DAILY BIBLE READINGS
Today at Heartlight...
1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the Lord’s temple. 2 Eliakim the palace supervisor, Shebna the scribe, and the leading priests, clothed in sackcloth, sent this message to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz: 3 “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘This is a day of distress, insults, and humiliation, as when a baby is ready to leave the birth canal, but the mother lacks the strength to push it through. 4 Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all these things the chief adviser has spoken on behalf of his master, the king of Assyria, who sent him to taunt the living God. When the Lord your God hears, perhaps he will punish him for the things he has said. So pray for this remnant that remains.’”
5 When King Hezekiah’s servants came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master this: ‘This is what the Lord says: “Don’t be afraid because of the things you have heard—these insults the king of Assyria’s servants have hurled against me. 7 Look, I will take control of his mind; he will receive a report and return to his own land. I will cut him down with a sword in his own land.”’”
8 When the chief adviser heard the king of Assyria had departed from Lachish, he left and went to Libnah, where the king was campaigning. 9 The king heard that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was marching out to fight him. He again sent messengers to Hezekiah, ordering them: 10 “Tell King Hezekiah of Judah this: ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust mislead you when he says, “Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 11 Certainly you have heard how the kings of Assyria have annihilated all lands. Do you really think you will be rescued? 12 Were the nations whom my predecessors destroyed—the nations of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden in Telassar—rescued by their gods? 13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’”
14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord: 16 “O Lord who commands armies, O God of Israel, who is enthroned on the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky and the earth. 17 Pay attention, Lord, and hear! Open your eyes, Lord, and observe! Listen to this entire message Sennacherib sent and how he taunts the living God! 18 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the nations and their lands. 19 They have burned the gods of the nations, for they are not really gods, but only the product of human hands manufactured from wood and stone. That is why the Assyrians could destroy them. 20 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power, so all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”
21 Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Because you prayed to me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22 this is what the Lord says about him:
“The virgin daughter Zion
despises you—she makes fun of you;
shakes her head after you.
23 Whom have you taunted and hurled insults at?
At whom have you shouted
and looked so arrogantly?
At the Holy One of Israel!
24 Through your messengers you taunted the sovereign master,
‘With my many chariots I climbed up
the high mountains,
the slopes of Lebanon.
I cut down its tall cedars
and its best evergreens.
I invaded its most remote regions,
its thickest woods.
25 I dug wells
and drank water.
With the soles of my feet I dried up
all the rivers of Egypt.’
26 Certainly you must have heard!
Long ago I worked it out,
in ancient times I planned it,
and now I am bringing it to pass.
The plan is this:
Fortified cities will crash
into heaps of ruins.
27 Their residents are powerless;
they are terrified and ashamed.
They are as short-lived as plants in the field
or green vegetation.
They are as short-lived as grass on the rooftops
when it is scorched by the east wind.
28 I know where you live
and everything you do
and how you rage against me.
29 Because you rage against me
and the uproar you create has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose,
and my bridle between your lips,
and I will lead you back
the way you came.”
30 “This will be your reminder that I have spoken the truth: This year you will eat what grows wild, and next year what grows on its own. But the year after that you will plant seed and harvest crops; you will plant vines and consume their produce. 31 Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit.
32 “For a remnant will leave Jerusalem;
survivors will come out of Mount Zion.
The intense devotion of the Lord who commands armies will accomplish this.
33 So this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
‘He will not enter this city,
nor will he shoot an arrow here.
He will not attack it with his shielded warriors,
nor will he build siege works against it.
34 He will go back the way he came—
he will not enter this city,’ says the Lord.
35 I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.”’”
36 The Lord’s messenger went out and killed 185,000 troops in the Assyrian camp. When they got up early the next morning, there were all the corpses! 37 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and went on his way. He went home and stayed in Nineveh. 38 One day, as he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword. They ran away to the land of Ararat; his son Esarhaddon replaced him as king.
NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.
The Lord Hears Hezekiah’s Prayer
38 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give instructions to your household, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” 2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, and how I have carried out your will.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 The Lord told Isaiah, 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add fifteen years to your life, 6 and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 21 Isaiah ordered, “Let them take a fig cake and apply it to the ulcerated sore and he will get well.” 22 Hezekiah said, “What is the confirming sign that I will go up to the Lord’s temple?” 7 Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: 8 Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.” And then the shadow went back ten steps.Hezekiah’s Song of Thanks
9 This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick and then recovered from his illness:
10 “I thought,
‘In the middle of my life I must walk through the gates of Sheol,
I am deprived of the rest of my years.’
11 “I thought,
‘I will no longer see the Lord in the land of the living,
I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling place is removed and taken away from me
like a shepherd’s tent.
I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth;
from the loom he cuts me off.
You turn day into night and end my life.
13 I cry out until morning;
like a lion he shatters all my bones;
you turn day into night and end my life.
14 Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,
I coo like a dove;
my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky.
O sovereign master, I am oppressed;
15 What can I say?
He has decreed and acted.
I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief.
16 O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;
may years of life be restored to me.
Restore my health and preserve my life.’
17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit.
You delivered me from the Pit of oblivion.
For you removed all my sins from your sight.
18 Indeed Sheol does not give you thanks;
death does not praise you.
Those who descend into the Pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.
19 The living person, the living person, he gives you thanks,
as I do today.
A father tells his sons about your faithfulness.
20 The Lord is about to deliver me,
and we will celebrate with music
for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.”
NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.
6 Brothers, suppose someone is caught doing something wrong. You who have the Spirit should set him right, but in a spirit of humility, keeping an eye on yourselves so that you won’t be tempted too. 2 Bear one another’s burdens — in this way you will be fulfilling the Torah’s true meaning, which the Messiah upholds. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is really nothing, he is fooling himself. 4 So let each of you scrutinize his own actions. Then if you do find something to boast about, at least the boasting will be based on what you have actually done and not merely on a judgment that you are better than someone else; 5 for each person will carry his own load. 6 But whoever is being instructed in the Word should share all the good things he has with his instructor. 7 Don’t delude yourselves: no one makes a fool of God! A person reaps what he sows. 8 Those who keep sowing in the field of their old nature, in order to meet its demands, will eventually reap ruin; but those who keep sowing in the field of the Spirit will reap from the Spirit everlasting life. 9 So let us not grow weary of doing what is good; for if we don’t give up, we will in due time reap the harvest. 10 Therefore, as the opportunity arises, let us do what is good to everyone, and especially to the family of those who are trustingly faithful.
11 Look at the large letters I use as I close in my own handwriting.
12 It is those who want to look good outwardly who are trying to get you to be circumcised. The only reason they are doing it is to escape persecution for preaching about the Messiah’s execution-stake.
13 For even those who are getting circumcised don’t observe the Torah. On the contrary, they want you to get circumcised so that they can boast of having gained your adherence. 14 But as for me, Heaven forbid that I should boast about anything except the execution-stake of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! Through him, as far as I am concerned, the world has been put to death on the stake; and through him, as far as the world is concerned, I have been put to death on the stake.
15 For neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is being a new creation. 16 And as many as order their lives by this rule, shalom upon them and mercy, and upon the Isra’el of God!
17 From now on, I don’t want anyone to give me any more tsuris, because I have scars on my body to prove that I belong to Yeshua!
18 The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.
65 (0) For the leader. A psalm of David. A song:
2 (1) To you, God, in Tziyon, silence is praise;
and vows to you are to be fulfilled.
3 (2) You who listen to prayer,
to you all living creatures come.
4 (3) When deeds of wickedness overwhelm me,
you will atone for our crimes.
5 (4) How blessed are those you choose and bring near,
so that they can remain in your courtyards!
We will be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the Holy Place of your temple.
6 (5) It is just that you answer us with awesome deeds,
God of our salvation,
you in whom all put their trust,
to the ends of the earth and on distant seas.
7 (6) By your strength you set up the mountains.
You are clothed with power.
8 (7) You still the roaring of the seas,
their crashing waves, and the peoples’ turmoil.
9 (8) This is why those living at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your signs.
The places where the sun rises and sets
you cause to sing for joy.
10 (9) You care for the earth and water it,
you enrich it greatly;
with the river of God, full of water,
you provide them grain and prepare the ground.
11 (10) Soaking its furrows and settling its soil,
you soften it with showers and bless its growth.
12 (11) You crown the year with your goodness,
your tracks overflow with richness.
13 (12) The desert pastures drip water,
the hills are wrapped with joy,
14 (13) the meadows are clothed with flocks
and the valleys blanketed with grain,
so they shout for joy and break into song.
24 A righteous person’s father will be filled with joy;
yes, he whose son is wise will rejoice in him.
Ephesians 3 (NKJV)
The Mystery Revealed
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
Purpose of the Mystery
8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship[a] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;[b] 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Appreciation of the Mystery
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[c] 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.Footnotes:
Ephesians 3:9 NU-Text and M-Text read stewardship (dispensation).
Ephesians 3:9 NU-Text omits through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 3:14 NU-Text omits of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 1 (NKJV)
The Beginning of Knowledge
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
6 To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
Shun Evil Counsel
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,[a]
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
14 Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse”—
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
16 For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely, in vain the net is spread
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners.
The Call of Wisdom
20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the chief concourses,[b]
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
27 When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Proverbs 1:12 Or the grave
Proverbs 1:21 Septuagint, Syriac, and Targum read top of the walls; Vulgate reads the head of multitudes.
For the director of music. According to "gittith." Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young-- a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. "Selah"
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob. "Selah"
9 Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
20 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites[a] came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said:
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah[e] to this day.
27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.
29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
The End of Jehoshaphat’s Reign
31 So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 32 He followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. 33 The high places, however, were not removed, and the people still had not set their hearts on the God of their ancestors.
34 The other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the annals of Jehu son of Hanani, which are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel.
35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked. 36 He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships.[f] After these were built at Ezion Geber, 37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.[g]
- 2 Chronicles 20:1 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew Ammonites
- 2 Chronicles 20:2 One Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate Aram
- 2 Chronicles 20:21 Or him with the splendor of
- 2 Chronicles 20:25 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts corpses
- 2 Chronicles 20:26 Berakah means praise.
- 2 Chronicles 20:36 Hebrew of ships that could go to Tarshish
- 2 Chronicles 20:37 Hebrew sail for Tarshish