TODAY’S READING FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT- 1 CHRONICLES 16:37-18:17
David gives careful attention to be sure that ministry is carried on by the appropriate people. He assigns a team of priests to minister in Jerusalem where the ark of the Lord is now positioned, and another team in Gibeon, where the burnt offerings and morning and evening tabernacle services continue.
Asaph is put in charge of ministering before the ark of the covenant, along with 68 associates, including Obededom, who must have moved to Jerusalem for that purpose.
Zadok and other Levitical priests were in charge of the worship services at Gibeon which included antiphonal giving of thanks. The people would respond to their sentences of praise with a loud shout, “for his love endures forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:41).
Heman and Jeduthun were put in charge of the musical instruments, including brass and percussion.
David communicates to Nathan, the prophet, that compared to the luxurious palace of cedar in which he dwells, the ark of the covenant is housed only in a simple tent. He has it on his heart to build a house for the Lord. Nathan at first responds in the affirmative saying, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for the Lord is with you.”
However, that night, the Lord speaks to Nathan and instructs him to give David another message. God has been with David throughout his life journey. He has been with the people of Israel throughout their history. He has never asked for a fixed building to dwell in. Especially one made of human hands!
Instead of David building a house for the Lord, the Lord promises to make a house for David and his kingdom. This will be a place where they can rest, knowing that the Lord has purposed to free them from oppression by subduing all their enemies. But these promises would be fulfilled by one of David’s descendants (Christ).
The Lord’s promises in the Davidic covenant point to a King and a work that is beyond David. He makes a covenant to establish His own kingdom forever through an offspring of David who will build a house where the love of God permanently abides (1 Chronicles 17:7-14).
David responds to this news with humility. He is overwhelmed that the Almighty God would show him such favor. “You have looked upon me as though I were the most exalted of men” (1 Chronicles 17:17). This is a pre-figuring of how God looks upon all those who are in Christ Jesus.
David embraces the fact that God will bring about His own kingdom and eternal purpose through his promised offspring. This is another picture of saving faith in the Old Testament.
David thanks the Lord for this blessed promise (1 Chronicles 17:16-27).
1 Chronicles 17:19 19 O LORD. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises. (NIV)
Chapter 18 describes David’s further conquests. He defeats the Philistines, the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, and Amalekites establishing the promised boundaries to the north and east to the Euphrates River. He defeats Hadadezer, king of Zoba.
1 Chronicles 18:6 The LORD gave David victory everywhere he went.
Not only did these victories expand Israel’s borders, they enabled David to acquire material for the building of the temple: gold, bronze, and silver.
1 Chronicles 18:11 11 King David also dedicated these to the LORD with the silver and the gold which he had carried away from all the nations: from Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the Philistines, and from Amalek.
1 Chronicles 18:14 14 So David reigned over all Israel; and he administered justice and righteousness for all his people.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT – ROMANS 2:1-24;
In Romans Chapter 2, the Apostle Paul anticipates the reaction of the cultured Roman Gentile to his indictment of the pagan world in Chapter 1. We can imagine him saying, “The depraved barbarian may need to be made right with God, but not me!” The self-righteous Gentiles might imagine themselves as seated with the Judge rather than in the dock with the accused and exposed to the same wrath.
How easily the human being suppresses the knowledge of his or her accountability to God, overestimating their worthiness and deservedness of a right standing with Him. Truly there are some who have received abundant blessings of God’s kindness, tolerance and patience towards them. But they don’t realize that those blessings should steer them towards repentance rather than a smug sense of moral superiority. And without repentance, they will be condemned on the Day of Judgement.
Paul speaks also to the Jew who might proudly agree with his indictments of the Gentile, both the reprobate and self-righteous. The Jews are no better off, even if they have had better privileges.
For those Jews who think they are right with God just because they HAVE the Law of God, or have HEARD the Law of God, they must be reminded that they are no better off than the Gentile whose consciences function as the law written on their hearts. Why? Because they ALL FAIL TO OBEY the Law of God
The relationship of the Jew to the Law, far from justifying them, only magnifies their history of disobedience. Paul references Isaiah 52:5 and Ezekiel 36:20 by saying, “As it is written, ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Both the light of the written Law in the Scriptures and the moral law written on the heart, should convict us all of our need for the Savior.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS- PSALMS 10:16-18
We have read through the Book of Kings and have seen how the reigns of the Kings of Israel and Judah fall short of the Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy that will be established through Christ.
This final section of Psalm 10 wonderfully captures the Kingdom of God’s dear Son:
Psalm 10:16-18 16 The LORD is King forever and ever; Nations have perished from His land. 17 O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear 18 To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS- PROVERBS 19:8-9
Proverbs 19:8-9 8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. 9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will perish.
PRAY FOR THE NATIONS- INDONESIA
(from ‘Operation World’ Prayer Guide)
Praise God for many people movements in West Papua in the last 100 years. Over 90% of indigenous peoples profess Christianity. They face tribal conflict, political tensions, a mix of Christianity and animist practices, and oppression by others. Workers have located and contacted 100 less-reached smaller ethnic groups. Many need evangelism and church planting. Christian aviation is necessary in this land with few roads. Bible translation for the many small language groups remains an immense task.
PRAYER: Lord, You are worthy of our worship and praise. Thank You for the revelation of Your glory and grace in the Person of Your Son. He is the Perfect King and Perfect Priest after the order of Melchizedek. He is the mediator of our righteousness and peace. We look forward to every opportunity we have to hear Your Word, respond to the revelation of Your glory, and join with those You have set in the local churches to inspire us to honor You with the songs of our lips and the consecration of our lives. May You be glorified today in Your church, Lord Jesus!
So, naturally, we proclaim Christ! We warn everyone we meet, and we teach everyone we can, all that we know about him, so that, if possible, we may bring every man up to his full maturity in Christ. (Colossians 1:28, J.B. Phillips paraphrase)
New Life Community Church, Concord, MA 10742
Meeting Sundays at 10:30 AM at the New Life Ministry Center, 221 Baker Avenue, Concord, MA 01742
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