GETTING THE MOST FROM GOD'S WORD:

"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April 21 Bible Reading: 2 Kings Chapters 22-25

GOD is our only STRONG DEFENSE against the ENEMY ATTACKS: "Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; and they built a siege wall against it all around. So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then the city wall was broken through..." (2 Kings 25:1-4)

The southern kingdom of Judah had a total of twenty kings in the line of King David, but only eight kings did well in God’s sight. After three years of submission to the Babylonians, King Zedekiah, the last of David’s descendants, foolishly rebelled against the Babylonian occupation (24:18-20) that resulted in Nebuchadnezzar’s final siege of Jerusalem for over eighteen months. In 586 B.C. Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians when the walls were breached (25:4), and the southern kingdom of Judah was taken captive. Zedekiah tried to escape but was captured, blinded, and deported to Babylon (25:4–7) where he died eventually, and his sons were killed before his very eyes. What a tragic end to this seemingly impregnable walled city of Jerusalem!

The primary means of defense for a city in the ancient world was its wall. The stronger the wall was the greater was the security of the city. Also, other factors that helped in protecting the city included the geographical terrain where the city was built and the source of water to the city. However, the greatest protection for any city was its wall (e.g. Jericho, see Josh. 6:1; Nineveh, see Nah. 2:6–8; Babylon, see Dan. 5:30–31). The Word in Life Study Bible lists five ways to capture a walled city including scaling the walls, breaking through the walls (with battering rams), tunneling under the walls, through a siege (by cutting off outside resources), and through deception or negotiations. However, once the enemy breached the wall, the city was almost certain to fall – like it did for Jerusalem as well (v. 4).

Even though Jerusalem had all the defense mechanisms to withstand the Babylonian army, their defense failed miserably. The main reason for the failure of the city of Jerusalem can be attributed to the fact that Jehovah God had withdrawn His Hand of protection from Jerusalem earlier due to the fact that both the king and the people of Jerusalem had committing evil before God and had disobeyed His commandments. This is how the scriptures give the reason: "Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon" (2 Kings 24:3-4).

Let us never forget that God is our only strong defense against the attacks of the enemy. Today, we have only one enemy: Satan and his demons "for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12). Our enemy Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, so we must be sober and vigilant always (1 Peter 5:8). We should put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11, 13-17). Even with the whole armor of God, we should pray fervently and watch out with perseverance (Eph. 6:18) so that Satan will not catch us off-guard. This may be the reason why Jesus taught us to pray this sentence as well: "but deliver us from the evil one" (Matt. 6:13).

Can we ask God today to safeguard us from the attacks launched upon us by Satan? Without God’s help and protection, we too will fall just like Jerusalem did before the Babylonian army. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain" (Psalms 127:1)

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