Today’s Bible Reading

November 21

Old Testament I
2 Chronicles 16, 17
2 Chronicles 16:

In this chapter, we see King Asa of Judah facing an attack from Baasha, the king of Israel. Instead of seeking the Lord's help, Asa made a treaty with the king of Aram and used the temple's treasures to pay him off. This caused the prophet Hanani to rebuke Asa for relying on man instead of God. Asa responded by putting Hanani in prison and oppressing some of his people. The chapter concludes with Asa being afflicted with a disease in his feet, and he died in the 41st year of his reign.

2 Chronicles 17:

In this chapter, we see the reign of Asa's son, Jehoshaphat, who was a faithful king and followed the Lord's commands. Jehoshaphat sent teachers throughout the land to teach the people the Law of the Lord, and he also fortified the cities of Judah to protect his people from their enemies. As a result, the Lord blessed Jehoshaphat, and he became very wealthy and powerful. This chapter concludes with a summary of Jehoshaphat's reign and his military accomplishments.

Old Testament II
Ezekiel 37
Ezekiel 37 is a prophetic vision given to the prophet Ezekiel. In this vision, Ezekiel is taken by the Spirit of God to a valley filled with dry bones. The bones represent the nation of Israel, which had been scattered and destroyed. The Lord asks Ezekiel if the bones can live again, and Ezekiel replies that only God knows.

The Lord then commands Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones, saying, "O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live" (Ezekiel 37:4-5). Ezekiel does as he is commanded, and as he prophesies, the bones come together, bone to bone, and are covered with flesh.

However, they remain lifeless until God breathes life into them. The breath of God fills them with life, and they stand up as a vast army. The Lord explains to Ezekiel that the bones represent the nation of Israel, which has been destroyed and scattered, but will be restored by the power of God.

The Lord goes on to say that he will bring the people of Israel back to their own land and make them one nation again. He will put his Spirit in them and they will live under his covenant. He promises to be their God, and they will be his people. They will be blessed abundantly and will never again be destroyed.

The vision is a powerful message of hope and restoration to the people of Israel, who were in captivity at the time of Ezekiel's prophecy. It reminds them that God is powerful enough to restore even the most hopeless situation and that he is faithful to his promises. The message is also relevant to us today, reminding us that God is able to bring life to even the most dead and barren places in our lives.

New Testament
John 15:1-16

John 15:1-16 is a section of Jesus' teaching to his disciples, in which he uses the metaphor of a vine and its branches to describe the importance of remaining connected to him in order to bear fruit and live a fulfilling life.

In the passage, Jesus says that he is the true vine and his followers are the branches. He explains that just as a branch cannot bear fruit unless it remains connected to the vine, his followers cannot bear fruit unless they remain connected to him. He goes on to say that God is the gardener who tends to the vine, pruning the branches that do not bear fruit so that they may bear even more fruit.

Jesus also emphasizes the importance of abiding in him and his love, saying that those who remain in him will bear much fruit and will experience his joy. He encourages his followers to love one another as he has loved them, and to obey his commandments so that they may remain in his love.

Finally, Jesus tells his disciples that he has chosen them to bear fruit and that they should go out and spread his message to others, bringing them into a relationship with him and enabling them to bear fruit as well.

Overall, the passage teaches that our connection to Jesus is essential for living a fruitful and fulfilling life, and that this connection is maintained through our love for him, obedience to his commandments, and love for one another.