Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August 1: 2 Chronicles 30 – 31; Psalm 25:1-15; Proverbs 20:13-15; Romans 15:1-22



Overview

            2 Chronicles: Hezekiah called for celebrating the Passover in the second month because there were not enough priests consecrated and the people hadn’t gathered in Jerusalem. He sent an invitation to all parts of Judah and Israel to come back to the Lord and celebrate so that the Lord’s anger would be turned away. Most in Israel scoffed at it but many humbled themselves and came along with all Judah. Most of those who came from Israel were not clean so Hezekiah prayed for them and they ate without harm. There was so much joy that they decided to celebrate another seven days. Hezekiah and the princes supplied animals for the offerings.
            The people then went to the cities of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh and broke up the pillars and Asherim. Then they went home.
            Hezekiah appointed the priests and Levites by divisions to do the work of the temple. He contributed for the daily and new moon offerings. He commanded the people to bring the portion due the priests and Levites. The people responded with so much that the food was piled in heaps. The priests and Levites had plenty to eat and much left over. Hezekiah had them prepare chambers in the temple and the contributions were stored there. The various officers appointed by Hezekiah are listed with their duties.
            Hezekiah did right and good before the Lord. What he undertook for the temple and seeking God, he did with all his heart. He prospered.
            Psalm: David expresses his trust in the Lord and asks not to be put to shame. It is done by God leading him as God teaches him. David remembers his youthful sins and asks that God not remember them. He affirms that God instructs sinners and God’s ways are faithful. David asks to be pardoned for God’s name’s sake and speaks of the blessing of the one who fears God and is instructed by him.
            Proverbs: If you spend too much time sleeping, you will become poor. Stay awake and you will have plenty. Some people tell the seller his product is no good just so he can get a bargain and then boasts about it. Gaining knowledge is precious like gold, silver, and jewels.
            Romans: Strong Christians should bear with the failing of weak one instead of pleasing ourselves. This is Christ’s example because the Scripture says that our insults ended up on him instead of us. All previous Scripture was written to instruct us and encourage us so we would have hope. Paul asks that God the Encourager give us the ability to live in harmony with one another the way Jesus wants. That will glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, we should welcome one another just like Jesus welcomed us for God’s glory.
            Christ became a servant to Gentiles to fulfil God’s promises in various Old Testament Scriptures where God will be praised among the Gentiles, the Gentiles will rejoice, and Jesus will rule the Gentiles and give them hope. Paul asks God to fill us with joy, peace, and power of the Holy Spirit so we may abound in hope.
            Paul then explains that he believes the Romans have everything they need to counsel each other. He wrote boldly to remind he of the grace God gave him to minister to Gentiles. He has reason to boast about his work among Gentiles but it was all accomplished by Christ working in him. He has brought Gentiles to obedience in word and deed from Jerusalem to Illyricum.
            His ambition is to preach where Jesus has not yet been preached. He doesn’t want to build on other’s work. That’s why he wants to go to Rome though he has been hindered many times.

What Stood Out

            2 Chronicles: “And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered” (2 Chron 31:21).
            Psalm: “1 For your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great” (Ps 25:11).
            Proverbs: “‘Bad, Bad,’ says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts” (Prov 20:14).
            Romans: “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another” (Rom 15:14).

Insight

            2 Chronicles: Hezekiah made a significant difference in the nation of Judah. The people followed him and for all appearances, they had a change of heart as they went out to all the cities and smashed the idol. Because Hezekiah did all this for the Lord with all his heart, it was the key to getting it done. We are commanded by Jesus to put God first in our lives (Matt 6:33). Paul tells us that whatever we do we should do it for the glory of the Lord (1 Cor 10:31) and not to please men (Col 3:23). When we do things for the Lord that precludes doing sinful things and includes being conscious of how they can bring glory to God, God works in us and he is gloried. If we do something just to get other people’s approval, that doesn’t bring glory to God or reward to us. If we are doing it only for our own pleasure, then we are still not doing it for God’s glory. That doesn’t mean we can’t derive pleasure from bringing glory to the Lord. Rather, when we do something for the Lord we should derive pleasure from it for his glory more than doing things for self or the world.
            Psalm: If we really want to do everything for the Lord, the first thing we need to do is to confess our sin, ask for forgiveness (Ps 25:11) and get rid of our sin. We can’t really get rid of it if we are not willing to humble ourselves before the Lord and follow his instructions and leading. That means we have to acknowledge that God is good and just and that we are not.
            David says the friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him (Ps 25:14). That sounds like an oxymoron. How can you be friends with someone you fear? That fear is more than just awe, respect, and honor. This concept of fear is recognizing God’s awesome holiness and his justice. That requires punishment of sin. He is so much greater and powerful than we are that a mere glance from him could kill us. But friendship is knowing his love and kindness toward us so that he doesn’t punish us. It is experiencing his forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ.
            Proverbs: There is nothing wrong in getting a good bargain. However, the attitude of the buyer in Proverbs 20:14 is the problem. He belittles the product, which shows no respect for the owner. He then boasts that he got a good deal, which is pride in his sinful attituded. We need to be careful in the way we bargain and should always look out for the other person as well as our own interests. If getting a bargain is more important that being honest, we are in trouble.
            Romans: Romans 15:14 is a foundational verse to explain why Christians should be able to counsel each other. The concept is that the Bible is the source of our instruction so we can instruct others in godly living. Problems in people’s lives are more often a result of sinful behavior than psychological phenomena. The world treats psychological problems with human reasoning that requires a person to be trained in psychology before they can counsel others. When we realize that sin is really the problem, we can counsel each other from the Bible. The Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit working to convict a person of sin can “cure” people of many thing that the psychology world has relabeled in ways that make sin sound like someone or something else’s fault rather than sinful behavior. Psychology keeps people coming back for more therapy because it doesn’t deal with the root problem, sin. Biblical counseling seeks repentance and change so that a person doesn’t have to keep coming back for more therapy.

Application

             I want to do everything I do for the Lord, for his glory. To do that, I need to understand his will and be in his Word. I need to apply that to my life and make sure I’m not doing it for sinful reasons, my own glory or recognition from people.

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