~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17 ~ Romans 6:1-23
Psalm 16:1-11 ~ Proverbs 19:20-21
Old Testament - Today we begin Second Chronicles!
Date: Fifth century B.C.
Content: Second Chronicles contains the history of Judah that was begun in First Chronicles. It deals with the glory of Solomon’s reign, with a special emphasis being placed upon the glory of the temple. This emphasis is made because a priest point of view pervades the book. The remaining kings of Judah are discussed, with a stress upon how the religious affairs of the nation were going. Hezekiah is given mention because during his reign an extended revival took place. The destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the people to Babylon are described, and the book ends with the Persian king’s decree to let the people return home.
Theme: Judah’s history is described from a religious point of view in this book. The righteous kings are commented on and the evil kings are named so that all can see who is responsible for the rise and fall of the nation. The religious leaders and their ultimate failure to remain true to God added to the sin of Judah – until God allowed his own chosen people to plunge themselves into ruin, as an example for all time that God will not tolerate sin. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” pp. 7-8)
Today in 2 Chronicles chapter 1 we read about King Solomon asking for wisdom and knowledge from God. In verse 7 we read these words from God to Solomon – “Ask for whatever you want me to give you." In verse 10 we will read this amazing response from Solomon to God – “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?" Solomon could have asked God for anything – more wealth, more power, more strength, more whatever, but he simply asked for wisdom and knowledge. Why? Because he wanted to lead God’s people well and distinguish between right and wrong. Amazing. How would you or I answer this question today? What if God came to you today and said the same thing to you from verse 5 - “Ask for whatever you want me to give you." What would you ask for? Would you ask for Wisdom? Would you ask for Knowledge? If so, God offers these to you and me right now. Where? I believe wisdom and knowledge is offered to us through study of the Bible and by living in a loving and right relationship with God. We can receive the gift of God’s wisdom today! If we would answer this question from God differently – maybe wanting more money, or power, or fame, or whatever – do you think we might forfeit gaining wisdom? So, again, what if God were to say to you right now this same statement he said to Solomon? “Ask for whatever you want me to give you." What do you ask for?
New Testament - Today in Romans chapter 6 verses 17 & 18 we read – “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Do you believe that you were ever a slave to sin? Is it possible that you are still a slave to sin now? How can you be freed from being a slave to sin? Or, better yet, Who do you think can free you from being a slave to sin? Are you wholeheartedly obeying the teaching to which you have been entrusted? Where can you consistently find the teaching to which you have been entrusted? Do you consider yourself a slave to righteousness? Do you like the idea of being a slave to righteousness?
Psalms - Today we read Psalm 16, which I love! I could probably come up with some questions for reflection on just about every verse in this Psalm. In verse 1 we will read - "Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge." Do you believe that God will keep you safe when you come to him for refuge?
And verse 2 is so true - "I said to the LORD, "You are my Master! All the good things I have are from you."" This reminds me of a song we sing in church that goes - "Every good and perfect gift comes from You. Father of Lights." This is such an amazing truth. Everything good in our life - absolutely everything good in our life - comes from God. Do you believe this?
Verse 3 reminds me to rejoice for and pray for pastors and spiritual mentors of mine - "The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!" Do you appreciate your pastors / ministers / priests and spiritual mentors? And do you appreciate other godly people you know too? Are they true heroes? Do you pray for these folks regularly?
And verse 11 is a powerful closing to this Psalm and perhaps a prayer for us to pray fervently - "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever." Do you want to be shown the way of life from God? Do you want to be granted the joy of God's presence? Do you want the pleasure of living with God forever? Have you prayed to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit to give you these things in your life? Will you pray this prayer?
Proverbs - Proverbs 19 verse 21 is so true - "You can make many plans, but the LORD's purpose will prevail." I am so amazed by how God's purpose continues to steer the course of my life - tossing to the side my frivolous plans that were not part of His purpose. I think we do well to realize that God absolutely has a purpose for our lives - and that we very likely do not know what it is. :) Well, that's not always true. I do think many of us have a good indication of what God's purpose is for our lives. But I think perhaps more of us do not. And that's okay. I believe that if we stay close to God in a loving relationship and seek to live godly lives, God's purpose can't help but take over the course of our life. Without our even realizing it at times. There was that movie several years back called Mr. Holland's Opus, where the lead character realized that "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." I submit that "God's purpose is what happens while you are busy making other plans." And thank God for that!
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!