Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
So all of you approached me and said, “Let’s send some men ahead of us to scout out the land and bring us back word as to how we should attack it and what the cities are like there.”
Then you responded to me and admitted, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will now go up and fight as the Lord our God has told us to do.” So you each put on your battle gear and prepared to go up to the hill country.
then his sister-in-law must approach him in view of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, and spit in his face. 1 She will then respond, “Thus may it be done to any man who does not maintain his brother’s family line!” 2
Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, was serving the Lord 1 in those days), “Should we 2 once more march out to fight the Benjaminites our brothers, 3 or should we 4 quit?” The Lord said, “Attack, for tomorrow I will hand them 5 over to you.”
Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said, “My lord should not say, ‘They have killed all the young men who are the king’s sons.’ For only Amnon is dead. This is what Absalom has talked about 1 from the day that Amnon 2 humiliated his sister Tamar.
Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace and handed it to his servants. He then told them to deliver it 1 to Ben Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, ruler in Damascus, along with this message:
So they put sackcloth around their waists and ropes on their heads and went to the king of Israel. They said, “Your servant 1 Ben Hadad says, ‘Please let me live!’” Ahab 2 replied, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” 3
They said to him, “Look, there are fifty capable men with your servants. Let them go and look for your master, for the wind sent from the Lord 1 may have carried him away and dropped him on one of the hills or in one of the valleys.” But Elisha 2 replied, “Don’t send them out.”
An officer who was the king’s right-hand man 1 responded to the prophet, 2 “Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” 3 Elisha 4 said, “Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!” 5
So the horseman 1 went to meet him and said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” 2 Jehu replied, “None of your business! 3 Follow me.” The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them, but hasn’t started back.”
‘You displayed a sensitive spirit 1 and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard how I intended to make this place and its residents into an appalling example of an accursed people. 2 You tore your clothes and wept before me, and I have heard you,’ says the Lord.
He met 1 Asa and told him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin! The Lord is with you when you are loyal to him. 2 If you seek him, he will respond to you, 3 but if you reject him, he will reject you.
The Annals of the Prophets include his prayer, give an account of how the Lord responded to it, record all his sins and unfaithful acts, and identify the sites where he built high places and erected Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself. 1
‘You displayed a sensitive spirit 1 and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words concerning this place and its residents. You humbled yourself before me, tore your clothes and wept before me, and I have heard you,’ says the Lord.
With antiphonal response they sang, 1 praising and glorifying the Lord: “For he is good; his loyal love toward Israel is forever.” All the people gave a loud 2 shout as they praised the Lord when the temple of the Lord was established.
I also shook out my garment, 1 and I said, “In this way may God shake out from his house and his property every person who does not carry out 2 this matter. In this way may he be shaken out and emptied!” All the assembly replied, “So be it!” and they praised the LORD. Then the people did as they had promised. 3
And you solemnly admonished them in order to return them to your law, but they behaved presumptuously and did not obey your commandments. They sinned against your ordinances – those by which an individual, if he obeys them, 1 will live. They boldly turned from you; 2 they rebelled 3 and did not obey.
Why does no one challenge me when I come? Why does no one respond when I call? 1 Is my hand too weak 2 to deliver 3 you? Do I lack the power to rescue you? Look, with a mere shout 4 I can dry up the sea; I can turn streams into a desert, so the fish rot away and die from lack of water. 5
I predestine you to die by the sword, 1 all of you will kneel down at the slaughtering block, 2 because I called to you, and you did not respond, I spoke and you did not listen. You did evil before me; 3 you chose to do what displeases me.”