Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 11: 1 Chronicles 11 – 12:18; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 19:1-3; Acts 28


            1 Chronicles: All Israel gathered together to David at Hebron and made him king. They admitted God had already said he would be king. David made a covenant with them at Hebron. Then David and Israel went to Jerusalem and took it over. Joab was the first to strike it and became the head of the army.
            David’s might men who supported him as king are listed. Some of their personal exploits are listed. These were previously listed in 2 Samuel 23. Some of the men who came to David at Ziklag while Saul was pursuing him were also listed. Some came from Gad and others were Benjamites. David asked them if they were coming as friends and they pledged their support to him.
            Psalm: David gives thanks to the Lord as he remembers his deeds and rejoices in him, praising his name. All David’s enemies can’t stand before the Lord because God has given David the throne according to his righteous judgment. Nations are rebuked, wicked perished, their names botted out forever. They are in ruins.
            The Lord reigns forever in justice and judges in righteousness. He is a shelter for the oppressed and those in trouble. Those who know God’s name trust him. They sing praise to the Lord and tell others about him. He is the Avenger and cares for the afflicted.
            Proverbs: It is better to be poor and honest than a fool who speaks devious things. It is dangerous to have a desire for something without understanding what it will cost and rushing in to get it will lead you astray. When foolishness ends in disaster, the fool blames God.
            Acts: Paul, Luke, and all that were with them safely arrive on the beach and find that it is the island of Malta. The people were welcoming and they built a fire. While tending the fire, a viper came out and bit Paul. The natives thought he must be a murderer and that this was justice for escaping the sea. When he wasn’t harmed, they then thought he was a god.
            The head of the island, Publius, welcomed them and took care of them for three days. Paul healed his father. Then other people with diseases came and were healed. Paul and companions were honored and given whatever was needed when they left three months later.
            They sailed to Italy and stayed for seven days with brothers in Puteoli. They then were met by brothers from Rome at the Three Taverns. This encouraged Paul as he thanked God. In Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself with Roman guards.
            After three days, Paul called the local Jewish leaders and explained why he was there, the accusations against him and his denial of them. They said they hadn’t received any complaints against him and wanted to hear his views. They then gathered a large assembly and Paul preached to them all day long. Some believed and other did not. Paul said the Holy Spirit was right that the people would hear and not understand because their hearts were dull as he quoted Isaiah 6:9-10. Therefore, he was going to tell the Gentiles because they would listen.
            Paul then lived there for two years and welcomed all who came. He proclaimed the gospel boldly without anyone trying to stop him.

What Stood Out

            1 Chronicles: “David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord” (1 Chron 11:3).
            Psalm: “For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted” (Ps 9:12).
            Proverbs: “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way” (Prov 19:2).
            Acts: “‘No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.’ … But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god” (Acts 28:4,6).


            1 Chronicles: David’s rise to be king of Israel is significantly different than Saul’s. When the people came together to make Saul king, they included all the tribes from the very first. David only had Judah until Abner arranged for all Israel to make him king. David also did something that Saul didn’t do. He made a covenant with the people before the Lord. David’s reign started in humility because he knew being king was not just ruling over people but it was an agreement with them to do what the Lord wanted him to do and how to do it.
            This sets the tone for being a servant leader. Jesus emphasized this with his disciples (Matt 20:26). This is the same attitude we should maintain whenever we are in a position of leadership. Rather than lording it over people, we need to see how we can serve them.
            Psalm: As we look at God’s attributes in this Psalm, it is evident that his judgment stands out over all of them. Because he is the eternal God who knows everything that happens and will happen, he can judge perfectly. His judgment is righteous because there is no impurity in him. Because he is the Creator, everything belongs to him and he has established the way things should be. This all speaks of his ability and right to judge.
            One of his motivations for judging is that he is mindful of us (Ps 9:12). He will not let evil go forever. There is no eternal cosmic battle between impersonal forces of good and evil. No, God is very person in this battle because he doesn’t like seeing the evil inflicted upon his people. There will be a day when he will answer the cries of the those who have been afflicted by evil and sin. He will establish a new heaven and a new earth where all are holy and righteous (2 Peter 3:13). Are you looking forward to this?
            Proverbs: Desire is something that we all have. We desire to have a good life, love our families, love the Lord, and many other good things. However, when we desire some things so much that we feel they are a need, we are on a dangerous road. We often don’t know what that is because we don’t think it through. Some people desire a bigger house, a new car, a bigger TV without understanding what that might cost them in long run. When that desire turns to “I want,” and that turns to “I need,” it has crossed over from desire to lust and that is sin. It takes us to places we never wanted to go. The physical results may be added bills and financial strain. The spiritual results may lead to less time with the Lord. James 1:14-15 clearly warns us that desires entice us to sin and sin brings death. Let’s be very careful and knowledgeable about what our desires may cost us. We must never let our desires turn into idols.
            Acts: People in all societies have some ideas about God or gods. Though there are some atheists, society is very religious. We form ideas of how things work and most people believe in Karma – the idea that what a person has done will eventually determine their future. The people of Malta believed that. They were sure Paul was evil and would die because he wasn’t killed in the shipwreck and Justice sent the snake to kill him.
            In one sense, Christians believe the same thing. We believe that our faith in Jesus Christ will determine our eternal destiny. Our faith also helps us in our daily lives as we attempt to live godly lives and live in a fallen world. We believe that when we trust in the Lord with all our hearts and acknowledge him in all our ways, our lives will be better (Prov 3:5-6).
            Turning to faith in Jesus Christ is the message that Paul preached in Rome. Some believed and some didn’t. What about you? Do you believe in Karma or do you depend on Jesus Christ for your eternal future as well as being able to live a godly life now?


             I need to watch my desires. I need to submit them to the lordship of Jesus Christ. I can’t control them and keep them where they should be without Jesus. The same is true for all my life.

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