12/4 Reading (2 Chronicles 13-15; Colossians 1)

2 Chronicles 13: Rehoboam’s son, Abijah, takes over. He goes to war with the northern kingdom and wins, even though he is vastly outnumbered. In his speech to the people of the northern kingdom, he apparently pushed the narrative that David’s line is the only true royal line and the temple is the only legitimate place to worship. As with his father, he had a bunch of wives, 14.

2 Chronicles 14: Asa takes over as king now. The main message in this chapter is that as long as one continues to follow God’s rules, you will be successful. This is evident by the peace and prosperity Judah experiences at the beginning of Asa’s reign.

2 Chronicles 15: Asa is warned by Azariah, Oded’s son, to continue to follow God and do what is good in his eyes. As long as they stay that path, all will be well. Hearing this Asa removed all shrines and idols to other gods and warned the people that anyone who fails to follow God will die.

Introduction to Colossians: According to the intro in the NRSV study bible, there is some disagreement as to if Paul actually wrote this letter or if one of his disciples wrote it. Some claim it was one of his disciples while others claim that he wrote this letter while he was in prison in Rome near the end of his life. Now that’s pretty cool!!

“The main theological argument focuses on the change in believers’ existence achieved by Christ’s death on the cross (2.9–15); the recurring contrasts of death and life (2.12–13,20; 3.1–5), old and new (3.9–10), and past and present (1.12–14,21–23) emphasize the fundamental psychological and moral reorientation required of the faithful.” (NRSV Study Bible, p. 2067-2068)

The notes in the CEB study bible make it seem like part of the purpose of this letter is to tell the people that they don’t need to convert to Judaism in order to become Christian. This is similar to the message in Romans.

Colossians 1: Although scholars seem to disagree a bit as to if Paul wrote this book, the letter starts the same as others. He starts with a greeting followed by a thanksgiving and prayer for the people. This is followed by a hymn that focuses on Christ’s work. The emphasis at the end of this hymn is that Jesus’s death freed the people and made it so that we were no longer “alienated from God” and “enemies with him” in their minds (Col. 1.21). Paul ends this chapter with a brief description of his role in all of this.

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