Bible reading for Dec 31.
2 Chronicles 36.
"He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years." (36:20-21)
A SAD ENDING, AND A NEW BEGINNING. The destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem occurred during the Babylonian siege in 586 BC. Many Jews were deported to Babylon. It was a tragic end, but God proved faithful to his word and would bring them back to the land. Along with their sins of idolatry and injustice, the people had not observed the Sabbatical years. By God's law, every seventh year the land was to lie fallow (Lev 25:1-7). The Babylonian exile not only humbled the Jews but also gave the land a much needed rest. God cares for his creation, and so should we.
"And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price." (22:17)
A NEW BEGINNING WITH NO END. The book of Revelation concludes with the glorious vision of the new creation. After reading the descriptive imagery of the new cosmos, we could easily miss the personal, individual emphasis of these last chapters of Scripture. "His name will be on their foreheads" (v 4). "Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book" (v 7). "Blessed are those who wash their robes..." (v 14). "And let the one who hears say, 'Come.'" (v 17). In the end it is relational, and individual, and personal. It is not just about the cosmic glory of a post-apocalyptic world. These words are written that we may each know him, each belong to him, and all see his face. We are given a taste of the future, not to satisfy our curiosity, but to draw us to the water of life that we may drink and live.
CONGRATULATIONS on your Bible reading progress this year! Please continue with us in 2021! Our OT reading will commence with the book of Ezra and the story of Israel's return to the land after their exile in Babylon. We will read through the Poetical books and the Prophets, and conclude with Malachi. Our NT reading will begin with the book of Acts and continue through the NT, including the Gospels and Psalms. We'll cover about two chapters a day. Here’s the link to a PDF copy of the two-year M’Cheyne reading plan. I'll be using the second page in 2021.
POSTING. Many of you receive this via email (or RSS feed) from my website. That will continue in 2021, and I am planning to post about three times per week. The content of those posts will also be sent out via a listserv moderated through Buttondown. For those migrating from Facebook this is probably an easier option. And you can use the Buttondown invitation to invite other people.
RESOURCES. Two online resources I recommend are the NET Bible with its notes, especially those of Dr. Thomas Constable. I would also suggest you subscribe to The Gospel Coalition’s Read the Bible Newsletter here. Each day there will be an article by D. A. Carson on one of the passages for that day. And here's a little more about the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan.
Here's to another year abiding in God's word together!
Image credit. Unknown. 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.