2 Chronicles 19-20 B

There are a lot of great verses to cherry pick in these chapters! I was drawn to one in particular, but since Bethany wrote a post about it last time, I’ll just redirect you to it.

I love the story in 20:22. As the army of Judah is humbling themselves through worship, God is behind them defeating their enemies and winning their battle before it even starts.

“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.

When have you turned to face your battle and realized God had already stepped into it before you arrived? I love stories about God providing things before we need them.

You are not alone, God loves you and he is with you. He can take on your problems and then he’ll let you plunder and enjoy the goodness his victory brings.

-Carly

2 Chronicles 17-18 B

This story kinda makes me laugh, because Ahab thinks he can trick, or ignore, the LORD.

First, he surrounds himself with people who tell him what he wants to hear, even if he knows it’s not true. This is unhelpful.

Second, he mistreats the person who does speak the truth. This is unproductive.

Third, he takes the unfavorable news and hatches a plan to evade it, as if the news had come from another place besides the throne room of the LORD. This is foolishness.

In the end, a stray arrow happens to find a small chink in his armor. What are the odds? Maybe a billion to one, but the LORD doesn’t need good odds. He’s gonna do what He’s gonna do. There’s no escaping that.

So who do we think we are do the same? When we surround ourselves with people who don’t challenge us? When we attack people trying to tell us the truth? When we think we can create our own back-up-plan/safety-nets to disobeying the LORD? It’s unhelpful, unproductive, foolish, and sometimes, yeah, fatal.

“But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?’” (18:6)

There’s a way to find the wisdom of the LORD. Are we looking for it?

-Bethany

2 Chronicles 15-16 B

“When Asa heard this message from Azariah the prophet, he took courage and removed all the detestable idols from the land of Judah and Benjamin and in the towns he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. And he repaired the altar of the Lord, which stood in front of the entry room of the Lord’s Temple.” 15:8

I love how quickly Asa stops in his tracks and makes these big changes after hearing what God did for the people of Israel.

Bethany shared some really wise insight about Asa’s relationship with the Lord last time we read Chronicles. Reading it this time around, I hope I spark this time of reaction when I talk about God.

Do I share about him enough? I’m convinced everyone who has experienced the Spirit of God has an incredible story to tell. There is no such thing as a mediocre story with God.

What is something you’ve learned about God that’s stopped you in your tracks?

What’s something you have to share that could be valuable to others about God?

 

-Carly

 

2 Chronicles 13-14 B

“Now behold, God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the LORD God of your fathers, for you will not succeed.” (13:12‬)

“Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the LORD, the God of their fathers.” (13:18‬)

A civil war between the chosen peoples of God. If the matter of being chosen had solely to do with bloodlines, this would be an impossible battle to call. Isn’t the LORD bound by His covenant to Abraham for both sides?

No. Never. As the unfolding of later years would continue to demonstrate, the favor of the LORD doesn’t have to do with being born in the right family, it’s about faith.

The Northern Kingdom had replaced the LORD with golden calves, perhaps to represent an idea of Him, but generally because they no longer had political access to the temple for proper worship. While the armies of Judah were out-numbered and out-maneuvered, the LORD responded to their cries and gave them victory.

It can be all too easy to curate a sense of safety and stability based on resources, good odds, strategies and perhaps even familial legacy. But when push comes to shove, we find out how much of that is sinking sand.

The LORD is the only firm foundation, the only One worthy of full trust; able to bear the weight of life. History has taught us the this faith applies to all peoples. It’s not about being born Jewish. It’s not about being born anything, it’s about knowing and trusting the LORD, Creator God.

There’s plenty of faulty things to put our faith in. What are the things you find yourself tempted to have faith in more than the LORD? Do you find yourself feeling He owes it to you to be on “your side” because of some history? Ask Him about that today.

-Bethany

2 Chronicles 11-12 B

I like how Israel’s just like “yeah okay, that’s fair” once they come face to face with their consequences.

I absolutely dread God telling me, “you have abandoned me, therefore I am abandoning you”. Don’t you? Isn’t that the root of all our insecurities, being abandoned?

We claim it is. But even when we have complete and total access to God, we leave him. We cannot be satisfied and it seems incredibly difficult to simply be fulfilled.

I wonder what that’s like, to unconditionally love a people whose heart is constantly fickle.

What do you abandon God for?

What draws you back to him? Are you repentant, or simply needing something from him? He’s ready either way, because his love is perfect.

-Carly

2 Chronicles 9-10 B

The next time someone asks me, “if you could time travel to any era of history where and when would you go?” I need to remember my answer is this moment when Solomon gets a visit from the Queen of Sheba.

I can kind of imagine it, thanks to a combination of Hollywood magic and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. But I want to see what all the wealth of the world looks like.

With spices and animals coming in from all the far reaches of the planet, what were they eating? Fusion Korean tacos? With all the best the nations had to offer in one place, what is built? An excess of everything.

I found this list of the estimated 20 wealthiest people in history (Solomon ranks number 5). Extreme wealth is a strange thing. A lot of the guys on this list were not nice, but many others were generous. It’s impossible to blanket statement wealthy people, besides to say, they do have a lot of power.

Today, I feel wealthy because I know a lot of people. Somehow I’ve met some of the best people the modern world has to offer. I feel I’ve collected, or absorbed, as much as I can from around the world–my favorite things it has to offer–and I am fortunate enough to be full of diverse experience and friendships (also tacos and shawarma).

Variety has always been the spice of my life. This was my favorite thing about growing up in the melting pot that is the United States. No matter where I am, I hope I can be generous with the wealth I possess. We all have our best to share, and it’s lovely to see all the unique varieties.

Thank God He has given us glimpses of where wisdom can lead, and that we have the histories and writings of Solomon. We know all good things come from His hand.

How will we “share the wealth” today?

-Bethany

2 Chronicles 7-8 B

“For the next seven days Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters. A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. On the eighth day they had a closing ceremony, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the Festival of Shelters for seven days. Then at the end of the celebration, Solomon sent the people home. They were all joyful and glad because the Lord had been so good to David and to Solomon and to his people Israel.” 7:8-10

Two weeks of feasting and celebrating! Americans, can I just say we vastly underestimate the importance of celebration? We prefer schedules, plans and paper plates. But in the Bible, I see lots and lots of festivals, feasts and celebrations all under the umbrella of worship. 

I love the last sentence from those verses above. There is plenty to celebrate over! And plenty to complain about. Obviously, the completion of the Temple and God descending upon it is a huge, not-every-day deal. But in general, even when there isn’t a huge event, we have a choice to rejoice alongside God’s people for all that he’s done and all that he’s doing.

How do you celebrate God because the Lord has been so good? What does it look like? What can you feast over?

 

-Carly