2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33 ~ Romans 16:10-27 ~ Psalm 26:1-12 ~ Proverbs 20:19
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Old Testament - Wow... I thought today's readings are some of the best we've had in a while! King Josiah cleaned up house for God! Unfortunately, the southern kingdom of Judah is about to meet a similar fate as the northern kingdom of Israel did. But King Josiah goes down with a fight for the Lord in today's readings! I wonder about this in our lives today - are we willing to fight for the Lord and his values in the way that Josiah did today? Or, perhaps "fight" isn't quite the right word, as Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek.... but, then, considering this, should we simply be meek and mild and not fight for things of the Lord? I don't think Jesus modeled this entirely either. Jesus turned over some tables in the Temple and turned over some ideas about God during His life... What can we learn about a zeal for God from Josiah and Jesus' lives? Below is an image of King Josiah and his men destroying a pagan altar from today's readings:
Verse 15 reminds me of the old adage - "Dusty Bibles lead to dirty lives..." :) - "Hilkiah said to Shaphan the court secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the LORD's Temple!" Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan." That is amazing to think about - that finding the Book of the Law in the Lord's Temple was a big find! Most commentaries suggest that the scroll was either the entire Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) or possibly just Deuteronomy. Imagine if you will that the Bible was "forgotten" about for generations and then finally discovered today!
King Josiah's words in verse 21 are wonderful repentful words - "Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for all the remnant of Israel and Judah. Inquire about the words written in the scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger has been poured out on us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the Lord. We have not been doing everything this scroll says we must do.” Have you ever had ah-ha experiences like this in your life? Where you realize finally what God wants you to do - and you realize that you have not been doing it? Well, fortunately God is a God that Psalm 145 verse 8 tells us, "is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love." There is room for repentance with God! When you have these ah-ha moments like King Josiah did, will you turn in repentance and humble yourself before God?
Verses 29 & 30 demonstrate true leadership from King Josiah! - "Then the king summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up to the Temple of the LORD with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites--all the people from the greatest to the least. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the LORD's Temple."
New Testament - We finish up Romans today! Tomorrow we embark on First Corinthians! Romans has been a powerful book for me to read and study this year. I hope it has been for you as well? I love the closing words in this book today from Paul in Romans 16 verses 25 through 27: "God is able to make you strong, just as the Good News says. It is the message about Jesus Christ and his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they might believe and obey Christ. To God, who alone is wise, be the glory forever through Jesus Christ. Amen." Do you believe that God is able to make you strong? Are there areas of your life currently where you feel weak? Will you turn these areas over to God completely, so that he can strengthen you? To God, who indeed alone is wise, be the glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "Watching Out for Wolves" is at this link.
Psalms - Today in Psalm 26 verse 2 we read: "Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and affections." What a powerful reflection from David - God, test my motives and affections. What are your motives? Why do you do what you do in life? Whom are you doing it all for? What are your affections? Who do you pledge your loyalties to? Who do you give your heart to? Where are you investing your time, treasure and talents? Have you ever asked God to test your motives and affections?
Verse 8 of this Psalm reminds me of my church and I pray it reminds you of your church as well: "I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glory shines." Wow... the place where God's glory shines! Yes, I do believe this happens in our churches - even if we maybe don't notice it sometimes. When we come together as the body of Christ each week, God's glory shines! Will you take a moment to really pay attention to God’s glory shining in your church as you attend a service this upcoming weekend?
Proverbs - Proverbs 20 verse 19 is quite a Proverb! Perhaps convicting for some of us - "A gossip tells secrets, so don't hang around with someone who talks too much." This Proverb reminds me of something I posted up recently - I find all too often that we all too often talk about "nothing." Or, even worse than talking about nothing is that we talk about others. We gossip. We tell secrets. There is so much wisdom in "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Keep our mouths shut. You'll be appearing wise this way! :) Do you gossip? Do you hang around someone that talks too much? Think this is good for your relationship with God? Think this is good for your relationship with others?
Worship God: Today's readings in Romans reminded me of Matt Maher's song "Turn Around:"
Are you lost & need to be found? Click here and turn around!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much." Proverbs 20:19 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you won't participate in gossip. Pray against gossip in your church, family, and place of work.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!