We all are in need of salvation. Today’s Romans reading reminds us that when we receive salvation, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Isn’t that incredible!?! The Spirit of the living God lives within us, guides us, and is our advocate! If you’ve been reading and haven’t accepted Christ as your Savior, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to talk with you.
2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19:
17-18 – Solomon and Hiram worked together to control the trade routes through the Mediterranean. This was highly lucrative.
1-9 – The queen of Sheba’s visit both affirmed Solomon’s wealth and wisdom, and was most likely a strategic move on her part to get in on the trade route action.
1-15 – This story, also found in 2 Kings, is the sinful decision to not listen to wise counsel, which led to the ultimate split of Judah and Israel, which led to the exile of both parts of the Israelites. Our decisions have consequences.
9-11 – The good news of Jesus! Though our flesh is sinful, as believers, the Spirit is within us. It is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.
14-17 – Through salvation we are adopted into God’s family.
This Psalm is still about when God released David from all of his enemies, including Saul.
While yesterday’s half of the Psalm spoke directly to all the greatness of God, today’s looks a little more at how God’s greatness was able to make David great.
This week we continue in 2 Chronicles and Romans, and as always, our good friends Psalms and Proverbs. In today’s 2 Chronicles reading we hear a story we learned once before in 2 Kings, but it’s worth, once again, exploring, thinking about, and weighing the consequences.
Rehoboam, King David’s grandson, had a guaranteed path to the throne, but he wanted power and control and listened to terrible advice in order to get it. He didn’t trust God’s promises to get him where he needed to be. He tried to flex his muscles to get there instead. And it failed.
Rehoboam didn’t just fail himself. His consequences are still felt today. He caused Israel to become a divided kingdom and weaken tremendously. This put them at risk of being conquered, which they were, and exiled, which they were.
Too often we fail to follow God in our decisions and weigh our consequences. This week, let’s learn from Rehoboam’s mistakes.
Sin and temptation are tough. There are so many that are flashy and draw us in. They promise to satisfy but leave us feeling empty. At the same time, as believers, we desire to follow God and obey his commands. We know his ways are better than the alternative, but those flashing lights are awfully enticing. It can feel like we’re in a bit of a tug-of-war. Paul felt the same way.
2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10:
18-21 – Solomon’s humility and awe of God’s willingness to dwell among people is eye opening. It truly is incredible that God has offered to dwell in this house made by humans among them.
22-42 – Solomon pleas with God to hear his people’s various prayers. This seems to be a type of dedicating prayer for the temple.
32-33 – These verses aren’t familiar to our cultural point of view. We have always been taught to welcome the outsider into church because we want more people to know Jesus. God’s people, the Israelites, had a much more exclusive mind set. The temple was built by them for them to connect with and worship their God.
11-22 – God confirms his pleasure in the temple and Solomon’s having built it. He assures Solomon of his loyalty to him, but also explains the consequences if Solomon is not faithful.
8-9 – This is an interesting delineation. Solomon is ok with having slaves from other people groups but refuses to have Israelite slaves. They, instead, become soldiers.
14-20 – An extremely convicting passage that could have been written by any one of us. We don’t want to sin, but that is our nature because we are human. Our flesh is weak and easily swayed.
21-25 – Most of us can probably relate to this kind of turmoil. We love God and want to serve him but also want to sin and are drawn to it.
1-8 – When people talk about their pasts being too much to overcome or wondering if the church will get struck by lightning if they walk in, you can point them to these verses. Salvation through Jesus is about life, not condemnation.
David must have felt such relief. He had run from Saul so long and was constantly at war. You can almost hear the deep exhale in his words.
David’s words explain the great power with which God works.
24 – This verse is basically repeated in Proverbs 26:15. Clearly Solomon was not pleased with laziness and did not believe it displayed godliness or wisdom.
Sometimes the details found in Scripture are tough to slog through. The details of how the temple looked and was built are definitely included in that. BUT! Take a minute to think about if you were one of the people building it. Do you think you’d think it was a total drag to have to pay attention to such detail? Or do you think it would be both humbling and uplifting to get to honor God by building his house so he could welcome you into his presence?
2 Chronicles 4:1-6:11:
1-22 – Though it seems like a lot of tedious details to have to read, isn’t it incredible how much time, effort, and detail the Israelites went to to make the temple incredible for the Lord. This takes great faithfulness to care this much.
2-10 – The Ark of the Covenant moving into the temple signified God arriving in the temple.
13 – This sounds like a pretty cool job.
3-11 – It’s important for us as individuals, but also as the body, to publicly recognize God’s answers to prayer.
1-6 – Paul makes a great point that we have new life in Christ and that new life is no longer subject to the law.
12 – The law was not bad. It made the people aware of God’s expectations and what actions were sinful.
13 – Sin is still the harmful thing in our lives, not the law.
3 – How freeing to know that God could test your heart and not find sin!
6-15 – It is so clear that David meant it when he would describe God as his “strong tower”, “refuge”, etc. David repeatedly calls on the Lord for protection from his enemies.
22 – It is better to be poor in the eyes of the world rather than to be full of dishonor.
Salvation and following Christ are designed for our benefit, not to crash our party or add a bunch of unnecessary rules. Yes, there are certain practices we’re asked to turn away from once we choose to turn towards Christ, but they do not ultimately benefit us anyway. Be sure to read the end of today’s Romans passage to understand what all following Christ offers us.
2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17:
7-13 – Solomon could have asked for anything from the Lord, but chose to think first of God’s people and what would benefit them. The Lord blesses this by also giving Solomon riches and honor.
The temple Solomon built for God became the central point of Israelite life. It was destroyed in 586 B.C. when the Israelites were exiled to Babylon and later rebuilt. It was destroyed again by the Romans in 70 A.D. and has never been rebuilt. Many Jews believe it will be restored when the Messiah comes.
1-4 – Jesus’ generous gift of grace is not an excuse for us to keep sinning – since we know we’ll be forgiven. Instead, when we accept Christ as our Savior our lives are transformed and we desire to follow in Christ’s ways.
16 – We can’t follow after sin and righteousness. We must choose one or the other.
20-23 – This is a great argument for anyone who thinks the Christian life will be stifling or will take away their fun. Life in Christ leads to sanctification and eternal life, where a life in sin leads to death.
7-11 – When the Lord is our hope, we can be secure in knowing that we are cared for.
20 – God puts people in our lives to advise and guide us. We should pay attention to them.
In today’s 1 Chronicles reading we read the way that we should approach all our offerings to God. Too often we hold tightly what we have thinking there is no way we could give up that much. We think we need what we have and fail to realize that we actually need to give back to God. We don’t give because God needs our time/money/resources. We give because it grows and benefits us to trust God enough to give him the time/money/resources we think we need so desperately. It was a gift from God in the first place. We are just entrusted with it for a time.
1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30:
2-8 – In David’s final year as king, he explains that he was chosen for a specific purpose. He was a king of war, but his family, from his line was chosen to be on the throne forever. This is culminated with Jesus coming from David’s line. Interestingly, there are things he wasn’t called to do. God has a specific purpose for each of us.
20 – These words David speaks to Solomon are familiar. We hear them in parts when Moses hands over leadership of Israel to Joshua and we hear them throughout the Psalms.
3-5 – Leaders have to put their money where their mouth is.
14 – This should be our attitude with our resources. We are simply giving from what God has given us.
6-11 – This confirms Paul’s explanation of why we can’t earn our way to salvation. Christ died for us when we were sinners, so none of us could say that we earned or deserved it. It also shows God’s incredible love for us.
12-17 – Paul juxtaposes Adam, who brought sin in the world, and Jesus, who brought the grace of salvation into the world.
Remember that, in certain parts of the tabernacle/temple, sin could not be present, this is why there were cleansing rituals. This psalm spells out what kind of person could enter that space.
Other translations say “while there is hope” instead of “for there is hope”. The writer urges the reader to discipline a child while they’re still moldable unless you want to contribute to their destruction.
What do you currently do for someone who can’t repay you? I normally invite friends over for dinner who will eventually invite me over in return. I hangout with people who bring me joy. But today’s Proverb reminds us that we are to care for and serve those who have no means by which to repay us. When we do this, we know a far greater reward awaits us in heaven.
1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34:
29-31 – Some of the Levites were given jobs outside of the temple.
31 – David’s 40th year of reigning was his last.
23-24 – David was not asked to run this census of the people and God was not pleased that he did. These verses seem to attempt to absolve him of his wrongdoing because the census was never completed.
33 – It is funny that right in the middle of all the official positions and responsibilities is listed Hushai, the king’s friend, as if that is an official position too.
18-22 – It must have been difficult for Abraham to have faith that God would provide a child for he and his wife so late in life. His faith that God would fulfill his promises was considered his righteousness. We too can have faith that God has and will do the impossible for us too.
3-5 – It is not easy to rejoice in our sufferings, but it becomes easier when we realize what it results in.
7 – The good news is salvation does end up coming out of Zion. Jesus’ death and resurrection occur in Jerusalem.
This is reminiscent of the separation of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. Those who served the poor and needy actually served Jesus. Though the poor person is not able to repay the generous person, the Lord is able.
Who do you admire? Is there someone who can always sway you? Maybe a personal hero or someone you simply see as an authority figure? In today’s Romans reading, Paul is smart to call upon the experiences of Abraham and David, who his Jewish audience would have considered heroes, to convince them to live faithfully. Who would someone need to reference in order to convince you?
1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11:
1-19 – This is a way of organizing the priests so their duties can be split up. “Sons of Aaron” is always referring to priests.
1-31 – Like the priests, David divided the musicians to all have a certain role.
2-3 – Paul had to point out that Abraham, a Jewish hero, was not under the law and never earned righteousness. His belief in God was what was counted to him as righteousness.
4-8 – Paul tries to make the difference between what we’ve earned and what is freely given to us. Paul is smart to use heroes of the faith like Abraham and David to prove his points. They were held in very high esteem.
9-12 – Circumcision was not in and of itself capable of giving us salvation. It is faith that confirms salvation.
This seems like a last ditch effort of David. He cries out hoping the Lord will hear before he is overtaken. He finishes up with praise and remembering God’s faithfulness.