July 11, 2021

1 Chronicles 11:1–12:18

1 Chronicles covers pretty much the same timeframe found in 2 Samuel – but from a priestly perspective. In 2 Samuel, however, we find  that initially, after the death of King Saul, Ishbosheth his son was crowned king over eleven tribes of Israel and David was king over the house of Judah. Eventually the elders of the nation (and generals) and of course, God, crowned David as king over ALL Israel.

Wow! After thirteen years as a fugitive, living in caves, in the wilderness, and on the run as a wanted man, David was finally crowned king! This was according to the word (prophecy) of Samuel back in 1 Samuel 16:1-13. One might wonder why David had to wander – why did he have to go through so many trials? The hard times are to prepare us, to mold us and shape us, to instill the character needed to fulfill our calling – for David it would be the calling of a king.

The key was always – and will always be the perpetual presence of God.

1 Chronicles 11:9 (NKJV) “So David went on and became great, and the LORD of hosts was with him.”

The Chronicler goes on to list David’s mighty men. These men were gifted, loyal, mighty men of valor (heroic courage). There’s no way David could possible be the king he became, had God not surrounded him with such an awesome army, and elite “fleet.” Consider Benaiah:

1 Chronicles 11:22 (NKJV) “Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day.”

He faced the worst enemy, in the worst place, under the worst circumstances – and prevailed. Over the years I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by people much better than me in many, many ways – and I’m grateful to God.

I’m saddened when I read that Urijah was one of David’s mighty. David backslid, fell into adultery with Bathsheba, and murdered Uriah in an attempt to cover it up. (2 Samuel 11)

When you read the formation of David’s mighty men when he was hiding in Ziklag and other places, you find that they were men who were in debt, distressed, and discontented – they were a rag-tag bunch of guys, a motley crew, but God made them amazing soldiers. It reminds me of the Apostles. It remind me of me. I’m so grateful that God chooses the weak things of the world and chooses to use our lives.

They were ambidextrous,  gifted, they had faces like lions and ran like gazelles. They would fight for their nation. God calls us to be soldiers in His Kingdom, but it’s the Kingdom of God. I pray you would discover, develop, and deploy your gifts for His Kingdom (1 Peter 4:10; 2 Timothy 2:3-4).

One last thing for today. It is very important to be loyal when you’re part of a team. David was blessed, but also concerned at times. How beautiful when you see that loyalty and have men who can humble keep rank.

1 Chronicles 12:17–18 (NKJV) “And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, “If you have come peaceably to me to help me, my heart will be united with you; but if to betray me to my enemies, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look and bring judgment.” 18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the captains, and he said: “We are yours, O David; We are on your side, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, And peace to your helpers! For your God helps you.” So David received them, and made them captains of the troop.

Acts 28:1-31

In this final chapter of the book of Acts we find Paul shipwrecked on the island of Malta. Paul shows his servant’s heart by gathering sticks for the fire. I’m reminded of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who revealed to us that He came to serve, and not to be served (Mark 10:45).

Suddenly a snake attacks Paul. It doesn’t just strike and split, this viper attaches itself to Paul’s hand, but Paul just shakes it off into the fire. The natives of Malta initially think Paul is being judged by the gods and expect him to swell up and die. But they soon discover that Paul is unfazed by the snake; so they change their minds and conclude he’s a god. It’s funny how fickle people can be.

Paul goes on to pray for the people, and no doubt preach the Gospel to them. God does the rest, healing both bodies and souls.

Three months later they sail to Rome in a ship that had wintered there at Malta, and upon Paul’s arrival in Rome, he’s put under house arrest, and calls for the Jewish leaders to come to him. Paul shares the Lord with them from morning till evening. I love the way Paul simplifies it and calls Christianity the “Hope of Israel” (Act 28:20). The gospel of Jesus Christ is simply, and in all reality, the Hope of the world!

Some were persuaded, and others refused to believe (seems like it’s always that way). Paul sent them away with a warning from the prophet Isaiah 6:9-10. They weren’t open to God. They shut their eyes, covered their ears, and hardened their hearts. If only people would look, listen, and be open to the Lord, He would heal their brokenness.

Paul stayed in Rome for 2 more years, under house arrest, and he received all who came to him:

Acts 28:30–31 (NKJV) “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”

Praise God for this servant of the Lord, who not only ministered to those who came to him, but he also wrote some pretty important letters during this time when God forcibly slowed him down – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon – four books of the Bible – wow!

The book of Acts does not end with a closing statement or doxology by Luke – because the book of Acts continues to be written today; chronicled and recorded by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus is still in the process of building His church through people like Paul, Peter, and all the others who are filled with the Holy Spirit and yielded to His Word. Even people like you and me.

O Lord, please use our lives!

Source: biblejourney.org – Paul’s journey to Rome

Psalm 9:1-12

David writes song after song of the spiritual battles he’s entrenched in. He looks to the Lord to take care of his enemies; may we do the same.

A few verses that stood out to me:

Psalm 9:8a (NKJV) “He shall judge the world in righteousness…”

• It may be happening – very soon.

Psalm 9:9 (NKJV) “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

• May we run to Him, He is our shelter in the storm.

Psalm 9:10 (NKJV) “And those who know Your Name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

• It is not just beneficial, it’s beautiful to know the names of God. Study them, seek Him, you’ll be blessed if you do…and remember the name above all names, the Name of Jesus brings salvation (Philippians 2:9-11).

Proverbs 19:1-3

Proverbs 19:1 (NKJV) “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.”

Don’t get caught up in money, get caught up in God…Biblical morality, spirituality, Jesus’ integrity.

Did you notice this includes both walk and talk?

Proverbs 19:2 (NKJV) “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet.”

Knowledge is vital for our soul; knowledge of the Word of God; knowledge of God. When you learn about Him and His ways…you’ll be able to wait on the Lord.

There’s another proverb you might know, and English one, “Haste makes waste.” So true!

Proverbs 19:3 (NKJV) The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the Lord.

By foolishness a man perverts his path, twists and turns and ruins his life. Then what happens so many times…is he frets against the Lord…he blames it on God.

The Hebrew word translated “fret” means not only to be sad, but to be angry.

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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