Day 242 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. King Cyrus of Persia surprises the Israelites. 2 Corinthians 3: Old Law vs the New Glory

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2 Chronicles 35:20-27

2 Chronicles 36

2 Corinthians 3: 7-18

Psalm 104: 19-30

You're listening to the "Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE" with Master Storyteller, Michael Wood. Featuring the Holy Bible Easy-to-Read version and used by permission from Bible League International

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Show Transcript

2 Chronicles 35:20-27

The Death of Josiah

20 Josiah did all these good things for the Temple. Later, King Neco of Egypt led an army to fight against the town of Carchemish on the Euphrates River. King Josiah went out to fight against Neco. 21 But Neco sent messengers to Josiah. This is what they said:

“King Josiah, this war is not your problem. I didn’t come to fight against you. I came to fight my enemies, and God told me to hurry. God is on my side. So if you fight against

me, you will be fighting against God, and he will destroy you!”

22 But Josiah did not listen to the warning Neco had received from God. He did not turn back. Instead, he put on different clothes to hide who he was and went into battle against King Neco on the plain of Megiddo. 23 And during the battle, enemy archers shot King Josiah with their arrows. He told his servants, “Take me away! I am badly wounded!”

24 So the servants took Josiah out of his chariot and put him in another chariot he had brought with him to the battle. Then they took Josiah to Jerusalem. He died there and was buried in the tombs of his ancestors. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem were very sad because Josiah was dead. 25 Jeremiah wrote and sang some funeral songs for Josiah. And the men and women singers still sing these sad songs today. It became something the people of Israel always do—they sing a sad song for Josiah. These songs are found in the book, Funeral Songs.

26–27 Everything else Josiah did while he was king is recorded in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah. The book tells about the way he served God faithfully by obeying the Law of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 36

Jehoahaz, King of Judah

The people of Judah chose Jehoahaz to be the new king in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was Josiah’s son. 2 He was 23 years old when he became king of Judah. He was king in Jerusalem for three months. 3 Then King Neco from Egypt made Jehoahaz a prisoner. Neco forced the people of Judah to pay 3400 kilograms of silver and 34 kilograms of gold as a fine. 4 Neco chose Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim to be the new king of Judah and Jerusalem. Neco changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. And Neco took Jehoahaz away to Egypt.

Jehoiakim, King of Judah

5 Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became the new king of Judah. He was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. Jehoiakim did not obey God. He did what the LORD his God says is evil.

6 King Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon attacked Judah. He made Jehoiakim a prisoner and put bronze chains on him. Then Nebuchadnezzar took King Jehoiakim to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar took some of the things from the LORD’s Temple. He carried them to Babylon and put them in his own house. 8 All the other things Jehoiakim did, including his disgusting sins and everything else he was guilty of doing, are recorded in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiachin became the new king after him.

Jehoiachin, King of Judah

9 Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king of Judah. He was king in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He did not obey God. He did what the LORD says is evil. 10 In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent some servants to get Jehoiachin. They brought Jehoiachin and some valuable treasures from the LORD’s Temple to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar chose Zedekiah to be the new king of Judah and Jerusalem. Zedekiah was one of Jehoiachin’s relatives.

Zedekiah, King of Judah

11 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king of Judah. He was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. 12 Zedekiah did what the LORD says is evil. And when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him from the LORD, Zedekiah was too proud to listen.

Jerusalem Is Destroyed

13 Zedekiah turned against King Nebuchadnezzar. In the past, Nebuchadnezzar had forced Zedekiah to promise with an oath in God’s name to be faithful to him. But Zedekiah was stubborn and refused to obey the LORD, the God of Israel. 14 And all the leading priests and the people of Judah became more and more unfaithful to the Lord. They committed the same disgusting sins of the other nations. They ruined the Temple that the LORD had made holy in Jerusalem. 15 The LORD, the God of their ancestors, sent prophets again and again to warn his people. He did this because he felt sorry for them and for his Temple. He didn’t want to destroy them or his Temple. 16 But they made fun of God’s prophets and laughed at their messages from God. They kept on insulting his prophets until the LORD became so angry with his people that there was nothing they could do to stop it. 17 So God brought the king of Babylon to attack them. His army even went into the Temple and killed the young men serving there. The king of Babylon had no mercy on anyone in Judah and Jerusalem. He killed men and women, young and old. God let him do whatever he wanted with the people. 18 Nebuchadnezzar carried away to Babylon all the things, large and small, that were used in God’s Temple. And he took all the valuable things from the treasuries of the LORD’s Temple, from the king, and from the king’s officials. 19 Nebuchadnezzar and his army burned the Temple. They broke down Jerusalem’s wall and burned all the houses that belonged to the king and his officials. They took or destroyed every valuable thing in Jerusalem. 20 Nebuchadnezzar took the people who were still alive back to Babylon and forced them to be slaves. They stayed in Babylon as slaves until the Persian kingdom defeated the kingdom of Babylon. 21 The land of Judah became an empty desert and stayed that way for 70 years. All this time the land rested to make up for the Sabbath rests* that the people had not kept. This is just what the LORD had said would happen in the warning he gave through the prophet Jeremiah.

22 In the first year that Cyrus king of Persia began to rule,‡ the LORD caused him to make a special announcement. He did this so that what the LORD had promised through Jeremiah the prophet would really happen. Cyrus sent messengers every place in his kingdom with this message:

23 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The LORD, the God of heaven, made me king over the whole earth. He gave me the responsibility of building a Temple for him in Jerusalem. Now, all of you who are his people are free to go to Jerusalem. And may the LORD your God be with you.”

2 Corinthians 3: 7-18

An Agreement With Greater Glory

7 The old agreement† that brought death, written with words on stone, came with God’s glory. In fact, the face of Moses was so bright with glory (a glory that was ending) that the people of Israel could not continue looking at his face. 8 So surely the new agreement that comes from the life-giving Spirit has even more glory. 9 This is what I mean: that old agreement judged people guilty of sin, but it had glory. So surely the new agreement that makes people right with God has much greater glory. 10 That old agreement had glory. But it really loses its glory when it is compared to the much greater glory of the new agreement. 11 If the agreement that was brought to an end came with glory, then the agreement that never ends has much greater glory.

12 We are so sure of this hope that we speak very openly. 13 We are not like

Moses, who put a covering over his face so that the Israelites would not see that the old way of serving God was coming to an end. 14 But their minds were closed. And even today, when those people read the writings of the old agreement, that same covering hides the meaning. That covering has not been removed for them. It can be taken away only through Christ. 15 Yes, even today, when they read the Law of Moses, there is a covering over their minds. 16 But it can be removed, as the Scripture says happened to Moses: “Whenever he turned to the Lord, the covering was taken away.” 17 Now the Lord in that Scripture is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And our faces are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Psalm 104: 19-30

7 But you gave the command, and the water turned back.

You shouted at the water, and it rushed away.

8 The water flowed down from the

mountains into the valleys, to the places you made for it.

9 You set the limits for the seas,

and the water will never again rise to cover the earth.

10 Lord, you cause water to flow from

springs into the streams

that flow down between the mountains.

11 The streams provide water for all the wild animals;

even the wild donkeys come there to drink.

12 Wild birds come to live by the pools;

they sing in the branches of nearby trees.

13 You send rain down on the mountains.

The earth gets everything it needs from what you have made.

14 You make the grass for the animals

and the plants for the crops we grow, plants that make food from the earth.

15 You give us the wine that makes us happy,

the oil that makes our skin soft,

and the food that makes us strong.

16 The great cedar trees of Lebanon be- long to the LORD;

he planted them and gives them the water they need.

17 That’s where the birds make their nests,

and the storks live in the fir trees.

18 The high mountains are a home for wild goats.

The large rocks are hiding places for rock badgers.