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2 Chronicles 21-22The Message (MSG)

21 Jehoshaphat died and was buried in the family cemetery in the City of David. Jehoram his son was the next king.

King Jehoram

2-4 Jehoram’s brothers were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah—the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. Their father had lavished them with gifts—silver, gold, and other valuables, plus the fortress cities in Judah. But Jehoram was his firstborn son and he gave him the kingdom of Judah. But when Jehoram had taken over his father’s kingdom and had secured his position, he killed all his brothers along with some of the government officials.

5-7 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. He imitated Israel’s kings and married into the Ahab dynasty. God considered him an evil man. But despite that, because of his covenant with David, God was not yet ready to destroy the descendants of David; he had, after all, promised to keep a light burning for David and his sons.

8-9 During Jehoram’s reign, Edom revolted from Judah’s rule and set up their own king. Jehoram responded by setting out with his officers and chariots. Edom surrounded him, but in the middle of the night he and his charioteers broke through the lines and hit Edom hard.

10-11 Edom continues in revolt against Judah right up to the present. Even little Libnah revolted at that time. The evidence accumulated: Since Jehoram had abandoned God, the God of his ancestors, God was abandoning him. He even went so far as to build pagan sacred shrines in the mountains of Judah. He brazenly led Jerusalem away from God, seducing the whole country.

12-15 One day he got a letter from Elijah the prophet. It read, “From God, the God of your ancestor David—a message: Because you have not kept to the ways of Jehoshaphat your father and Asa your grandfather, kings of Judah, but have taken up with the ways of the kings of Israel in the north, leading Judah and Jerusalem away from God, going step by step down the apostate path of Ahab and his crew—why, you even killed your own brothers, all of them better men than you!—God is going to afflict your people, your wives, your sons, and everything you have with a terrible plague. And you are going to come down with a terrible disease of the colon, painful and humiliating.”

16-20 The trouble started with an invasion. God incited the Philistines and the Arabs who lived near the Ethiopians to attack Jehoram. They came to the borders of Judah, forced their way in, and plundered the place—robbing the royal palace of everything in it including his wives and sons. One son, his youngest, Ahaziah, was left behind. The terrible and fatal disease in his colon followed. After about two years he was totally incontinent and died writhing in pain. His people didn’t honor him by lighting a great bonfire, as was customary with his ancestors. He was thirty-two years old when he became king and reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. There were no tears shed when he died—it was good riddance!—and they buried him in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.

King Ahaziah

22 1-6 The people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, Jehoram’s youngest son, king. Raiders from the desert, who had come with the Arabs against the settlement, had killed all the older sons. That’s how Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah became king. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, but reigned only one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, granddaughter of Omri. He lived and ruled just like the Ahab family had done, his mother training him in evil ways. God also considered him evil, related by both marriage and sin to the Ahab clan. After the death of his father, he attended the sin school of Ahab, and graduated with a degree in doom. He did what they taught him, went with Joram son of Ahab king of Israel in the war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. Joram, wounded by the Arameans, retreated to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received in Ramah in his war with Hazael king of Aram. Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah paid a visit to Joram son of Ahab on his sickbed at Jezreel.

7-9 The fate of Ahaziah when he went to visit was God’s judgment on him. When Ahaziah arrived at Jezreel, he and Joram met with Jehu son of Nimshi, whom God had already authorized to destroy the dynasty of Ahab. Jehu, already at work, executing doom on the dynasty of Ahab, came upon the captains of Judah and Ahaziah’s nephews, part of the Ahaziah delegation, and killed them outright. Then he sent out a search party looking for Ahaziah himself. They found him hiding out in Samaria and hauled him back to Jehu. And Jehu killed him.

They didn’t, though, just leave his body there. Out of respect for his grandfather Jehoshaphat, famous as a sincere seeker after God, they gave him a decent burial. But there was no one left in Ahaziah’s family capable of ruling the kingdom.

Queen Athaliah

10-12 When Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah saw that her son was dead, she took over. She began by massacring the entire royal family. Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s son Joash, and kidnapped him from among the king’s sons slated for slaughter. She hid him and his nurse in a private room away from Athaliah. So Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and Ahaziah’s sister—she was also the wife of Jehoiada the priest—saved Joash from the murderous Queen Athaliah. He was there with her, hidden away for six years in The Temple of God. Athaliah, oblivious to his existence, ruled the country.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

John 14The Message (MSG)

The Road

14 1-4 “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”

Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”

6-7 Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”

Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.”

9-10 “You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.

11-14 “Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

The Spirit of Truth

15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

18-20 “I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.

21 “The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said, “Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?”

23-24 “Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent me.

25-27 “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

28 “You’ve heard me tell you, ‘I’m going away, and I’m coming back.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father is the goal and purpose of my life.

29-31 “I’ve told you this ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me. I’ll not be talking with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world is about to attack. But don’t worry—he has nothing on me, no claim on me. But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the Father, I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to the last detail.

“Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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