Luke 12:22–34; 2 Thessalonians 3:1–5; Psalm 148; 2 Chronicles 28–29

Do Not Be Anxious

22 And he said to his disciples, fTherefore I tell you, gdo not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 hConsider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. iOf how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his jspan of life?1 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,2 yet I tell you, keven Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, lO you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor mbe worried. 30 For nall the nations of the world seek after these things, and nyour Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, oseek phis3 kingdom, qand these things will be added to you.

32 rFear not, little sflock, for tit is your Father’s good pleasure to give you uthe kingdom. 33 vSell your possessions, and wgive to the needy. xProvide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with ya treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 zFor where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


Pray for Us

Finally, brothers,1 jpray for us, that kthe word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored,2 as happened among you, and lthat we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For mnot all have faith. But nthe Lord is faithful. He will establish you and oguard you against pthe evil one.3 And qwe have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord rdirect your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.


Praise the Name of the Lord

148  rPraise the Lord!

Praise the Lord sfrom the heavens;

praise him tin the heights!

Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his uhosts!

Praise him, sun and moon,

praise him, all you shining stars!

Praise him, you vhighest heavens,

and you wwaters above the heavens!

xLet them praise the name of the Lord!

For yhe commanded and they were created.

And he zestablished them forever and ever;

he gave aa decree, and it shall not bpass away.1

Praise the Lord cfrom the earth,

you dgreat sea creatures and all deeps,

efire and hail, fsnow and mist,

gstormy wind hfulfilling his word!

iMountains and all hills,

jfruit trees and all kcedars!

10  lBeasts and all livestock,

creeping things and mflying birds!

11  Kings of the earth and nall peoples,

princes and all rulers of the earth!

12  Young men and maidens together,

old men and children!

13  oLet them praise the name of the Lord,

for phis name alone is exalted;

qhis majesty is above earth and heaven.

14  He has rraised up a horn for his people,

spraise for all his saints,

for the people of Israel who are tnear to him.

uPraise the Lord!


Ahaz Reigns in Judah

28 fAhaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done, but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made gmetal images for hthe Baals, and ihe made offerings in the jValley of the Son of Hinnom and kburned his sons as an offering,1 according to lthe abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and imade offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.

Judah Defeated

mTherefore the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with great force. For nPekah the son of Remaliah killed 120,000 from Judah in one day, all of them men of valor, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son and Azrikam the commander of the palace and Elkanah the next in authority to the king.

The men of Israel took captive 200,000 oof their relatives, women, sons, and daughters. They also took much spoil from them and brought the spoil to Samaria. But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded, and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria and said to them, Behold, because the Lord, the God of your fathers, pwas angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand, but you have killed them in a rage qthat has reached up to heaven. 10 And now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem, male and female, as your slaves. Have you not sins of your own against the Lord your God? 11 Now hear me, and send back the captives ofrom your relatives whom you have taken, for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.

12 Certain chiefs also of the men of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who were coming from the war 13 and said to them, You shall not bring the captives in here, for you propose to bring upon us guilt against the Lord in addition to our present sins and guilt. For our guilt is already great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel. 14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly. 15 And rthe men who have been mentioned by name rose and took the captives, and with the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them. They clothed them, gave them sandals, sprovided them with food and drink, and anointed them, and carrying all the feeble among them on donkeys, they brought them to their kinsfolk at Jericho, tthe city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.

16 uAt that time King Ahaz sent to the king2 of Assyria for help. 17 For the Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah and carried away captives. 18 vAnd the Philistines had made raids on wthe cities in the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco xwith its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages. And they settled there. 19 For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made yJudah act sinfully3 and had been very unfaithful to the Lord. 20 So zTiglath-pileser4 king of Assyria came against him and afflicted him instead of strengthening him. 21 aFor Ahaz took a portion from the house of the Lord and the house of the king and of the princes, and gave tribute to the king of Assyria, but it did not help him.

Ahaz’s Idolatry

22 In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the Lordthis same King Ahaz. 23 For bhe sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, cBecause the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. 24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God and dcut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and he shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made himself ealtars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In every city of Judah he made high places to fmake offerings to other gods, provoking to anger the Lord, the God of his fathers. 26 gNow the rest of his acts and all his ways, from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, for hthey did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

Hezekiah Reigns in Judah

29 jHezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah5 the daughter of kZechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done.

Hezekiah Cleanses the Temple

In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he lopened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east and said to them, Hear me, Levites! Now mconsecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth6 from the Holy Place. For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They have forsaken him and nhave turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord and turned their backs. They also oshut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. Therefore pthe wrath of the Lord came on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has made them qan object of horror, of astonishment, rand of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. For behold, sour fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now tit is in my heart uto make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, in order that his fierce anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not now be negligent, vfor the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him and to be his ministers and make offerings to him.

12 Then the Levites arose, wMahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of xthe Kohathites; and of the sons of xMerari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the xGershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and of the sons of yElizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of zAsaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and of the sons of aHeman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of bJeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their brothers and cconsecrated themselves and went in as the king had commanded, dby the words of the Lord, eto cleanse the house of the Lord. 16 The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and they brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it and carried it out to fthe brook Kidron. 17 They began to consecrate gon the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the Lord. Then for eight days they consecrated the house of the Lord, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king and said, We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table for the showbread and all its utensils. 19 All the utensils hthat King Ahaz discarded in his reign when he was faithless, we have made ready and consecrated, and behold, they are before the altar of the Lord.

Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship

20 Then Hezekiah the king rose early and gathered the officials of the city and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats ifor a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. And he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests received the blood jand threw it against the altar. And they slaughtered the rams, and their blood was thrown against the altar. And they slaughtered the lambs, and their blood was thrown against the altar. 23 Then the goats for the sin offering were brought to the king and the assembly, kand they laid their hands on them, 24 and the priests slaughtered them and made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, lto make atonement for all Israel. For the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.

25 mAnd he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, harps, and lyres, naccording to the commandment of David and of Gad othe king’s seer and of pNathan the prophet, for the commandment was from the Lord through his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with qthe instruments of David, rand the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, sthe song to the Lord began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 When the offering was finished, tthe king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. 30 And Hezekiah the king and the officials commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshiped.

31 Then Hezekiah said, uYou have now consecrated yourselves to7 the Lord. Come near; bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord. And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were vof a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings that the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 And the consecrated offerings were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34 But the priests were too few and could not flay all the burnt offerings, so until other priests had consecrated themselves, wtheir brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was finishedxfor the Levites were more upright in heart than the priests in consecrating themselves. 35 Besides the great number of burnt offerings, there was ythe fat of the peace offerings, and there were zthe drink offerings for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was restored. 36 And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.