~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Chronicles 19:1-21:30 ~ Romans 2:25-3:8
Psalm 11:1-7 ~ Proverbs 19:10-12
Old Testament - Today in 1 Chronicles 20 we read about Israel's battles with the Philistines. In verses 6 & 7 we read - "In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot--a descendant of the giants-- defied and taunted Israel. But he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David's brother Shimea."
Today in 1 Chronicles 21 we read about David taking a census after being tempted by Satan. Satan didn't force David to do this - Satan tempted him and David fell prey to the temptation. This census was a sin because David was seeking to demonstrate how mighty "his" army was - when he should have realized all that he had came from God and David's true strength came from God and not his army. The census was a sin of pride. And thus we read in verses 14 & 15 - "So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand people died as a result. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But just as the angel was preparing to destroy it, the LORD relented and said to the death angel, "Stop! That is enough!" At that moment the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite."
New Testament - Paul's writings in Romans 3 verses 7 & 8 today are so powerful for us to remember always - ""But," some might still argue, "how can God judge and condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?" If you follow that kind of thinking, however, you might as well say that the more we sin the better it is! Those who say such things deserve to be condemned, yet some slander me by saying this is what I preach!" Have you ever thought in any way along the lines of "well, it doesn't really matter if I sin?" I believe this is such risky thinking. Let me highly encourage you to read the Bible to see what it says about sin and in particular these early chapters in Romans. In reading these chapters in Romans do you see the risk, and really the stupidity, in continuing in unchecked sin?
Psalms - Psalm 11 verse 1 is one that you might miss if you didn't know some of the commentary behind this Psalm. Basically in this Psalm David is expressing his unshakable trust in God to scared people around him. Knowing this - check out verse 1 - "I trust in the LORD for protection. So why do you say to me, "Fly to the mountains for safety!" Do we really trust in God for our protection? Or do we sometimes rely on others or our own cunning - or, our own fear - for protection? Are there times when we are faced with a challenging situation that we feel like running away from it? Fleeing to the mountains for safety? When, instead, we should simply trust in God for our protection and move forward in spite of the fear within us? Is there an area of your life where you may need to turn over more trust in God for protection as you move forward in that area?
Proverbs - Proverbs 19 verse 11 is a bit challenging for me - "People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs." I can see the point of restraining our anger. But overlooking wrongs... I guess I'm having a hard time with this one currently. I believe there is a point where we do need to speak the truth in love to someone about their wrongs. If we simply overlooked their wrongs, then would we really be doing them any favors? I mean, I guess we would be keeping the peace by overlooking wrongs, but I'm just thinking there is a time and place to speak the truth in love. In love. Not in anger. Let me know what you think on this one? I know just recently I posted up about not getting into an argument with a friend over the way he left a voicemail to me with a bad tone. And that seemed to be the right thing to do, and correlated with a recent Proverb we read. And today's Proverb indicates we earn esteem by overlooking wrongs. I guess I'm just wondering about this for some reason today. I see where this Proverb is often / generally true - but is it always true? Let me know your thoughts on this in the Comments below if you will! Thanks!
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!