Matt 3
Discuss in the comments section.
The following text is from the English Standard Version.
2 Chr 19-20
Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem.
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.
Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asherahs out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.”
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.
He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,
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.
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.”
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.
And he charged them: ”Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart:
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.
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!”
After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle.
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).
Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
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.
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?
And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying,
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.’
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–
behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
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.”
Meanwhile all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They came to Jerusalem with harps and lyres and trumpets, to the house of the LORD.
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.
So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
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.
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.
The high places, however, were not taken away; the people had not yet set their hearts upon the God of their fathers.
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.
After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah joined with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted wickedly.
He joined him in building ships to go to Tarshish, and they built the ships in Ezion-geber.
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.
2 Kings 1
After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel.
Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, ”Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.”
But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, ”Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?
Now therefore thus says the LORD, You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.”’ So Elijah went.
The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, ”Why have you returned?”
And they said to him, ”There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the LORD, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.”’
He said to them, ”What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?”
They answered him, ”He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, ”It is Elijah the Tishbite.”
Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, ”O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.”’
But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, ”If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, ”O man of God, this is the king’s order, ‘Come down quickly!”’
But Elijah answered them, ”If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, ”O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight.
Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight.”
Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, ”Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king
and said to him, ”Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron–is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?–therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.”’
So he died according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. Jehoram became king in his place in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son.
Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call.
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ”The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.”’
Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.
Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him,
and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ”You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
John would have prevented him, saying, ”I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
But Jesus answered him, ”Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
and behold, a voice from heaven said, ”This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!