The Death of Lazarus
John 11 (1-2) A man by the name of Lazarus was sick in the village of Bethany. He had two sisters, Mary and Martha. This was the same Mary who later poured perfume on the Lord's head and wiped his feet with her hair. (3) The sisters sent a message to the Lord and told him that his good friend Lazarus was sick.
(4) When Jesus heard this, he said, "His sickness won't end in death. It will bring glory to God and his Son."
(5) Jesus loved Martha and her sister and brother. (6) But he stayed where he was for two more days. (7) Then he said to his disciples, "Now we will go back to Judea."
(8) "Teacher," they said, "the people there want to stone you to death! Why do you want to go back?"
(9) Jesus answered, "Aren't there twelve hours in each day? If you walk during the day, you will have light from the sun, and you won't stumble. (10) But if you walk during the night, you will stumble, because you don't have any light." (11) Then he told them, "Our friend Lazarus is asleep, and I am going there to wake him up."
(12) They replied, "Lord, if he is asleep, he will get better." (13) Jesus really meant that Lazarus was dead, but they thought he was talking only about sleep.
(14) Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead! (15) I am glad that I wasn't there, because now you will have a chance to put your faith in me. Let's go to him."
(16) Thomas, whose nickname was "Twin," said to the other disciples, "Come on. Let's go, so we can die with him."
Jesus Brings Lazarus to Life
(17) When Jesus got to Bethany, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. (18) Bethany was only about two miles from Jerusalem, (19) and many people had come from the city to comfort Martha and Mary because their brother had died.
(20) When Martha heard that Jesus had arrived, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. (21) Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (22) Yet even now I know that God will do anything you ask."
(23) Jesus told her, "Your brother will live again!"
(24) Martha answered, "I know that he will be raised to life on the last day, when all the dead are raised."
(25) Jesus then said, "I am the one who raises the dead to life! Everyone who has faith in me will live, even if they die. (26) And everyone who lives because of faith in me will never really die. Do you believe this?"
(27) "Yes, Lord!" she replied. "I believe that you are Christ, the Son of God. You are the one we hoped would come into the world."
Some of the People Rebel against Rehoboam
(1 Kings 12.1-20)
2 Chronicles 10 Rehoboam went to Shechem where everyone was waiting to crown him king.
(2) Jeroboam son of Nebat heard what was happening, and he returned from Egypt, where he had gone to hide from Solomon. (3) The people from the northern tribes of Israel sent for him. Then together they went to Rehoboam and said, (4) "Your father Solomon forced us to work very hard. But if you make our work easier, we will serve you and do whatever you ask."
(5) Rehoboam replied, "Come back in three days for my answer." So the people left.
(6) Rehoboam went to some leaders who had been his father's senior officials, and he asked them, "What should I tell these people?"
(7) They answered, "If you want them to serve and obey you, then you should be kind and promise to make their work easier."
(8) But Rehoboam refused their advice and went to the younger men who had grown up with him and were now his officials. (9) He asked, "What do you think I should say to these people who asked me to make their work easier?"
(10) His younger advisors said:
Here's what we think you should say to them: "Compared to me, my father was weak. (11) He made you work hard, but I'll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I'll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!"
(12) Three days later, Jeroboam and the others came back. (13) Rehoboam ignored the advice of the older advisors. He spoke bluntly (14) and told them exactly what his own advisors had suggested. He said: "My father made you work hard, but I'll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I'll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!"
(15-19) When the people realized that Rehoboam would not listen to them, they shouted: "We don't have to be loyal to David's family. We can do what we want. Come on, people of Israel, let's go home! Rehoboam can rule his own people."
Adoniram was in charge of the work force, and Rehoboam sent him to talk to the people. But they stoned him to death. Then Rehoboam ran to his chariot and hurried back to Jerusalem.
Everyone from Israel's northern tribes went home, leaving Rehoboam to rule only the people from Judah. And since that day, the people of Israel have been opposed to David's descendants in Judah. All of this happened just as Ahijah the LORD's prophet from Shiloh had told Jeroboam.
Shemaiah the Prophet Warns Rehoboam
(1 Kings 12.21-24)
2 Chronicles 11 After Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, he decided to attack Israel and regain control of the whole country. So he called together one hundred eighty thousand soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
(2) Meanwhile, the LORD had told Shemaiah the prophet (3) to tell Rehoboam and everyone from Judah and Benjamin, (4) "The LORD warns you not to go to war against the people from the northern tribes--they are your relatives. Go home! The LORD is the one who made these things happen."
Rehoboam and his army obeyed the LORD's message and did not attack Jeroboam and his troops.
Rehoboam Fortifies Cities in Judah
(5) Rehoboam ruled from Jerusalem, and he had several cities in Judah turned into fortresses so he could use them to defend his country. These cities included (6) Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, (7) Beth-Zur, Soco, Adullam, (8) Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, (9) Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, (10) Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. After he had fortified these cities in the territories of Judah and Benjamin, (11) he assigned an army commander to each of them and stocked them with supplies of food, olive oil, and wine, (12) as well as with shields and spears. He used these fortified cities to keep control of Judah and Benjamin.
The Priests and the Levites Support Rehoboam
(13) The priests and Levites from the northern tribes of Israel gave their support to King Rehoboam. (14) And since Jeroboam and the kings of Israel that followed him would not allow any Levites to serve as priests, most Levites left their towns and pasturelands in Israel and moved to Jerusalem and other towns in Judah. (15) Jeroboam chose his own priests to serve at the local shrines in Israel and at the places of worship where he had set up statues of goat-demons and of calves.
(16) But some of the people from Israel wanted to worship the LORD God, just as their ancestors had done. So they followed the priests and Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the LORD. (17) For the next three years, they lived in Judah and were loyal to Rehoboam and his kingdom, just as they had been loyal to David and Solomon.
(18) Rehoboam married Mahalath, whose father was Jerimoth son of David, and whose mother was Abihail the daughter of Eliab and granddaughter of Jesse. (19) Rehoboam and Mahalath had three sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. (20) Then Rehoboam married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. Their sons were Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.
(21) Rehoboam had eighteen wives, but he also married sixty other women, and he was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. Rehoboam loved his wife Maacah the most, (22) so he chose their oldest son Abijah to be the next king. (23) Rehoboam was wise enough to put one of his sons in charge of each fortified city in his kingdom. He gave them all the supplies they needed and found wives for every one of them.
[A psalm and a song by Asaph for the music leader. To the tune "Don't Destroy." ]
Praise God for All He Has Done
(1) Our God, we thank you for being so near to us!
Everyone celebrates your wonderful deeds.
(2) You have set a time to judge with fairness.
(3) The earth trembles, and its people shake;
you alone keep its foundations firm.
(4) You tell every bragger, "Stop bragging!"
And to the wicked you say, "Don't boast of your power!
(5) Stop bragging! Quit telling me how great you are."
(6) Our LORD and our God, victory doesn't come
from the east or the west or from the desert.
(7) You are the one who judges.
You can take away power and give it to others.
(8) You hold in your hand a cup filled with wine,
strong and foaming.
You will pour out some
for every sinful person on this earth,
and they will have to drink until it is gone.
(9) But I will always tell about you, the God of Jacob,
and I will sing your praise.
(10) Our Lord, you will destroy the power of evil people,
but you will give strength to those who are good.
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