Our reading in the Old Testament will take us through the end of II Kings. In the continuing accounts of the kings of Israel, we will see that the “high places” of pagan sacrifice had not been destroyed and that the kings of Israel continued “doing evil in the sight of the Lord.” This will lead to the end of the kingdom of Israel. The narrative will then turn to the kings of Judah, to the south. King Hezekiah removed the “high places,” and King Josiah’s reign brought reform, but still the Assyrians besieged Jerusalem, and ultimately Judah, too, came to an end. Then came the deportation to Babylon.
We will also read to the end of the Book of Acts. Paul, bound in chains, will give his stirring testimony to Roman government officials. His convincing rhetoric asserts the power of his faith, compelling many to believe. Then he sails for Italy under the supervision of a Roman centurion, and they are shipwrecked.
The Bible can make for adventurous summer reading! And it can also serve to shore up our faith during days when the news around us is discouraging. I hope that your continued reading in the Bible Challenge has become a source of strength and encouragement for you.