12/6 Reading (2 Chronicles 20-22; Colossians 3)

2 Chronicles 20: This chapter focuses on Jehoshaphat’s military victory over the Moabites and Ammonites. According to the notes in the CEB study bible, this chapter “represents the longest and most detailed account of a war in the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles. The story has no parallel in the book of 1 and 2 Kings” (p. 693 OT). Pretty cool and pretty interesting. The battle actually doesn’t take place between Judah and the invaders. They pray to God for help and he tells them through a messenger that they are not to be afraid because he will fight this battle for them. Sure enough, God wipes them out without any trouble. This makes all other people fear Judah because they realize that God is on their side. The chapter ends with some explanation of the rest of his reign and then focuses on a second error that he made. He formed an alliance with Israel’s king and built many ships. This angered God and he destroyed all of the ships because of this sin by Jehoshaphat. Tsk tsk.

2 Chronicles 21: The first verse in the chapter tells us that Jehoshaphat dies and his son, Jehoram, takes over as king. We are reminded how bad this guy was. For example, he killed all his brothers as well as some other leaders. He pretty much completely moves away from God and continues to do bad things, including allowing Israel to greatly influence him and his rule. The prophet Elijah (who was from the Northern Kingdom) warns him that because of all of his bad deeds, God will strike him down as well as his family. He dies at the end of this chapter, with the Chronicler saying this after he died: “No one was sorry he died” (2 Chron. 21.20). Sounds like that pretty much sums up his reign.

2 Chronicles 22: His youngest son, Ahaziah, takes over, but only for one year. He collaborates with the north as well and this proves to be bad. He was killed without any biological relatives strong enough to take over, so his mother, Athaliah, becomes Queen. Apparently she was pretty wicked too. Her first act was to kill everyone in the royal family (except for her youngest grandson, Jehoash, who was hidden for his protection.

Colossians 3: The emphasis in this chapter is to focus on setting aside earthly and human desires. Paul gives several examples: “sexual immorality, moral corruption, lust, evil desire, and greed” (Col. 3.5). He also tells people to set aside things like anger, rage, etc. All of this should be replaced with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Col. 3.12). He reminds the people that everyone is equal in Christ. He wants people to be tolerant of each other, forgive each other, and love each other. Some text is really specific:

Wives, submit to your husbands in a way that is appropriate in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and don’t be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, because this pleases the Lord. Parents, don’t provoke your children in a way that ends up discouraging them. (Col. 18-21)

According to the notes this is called a household code, which was common in the ancient world. He also tells slaves to obey their masters with all their hearts. The emphasis is on remaining good in order to please Jesus.

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