Bible in one year

July 16

2 Chronicles 28:1-27
1. Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king. He ruled 16 years in Jerusalem. He did not live right, as David his ancestor had done. Ahaz did not do what the Lord wanted him to do.
2. He followed the bad example of the kings of Israel. He used molds to make idols to worship the Baal gods.
3. He burned incense in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his own sons by burning them in the fire. He did the same terrible sins that the peoples living in that land did. The Lord had forced them out when the Israelites entered that land.
4. Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense in the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
5. Ahaz sinned, so the Lord his God let the king of Aram defeat him. The king of Aram and his army defeated Ahaz and made many people of Judah prisoners. The king of Aram took the prisoners to the city of Damascus. The Lord also let King Pekah of Israel defeat Ahaz. Pekah's father's name was Remaliah. Pekah and his army killed 120,000 brave soldiers from Judah in one day. He defeated the men from Judah because they stopped obeying the Lord God their ancestors obeyed.
7. Zicri was a brave soldier from Ephraim. He killed the king's son Maaseiah. He also killed Azrikam, the officer in charge of the king's palace, and Elkanah who was second in command to the king.
8. The Israelite army captured 200,000 of their own relatives living in Judah. They took women, children, and many valuable things from Judah and carried them back to Samaria.
9. But one of the Lord's prophets named Oded was there. He met the Israelite army when they returned to Samaria. He said to them, "The Lord God your ancestors worshiped let you defeat the people of Judah because he was angry with them. But now he is angry with you, because he has seen how cruel you were in killing them.
10. And now you plan to keep the people of Judah and Jerusalem as slaves. But you are as guilty as they are for sinning against the Lord your God.
11. Now listen to me. Send back all those you captured, your own brothers and sisters, because the Lord's terrible anger is against you."
12. Then some of the leaders in Ephraim saw the Israelite soldiers coming home from war. They met the Israelite soldiers and warned them. The leaders were Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai.
13. They said to the Israelite soldiers, "Don't bring the prisoners from Judah here. If you do that, it will make us sin worse against the Lord. That will make our sin and guilt worse and the Lord will be very angry with Israel!"
14. So the soldiers gave the prisoners and valuable things to the leaders and to the people.
15. The leaders (Azariah, Berekiah, Jehizkiah, and Amasa) stood up and helped the prisoners. These four men got the clothes that the Israelite army took and gave them to the people who were naked. The leaders also gave them sandals. They gave the prisoners from Judah something to eat and drink. They rubbed oil on them to soften and heal their wounds. Then the leaders from Ephraim put the weak prisoners on donkeys and took them back home to their families in Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then the four leaders went back home to Samaria.
16. At that same time, the people from Edom came again and defeated the people of Judah. The Edomites captured people and took them away as prisoners. So King Ahaz asked the king of Assyria to help him.
18. The Philistines also attacked the towns in the hills and in south Judah. The Philistines captured the towns of Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco, Timnah, and Gimzo. They also captured the villages near these towns. Then the Philistines lived in them.
19. The Lord gave troubles to Judah because King Ahaz of Judah encouraged the people of Judah to sin. He was very unfaithful to the Lord.
20. King Tiglath Pileser of Assyria came and gave Ahaz trouble instead of helping him.
21. Ahaz took some valuable things from the Lord's Temple and from the king's palace and from the prince's house. Ahaz gave them to the king of Assyria, but that didn't help him.
22. In Ahaz's troubles, he sinned worse and became more unfaithful to the Lord.
23. He offered sacrifices to the gods the people of Damascus worshiped. The people of Damascus had defeated Ahaz. So he thought to himself, "The gods the people of Aram worship helped them. So if I offer sacrifices to them, maybe they will help me also." Ahaz worshiped these gods. In this way he sinned, and he made the people of Israel sin.
24. Ahaz gathered the things from God's Temple and broke them to pieces. Then he closed the doors of the Lord's Temple. He made altars and put them on every street corner in Jerusalem.
25. In every town in Judah Ahaz made high places for burning incense to worship other gods. Ahaz made the Lord God that his ancestors obeyed very angry.
26. Everything else Ahaz did, from the beginning to the end, is written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
27. Ahaz died and was buried with his ancestors. The people buried him in the city of Jerusalem. But they didn't bury him in the same burial place where the kings of Israel were buried. Ahaz's son Hezekiah became the new king in his place.

2 Chronicles 29:1-36
1. Hezekiah became king when he was 25 years old. He ruled 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah. Abijah was Zechariah's daughter.
2. Hezekiah did what the Lord wanted him to do. He did what was right just as David his ancestor had done.
3. Hezekiah repaired the doors of the Lord's Temple and made them strong. He opened the Temple again. He did this in the first month of the first year after he became king.
4. Hezekiah got the priests and Levites together in one assembly. He had a meeting with them in the open yard on the east side of the Temple. Hezekiah said to them, "Listen to me, Levites! Make yourselves ready for holy service. Make the Temple of the Lord God ready for holy service. He is the God your ancestors obeyed. Take away the things from the Temple that don't belong in there. These things make the Temple not pure.
6. Our ancestors left the Lord and turned their faces away from the Lord's house.
7. They shut the doors of the porch of the Temple and let the fire go out in the lamps. They stopped burning incense and offering burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel.
8. So the Lord became very angry with the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord punished them. Other peoples became afraid and were shocked when they saw what the Lord did to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. They shook their heads with hate and shame for the people of Judah. You know this is true. You can see with your own eyes.
9. That is why our ancestors were killed in battle. Our sons, daughters, and wives were made prisoners.
10. So now I, Hezekiah, have decided to make an agreement with the Lord, the God of Israel. Then he will not be angry with us anymore.
11. So my sons, don't be lazy or waste any more time. The Lord chose you to serve him {in the Temple} and to burn incense."
12. This is a list of the Levites who started to work: From the Kohath family there were Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah. From the Merari family there were Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel. From the Gershon family there were Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joab. From Elizaphan's descendants there were Shimri and Jeiel. From Asaph's descendants there were Zechariah and Mattaniah. From Heman's descendants there were Jehiel and Shimei. From Jeduthun's descendants there were Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15. Then these Levites gathered their brothers together and made themselves ready for holy service in the Temple. They obeyed the king's command that came from the Lord. They went into the Lord's Temple to clean it.
16. The priests went into the inside part of the Lord's Temple to clean it. They took out all the unclean things they found in the Lord's Temple. They brought the unclean things to the yard of the Lord's Temple. Then the Levites took the unclean things out to the Kidron Valley.
17. On the first day of the first month, the Levites began to make themselves ready for holy service. On the eighth day of the month, the Levites came to the porch of the Lord's Temple. For eight more days they cleaned the Lord's Temple to make it ready for holy use. They finished on the 16 day of the first month.
18. Then they went to King Hezekiah and said to him, "King Hezekiah, we cleaned all the Lord's Temple and the altar for burning offerings and all the things in the Temple. We cleaned the table for the rows of bread with all the things used for that table.
19. During the time that Ahaz was king, he rebelled against God. He threw away many of the things that were in the Temple. But we repaired all those things and made them ready for their special use. They are now in front of the Lord's altar."
20. King Hezekiah gathered the city officials and went up to the Temple of the Lord early the next morning.
21. They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven young male goats. These animals were for a sin offering for the kingdom of Judah, for the Holy Place to make it clean, and for the people of Judah. King Hezekiah commanded the priests who were descendants of Aaron to offer these animals on the Lord's altar.
22. So the priests killed the bulls and kept the blood. Then they sprinkled the bulls' blood on the altar. Then they killed the rams and sprinkled the rams' blood on the altar. Then they killed the lambs and sprinkled the lambs' blood on the altar.
23. Then the priests brought the male goats in front of the king, and the people gathered together. The goats were the sin offering. The priests put their hands on the goats and killed the goats. They made a sin offering with the goats' blood on the altar. They did this so that God would forgive the sins of the Israelites. The king said that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all the Israelites.
25. King Hezekiah put the Levites in the Lord's Temple with cymbals, harps, and lyres as David, Gad, the king's seer, and the prophet Nathan had commanded. This command came from the Lord through his prophets.
26. So the Levites stood ready with David's instruments of music, and the priests stood ready with their trumpets.
27. Then Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, singing to the Lord also began. The trumpets were blown, and the instruments of David king of Israel were played.
28. All the assembly bowed down, the musicians sang, and the trumpet players blew their trumpets until the burnt offering was finished.
29. After the sacrifices were finished, King Hezekiah and all the people with him bowed down and worshiped.
30. King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to give praise to the Lord. They sang songs that David and Asaph the seer had written. They praised God and became happy. They all bowed and worshiped God.
31. Hezekiah said, "Now you people of Judah have given yourselves to the Lord. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the Lord's Temple." Then the people brought sacrifices and thank offerings. Anyone who wanted to, also brought burnt offerings.
32. This is how many burnt offerings the assembly brought to the Temple: 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs. All these animals were sacrificed as burnt offerings to the Lord.
33. The holy offerings for the Lord were 600 bulls and 3000 sheep and goats.
34. But there were not enough priests to skin and cut up all the animals for the burnt offerings. So their relatives, the Levites, helped them until the work was finished and until other priests could make themselves ready for holy service. The Levites were more serious about making themselves ready to serve the Lord. They were more serious than the priests.
35. There were many burnt offerings, and the fat of fellowship offerings, and drink offerings. So the service in the Lord's Temple began again.
36. Hezekiah and the people were very happy about the things God prepared for his people. And they were happy he did it so quickly!

Psalms 84:8-12
8. Lord God All-Powerful, listen to my prayer. God of Jacob, listen to me. Selah
9. God, watch over the king, our protector. Be kind to him, the one you have chosen.
10. One day in your Temple is better than a thousand days anywhere else. Serving as a guard at the gate of my God's house is better than living in the homes of the wicked.
11. The Lord God is our protector and glorious king. He blesses us with kindness and honor. The Lord freely gives every good thing to those who do what is right.
12. Lord All-Powerful, what great blessings there are for those who trust in you!

Proverbs 21:6-8
6. Wealth that comes from telling lies disappears quickly and leads to death.
7. The bad things that evil people do will destroy them, because they refuse to do what is right.
8. Criminals cause trouble wherever they go, but good people are honest and fair.

Acts 19:21-41
21. After this, Paul made plans to go to Jerusalem. He planned to go through the regions of Macedonia and Achaia, and then go to Jerusalem. He thought, "After I visit Jerusalem, I must also visit Rome."
22. Timothy and Erastus were two of his helpers. Paul sent them ahead to Macedonia. But he stayed in Asia for a while.
23. But during that time there was some trouble in Ephesus about the Way. This is how it all happened:
24. There was a man named Demetrius. He worked with silver. He made little silver models that looked like the temple of the goddess Artemis. The men who did this work made a lot of money.
25. Demetrius had a meeting with these men and some others who did the same kind of work. He told them, "Men, you know that we make a lot of money from our business.
26. But look at what this man Paul is doing. Listen to what he is saying. He has convinced many people in Ephesus and all over Asia to change their religion. He says the gods that people make by hand are not real.
27. I'm afraid this is going to turn people against our business. But there is also another problem. People will begin to think that the temple of the great goddess Artemis is not important. Her greatness will be destroyed. And Artemis is the goddess that everyone in Asia and the whole world worships."
28. When the men heard this, they became very angry. They shouted, "Great is Artemis, the goddess of Ephesus!"
29. The whole city was thrown into confusion. The people grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, men from Macedonia who were traveling with Paul, and rushed all together into the stadium.
30. Paul wanted to go in and talk to the people, but the Lord's followers did not let him go.
31. Also, some leaders of the country who were friends of Paul sent him a message telling him not to go into the stadium.
32. Some people were shouting one thing and others were shouting something else. The meeting was very confused. Most of the people did not know why they had come there.
33. Some Jews made a man named Alexander stand before the crowd, and they told him what to say. Alexander waved his hand, trying to explain things to the people.
34. But when the people saw that Alexander was a Jew, they all began shouting the same thing. For two hours they continued shouting, "Great is Artemis of Ephesus! Great is Artemis of Ephesus! Great is Artemis —!"
35. Then the city clerk persuaded the people to be quiet. He said, "Men of Ephesus, everyone knows that Ephesus is the city that keeps the temple of the great goddess Artemis. Everyone knows that we also keep her holy rock.
36. No one can deny this, so you should be quiet. You must stop and think before you do anything else.
37. "You brought these men here, but they have not said anything bad against our goddess. They have not stolen anything from her temple.
38. We have courts of law and there are judges. Do Demetrius and those men who work with him have a charge against anyone? They should go to the courts. Let them argue with each other there.
39. "Is there something else you want to talk about? Then come to the regular town meeting of the people. It can be decided there.
40. I say this because someone might see this trouble today and say we are rioting. We could not explain all this trouble, because there is no real reason for this meeting."
41. After the city clerk said this, he told the people to go home.