Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 17: 1 Chronicles 24 – 26:11; Psalm 13; Proverbs 19:15-16; Romans 4:1-12



Overview

            1 Chronicles: David appointed the divisions of the priests, Aaron’s descendants. They were appointed by lot according to the heads of the families of Eleazar (16 family heads) and Ithamar (8 family heads). The rest of the Aaron’s descendants also cast lots for their assignments. Asaph, Heman, and Jeuthun were set apart for prophesying with musical instruments. Heman was David’s seer. Along with these singers were 288 others after the lots were cast. These were also divided into 24 lots. After these, the gatekeepers were listed, descendants of Korah, Obed-edom, and Shemaiah.  
            Psalm: David wants to know how long the Lord will forget him, hide his face from him, have sorrow, and have his enemies overpower him. He asks the Lord to answer him or he may die and the enemies believe they have overcome him and be joyful at his faltering. However, David trust in the Lord’s steadfast love and salvation. So, he will sing to the Lord because he has always provided for him.
            Proverbs: Being lazy is like being in a coma and a loafer will go hungry. Keeping the commandments is the way to keep your life but not being careful about the way you live will end in death.
            Romans: Abraham would have been able to boast if he was justified by his works. But it was his faith that justified him. That is verified by Scripture that says he believed and that was credited as righteousness to him (Gen 15:6). If a person works, his wages are due him and are not a gift. The one who trusts the justifier of the ungodly has faith and is also counted as righteousness. David also said that a person is blessed when his sins are forgiven and not counted against him (Ps 32:1-2).
            The blessing isn’t for the circumcised only but also the uncircumcised because Abraham was counted righteous before the Law was given and he was still uncircumcised. The circumcision he received was a sign that he was already righteous by faith. So, he became the father of all who believe, whether circumcised or uncircumcised.

What Stood Out

            1 Chronicles: “With the help of Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, David organized them according to the appointed duties in their service” (1 Chron 24:3).
            Psalm: “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation” (Ps 13:5).
            Proverbs: “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger” (Prov 19:15).
            Romans: “” ().

Insight

            1 Chronicles: The Lord had previously allotted the work of the priest and the other Levites when he dwelled in the tabernacle. With the beginning of the construction of the temple, David is the one who is directing how the work of the temple will be accomplished when it is built. He enlisted the aid of the priests and also cast lots to determine who would serve where and when.
            It seems odd to me that the first time the divisions of priest and Levites were given, the Lord did it directly. This time, David was leading the organization. This may be a stretch of logic, but this may signify that David is acting as ruler over the priests and it is foreshadowing his descendant, Jesus who is our high priest.
            The big difference is that Jesus not only is our high priest, but he is also the sacrifice for our sins. He sacrificed himself and now sits as Priest interceding for us. He sits as King ruling over us. He sits as our Advocate defending us from Satan’s accusations. He sits as our Judge allocating our eternal work.
            Psalm: At first, it may seem that David is angry with God or it may seem that he has given up on hearing from God so that he is disappointed in God. But that isn’t the case. Some of this is about him. He is concerned for his life and he is concerned about the message it would send if his enemies did defeat him. But his trust is ultimately in the Lord and his steadfast love.
            We may get in difficult circumstances and become angry with God. Some people say that it is okay because God can handle it. I’ve never believed that gives us the right to become angry with God. Jerry Bridges calls that attitude “sheer blasphemy” (Respectable Sins, page 141). He points out that being angry with God is making a moral judgment accusing God of sin. How does that sit with you? No, when we are angry with God, we are disrespecting his judgment, sovereignty and it makes our agenda and our feelings our god.
            We should take note of David’s attitude. While he would like answers to his questions, he still trusts in God’s loving kindness. He knows God saves. Therefore, he will sing and praise the Lord. That’s what we need to do in difficult circumstances.
            Proverbs: These two Proverbs seem unrelated at first. However, when you apply being lazy to walking in God’s ways, then it is possible to see how they are related. While we know that salvation, eternal life comes through faith, it is usually obvious that a person’s eternal state is demonstrated by their willingness to obey God’s commandments. When being diligent and not lazy about the way we live, we show that we are on the path of life. When we don’t care or despise the Lord’s ways, we can be sure we aren’t on the path of life. Our faith, whatever it may be, is useless.
            Romans: Abraham believed God. He didn't know much about God, and what he believed was that he would have a son and all his descendants would be as numerous as the stars (Gen 15:6). That isn't much to go on. We have so much more that we know about God and salvation as today's reading shows. We know that salvation comes to everyone who believes regardless of our heritage. In Abraham, we are all spiritually his children. In addition, we know that our salvation is not by works because that would make God indebted to us. We would be able to boast before the Lord and that is ludicrous. Instead our salvation is by faith and that is a promise of God that rests on his grace.

Application

             I need to be sure that my attitude towards God is correct. He saves through faith and not because I'm good or do good things. He is in control, he is good. If I'm angry with him, it is my problem, not his.

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