~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4 ~ Acts 24:1-27
Psalm 4:1-8 ~ Proverbs 18:16-18
Old Testament - Chronicles 2 verse 20 mentions a man that you might easily overlook at a quick read - "Hur was the father of Uri. Uri was the father of Bezalel." Bezalel is the master craftsman who supervised the building of the tabernacle in Exodus 31:1-5. Bezalel is only mentioned here in Chronicles and in Exodus, but it is believed that the Chronicler is attempting in this genealogy to show Bezalel as a model for Solomon in the building of the temple. Just a little Bible minutiae here for you. It is fun to look for minutiae like this when reading through the genealogies! :) Here's an image of Bezalel's handiwork with the tabernacle -
New Testament - Today we read about Paul before the Roman Governor Felix. And Paul expertly lays out his case!
(image from http://www.lamp.ac.uk/hogarth/81to100.htm)
The close of today's readings are interesting. It seems to me that Felix has a double-edged reason for keeping Paul in prison for two years. 1. Felix enjoys talking to Paul! Why do you suppose this is? Do you suppose Felix was hearing the Truth from Paul? I'm sure that he was... 2. Verse 27 tells us - "And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish leaders, he left Paul in prison." So, Felix gets to hear the Truth from Paul and hopefully keep his job by appeasing the Jewish leaders. Sounds reasonable, right? However... it is interesting to see that he is balancing the Truth with the World. How often in our lives do we try to balance the Truth with the World? I am afraid this is a tough balance to keep... Remember always that we are to be "in the world, but not of it." Don't let the World outweigh the Truth in your life...
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Paul Stands Before Felix: The Preacher and the Politician" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 4 is a wonderful Davidic Psalm. Verse 7 stood out to me today - "You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and wine." Do you believe that God's Spirit can give you greater joy than any amount of money or material good or even human love can give? Will you seek a deeper relationship with God this year and ask God for this holy joy?
(image courtesty of http://d21c.com/AnnesPlace/Fall.html)
Proverbs - Proverbs 18 verse 17 is so important for us to remember - "Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight." I think so often we forget that there are indeed two sides to every story. And oftentimes we'll believe what we hear about a situation or person based on the very first story we hear. When, we really need to make sure we have the straight story. Keep this in mind in particular if you ever hear something about someone else. This would be gossip - which hopefully you aren't partaking in. But, nonetheless, I am sure there will be times when you do indeed have gossip delivered to you by someone else. Don't believe that gossip story at face value. That person very likely does not have the story straight... And most important - please don't be the one passing forward gossip - you may very well be passing forward a false story - which is a lie!
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!