Wednesday, 21 May 2014

(142) May 22: 1 Chronicles 3-5 & John 8:1-20

Ask God to open your mind, heart and will to understand, delight in and obey what you read.

To discover:­­
As you read consider again why the particular details are included.

To ponder:
Here we see the line of David stretching way beyond the exile, showing the book must have been completed some time after, and that the everlasting kingdom of David was still being looked for. Indeed, the focus seems so caught up with this, that the only mention of the exile is that Jehoiachin was a “captive” (3v17). Moreover, as in chapter 2, the tribe of Judah is also given prominence, as the one God promised would rule. It was from Judah that a ruler over the nations was to come (Gen 49v8-10). Perhaps there is a lesson here about eagerly looking in hope for the return of Christ, rather than back to what the church once was.
            The spiritual concern that should mark God’s people is highlighted by Jabez’s prayer. Just as he was “more honourable” than his brothers, so we should seek to be set-apart by a godly concern. His name sounds like the Hebrew for pain, explaining why he prayed as he did. But his prayer is a model of what God’s people might have prayed for themselves. They should have looked to God to bless them, to enlarge their territory so they took and kept their promised land, and to “be with” them and so keep them from harm and pain at the hands of the nations around them. Just as God “granted” Jabez’s request, he was ready to hear the same prayer for Israel and Judah. And he will hear its equivalent from us, as we pray for him to bless, expand, be with and protect his church. Indeed, as individuals we can pray he would bless us, grant us more of his Spirit, and so be with and guard us against the evil one until the last day.
            Just as we noted the inclusion of Gentiles yesterday as a symptom of the people’s compromise, we might note today that at the same time this also showed God’s readiness for Gentiles to join his people - as if by adoption (4v18). Another noticeable detail is the stress on creativity (4v14, 21, 23). This was perhaps because of the importance of craftspeople in serving the king (4v23), and perhaps also in serving the work of the temple, where linen was used in the priestly garments. Our creativity is to be used in service of Christ and his church.
            The smaller population of a Simeonite clan is explained by one descendent having few children (4v27). Nevertheless, God’s hand is seen by them receiving their portion of Canaan, the LORD then “greatly increasing” their number, and them later settling in a particularly good part of land and “completely destroying” its inhabitants together with some Seirites and Amalekites (partially fulfilling Numbers 24v18-20). As with David and Christ, God often achieves much through those that seem the weakest. This should encourage the smaller church or struggling family.
            We are again urged to prayer by the note that the tribes on the east of the Jordan defeated their enemies because they “cried out” and so “trusted” God in battle. Nevertheless, despite being famous and brave warriors, those of the half-tribe of Mannasseh in particular became unfaithful, turning from God to the gods of the land. So God “stirred” the Assyrian king, who took them into exile with the Gadites and Reubenites. Whatever fame or success one might achieve in the eyes of the world, the LORD looks for faithfulness. Without this, all else will come to nothing.
Praying it home:
Praise God that he continues to hear and answer those who cry out to him in faith. Pray for your own prayer life and that of your family and church.

Thinking further:
None today.
If you receive this post by email, visit and make a comment.


Post a Comment