Daily Devotion and Prayer for March 27th, 2024

+ DAILY PRAYER +

A Scroll of the Torah Discovered in the Temple Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the scroll of the Torah in the temple of Yahweh,” and Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan and he read it. Shaphan the secretary came to the king and returned the king a word, and he said, “Your servant poured out the money found in the temple, and they have given it into the hand of the doers of the work appointed over the temple of Yahweh….

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

     Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy!

     In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! 

     Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan,

     and he hears my voice. 

     Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;

     He will never permit the righteous to be moved. 

Psalm 89:20-27

Psa 89:20  I have found David, my servant;

with my holy oil I have anointed him, 

Psa 89:21  so that my hand shall be established with him;

my arm also shall strengthen him. 

Psa 89:22  The enemy shall not outwit him;

the wicked shall not humble him. 

Psa 89:23  I will crush his foes before him

and strike down those who hate him. 

Psa 89:24  My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,

and in my name shall his horn be exalted. 

Psa 89:25  I will set his hand on the sea

and his right hand on the rivers. 

Psa 89:26  He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God,

and the Rock of my salvation.’ 

Psa 89:27  And I will make him the firstborn,

the highest of the kings of the earth. 

Reading for Wednesday March 27th     2 Kings 22:8-23:20

A Scroll of the Torah Discovered in the Temple

Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the scroll of the Torah in the temple of Yahweh,” and Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan and he read it. Shaphan the secretary came to the king and returned the king a word, and he said, “Your servant poured out the money found in the temple, and they have given it into the hand of the doers of the work appointed over the temple of Yahweh.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” Then Shaphan read before the king.

11 When the king heard the words of the scroll of the Torah, he tore his clothes. 12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Acbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the servant of the king, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of Yahweh for me and for the people and for all of Judah concerning the words of this scroll that was found. For the wrath of Yahweh that is kindled against us is great because our ancestors did not listen to the words of this scroll to do according to all that is written concerning us!”

The Prophetess Huldah Predicts Doom for Judah

14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah the son of Harhas, the keeper of the robes. Now she was living in Jerusalem in the second district. Then they spoke to her, 15 and she said to them, “Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, ‘Say to the man who sent you to me, 16 “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Look I am bringing evil to this place and upon its inhabitants, according to all of the words of that scroll that the king of Judah has read 17 because they have abandoned me and they have burned incense to other gods, provoking me to anger with all of the works of their hands. My wrath shall be kindled against this place and not be quenched.’ ” 18 And to the king of Judah who sent all of you to inquire of Yahweh, thus you shall say to him, “Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, ‘Concerning the words that you have heard, 19 because you have a responsive heart, and you humbled yourself before Yahweh when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants to become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before my face, I have also heard, declares Yahweh. 20 Therefore look, I am gathering you to your ancestors, and you shall be gathered to your tombs in peace. Your eyes will not see all of the disaster that I am bringing onto this place.’ ” ’ ” Then they ?reported the word? to the king.

Josiah’s Covenantal Reforms

23 So the king sent word, and all of the elders of Judah and Jerusalem gathered to him. Then the king went up to the temple of Yahweh, and all of the men of Judah and all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were with him, including the priests, the prophets, and all of the people from smallest to greatest; and in their ?hearing? he read all of the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been found in the temple of Yahweh. Then the king stood by the pillar, and he ?made? a covenant before Yahweh, to go after Yahweh and to keep his commands and his warnings and his statutes with all of his heart and with all of his soul, to keep the words of this covenant written on this scroll. Then all of the people ?joined? in the covenant.

Then the ?king? commanded Hilkiah the high priest, the second priests, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of Yahweh all of the objects made for Baal and for the Asherah and for all the host of heaven, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and then he carried their ashes to Bethel. He removed the priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense on the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem and who offered incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven. He brought out the Asherah image from the temple of Yahweh outside of Jerusalem to the Wadi Kidron and burnt it at the Wadi Kidron; then he pulverized it to dust and threw its dust upon the tombs of the ?common people?. He tore down the shrines of the male shrine prostitutes that were in the temple of Yahweh, where the women were weaving shrines for the Asherah. Then he brought all of the priests from the cities of Judah and defiled the high places where the priests from Geba up to Beersheba burned incense. He tore down the high places of the gates which were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the governor of the city, which were on the left of each gate of the city. However, the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread in the midst of their relatives. 10 He defiled the Topheth which is in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, ?to prevent? anyone causing his sons or his daughters to pass through the fire for Molech. 11 He kept the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun from coming to the temple of Yahweh at the side room of Nathan-Melech the eunuch, which was in the court; and the chariots of the sun he burned with fire. 12 The altars that were on the roof of the upper room of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courtyards of the temple of Yahweh, the king tore down and ran from there and threw their ashes into the Wadi Kidron. 13 The high places that were east of Jerusalem, which were on the south of the Mountain of Destruction which Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab and for Milcom the detestable thing of the ?Ammonites?, the king defiled. 14 He also broke into pieces the stone pillars and cut down the Asherah poles and covered their sites with human bones.

15 Moreover, the altar that was in Bethel, the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin, had built, even that altar and the high place, Josiah tore down. Then he burned down the high place and crushed the pole of Asherah worship to dust and burned it with fire. 16 When Josiah turned and saw the tombs which were there on the hill, he sent and took the bones from the tombs and burned them on the altar. Thus he defiled them according to the word of Yahweh that the man of God had proclaimed who had proclaimed these things. 17 Then he said, “What is this gravestone that I am seeing?” The men of the city said to him, “This is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things that you have done against the altar of Bethel.” 18 So Josiah said, “Let him rest and let no man move his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed with the bones of the prophet who had come from Samaria. 19 Moreover, all of the shrines of the high places which were in the towns of Samaria which the kings of Israel had made to provoke Yahweh, Josiah removed, and he did to them like all of the deeds he had done in Bethel. 20 Then he slaughtered all of the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, and he burned the bones of the humans on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Lord’s Prayer

Daily Prayer

   Merciful and everlasting God, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all to bear our sins on the cross.  Grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we fear not the power of sin, death, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Concluding Prayer

    Heavenly Father, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts to direct and rule us according to Your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.