September 23 - 1 John 1, 2 Chronicles 34 and Psalm 89.19-37

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The First Letter of

The Word of Life

1 John 1 We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it. 2When this life became visible, we saw it; so we speak of it and tell you about the eternal life which was with the Father and was made known to us. 3What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship that we have with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We write this in order that our joy may be complete.

God Is Light

5Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. 6If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions. 7But if we live in the light--just as he is in the light--then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. 9But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us.

King Josiah of Judah
(2 Kings 22.1, 2)

2 Chronicles 34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for thirty-one years. 2He did what was pleasing to the LORD; he followed the example of his ancestor King David, strictly obeying all the laws of God.

Josiah Attacks Pagan Worship

3In the eighth year that Josiah was king, while he was still very young, he began to worship the God of his ancestor King David. Four years later he began to destroy the pagan places of worship, the symbols of the goddess Asherah, and all the other idols. 4Under his direction the altars where Baal was worshiped were smashed, and the incense altars near them were torn down. They ground to dust the images of Asherah and all the other idols and then scattered the dust on the graves of the people who had sacrificed to them. 5He burned the bones of the pagan priests on the altars where they had worshiped. By doing all this, he made Judah and Jerusalem ritually clean again. 6He did the same thing in the cities and the devastated areas of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far north as Naphtali. 7Throughout the territory of the Northern Kingdom he smashed the altars and the symbols of Asherah, ground the idols to dust, and broke into bits all the incense altars. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

The Book of the Law Is Discovered
(2 Kings 22.3-20)

8In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purified the land and the Temple by ending pagan worship, King Josiah sent three men to repair the Temple of the LORD God: Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah, the governor of Jerusalem, and Joah son of Joahaz, a high official. 9The money that the Levite guards had collected in the Temple was turned over to Hilkiah the High Priest. (It had been collected from the people of Ephraim and Manasseh and the rest of the Northern Kingdom, and from the people of Judah, Benjamin, and Jerusalem.) 10This money was then handed over to the three men in charge of the Temple repairs, and they gave it to 11the carpenters and the builders to buy the stones and the timber used to repair the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to decay. 12The men who did the work were thoroughly honest. They were supervised by four Levites: Jahath and Obadiah of the clan of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam of the clan of Kohath. (The Levites were all skillful musicians.) 13Other Levites were in charge of transporting materials and supervising the workers on various jobs, and others kept records or served as guards.
14While the money was being taken out of the storeroom, Hilkiah found the book of the Law of the LORD, the Law that God had given to Moses. 15He said to Shaphan, "I have found the book of the Law here in the Temple." He gave Shaphan the book, 16and Shaphan took it to the king. He reported, "We have done everything that you commanded. 17We have taken the money that was kept in the Temple and handed it over to the workers and their supervisors." 18Then he added, "I have here a book that Hilkiah gave me." And he read it aloud to the king.
19When the king heard the book being read, he tore his clothes in dismay 20and gave the following order to Hilkiah, to Ahikam son of Shaphan, to Abdon son of Micaiah, to Shaphan, the court secretary, and to Asaiah, the king's attendant: 21"Go and consult the LORD for me and for the people who still remain in Israel and Judah. Find out about the teachings of this book. The LORD is angry with us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the LORD and have not done what this book says must be done."
22At the king's command, Hilkiah and the others went to consult a woman named Huldah, a prophet who lived in the newer part of Jerusalem. (Her husband Shallum, the son of Tikvah and grandson of Harhas, was in charge of the Temple robes.) They described to her what had happened, 23and she told them to go back to the king and give him 24the following message from the LORD: "I am going to punish Jerusalem and all its people with the curses written in the book that was read to the king. 25They have rejected me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and so have stirred up my anger by all they have done. My anger is aroused against Jerusalem, and it will not die down. 26As for the king himself, this is what I, the LORD God of Israel, say: You listened to what is written in the book, 27and you repented and humbled yourself before me, tearing your clothes and weeping, when you heard how I threatened to punish Jerusalem and its people. I have heard your prayer, 28and the punishment which I am going to bring on Jerusalem will not come until after your death. I will let you die in peace."
The men returned to King Josiah with this message.

Josiah Makes a Covenant to Obey the LORD
(2 Kings 23.1-20)

29King Josiah summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, 30and together they went to the Temple, accompanied by the priests and the Levites and all the rest of the people, rich and poor alike. Before them all the king read aloud the whole book of the covenant, which had been found in the Temple. 31He stood by the royal column and made a covenant with the LORD to obey him, to keep his laws and commands with all his heart and soul, and to put into practice the demands attached to the covenant, as written in the book. 32He made the people of Benjamin and everyone else present in Jerusalem promise to keep the covenant. And so the people of Jerusalem obeyed the requirements of the covenant they had made with the God of their ancestors. 33King Josiah destroyed all the disgusting idols that were in the territory belonging to the people of Israel, and as long as he lived, he required the people to serve the LORD, the God of their ancestors.

God's Promise to David

Psalm 89 19In a vision long ago you said to your faithful servants,
"I have given help to a famous soldier;
I have given the throne to one I chose from the people.
20I have made my servant David king
by anointing him with holy oil.
21My strength will always be with him,
my power will make him strong.
22His enemies will never succeed against him;
the wicked will not defeat him.
23I will crush his foes
and kill everyone who hates him.
24I will love him and be loyal to him;
I will make him always victorious.
25I will extend his kingdom
from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River.
26He will say to me,
'You are my father and my God;
you are my protector and savior.'
27I will make him my first-born son,
the greatest of all kings.
28I will always keep my promise to him,
and my covenant with him will last forever.
29His dynasty will be as permanent as the sky;
a descendant of his will always be king.

30"But if his descendants disobey my law
and do not live according to my commands,
31if they disregard my instructions
and do not keep my commandments,
32then I will punish them for their sins;
I will make them suffer for their wrongs.
33But I will not stop loving David
or fail to keep my promise to him.
34I will not break my covenant with him
or take back even one promise I made him.

35"Once and for all I have promised by my holy name:
I will never lie to David.
36He will always have descendants,
and I will watch over his kingdom as long as the sun shines.
37It will be as permanent as the moon,
that faithful witness in the sky."

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © American Bible Society, 1992;
Old Testament copyright © American Bible Society, 1976, 1992; New Testament © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.

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