2 Chronicles 24-25
24 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign. He reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother was Zibiah, who was from Beer Sheba. 2 Joash did what the Lord approved throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for him who gave him sons and daughters.
4 Joash was determined to repair the Lord’s temple. 5 He assembled the priests and Levites and ordered them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect the annual quota of silver from all Israel for repairs on the temple of your God. Be quick about it!” But the Levites delayed.
6 So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest, and said to him, “Why have you not made the Levites collect from Judah and Jerusalem the tax authorized by Moses the Lord’s servant and by the assembly of Israel at the tent containing the tablets of the law?” 7 (Wicked Athaliah and her sons had broken into God’s temple and used all the holy items of the Lord’s temple in their worship of the Baals.) 8 The king ordered a chest to be made and placed outside the gate of the Lord’s temple. 9 An edict was sent throughout Judah and Jerusalem requiring the people to bring to the Lord the tax that Moses, God’s servant, imposed on Israel in the wilderness. 10 All the officials and all the people gladly brought their silver and threw it into the chest until it was full. 11 Whenever the Levites brought the chest to the royal accountant and they saw there was a lot of silver, the royal scribe and the accountant of the high priest emptied the chest and then took it back to its place. They went through this routine every day and collected a large amount of silver.
12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to the construction foremen assigned to the Lord’s temple. They hired carpenters and craftsmen to repair the Lord’s temple, as well as those skilled in working with iron and bronze to restore the Lord’s temple. 13 They worked hard and made the repairs. They followed the measurements specified for God’s temple and restored it. 14 When they were finished, they brought the rest of the silver to the king and Jehoiada. They used it to make items for the Lord’s temple, including items used in the temple service and for burnt sacrifices, pans, and various other gold and silver items. Throughout Jehoiada’s lifetime, burnt sacrifices were offered regularly in the Lord’s temple.
15 Jehoiada grew old and died at the age of 130. 16 He was buried in the City of David with the kings, because he had accomplished good in Israel and for God and his temple.
17 After Jehoiada died, the officials of Judah visited the king and declared their loyalty to him. The king listened to their advice. 18 They abandoned the temple of the Lord God of their ancestors, and worshiped the Asherah poles and idols. Because of this sinful activity, God was angry with Judah and Jerusalem. 19 The Lord sent prophets among them to lead them back to him. They warned the people, but they would not pay attention. 20 God’s Spirit energized Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood up before the people and said to them, “This is what God says: ‘Why are you violating the commands of the Lord? You will not be prosperous! Because you have rejected the Lord, he has rejected you!’” 21 They plotted against him and by royal decree stoned him to death in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. 22 King Joash disregarded the loyalty his father Jehoiada had shown him and killed Jehoiada’s son. As Zechariah was dying, he said, “May the Lord take notice and seek vengeance!”
23 At the beginning of the year the Syrian army attacked Joash and invaded Judah and Jerusalem. They wiped out all the leaders of the people and sent all the plunder they gathered to the king of Damascus. 24 Even though the invading Syrian army was relatively weak, the Lord handed over to them Judah’s very large army, for the people of Judah had abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors. The Syrians gave Joash what he deserved. 25 When they withdrew, they left Joash badly wounded. His servants plotted against him because of what he had done to the son of Jehoiada the priest. They murdered him on his bed. Thus he died and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. 26 The conspirators were Zabad son of Shimeath (an Ammonite woman) and Jehozabad son of Shimrith (a Moabite woman).
27 The list of Joash’s sons, the many prophetic oracles pertaining to him, and the account of his building project on God’s temple are included in the record of the Scroll of the Kings. His son Amaziah replaced him as king.
25 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddan, who was from Jerusalem. 2 He did what the Lord approved, but not with wholehearted devotion.
3 When he had secured control of the kingdom, he executed the servants who had assassinated his father. 4 However, he did not execute their sons. He obeyed the Lord’s commandment as recorded in the law scroll of Moses, “Fathers must not be executed for what their sons do, and sons must not be executed for what their fathers do. A man must be executed only for his own sin.”
5 Amaziah assembled the people of Judah and assigned them by families to the commanders of units of a thousand and the commanders of units of a hundred for all Judah and Benjamin. He counted those twenty years old and up and discovered there were 300,000 young men of fighting age equipped with spears and shields. 6 He hired 100,000 Israelite warriors for a hundred talents of silver.
7 But a prophet visited him and said: “O king, the Israelite troops must not go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel or any of the Ephraimites. 8 Even if you go and fight bravely in battle, God will defeat you before the enemy. God is capable of helping or defeating.” 9 Amaziah asked the prophet: “But what should I do about the hundred talents of silver I paid the Israelite troops?” The prophet replied, “The Lord is capable of giving you more than that.” 10 So Amaziah dismissed the troops that had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. They were very angry at Judah and returned home incensed. 11 Amaziah boldly led his army to the Valley of Salt, where he defeated 10,000 Edomites. 12 The men of Judah captured 10,000 men alive. They took them to the top of a cliff and threw them over. All the captives fell to their death. 13 Now the troops Amaziah had dismissed and had not allowed to fight in the battle raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon. They killed 3,000 people and carried off a large amount of plunder.
14 When Amaziah returned from defeating the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir and made them his personal gods. He bowed down before them and offered them sacrifices. 15 The Lord was angry at Amaziah and sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why are you following these gods that could not deliver their own people from your power?” 16 While he was speaking, Amaziah said to him, “Did we appoint you to be a royal counselor? Stop prophesying or else you will be killed!” So the prophet stopped, but added, “I know that the Lord has decided to destroy you, because you have done this thing and refused to listen to my advice.”
17 After King Amaziah of Judah consulted with his advisers, he sent this message to the king of Israel, Joash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, “Come, face me on the battlefield.” 18 King Joash of Israel sent this message back to King Amaziah of Judah, “A thorn bush in Lebanon sent this message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ Then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and trampled down the thorn bush. 19 You defeated Edom and it has gone to your head. Gloat over your success, but stay in your palace. Why bring calamity on yourself? Why bring down yourself and Judah along with you?”
20 But Amaziah did not heed the warning, for God wanted to hand them over to Joash because they followed the gods of Edom. 21 So King Joash of Israel attacked. He and King Amaziah of Judah faced each other on the battlefield in Beth Shemesh of Judah. 22 Judah was defeated by Israel, and each man ran back home. 23 King Joash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of Joash son of Jehoahaz, in Beth Shemesh and brought him to Jerusalem. He broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate—a distance of about six hundred feet. 24 He took away all the gold and silver, all the items found in God’s temple that were in the care of Obed-Edom, the riches in the royal palace, and some hostages. Then he went back to Samaria.
25 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Joash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 26 The rest of the events of Amaziah’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 From the time Amaziah turned from following the Lord, conspirators plotted against him in Jerusalem, so he fled to Lachish. But they sent assassins after him and they killed him there. 28 His body was carried back by horses, and he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors in the City of David.
Consecration of the Believer’s Life
12 Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—alive, holy, and pleasing to God—which is your reasonable service. 2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
Conduct in Humility
3 For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith. 4 For just as in one body we have many members, and not all the members serve the same function, 5 so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another. 6 And we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is service, he must serve; if it is teaching, he must teach; 8 if it is exhortation, he must exhort; if it is contributing, he must do so with sincerity; if it is leadership, he must do so with diligence; if it is showing mercy, he must do so with cheerfulness.
Conduct in Love
9 Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints, pursue hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
19 But you, O Lord, do not remain far away!
You are my source of strength! Hurry and help me!
20 Deliver me from the sword!
Save my life from the claws of the wild dogs!
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lion,
and from the horns of the wild oxen!
You have answered me!
22 I will declare your name to my countrymen!
In the middle of the assembly I will praise you!
23 You loyal followers of the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
All you descendants of Israel, stand in awe of him!
24 For he did not despise or detest the suffering of the oppressed;
he did not ignore him;
when he cried out to him, he responded.
25 You are the reason I offer praise in the great assembly;
I will fulfill my promises before the Lord’s loyal followers.
26 Let the oppressed eat and be filled!
Let those who seek his help praise the Lord!
May you live forever!
27 Let all the people of the earth acknowledge the Lord and turn to him!
Let all the nations worship you!
28 For the Lord is king
and rules over the nations.
29 All of the thriving people of the earth will join the celebration and worship;
all those who are descending into the grave will bow before him,
including those who cannot preserve their lives.
30 A whole generation will serve him;
they will tell the next generation about the sovereign Lord.
31 They will come and tell about his saving deeds;
they will tell a future generation what he has accomplished.
8 A king sitting on the throne to judge
separates out all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart clean;
I am pure from my sin”?
10 Diverse weights and diverse measures—
the Lord abhors both of them.