Old Testament In a Year: September 4 – 2 Chronicles 22; Joel 1

2 Chronicles 22; Joel 1
Focus Verse: He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done. For after the death of his father they were his counselors, to his undoing. – 2 Chronicles 22:4

1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'” We don’t know if Ahaziah had good character to begin with, but we do know that the bad company he kept, corrupted him and ultimately led to his undoing. Instead of following God’s guidance and instead of following the good examples of forefathers such as David and Asa, Ahaziah decided to follow the guidance of his wicked mother Athaliah. He allowed members of the evil house of Ahab to counsel him.

Don’t think that the company you keep doesn’t affect you. If you don’t have absolutely strong morals and firm convictions, being guided and counseled by those who do not love God can be your undoing.

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Old Testament In a Year: September 3 – 2 Chronicles 21; Obadiah

2 Chronicles 21; Obadiah
Focus Verse: He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one’s regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. – 2 Chronicles 21:20

We ought not to live in such a way that people don’t regret when we’re gone. God put us on earth to fear, love, and obey Him; and to love, encourage, and serve others.

We ought to make a difference in the lives of others. Such a difference that there is a noticeable void when we’re gone. If we make our existence about ourselves, and not about God and others, then our departure from this earth will be met with relief and not regret.

Old Testament In a Year: September 2 – 2 Chronicles 19, 20

2 Chronicles 19, 20
Focus Verse: 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. – 2 Chronicles 20:12

There are several instances in the Bible where people prayed powerful, timeless prayers to God. For example, Solomon’s prayer when he was dedicating the temple, Hezekiah’s prayer when he was sick and certain he was going to die, Jabez’s prayer for blessing, David’s prayers when he was in distress, Hannah’s prayer for a child…and now, Jehoshaphat’s prayer when he was facing a battle and did not know what to do.

Jehoshaphat had a bad habit of hooking up with wicked kings from Israel, but deep down in his heart, Jehoshaphat loved the Lord, had faith in God, and set his heart to seek God. Because of this, God honored the good that was in Jehoshaphat and overlooked his faults.

When three large groups of people came against Jehoshaphat to do battle, the Bible says that Jehoshaphat was afraid. In response to his fear, the Bible then says that Jehoshaphat “set his face to seek the Lord.” What’s more? He also recruited all of Judah to seek the Lord and His help. In His prayer, Jehoshaphat first acknowledged that God was God. He acknowledged God’s power and might. He acknowledged the previous miraculous acts that God did in giving the promised land to His people. Second, Jehoshaphat also acknowledged the problem that he was facing and asked God to handle it. Third, he admitted that he was powerless to handle it. He admitted that he did not know what to do. Not knowing what to do was not an embarrassing thing for Jehoshaphat to admit because Jehoshaphat’s eyes were not on himself; his eyes were on God.

The moments when we are afraid are the moments our faith should shine through stronger. Fear shouldn’t push us away from the One who commanded us to “Fear not,” but pull us closer to Him. When we are afraid, we shouldn’t look inward to ourselves, but upward to God. In times of crisis, our weakness, our inadequacy, and our lack of knowledge regarding how to handle problems, will not intimidate us if our eyes are on God and not on ourselves.

Old Testament In a Year: September 1 – 2 Chronicles 17, 18

2 Chronicles 17, 18
Focus Verse: His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah. – 2 Chronicles 17:6

Jehoshaphat’s heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. This means that he was devoted to doing what God wanted him to do. He was deeply committed to God and took great pride in following Him.

It takes courage and confidence to live a life for God. But if we are committed to doing so, it will soon be natural for us to be engaged in the work of God and to be set upon doing it. We will not be concerned with what those who are doing wrong think of us, but will only have a focus for the things of God and work consistently to do what pleases Him.

Old Testament In a Year: August 31 – 2 Chronicles 15, 16

2 Chronicles 15, 16
Focus Verse: But when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. – 2 Chronicles 15:4

“‘Where is God? Where can I find him?’ we ask. We don’t realize that’s like a fish swimming frantically through the ocean in search of the ocean.” – Ted Dekker

Scripture tells us that God is not far from anyone of us and this is true. God is all around us, in every aspect of creation and in every aspect of our lives. He is not hiding Himself from us. If we truly seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.

If we find it hard to find God, it is because we are not truly seeking Him. Regardless of where we are or who we’re around or what we’re going through, God is there.

If we seek Him, He will be found by us.

If we turn to Him, He will turn to us.

Old Testament In a Year: August 30 – 2 Chronicles 13, 14

2 Chronicles 13, 14
Focus Verse: Thus the men of Israel were subdued at that time, and the men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers. – 2 Chronicles 13:18

In this battle between Israel and Judah, Judah prevailed because their reliance was on God. Even though their enemies were in front of them and behind them, Judah was confident that the Lord was their God; and because they had not forsaken Him, they knew He would not forsake them.

Judah was not dismayed that Israel had twice the number of mighty warriors that they had. With God as their head, they knew it was not they who Israel was fighting against, but God. And because Israel was fighting against God, it was impossible for them to succeed.

Instead of looking around at their circumstances, Judah looked above to their Creator. They directed their cry to Him. Because they did so, they prevailed in battle and experienced deliverance. When we are faced with impossible situations and surrounded by difficult problems, let’s not fix our eyes on the situations and problems, but fix our eyes on God and direct our cry to Him. Only by relying on God will we prevail over every problem we face.

Old Testament In a Year: August 29 – 2 Chronicles 10, 11, 12

2 Chronicles 10, 11, 12
Focus Verse: And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions. – 2 Chronicles 10:11

Years later, in the New Testament era, Jesus the Christ would invite people to come to Him, saying, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Even though Rehoboam and his young advisers were talking about physical and perhaps even financial burdens, and Jesus the Christ was talking about spiritual burdens, consider the vast difference between the two. As king of one region, Rehoboam sought to add to the burdens of his people. As King of everything and Lord of all, Jesus had no desire to increase our burdens, but to decrease them.

If we are weary and burdened down with spiritual troubles, financial problems, physical struggles, or relational hardships, we will not always find rest and guidance by seeking the help of other people. In fact, we may find that our burdens are only added to by going to them. But we will always find the rest, guidance, strength, comfort, understanding, and help when we go to Jesus. Instead of carrying our burdens and worries and anxieties ourselves, we can cast them all on Jesus because He cares for us.

Old Testament In a Year: August 28 – 2 Chronicles 7, 8, 9

2 Chronicles 7, 8, 9
Focus Verse: Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished. – 2 Chronicles 7:11

When God told David that he was not the one to build the temple, but his son was, everyone knew that constructing and completing the temple was the main task Solomon was supposed to accomplish during his reign. And accomplishing that task was exactly what Solomon did.

He didn’t let his position, prestige, or power get in the way of starting and finishing what it was that God wanted him to do. He didn’t waste his time as king by spending all his wealth on himself. Even though he was royal and privileged, he didn’t become rude and prideful and waste his life. Solomon truly used everything God gave him.

At the end of our lives, may it be said that we finished building, constructing, designing what it was that God wanted us to do. May it be said that every thing God planned for us to do, we did; every place He wanted us to go, we went; every one He wanted us to impact, we impacted.

At the end of our lives, may we be able to say as Erma Bombeck desired to say, “I used everything you gave me.”

Old Testament In a Year: August 27 – 2 Chronicles 4, 5, 6

2 Chronicles 4, 5, 6
Focus Verse: Hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name. – 2 Chronicles 6:33

Anyone who prays to God in spirit and in truth, regardless of their race or age or cultural status or educational background, will be heard by Him.

God is a God for all people. He doesn’t limit His answers to prayer only to Jews or only to Gentiles or only to the rich or only to the super spiritual. His ears are open to all who call on Him. His eye is on everyone who looks to Him. He is near all who love Him.

God answers prayer so that believers will be reminded of how great His name is and so that unbelievers will come to know that He deserves to be feared and honored. Do not hesitate to lift your voice and your heart to God, for He will hear you just as He heard the prayers of Solomon, and He will always answer you.