Psalm 119:65-72 The Voice (VOICE)
65 You have handled Your servant well,
2 Chronicles 12:1-12 The Voice (VOICE)
12 After three years of prosperity and military strength, Rehoboam and all Israel living in the Southern Kingdom rejected the Eternal’s laws. 2 Their unfaithfulness resulted in Shishak, king of Egypt, attacking Jerusalem during King Rehoboam’s fifth year. 3 Shishak’s army included 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and countless mercenaries from Libya, Suk, and Ethiopia.[a] 4 He conquered the fortified cities in Judah, and as he approached Jerusalem 5 Shemaiah the prophet brought another message from the True God to Rehoboam and Judah’s governors (who had fled to Jerusalem at the threat of Shishak’s army).
Eternal One (through Shemaiah): Because you have abandoned Me to follow your own gods, I have abandoned you and allowed you to be defeated by Shishak.
Rehoboam and the Governors (humbling themselves): 6 The Eternal’s punishment of us is just.
Eternal One (through Shemaiah): 7 Because you have humbled yourselves, I will not destroy you. I will save Jerusalem from My wrath, to be administered by Shishak. 8 But you will serve him since you no longer serve Me, and you will remember the pain of serving foreign kings and long for the ease of serving Me.
9 Then Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem and plundered the Eternal’s temple and the palace of the king. He took every treasure, including Solomon’s golden shields.
Shishak, a Libyan general who took over the Egyptian throne, has been interested in Israel’s affairs for some time. First, he harbored Jeroboam when he rebelled against Solomon. Now, Pharaoh is conquering the region. Although God does not allow Shishak to destroy Jerusalem, the Israelites lose a precious part of their heritage and a significant amount of wealth when he raids the palace and temple. This incident is enough to remind Rehoboam and the people of their ancestors’ servitude in Egypt and of God’s love of His people. If they don’t want to return to lives of bondage, they must humble themselves and resume proper worship of God.
10 To replace his father’s golden shields, King Rehoboam cast bronze shields and gave them to the commanders who guarded the palace entrance. 11 The commanders carried those shields whenever they accompanied the king to the Eternal’s temple, then they returned the shields to the guardroom.
12 Because Rehoboam had humbled himself, the Eternal subdued His anger and did not destroy him. Things were good in the Southern Kingdom
Hebrews 13:7-21 The Voice (VOICE)
7 Listen to your leaders, who have spoken God’s word to you. Notice the fruits of their lives and mirror their faith.
8 Jesus the Anointed One is always the same: yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by diverse and strange ways of believing or worshiping. It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about what you can eat (which do no good even for those who observe them). 10 We approach an altar from which those who stand before the altar in the tent have no right to eat. 11 In the past, the bodies of those animals whose blood was carried into the sanctuary by the high priest to take away sin were all burned outside the camp. 12 (In the same way, Jesus suffered and bled outside the city walls of Jerusalem to sanctify the people.)
If we are honest, we have to admit that coming to Jesus and entering into His church ruins us—at least as far as this world is concerned. If we identify with Him in His suffering and rejection, we become a reproachful irritation to the powers that rule this culture. If we ever felt at home in this world—if we ever sensed that we belonged—then we would wake up one day to discover that we will never be at home again until we enter the city of God. By entering through Jesus, we become citizens of another city, subjects of another king. As long as we are here, we should live as resident aliens longing to go home.
13 Let’s then go out to Him and resolve to bear the insult and abuse that He endured. 14 For as long as we are here, we do not live in any permanent city, but are looking for the city that is to come.
15 Through Jesus, then, let us keep offering to God our own sacrifice, the praise of lips that confess His name without ceasing. 16 Let’s not neglect what is good and share what we have, for these sacrifices also please God.
17 Listen to your leaders and submit to their authority over the community, for they are on constant watch to protect your souls and someday they must give account. Give them reason to be joyful and not to regret their duty, for that will be of no good to you.
18-19 Pray for us, for we have no doubt that our consciences are clean and that we seek to live honestly in all things. But please pray for me that I may be restored to you even more quickly.
20 Now may the God of peace, who brought the great Shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, back from the dead through the blood of the new everlasting covenant, 21 perfect you in every good work as you work God’s will. May God do in you only those things that are pleasing in His sight through Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, to whom we give glory always and forever. Amen.