Today’s psalm is beautiful. If you’ve ever felt abandoned, unwanted, unworthy, or unloved, read this psalm. God so intricately knit you together. Allow yourself to be amazed by the care God took to make you. He took that same care to make each of us. You are loved. You were made on purpose. You are wanted and known by the one true God.
- 1-6 – Haggai is given the message to rebuild the temple. He was a contemporary of Zerubbabel, who we read about in Ezra. Haggai supported Zerubbabel as he led the effort to rebuild the temple.
- 1-9 – Haggai is called to spur on Zerubbabel and Joshua to rebuild the temple even though they weren’t familiar with the glory of the first one.
- 12-19 – Though confusing to interpret, this passage seems to make it clear that though impurity is easily spread, purity is not. God is displeased that the Israelites have returned and built their own houses and begun to farm but have not focused on his house. He reminds them that he controls what they have no matter how much effort they put in.
- 23 – Zerubbabel is in the line of David. The signet ring would be a sign that God had placed his favor on him and would be the sign that David’s line had, as God said it would, returned to the throne.
- 1-14 – The two witnesses were witnesses for God. The people of the earth end up killing them and then a large portion of the city and its inhabitants are killed. Those who remain see what happened and repent and give glory to God.
- 15-19 – This seems like it could be the ending. God’s kingdom officially comes to earth with the blowing of the 7th trumpet. Wrath is poured out on the evil people and joy and celebration is amongst the faithful.
- In one of the most beautiful and poetic psalms, David recounts all the ways God’s knowledge of humanity and him specifically are vast and complete. He recognizes that God was there as he was formed and God knows every bit of his innermost being.
- 15-16 – These verses explore the depth of greed out there. No one is specifically identified as possessing these qualities, but the qualities are made clear.
Is your faithfulness circumstantial? It’s not uncommon for people to be faithful when they need something and then, as things get easier for them, they don’t “need” anything anymore and feel no need to be faithful. Obviously other circumstances effect our faithfulness as well. In today’s 2 Chronicles story, Joash’s faithfulness seems to be dependent on his mentor. We should be faithful because of our love for and reverence to God. This doesn’t change with circumstances, but remains because God remains.
2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28:
- 5 – The temple had fallen into disrepair after a number of unfaithful kings. Joash wanted to raise money to repair the temple.
- 7 – Just like the Israelites were set apart for God, the temple and all its contents were set apart for worshipping God. It must have grieved God greatly when these items were used for worshipping other gods.
- 10 – People don’t normally rejoice when paying taxes, but this tax was to restore them with their God. This seems worthy of celebration.
- 15-22 – Jehoiada’s death is a major turning point for Joash. He switches from being faithful to totally abandoning faithfulness. He listens to the wicked princes of Judah and kills Jehoiada’s son Zechariah.
- 14 – The Israelites were often temped into worshipping other gods, but normally not as quickly and blatantly as Amaziah. God had just blessed Amaziah with a war victory, which to the people of that time, was a sign that the God of the victorious army was more powerful. It seems odd that he would immediately turn to a lesser god.
- 1 – This is one of the main reasons it matters how we take care of our bodies. Our bodies should be one of our offerings to God.
- 3-8 – As the Body of Christ, we come together with a variety of talents, skills, and opportunities to serve. None are more important than the other, they just present differently. This is why we are all necessary.
- 12 – My personal favorite verse of the Bible. Feel free to claim it as your own too.
- 14-21 – Powerful verses on how we should treat one another.
- 25-31 – These sound like what it will be like when the Kingdom of God is fully realized.
- None of us can claim to have made our own hearts pure. Jesus is the only one who can do that for us.
David is so close to becoming king over all of Israel, but things are never that simple, are they? Ish-bosheth is Saul’s son who is still alive and, in general, sons get to take over the crown. He even had a bit of a following supporting him. But there was one key thing missing from Ish-bosheth’s efforts to become king: God’s support. Be sure to read the whole story of what happened, it gets dicey.
2 Samuel 2:12-3:39:
- 12-28 – Though Judah and Israel would split into two nations after Solomon’s reign, they are technically still united during this story. Abner is simply loyal to Saul’s line and is trying to keep them in power, this is why David’s men are fighting against Abner’s.
- 2-5 – David had a lot of wives.
- 7-11 – Because of Ish-bosheth’s accusation, Abner abruptly switches allegiances and promises his efforts and loyalty to guaranteeing David’s reign.
- 20-30 – David believed Abner’s new-found loyalty to him, but Joab, one of David’s military leaders still had a score to settle with him. Abner felt that he was safe in David’s good graces, but Joab kills him. David washes his hands of any responsibility.
- 4-17 – Jesus lowers himself to the lowest household job. He becomes a servant to his followers to show them how they are to serve those they lead. Peter is resistant to Jesus’ acts of kindness because he doesn’t feel that this is an act meant for the Messiah.
- 23 – John’s gospel is the only one that singles out or even refers to a “disciple whom Jesus loved”. Some say it may be John referring to himself.
- This is, by far, the longest psalm.
- In this section of the psalm, a number of different tactics for remaining pure and faithful are mentioned: praising God for his law, guarding your path, following God’s commands, knowing God’s word.
We tend to pursue anything and everything but that which has been give to us. Today’s Proverb encourages us to, in essence, stay in our own lane. When we are faithful with what we’ve been given, God blesses that. But when we seek out everything else but what’s in front of us, we spin our wheels and run into trouble.
- 15-18 – To have a more beloved wife was not uncommon in this society. Think back to Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel and how Rachel was much more loved and her sons were favored by Jacob.
- 1-4 – The term “brother” is not limited to your biological brother, but anyone you were in relationship with. Technically all were descendants of Abraham so “brother” is an appropriate term.
- A parapet is a wall along the edge of a roof. This was necessary because roofs were flat and sometimes people would sleep on top of the roof when it was hot.
- God was intent on keeping the Israelites pure. Most of the laws and requirements for stoning were aimed at this goal.
- 51 – Though it will take him about 10 chapters to actually get to Jerusalem, his purpose until then has been set to get himself to Jerusalem for his eventual death.
- 58-62 – A hearer of this message at the time would know that the excuses Jesus is quoting would have been illegitimate ones. He wanted people who were committed to sharing the good news.
- 2 – A powerful indictment on all of us who are unwilling to do the work of spreading the gospel.
- We are to care for and work with what God has given us. Too often we seek out anything else we think might bring us pleasure. These are vain pursuits.
“Too much of a good thing can hurt you” is true of God’s holiness too. Check out why: