2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22 ~ Romans 8:22-39~ Psalm 18:37-50 ~ Proverbs 19:27-29
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Old Testament - In Second Chronicles chapter 11 today we read about Jeroboam appointing his own priests who served at pagan shrines and encouraged idol worship! Think this was a smart idea...? This led the Levites to abandon their homes in Israel and head south to Judah. Just imagine the spiritual vacuum this departure of the Levites left in Judah... maybe this is kind of like the spiritual vacuum that happens in our lives today when we don't go to church for a while?? :) This sin of Jeroboam unfortunately plays itself out over and over in the northern Kingdom until its destruction. Below is a sad image of Jeroboam leading the Israelites into the sin of worshiping a golden calf:
Today in Second Chronicles chapter 12 we read about Egypt invading Judah. Why? Because Rehoboam and all of Israel abandoned God's Law. You will notice often in Chronicles the patterns of obedience=blessing and disobedience=punishment. In chapter 12 we're going into punishment... Verse 9 tells us: "So King Shishak of Egypt came to Jerusalem and took away all the treasures of the Temple of the LORD and of the royal palace, including all of Solomon's gold shields." Bible History Online says this about Shishak: "Shishak's invasion of Judah has been confirmed by archaeologists. Shishak's own record of his campaign is inscribed on the south wall of the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak. In his campaign he presents 156 cities of Judea to his god Amon." Image below is courtesy of Bible History Online and shows "Shishak Smiting His Captives":
A map with a good overview of the Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah at this point in our readings in Second Chronicles is below:
New Testament - Tyndale's One Year Bible Companion has a very interesting Q & A today on Romans 8 verses 24-25: "Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don't need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently." Tyndale's commentary says: "In Romans, Paul presents the idea that salvation is past, present, and future. It is past because we were saved the moment we believed in Jesus Christ as Savior; our new life (eternal life) begins at that moment. And it is present because we are being saved. But at the same time, we have not yet fully received all the benefits and blessings of salvation that will be ours when Christ's new kingdom is completely established. That's our future salvation." This is pretty amazing to consider that our salvation is past, present and future! Do you appreciate being saved from your past? Are you living fully for God in the present? Are you waiting patiently and confidently for the future?
Today in Romans chapter 8 verses 27 through 29 we read these famous words of Paul’s: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Do you believe that we are more than conquerors through our relationship with Jesus? Does it encourage you to know this? Are you living your life in such a way that truly reflects that you know that you are more than a conqueror? Do you believe that there is absolutely nothing in this world that can separate you from the love of God because of your relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "From Groaning to Glory" is at this link and "Comforting Questions" is at this link. A fun image for Romans 8:28 from today's readings is below:
Psalms - Today we finish up Psalm 18. (Psalm 19 tomorrow! So excited! :) The closing verse 50 of Psalm 18 today is powerful - and I believe can apply to both David and Jesus: "You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever." Are you a spiritual descendent of David? Do you believe that God shows you unfailing love? Do you think that God's Word, the Bible, shows His unfailing love for you?
Proverbs - I love Proverbs 19 verse 27 today: "If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you have turned your back on knowledge." I am afraid that listening seems to be a lost skill in our world oftentimes today. We have a hard time slowing down enough to actually listen to someone else. To stop thinking about our own self and to listen to someone else. And, if this is the case, then how much harder do you suppose it is for us to actually quiet the distractions around us to listen to God? Have we stopped listening to instruction? Are we turning our back on knowledge? Now - I do think the discipline of reading, studying, and meditating on God's Word, the Bible, is something that helps us get our listening skills back in fine-tuned shape. I do applaud you for going through the One Year Bible, so that you can listen to God on a daily basis. But let us be ever vigilant to keep listening to instruction. Let us not turn our backs on knowledge!
Worship God: I'm going to be very topical with the YouTube video today, as this song is currently #1 on Billboard's Christian Songs list this week. I think this video and song ties in very well with the transformation we're reading about - and hopefully experiencing - in the book of Romans. The great thing about this video is that the artist, Brandon Heath, opens and closes the song with some great comments. Be forewarned - this video just might make you cry... Beautiful stuff. Enjoy Brandon Heath's "I'm Not Who I Was." And as you watch this video and listen to the song, take some time to reflect on how God has changed you over time... Does this song tell the story of who you are today too?
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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!