August 4

2 Kings 17

1In the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, Hoshea, the son of Elah, became king over Israel in Samaria, ruling for nine years.

2He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, though not like the kings of Israel before him.

3Against him came up Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, and Hoshea became his servant and sent him offerings.

4But Hoshea’s broken faith became clear to the king of Assyria because he had sent representatives to So, king of Egypt, and did not send his offering to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: so the king of Assyria had him shut up in prison and put in chains.

5Then the king of Assyria went through all the land and came up to Samaria, shutting it in with his forces for three years.

6In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and took Israel away to Assyria, placing them in Halah and in Habor on the river Gozan, and in the towns of the Medes.

7And the wrath of the Lord came on Israel because they had done evil against the Lord their God, who took them out of the land of Egypt from under the yoke of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and had become worshippers of other gods,

8Living by the rules of the nations whom the Lord had sent out from before the children of Israel.

9And the children of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things which were not right, building high places for themselves in all their towns, from the tower of the watchmen to the walled town.

10They put up pillars of stone and wood on every high hill and under every green tree:

11Burning their offerings in all the high places, as those nations did whom the Lord sent away from before them; they did evil things, moving the Lord to wrath;

12And they made themselves servants of disgusting things, though the Lord had said, You are not to do this.

13And he gave witness to Israel and Judah, by every prophet and seer, saying, Come back from your evil ways, and do my orders and keep my rules, and be guided by the law which I gave to your fathers and sent to you by my servants the prophets.

14And they did not give ear, but became stiff-necked, like their fathers who had no faith in the Lord their God.

15And they went against his rules, and the agreement which he made with their fathers, and his laws which he gave them; they gave themselves up to things without sense or value, and became foolish like the nations round them, of whom the Lord had said, Do not as they do.

16And turning their backs on all the orders which the Lord had given them, they made for themselves images of metal, and the image of Asherah, worshipping all the stars of heaven and becoming servants to Baal.

17And they made their sons and their daughters go through the fire, and they made use of secret arts and unnatural powers, and gave themselves up to doing evil in the eyes of the Lord, till he was moved to wrath.

18So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and his face was turned away from them: only the tribe of Judah kept its place.

19(But even Judah did not keep the orders of the Lord their God, but were guided by the rules which Israel had made.

20So the Lord would have nothing to do with all the offspring of Israel, and sent trouble on them, and gave them up into the hands of their attackers, till he had sent them away from before his face.)

21For Israel was broken off from the family of David, and they made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, king, who, driving them away from the laws of the Lord, made them do a great sin.

22And the children of Israel went on with all the sins which Jeroboam did; they did not keep themselves from them;

23Till the Lord put Israel away from before his face, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was taken away from their land to Assyria, to this day.

24Then the king of Assyria took men from Babylon and from Cuthah and Avva and Hamath and Sepharvaim, and put them in the towns of Samaria in place of the children of Israel; so they got Samaria for their heritage, living in its towns.

25Now when first they were living there they did not give worship to the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them, causing the death of some of them.

26So they said to the king of Assyria, The nations whom you have taken as prisoners and put in the towns of Samaria, have no knowledge of the way of the god of the land: so he has sent lions among them, causing their death, because they have no knowledge of his way.

27Then the king of Assyria gave orders, saying, Send there one of the priests whom you took away, and let him be living there and teaching the people the way of the god of the land.

28So one of the priests whom they had taken away as a prisoner from Samaria came back, and, living in Beth-el, became their teacher in the worship of the Lord.

29And every nation made gods for themselves, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the towns where they were living.

30The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,

31The Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites gave their children to be burned in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

32So they went on worshipping the Lord, and made for themselves, from among all the people, priests for the high places, to make offerings for them in the houses of the high places.

33They gave worship to the Lord, but they gave honour to their gods like the nations did from whom they had been taken as prisoners.

34So to this day they go on in their old ways, not worshipping the Lord or keeping his orders or his ways or the law and the rule which the Lord gave to the children of Jacob, to whom he gave the name Israel;

35And the Lord made an agreement with them and gave them orders, saying, You are to have no other gods; you are not to give worship to them or be their servants or make them offerings:

36But the Lord, who took you out of the land of Egypt with his great power and his outstretched arm, he is your God, to whom you are to give worship and make offerings:

37And the rules and the orders and the law which he put in writing for you, you are to keep and do for ever; you are to have no other gods.

38And you are to keep in memory the agreement which I have made with you; and you are to have no other gods.

39And you are to give worship to the Lord your God; for it is he who will give you salvation from the hands of all who are against you.

40But they gave no attention, but went on in their old way.

41So these nations, worshipping the Lord, still were servants to the images they had made; their children and their children’s children did the same; as their fathers did, so do they, to this day.

Micah 6

1Give ear now to the words of the Lord: Up! put forward your cause before the mountains, let your voice be sounding among the hills.

2Give ear, O you mountains, to the Lord’s cause, and take note, you bases of the earth: for the Lord has a cause against his people, and he will take it up with Israel.

3O my people, what have I done to you? how have I been a weariness to you? give answer against me.

4For I took you up out of the land of Egypt and made you free from the prison-house; I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

5O my people, keep in mind now what was designed by Balak, king of Moab, and the answer which Balaam, son of Beor, gave him; the events, from Shittim to Gilgal, so that you may be certain of the upright acts of the Lord.

6With what am I to come before the Lord and go with bent head before the high God? am I to come before him with burned offerings, with young oxen a year old?

7Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of sheep or with ten thousand rivers of oil? am I to give my first child for my wrongdoing, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8He has made clear to you, O man, what is good; and what is desired from you by the Lord; only doing what is right, and loving mercy, and walking without pride before your God.

9The voice of the Lord is crying out to the town: Give ear, you tribes and the meeting of the town.

10Am I to let the stores of the evil-doer go out of my memory, and the short measure, which is cursed?

11Is it possible for me to let wrong scales and the bag of false weights go without punishment?

12For its men of wealth are cruel, and its people have said what is not true, and their tongue is false in their mouth.

13So I have made a start with your punishment; I have made you waste because of your sins.

14You will have food, but not enough; your shame will be ever with you: you will get your goods moved, but you will not take them away safely; and what you do take away I will give to the sword.

15You will put in seed, but you will not get in the grain; you will be crushing olives, but your bodies will not be rubbed with the oil; and you will get in the grapes, but you will have no wine.

16For you have kept the laws of Omri and all the works of the family of Ahab, and you have been guided by their designs: so that I might make you a cause of wonder and your people a cause of hisses; and the shame of my people will be on you.

2 Corinthians 4

1For this reason, because we have been made servants of this new order, through the mercy given to us, we are strong:

2And we have given up the secret things of shame, not walking in false ways, and not making use of the word of God with deceit; but by the revelation of what is true, as before God, we have the approval of every man’s sense of right and wrong.

3But if our good news is veiled, it is veiled from those who are on the way to destruction:

4Because the god of this world has made blind the minds of those who have not faith, so that the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not be shining on them.

5For our preaching is not about ourselves, but about Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants through Jesus.

6Seeing that it is God who said, Let light be shining out of the dark, who has put in our hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7But we have this wealth in vessels of earth, so that it may be seen that the power comes not from us but from God;

8Troubles are round us on every side, but we are not shut in; things are hard for us, but we see a way out of them;

9We are cruelly attacked, but not without hope; we are made low, but we are not without help;

10In our bodies there is ever the mark of the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be seen in our bodies.

11For, while living, we are still being given up to death because of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be seen in our flesh, though it is under the power of death.

12So then, death is working in us, but life in you.

13But having the same spirit of faith, as it is said in the Writings, The words of my mouth came from the faith in my heart; in the same way, our words are the outcome of our faith;

14Because we are certain that he who made the Lord Jesus come back from the dead, will do the same for us, and will give us a place in his glory with you.

15For we go through all things on account of you, because the greater the number to whom the grace is given, the greater is the praise to the glory of God.

16For which cause we do not give way to weariness; but though our outer man is getting feebler, our inner man is made new day by day.

17For our present trouble, which is only for a short time, is working out for us a much greater weight of glory;

18While our minds are not on the things which are seen, but on the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are for a time; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10

1For we are conscious that if this our tent of flesh is taken down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in heaven.

2For in this we are crying in weariness, greatly desiring to be clothed with our house from heaven:

3So that our spirits may not be unclothed.

4For truly, we who are in this tent do give out cries of weariness, for the weight of care which is on us; not because we are desiring to be free from the body, but so that we may have our new body, and death may be overcome by life.

5Now he who has made us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a witness of what is to come.

6So, then, we are ever without fear, and though conscious that while we are in the body we are away from the Lord,

7(For we are walking by faith, not by seeing,)

8We are without fear, desiring to be free from the body, and to be with the Lord.

9For this reason we make it our purpose, in the body or away from it, to be well-pleasing to him.

10For we all have to come before Christ to be judged; so that every one of us may get his reward for the things done in the body, good or bad.

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