Today’s Bible reading: 1 Chronicles 28-29:30; Romans 5:6-21; Psalm 15:1-5; Proverbs 19:18-19
We hit another milestone today… the 200th day of reading through the Bible in 2013! I’m sure you’ll agree its been an amazing experience.
David passes leadership to his son Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28. Apparently the author of this book felt it necessary to specifically state that David “rose to his feet” (1 Chronicles 28:2). Perhaps this indicates that David was in poor health and standing was a unique thing for him at this point in his life.
David exhorts Solomon to “be careful to obey” all of God’s commands (1 Chronicles 28:8). Obedience just doesn’t happen – it takes care on our part. We have to intentionally make sure we obey because disobedience comes more naturally to us.
The result of such obedience is that Israel will continue to possess the land (1 Chronicles 28:8). As we know, Israel did not continue to obey and God removed them from their land. I have no doubt that the United States is on the same course. God will send more of our enemies against us as we continue to reject Him. Someday, I believe, the United States will cease to exist as we know it.
God wants to reveal Himself to us but will not force Himself upon us. If a person seeks out God, God will make Himself known (1 Chronicles 28:9). God isn’t hiding. He is waiting for each person to want to know Him. But if someone rejects God, God will in turn reject that person for all eternity (1 Chronicles 28:9). In other words, when it comes to God, we get what we ask for.
The effect of being rejected by God means that such a person spends eternity right where they want to – separated from God. We call that hell. It is not a good idea to reject God.
Notice David gives the same advice to Solomon that God gave to Joshua (1 Chronicles 28:20): “be strong and courageous… don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God is with you”. Times hadn’t changed. Nor are they different today. Leaders need to rely on God to lead correctly. The reason the world has so many problems is that our leaders rely on human understanding and intellect. These are imperfect things driven by selfishness. God’s wisdom, though, is perfect and is based on His desire to bless us.
David gave all his money to the building of the Temple (1 Chronicles 29:3-4). This is equivalent to our modern-day concept of planned giving.
God saved us through Christ not because we deserved it, but because He wanted to (Romans 5:6-8). God did not wait for us to be “worth it”. Salvation became a possibility because God took the initiative, motivated by His love for us.
The amazing thing is that God did this while we were helpless (Romans 5:6), sinners (Romans 5:8), and His enemies (Romans 5:8). There was no reason for God to save us. He got nothing out of the deal. But we got everything.
In Romans 5:12 Paul essentially states that the story of Genesis 3 – Adam & Eve eating the forbidden fruit – is a historical fact. We can’t accept the wonderful writings of Paul while at the same time claiming that the story of the Garden of Eden is an allegory. If one dismisses Adam & Eve, one has to dismiss the entire Bible.
Without sin there would be no death (Romans 5:12-14). Every grave is evidence of sin. Since we all die, we know that we are all filled with sin. We inherited that sin from Adam. We do not become sinners by breaking God’s commandments.
We might expect that as sin increases God’s judgement would increase as well. But this is not so. When sin increases, God’s grace increases (Romans 5:20). God is not looking to punish us. God is giving us an escape route through His grace.
Sin separates us from God. In Psalm 15 the author lists several sinful behaviors that will not allow us to be close to God such as gossip, slander, breaking promises, and others. By not doing these things we can be close to God (Psalm 15:1). But I think this is all reciprocal because being closer to God helps us do these things less frequently. And the cycle continues.
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