June 24 – (2 Kgs. 20-22) King Hezekiah was a pretty good king.  He produced an environment to worship only God. However, near the end of his reign, he let pride get in the way. We get in a tough spot and then rely on the Lord to get us through (this is good). The problem comes when He brings us victoriously through the tough spot, and we begin to think we did it on our own strength. “Lord, help us to know all victories are because of your mercy, grace, comfort, provision…!”  I think you get my point!

Now his son, Manasseh reigns.  Did he follow in his father’s footsteps?  How did God get his attention?  Did Manasseh change his ways?  What does God do to get our attention today?

As I was reading these chapters, I came upon a description of Josiah. It said Josiah was more faithful to the Lord than even David and Hezekiah.  Why, then, is he not talked about as much as David? Could it be we want sensational stories to keep our attention? Just ponder that today.  😊           

June 25 – (2 Kgs. 23-25) Compare the account of Josiah’s death in two passages (2 Kgs. 23:29-30; 2 Ch.35:20-24).  It shows the same story but with different aspects emphasized.  Is that how we tell His Story?  Do I tell it with a different emphasis than you because it’s that aspect that is more real to me and my view might just be what the Holy Spirit will use for the person I’m sharing with!  We thank God we are all different! 

June 26 – (1 Chron. 1-2) Let’s get an overview before we start First and Second Chronicles. Judah and Benjamin, the only surviving tribes of Israel, had returned to the land after the Babylonian exile. They had rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. But in many ways, it seemed like they were still in exile (see Ezra 9:6-15; Neh. 9:32-36). There were questions about Israel’s place in God’s purposes and the meaning of His ancient promises to David.  With such questions in mind, the Chronicler wrote his books to promote spiritual and social renewal. He presented an interpretation of Israel’s past, drawing mainly on the books of Samuel and Kings. He showed how the nation’s unfaithfulness to God had led to disaster but also how its faithful kings and people had experienced God’s blessing.

            Sometimes we need to review where God has taken us…where He has shown Himself as our Redeemer, Comforter, Peace, Healer, Provider… to remember God is always with us, always for us, to bring us to Him. Selah 

June 27 – (1 Chron. 3-4) Chapter 4 contains the prayer of Jabez.  “Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” God granted what he asked.  I am guessing that Jabez had to hear how God directed him and obey His commands for that to happen. It was not a magic wand. It also included choices. Selah 

June 28 – (1 Chron. 5-6) It’s important to take note of the switch here from the first born losing his birthright.  Who was the first born?  Who received the birthright and why?  Who prevailed over all the brothers and from him came a ruler?

As you read about these three tribes (5:23-26), remember that they were the three that wanted to stay on the east side of the Jordan and did not want to “enter” Canaan to live.  God allowed it, but it looks like they were the first to go into captivity because of their sin of worshiping the idols found in their land.  Lesson:  God will never “make us” obey Him.  It is our choice.  The choices we make lead us closer to Him or farther away.   Who we “sit, stand, and walk” with usually hastens the direction whether toward God or away from Him (Ps. 1:1).  Who is influencing you?

We see the worship team of the temple in 6:31-48.  Which tribe were they from (I Ch. 6:1)?  As you know, this tribe was chosen as permanent ministers of the Lord.  God gave them no land in Canaan to own.  Three sons (and their families) made up the worship team: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.  Who led singing?  We’ll find out later that Gerson’s family (Asaph) were at least part of the band, specifically cymbal playing.  You’ll find his name in many of the Psalms.  I’m still not sure about the duties of Merari but they may have been the sound tech people, plus set up and cleanup.  This is all so interesting to me.  Anyone want to do more research? 

June 29 - (1 Chron. 7-8) Chapter 7 contains briefer details of those tribes, including part of Benjamin that belonged to the old northern kingdom of Israel.  Their lands were no longer under Israelite control at the time of the person who wrote this book, and many were in exile. Thus, it was hard to find genealogies of the tribes.

            In speaking of King Saul’s descendants, they named a skill in which they were very good.  It was also a skill that Saul’s first descendant practiced and used to give a warning to David.  What was it (8:40; I Sam. 20:35-42)?  Isn’t it amazing that after at least eight generations that this would still be what they were good at?  Could this be a generational skill God put in that family?  I wonder what God has put in our family that would be recognized down through the generations.  Hmmm 

June 30 – (1 Chron. 9-10) Who was the head baker (9:31)?  Who were Saul’s sons (9:39)? We all know Jonathan. What was the name of Jonathan’s son (9:40)?  This is very interesting.  Merib-Baal sounds like he was named after the Baal god.  It is translated Mephibosheth! 

            Name two reasons why Saul died (10:13-14).  How does this apply to us?  The first reason reminds us that God’ Word is not a suggestion on how to live.  It is the ONLY Way!  The second reason seems so easy to understand and simple to obey.  Yet when we have a big problem and need to hear God’s voice, we only listen to people’s advice. We need to look to Him in prayer and God’s Word. If we don’t, we are doing the same thing as Saul.  “God help us to run to You…. always!