Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 16: 1 Chronicles 22 – 23; Psalm 12; Proverbs 19:13-14; Romans 3:9-3:31



Overview

            1 Chronicles: David started assembling the materials for the temple. He forced resident aliens into the work and brought cedar from Sidon. He did this because he believed Solomon was young and inexperienced. He explained to Solomon that he had planned to build the temple but the Lord told him he couldn’t because he had shed much blood. The Lord had told him that his son would build it and he would be the Lord’s son and would establish his throne in Israel forever. He told Solomon to get started and not be afraid or dismayed. He told Solomon to make sure he kept all the Lord’s commands. Though David had assembled millions of pounds of gold, silver, bronze, and iron Solomon would have to add to it. David also commanded the leaders of Israel to help Solomon since they had peace.
            When David was old, he made Solomon king. He also appointed all the priest and Levites to their duties for the temple. The heads are listed by names and numbers of Levites under them. These new jobs were assigned because they would no longer need to carry the tent and the Ark from place to place. It would all be at the temple.
            Psalm:  David asks the Lord to save because there aren’t any godly people left. People are all liars, boaster, controlling, and plunders. He asks the Lord to cut them off. The Lord says he will arise and save the poor as they wish. The Lord’s words are true like pure silver. He will keep them and guard this generation forever against the wicked who prowl and the evil that the people exalt.
            Proverbs: A foolish son can ruin his father and a wife who finds faults to squabble about is like a constant drip. A father can pass along house and his wealth but only the Lord can give a prudent wife.
            Romans: Paul continues making his point that no one is righteous, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. He quotes from Psalm 14:1-3 and Isaiah 53:1-3 showing that no one seeks God, they go their own way, they lie, are full of bitterness, murder, and don’t fear God. He points out that the Law stops us from saying we are righteous and that no one is justified by the Law because it points out we are sinners.
            Righteousness comes from God apart from the Law and it is by faith in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if a person is a Jew or Gentile, all have sinned and come short of God’s perfection. We are justified by the gift of his grace through the atoning shed blood of Jesus Christ. God didn’t hold people before Christ accountable for their sins because he was looking forward to Christ’s sacrifice. In this present time, he shows his righteousness by justifying those who believe in Jesus.
            Therefore, there is no way we can boast about how good we are at keeping the law. We are justified by faith and this is apart for the law. This points out that God is over Jews and Gentiles and justifies all by faith. Does this overthrow the law? No, it upholds the law.

What Stood Out

            1 Chronicles: “Arise and work! The Lord be with you!” (1 Chron 22:16).
            Psalm: “You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever” (Ps 12:7).
            Proverbs: “A foolish son is ruin to his father” (Prov 19:13).
            Romans: “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin” (Rom 3:20).

Insight

            1 Chronicles: Solomon was credited with building the temple, but from this reading, it is obvious that a lot of the preparation had already been done well before Solomon took over. David assembled much of the material. If my calculations and the footnotes are right, then he accumulated 7,500,000 pounds of gold for the temple. That is $134,912,000,000.00 in today’s market value. I can’t imagine how much gold that is or how far that would go in covering the doors, wall, cherubim, and making utensils. David also drew up the plans for the temple as we’ll find out later (1 Chron 28:11).
            Then David told Solomon to get up and get busy doing it and the Lord would be with him. How many times do we have a God-ordained task before us and we don’t get up and do it. We may not recognize it as God-ordained. Some of those tasks are being parents, being a husband or wife, being a son or daughter, being an employee, or being a boss. If God has ordained every day of our lives even before the world began (Ps 139:16, Eph 1:4, 2:10), then we should wake up every morning knowing that we are doing God-ordained work. Rather than trying to figure out what God has in store for us, we need to “Arise and work! The Lord be with you!” (1 Chron 22:16).
            David prepared most of the material for the temple even before Solomon started work on it. Think about this, Jesus did all the work to pay for our sins even before we became Christians. We didn’t do anything to prepare to become Christians. God did it all through Jesus. If we are created to do good works (Eph 2:10), then we need to “Arise and work! The Lord be with you!” (1 Chron 22:16).
            Psalm: Jesus talked a lot about the evil generation that he encountered in Israel when he came. He said they were evil and adulterous (Matt 16:4). They sound just like the people of David’s generation. They sound just like the people of our generation. What is God’s promise to David? The Lord will guard and keep this generation forever. Since a single generation doesn’t live forever, we have a promise that whatever generation is causing problems, the Lord will guard and protect his people. We may not see that specifically as individuals, but there will always be people who belong to the Lord and we will be with the Lord forever.
            Proverbs: When a man’s son does something foolish, it can cost the whole family and even bring them to ruin. More than one politician has seen this happen. Whether it is a son who is involved in drugs or other activities, it often brings embarrassment on the family and ruins the person’s career. The laws and circumstances vary but it is possible that a minor son’s actions could cost the parents financially. The bottom line is that when a son is a fool, it is still an embarrassment to the family. While it isn’t always true, it reflects on the way we raise our kids. Our responsibility is to train the kids in the way of the Lord so that they don’t end up being fools.
            Romans: Paul makes the argument here and in other places that the Law can’t do anything to justify us before the Lord. Rather, the Law simply shows us how much of sinners we are. When he says that all have fallen short of the glory of the Lord, it simply means that there is no way anyone can ever be perfect. God is perfect in all ways. All we need to do is get up in the morning and within a few minutes, we are aware of how imperfect we are. That is if we are willing to admit it. A tiny complaint, a mere imperfect thought, and we have immediately demonstrated that we are sinners. Above, I said we need to “Arise and work! The Lord be with you!” (1 Chron 22:16). Well, we don’t even realize that the Lord is with us much less attempt to arise and do the work the Lord has planned for us each day. We are more often thinking about ourselves and what we want to do. A way to start doing this is to do everything for the glory of the Lord (1 Cor 10:31). If we don’t, guess what? We have sinned.
            Fortunately, Paul has also informed us that we can be justified by faith in Jesus Christ and his blood atonement for our sins. That means we can live as if we had never sinned. It doesn’t mean we should keep on sinning because that would show that we really don’t believe, which is covered it other Bible readings. It doesn’t matter who we are. Jew or Gentile, we can only be saved by faith in Jesus.

Application

             I need to arise in the morning and be mindful of the Lord being with me. I need to do everything for his glory and do it knowing that my day is God-ordained. If I mess up and don’t, I can confess my sin and start over knowing I’m justified by Jesus’ death.

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