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First Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapter 15 and 16
2 Chronicles 15
1 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:
2 and he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: Jehovah is with you, while ye are with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
3 Now for a long season Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law:
4 But when in their distress they turned unto Jehovah, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.
5 And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in; but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the lands.
6 And they were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city; for God did vex them with all adversity.
7 But be ye strong, and let not your hands be slack; for your work shall be rewarded.
8 And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominations out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from the hill-country of Ephraim; and he renewed the altar of Jehovah, that was before the porch of Jehovah.
9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and them that sojourned with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that Jehovah his God was with him.
10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.
11 And they sacrificed unto Jehovah in that day, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep.
12 And they entered into the covenant to seek Jehovah, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul;
13 and that whosoever would not seek Jehovah, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
14 And they sware unto Jehovah with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.
15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and Jehovah gave them rest round about.
16 And also Maacah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah; and Asa cut down her image, and made dust of it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron.
17 But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.
18 And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels.
19 And there was no more war unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.
2 Chronicles 16
1 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of Jehovah and of the king's house, and sent to Ben-hadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,
3 `There is' a league between me and thee, as `there was' between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
4 And Ben-hadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-maim, and all the store-cities of Naphtali.
5 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building Ramah, and let his work cease.
6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.
7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and hast not relied on Jehovah thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thy hand.
8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge host, with chariots and horsemen exceeding many? yet, because thou didst rely on Jehovah, he delivered them into thy hand.
9 For the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly; for from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in the prison-house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time.
11 And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
12 And in the thirty and ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet; his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to Jehovah, but to the physicians.
13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.
14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had hewn out for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and divers kinds `of spices' prepared by the perfumers' art: and they made a very great burning for him.
Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 114 and 115
1 When Israel went forth out of Egypt, The house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
2 Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
3 The sea saw it, and fled; The Jordan was driven back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams, The little hills like lambs.
5 What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleest? Thou Jordan, that thou turnest back?
6 Ye mountains, that ye skip like rams; Ye little hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, At the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water, The flint into a fountain of waters.
1 Not unto us, O Jehovah, not unto us, But unto thy name give glory, For thy lovingkindness, and for thy truth's sake.
2 Wherefore should the nations say, Where is now their God?
3 But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever he pleased.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men's hands.
5 They have mouths, but they speak not; Eyes have they, but they see not;
6 They have ears, but they hear not; Noses have they, but they smell not;
7 They have hands, but they handle not; Feet have they, but they walk not; Neither speak they through their throat.
8 They that make them shall be like unto them; Yea, every one that trusteth in them.
9 O Israel, trust thou in Jehovah: He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust ye in Jehovah: He is their help and their shield.
11 Ye that fear Jehovah, trust in Jehovah: He is their help and their shield.
12 Jehovah hath been mindful of us; he will bless `us': He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron.
13 He will bless them that fear Jehovah, Both small and great.
14 Jehovah increase you more and more, You and your children.
15 Blessed are ye of Jehovah, Who made heaven and earth.
16 The heavens are the heavens of Jehovah; But the earth hath he given to the children of men.
17 The dead praise not Jehovah, Neither any that go down into silence;
18 But we will bless Jehovah From this time forth and for evermore. Praise ye Jehovah.
CRITICS OF THE BIBLE
Part 1 of 8
The Bible throughout its pages claims to be the word of God:
All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16 (NKJ)
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. II Peter 1:20-21 (NIV)
Either the Bible is as it claims--the word of God or it's claims are false. What can give us the assurance that the Bible is speaking truth?
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