John 11 (28) After Martha said this, she went and privately said to her sister Mary, "The Teacher is here, and he wants to see you." (29) As soon as Mary heard this, she got up and went out to Jesus. (30) He was still outside the village where Martha had gone to meet him. (31) Many people had come to comfort Mary, and when they saw her quickly leave the house, they thought she was going out to the tomb to cry. So they followed her.
(32) Mary went to where Jesus was. Then as soon as she saw him, she knelt at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
(33) When Jesus saw that Mary and the people with her were crying, he was terribly upset (34) and asked, "Where have you put his body?"
They replied, "Lord, come and you will see."
(35) Jesus started crying, (36) and the people said, "See how much he loved Lazarus."
(37) Some of them said, "He gives sight to the blind. Why couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying?"
(38) Jesus was still terribly upset. So he went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone rolled against the entrance. (39) Then he told the people to roll the stone away. But Martha said, "Lord, you know that Lazarus has been dead four days, and there will be a bad smell."
(40) Jesus replied, "Didn't I tell you that if you had faith, you would see the glory of God?"
(41) After the stone had been rolled aside, Jesus looked up toward heaven and prayed, "Father, I thank you for answering my prayer. (42) I know that you always answer my prayers. But I said this, so that the people here would believe that you sent me."
(43) When Jesus had finished praying, he shouted, "Lazarus, come out!" (44) The man who had been dead came out. His hands and feet were wrapped with strips of burial cloth, and a cloth covered his face.
Jesus then told the people, "Untie him and let him go."
The Plot To Kill Jesus
(Matthew 26.1-5; Mark 14.1, 2; Luke 22.1, 2)
(45) Many of the people who had come to visit Mary saw the things that Jesus did, and they put their faith in him. (46) Others went to the Pharisees and told what Jesus had done. (47) Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called the council together and said, "What should we do? This man is working a lot of miracles. (48) If we don't stop him now, everyone will put their faith in him. Then the Romans will come and destroy our temple and our nation."
(49) One of the council members was Caiaphas, who was also high priest that year. He spoke up and said, "You people don't have any sense at all! (50) Don't you know it is better for one person to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed?" (51) Caiaphas did not say this on his own. As high priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation. (52) Yet Jesus would not die just for the Jewish nation. He would die to bring together all of God's scattered people. (53) From that day on, the council started making plans to put Jesus to death.
(54) Because of this plot against him, Jesus stopped going around in public. He went to the town of Ephraim, which was near the desert, and he stayed there with his disciples.
(55) It was almost time for Passover. Many of the Jewish people who lived out in the country had come to Jerusalem to get themselves ready for the festival. (56) They looked around for Jesus. Then when they were in the temple, they asked each other, "You don't think he will come here for Passover, do you?"
(57) The chief priests and the Pharisees told the people to let them know if any of them saw Jesus. That is how they hoped to arrest him.
King Shishak of Egypt Invades Judah
(1 Kings 14.25-28)
2 Chronicles 12 Soon after Rehoboam had control of his kingdom, he and everyone in Judah stopped obeying the LORD. (2) So in the fifth year of Rehoboam's rule, the LORD punished them for their unfaithfulness and allowed King Shishak of Egypt to invade Judah. (3) Shishak attacked with his army of one thousand two hundred chariots and sixty thousand cavalry troops, as well as Egyptian soldiers from Libya, Sukkoth, and Ethiopia. (4) He captured every one of the fortified cities in Judah and then marched to Jerusalem.
(5) Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah had gone to Jerusalem to escape Shishak's invasion. And while they were there, Shemaiah the prophet told them, "The LORD says that because you have disobeyed him, he has now abandoned you. The LORD will not help you against Shishak!"
(6) Rehoboam and the leaders were sorry for what they had done and admitted, "The LORD is right. We have deserted him."
(7) When the LORD heard this, he told Shemaiah:
The people of Judah are truly sorry for their sins, and so I won't let Shishak completely destroy them. But because I am still angry, (8) he will conquer and rule them.
Then my people will know what it's like to serve a foreign king instead of serving me.
(9) Shishak attacked Jerusalem and took all the valuable things from the temple and from the palace, including Solomon's gold shields.
(10) Rehoboam had bronze shields made to replace the gold ones, and he ordered the guards at the city gates to keep them safe. (11) Whenever Rehoboam went to the LORD's temple, the guards carried the shields. But they always took them back to the guardroom as soon as he had finished worshiping.
(12) Rehoboam turned back to the LORD, and so the LORD did not let Judah be completely destroyed, and Judah was prosperous again.
Rehoboam's Rule in Judah
(1 Kings 14.21, 29-31)
(13) Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled seventeen years from Jerusalem, the city where the LORD had chosen to be worshiped. His mother Naamah was from Ammon.
Rehoboam was a powerful king, (14) but he still did wrong and refused to obey the LORD.
(15) Everything else Rehoboam did while he was king, including a history of his family, is written in the records of the two prophets, Shemaiah and Iddo. During Rehoboam's rule, he and King Jeroboam of Israel were constantly at war. (16) When Rehoboam died, he was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Abijah became king.
King Abijah of Judah
(1 Kings 15.1-8)
2 Chronicles 13 Abijah became king of Judah in Jeroboam's eighteenth year as king of Israel, (2) and he ruled from Jerusalem for three years. His mother was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.
Some time later, Abijah and King Jeroboam of Israel went to war against each other. (3) Abijah's army had four hundred thousand troops, and Jeroboam met him in battle with eight hundred thousand troops.
(4) Abijah went to the top of Mount Zemaraim in the hills of Ephraim and shouted:
Listen, Jeroboam and all you Israelites! (5) The LORD God of Israel has made a solemn promise that every king of Israel will be from David's family. (6) But Jeroboam, you were King Solomon's official, and you rebelled. (7) Then right after Rehoboam became king, you and your bunch of worthless followers challenged Rehoboam, who was too young to know how to stop you.
(8) Now you and your powerful army think you can stand up to the kingdom that the LORD has given to David's descendants. The only gods you have are those gold statues of calves that Jeroboam made for you. (9) You don't even have descendants of Aaron on your side, because you forced out the LORD's priests and Levites. In their place, you appoint ordinary people to be priests, just as the foreign nations do. In fact, anyone who brings a bull and seven rams to the altar can become a priest of your so-called gods.
(10) But we have not turned our backs on the LORD God! Aaron's own descendants serve as our priests, and the Levites are their assistants. (11) Two times every day they offer sacrifices and burn incense to the LORD. They set out the sacred loaves of bread on a table that has been purified, and they light the lamps in the gold lampstand every day at sunset. We follow the commands of the LORD our God--you have rejected him! (12) That's why God is on our side and will lead us into battle when the priests sound the signal on the trumpets. It's no use, Israelites. You might as well give up. There's no way you can defeat the LORD, the God your ancestors worshiped.
(13) But while Abijah was talking, Jeroboam had sent some of his troops to attack Judah's army from behind, while the rest attacked from the front. (14) Judah's army realized they were trapped, and so they prayed to the LORD. The priests blew the signal on the trumpet, (15) and the troops let out a battle cry. Then with Abijah leading them into battle, God defeated Jeroboam and Israel's army. (16) The Israelites ran away, and God helped Judah's soldiers slaughter (17) five hundred thousand enemy troops. (18) Judah's army won because they had trusted the LORD God of their ancestors.
(19) Abijah kept up his attack on Jeroboam's army and captured the Israelite towns of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, as well as the villages around them.
(20) Jeroboam never regained his power during the rest of Abijah's rule. The LORD punished Jeroboam, and he died, but Abijah became more powerful.
(21) Abijah had a total of fourteen wives, twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. (22) Everything Abijah said and did while he was king is written in the records of Iddo the prophet.
[A song and a psalm for the music leader. Use stringed instruments.]
God Always Wins
(1) You, our God, are famous in Judah
and honored in Israel.
(2) Your home is on Mount Zion in the city of peace.
(3) There you destroyed fiery arrows, shields, swords,
and all the other weapons.
(4) You are more glorious than the eternal mountains.
(5) Brave warriors were robbed of what they had taken,
and now they lie dead, unable to lift an arm.
(6) God of Jacob, when you roar,
enemy chariots and horses drop dead in their tracks.
(7) Our God, you are fearsome,
and no one can oppose you when you are angry.
(8) From heaven you announced your decisions as judge!
And all who live on this earth were terrified and silent
(9) when you took over as judge,
ready to rescue everyone in need.
(10) Even the most angry people will praise you
when you are furious.
(11) Everyone, make your promises to the LORD your God
and do what you promise.
The LORD is fearsome,
and all of his servants should bring him gifts.
(12) God destroys the courage of rulers and kings
and makes cowards of them.
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