Do you ever thank God for something before it happens? This takes a great deal of trust to do it genuinely. It means that you truly believe that God will fulfill your need. This is how today’s psalm is written. A requested is made and, presumably, before the prayer is answered, David thanks God for answering it.
- 2 – Zerubbabel and Shealtiel were both in Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew.
- 8 – The Levite men were in charge of overseeing the construction of the temple, but considering how long they had been in captivity, some of them would have never seen the original temple.
- 11 – We see this sentence used in praise over and over, particularly in the Psalms.
- 1-3 – Zerubbabel and Jeshua knew that they were intended to be set apart. We don’t know what the adversaries intended to do, but they aren’t allowed to be a part of the temple build.
- 7-16 – Artaxerxes succeeded Cyrus as king of Persia. Some of his advisors discouraged him from allowing the Israelites to leave exile and return to and rebuild Jerusalem.
- 17-24 – Artaxerxes halts the rebuild of the temple. This must have been a devastating blow to the Israelites who were trying to reestablish their identity.
1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4:
- 11-13 – The Spirit is our advisor on the things of God. The Spirit gives us insight into how God is leading us and what he would have us do.
- 1-4 – Paul is calling out the Corinthians for not having matured spiritually. There are many things he had not taught them because they were not ready for it.
- This Psalm is split into two parts. Verses 1-5 are asking God for help, while 6-9 are thanking God for the help. It is most likely that David is thanking God in advance and simply believing that God will take care of the problem.
- 24 – This is a very intriguing question. It is basically that God guides our paths and leads us to where we need to go. If he is capable of that, who are we to expect to understand why or how he does it?
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.
I have posted today’s proverb on my husband’s mirror. I feel it’s just a good reminder.
1 Chronicles 7:1-8:40:
- Many of the tribes, after naming their genealogies, describe their men as “mighty warriors”. Israelite men over the age of 20 were expected to fight in wars. Still to this day, all Israeli men, now at the age of 18, are required to spend 4 years in the army. Women are now required to serve 2 years.
- 27 – This is the Joshua who was mentored by Moses.
- 9 – Ancient Jews timed their sailing seasons around the various festivals because of the weather that accompanied those times of years. Sailing after the Fast, which was the Day of Atonement, which was around September, was treacherous.
- 3-9 – Clearly David is confident that he is on God’s side and obeying God’s will in the situation he’s referring to. He even asks God to judge him according to his own righteousness, which I don’t feel like any of us would be willing to do.
True confessions: I kind of picture everyone in the Bible as being basically the same person. When I picture biblical scenes in my head the people look like the oil painting of Abraham and Sarah from my childhood Sunday School classroom. But the truth is, not only were there all types of people, there were complex structures and deep dividing lines between various people groups. For instance, in our story in Acts, the Romans didn’t have to obey the Jewish authorities and weren’t technically under their law. There was quite a power struggle between the two parties. Knowing the complexities behind the story make the stories themselves so much more powerful.
1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17:
- 9-10 – This story seems out of place in a long list of genealogy, but it was common to place some small, historical story in these lists. It may have been to add legitimacy and context to the list.
- 39-43 – This is one of the many examples of the hostility between the Israelites and Amalekites.
- 1 – Reuben slept with his father Jacob’s concubine.
- 7-12 – Like with Jesus, the Romans technically did not have to answer to Jewish law, but the Jewish leaders put a great deal of pressure on them to convict people for breaking their laws.
- 22 – Agrippa was actually King Herod Agrippa, the last of the Herods.
- David asks God to hear his prayers and then becomes extremely raw about how he wants the Lord to punish a variety of his enemies. We truly can take anything to the Lord in prayer.
Well…kind of. The Chronicles are worth the read because they recap everything found in the Jewish scriptures. I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember everything I’ve read so far. I could use a little review!
There is a contest in today’s notes. And that’s all I have to say about that.
1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17:
- The Ancient Israelites kept incredible records and this is one of many examples of them. They start at Adam and make their way all the way to David including rulers of other nations to ensure their relevance in the overall world.
- There’s a special prize for the first person to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the name of the 80’s cartoon included in the lineage.
- 10 – This starts a very recognizable lineage of Jesus.
- 11 – God gives Paul a clear charge. He was faithful in sharing the gospel in Jerusalem even though it wasn’t well received and he should now do the same in Rome.
- 16-35 – The Romans do not allow the Jews to kill Paul, but they also do not release him.
- Though David continually faced formidable foes, he is just as frequently confessing his faith in God’s ability to protect him.
- 15 – Often when we welcome some piece of knowledge and wisdom, we acquire even more than we sought in the first place.
Just like us, the Israelites struggled to retain memories of the good things God had done for them. They needed to be continually reminded of specific instances of God’s faithfulness. In today’s psalm, the psalmist recounts a series of time where God proved himself faithful and that faithfulness in the past gave hope to the original readers and can give hope to us as well. We serve a faithful God.
- 1-2 – The Israelites were commanded to not go through their fields and pick up the leftovers but to leave them for widows and travelers. This is exactly what Ruth is taking advantage of.
- 8-10 – Boaz essentially guarantees Ruth’s safety and provision.
- 6-18 – Though the language is somewhat suggestive that Ruth and Boaz had a sexual encounter, the language is just uncertain enough that you can’t say either way with any confidence. Maybe she did simply sleep at his feet all night after a kind, generous conversation. Either way, it was scandalous in their culture that she stayed the night with a man who was not her husband.
- 1-6 – Women, like land, were considered property. Ruth came along with the land since she had no male relative to marry.
- 7 – The phrase, “now this was custom in former times,” makes it clear that this story was told to people years later when customs had changed.
- 11-12 – Rachel, Ruth and Boaz, Perez, Tamar, and Judah are all part of Jesus’ lineage listed in the first chapter of Matthew.
- 17 – This lineage is listed to show Ruth’s connection to David and eventually to Jesus. It is significant that Ruth was not an Israelite so we know that gentiles were part of Jesus’ background.
- 47-54 – Jesus frequently rewards people who believe without having seen a miracle or been told specifically who he is.
- 54 – Though John’s gospel doesn’t enumerate all of Jesus’ miracles, clearly the writer wanted the readers to recognize that this was Jesus’ second miracle in a particular place.
- “The fear of the Lord” is an interesting concept. Fear can be replaced with the word “awe”. When we stand in awe or reverence of something, we hold great respect for it. This fear or awe should lead us to obedience. Because of that, when we fear the Lord and it leads to obedience, we are fully protected by the Lord and can have confidence in that.
Families are a funny thing. In today’s Luke reading we find a different lineage for Jesus. Don’t worry though! This is Mary’s lineage even though it ends with Joseph. It was common for people to call themselves the “father” of a son-in-law. Now, go on and go take a family picture you’ll regret in 5-10 years.
- Most of us tend to read through the explanations of offerings simply to get through that section. Today, try reading it as if you were an Israelite who actually needed to know the details in order to follow God’s law.
- Burnt offerings are often followed with a description that it has a “pleasing aroma to the Lord.” Since we no longer offer burnt offerings, what do you think we offer that presents God with a pleasing aroma?
- Considering the quantities of the feast that starts in vs. 12, the Israelites must have had massive herds.
- Note that in Matthew we already read a lineage for Joseph and it was different than this list. Most theologians believe that this is actually Mary’s lineage since most of the birth narrative and beginning of the book focus on her.
- Interesting that David, multiple times, says my soul waits for “God alone”. Too often, when under pressure, we’re not willing to wait for God but put our trust in anything and everything else.
- Note that it may not be much comfort to us that good wins out in this verse. Though the wicked’s wages are deceptive, they still earn wages.
1:2-1:17 – The genealogies seem boring to modern readers, but they are important because they show that biblical faith is grounded in history. The Jews believed that God had actually worked through their ancestors, and the genealogies are a way of indicating that. Also, there are 4 women mentioned in the genealogy, and all the references are scandalous…. What does that say about Jesus?
Love this version of Matthew’s Begats by Andrew Peterson: