Thursday, July 6, 2017

July 6: 1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4; Psalm 4; Proverbs 18:16-18; Acts 24



Overview

            1 Chronicles: We pick up on the genealogy of Caleb, the son of Hezon. This continues to include the house of Rechab. Next listed are the sons of David then Solomon and continuing through the descendants that were after the Babylonian captivity. The descendants of Judah are started in chapter 4.
            Psalm: David is again calling on the Lord who makes him righteous. He is looking for relief from his distress. He asks people how long they are going to slander him. They can be sure that the Lord has a special purpose for the godly and will answer them. So, don’t let anger be a source of sin. Don’t stew over your anger when you go to bed.
            Rather, offer the right sacrifices and trust the Lord. Some people don’t think God really is for our good but they need to look to the light of God’s face. He has given more joy to David than the joy all others get from their prosperity.
            David lies down in peace and sleeps soundly because the Lord makes him secure.
            Proverbs: A gift to a prestigious person gains access to that person. The one who tells his story first seems to be right until another gets to tell his side of it or asks questions about his story. If two powerful people can’t agree, they can toss dice to end the quarrel.
            Acts: Paul had a hearing before Felix when the high priest Ananias came with some elders and their spokesman, Tertullus. Tertullus started by flattering Felix for all the good he had done for the Jews. He then accused Paul of being a plague, stirring up riots and profaning the temple. He called Paul a ringleader of the sect of Nazarenes.
            Paul defended himself explaining he had only recently arrived in Jerusalem. He denied all charges but admitted that the real problem was his being a follower of the Way that they called a sect. He has a hope in God and the resurrection just as his accusers. He came to Jerusalem with alms to the nation and offerings. He was in the temple, but purified. If Jews of Asia had a problem with them, they should come and bring charges.
            Felix had an accurate knowledge of the Way and put off the Jews. He said he would decide the case when Lysias the commander came down. Paul was then kept in custody with free access by his friends. Felix and his Jewish wife, Drusilla, later listened to Paul talk of righteousness, faith in Jesus, self-control, and judgment. That frightened Felix but often had him come and talk with him over the next two years. Felix left Paul in prison as a favor to the Jews. Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus.

What Stood Out

            1 Chronicles: “The second [of David], Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite” (1 Chron 3:1).
            Psalm: “There are many who say, ‘Who will show us some good?’” (Ps 4:6).
            Proverbs: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Prov 18:17).
            Acts: “And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, ‘Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you’” (Acts 24:25).

Insight

            1 Chronicles: Yesterday, Nimrod was included with comments about him being the greatest warrior. Today, we see one of David’s sons, Daniel, mentioned without any other comment. The odd thing about Daniel is that he is never mentioned again. All the times we read about Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah and the conflict over killing each other and trying to succeed to David’s throne, Daniel isn’t mentioned. Nothing is said whether he died or didn’t want to get involved. As the second son, he should have been in line before Absalom.
            It makes me stop and think that God has each of our live planned. Some are planned for royalty, like Solomon, and others are planned for obscurity, like Daniel. Our job is to live our lives for the Lord and rejoice in him. If he leads us to do great things, then the glory goes to him. If he leads us into obscurity we can still give glory to him.
            Psalm: Many people don’t see God as good. They don’t know Jesus because they can’t trust God. They repeat what others say about God being a horrible bloodthirsty God. They don’t know how he gives peace through Jesus Christ. Sometimes what we see seems bad, but the truth is that our peace is not what the world believes is peace. Our peace is peace with God and because we trust him, we can sleep soundly knowing that he keeps us forever.
            Proverbs: Have you ever listened to people complain about their spouses, bosses, kids, or other people. When they tell the stories, they tell them to elicit sympathy and to get you on their side. They want you to be just as incensed as they are. If you never meet the other people or question them but just nod and agree, then it appears that they are living as saints with some pretty horrible people. This may not be true at all. That is why we should always try to get information from both sides. Otherwise, all we are doing is fueling gossip and most likely bitterness.
            Acts: Paul gets a raw deal because Felix won’t let him go, though he is obviously innocent. Felix is a complex man as he knew about the Way but when Paul brings up judgment, his response is to be frightened. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t frightened enough to repent of his sins and come to faith in Jesus. This may be the case with many people. That is why the rebel against churches that speak of the reality of hell. They don’t want to be reminded that their end will be in eternal fire if they don’t turn to Jesus. Usually the problem is that they don’t want to leave their sinful lifestyle. So what should we do? Should we avoid telling them the truth so they won’t be frightened but accept Jesus anyway? But to do that, we would essentially tell them they don’t need to repent. Faith without repentance isn’t faith because it doesn’t make a difference in their lives. They continue on with what they were doing and have a false assumption of salvation. If we are going to share the gospel, we need to properly tell them just as Paul did with Felix.

Application

            I need to live my life for the Lord regardless of whether I become famous or am an obscure individual. I need to make sure I listen to people but also investigate to keep from encouraging a person who may be just looking to justify himself or loves being a gossip. I also need to tell a person as much about true faith in Jesus as possible as long as they will listen.

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