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bible reading nov 5



Bible reading for Nov 5. 

2 Kings 18.

"He trusted in the LORD the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses." (2 Kings 18:5-6) 

GOOD KING HEZEKIAH. Finally, a good king comes to the throne. His reign is not without difficulties, as the land of Judah will experience the invasion of the Assyrians (who sacked Samaria in 722). Hezekiah is forced to pay tribute, and the Assyrian armies return a few years later to ravage Judah and besiege Jerusalem. This chapter focuses on the pride of the Assyrians. The commander (the Rabshakeh) boasts on behalf of King Sennacherib, "Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?'" (v 35) It's a great line to set the stage for God's deliverance of Jerusalem in the next chapter. As it is written, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov 16:18)  

ARCHAEOLOGY. The period of Hezekiah's reign is abundantly attested by archaeological discoveries. During his reign Hezekiah built a tunnel from the Gihon spring (in the Kidron valley) to reroute water to the pool of Siloam inside the city walls, in order to have a secure source of water during a siege. He also built a broad wall (about 20' thick) to fortify the city. Both the tunnel and the wall are sites you can visit today. There are some newer discoveries you can read about here and here.   

WHERE IS YOUR TRUST? This chapter is all about the foolishness of human pride and boasting. Consider these passages: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." (Ps 20:7) "Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?" (Isa 2:22) "So let no one boast in men." (1 Cor 3:21; cf Rom 3:27; Eph 2:9)  "Therefore, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." (1 Cor 1:31).

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Philemon.

"For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother- especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord." (Philemon 1:15-16) 

A RUNAWAY SLAVE. While Paul was under house arrest in Rome (c. AD 61) a runaway slave comes to see him. Paul leads Onesimus to Christ and is preparing to send him back to his master Philemon, who is also Paul's friend. Slavery in some form has been accepted in most cultures throughout history. It was a way to spare prisoners of war from death and also a way for many to work off debts. But it was always liable to abuse and cruelty. Slavery is not an ordained institution like marriage and family, but Paul advised slaves to serve their masters well as a testimony to the Lord. He qualified that, however, by adding "Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity" (1 Cor 7:21). What we have in Paul's letter to Philemon is the beginning of the end of slavery in the west. The gospel changes relationships! If a master or a slave were to become a Christian then this fundamentally changed that relationship. And Paul is seeking reconciliation between the two and the forgiveness of debts. Down through history the Christian faith, when taken seriously, has uplifted human freedom and dignity.


We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. One recommended resource is NETBible.org, a ministry of bible.org. 



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