Saturday, January 31, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 91 Friday

I Chronicles chapter 24

After breaking down the different family lines of the Levites the author provided the specific Levitical line of Aaron. Since Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu died when they offered sinfully, the lines of Eleazar and Ithamar were left for executing the priestly duties. We are told how David further divided the duties among the families of these two men. Eleazar, through whom the high priestly line descended, had a larger family than did Ithamar. 24 lots were drawn from among these priests for the various services that only the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were appointed by God to do. Then the rest of their near relations, those descended from Kohath and Merari, were divided accordingly by lots.

One note of interest is that Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, descended from Abijah. This means that his family served in the eighth lot. (Compare 24:10 to Luke 1:5.) John never served as a priest like his father did, but he served God directly - and by God's authority - by preparing the way of the Lord. He did this by preaching the gospel of repentance and faith and by baptizing those who comprise the first church. Zachariah and John the Baptist provided the link between the Temple sacrifices of offering the blood of bulls, goats, and lambs, and the sacrifice of The Lamb which those animal sacrifices pictured.

Does God issue any commands?
God did not speak, but David was clearly following God's commands found in the Pentateuch concerning the service of the Levites and the priests when he assigned their duties.

Does God make any promises?
God did not speak.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
The job of the priests was to offer the sacrifices and lead the worship. The animal sacrifices all pictured the coming Messiah, the Lamb of God who would be slain for the sins of the world. Meticulous details were given and kept here in the Chronicles for the Levites returning from captivity. Everything was also recorded and kept in order for the coming of the Christ, even down to the names of the families that took turns ministering in the Temple service.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
Everyone had their assigned responsibilities when it came to service to God. Surely in the time of the eternal future each person will receive their assignment in God's economy. God always does things decently and in order. It is only when sin interferes that responsibilities become difficult or impossible. There will be no sin to contend with so the jobs truly will be enjoyable and light. Perhaps that is another aspect of Jesus' saying that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He also told all who are weary to come to Him because He will give us rest. When we are assigned our responsibilities they will not be wearisome or hard for us but will be enjoyable and completed out of hearts full of thanksgiving to the God that provided Himself as our sacrifice!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 91 Thursday

I Chronicles chapter 23

This chapter describes the division of the Levites for service in the tabernacle and then the Temple that David commissioned Solomon to build. David divided them by whether they descended from Gershon, Kohath, or Merari, the three sons of Levi. It reads partially as a genealogy. Moses evidently had several grandchildren that had progeny that later served for the family of Kohath.

Does God issue any commands?
None are given in this chapter but the commands concerning the offerings, shewbread, and things baked or fried are referenced. David made sure that each job had a Levite appointed to complete it.

Does God make any promises?
None are given.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
Everything was being done to keep the commands of God concerning the care of the tabernacle and the giving of offerings and sacrifices. Just as David did everything in his power to make sure God's commands were followed Jesus came to do the will of the Father by fulfilling the law.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
David was preparing a place for the continual worship of God. Jesus went to prepare a place for us and will come again and receive us unto Himself so that where He is we may be also. Since Jesus continually worships the Father, that is where we will be also.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 91 Wednesday

I Chronicles chapter 22

Even though God had told David that he would not be the one to build Him a house but that his son would, David set to work preparing building materials in abundance so that they would be ready for his son to build God a house of worship. Then he gave his son instructions for building that house.

Does God issue any commands?

  • David told Solomon of God's commands. God had instructed that David not build the house of worship because he was a man of war but instructed that his son, Solomon (even the name was taken from shalom, peace), be the one to build the Temple because he would be a man of peace.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that Solomon could build the Temple with the things that David had prepared for it.
  • David told Solomon of God's promise of an everlasting covenant.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
  • The whole Old Testament is about God getting everything ready for the Messiah, Jesus, the Son Who came to prepare a place for us so that we could forever worship the Father in the beauty of holiness. Jesus Himself told His disciples in John 14 that He was going to prepare a place for us and then would come again to receive us unto Himself so that where He is we will be there also. He also said in that chapter that He and His Father are one and that anyone who saw Jesus saw the Father revealed in Him.
  • It can be said that God is a God of war because He was forced to wage battle against sin in order to purchase His creation once more. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. This relationship between the Warrior King and the Prince of Peace is pictured by David and Solomon.
  • Just as David instructed his beloved son in building a place where God and man would meet, Jesus said that He had kept all of His Father's commands for building a place where God and man must meet. 
  • Solomon had access to all of his father's riches and provisions. Jesus had access to all of His Father's riches and provisions. And because of Jesus, all who repent of their sin and trust in Him as their savior also have access to the Father's riches and provisions.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The splendor and glory of all the provisions that David set aside to build a magnificent Temple surely point out what a spectacular place the mansions of Heaven must be!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 91 Tuesday

I Chronicles chapter 21

In the last post I mentioned that even though the chapter did not say so the events recorded there transpired at the time of the David and Bathsheba affair. We can know this by comparing chapter 20 with its counterpart in II Samuel.

This chapter doesn't pull any punches though. It tells us that David sinfully numbered Israel which then brought judgment upon the whole nation.

The writer of this chronicle, compiling his edition in the post-exile years for the citizens returning from 70 years of captivity, evidently had access to the notes that Joab made and gave to David concerning this census because the tallies between this chapter and that of its counterpart in II Samuel seem to be consistently off by approximately the same number. Verse 6 of this chapter mentions that Joab refused to count the tribes of Levi and Benjamin but since their inclusion could raise the totals as found in II Samuel it seems reasonable to conclude that David sent someone to finish the task by counting those two tribes. That would account for their inclusion in II Samuel which was written prior to the exile and their absence in I Chronicles which was written after. Levi and Benjamin would have been 2 tribes represented in the southern kingdom of Judah that the descendants of David ruled until they went into exile in Babylon. Judah was the other one, as the name of the country itself suggests. Thus some of the returning exiles would have been descendants of the two tribes, Levi and Benjamin.

The tribes counted by Joab, with the exception of Judah, were later captured by Assyria and were therefore not as well represented when the diaspora ended. These are sometimes called the "Lost Tribes of Israel" but we know they were not totally "lost" because even at the time of Jesus' birth the aged woman, Anna, that had been waiting in the Temple for many years for God to reveal to her the promised Messiah was said to be from the tribe of Asshur which was a tribe of that northern kingdom. Remember that the Assyrian empire ended when they were conquered by the Babylonians, the Medes, and the Persians. Those Jews that had survived the cruel Assyrians were then absorbed into those empires as their brethren from the nation of Judah had been.

Notice also that the original tabernacle and the altar for burnt offerings were still in existence and being used at Gibeon at the time of this judgment. David could not go there to offer sacrifices because of the angel that held the sword.

Does God issue any commands?
  • Through Joab God warned David not to persist with his plan to number Israel.
  • Through the prophet Gad God told David to make a choice of three punishments offered. (David decided it was better to fall into the hands of God than the hands of men.)
  • The angel of the LORD commanded Gad to tell David to set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. (Notice that the angel was visible to everyone present.)
  • The LORD commanded the angel to put away his sword.

Does God make any promises?
  • It is implied that if David offered the required sacrifices at Ornan's threshing floor God would accept the offering and stop the plague that was sweeping through the land. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that God provided the fire for the sacrifice from Heaven.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
  • When David sinned innocent people died. When humanity sinned the innocent Jesus died.
  • The sacrifices of burnt offerings and peace offerings made by David at Ornan's threshing floor pictured the sacrificial atonement made by the blood of Jesus Christ.
  • At the time of the sacrifice God told the angel to put away the sword of death. Once Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our sin the sword of death hanging over our heads was put away. Death lost its sting! The grave was defeated!

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
  • We learn from the events at Ornan's threshing floor that the angels are used as instruments of judgment whenever God commands. In the book of Revelation we are told that the angels of God will be given power to bring death at times of judgment by using many forms of pestilence. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 91 Monday

I Chronicles chapter 20

The Chronicles account does not include the David and Bathsheba narrative that happened chronologically between the events mentioned in I Chronicles chapter 19 and this one. Notice though that in I Chronicles chapter 19 David was leading the battles at the end but at the beginning of chapter 20 it is mentioned that David tarried at Jerusalem while Joab continued the battle against the Ammonites at Rabbah.

Verse 3 as written makes David seem as though he was a gruesome conqueror. Other literal translations render the Hebrew word as "put them" or other ways to denote that they were sentenced to menial labor with saws, iron harrows, and axes. The parallel passage in II Samuel 12 could also be translated this way. There it also adds passing through the brick kilns which was a job that Egyptians had assigned to the Israelites when they were enslaved. The Henry Morris Study Bible suggests that the phrase was colloquial or a figure of speech that we no longer understand. This makes sense. How many people unfamiliar with American figures of speech would understand if I said, "He cut me to the quick" that I am not meaning that he literally took a knife and pierced my flesh? Being cut to the quick hurts either way, just not in the same way.Whatever happened, it was the conqueror that always passed judgment upon the conquered.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak.

Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The crown of the king of Rabbah was taken from his head and placed upon the head of David. Although Jesus refused to take the throne of Israel at the time of His first advent, at the final battle between the army of Christ and the army of men and Satan, Jesus will be wearing many crowns symbolizing His right of Creator and Conqueror of sin, death, hell and the grave to rule all nations. (see Revelation 1:5, 4:10, 11:15, 17:14, and 19:11-16; also Psalm 2:7-9; Daniel 7:13-14; Philippians 2:9-10)

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • All of the prophetic mentions of the Messiah tell of the time when He will reign over Israel and will conquer all other kingdoms, physical and spiritual. They will be placed under His rule. The 24 elders in Revelation 4 humbly lay down their crowns at His feet in submission. If the elders do this it is logical to conclude that all who possess any laurel or diadem will also place them at His feet.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 90 Saturday

I Chronicles chapter 19

This chapter is also almost identical to II Samuel chapter 10. These are also the chapters that tell how David defeated Zobah, Ammon, and the Syrians as mentioned in chapter 18. These are the nations he defeated and gained gold and brass for the future Temple building project.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak.

Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Like the servants of David, Jesus came as an ambassador from the Sovereign only to be treated disrespectfully. And like the battle that ensued between Israel and Ammon, God will fight those who are disrespectful to His Son. (Jesus told a similar story in a parable about a landowner who sent his son to collect the goods due him from the husbandmen who then sent his armies to fight the wicked husbandmen who killed his son.)

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Those who disrespect God's Ambassador will not go unpunished.

Monday, January 5, 2015

TAKE TIME: January 5-10 Assignment

Introduction: The account of David's victories continues. Then comes the account of David's failures. Finally there is an account of David's charge to Solomon and a list of the Levitical responsibilities.

  • Monday - I Chronicles chapter 20
  • Tuesday - I Chronicles chapter 21
  • Wednesday -  I Chronicles chapter 22
  • Thursday - I Chronicles chapter 23
  • Friday - I Chronicles chapter 24
  • Saturday - I Chronicles chapter 25
Memory Verse

 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. 
I Chronicles 21:13

Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God that He is compassionate. The Bible records David's victories but it also records his failures. Yet he was a man after God's own heart because of God's compassion and mercy.
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action

David let down his spiritual guard at times and fell into great sin. It is easy to get complacent. Search your own heart to see if there are areas where you take the promises of God for granted and leave Satan an opportunity for a successful temptation. The slide into sin usually isn't quick and drastic. It is usually a slow progression.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 90 Friday

From Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible courtesy of Logos Bible Software
I Chronicles chapter 18

This chapter is almost II Samuel chapter 8 verbatim although the verse numbering is slightly different. There is also a notation made in today's chapter concerning Solomon's usage of the precious metals captured when David defeated his enemies. (See verse 8.)

Just an observation of mine, a parenthetical thought: those military successes that David had over the Philistines and later the nations like Zobah that had 1,000 chariots had to have been Providential (as mentioned in verse 5) because during the reign of Saul the Philistines had kept the Israelites from having weapons of iron. That's why the men took their home and garden tools to the Philistines for sharpening. David was able to subdue nations much stronger than Israel during his reign and to bring the latest military equipment into the young nation, as witnessed by verses 1-4 of this chapter.

David took large quantities of gold and brass as the spoils of war and dedicated them to the LORD. Solomon then used those metals when he built the Temple.

This chapter names some of the principle people in David's kingdom. This would have been the contemporary Who's Who of David's day. These people are named in the genealogy records found earlier in this book.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God did not speak.

Does God make any promises?

  • God did not speak but it is noted that God preserved David whithersoever he went. This was the fulfillment of a promise that God made to David.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Just as God was with David and preserved him everywhere that he went, so was God the Father with Jesus and preserved Him everywhere that He went. Both David and Jesus were kept because of the promises of God.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Even when faced with profoundly larger and better equipped armies than themselves, God's people were able to easily overcome them because God fought the battles through them. The battles that the saints of God will face in the last days against forces that seem to have the major strength to overpower them will not be lost because God has already determined the outcome! That's why Revelation tells of the armies of Satan and this world being annihilated at the very words of Jesus. He will speak and they will perish.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Take Ten to Read Through the Bible in 2015: January 5-10 Schedule

Did you know that if you - an adult - will devote an average of 10 minutes a day, six days a week, to reading the Bible you can read through the Bible in a year? That's just straight reading time, not study time but hopefully you will discover something in the passages you read to make you want to further your research. Studying God's Word will take as much time as you can give it. And it never ends! 

Take 10 minutes to read God's written Word each day. Then take whatever time you need to get to know God better through His Word.

1/5/2015      Genesis 8-11:9 John 6
1/6/2015      Job 1-3 John 7
1/7/2015      Job 4, 5 John 8, 9
1/8/2015      Job 6-8 John 10
1/9/2015      Job 9, 10 John 11, 12
1/10/2015      Job 11-13 John 13

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 90 Thursday

I Chronicles chapter 17

King David was concerned that he lived in a nice house while the Ark of the Covenant was situated in a tabernacle made of curtains. The plan that David proposed sounded reasonable to the prophet Nathan. Then Nathan heard from the LORD. Even though the LORD had not told them to build Him a house the idea was a good one, but the timing was wrong.

When David received word from God that his throne would be established forever he reacted in great humility. "Who am I that thou hast brought me to this?" Such was the reaction of David's descendant, Mary, when she received word that she had been chosen by God to carry the Eternal Sovereign in her womb. They were both humble people who were exalted by God for His own glory. Both David and Mary then began to worship their God by praising Him! Notice that they told Him how great He is and not how great and deserving they were! (See David's psalm of praise in verses 16-27 and Mary's psalm of praise in Luke 2:46-55.)

Does God issue any commands?

  • God commanded Nathan the prophet to tell David that he would not be allowed to build a permanent house for the Ark.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised to build David a house and a dynasty that will last forever. 
  • God promised David that his son would build Him a house. (This was a two-fold promise. Solomon was the fulfillment as the son that built the house, or Temple, in Jerusalem. Jesus is also the fulfillment of the Son that built the eternal House, Temple, and Throne through the line of David.)
  • God promised that He would not remove His mercy from David's line as He had Saul's family.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • God took a humble shepherd and made him one of the greatest men on the earth. God took the greatest Man on the earth and made Him a humble Shepherd.
  • Jesus is the manifestation of the everlasting house and dynasty of David. When He ascends His throne and rules on the earth the promise to David of an everlasting kingdom (verse14) will be fulfilled.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God promised David that He would plant His people in a permanent dwelling place and they would never be moved, nor would the children of wickedness waste them ever again. This is a future prophecy. The Children of Israel have been removed from the land many times between then and now and wicked men throughout the ages have oppressed them continuously. The day is coming when God's people will be placed in their permanent dwelling place, Immanuel will live with them (us), and the wicked will never again be able to bother God's people.
  • Jesus will one day be revealed to all the world as the One who fulfills the requirements as an everlasting dynasty when He reigns forever as the heir of David.