A Successful, Long Life

This was a Mother’s Day I will never forget! Our daughter-in-law Bethany and granddaughter Olivia were baptized. Hearing them profess their belief in Jesus Christ and seeing this public act of faith was thrilling.

Jesus, our example, was baptized to show the world He was following God.

Joining us at the celebration were her parents and my mother. After the service, the twelve of us met at a local restaurant. It was wonderful having four generations gather around the table.

The Jewish generations got together every year at Passover.

First Passover in 215 years

2 Chronicles 30:5, “So they sent an edict throughout Israel from Beer Sheba to Dan, summoning the people to come and observe a Passover for the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem, for they had not observed it on a nationwide scale as prescribed in the law.” New English Translation

Beer Sheba was the southernmost city of Judah. Dan was the northernmost city of Israel.

2 Chronicles 30:11, “But some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.” NET

(Representatives from only 3 of the 10 tribes of Israel participated.)

Rehoboam, Solomon’s son became king in 930 B.C. The nation split into Judah and Israel that year with Jeroboam becoming King of Israel.

Hezekiah’s rule began in 715 B.C. It had been 215 years since there was a nationwide celebration of the Passover.

Hoshea was the last king of Israel. The Assyrians captured and deported most of the Israelites in 722 B.C. The remnant of Israel had lived without leadership for seven years.

Source: “Rulers of the Divided Kingdom of Israel and Judah,” New International Version Study Bible Chart, p. 545.

“Don’t accomplish easy things first, or hard things first, or urgent things first. Do first things first – the activities that provide you with the highest return.”

“How Successful People Think,” John C. Maxwell, (New York: Center Street, 2009)


The first thing to do is what increases our faith.

Hezekiah’s Success

2 Kings 18:5-8, “He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; in this regard there was none like him among the kings of Judah either before or after.

6) He was loyal to the Lord and did not abandon Him. He obeyed the commandments that the Lord had given to Moses.

7) The Lord was with him; he succeeded in all his endeavors. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and refused to submit to him.

8) He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.” NET


  1. Fully Trusted God.
  2. Was loyal to God.
  3. Never abandoned his faith.
  4. Obeyed the commandments.
  5. Stayed with the Lord.
  6. Succeeded in all his endeavors.
  7. Submitted only to God.
  8. Defeated his enemies.
  9. Took back what the enemy stole.

Hoshea’s Defeat

The king of Assyria besieged Hoshea’s capital city, Samaria. After three years, he captured it and deported the people of Israel and King Hoshea to Assyria.

2 Kings 18:12, “This happened because they did not obey the Lord their God and broke his covenant with them. They did not pay attention to and obey all that Moses, the Lord’s servant had commanded.” NET

Our Sovereign God

“Declare God’s sovereignty over your fears and insecurities. Ask the Lord to use difficult situations in your life for His glory and to silence those who oppose Him. Pray for courage and faith.”

New English Translation Notes on 2 Kings 18:13-37


Psalms 84:11-12, “For the Lord God is our sovereign protector. The Lord bestows favor and honor; He withholds no good thing from those who have integrity.

12) O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, how blessed are those who trust in you.” NET

It’s Not Dead

Isaiah 11:10, “At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic.” NET

A sculpture of a tree stump with branches growing out of it in the Upper Room.

Oh, that America would look to Jesus for guidance!

2 Kings 19:19, “Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power, so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you, Lord, are the only God.” NET

Let all the nations know the Lord is the only God! I love that I read these verses on Wednesday. That is the day I pray for America, Iowa, Jefferson County, Fairfield, and all the leaders and workers.

Speak Life

Isaiah 38:20, “The Lord is about to deliver me, and we will celebrate with music for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.” NET

Hezekiah said this after Isaiah told him he was going to die!!! God sent Isaiah back and told Hezekiah he would live for 15 more years, 2 Kings 20:4-7.

Proverbs 12:14, “A person will be satisfied with the good from the fruit of his words, and the work of his hands will be rendered to him.” NET

Living a Long Life

Isaiah 17:6, “There will be some left behind, as when an olive tree is beaten – two or three ripe olives remain toward the very top, four or five on its fruitful branches,’ says the Lord God of Israel.” NET

Isaiah 23:15, “At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the typical life span of a king. …” NET

A king had the best food, clothes, home, and medical care. He had servants to do whatever he wanted. His life span was 70 years.

After 40, Moses had a hard life. He was a shepherd in the desert until he was 80. Then he spent another 40 years in the desert leading millions of people around following God. He died at 120 years.

Hard work doesn’t hurt you; it keeps you strong and prolongs your life. Follow God and stay on top! He promises to help us.

Isaiah 9:6, “…He shoulders responsibility and is called Wonderful Advisor, …” NET

Isaiah 9:1, “The gloom will be dispelled for those who are anxious. …” NET

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.  All Rights Reserved.

Storage Areas

It was a week of recuperation. Several nights I slept for 10 hours! I didn’t exercise anything but my feet. I stopped “spring cleaning.” The donations from my storage room still need to be boxed up. But God was working on the “storage room” in my heart.

God is Our Father

Hosea 6:6, “For I delight in faithfulness, not simply in sacrifice; I delight in acknowledging God, not simply in whole burnt offerings.” New English Translation

“…God disciplines not simply to punish but also to correct and restore. …This deep interaction between you and God is not about you facing a judge; it’s about you coming home to your Father.”

New English Translation Notes on Hosea 6:1-3


“If you don’t know God, you will not fulfill your purpose.” Pastor Monte Knudsen, April 30, 2023

Follow the Lord

Hosea 11:10-11, “‘He will roar like a lion, and they will follow the Lord; when He roars, His children will come trembling from the west.

11) They will return in fear and trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria, and I will settle them in their home,’ says the Lord.” NET

“As you pray through God’s Word, acknowledge your need for God’s grace and mercy. And then look toward the future: How can you begin to ‘follow the Lord’ (v. 10) more intently? Ask God to show you how to pursue Him with intention.”

NET Notes on Hosea 11:8-11


Psalms 78:72, “David cared for them with pure motives; he led them with skill.” NET

Skillful leaders check their attitudes as they follow the Lord.

God Plans Our Future

“…Isaiah 42:9, states that God is the One who declares things before they happen. …who will bring both judgment and mercy to His people and to the nations. …who plans the future and who will raise up a future Messiah and King…the Servant who suffers on behalf of His people.

…Jesus fulfilled the role and calling of this Servant. …and…the Messianic predictions found in this book. …His work brings salvation, freedom, and healing to all who put their trust in Him. …”

NET Introduction to Isaiah


Isaiah 1:16-17, “Wash! Cleanse yourselves! Remove your sinful deeds from my sight. Stop sinning.

17) Learn to do what is right. Promote justice. Give the oppressed reason to celebrate. Take up the cause of the orphan. Defend the rights of the widow.” NET

What the Lord Approves

Isaiah 3:14, “…You have stashed in your houses what you have stolen from the poor.” NET

I have stashed in my storage room items that could be used by the poor!

The synagogue storage room in the Nazareth Village. They stored the scrolls in clay jars here.

What the Lord Approves

2 Chronicles 27:2, “He did what the Lord approved, just as his father Uzziah had done. (He did not, however, have the audacity to enter the temple.) Yet the people were still sinning.” NET

“…Reflect on what you noticed from the passage and look for a connection to your life. Consider your commitment to remain faithful to the Lord even when those around you are ‘still sinning.’ (v. 2). …”

NET Notes on 2 Chronicles 27:2-6


How to Live

“Have you ever wondered what God wants from you? How do you approach a holy God?

…God sent Micah to proclaim a message of judgment and hope… Do you think God wants from you only outward actions, such as daily Bible reading, regular church attendance, and frequent prayer? Have you become legalistic about your spiritual disciplines?

Examine your heart. Then read what God desires in Micah 6:8. [“He has told you, O man, what is good and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to carry out justice, to love faithfulness, and to live obediently before your God.” NET]

Walking humbly with God is a lifestyle. …He wants to be our Companion as we journey through life. …He desires relationship, not religious ritualism.”

NET Introduction to Micah


Micah 5:7, “Those survivors from Jacob will live in the midst of many nations. They will be like the dew the Lord sends, like the rain on the grass, that does not hope for men to come or wait around for humans to arrive.” NET

Dew is a symbol of fruitfulness or God’s blessings. It does not wait for anyone or depend on men.

“Thank God that His plans stay far ahead of our needs, that our concerns and fears never take Him by surprise. Invite Him to lead you to the future He knows is best for you. …”

NET Notes on Micah 5:2-6


Micah 6:10-11, “I will not overlook, O sinful house, the dishonest gain you have hoarded away or the smaller-than-standard measure I hate so much.

11) I do not condone the use of rigged scales or a bag of deceptive weights.” NET

Life Without Fear

Isaiah 8:11-14, “Indeed this is what the Lord told me quite forcefully. He warned me not to act like these people.

12) ‘…Don’t be afraid of what scares them; don’t be terrified.

13) You must recognize the authority of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He is the one you must respect; He is the one you must fear.

14) He will become a sanctuary. …'” NET

“God told Isaiah not to fear impending threats. …In 1 Peter 3:14, we see Isaiah’s words again. Peter called on his readers to put their hope in Christ.

…consider how you respond to rumors of danger and threats. …Remember that God is your sanctuary (v. 14). Pray that you would grow in awareness of His protection, security, and love.”

NET notes on Isaiah 8:11-15

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.  All Rights Reserved.

Examine Ourselves

As I read last week, God showed me motives and attitudes that displeased Him. I repented and He forgave me. God leads us through dry places so we will examine ourselves.

The wilderness by the Dead Sea.

Wholehearted Devotion

2 Chronicles 25:2, “He did what the Lord approved, but not with wholehearted devotion.” New English Translation

I thought of some “I should” phrases:

  • I should kneel to pray.
  • I should sing and dance in worship at home.
  • I should pray for an hour.

“…Reflect on the importance of cultivating ‘wholehearted devotion’ and how this verse applies to your service to God. Honestly evaluate how well you do what is right in God’s sight with the right motivation (heart).”

New English Translation notes on 2 Chronicles 25:2


The notes showed me God is not concerned with outward service. He is concerned with what is in my heart.

I can do all those “shoulds,” but if my heart is not right, I do not have “wholehearted devotion.”

Good Attitude

Jonah 4:1, “This displeased Jonah terribly and he became very angry.” NET

“Although Jonah obeyed God, he did it with a terrible attitude. What is your attitude like when you obey God? What does your attitude tend to look like when you disobey Him?”

NET Notes on Jonah 4:1-11


“The discipline of the Lord is never pleasant, but Hebrews 12 tells us that God disciplines those He loves, just as earthly fathers discipline their children to correct their behavior, God, our heavenly Father, uses discipline for our gain (see Hebrews 12:10).

God does not delight in disciplining or bringing judgment; rather His goal is always restoration and the betterment of His people.

…The words of Joel 2:25-26 say that God can restore…Even if life has left you feeling wiped out, God still has the last word. Trust that as you come before Him in humility, He will not only show mercy but also restore and bless you in greater ways than before.

…God wants us to know that His plans for His people go beyond this life. This world and the hardships we endure are preparing us for God’s greater promises. Allow His promises to bring hope to you in your circumstances today.”

NET Introduction to the book of Joel


Joel 2:32, “It will so happen that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered. For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who survive, just as the Lord has promised; the remnant will be those whom the Lord will call.” NET


“What are your fears of the future? The better you define them, the more effectively you can pray and take steps to minimize or resolve them.”

NET notes on Joel 3:9-16

2 Chronicles 26:5, “…As long as he followed the Lord, God caused him to succeed.” NET


2 Chronicles 26:16, “But once he became powerful, his pride destroyed him. He disobeyed the Lord his God. …” NET

“When a person starts thinking about social justice and what God has to say about it, it’s a good idea to read the book of Amos.

…Amos’s focus on ancient Israel’s problems with ethics can teach us a lot. The prophet found that the key to cultivating a healthy social conscience was to routinely and carefully maintain the sacred memory of the Lord’s saving acts throughout history.”

NET Introduction to Amos


Active Prayer

“Confession and repentance should not be occasional practices; they should be regular parts of an active prayer life.”

NET Notes on Amos 3:12-4:3


Amos 3:6, “If an alarm sounds in a city, do people not fear? If disaster overtakes a city, is the Lord not responsible?” NET

On the Level

Amos 7:7, “He showed me this: I saw the Lord standing by a tin wall holding tin in his hand.” NET

“Why do you think Amos didn’t ask God to relent when he saw the tin wall vision? When you measure yourself against God’s tin wall (His ways, His standards), how do you measure up?”

NET notes on Amos 7:1-9


Other translations use “plumb line” instead of “tin wall.” We use a “level” today.

“Thank the Lord for exposing parts of your heart and life that still need work. Surrender those places to Him, and ask for the Spirit to help you grow in those places.”

NET Notes on Amos 7:10-17


Amos 8:5, “…We are eager to sell less for a higher price…” NET

We call that “shrinkflation,” the same container with less product. And the prices keep creeping up – a nickel here, a dollar or two there.

Amos 8:6, “…We want to mix in some chaff with the grain!” NET

Several years ago, they found sawdust mixed in with grated parmesan cheese. After that, I switched to shredded or block parmesan cheese and shredded it myself.

Caring for Others

Amos 8:8, “Because of this the earth will quake, and all who live in it will mourn. The whole earth will rise like the Nile River, it will surge upward and then grow calm, like the Nile in Egypt.” NET

In February, Turkey experienced severe earthquakes, (see here.)

California is seeing lakes fill that have been empty for over 80 years, see Ghost Lake. There are farms, towns, and orchards on the lake bed that are flooding and disappearing.

The snow on top of the Sierra Nevada, which feeds the lake, hasn’t melted yet. This flooding hasn’t peaked!

We have flooding along the Mississippi River, see here.

“Ask God to remain with His people and preserve them (v. 2). Pray that God would raise up more people to care for the poor and needy (v. 4). Make sure you are leaving time for spiritual and physical rest (v. 5). Ask God to keep you from loving wealth more than Him (vv. 5-6).”

NET Notes on Amos 8:1-6


Hope in God

“Passages of hope and salvation appear throughout the book (2:14-23; 11:8-11; 14:4-8), indicating that God’s mercy will triumph over judgment.

… Remember that if you have strayed from serving God alone, He is a merciful God who desires your return to Him. He longs to heal you, even in the midst of correction (14:2-4).

…May the words of Hosea encourage you toward a true and loving relationship with God, who desires to be your highest hope. Only He can satisfy the desires of your heart. …”

NET Introduction to Hosea


Our Assignment

Hosea 1:4, “Then the Lord said to Hosea, ‘Name him “Jezreel,” because in a little while I will punish the dynasty of Jehu on account of the bloodshed in the valley of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.'” NET

God designated Jehu as King of Israel who would destroy Ahab’s family, 2 Kings 9:1-10. But he went too far. After killing Ahab’s son Joram in the valley of Jezreel, he chased King Ahaziah of Judah. He ordered the archers to shoot him, 2 Kings 9:14-27.

Later, he killed the relatives of King Ahaziah, 2 Kings 10:12-14. His assignment was to kill Ahab’s family in the nation of Israel, not in the nation of Judah.

Bloom Where We Are Planted

Hosea 2:21-22, “‘At that time, I will willingly respond,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will respond to the sky, and the sky will respond to the ground;

22) then the ground will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil; and they will respond to “God plants” (Jezreel)!'” NET

Jezreel means “God plants.” God planted Naboth’s family in the valley of Jezreel. Ahab wanted his land. He had Naboth murdered and stole the land, 1 Kings 21:1-29. Ahab’s son Joram bled to death on that same plot of land, 2 Kings 9:14-26.

We need to bloom where God plants us because we won’t bloom anywhere else.

How to Love Your Spouse

Hosea 3:1, “The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show love to your wife again…'” NET

How did Hosea show love?

  1. He paid for her release from slavery, 3:2.
  2. He spoke tenderly to her using soft tones, 2:14.
  3. He waited for her to initiate sex, 3:3.
  4. He gave her security, 2:18.

Proverbs 29:1, “The one who stiffens his neck after numerous rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy.” NET

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.  All Rights Reserved.

I Saw It!

We almost had a major electrical fire!

Our dryer wouldn’t turn on. The repairman said we needed a new timer, electric board, and wire harness. He could only get two of the three parts. And one side of the 220-volt electrical plug wasn’t working.

David called our neighbor who takes apart appliances and sells the working parts on ebay.com. He said he could get all three parts but asked to look at the dryer first. We agreed.

He checked the parts and the outlet. He took the cover off of the breaker box and tested the breaker.

“Pam, you better come and see this!”

The meter showed 120 volts on one side and 8 volts on the other. There was not enough electricity to run the dryer. He heard crackling and was surprised there were no burn marks in the breaker box.

David called our favorite electrician.

He checked the outlet and the breaker. Both were okay.

“Pam, your dryer is broken.”

“I’m sorry, I saw the 8 on the voltage meter.”

“It’s fine.”

“I saw the 8.”

“Let me check another way. Nope, the electricity is flowing correctly.”

“I saw the 8 with my own two eyes.”

Sighing, he took the breaker out of the box and his face was immediately sober. The breaker’s prongs were too far apart and it was arcing. There were black marks on the inside of the breaker. No wonder I sometimes smelled smoke!

“You have to replace this. I will take it to show David.”

It didn’t arc all of the time, that is why the repairman didn’t catch it. It didn’t arc for the electrician but I saw the evidence on the voltage meter and wouldn’t be dissuaded.


The first four books of the New Testament are eyewitness accounts written by a tax collector, a rich young man, a Gentile physician, and a fisherman. They could not be dissuaded because they witnessed the events with their own two eyes.

Let’s meet them and I will share the verses I highlighted this week from their books.

Matthew, Tax Collector

“Matthew…provides a perspective on Christianity’s roots in Judaism. …refers repeatedly to the Old Testament, offers a strong Jewish outlook, and explicitly discusses the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish authorities…to form a fitting bridge between the Old and New Testaments. …emphasizes that all God’s purposes are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.”

New English Translation Introduction to Matthew


The chief priest Caiaphas was wealthy and lived in a palace, (Matthew 26:3). But he couldn’t heal people, cast out demons, or raise the dead! God used his jealousy to bring Jesus to the cross. There Jesus died for Caiaphas’s sins, yours, and mine.

This is one of the exits from Caiaphas’s house.


There were two men named Jesus, (Matthew 27:16). One took lives, Barabbas; and one gave His life, Jesus Christ.


The crown of thorns did not rest on top of Jesus’ hair. It was pounded into his skull, (Matthew 27:29-30).


Jesus will be with us always, even to the end of the world, (Matthew 28:20).

Mark, Rich Young Man

“Mark…[his] main source was the apostle Peter. …the earliest surviving written account of the life and ministry of Jesus. …in the simplest and most straightforward way. …we see Jesus’ emotions and humanity on display. …shows Jesus to be the Son of God (1:1, 15:39), who has authority over humanity and over the natural and spiritual realms.”

NET Introduction to Mark


Examine yourself before you pray and if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, (Mark 11:25). We forgive because God already forgave us.


Jesus said they would see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven, (Mark 14:62).

A man could not be condemned to death unless there were three witnesses. The best the chief priests could do was find two, (see Matthew 26:59-64).

The only exception was when someone blasphemed. Jesus knew he had to die. When they couldn’t find three people to agree, he incriminated himself in their eyes. But He spoke the truth!


The disciples left the empty tomb in terror and bewilderment. They said nothing because they were afraid, (Mark 16:8). After they saw Jesus, they went from terror, bewilderment, and silence to telling everyone! (Mark 16:19-20).


Luke, Gentile Physician

“Luke…the only Gentile among the Gospel authors. …a physician by profession (Colossians 4:4) as well as a researcher and historian. After a careful investigation…Luke presented an orderly and easily comprehensible account. …wrote primarily for Gentile believers. …used the Greek equivalent of Hebrew words…the common language of the time…enabled more people to understand his book. …had a special interest in those marginalized by society, such as women, children, and the poor. …emphasized that Jesus is the Savior…of the whole world, especially those who are abused and neglected in society. …to reveal that Jesus is the focus of all history and to authenticate the reliability of the information in his Gospel.”

NET Introduction on Luke


Do I welcome Jesus quickly and joyfully like Zacchaeus? (Luke 19:6.)

John, Fisherman

“John…wanted his readers to understand that Jesus was both divine and human, …the source of salvation for all humankind. …to know what Jesus said and who Jesus was. …Jesus’ ‘I am’ statements make up another unique element… In addition to affirming His divinity, Jesus used these metaphors to indicate ways in which He was the ultimate solution to the human condition. …the Messiah whose words were clear only to those who believed in Him.”

NET Introduction to John


Jesus commanded that we love one another, just like He loved us. We are identified as His disciples by our love, (John 13:34-35).


Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). That question has been repeated for two thousand years. Truth has been denied and ignored. It is rewritten by the whim of those in power.

Truth is simple. Lies are loud. Truth is quiet.

The Bible is Truth. To deny the Bible is to deny there is the Mediterranean Sea. It is referred to several times.

God presents His Truth in a large, undeniable way – like the Mediterranean. But we ignore or overlook it.

Every day, the sun comes up and sets. The moon shows a full face and is slowly obstructed by the earth’s rotation.

Spring buds and winter ends. Summer’s warmth brings the harvest of autumn.

And no matter how crazy the world gets – God still forms babies in their mother’s tummies. God is constantly creating new life.

And that’s the Truth. Truth trumps facts.


“There are 650 copies of ‘The Iliad.’ But there are over 24,000 copies of the original Bible.”

Pastor Monte Knudsen, April 9, 2023

Over 24,000 people painstakingly copied each letter of the Bible. They saw it. They believed.


“…The rooster announces the beginning of a brand-new day. After his worst night of failure, the sun came up for Peter. And it will come up for you, too. By God’s grace, you can start your life over any day you choose to. Today, you can repent of your sin and go on to do great things for the Lord.”

The Word for You Today, April 6, 2023

Are you ready to see for yourself? Do you want a new start? See the “Save Me, Jesus” Prayer.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.  All Rights Reserved.

Living for the Lord

Life changes after we pray the “Save Me, Jesus” prayer. What was dark is full of light. We can see where we are going! The Bible gives us direction on how to “live for the Lord.”

His Guidance

Psalms 19:7, 9, “The law of the Lord is perfect and preserves one’s life. The rules set down by the Lord are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced. …9) The commands to fear the Lord are right and endure forever. The judgments given by the Lord are trustworthy and absolutely just.” New English Translation

Remember His Faithfulness

Psalms 138:2, “I will bow down toward your holy temple, and give thanks to your name, because of your loyal love and faithfulness, for you have exalted your promise above the entire sky.” NET

Psalms 143:5, “I recall the old days. I meditate on all you have done; I reflect on your accomplishments.” NET

We Always Have a Choice

1 Chronicles 21:1, “An adversary opposed Israel, inciting David to count how many warriors Israel had.” NET

An adversary incited him but David still had the choice. (God told Moses when he took a census, each man had to pay a ransom for his life, so there would be no plague among them, Exodus 30:12.)

“While the census seems appropriate, David sinned because he was proud of the size of his army.”

New English Translation note on 1 Chronicles 21:1-15


He Knows Our Name

“…This two-volume work is epic in its sweep, covering a period of roughly four hundred years. …”

NET Introduction to 1 Kings, p. 453


Over those 400 years, there were many with the same name.

1 Kings 1:8, “But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s elite warriors did not ally themselves with Adonijah.” NET

“…Shimei. Not the Shimei of 2:8, 46; 2 Samuel 16:5-8; perhaps the same as Shimei son of Ela (4:18).”

New International Version Study Bible note on 1 Kings 1:8

The first Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite cursed David as he left Jerusalem, 1 Kings 2:8. Shimei, son of Ela, 1 Kings 4:18, was a district governor for Solomon, 1 Kings 4:7. Maybe it was Shimei, the Levite, the son of Gershon, 1 Chronicles 23:7. Or Shimei, the Ramathite who was in charge of the vineyards, 1 Chronicles 27:27.

God knows which Shimei is listed in this verse. He knows me even when I am in a room full of women named Pamela.

God Offers Peace and Quiet

1 Chronicles 22:9, “Look, you will have a son, who will be a peaceful man. I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. Indeed, Solomon will be his name; I will give Israel peace and quiet during his reign.” NET

Our Purpose is to Praise Him

1 Chronicles 23:5, “4,000 are to be gatekeepers, and 4,000 are to praise the Lord with the instruments I supplied for worship.” NET

There were as many Levites working on the security team as there were on the worship team. These teams worked in shifts. Psalms 134 was a blessing for the night shift.

Since Levites no longer carried the items from the temple, they became the temple caretakers. They kept it and the courtyards clean. They purified the holy items and made the bread and cakes that were offered to the Lord.

They each had a designated place to stand morning and evening to give thanks to God and praise His name. On holy days, they offered sacrifices with the descendants of Aaron.

“Every Levite had a place and a purpose in the temple.”

NET note on 1 Chronicles 23:1-5


“…This verse shows Levites who thanked and praised God every morning and every evening. …How can you, like the Levites, establish a habit of prayer and praise? Pray for the determination to do this.”

NET note 1 Chronicles 23:30


Sunset leaving Tel Aviv over the Mediterranean Sea.

His Blessings

1 Chronicles 26:5-6, “The sixth Ammiel, the seventh Issachar, and the eighth Peullethai. (Indeed, God blessed Obed-Edom.) 6) His sons Shemaiah also had sons, who were leaders of their families, for they were highly respected.” NET

1 Chronicles 26:8, “All these were descendants of Obed-Edom. They and their sons and relatives were respected men, capable of doing their responsibilities. There were sixty-two of them related to Obed-Edom.” NET

The world seeks money, power, and fame. True blessings are children and grandchildren who are leaders, respected, capable, and responsible.

1 Chronicles 28:9, “And you, Solomon my son, obey the God of your father and serve him with a submissive attitude and a willing spirit, for the Lord examines all minds and understands every motive of one’s thoughts. If you seek him, he will let you find him, but if you abandon him, he will reject you permanently.” NET

How do you live for the Lord? Serve with a submissive attitude, willing spirit, and good motives. Take the time to seek Him.

1 Chronicles 29:12, 14, “You are the source of wealth and honor; you rule over all. You possess strength and might to magnify and give strength to all. …14) But who am I and who are my people that we should be in a position to contribute this much? Indeed, everything comes from you, and we have simply given back to you what is yours.” NET

God gives us everything. We honor Him by giving back.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.  All Rights Reserved.

The Temple

Don’t Even Look at the Ark

2 Samuel 6:3, “…Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab were guiding the new cart.” New English Translation

Ahio guided the oxen and Uzzah was walking beside the cart. He knew he was not to touch the cloth-covered ark.

Did Uzzah stare at it? Did he use the oxen stumbling as an excuse to satisfy his curiosity? He could have steadied the cart without touching the ark.

This is why Jesus told us not to even look at something or someone that is forbidden, Matthew 5:28.

Holy Attire

It was the Sunday before Valentine’s Day. I have four Valentine’s Day pins. I put three of them on my black fedora hat band. I couldn’t decide whether to wear it or not.

1 Chronicles 16:29, “…Worship the Lord in holy attire.” NET

I left the hat at home. I pinned the fourth pin with a cord attached to it on my coat. You pull the cord and a bear pops out of the heart. I showed the pin to Gideon before church. He loved pulling the cord and being surprised by the bear.

He gave me a magnet that he made with his mommy Rachel. It was a heart made out of his thumbprints.

A Drummer Was Their Leader

1 Chronicles 16:5, “…Asaph was to sound the cymbals.” NET

“Leading the group of musicians was Asaph (v. 5), a man who wrote many Psalms. …”

NEt Note on 1 Chronicles 16:4-36


Live in the House of the Lord

Psalms 27:4, “I have asked the Lord for one thing – this is what I desire! I want to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, so I can gaze at the splendor of the Lord and contemplate in his temple.” NET

Our satellite church meets in a Civic Center. Another church in town meets at the middle school. The temple in Israel is gone; they pray at the western wall.

Living in the house of the Lord is no longer possible. But, churches and temples are where people gather to feel God’s presence because where two or three are gathered, Jesus is there, Matthew 18:20!

Build a House for God

2 Samuel 7:5, 11, “…The Lord has said: Do you intend to build a house for me to live in? 11) …The Lord declares to you that he himself will build a dynastic house for you.” NET

David wanted to build a house for God. Instead, God built his house. Jesus was called a “son of David.”

1 Chronicles 18:6, “…The Lord protected David wherever he campaigned.” NET

Model of the temple

God’s Mercy

Psalms 51:1, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love. Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts.” NET

“Only God’s mercy opens our eyes to our own sin (vv. 1-3). Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of sin from this past week. If you are not aware of any sin, ask the Spirit to reveal blind spots or hard-heartedness.”

NET Notes on Psalms 51:1-17


Things I Pondered

  1. Did Michal, Saul’s daughter, refer to David’s other wives as “slave girls,” 2 Samuel 6:22?
  2. Do I sing loudly and joyfully, 1 Chronicles 15:16?
  3. The night is for predatory animals, Psalms 104:21-23.
  4. Only God can save us in a war, 2 Samuel 10:12; Isaiah 59:1.
  5. A wise and discerning person restrains his words and stays calm, Proverbs 17:27.
  6. Looking to the Lord for help frees me from the enemy’s net, Psalms 25:15.
  7. I will be satisfied with the good things of your holy place, Psalms 65:4.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.  All Rights Reserved.


John the Baptist Asked

Matthew 11:2, “…he sent his disciples to ask a question.” New English Translation

John’s question was for his disciples’ sake. He wanted to decrease so Jesus would increase, John 3:30. He didn’t want his disciples to follow him to death but to follow Jesus to eternal life. Jesus confirmed who John was in verse 10.

Peter Asked

Matthew 17:27, “But so we don’t offend them, go to the lake and throw out a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth, you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that and give it to them for me and you.” New English Translation

This picture was taken from the Faith Boat on the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus performed a miracle – a fish catching a coin and then biting Peter’s hook! He provided the tax money for Peter and Himself.

He didn’t provide it for his 11 closest disciples, the other 70, or the women who followed Him. He provided for Peter because he asked.

God is a personal God. He meets the needs of individuals.

When we give, we can’t help everyone. We look for those nearby to help.

Ask for Forgiveness, Release the Guilt

John 8:11, “…and Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you either. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.'” New English Translation

If Jesus does not condemn me, why do I condemn myself?

“Imagine Jesus saying verse 10 directly to you; then respond to Him in prayer…name and repent of the…sins that come to mind. Ask God to bring you into the light (v. 12).”

New English Translation notes on John 8:1-12


“Go, and because you have had an encounter with Jesus, you can rise above your past.”

The Word for You Today, 1-13-23


In Case You Asked

John 10:22, “Then came the Feast of the Dedication of Jerusalem.” New English Translation

What is the Feast of Dedication? Hanukkah!

“…The commemoration of the dedication…of the temple by Judas Maccabeus in December, 165 BC, after it had been profaned by Antiochus IV Epiphanes… This was the last great deliverance the Jews had experienced. …”

New International Version Study Bible notes on John 10:22


“…Antiochus IV Epiphanes (…who ruled from 175-164 BC) …attempted to consolidate his empire through a policy of radical Hellenization. [Creating a world united by Greek language and culture]. …

He…attempted to destroy all copies of the Torah [the first five books of the Bible] and required offerings to the Greek god Zeus. His crowning outrage was the erection of a statue of Zeus and the sacrificing of a pig in the Jerusalem temple itself. …

This triggered the Maccabean revolt, a 24-year war (166-142 BC) that resulted in the independence of Judah until the Romans took control in 63 BC.”

“The Time Between the Testaments,”
New International Version Study Bible,
pp. 1571-1573


Questions That I Asked Myself

  1. Do I know the Bible, or Book of the Law, well enough to defend my faith, John 7:50-51?
  2. How did Jesus disperse the crowds? Did He bless them, heal them, shake their hands, or have a word for each one, Matthew 14:22?
  3. What is in my heart? Dare I even ask, Matthew 15:18?
  4. Is my mind set on God’s interests, Matthew 16:23?
  5. What do I possess that Jesus can multiply, Mark 8:1-21?
  6. Do I sprinkle the good news like salt or dump too much out at once? Am I at peace with everyone, Mark 9:50?

Join me in reading the 2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

©2009-2023 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Counting My Blessings

Take a Census

Thanksgiving. I need 10 places at the table. And 10 comfortable chairs for the inevitable food coma after dinner. Upstairs the couch seats four and I have a rocking chair. The couch downstairs seats three and the loveseat two more. I line the walls with kitchen chairs upstairs.


God has a sense of humor; we are studying Numbers in November. He commanded the Israelites to take a census of their families, too, Numbers 26:2.


Extended Families

We love our families – but if they turn from God – don’t follow!

Numbers 31:2, “Take full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites; afterward, you will be gathered to your people.” NASB


Moses’ wife was a Midianite. But the Midianite daughters seduced the Israelite sons and led them into idolatry, Numbers 25:1-3. God ordered the Israelites to be hostile to the Midianites, Numbers 25:16-18.

I don’t know if the second half of the verse brought Moses sadness or relief! He was 120 years old, Deuteronomy 34:7. He spent 40 years in Egypt as a prince and 40 years as a shepherd. The last 40 were leading the Israelites around the desert following the cloud.


Shelter, Water, Bread, Meat

Numbers 13:5, “Then the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses and camped in Succoth.” NASB


“Succoth means booths, weavings, or to weave a protection. There are two places called Succoth in the Bible 1) Genesis 33:17, “And Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built for himself a house, …” and 2) Israel’s first camp out of Egypt, Exodus 12:37; 13:20.”



When they left Egypt, they went to Succoth and obtained shelter. You can’t go camping without a tent! They packed for 11 days and survived for 40 years.

The Lord provided water, Exodus 15:22-27, and daily bread (manna), Exodus 16:1-7, and meat, Exodus 16:8. The order is the opposite of Thanksgiving!



“Deuteronomy means ‘second law’ because in this book there is a renewing of the covenant and a repetition of the law. …Moses is recounting their history, the great and mighty acts of God on behalf of the nation; seeking to inspire hope, engender trust, and renew their courage. …”

Introduction to Deuteronomy
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom
p. 279


Deuteronomy 1:6, “The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.'” NASB


Mount Horeb or Sinai is where the Israelites met God. They received the Ten Commandments there. Moses got the instruction on building the tabernacle. They built it and saw God’s Spirit fill it. I would be tempted to stay there, too!

Deuteronomy 1:11, “May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you!” NASB

Isaac was blessed a hundred-fold, Genesis 26:12. I can’t imagine receiving 1000 times the amount I planted! But to receive that increase they had to move into Canaan and conquer it.


I also learned:

  1. God keeps His promises, Numbers 23:19.
  2. Everyone who blesses Israel will be blessed, Numbers 24:9.
  3. Do not defile your land for God dwells with you, Numbers 35:34.
  4. God provided land for Esau, Moab, and Ammon, Deuteronomy 2:4-22.
  5. During the 40 years in the desert, they didn’t lack anything, Deuteronomy 2:7.
  6. God is fighting for me, Deuteronomy 3:22.
  7. Hold fast to the Lord, He keeps you alive, Deuteronomy 4:4.


“Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God, faith puts God between us and our circumstances.”

F. B. Meyer


Join me in reading December’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

It’s the Little Things

I missed church and I felt so guilty! But I had a discharge from my eyes and nose.

Then I read Numbers 5:2-3 and my guilt evaporated.

Numbers 5:2-3, “…everyone having a discharge… 3) You shall send away both male and female; you shall send them outside the camp so that they will not defile their camp where I dwell in their midst.” NASB

I’m outside the assembly today. But instead of false guilt, God showed me a blessing in chapter 6.

24) “The Lord bless you, and keep you;

25) The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you;

26) The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” NASB


Ithamar Again!

Ithamar was in charge of the oxen and carts used to transport the tabernacle, Numbers 7:8. He went from counting items to directing thousands of men and animals.


Reflected Light

Tuesday, an hour before sunrise, it was light outside. It snowed and the lights from the street and houses reflected off of it. It was a peaceful winter scene…when viewed from my couch, in a robe, under a quilt!

I imagine the fire inside the cloud, Numbers 9:15, lit it up. The fire was not noticeable during the day and the cloud was not visible during the night.

I do know there is no man-made light that can compete with God’s light. It penetrates the darkest clouds!



God protects everyone. Many say they have a guardian angel, but it is God. He can remove His protection. That is what He did to the Canaanites, Numbers 14:9. They thought they could win against the Israelites but didn’t know they were already defeated.


Stand Back from Uprisings

Numbers 16:2, “And they rose up before Moses, together with some of the sons of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of renown.” NASB

When there is an uprising by the masses, led by men of renown but against God, step back. They will soon disappear, Numbers 16:25-33.

The same day my study verse was Isaiah 52:11, “Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house.” NIV

The Kohathites carried the articles of the Lord’s house. Some of the Kohathites rebelled.

Numbers 16:1, “Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took action.” NASB

Levi’s sons were Aaron, Moses, Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. Korah was Moses and Aaron’s great-nephew. Korah wanted to be like Eleazar and Ithamar. But he hung out with the sons of Reuben.

Reuben was the oldest son of Jacob who lost his birthright when he slept with one of his father’s wives, Genesis 35:22; 49:3-4. His descendants also had a problem with wanting what others had.

We need to choose our friends carefully.


God Goes Before Us

It was in the teens Friday with a high of 23 degrees. Bethany and I were going to Hobby Lobby. At midnight, I wondered if it was too cold to go.

I told her that I needed to wake up at four to write. God woke me up at four on the dot!

I looked at my watch and said, “We’re going!”

Then, I studied my verse of the day. Isaiah 52:12, “But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” NIV

We quoted that verse all day and had a great day! I didn’t even buy anything at Hobby Lobby!

When God blesses you, no one can curse you, Numbers 22:12.


I Learned:

  1. When you are sick, stay out of the assembly.
  2. Do the little things and God will put you in charge of the big things!
  3. God’s light penetrates the darkest clouds.
  4. Everyone’s protection is from God and He can remove it!
  5. When there is an uprising of the masses, led by men of renown, step back!
  6. We will not leave quickly or have to run because God goes before us and guards behind us.
  7. When God blesses you, no one can curse you.

Join me in reading November’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Holidays and Harvests

Did you know there are holidays, camping, and weeklong vacations in the Bible?

Leviticus 23:24-25, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, and holy convocation. 25) You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.'” NASB


This day of rest reminds me of Independence Day. It’s at the beginning of the seventh month. Businesses are closed. Farmers come to town. Trumpets are blown in parades and fireworks light up the night sky.

God commanded the Israelites to rest. We should too.

Leviticus 23:34-35, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fourteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord. 25) On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind.'” NASB


The Feast of Booths, 23:34-43, is like a family vacation. You go to church on Sunday and rest. On Monday, you set up your booth, tent, or unpack in your hotel room, v. 40. You spend the week feasting with your family, v. 41. And end your vacation by worshipping the Lord in church, v. 39.

The Blessing of the Sixth Year

When we visited Israel, we saw some fallow fields because 2021 was the seventh year. Despite the empty fields, food was abundant.

Imagine, planting a garden in 2027 and having such a large harvest that it lasts until 2029! That is the blessing of God!

Leviticus 25:21, “Then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years.” NASB


From Season to Season

Leviticus 26:5, “Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.” NASB


God promises we will not run out of food. Each season we eat the produce He provides and there is always enough to last until the next season.

Numbers Don’t Mean Counting

“Numbers means ‘in the wilderness.’ …In the book of Exodus, it took only forty hours to get the nation of Israel out of Egypt, but in the book of Numbers, it takes forty years to get Egypt out of Israel. …”

Introduction to the Book of Numbers
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom



Eleazar was responsible for the transportation of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the grain, the anointing oil, and all the furnishings inside the tabernacle. He directed the 2,750 men who carried those items, Numbers 4:16-20, 36.

Ithamar helped Aaron and Eleazar cover the holy things, 4:5-15. Then he directed the 5,830 men who transported the curtain panels, poles, and sockets, 4:28, 33, 40, 44. God put him over twice as many men as his brother, Eleazar.

To be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all, Matthew 20:26-28.

Proverbs 12:2, “A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, …” NASB


I Learned

  1. Holidays and vacations are ordained by God.
  2. The crop in the sixth year will feed you for three years.
  3. Your food from one season will last until the next season.
  4. Numbers means “In the wilderness.”

Join me in reading November’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.