Tuesday, July 29, 2008




Read 2 Chronicles Chapters 29–30

Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king… His mother's name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD… 2 Chronicles 29:1–2a NIV
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Reading through the stories of the Kings of Judah and Israel can be very discouraging. There were so many bad kings and so few good ones. But whether they were evil or good, the narrative often includes this phrase: "His mother's name was…" The kings of Israel were greatly influenced by the women in their lives, both wives and mothers. From wicked queen Jezebel to faithful queen Esther, we see that women have held a significant role in history. Though they were not usually making the decisions, they were definitely influencing the character of those who did.
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Lord, thank you that Your Word honors godly women and their role in shaping the characters of the Bible. May I never accept the voices that would demean the importance of my job as wife and mother. Help me to teach my children the truths of Your Word and faithfully discipline them to be respectful of their parents and their God.
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"The older women… can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:3a-5 NIV

Saturday, July 26, 2008


     Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother's name was Athaliah… He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong.   2 Chronicles 22:2-3 NIV
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     Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah was perhaps the most evil woman who ever lived, with the exception of her mother Jezebel. She murdered her own grandsons so that she herself could assume the throne. But Athaliah's sister, wife of the priest, rescued baby Joash and hid him in the temple for six years. At the age of seven, Joash was made king and he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest. (24:2)
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     After Jehoiada died, the ungodly officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. “Therefore they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass. (2 Chronicles 24:18 NKJV) King Ahaziah was influenced by his wicked mother, Athaliah, and King Joash was influenced by godly Jehoiada the priest–but in the end both of them rebelled against God.
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     Lord, I pray for the personal salvation of each one of our children and grandchildren. Help us to influence them toward God, but also to teach them that ultimately, the choice must be theirs to follow Him.
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     … to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.   John 1:12-13 NIV

Monday, July 21, 2008




Read Numbers 21:4–9; 2 Kings 18:1–8

They spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!" Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. Numbers 21:5–6 NIV
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During the Exodus from Egypt, God sent a plague of snakes because the people grumbled against God and Moses. The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people. The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." (21:7-8)
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Hundreds of years later, the people of Judah were worshiping the bronze snake, instead of honoring God who had brought them out of Egypt. When Hezekiah became king, He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (2 Kings 18:4) The bronze snake was a gift from God for healing and they focused on the gift instead of the One who gave it–making it into an idol.

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Father, the bronze snake could not heal in itself, but it represented the One who could–Jesus Christ who was lifted up on the cross for our sin. Lord, keep my focus on You, the giver of every good and perfect gift.
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"Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." John 3:14-15 NIV

Thursday, July 17, 2008




Read 2 Kings 17; John 4:7–29
So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria… The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. 2 Kings 17:23b-24 NIV

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When Samaria was resettled by Shalmaneser, King of Assyria, he was superstitious enough to believe that the people needed to worship the "god" of that land. So he brought back one of the exiled priests to live in Bethel and “teach the people what the god of the land requires." (2 Kings 17:27) But each national group had its own gods for which they set up shrines and idols in the mountains. They were taught about the God of Israel, so they knew about the promised Messiah. But their religion was a mixture of truth and error.

This passage is the background for the New Testament story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. In a conversation about worship in the mountains, the woman said to Jesus, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:25–26)
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Dear Father, there are many people around us who are accepting a mixture of Christianity and pagan religion. Help us to be ready to share our faith in Christ with kindness, clarity and simplicity–as Jesus spoke to this woman.
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Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" John 4:28-29 NIV