When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,
so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah became king of Judah,
and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother's name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.
He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been.
Nevertheless, for David's sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong.
For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD's commands all the days of his life--except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam throughout [Abijah's] lifetime.
As for the other events of Abijah's reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
And Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. And Asa his son succeeded him as king.
In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah,
and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother's name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.
Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done.
He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made.
He even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
Although he did not remove the high places, Asa's heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life.
He brought into the temple of the LORD the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.
There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns.
Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
Asa then took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the LORD's temple and of his own palace. He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus.
"Let there be a treaty between me and you," he said, "as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me."
Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah and all Kinnereth in addition to Naphtali.
When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah.
Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah--no one was exempt--and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah.
As for all the other events of Asa's reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? In his old age, however, his feet became diseased.
Then Asa rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.
Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.
He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, walking in the ways of his father and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.
Baasha son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it.
Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king.
As soon as he began to reign, he killed Jeroboam's whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the LORD given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite--
because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and had caused Israel to commit, and because he provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger.
As for the other events of Nadab's reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns.
"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing-- grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.
Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.
Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?' "
Then the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people.
The LORD will reply to them: "I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations.
"I will drive the northern army far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land, with its front columns going into the eastern sea and those in the rear into the western sea. And its stench will go up; its smell will rise." Surely he has done great things.
Be not afraid, O land; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things.
Be not afraid, O wild animals, for the open pastures are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm-- my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.
Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.
"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.