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Showing posts from April, 2020

“David Gets It”

BIBLE READING:1 Chronicles 27-29
Throughout the life of David, we can see that he has some major ups and downs; yet even during his most sinful periods, he always seems to make his way back to God. Maybe that is what God meant when He referred to David as a man after His own heart. As we get to the end of I Chronicles, we find David as an old man who is ready to go and be with the LORD.However, before he leaves this earth David wants to make sure he has done everything within his power to prepare Solomon to lead. He reminds Solomon of his charge to build God’s house. He begins making offerings to provide for the construction and gives Solomon a solid foundation. But in all that David did for Solomon materially, to provide for him fails in comparison to what he does for him spiritually. Within the last chapter of David’s life, he illustrates to his son what he has come to know about God. In I Chronicles 29.10-19 we read a beautiful description about what David has come to understand.Thr…

“Organization Is A Good Thing?”

BIBLE READING:1 Chronicles 24-26
As I write this, I’m looking at my desk. It’s not organized. There are books piled on one side. Papers on the right by my lamp. Another stack of books and notebooks. A highlighter, a package of blue pens, a fan, two sticky note pads, some crumpled up receipts, a cube of sticky tack, some graded quizzes, a calculator, a water bottle, a plastic fork, a stapler, a peppermint candy, some business cards of California State Representative’s employees, and my computer. Needless to say, I really ought to clean off my desk.Today, however, I tackled something else in my life that was unorganized—my keys! On my key chain, I have 9 keys, a pocketknife, a flashlight, a decorative thing (whatever those souvenirs are called), and a lanyard. Yesterday, this collection included a total of 6 key rings, all hooped together and jumbled up. They would get tangled in my pocket. No more. Today I rearranged them all, and am proud to say I have two key rings hooked together—one…

“Why Was This A Sin?”

BIBLE READING:1 Chronicles 21-23
Scripture does not directly answer this question, but a few things can be inferred and a few possibilities deduced. First, it is clear that unlike the census of Moses Num. 1:2), this did not come at the command of God. 2 Sam. 24: 1 records, “the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them” (NKJV). This must be harmonized with 1 Chron. 21:1 which says, “Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.” How can both statements be correct? 2 Sam 24:1 must be understood in terms of what God allowed Satan to do, not direct action on the part of God. This may be compared with Job 2:3. After Satan is allowed to bring trial upon Job, God says to Satan, “he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” The same word is used in 2 Sam. 24:1 (“moved”) and Job 2:3 (“incited”). Although one concerns God and David, and the other Satan and God, it is interesting because…

“Just How Far Has God Brought You?”

BIBLE READING:1 Chronicles 17-20
In I Chronicles 17, David is feeling some guilt for building himself a house of cedar while allowing the Ark to remain in a tent. He petitions the prophet Nathan, for guidance. That night the word of the LORD came to Nathan to reveal to David God’s desires concerning David and His house. God reveals to David, through Nathan, that it will be his offspring that completes that House of God and not David. Within this message from God, He reminds David just how far He has brought him on his journey. “…Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following sheep, to be prince over my people Israel, and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all of your enemies from before you.And I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.” (I Chronicles 17.7-8). This must have served as a good reminder for David as to just how far he had come from shepherding his father’s sheep, to ruling over God’s people…

“Mighty Men”

“What Will you be Remembered By?”

BIBLE READING:1 Chronicles 8-10
Have you ever been concerned about what people will say about you when your life is over?Some may feel that it doesn’t matter what people say about them after they are dead, because they are dead, they will never know.Yet I feel that most of us are concerned about what will be said about the life we had while on this earth.For instance, isn’t is a pleasant thought to consider that people spoke highly of you after your death.Consider what kind of legacy you want to leave for those that are left behind.What do you want people to remember most about you?Maybe you want to be known for your accomplishments in life?Maybe you want people to remember how faithful you were to the Lord or how generous you were with your time and money?On the contrary, I am pretty confident no one wants to be remembered for their sins, their weaknesses or their shortfalls.That is where our passage of Scripture comes into play today.King Saul had a great deal of opportunity in his l…

“Disaster Fell on His House- 1 Chronicles 7.23”

BIBLE READING:1 Chronicles 6-7
It is an old-world tale, and those tears have long since been wiped away. What led to the death of so many of the stalwart sons of Ephraim is not quite clear; but apparently, they made a raid from the hill-fastnesses on the men of Gath to lift their cattle and were repelled with great disaster. At any rate, they were slain by men of Gath, that were born in the land. They were part of the early nations of Canaan, that should have been destroyed. This suggests a significant train of thought. We must beware of the tendencies and impulses which were born in us, which we have inherited. They are strong in all of us. Parents transmit to an awful extent their own passions. What a reason this is for carefully curbing them! I have known the children of drunkards, grown to middle-life, who have confessed that they have never spent a day without the conscious craving for alcohol. These are the men of Gath, born in the land, who will slay us unless we are on our guard…

“The Prayer of Jabez”

BIBLE READING:1 Chronicles 3-5
As the book of I Chronicles continues with its genealogies, we have a hidden gem located in I Chronicles 4.9-10.Included in the genealogy of Judah we find a man named Jabez who had a very specific prayer.Other than this prayer we have no other information concerning Jabez.His name means “pain and sorrow” and is also the name of a city where the scribes lived in, I Chronicles 2.55.According to “The New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters”, Jabez “seemed to have lived in dread that his name would be prophetic…prayed about it and God granted his request.”His prayer is very short, yet very specific.We can still use Jabez’s prayer today if we understand that our prayers are not some ritualistic incantations that when we repeat them, God will answer.Our prayers should be very personal as we are communicating our thoughts to the Almighty. During my study this week I discovered an article written by Toni Ford of the Gadsden Messenger who solicited “Fou…

“The Importance of Biblical Genealogies”

BIBLE READING:1 Chronicles 1-2
Many family records, or genealogies, exist in the Bible. These records are mentioned frequently in Genesis, Numbers, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and concerning Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. While readers often skim or skip these parts of Scripture, the Bible's genealogies offer many important insights.
First, the Bible's genealogies help confirm the historical reliability of the Bible. For example, the records from Abraham, to his son Isaac, to Jacob, to the descendants of Jacob up to the time of David and beyond reveal, not only precision, but that the events of the Bible involve actual people.
Second, the Bible's genealogies reveal the importance of family to God and to the writers of the Bible. The family unit has served as the foundation of human society since Adam and Eve and their children. The importance of family is emphasized in each generation mentioned throughout the Bible.
Third, the Bible's genealogies were also importa…

“Zedekiah’s Stubbornness”

BIBLE READING:2 Kings 24-25
In 2 Kings 24.18 we learn that Zedekiah becomes king over Judah when he was twenty-one years old. Zedekiah ruled over Judah for eleven years.During those eleven years the king did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.We can also notice in 2 Chronicles 36.11 that he ”did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD”.The book of Jeremiah details that message that God had sent to King Zedekiah.The prophet’s message was one of warning the king to humble himself and repent and turn back to the LORD, or else, Nebuchadnezzar would overtake them.In his arrogance and pridefulness the king refuses, allowing the prophecy to come true.Not only does Nebuchadnezzar destroys the city, he also takes the two sons of Zedekiah and kills them before his eyes.He then gouges out Zedekiah’s eyes making the horrifying death of his sons the last thing he ever saw. All of this happened because Zedekiah would not humble himself before the LORD…

"Nehushtan"

Bible Reading: 2 Kings 18-20

The footnote in the New International Version at 11 Kings 18:4 is most interesting. When Hezekiah found the brazen serpent made by Moses in the wilderness still being worshiped, he destroyed it. The NIV says, '...he called it Nehushtan." The footnotes explain the meaning-"a serpent made of brass." One is made to wonder how such an idol could have existed so long. In the reformation movements of one of the judges or kings, it would have been destroyed. My opinion is that it was not recognized as an idol and hence was preserved. Perhaps they justified it by not calling it an idol. Hezekiah, however, came and called it what it really was- a brass image of a snake. How often we justify sin by calling it a different name! Some call adultery, "a meaningful relationship." We excuse covetousness by calling it "prudence" or "economy". A life of sensual pleasure is "living with gusto." In answer to a critic,…

“Ahaz-This Dude Was Messed Up”

BIBLE READING:2 Kings 15-17
As we continue in our study of the kings of Israel and Judah, we have been pretty much disappointed.Although there were a few bright spots in the leadership, it seems to have been a who’s who of failures.All typically fit into the characterization of “they did what was right in the sight of God” or “They did not do what was right in the sight of God”.During the time of our reading Jotham had been king over Judah and he” did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah had done.“Nevertheless, the high places were not removed” (2Kings 15.34-35).Sadly, in Jotham’s lack of removing the high places where idolatry took place, opened the door so the next king would be all messed up.Jotham’s son Ahaz becomes king over Judah after his father and the Bible says, “he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Kings 16.2).As a matter of fact, Ahaz burned his own son in an act of pagan worship.He then continued to do all the …

“Are You Aiming High Enough?”

BIBLE READING:2 Kings 12-14
"And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like David.” 2 Kings 14:3 When a person tries to justify his wrong behavior by pointing to the conduct of others, he isn’t aiming high enough. This is also true if he patterns himself after someone who gives the Lord only partial obedience. A college student learned this lesson when he was reprimanded by the school president for misbehavior. The young fellow offered this lame excuse for his questionable conduct: “But, Sir, you’d find it difficult to locate 10 men in this school who wouldn’t have done as I did if they had been in my circumstances.” The president replied, “Has it ever occurred to you that you could have been one of those 10?” Amaziah was a good king. He worshipped the true God and showed mercy to the children of some who had conspired against him. Apparently, he set a good moral example. But he foolishly led his troops into a shameful defeat and was finally executed by a gro…

“Don’t give the Devil a foothold”

BIBLE READING:2 Kings 9-11
There are some insanely evil people portrayed in the Bible, aren't there? Sometimes good Christian people suffer mental illness, and we struggle alongside them, praying for God's grace and peace for them. But this is different. Jezebel displays the kind of insanity caused by full-blown evil (2 Kings 9.14-37). Have you been dabbling in dangerous things? A little gambling, a little drinking and partying, a little porn? Be wary of sin, because when you open a door even just a crack, wild creatures come rushing in. Jezebel, having opened that door long ago, was now a woman totally infested with satanic evil. Like jagged sheet metal in hurricane-force winds, she is a free-floating weapon of destruction in Satan's hellish control. There is no warning buzzer in her brain, and there are no brakes. Jezebel is about to die, and she knows it. Like an impossible scene from a horror movie, she hums to herself and applies her makeup (2 Kings 9.30). You've hear…

“Floating Axe Heads”

BIBLE READING:2 Kings 6-8
One day while traveling along the banks of the Jordan River, Elisha comes upon a man who is cutting wood with an axe.In the process of cutting the wood, the axe head slips off the handle and flies into the Jordan river sinking to the bottom.The reason why this was such a devasting blow to the lumberjack was that this axe was borrowed.Iron wasn’t something that was easy to come by, so this meant possible financial devastation for the man as he would have to pay back what he had lost.Elisha is aware of the consequences of this man losing the axe head, so he decides to help.Elisha takes a stick and throws it into the river and lo and behold the axe head plopped up from the water, enabling the man to retrieve it.Once again Elisha steps in to allow people to see the power of God and to help them sustain life during a very difficult time.The prophet’s job was to relay God’s message to the people in their daily life and to act accordingly.  As one scholar put it, “Go…

“We May Already Have All We Need…”

BIBLE READING:2 Kings 3-5
Have you ever experienced some type of financial strain that you feared would be so great that you could never be able to repay it?It may have come in the form of an outrageous medical bill, an unexpected auto expense or home repair, or maybe it came in the form of losing a job and not having an income.It only adds insult to injury to know that it doesn’t only affect you, but your spouse and your children.At some point I think we all face some sort of financial strain in our lives.Wouldn’t it be great if God had provided for us an example in Scripture that would allow us to see the light at the end of the tunnel of our financial stresses.Within our daily reading we find such a passage.In 2 Kings 4.1-7, the Bible tells a story of a woman who lost her husband.It just so happens that this woman’s husband was a prophet of the Lord.Upon his death, the woman was not able to continue to pay the bills that they had incurred while married.In fact, her creditors were co…

“Don’t Be a Sell Out”

BIBLE READING:1Kings 21-22
“Sell out -someone who sacrifices their personal convictions for some type of advancement.” Naboth had set himself up to become a very wealthy man.He owned a vineyard that was located on a prime piece of property, right beside the palace of King Ahab.It just so happens that Ahab desired this vineyard for himself and he wanted to turn it into a vegetable garden.As Naboth might have expected, Ahab made his offer to pay whatever the piece of property was worth.It could have been very easy for Naboth to accept Ahab’s offer and ride off into the sunset a healthy, wealthy man.There was just one problem, this vineyard was worth more to Naboth than any amount of money that Ahab would offer.As it turns out, Naboth had inherited this vineyard from his father.It could have been that this piece of property had been in his family for three or four generations, maybe even longer.Naboth wasn’t interested in selling out to Ahab to become a rich man, because to him, there was …

“What Elijah Tells Us A About Depression”

BIBLE READING:1Kings 19-20
Elijah suffered so much. He faithfully spoke God’s Word to Ahab, warning of the drought to come because of Ahab’s unfaithfulness. (I Kings 17:1) Elijah had witnessed the nation he loved fall deeper and deeper away from the God who is faithful to every promise. And then he saw his countrymen suffer as the drought worsened. God provided a widow to take care of Elijah. God used miracles to provide for Elijah and the widow’s family. And then Elijah cried out in despair when the widow’s son died. “Have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” (I Kings 17:20) And do you see God’s response?He doesn’t yell at Elijah for not trusting him. He doesn’t command Elijah to just get over it. He doesn’t tell Elijah to cheer up. He doesn't even suggest that if Elijah had more faith, things would work out better. Instead, God graciously raises the widow's son to life. And then Elijah experiences his greatest victory. After …