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2 Chronicles 35 (NKJV)
18
There had been no Passover kept in Israel like that since the days of Samuel the prophet; and none of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, with the priests and the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
19
In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.

NOTE:
See the beauty of community as each group, each person fulfilled their proper roles in joyous celebration of the Lord’s deliverance. Out of joy they helped each other worship God with reverence.

It must have been a beautiful sight to behold.

2 Chronicles 35 (NKJV)
20
After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him.
21
But he sent messengers to him, saying, “What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you.”

NOTE
It is puzzling why King Josiah meddled in the affairs of Necho king of Egypt. It was not Josiah’s battle, nor did Necho king of Egypt want to fight Josiah.

Perhaps (this is only my opinion) this was God’s way of sparing Josiah so that God could fulfill the promise He had made to Josiah in 2 Chronicles 34 (NKJV):
27
because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the LORD.
28
“Surely I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place and its inhabitants.”’” So they brought back word to the king.
~~~

OR… Josiah could have lived longer by living with more wisdom. Foolishness can end a life early.

Perhaps Josiah could have had an opportunity to glorify God longer and lead the people of Israel deeper into the goodness of the Lord.
~~~

2 Chronicles 36 (NKJV)
20
And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia,
21
to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

NOTE:
I know Christians have differing views on the Sabbath.

Some say it is Saturday, and some say the Christian Sabbath is on Sunday.

Other Christians say that there is no “day” set aside for the Sabbath, and that there is a lifestyle of “Sabbath rest” into which each believer can choose to live based on God’s grace.

Either way—regardless of the particular view of the Sabbath day—it seems to me that God places a great deal of importance on us choosing to deliberately set aside time to seek Him.

We are called to deliberately and regularly seek the Lord, receive and drink from His Grace, and take time to be holy as He enables us.

Hebrews 3 (NKJV)
12
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
13
but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
15
while it is said: “ Today, if you will hear His voice,do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
[Psalm 95:7, 8]

Hebrews 4 (NKJV)
1
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
2
For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it [OR did profit them, since they were not united by faith with those who heeded it].
3
For we who have believed do enter that rest,

8
For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.
9
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
10
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Hebrews 4 (Amplified Bible)
11
Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].

14
Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him].
15
For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.

BY GOD’S GRACE, we are made holy in His sight because of the supreme, matchless sacrifice of the Lord Jesus in our place and on our behalf.

I Corinthians 1 (NKJV)
2
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, WITH ALL WHO IN EVERY PLACE CALL ON THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, both theirs and ours:
~~~

May we take time to spend in God’s Presence so He can confirm us to the end, that is to complete what He started in us with joy.

Then, we can become in our lives what God has already made us to be in Christ!

I Corinthians 1 (NKJV)
8
who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 27 (NKJV)
4
One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.
5
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

Vance

Cyrus

There is extra-biblical evidence that Cyrus was aware of the prophecies. The first-century Jewish writer Flavius Josephus wrote:

...by reading the book which left behind of his prophecies; for this prophet said that God had spoken thus to him in a secret vision "My will is, that Cyrus, whom I have appointed to be king over many and great nations, send back my people to their own land, and build my temple." Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfil what was so written. (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities, xi, Chapt. 1-2)
http://www.templemount.org/secondtmp.html

http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-11.htm


1Cor

Corinth: a decent short background of the city.
http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/corinthians/city.stm

Not included:
Population at Paul's time around 400,000.
Large temple dedicated to Venus (Aphrodite), staffed with 1,000 temple prostitutes.

"The Corinthian people were also world known: for partying, drunkenness, and loose sexual morals. The term Korinthiazomai was well known in the Roman Empire and it meant literally “to live like a Corinthian.” But everyone knew it really meant “to be sexually out of control.” “Aelian, the late Greek writer, tells us that if ever a Corinthian was shown upon the stage in a Greek play he was shown drunk.” (Barclay)
======================================================
In his "Thanksgiving" I am struck by Paul reaffirming that God has bestowed the grace, through Him you are enriched, He will make sure (keep you strong), and a reminder: our God is a Faithful God.

It is all through God, and one of the passages that leads me to believe we cannot lose salvation.
======================================================
Unity is again the theme. With approximately 200 Christians amongst a population of 400,000 - there must be a lot of outside distractions. The last thing that is needed is discord amongst the "believers".

I wonder if the "I follow Christ" crowd were being referred to as perhaps the "sanctimonius" bunch??? Thinking of themselves too good to mix with others??? [just thinking out loud]

They were (as we are) to stick to the Gospel - that is what we are unified about - Jesus Christ. The words of Paul, Peter and Apollos may have differed but there message was the same.


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