TODAY’S READING FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT- 1 CHRONICLES 28:1-29:30
We come to the last chapters of 1 Chronicles today and witness King David commissioning his successor, his son Solomon, as King. David publicly charges Solomon to follow the Lord carefully and passes on to him the plans for the temple’s construction.
The Lord chose Solomon to succeed his father David as King, even though Solomon was not David’s oldest son. Just as God earlier indicated through the prophet Samuel His choice of David, who was not Saul’s heir, or Jesse’s oldest son, He chose Solomon from among David’s many sons to ascend to the throne of Israel. This kingdom belonged to God and not to David or anyone else.
David gathers in Jerusalem the leaders from throughout Israel and communicates the plan that God has given for the temple and the future king.
The continuity and success of the house of David reigning on the throne depended on the obedience of the kings. The Lord says concerning Solomon:
1 Chronicles 28:7 7 ‘I will establish his kingdom forever if he resolutely performs My commandments and My ordinances, as is done now.’
The Father passes the plans for the temple to the Son, who will execute them. This is a reflection of the distinctive roles within the Godhead. The Father is seen as the Planner, the Son as the Executor, and the Spirit as the Revealer, giving spiritual understanding, wisdom and strength for the task.
1 Chronicles 28:20 20 Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.
The Father provides generously.
David affirms that all comes from the Lord.
1 Chronicles 29:12 12 “Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
James 1:17 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
1 Chronicles 29:14 14 “But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.”
The Son builds faithfully and the Spirit inspires and strengthens the workers for the task.
1 Chronicles 29 gives us a great picture of revelational giving. The people were moved by what they perceived to be a God-honoring vision. They were also inspired by the sacrificial giving of their leaders (1 Chronicles 28:6,9).
1 Chronicles 29:9 9 Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the LORD with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.
David praised the Lord publicly and eloquently (1 Chron 29:10-13).
David prays that God’s keeping power would maintain the joyful self-sacrificing commitment and loyalty of His people.
1 Chronicles 29:18 18 “O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You.”
Notice the posture of the people when they worshiped:
1 Chronicles 29:20 20 Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless the LORD your God.” And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the LORD and to the king.
We have a foreshadowing of the Greater Son of David in the exaltation of Solomon:
1 Chronicles 29:25 25 The LORD highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him royal majesty which had not been on any king before him in Israel.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT – ROMANS 5:6-21
Our reading in Romans today starts with a great reminder of God’s love:
Romans 5:8 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Why did Christ come to earth? Verse 9 tells us- to justify us through Jesus’ substitutionary death (v.8) and thereby save us from the wrath of God. He does this so that we might be reconciled to God (v.10) and become alive with His life, conformed to His image, and made heirs of God together with Him. This is what it means to be saved! (verses 9-11).
Paul clarifies that sin and death is not first of all the result of breaking the commands given to Moses (the Law). Sin and death came from Adam, and we are made sinners by virtue of being “in Adam” from birth. Paul goes on to explain that we are made righteous by being “in Christ”.
The result of Adam’s sin (and our own sin ‘in him’) is death. But death reigns only until Adam is put to death on the cross. Paul says, “How much more” God’s gift of life and righteousness will reign. It will never be put to an end!
The purpose of the Law is clarified:
Romans 5:20-21 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Law draws our attention to the magnitude of our sin, so that we can appreciate the magnitude of God’s grace. The great transgression of our sin shows us the great gulf fixed between sinful man and a holy God. Grace abounds by providing Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life of the righteousness that we need to come to the Father.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS- PSALMS 15:1-5
This Psalm complements our reading from the Book of Romans. It pictures the righteous requirements for fellowship with God (dwelling in God’s presence) being met in the person of Christ, the Holiest of All.
Psalm 15:1 1 O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
Only Jesus is able to answer these requirements:
Psalm 15:2-5 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
Jesus is the epitome of righteousness. We have an unshakeable victory in Him!
TODAY’S READING FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS- PROVERBS 19:18-19
Proverbs 19:18-19 18 Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death. 19 A man of great anger will bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.
Parental discipline is necessary if a child is to be saved from the consequences of dying in their sins. They must recognize their need for a change of heart. They must be saved from the folly of living in self-will and recognize their need for righteous living in Christ.
PRAY FOR THE NATIONS- PRAY FOR IRELAND
(from Operation World Prayer Guide, p. 474-476)
Area: 70,285 sq km
Comprises 80% of the island of Ireland. Northern Ireland is a constituent part of the United Kingdom.
Population: 4,589,002 Annual Growth: 1.85%
Official language: Irish, English. Irish spoken as a first language by less than 4% of the population; 40% of the Irish population can speak Irish Languages: 5 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
Challenges for Prayer
Missionaries now work in all 26 counties, but they are mostly focused on the Dublin area. GEM is instrumental in leadership training and church planting, with 16 full-time workers. Other significant missions include AoG, OM, TEAM, IMB, UFM and Christian Associates. Pray for their ability to minister ably, for new congregations to be planted and for long-term investment in indigenous churches and leaders.
Ireland has a long tradition of sending missionaries, from the peregrini of the early Celtic Church onward. But now the number of Catholic missionaries is rapidly declining as is the number of traditional Protestant missionaries, though to a lesser degree. The new churches recognize the need for reaching the unevangelized in their midst and in the wider world. Pray for the release, training and funding of more Irish missionaries and leaders by evangelical churches and fellowships.
PRAYER: O Lord, Your faithfulness endures to all generations. Help us to pass on the wisdom we have received and the blueprints for Your dwelling place. Help us to invest in the future generations and train them for reigning with You. We are grateful for the demonstration of Your love in Your self-giving sacrifice at Calvary. Help us to realize that love and communicate it to others! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.