July 13 Read 2 Kings 10
We know little more about Jehonadab than what is told us here. But we do know about his family. They were relatives of Jethro, father-in-law of Moses. When we encounter them in Scripture, we find that they were faithful. We find this in Jeremiah as well. In contrast we have Jehu. Look what is said about him in verse 31. As we live our lives on this earth, we must work hard to be like Jehonadab. This is done only by God’s grace, which attribute Jehu lacked. Let us keep God’s law and let us do it with all our heart. Sing Psalter 73.
July 14 Read 2 Kings 11
The scene in 2 Kings switches to Judah. Evil was flowering there as well. Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter Athaliah took the initiative to usurp the throne from the family of David. Satan worked to cut short the line of David so Christ could not be born. For six long years Judah struggled under her leadership. But Jehovah did not forget his promise. The faithful priest Jehoiada and his wife cared for Joash, and when the time was right in God’s eyes, placed him on the throne. God keeps all of his promises. He kept them to the Israelites, and he keeps his promises to us. Let us go on in life in the strength of those promises. Sing Psalter 241.
July 15 Read 2 Kings 12
God always cared for his covenant people. This is the testimony of Scripture throughout Israel and Judah’s history. After the death of wicked Athaliah, the boy king Joash was guided by the righteous high priest Jehoiada. The temple was repaired by honest workmen. The people could once more go up to the temple to worship Jehovah. Once Jehoiada died, Joash turned to evil. He was killed by an uprising of his own people. May we be as the honest workmen who cared for the things of the Lord. May we care for those things even as God has given them to us. Sing Psalter 27.
July 16 Read 2 Kings 13
God did not leave himself without a witness in apostate Israel. As we read of the wicked reigns of the sons of Jehu, we also read of the righteous Elisha, who even in his death stood as a testimony of the faithfulness of the Lord. The kings of Israel paid lip service to God even as Joash came to visit him on his sickbed. But yet that was all it was—lip service. Even the powerful picture of the dead being brought back to life through the instrumentality of Elisha’s bones did not move the hard hearts to change. What about us? Does Scripture testify to us of the necessity to walk in the ways of the Lord? Sing Psalter 326.
July 17 Read 2 Kings 14
There are two contrasting ideas in this chapter. First, we see a king who followed after God, but became proud after God had given to him prosperity and victory over Judah’s enemies. He did not continue walking in God’s ways and, in the evil way of pride, God humbled him with defeat at the hands of Israel. Second, we see God’s grace once more to the “seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal.” God was not gracious to Israel as a nation through the strength of Jeroboam II, but God used that power to bring peace to the nation for the sake of his remnant still found there. Let us not walk in pride, but let us seek God’s grace in all of our lives. Sing Psalter 386.
July 18 Read 2 Kings 15
In this chapter we have an accounting of the reigns of two kings of Judah and the last six kings of Israel. Of both of the kings of Judah it is said that they did what was right in God’s sight. From the accounts in 2 Chronicles we find that they also walked in ways of sin. We will return to their history when we reach 2 Chronicles. Of the kings of Israel we must conclude that Israel’s cup of iniquity was reaching the brim. Several of those kings were removed by revolt. Foreign nations plagued Israel during this time. Israel would soon go into captivity because of their refusal to obey God. What about us? Sing Psalter 204.
July 19 Read 2 Kings 16
After giving his people a period of relative spiritual peace, God gave Judah over to their desire to worship idols. Jotham’s son Ahaz reigned. Ahaz was a very wicked king. He was so wicked that he copied the idol god from Syria and had it placed in God’s temple. The high priest was party to this great sin, further showing to us the depths of sin into which Judah had plunged itself. And if that was not enough, the articles that God commanded to be used in his worship were set aside. God is jealous towards his name. He will not be mocked. Let us preserve the true worship of Jehovah until Christ returns on the clouds of heaven. Sing Psalter 308.
July 20 Read 2 Kings 17
In this chapter we read of the captivity of Israel. Its cup of iniquity was full. For all of its sin, Israel would be taken into captivity and scattered throughout the world. Nothing Hoshea could do would forestall this judgment. Israel continually refused to walk in the way that God had commanded them. God also showed to the heathen that he was God alone by the lions that ravaged the lands. God will not be mocked, people of God. We must walk in his commandments. In this way we will feel the peace that he has given to his people alone. Sing Psalter 205.
July 21 Read 2 Kings 18
After the dark times during the reign of Ahaz, God gave to his people a king who followed God’s commandments. This king was Hezekiah. Hezekiah was a busy king. He brought reformation to Judah’s spiritual life, and he was busy in other matters as well. All was not prosperous in Judah, however. The people were not ready to give up their idolatrous ways. God sent Assyria, Israel’s captor, to oppress Judah. God also had to show Hezekiah what to do under such afflictions. After trying to buy off Assyria, which just brought more trouble, Hezekiah went to God in prayer. Do we have to be brought to our knees at times? May we ever know what to do in times of distress. Sing Psalter 329.
July 22 Read 2 Kings 19
Are we ready to pray when we are in trouble? Do we think about prayer? Do we think about turning to the word of God during such times? This is what Hezekiah did. As he had heard the words of the wicked Rabshakeh, he sent for a word from God’s prophet Isaiah. When Rabshakeh heard of Judah’s reluctance to bow to his wishes, he sent a scathing letter to Hezekiah. Once again Hezekiah went to Jehovah in prayer. We, too, must cultivate this grace. We must always go to the word of God as found in Scripture, and we must go to God in prayer. Do we? Sing Psalter 272.
July 23 Read 2 Kings 20
The events of this chapter occur during Assyria’s oppression. While the Assyrian army is camped outside the walls of Jerusalem, God tells Hezekiah to prepare himself for death. Hezekiah is devastated. This was not because he feared death. From a study of his life, we can conclude that he had no son at this time. The line of David that was to end in the Savior would be broken. Hezekiah’s prayer is for the cause of God’s people. God heard that intercessory prayer and gave to Hezekiah an answer of peace. May we have such concern for the church of God that we make it a part of our daily prayers. Sing Psalter 231.
July 24 Read 2 Kings 21
The reigns of two very evil kings are depicted in this chapter. Manasseh reigned for a very long time, and his son Amon reigned for a very short time. Notice the description of Manasseh’s reign. He did more evil than even the heathen nations around Judah. There was a prophecy given of the Babylonian captivity during his reign. The evils that God would bring upon his backsliding people would cause all, both in Judah and outside of Judah, to shake their heads. Do we learn from such pronouncements? What is our response? Sing Psalter 216.
July 25 Read 2 Kings 22
Following on the heels of the wicked reigns of Manasseh and Amon came the righteous king Josiah, who took the throne at the tender age of eight. There is much on which we can ponder in this chapter. Let’s look at two verses. In verse 7 we have mention of very faithful workmen. How faithful are we in our work? How faithful are we in work we do for God’s kingdom? Let us never forget that we all have work in that kingdom. Second, look at verse 8. Does the Bible have to be discovered in our church or in our houses? They should not be covered in dust in either place. Let us pray for the grace to be faithful both in our work and in our use of Scripture. Sing Psalter 24.
July 26 Read 2 Kings 23
We continue with the account of the reign of Josiah. After hearing the words of God’s law, Josiah went to work. He cleared Judah of much of the idolatry that polluted the countryside. He got rid of those men and women who practiced the evils that were forbidden in the law. To the faithful in Judah, he was a breath of fresh air after his wicked fathers. By the wicked he was hated. But God would still carry out his chastisement of the backsliding nation. Josiah died in battle, and his two sons were like their grandfather. Sing Psalter 42.
July 27 Read 2 Kings 24
Here we have the beginning of the end. Judah, like Israel, was filling its cup of iniquity. Josiah would be the last good king that they would have. All of those who followed him would be wicked. Now it is time for Babylon, who had been prophesied about long ago, to take its place as the ruler of the world. Antichrist would reign, and Babylon would be the tool in God’s hand to chastise his people. Some would never see the promised land again. Others would have to serve in Babylon. But God is faithful and would return a remnant to the land to bring forth the Christ. Sing Psalter 273.
July 28 Read 2 Kings 25
In this chapter we have a short summary of the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, and the land around it. Many tears were shed as family members were killed or forced to march to Babylon. Imagine the feelings of the faithful as they saw the flames lick around the temple of God. But in the midst of the destruction there is hope described. In the last few verses God moves the king of Babylon to let Jehoichin out of prison. From him continues the line that would culminate in Christ our Savior. Sing Psalter 379.
July 29 Read 1 Chronicles 1
We come to the part of Scripture that some of us groan as we encounter it. Yes, there is a time that we might omit it in our daily Bible reading. But there are also nuggets of information that are important in our lives. Let us take the time to be instructed and to know what the Spirit says unto the church of Christ. Sing Psalter 333.
July 30 Read 1 Chronicles 2
1 Chronicles 1 showed to us the genealogy of Adam through Isaac and his sons. Much history is covered in that line. These genealogies show to us the sons of Jacob. It was Jacob in whom God established the covenant promise. Out of Jacob came those 12 patriarchs who began the church. Much history is covered here as well. How much of it can you recall? Sing Psalter 213.
July 31 Read 1 Chronicles 3
Now the line gets a little more focused. It focuses on the line of David. From David you can follow the line to Christ, especially if you use the New Testament genealogies found in Matthew and Luke. In following the line to Christ we see God’s covenant faithfulness to his people. Do you see that in your line? Does our line lead back to Christ—not physically for most of us, but spiritually? Sing Psalter 214.
August 1 Read 1 Chronicles 4
After the focused account of the family of David in chapter 3, we begin to learn of other of the various families in Jacob. We see the lines of Judah and Simeon. We also see where some of them settled in Israel. Once again by reading these names we see evidence of God’s covenant faithfulness to his church not just then, but the church of all ages. Of that church we confess that we are and always will remain a living member. Sing Psalter 215.
August 2 Read 1 Chronicles 5
In this chapter comes an account of the lines of those tribes who were given permission to settle east of the Jordan River. We first have a parenthetical remark about why Reuben, Jacob’s first born, did not receive the birthright blessing that should have been his. In the end of the chapter we see that these tribes were carried captive by Assyria. The cause of both of these events was sin. May we constantly be on guard against sin in our lives that would harm the promise given to us. Sing Psalter 253.
August 3 Read 1 Chronicles 6
Here we have the line of Levi. Principal in that line is Aaron and those sons of his who became high priests. Can you pick out the ones of whom we have significant historical accounts? Do you remember which ones God used to strengthen his church spiritually in a time of moral decay? This is also a line of Christ. It is not one of blood, but spiritually, as he was the last high priest, who not only offered the sacrifice, but also was the sacrifice. Sing Psalter 109.
August 4 Read 1 Chronicles 7
Here are accounts of six more tribes. Less is known of these men, but we see a few judges. Can you find them? We also see men of valor. This could be either physical valor or spiritual valor. In Israel God used both. Today we must be men and women of spiritual valor. Did you see the women mentioned here and there, not only in this chapter but in the others as well? Sing Psalter 70.
August 5 Read 1 Chronicles 8
We might say when reading the first part of this chapter that we have studied this already. We would be right. So we must see if we can discern for what reason God places this here. We see several men of note. First we see Ehud, the judge. Then we see Saul the son of Kish, the first king of Israel. In both of those men God placed authority over his people. However, those people did not always obey. Do we? Sing Psalter 290.
August 6 Read 1 Chronicles 9
We come to the final chapter of the genealogies that are given in 1 Chronicles. Here we have an account of some of those who returned to Israel from captivity. By this the Holy Spirit gives to us evidence of God’s covenant faithfulness. He did not let the covenant line die out in Babylon. He saved a remnant out of which would come the Christ, the Savior of the church, including us. At the end of the chapter we see a further genealogy of Saul, whose last days are told in the next chapter. Sing Psalter 291.
August 7 Read 1 Chronicles 10
After we read this short chapter that recounts for us the circumstances surrounding the death of Saul, we would do well to reread the last two verses. After we read those verses, we need to ponder them and see how they fit into our lives. Where we fall short, let us pray for the grace not to walk in the way of the world as Saul did, and let us pray for the grace to walk in the way in which God will lead us. Sing Psalter 366.
August 8 Read 1 Chronicles 11
As we begin reading the account of the kingdom of Israel and then of Judah, we might say we have read this already. We saw many of these stories in Samuel and Kings. But yet there are different aspects that we will encounter. There are things that we must see to learn more of our salvation. David did become mighty, but only because God was with him. We can become spiritually mighty, but only because God is with us. Sing Psalter 361.
August 9 Read 1 Chronicles 12
God gave to David help as he became king. Some of the men mentioned in the chapter came to him as he fled from Saul. Others came to him as he dwelt in Philistia. Still others joined him after the death of Saul. God uses men of spiritual valor in his church. They may be those who hold the special offices. It may be a strong parent or grandparent who leads the family in the right way. There may be someone else who is given certain gifts and talents to help in the church. Are you one of these people? Do you need the help of one of these people? Sing Psalter 398.
August 10 Read 1 Chronicles 13
Unlike Saul, David was concerned about the correct worship of Jehovah. One of the earliest matters he worked at was that of moving the ark back to its rightful place. After securing the kingdom, he worked at moving the ark. But it was not time to do so, because the people of God, including David, had not made their hearts right with Jehovah. He has prescribed a proper way of worship not only for Israel of long ago, but also for the church today. Do we seek to find that proper way of worship? Do we following individually and corporally? Sing Psalter 367.
August 11 Read 1 Chronicles 14
This short chapter recounts for us a summary of David’s early kingship. It does not give us an evaluation of it; that will come later. But in the last verses we see something that is worthwhile to note. David was able to prepare his kingdom for the next type of Christ because God was with him. God not only gave him victory over the nations around him, but he also gave to Israel the respect of those nations. In the peace and quiet that ensued, Solomon could construct the temple and lay the groundwork for proper worship of Jehovah. May we pray for such peace in order that we can worship God in the way that he has commanded. Sing Psalter 200.
August 12 Read 1 Chronicles 15
After the interlude of the last chapter, David once more turns to his chief desire. He wishes to bring the ark to Jerusalem. This time, however, he makes a proper work of it. He studies the regulative principles concerning the ark and carries them out properly. It was a time of great rejoicing in Israel. One person, however, did not rejoice. His wife Michal, the daughter of Saul, shows her true colors. She despises David at Satan’s instigation for his care of the things of Jehovah. May we worship God with all our hearts even when some around us despise us for worshiping as God has commanded us. Sing Psalter 137.
August 13 Read 1 Chronicles 16
Here we have the final part of the great celebration surrounding the return of the ark. David proclaimed Psalm 105 as a song of praise to God that was to be used from that day on. In it God’s name is given the glory, not Israel’s or David’s. When the public celebration was finished, David went home to bless his family. He cared for their spiritual needs just as every head of the house must do whether or not he is an office bearer. Fathers must be spiritual leaders in their houses. In that way God, who is our covenant Father, will be glorified. May we pray for the grace to glorify him in the way of the proper leading of our families. Sing Psalter 359.