Today’s Bible Reading

September 30

Old Testament I
1 Kings 22
1 Kings 22 recounts the story of the final years of King Ahab of Israel, including his alliance with King Jehoshaphat of Judah and their plan to go to war against the city of Ramoth-gilead, which was under the control of the king of Aram.

The chapter begins with Jehoshaphat visiting Ahab in Samaria, and Ahab asking him to join him in battle against Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat agrees, but suggests that they first inquire of the Lord through prophets to see if they will be successful in their campaign. Ahab brings together his prophets, who all prophesy success, but Jehoshaphat insists on hearing from a prophet of the Lord.

Ahab reluctantly sends for Micaiah, a prophet who has previously prophesied against him, but ultimately agrees to let him speak. Micaiah prophesies that the Israelites will be defeated and scattered, and that Ahab will be killed in battle. Ahab is angry with Micaiah and has him thrown into prison.

Despite the warning, Ahab and Jehoshaphat go to war, and Ahab disguises himself in battle. However, he is struck by an arrow and dies, just as Micaiah had prophesied. Jehoshaphat returns to Jerusalem, and Ahab's son Ahaziah becomes king of Israel.

The chapter ends with a brief account of Jehoshaphat's reign in Judah, noting that he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord but did not remove the high places where people worshipped other gods.

Old Testament II
Jeremiah 51:1-24
Jeremiah 51:1-24 is a prophetic message against Babylon, a powerful empire that had oppressed the people of Israel. The passage begins with a call to destroy Babylon, with God commanding his people to raise a banner and shout for the destruction of the city.

The passage goes on to describe the reasons for God's judgement on Babylon, including their pride and arrogance, their worship of false gods, and their oppression of other nations. God promises to use other nations, including the Medes and the Persians, to bring about Babylon's downfall.

The passage also contains a warning to the people of Israel, reminding them not to be seduced by Babylon's wealth and power, and to remember their true allegiance to God. The passage ends with a call for the people of Israel to flee from Babylon and to praise God for his justice and righteousness.

Overall, the passage is a powerful statement of God's sovereignty and his commitment to justice, even in the face of seemingly invincible empires. It reminds us that no matter how powerful or wealthy a nation may seem, it is ultimately subject to the judgement of God.

New Testament
Hebrews 4:14 - 5:10
Hebrews 4:14-5:10 is a passage that emphasizes the greatness of Jesus Christ as our High Priest. It begins by encouraging believers to hold fast to their confession of faith, acknowledging that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God. This high priest, unlike the Old Testament priests, is able to sympathize with our weaknesses and has been tempted in every way, yet without sin.

The author then explains that Jesus Christ was appointed by God as a high priest in the order of Melchizedek, a mysterious figure from the Old Testament who was both a king and a priest. Jesus, like Melchizedek, was not a priest by virtue of his ancestry or lineage, but by the power of an indestructible life. This makes him a perfect high priest who is able to save completely those who come to God through him.

The author then addresses the readers' spiritual immaturity, saying that they have become dull of hearing and need to be taught the basic principles of the oracles of God again. He admonishes them to move beyond the milk of the Word and to mature in their faith.

The author then continues to develop the theme of Jesus' high priesthood, saying that he did not exalt himself to this position, but was appointed by God. Like the Old Testament priests, Jesus offered sacrifices for sin, but he did not offer the blood of bulls and goats. Rather, he offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin, once for all. This sacrifice made it possible for believers to approach God with confidence, knowing that their sins have been forgiven and that they have been made righteous in his sight.

The author concludes by emphasizing that Jesus' appointment as high priest was not based on his own merit, but on his obedience and submission to God. He learned obedience through suffering, and was made perfect through it. As believers, we are called to follow Jesus' example of obedience, trusting that God will lead us through our trials and refine us in the process.