We often assume God is not answering our prayers when we don’t get what we ask for. Often, God has a different, better plan. Maybe you didn’t get the job you were hoping for. Maybe God has something better in store for you and someone else is a better fit for that job you wanted. In today’s 1 Chronicles reading we are reminded that it was not David’s job to build God’s temple even though he wanted to. God had that plan for someone else and a different plan for David.
1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17:
1-15 – Like we learned in 2 Samuel, God did not intend for David to build the temple. That would be Solomon, his son’s, job. God made promises to David, however, about building him up and establishing his kingdom long term.
16-27 – David humbly accepts the blessings God offers he and his family.
1-5 – We often misinterpret “judgement”. We think we’re not allowed to determine if something is good or bad, when in fact, we must decide this to function. When we are told not to judge others it is telling us that we should not and cannot condemn others. We too are sinners and do not have the authority to condemn.
12 – Those without the law are non-Jews. “The law” refers to the laws Moses handed down. Whether we sin against the law or against God himself, we are all sinners and are deserving of death.
13-16 – This passage can be more easily understood if it’s read like: 13(14-15)16. In short, this tells us that those who don’t even know the Mosaic law were able to fulfill parts of it. Doing what the law says and/or intends, whether you know what it says or not, is far more important than simply knowing it.
17-24 – Some Jews held their heritage as a reason why they were closer to God or more holy than gentiles. Paul calls them out recognizing that all, no matter their heritage, are only saved by faith in Jesus.
17 – There are a number of times when Scripture mentions God hearing the cries of the afflicted. Most notably, God hears the cries of the Israelites in Egypt, which starts the process of a mass exodus.
Verses 8 and 9 stand in contrast with one another giving options for success and failure.
When’s the last time you shared the gospel with someone? This is a rare occurrence for modern day Christians. We are afraid that the gospel is offensive and will upset people. Paul, in writing his letter to the Romans, and on every other day of his life (post conversion) realized the gospel was good news. The fact that we have a Savior who lived and died for us is a great thing! Let’s remember that as we approach others who might not know it.
1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17:
19-40 – At the time the chronicler is talking about, David was still not king. He had a great deal of men who chose to defect from Saul to him.
10 – David was extremely faithful in asking the Lord what to do before doing something.
1-7 – There is a lot of information crammed in these verses.
1) Paul is writing this.
1-2) Paul was set apart to be an apostle of Jesus.
2) We knew the truth of the gospel – aka Jesus’s birth, ministry, death, and resurrection – because it was revealed through the prophets.
3) Jesus was descended from David.
4) Jesus was God in flesh and God’s power raised him from the dead.
5-6) Jesus empowers apostles to bring others to him, including many who would hear this particular message.
7 – This letter was written to the people of Rome.
8-15 – Paul had been eager to go to Rome, where he was a citizen, because he had heard of the faith of many there and wanted to help strengthen that faith.
16-17 – We often see the gospel as offensive and we’re afraid to share it. Paul knew that it was good news and brought life. He was not ashamed.
There are several terms like “Higgaion” and “Selah” whose meanings are not certain. They are presumed to be some sort of musical term since the Psalms often have instructions such as that they are “for the choirmaster”.
4 – Just a few verses earlier, the author tells the reader to choose your friendships carefully and here explains that we often choose our friends for the wrong reasons.
We’ve talked about this before. I hate negative consequences!! Don’t you? If I have the opportunity, I like to shift the blame anywhere other myself. It’s easier that way. Unfortunately, we often blame God for the negative consequences of our sins. “Why would God let me lose my job!?!” we cry. When really the question should be, “Why did I break company policy hoping to get ahead?”
1 Chronicles 11:1-12:18:
4-9 – Jerusalem became the central city for the Israelites and remains so to this day, but it was not so until this conquest of David.
15-19 – Though David’s actions seem a bit ungrateful, he pours the water out as a drink offering because he considers himself not worthy of their extreme devotion. The reason David wanted the water in the first place is because he was originally from Bethlehem.
Though you may not recognize or remember many of the names in the lists from today’s reading, recognize that the chronicler is reminding us that there were a great deal of capable, dedicated fighting men, particularly those dedicated to David’s service.
8 – Because of the snake incident, the people already thought Paul was a god. His ability to heal Publius’ father as well as the other ill people probably only solidified this thought.
16 – Remember that Paul is still technically imprisoned and awaiting trial in front of Caesar by his own request.
20 – He’s referring to Jesus as “the hope of Israel.”
25-28 – It would make sense that the Jews should have recognized Jesus as the Messiah since he fulfilled so many of the prophecies they knew. Many, however, were unable to see it. The gentiles didn’t have as many preconceived notions of who the Messiah should be, so they were more open to Jesus being it.
29 – Did anyone else notice that there’s no Acts 28:29? One does exist, and it’s pretty inconsequential, but many translations leave it out.
9-10 – Confirmation that when we seek God, he will be faithful to meet us. He does not hide from or forsake us.
1 – This is in exact contrast to how our society lives and thinks.
3 – So true!! How often do we blame God for the consequences we receive for our own poor choices?
I hate negative consequences, don’t you? I like to try to skirt around them as much as possible even though I totally deserve them. The sailors in today’s Acts reading are like that. They sailed far later in the season than they should have and have now put themselves and others at risk. They’re trying to figure out any way to not face the music. I can relate.
1 Chronicles 9:1-10:14:
2 – After a long time in exile in Babylon, the Israelites were allowed to slowly return to their land.
17-27 – The position of gatekeeper was one of honor. It was passed down through generations. This position guarded the gates of the temple and the chief gatekeeper manned the gate the king would enter through.
39 – This is Saul, the first king of Israel. We know he was from the tribe of Benjamin so that’s the tribe we’re talking about now.
1-7 – This is the event that finally allows David to become king. We read about this previously in 1 Samuel.
30-32 – The sailors were desperate and wanted to save themselves thinking they would be better off without all the other ship passengers. Paul recognizes their attempt and explains that if they leave the rest of the passengers are doomed.
33-36 – Whether because they were too busy with managing the storm or because they wanted to conservatively ration in case they had to be on the boat a lot longer, the people hadn’t been given food for a while even though they had it.
38 – With a lighter load, the ship could sail closer to shore because it would float higher.
David writes this Psalm seemingly overwhelmed and in awe of the majesty of God’s creation and the goodness he shows to us through it.
This is encouragement to choose friends carefully. You can’t be best friends with everyone and it’s not wise to try.
There are silly things we are tempted by like donuts and paying too much for a pair of jeans we don’t need. But today’s psalm deals with more serious temptations and, unfortunately, they’re ones we face just as often. These temptations entice us to trust them more than we trust God. These are things like, our own strength, money, success, etc. Though they’re sometimes hard to recognize, what tempts you to trust it in stead of God?
1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4:
18-20 – Though this just feels like a big list of names, it’s interesting to see names you recognize from stories. Bezalel, for instance, was one of the skilled workers who helped create the tabernacle.
1-9 – Yes, David had a lot of sons and a lot of wives. Notice that Solomon, who became the next king after David is way down on the list of sons.
22-27 – It seems as if Felix might come to faith based on Paul’s teachings, but it doesn’t seem that he does. Instead he leaves Paul in prison, which means he has now been in prison for 2 years.
5-8 – These verses hit hard the idea that we are tempted to trust in many other things but our true rest and comfort come only from God.
17 – This verse backs up the adage that there are always two sides to every story. Withhold judgment of decisions until you have heard from both parties.
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 (email@example.com) 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.
Did you catch the glimmer of hope? At the end of 2 Kings, it seems like all hope is lost until the last four verses. The king of Babylon, in a shocking move, releases Jehoiachin, a member of David’s line, from prison. It seems that even in exile all hope may not be lost.
2 Kings 23:31-25:30:
31 – This is not Jeremiah the prophet.
32 – Interesting that Josiah was more faithful than any of the kings before him and yet his son, Jehoahaz, did evil.
33-35 – Pharaoh Neco removes Jehoahaz from the throne after only 3 months and puts Eliakim/Jehoiakim in power. Pharaoh’s appointment and name change makes it clear that the king of Judah is now subject to him.
3 – This is Manasseh the king, not the tribe.
1-9 – Jehoiakim followed the Pharaoh and Jehoiakin did what was evil.
20 – God finally allows the remainder of the Israelites (Judah) to get what they keep, through their sin, asking for – to no longer be in God’s presence or under his rule.
9 – The Babylonians burn down the temple in Jerusalem – this was the most significant sign of God’s presence the Israelites had. This symbolically shows God and the Israelites officially separating.
12 – A few people are left in Judah, but they leave the lowest of the low.
27-30 – Evil-merodach (an unfortunate name), king of Babylon, shows kindness to Jehoiachin, which shows a slight bit of hope that exile might not be forever and Israel and the line of David may have some hope.
17-21 – The Jews in the synagogues knew Paul’s past and it seemed to be a barrier for some of them to believe what he now believed – that Jesus was the Messiah. Thus, God sent him to the Gentiles.
25 – It was illegal to use whips to gain a confession from a Roman citizen. Clearly the powers that be were unaware of his citizenship.
3 – “Whitewashed wall” is a metaphor for a hypocrite. Looks good on the outside, but who knows what it’s hiding.
Are you a terrible singer? Can’t carry a tune in a bucket? That’s ok! You can’t tell me you don’t belt it out in the shower or when alone in your car. Praising God is the perfect time to stretch out those vocal chords. Today’s psalm reminds us that we’re all called to give God praise through song. He deserves it and loves it…even if you sound awful.
2 Kings 18:13-19:37:
16 – Gold that was, at one time, given as an offering to the Lord to build his home amongst the Israelites, was now stripped off and given to a foreign king. The change in the state of affairs is drastic.
19-25 – A message is sent from the king of Assyria to Hezekiah, the king of Judah, taunting him and saying that God will not be able to save Judah.
28-35 – Hezekiah was a king faithful to the Lord. Clearly the king of Assyria is trying to do everything he can to get the people of Judah to turn against Hezekiah and God.
36-1 – Hezekiah’s men all tore their clothes as a sign of deep sorrow and disgrace. They were afraid that the king of Assyria might be right.
6-7 – Isaiah, the next great prophet, assures Hezekiah and his men that God will rescue them and the king of Assyria will actually die in his own land.
10-13 – The king of Assyria’s bullying tactics are convincing. All the other kings Assyria had gone up against had fallen. Granted, their gods weren’t God.
29-31 – God gives Judah a sign that he actually is speaking and they can trust him.
10-14 – Though Christian persecution was rampant in Jerusalem, Paul knew he had to go there. All his companions tried to convince him not to, but he was well prepared to face persecution for the sake of the gospel.
3 – We are to praise the Lord with song…even if we’re not that talented. Just make a joyful noise.