Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 9: 1 Chronicles 7 – 8; Psalm 7; Proverbs 18:22; Acts 27:1-20



Overview

            1 Chronicles: The listings of the descendants of Issachar includes the numbers of men of war. The descendants of Benjamin also listed warriors. The descendants of Naphtali only included four names. The descendants of Manasseh is quite short as well.
            The listing of Ephraim’s descendants includes the death of two sons who were killed by rustlers from Gath. Their sister built three towns. Other towns where Ephraimites lived were also listed. Asher’s descendants were also listed and the number of their warriors.
            The descendants of Benjamin is listed. It quickly lists some who were carried into captivity as well as other. It also includes Saul and Jonathan and their descendants.
            Psalm: David takes refuge in the Lord from all his pursuers otherwise they would tear him apart like a lion. If David had sinned in any way, then he said it would be okay for his enemies to kill him. He asks God to wake up for him and judge between him and the people. According to David’s righteousness and his integrity, let the Lord judge. The Lord tests the minds and hearts and he is righteous. He is a shield for the righteous and feels indignation every day.
            If men don’t repent, then God will punish them because they are full of mischief, lies, evil plots. The Lord will bring it all back on them.
            David thanks God for his righteousness and praises his name.
            Proverbs: Finding a good wife is a real blessing from the Lord.
            Acts: Paul is sent to Italy aboard ship along with other prisoners. Julius, a centurion is in charge of them. Julius treats Paul kindly and let him go to see friends when they stopped in Sidon. They sail on and have trouble because of the weather as it is approaching winter. They stop in a place called Fair Havens. Paul warns them that there will be injury and loss if they continue. Julius listened instead to the pilot and owner of the ship and they sail on when a gentle wind starts.
            The wind whips up to hurricane force and drives the ship so strongly that the sailors toss the cargo then the ship’s tackle. They didn’t see sun or stars for many days and they lost hope of being saved.

What Stood Out

            1 Chronicles: “His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah” (1 Chron 7:24).
            Psalm: “My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart” (Ps 7:10).
            Proverbs: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Prov 18:22).
            Acts: “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned” (Acts 27:20).

Insight

            1 Chronicles: God chose to list the accomplishments of one woman, Sheerah, in the middle of all these lists of names, places, and numbers of warriors. There isn’t any detail about her, other than her father’s name and the fact that her brothers had been killed by men from Gath who came to steal cattle. It just goes to show what a person can do when they are walking with the Lord and fulfilling his or her role in life. Some of these genealogies are obviously incomplete since only one name is listed and that his sons were carried off in exile. All the names of the thousands of warriors are not listed either. That means many names were left out. Yet, here is Sheerah remembered throughout history.
            It isn’t that all these people were more or less important than Sheerah, as God knows each one of them. What we can take away from this is that regardless of our position in the scheme of things, the most important is that our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev 21:27). That’s not based on our accomplishments but on God’s mercy and grace.
            Psalm: David asks the Lord to judge between him and the people who are pursuing him. He also says that he is shielded in judgment because God saves the upright in heart. The blessings that we have being in Jesus Christ is that we have a new heart. If our hearts had not been changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, we would not be able to ask God to judge us. We would all be condemned. As it is, we can be assured that we will be protected in the judgment because of Jesus’ righteousness imputed to us by God’s grace.
            Proverbs: Not everyone can say that having a wife or husband is a good thing from the Lord. The only reason they can’t is that there is sin in their hearts. If they were looking at their spouse through God’s eyes, the would see the good thing he has given them. But one may argue that he wife or husband is an abusive ______. (Fill in the blank.) Then the problem is that he or she is not seeing that God is in control and has matched them up to develop the character in them that they both need. On the other hand, when both are Christians and walking closely with the Lord, it is obvious that a good spouse is a blessing from the Lord.
            Acts: Sometimes it doesn’t look like God is in control. Paul’s journey to Rome started well enough. He even had the favor of the centurion so that he could leave the ship and visit friends in Sidon when they stopped. However, that didn’t last long and the trip started getting tough until they stopped in Fair Haven. It doesn’t say how Paul knew that the remaining journey would be disastrous, but I’m sure that any normal person would listen to a seasoned pilot and ship owner rather than a theologian when navigating the sea. However, Paul was right. The crisis increased until they all gave up hope of being saved.
            My question would be whether Paul is included in that “all.” Paul has Jesus’ promise that he would witness in Rome. I don’t think Paul gave up hope but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how it worked out.
            When troubles assail us, we can be like the sailors and all the others on the ship and try our hardest to make sure we’re in control. But it is only when we come to the end of our ropes that we turn to the Lord. David was always asking the Lord for help. He didn’t wait for disaster. He acknowledged that his only hope was in God. We need to do the same. We may be killed, maimed, or all sorts of other things, but we know that the Lord is always with us and there is always hope. After all, we are looking for a city whose builder is God (Heb 11:10). That is our hope

Application

             I am important in God’s plan. He is sovereign and I may not know exactly how it all fits together, but having my hope in heaven helps make sense of things here. By his grace I can have confidence in his judgment, knowing that whatever happens is not his wrath against me.

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