Just men reading, memorizing and studying the bible together!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 2 Kings 1–4
Old Testament Only: Ruth 1–4
New Testament Only: Luke 14:25–15:7
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Send Out Your Light!

1 Chronicles 1-2, Psalms 43-44

Hand - beam of lightWe began 2 Samuel a couple of days ago and before we’ve gone far in that book we now find ourselves beginning 1 Chronicles. What is going on here? Well, we are reading the Bible in a Chronological order and several books in the Bible cover similar timeframes. We’ll be jumping around a bit in 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles and then 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles and so on. As usual J. Vernon McGee has some interesting insight to share as we kick off 1 Chronicles.

“The two Books of Chronicles are very similar in many ways. They cover the same historical ground all the way from Saul to Zedekiah. Then are the Chronicles a duplication of Kings? Emphatically, no. Greek translators gave Chronicles the title, “Things Omitted,” which is a good title, but not adequate. Chronicles include more than that which is omitted in the other historical books. Actually Chronicles is another instance of the law of recurrence or recapitulation. The policy of the Holy Spirit in giving the Word of God is to give a great expanse of truth, to cover a great deal of territory, then come back and select certain sections which He wants to enlarge upon. It is as if the Spirit of God takes up a telescope, looks out over the landscape for us, then takes a particular portion of it and puts it under the microscope and lets us look at it in detail. This is what is happening in 1 and 2 Chronicles.

We have seen the law of recurrence or recapitulation in operation before. In Genesis, the second chapter goes back over the seven days of creation, and lifts out one thing: the creation of man. For us, that is very important since we are members of Adam’s race. Also the Book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy means a “second law”) is more than a repetition of the Law. Rather it is an interpretation of the Law in the light of forty years’ experience with it in the wilderness.

Now we will see in the Chronicles that God goes over the ground which He had covered in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings in order to add details and to emphasize things which He considers important. Let me give you some examples of this. The emphasis in 1 Chronicles is David, and the emphasis in 2 Chronicles is David’s posterity. The northern kingdom is practically ignored when the division occurs between the northern and southern kingdoms. Chronicles does not record David’s sin. Why? Well, God so completely forgave it that He does not even mention it again. When God forgives, He forgets. In Kings the history of the nation is given from the standpoint of the throne; in Chronicles it is given from the standpoint of the altar. In Kings the palace is the center; in Chronicles the temple is the center. Kings gives us the political history of the nation, while Chronicles gives the religious history. Chronicles is the interpretation of Kings. All through the Books of Kings we noted the phrase, “Is it not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?” Chronicles, you see, is the interpretation of Kings. Also Kings gives us man’s viewpoint while Chronicles gives us God’s viewpoint.

Ezra is probably the writer of the Chronicles. There is a striking similarity in style and language to the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Evidently Chronicles was written during the Babylonian captivity. The two Books of Chronicles not only constituted one book in the original, but apparently also included Ezra and Nehemiah. This lends support to the Jewish tradition of the authorship of Ezra.”

McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Well, that some background info. As far as a spiritual thought, how about a couple of verses from Psalm 43?

Psalm 43:3-4 ESV

“[3] Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! [4] Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.”

I think that is a mighty fine prayer. I do pray that God will continue to send out His light and His truth and that they will indeed lead you to His dwelling. Look for and follow His light and truth brothers. His light is a lamp unto your feet! (Considering the picture for this post I guess He is a lamp unto your hand as well!)

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 1 Kings 22
Old Testament Only: Judges 21
New Testament Only: Luke 14:1–24
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Get Out Of The Box

Psalms 6; 9; 10; 14; 16; 21

BoxAs I read today’s Psalms I was reminded of our entire purpose for being. We each were created to have a right relationship with God. If you’ve read this blog for long you’ve read that before. But what does a right relationship with God look like? These Psalms show us. Notice how the psalmist, David, talks with God. Notice what he says to and about God. Notice how he finds his comfort and strength in God. As I read these Psalms I am reminded of the “Greatest Commandment”.

Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

David truly loved God, he put God first, he sought God, he honored God, and he praised God. You see, it isn’t enough to simply say you love God. The overriding desire of your heart needs to be for right relationship with God. When this is the case you spend significant time in prayer, in God’s Word, in considering His ways. We tend to think of prayer as closing our eyes and mentally presenting God with a list of our desires. Prayer is much more than that. You can be in a state of prayer with your eyes wide open, even while doing something else, driving for example. If you can listen to the radio you can be in an attitude of prayer; you can be thinking about God.

Far too often we limit our time with God to a couple hours a week and maybe a few minutes a day. Doing so puts our lives in Christ in a box. To truly experience the fullness of life Christ came to give you, you must make God the center of your life. Brothers I beg you, take down the walls that limit your joy in Christ! Get out of the box!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 1 Kings 19–21
Old Testament Only: Judges 19–20
New Testament Only: Luke 13:1–17
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Out Sick

2 Samuel 1-4

SickGuys, I’m sick as a dog. This thing has been coming on since last Wednesday, got uncomfortable Friday and has kept me in bed for the last couple of days. Please forgive me for failing to provide a post today but I’m just not up to it today. Please do your reading like you do every day and consider what God has to say to you. Trust and obey brothers, trust and obey!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 1 Kings 17–18
Old Testament Only: Judges 16–18
New Testament Only: Luke 13:1–17
(Current Plan is Chronological)

No Reading Today

Sleeping ManOur current chronological reading plan has no reading for Sundays. Take this day to reflect on what God has said to you through His Holy Word this past week.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 1 Kings 14–16
Old Testament Only: Judges 13–15
New Testament Only: Luke 12:35–59
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Your Help Comes From The Lord

Psalms 121; 123-125; 128-130

Help Wanted SignI’m going to keep it short today as you enjoy the Psalms that make up today’s reading. I ask you simply to always remember what David says in the second verse of our first Psalm.

Psalm 121:2 ESV

“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

When in difficulty, when your heart is breaking, when you are worried and your heart faints within you, remember that your help comes from the Lord. He who made all is your strength and your help. No matter your struggle, if you belong to Christ, He will go with you through the valley of the shadow of death!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 1 Kings 12–13
Old Testament Only: Judges 11–12
New Testament Only: Luke 12:22–34
(Current Plan is Chronological)

Are You A Saul Or A David

1 Samuel 28-31, 1 Chronicles 10

Question mark in circleWe read of the death of Saul today in 1 Samuel 31 and 1 Chronicles 10. Our reading begins, however, with the story of how Saul went to consult a medium, which God had forbidden, and our reading ends with a concise statement about this consultation. “Mediums” and “Necromancers” are people who allegedly communicate with the spirits of the dead. Turning to such people for information is something God strictly forbids in the Law of Moses. Take a look at the following verses from Leviticus.

Leviticus 19:31 ESV

“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.”

Leviticus 20:6 ESV

“If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”

Leviticus 20:27 ESV

“A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.”

Now upon the death of Samuel we are told that Saul put the mediums and necromancers out of the land. As Leviticus 20:27 above shows, however, that is not what God said was to be done with such people. They were not to be driven out of the land; they were to be killed. At the beginning of Saul’s reign he did not obey God in every detail and it was at that point that he was told that the kingdom of Israel would be ripped from his hands; that he and his sons would die and the crown would pass to one not of his loins. Here at the end of his life we see that nothing has changed with Saul. He still attempts to please God with half-measures. Guys, delayed obedience and partial obedience is disobedience. You do not get to pick and choose obedience. You do not get to agree or disagree with God. He is God, you are not!

In today’s reading we see that Saul repeats his folly, first by not following God completely by having the mediums and necromancers stoned, and second by later consulting one. The lack of a death sentence by Saul may appear as a merciful act to the modern American Christian, but I don’t think he was really all that concerned about these people for the sake of their humanity. He was not prepared to give up the option of seeking their help at some future date. Even if he was sincere in putting them away, by not obeying God he left a temptation close enough to tempt. When Saul was once again afraid and unsure of what to do, he did not seek guidance from God but went to a medium instead.

Now Saul said to the medium that God would not answer him so you may feel that I am being unfair to him for surely this means that he sought God first, but I want you to think about this for a moment. Why would God not answer Saul? Let me answer that question with a question. What separates us from God? Sin separates us from God. Saul could not hear from God because Saul was not looking to humble himself before God, repenting of his sin, asking for forgiveness and determining to go forward in obedience. Saul wanted the blessings God could bestow without any responsibility to obey. He wanted to do life his way, did not want to give up sovereignty to God. This is self-centeredness. This is sin. God cannot hear what you are asking because your disobedience is screaming in His ears!

Not that God is in any way obligated to give you whatever you ask. Jesus tells us that God will answer those prayers that are in sync with God’s will. If you are in right relationship with God and your prayers are not answered it is because your prayers are not consistent with His will. Actually, He did answer and the answer was no. If you are not in right relationship with God, understand that there is a barrier between you that will stand until you submit to His authority. It all comes down to aligning your desires with God’s desires. If you are not willing to obey God completely, how can you hope to align your desires with His? Our actions really do speak louder than words and Saul’s actions tell us exactly why God will not hear him.

Instead of turning back to God, instead of admitting his guilt and submitting to God, Saul turns to that which is forbidden and it is just one final nail in his coffin. 1 Chronicles 10 puts it this way:

1 Chronicles 10:13-14 ESV

“[13] So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. [14] He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.”

As always when reading Scripture we have to ask ourselves “so how does this apply to me”? Are you obedient? Do you obey God only when you agree with God’s way of doing things? Do you delay obedience or offer only partial obedience? If so how could you miss the parallel between you and Saul? The story of Saul and David is one of the strongest analogies in the Bible. Since the fall of man there have ever been only two types of people. You are either a Saul or a David. You are either in right relationship with God or doomed. Saul sought to be his own god. David sought to be a humble servant of God. So be honest with yourself. Are you a Saul or a David?

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!