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1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17~ Acts 23:11-35
Psalm 3:1-8 ~ Proverbs 18:14-15
Old Testament - Today we begin the book of First Chronicles!
(image courtesy of IronOrchid Photo Clipart)
Date: Fifth century B.C.
Content: First and Second Chronicles form one book in the Hebrew Bible and are written from a priest’s point of view. In this way they supplement the Book of Kings, which were written from a prophet’s point of view. First Chronicles begins with a series of genealogies that record the family histories of David the king and the descendants of Levi the priest. This is followed by the death of Saul and the reign of David, with special emphasis being placed upon the religious affairs of the nation. It closes with Solomon’s being made king.
Theme: Because First Chronicles was written from a priestly point of view, many details about Judah’s religion are given to supplement the history found in the Book of Kings. The stress is upon the supreme importance of worshiping God and the positive effect that has upon the life of a nation. God blesses those nations that trust in him. The mention of so many unfamiliar names, while seemingly irrelevant, actually shows that God forgets no one. Those who go to their graves unknown by men are personally remembered by God. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” p. 7)
Today in First Chronicles chapter 1 we begin a genealogy that will take us through to chapter 9. I know you may have the temptation to skim / skip these genealogy readings, but I encourage you to read them! They are fascinating if you really take the time to read through them. You will notice, for example, that most of today's genealogies come from the book of Genesis. The author of Chronicles is essentially writing this genealogy for the nation of Israel, after their return from Babylonian exile. The Chronicler is taking the nation of Israel back to Adam - to very creation! - to demonstrate God's care for the Israelites since the creation of humankind. You will also notice in today's genealogies that the Chronicler is paying special attention to the tribe of Judah from whence King David will come. This genealogy from Abraham to Judah to David ultimately leads to Jesus, as we can read in the 1st chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.
New Testament - Our readings in Acts today open up with a very encouraging word to Paul from Jesus in verse 11 - "That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, "Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have told the people about me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome."" That is awesome that this occurred in the midst of all of Paul's trials and imprisonment. Jesus was there with him. How about in our lives today - think Jesus is always with us? Is there any circumstance you can find yourself in that Jesus won't be there? Is there anywhere on this earth you can go where Jesus won't be there?
An interesting note on verses 12 & 13 in today's readings - "The next morning a group of Jews got together and bound themselves with an oath to neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty of them." It is believed by some scholars that these 40 men may have been part of the Zealots - the group that later led the revolt against Rome in A.D. 66-70.
Paul is taken to Governor Felix at the end of today's readings in Acts. Felix is in the same position that Pontius Pilate was. I find it kind of interesting that both Jesus and Paul were brought before the same-positioned Roman ruler. It reminds me of Jesus' words in John 15 verse 20 to his disciples - "Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." If Jesus was brought before a Roman governor, it's no surprise that Paul was too. I think you and I should remember Jesus' words in John as well. I know oftentimes we don't seem persecuted at all - maybe most of the time really. But, I think we need to remember, it can happen. If we are truly living our faith and truly following Jesus, persecution will come in some form or another. No servant is greater than his master...
Psalms - Psalm 3 is a wonderful Psalm of David's, when he was fleeing his own son Absalom. Verse 5 stood out to me today - "I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me." God watches over us as we sleep! I like that a lot! I hope this verse comforts you as you sleep tonight!
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs 18 verse 15 we read – “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” Are you acquiring knowledge in your life today? Are you actively seeking out knowledge in your life? Why would you want to acquire knowledge? Do you realize that acquiring knowledge may compel you to change many of your current behavior patterns? Are you prepared to change? Do you believe that reading, studying, and reflecting upon the Bible will bring you godly knowledge? Will you then allow your life and behavior and heart to be transformed by this godly knowledge?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!