Daily Encouragement

July 23 – Good Ideas Leading to Compromise

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19
Romans 8:9-25
Psalm 18:16-36
Proverbs 19:26

2 Chronicles 8:11 — Compromise begins with well intentioned ideas. Eventually we see massive destruction, but it starts with “good” ideas.

In 168 BC, Antiochus Epiphanes went into the temple, stole the treasures, setup an altar to Zeus, and sacrificed swine. A horrendous act by a foreign invader.

But 500 years before Antiochus, an Israeli-born King of Judah, the very son of Hezekiah built altars in the Temple to Baal and every other idol (2 Kings 21:3-5). Surprisingly, his father, the good king Hezekiah, took treasurers from the Temple and voluntarily gave them to Sennacherib, king of Assyria (2 Kings 18:15-16).

Three hundred years before Mannaseh, King Solomon tried to mitigate his compromise that disobeyed the LORD:

In the Old Testament, God regularly warned His people against intermarriage with foreigners: “For they will turn your sons away from following Me” (Deuteronomy 7:4; see also Exodus 34:12–17). And because the kings of Israel would lead by example, the Lord prohibited them from marrying wives who would turn their hearts away from a relationship with God (Deuteronomy 17:17).

Yes, Solomon kept many of the commandments (2 Chronicles 8:13), but God demands complete obedience.

2 Chronicles 9:27 — God blessed Solomon so that silver was as stones. Yet, the following kings were so afraid of losing their kingdoms that they took the treasures of the Temple to bribe their way to continuing in power. The northern kings were promised divine protection if they worshipped in Jerusalem, but they were so fearful that they rejected God’s offer (we read about Jeroboam in 2 Chronicles 6:6 and Jehu in 2 Kings 10:29).

2 Chronicles 10:8 — The son of the wisest man who ever lived rejected the counsel of the wise men of his father. How ironic!

Romans 8:10 — How can we have victory over sin?

  • The Spirit of God dwells in us (Romans 8:9)
  • The Spirit that resurrected Jesus can surely defeat mere sin (Romans 8:11)
  • The Spirit can mortify the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13)
  • The Spirit is leading us (Romans 8:14)
  • The Spirit is the sign we are the sons of God (Romans 8:14)

Romans 8:15 — What benefits do we have?

  • The ability to cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15)
  • We are heirs of God (Romans 8:17)
  • Future glorification with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  • Incomparable glory in the future (Romans 8:18)
  • Glorious liberty (Romans 8:21)
  • Redemption of our body (Romans 8:23)

Psalm 18:20-21 — Who gives us the strength to obey and keep the ways of the LORD? As Paul showed, God gives us the strength to obey, and if we use the power He has given us, we can have deliverance (Psalm 18:17).

Proverbs 19:26 — Many a child believes his parents are keeping him from his potential, yet he is bound for shame and reproach if he rejects their upbringing.

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Daily Encouragement

July 22 – The Fulfilled Prophecy of the Temple

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10
Romans 7:14-8:8
Psalm 18:1-15
Proverbs 19:24-25

2 Chronicles 6:13 — This is the first use of the word “kneeled”; it describes how the great King Solomon showed his humility before the King of Kings. Later Daniel, the chief of the presidents under Darius the Mede, would kneel three times a day (Daniel 6:10).

2 Chronicles 6:32 — Often we hear 2 Chronicles 7:14 quoted about America, but the people mentioned in 2 Chronicles 7:14 actually make up the nation of Israel, not the nation of America. What part of this passage applies to America? 2 Chronicles 6:32-33 mentions “the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel.” What is the purpose of the stranger (us) coming and praying to the LORD? “That all the people of the earth may know thy name and fear thee.” Israel had a universal mandate to spread God’s fame throughout the world!

2 Chronicles 7:21-22 — We’ve rehashed the topic here often, but the Chronicler wrote during the post-exilic time. He is emphasizing to the people that it was prophesied by the LORD around 965 BC that the beautiful house of the LORD would become an astonishment. It was destroyed in 586 BC or roughly 400 years later. But why? Because the Israelites forsook the LORD God and disobeyed Him to serve other gods.

Romans 8:2 — Christ Jesus has given us the authority and power to be free from sin! Look at what changes:

  • our spiritual spouse (Romans 7:4)
  • the law that governs our life (Romans 8:2)
  • our walk (Romans 8:4)
  • our mind (Romans 8:5)

Psalm 18:3 — God’s salvation is analyzed in Romans but glorified in the Psalms!

Proverbs 19:25 — Interesting that the smiting of a scorner will not help the scorner, but it will help the simple. Yet, reproving one with understanding will help the one reproved.

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Daily Encouragement

July 21 – The Glory of the LORD Has Returned!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
2 Chronicles 4:1-6:11
Romans 7:1-13
Psalm 17:1-15
Proverbs 19:22-23

2 Chronicles 5:3 — Notice that they assembled for a feast. There are times where it is appropriate to celebrate and not to fast (Mark 2:19). Even though we have incredibly detailed records of other items, we cannot number the amount of sacrifices that were made to celebrate this building in order to glorify the LORD!

2 Chronicles 5:10 — What was within the Ark that was so holy that it killed Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:7) and the seventy of Beth-shemesh who looked inside (1 Samuel 6:19)? The two tables of the Mosaic Covenant containing the Ten Commandments written with the finger of God. The physical mark of the divine covenant with a designated human response.

2 Chronicles 5:14 — The glory of the LORD had returned! This is the first time the glory had been observed in roughly 450 years. Interestingly, during the Exodus, 5 of the 8 times the glory of the LORD appeared was in conjunction with the wrath of God against the murmuring of Israel, while the other 3 times were in coordination with the explanation of the Tabernacle, the dedication of the Tabernacle, and the first use of the Tabernacle.

  • It appeared in the cloud at the introduction of manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:10) following the murmuring of Israel (Exodus 16:2)
  • It appeared atop Mount Sinai at the explanation of the Tabernacle to Moses (Exodus 24:17)
  • It appeared in the Tabernacle at the dedication of the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:35)
  • It appeared in the Tabernacle at the first burnt offering (Leviticus 9:23)
  • It appeared in the Tabernacle after the spies returned and the Israelites wanted to stone Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb (Numbers 14:10)
  • It appeared at the door of the Tabernacle during Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 16:19) before the earth swallowed Korah and the fire consumed 250 (Numbers 16:32, Numbers 16:35)
  • It appeared in the Tabernacle when the Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron for killing Korah (Numbers 16:42) before 14,700 died (Numbers 16:49)
  • It appeared at the door of the Tabernacle (Numbers 20:6) when the Israelites murmured (Numbers 20:1) before God told Moses to speak to the Rock (Numbers 20:8)

Now we see the glory of the LORD (1 Kings 8:11, 2 Chronicles 5:14) at the start of the dedication as well as the end (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).

What do we know about the glory of the LORD?

  • It endures forever (Psalm 104:31)
  • It is great (Psalm 138:5)
  • Distant lands will see it (Isaiah 35:2)
  • All flesh shall see it (Isaiah 40:5)
  • It is the “rereward” (KJV) – meaning our rear guard (Isaiah 58:8)
  • It will arise (Isaiah 60:1) and bring the Gentiles to its light
  • It made Ezekiel fall on his face (Ezekiel 1:28, Ezekiel 3:23)
  • It left the Temple (Ezekiel 10:4, Ezekiel 10:8) and went to the Mount of Olives (Ezekiel 11:23).

The Chronicler is with the Exiles who had returned and had read in Ezekiel’s prophecies that the glory was gone. But it had been there on Mount Moriah 500 years ago. About a hundred years before the Chronicles, the glory went from Mount Moriah to the Mount of Olives. But the glory of the LORD would return! It would appear less than 500 years later to those who prepared some special things for Mount Moriah. The glory of the LORD would return to Mount Moriah and once again go to the Mount of Olives. Now 2000 years after that, we behold that same glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)!

2 Chronicles 6:6 — Chronicles points out a word of the LORD that was not recorded in Kings – God’s declaration to David that He had chosen Jerusalem. Other references to His choosing Jerusalem fill the historical books, but the Scripture records the LORD communicating specifically to Solomon (1 Kings 11:13) and Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:32, 1 Kings 11:36). Unfortunately, Jeroboam rejected that message even though it was doubly communicated to him; he opted instead for evil counsel (1 Kings 12:28) that made the people sin (1 Kings 12:30).

Romans 7:12 – Yes, those two tablets contained within the Ark of the Covenant that we read about (2 Chronicles 5:10) are not sin (Romans 7:7) but the way to life (Romans 7:10) and holiness (Romans 7:12). Yet, no one can keep the holy Law, so it was found to be death (Romans 7:10). But now that we are dead to the death of the Law (Romans 7:4) and married to Christ, we can bring forth fruit!

Psalm 17:3 — When we are right with the LORD, following His way with His power, we have His salvation (Psalm 17:7). We are kept as the apple of His eye and under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 17:8).

Psalm 17:15 — We shall not just behold the glory of the LORD, we will awake “with thy likeness.” What does this mean? Check 1 Corinthians 2:9!

Proverbs 19:23 — The fear of the LORD is the way of life that leads us to see the glory of the LORD. It also protects us as we read about in Psalm 17:9.

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Daily Encouragement

July 20 – God’s Special Gift to Solomon

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17
Romans 6:1-23
Psalm 16:1-11
Proverbs 19:20-21

2 Chronicles 1:1 — The break in the Chronicler’s account transitions between David, the recipient of the eternal covenant, and Solomon, the builder of the house of the LORD. Adonijah’s attempted insurrection isn’t the focus here (1 Kings 1), rather the focus is on the beginnings of God’s relationship with the Kingdom of Israel.

2 Chronicles 2:5 — Solomon organized a crew of 150,000+ workers to build this great house for God because God is great. What a great reminder! Let’s not have the world ridicule us because of our second-rate effort to please God. Let’s give Him our best in all that we do! Make sure, though, that we have the right theology to complement our effort (see 2 Chronicles 2:6).

2 Chronicles 3:7 — Twelve times in our passage today we find the word “gold.” The ancient rabbis taught:

He who has not seen the Temple in its full construction has never seen a glorious building in his life.

You may not have gold to give to the LORD, but do you have hours, skills, or dollars that can be used to serve Him?

What did the inner Ark area look like?

Romans 6:1 — Those that confuse the Age of Grace with the “Age of No Rules” almost always ask this question: “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” The ignorance behind the question provokes a stern response from Paul (and repeated in Romans 6:15). We are new creatures, freed from sin (Romans 6:7). What should be our attitude toward sin?

  • Dead to sin (Romans 6:2)
  • We should not serve sin (Romans 6:6)
  • Freed from sin (Romans 6:7)
  • Dead indeed unto sin (Romans 6:11)
  • Let not sin therefore reign (Romans 6:12)
  • Neither yield ye your members unto sin (Romans 6:13)
  • Sin shall not have dominion over you (Romans 6:14)
  • Made free from sin (Romans 6:18 and Romans 6:22)

Paul has a point – if you’re a follower of Christ, stop sinning and start serving the LORD!

Romans 6:23 — From Earl Martin:

Psalm 16:8 — Just like Paul says – if we are followers of the LORD, we don’t have to be moved. We are free from sin and from its power!

Psalm 16:10 — While the Old Testament doesn’t tell us who wrote this psalm, Peter declares its Davidic authorship in Acts 2:25, Acts 2:29-31, and Acts 13:36. David must have wondered what the Spirit was telling him (1 Peter 1:11) of the sufferings of the Holy One.

Psalm 16:11 — Hebrews 11:25 says that sin has pleasures for a season, but this is the first time since Elihu spoke to Job that we are told how we can have pleasure!

  • Job 36:11 – Obey and serve Him
  • Psalm 16:11 – Thy right hand
  • Psalm 36:8 – The LORD’s river
  • 2 Corinthians 12:10 – In infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, and distresses

We can have pleasure, but remember we are:

  • not to love pleasure (Proverbs 21:17)
  • not be given to pleasure (Isaiah 47:8)
  • to be careful of whom we have pleasure with (Ezekiel 16:37)
  • not to be choked with pleasures (Luke 8:14)
  • to be careful of what we have pleasure in (Romans 1:32)
  • not to have pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:12)
  • not to love pleasure more than God (2 Timothy 3:4)
  • not to serve divers pleasures (Titus 3:3)
  • not to enjoy the pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25)

Proverbs 19:20 — Why do we have an entire book of counsel, instruction, and wisdom? Because it was given by God to Solomon, and it’s a special gift (2 Chronicles 1:12).

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Daily Encouragement

July 19 – Preparing for the Temple!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30
Romans 5:6-21
Psalm 15:1-5
Proverbs 19:18-19

1 Chronicles 28:2 — Notice that David was building a house for the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, but not a house for the LORD. He was building a footstool for the LORD! This is the first use of the word “footstool” in the Bible, but Isaiah emphasizes this word in Isaiah 66:1 – the entire earth is the LORD’s footstool, and Solomon will recognize that it is impossible to build a house for the LORD (2 Chronicles 2:6)!

1 Chronicles 28:5 — Notice also that the LORD forgave David’s adulterous relationship with Bathsheba by blessing him through his son Solomon. Yes, there were painful consequences, but God alone works all things together for good (Romans 8:28).

1 Chronicles 28:8 — Seventy-three times in the Bible it talks about keeping the Commandments. Since 200+ commandments apply to the Temple, this dedication of the preparation for the Temple occurs near the middle of the Chronicler’s work in order to remind those who lived 500 years later that the Temple they built was part of God’s eternal covenant with David (1 Chronicles 28:4, 1 Chronicles 28:7-8).

1 Chronicles 28:12 — The pattern was given (reiterated in 1 Chronicles 28:19) “… by the Spirit of God, who gave him the whole form of the temple, and all things relative to it; just as God showed to Moses the pattern of the tabernacle in the mount” (Gill’s Exposition of Scripture). See Exodus 25:9, Exodus 25:40, Exodus 26:30, Exodus 27:8. It was done that way because the plans were a copy of the heavenly sanctuary (Hebrews 8:5). Five hundred years later, the people addressed by the Chronicler had to rebuild the Temple after the teaching of Moses (Ezra 3:2). The new Temple was different in substance, yet of the same pattern.

1 Chronicles 29:11 — From Scott LaGraff, an operatic performance of this verse:

How great is Christ?

  • He died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6)
  • He died for sinners (Romans 5:8)
  • He died for enemies (Romans 5:10)
  • He saved us from wrath (Romans 5:9)
  • He gave us righteousness (Romans 5:17)
  • He offers all justification (Romans 5:18)
  • He makes grace reign (Romans 5:21)

The incurable, spreading disease of death was checked by the perfect obedience of Jesus (Romans 5:19), the One who could fully keep the Ten Commandments and all the laws of the Torah. The only One who could do it! The reign of sin has ended, the reign of grace has begun!

Psalm 15:1 — As we read in Chronicles about the Temple, we see the qualifications necessary to abide in the Temple!

  • Upright walk (Psalm 15:2)
  • Worketh righteousness (Psalm 15:2)
  • Speaks truth (Psalm 15:2)
  • No backbiting (Psalm 15:3)
  • No doing evil (Psalm 15:3)
  • No taking up a reproach (Psalm 15:3)
  • Not contemning the vile (Psalm 15:4)
  • Honoring God-fearers (Psalm 15:4)
  • Not breaking a vow (Psalm 15:4)
  • Not loaning at usury (Psalm 15:5)
  • Not taking bribes (Psalm 15:5)

As we’ve read in Romans and earlier in the Psalms, we can figure out how many people meet these stringent requirements. NONE (Romans 3:23)! Yet, through the perfect obedience of Christ (Romans 5:19) and His righteousness, we are seen to meet every one of them!

Proverbs 19:18 — The way of transgressors is hard (Proverbs 13:15) – do what you can to get your son out of the hard way, even if he whines!

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Daily Encouragement

July 18 – How Well Did They Guard the Temple Treasury?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34
Romans 4:13-5:5
Psalm 14:1-7
Proverbs 19:17

1 Chronicles 26:20 — Ahijah and others (Zetham and Joel in 1 Chronicles 26:22, Shebuel in 1 Chronicles 26:24, Shelomith in 1 Chronicles 26:26) were appointed over the treasures of the house of God – the treasures set aside by David (1 Chronicles 26:26) and going back through Saul to Samuel (1 Chronicles 26:28). What did these men think about the treasures 500 years later?

  • just five years after Solomon hands the crown to Rehoboam, the treasure is captured by Pharaoh Shishak (1 Kings 14:26). If they would have gone to the LORD first (Deuteronomy 20:1-4), they would not have had His house raided;
  • just a few decades after Shishak, Asa raided the gold and silver of the Temple and paid off the Syrian King Ben-hadad (1 Kings 15:18);
  • four generations after that, Jehoash paid off a different Syrian King – Hazael (2 Kings 12:18);
  • Jehoash’s son Amaziah lost the treasure to the Northern Kingdom’s Jehoash in 2 Kings 14:14;
  • the treasure was given away a few generations later by …
    1. Ahaz to the Assyrian Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 16:8), then by …
    2. Hezekiah to the Assyrian Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:15), then finally taken by …
    3. Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:13) to Babylon.

Interestingly, even though the treasures were raided seven times, we see that there were still vessels of gold that Solomon had made available at the time of Nebuchadnezzar (400 years later). The commentator Ellicott was surprised, but he assumed that there were secret store-chambers under the Temple. It is my contention that the heavy mandatory taxes for the nation/temple were used regularly to rebuild the treasures according to the descriptions given in Scripture. It could have possibly been similar to the refurbishing of state capitol buildings every 50 years or so. The Levites were continually refabricating the treasures dedicated to the House of the LORD (a continual reminder of the cost of not trusting the LORD).

1 Chronicles 27:6 — The Chronicler is recording the exploits of the many faithful. Not just the head coach (David), but those in his “starting lineup” (e.g. Benaiah).

1 Chronicles 27:7 — You might remember that Asahel was slain by Abner (2 Samuel 2:23). The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary suggests “This officer having been slain at the very beginning of David’s reign [2Sa 2:23], his name was probably given to this division in honor of his memory, and his son was invested with the command.”

1 Chronicles 27:24 — The Census Intrigue continues – apparently Joab also started to count those twenty and under. The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary notes:

The census which David ordered did not extend to all the Israelites; for to contemplate such an enumeration would have been to attempt an impossibility (Ge 28:14), and besides would have been a daring offense to God. The limitation to a certain age was what had probably quieted David’s conscience as to the lawfulness of the measure, while its expediency was strongly pressed upon his mind by the army arrangements he had in view.

1 Chronicles 27:34 — Wisconsin publishes a similar document (a Blue Book) that contains the biographies and lists of the Governor’s Cabinet and major officials.

Romans 4:21 — What God promises, He will perform! We can stand on those promises!

Romans 4:24 — The righteousness that was imputed to Abraham can also be imputed to us if we believe in Jesus, taking us from God’s wrath (Romans 4:15) to peace with God (Romans 5:1).

Psalm 14:7 — Yes, David himself looked forward to the salvation that would come, especially knowing that all have gone astray, none seek the LORD (Psalm 14:2-3).

Proverbs 19:17 — A lender will investigate the ability of the borrower to repay, but the poor have no cosigner but the LORD who will repay any deeds done.

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Daily Encouragement

July 17 – Meet Asaph “Officially!”

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11
Romans 4:1-12
Psalm 13:1-6
Proverbs 19:15-16

1 Chronicles 24:2 — Nadab and Abihu are mentioned together in 1 Chronicles only 3 times, the first mention of them since Numbers 26:61. Interestingly, Korah is also found in the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 6:37. Apparently, Korah’s son Ebiasaph did not join his father’s company (Numbers 16:16) when they reported to Moses. As a result, he didn’t join his father’s tents (Numbers 16:24, Numbers 16:27) or suffer his father’s demise (Numbers 16:32)). Uzzah (1 Chronicles 13:10) joins Nadab and Korah among those directly slain by the LORD; the details were recorded by the Chronicler as a warning.

1 Chronicles 25:1 — This is the first time we’ve met Asaph in the chronological books, but we’ve read a dozen of his other writings: Asaph is the attributed author of Psalm 50 and Psalms 73-83. The Chronicler is showing the connection between the descendants of Asaph that came to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 2:41, Ezra 3:10, Nehemiah 7:44, Nehemiah 11:22, Nehemiah 12:45) 500 years after they served in Solomon’s Temple.

1 Chronicles 25:7-8 — The Benson Commentary on the Old and New Testaments says: “All that were cunning — who were so skillful that they were able to teach others.” God used both the skill they had developed and what people may call “luck” to staff the music needs. The “casting of lots” is actually a biblically prescribed method (see Leviticus 16:8, Numbers 26:55, Numbers 33:54, Numbers 34:13, Joshua 13:6, Joshua 14:2, 1 Samuel 14:41, Proverbs 16:33, and let’s not forget Jonah 1:7). God expects our best, He wants our best, and He has long lists to show His orderliness (we saw several examples of people who were killed for breaking His order).

Romans 4:2 — Surely, if anyone could have been saved by works, it was Father Abraham! God must have been impressed with his goodness to have rewarded him as a Father of Many Nations (Genesis 17:5), especially since he was recognized for even his future acts (Genesis 18:19). Keep in mind that Abraham disobeyed God’s first command to him (Genesis 12:1); he didn’t leave his father’s house but followed his father, Terah, to Haran first (Genesis 11:31). In addition, notice that at the time he was rewarded, his reward wasn’t for any past actions but actions he hadn’t done yet (Genesis 18:19). No, Abraham had nothing to glory in – he just believed God (Galatians 3:6, James 2:23). In fact, Paul will go on to show that he had not even been circumcised yet (Romans 4:10-17)!

Romans 4:7 — Paul quotes David (Psalm 32:1-2) while outlining the case for imputed righteousness. God makes us righteous not because of our works but in spite of our works. That is the blessing that causes David to shout for joy (Psalm 32:11)!

Psalm 13:5 — David rejoices in God’s salvation. This is not because of his works but because of the mercy of the LORD! And again, we see David rejoicing verbally, this time in song (Psalm 13:6).

Proverbs 19:16 — There is a teaching going around that claims that because God didn’t warn Adam and Eve specifically about the flames of hell in order to motivate their obedience, either a) God isn’t fair, or b) hell was invented in the Dark Ages in order to motivate obedience. Even though this false dichotomy is most often taught by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and those who want to disconnect the Old Testament and the New Testament, many others have hopped on this train as well (see below the comments in David Kowalski’s article). Similar to the Jehovah’s Witnesses teaching, these “copycats” deny that the Jesus Christ of the New Testament is One with the God of the Old Testament. However, God’s motive for not fully explaining the doctrine of hell in Genesis 1 was not to trick us – our life as a follower of the LORD is greater than just avoiding hellfire. Throughout the Bible we have a choice between following the commands of the LORD and enjoying His fellowship and blessing, or disobeying and suffering death and judgment:

  • In Genesis 2:17, Adam and Eve were given a choice – the tree of life or the tree of death;
  • In Deuteronomy 30:19, the Israelites were given the choice between life and death, between obeying the LORD and experiencing His blessings, or disobeying Him and suffering His curses;
  • In Daniel 12:2, we are made aware that either everlasting life or everlasting contempt will be meted out at the resurrection;
  • In Matthew 25:46, Jesus makes it very clear that there are only two futures that should concern us: either enjoying eternal life or suffering eternal punishment;
  • Here in Proverbs 19:16, life and death are again the options given for us to consider.

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Daily Encouragement

July 16 – The Contentious Woman Is a Constant Dripping

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32
Romans 3:9-31
Psalm 12:1-8
Proverbs 19:13-14

1 Chronicles 22:5 — Of all the mistakes that David made, he never gave God less than his best. Look at the inventory in 1 Chronicles 22:14.

1 Chronicles 23:30 — Just because this isn’t your job doesn’t mean you’re prohibited from doing this.

Romans 3:10 — Paul borrows from Psalm 14. From David’s time to Paul’s time, this truth was universal: no one is righteous. The sins are numerous: deceit (Romans 3:13), cursing (Romans 3:14), and murder (Romans 3:15), but they all are summarized in a lesson from Proverbs: we DO NOT fear the LORD. David recognized the “fear of the LORD” as essential (2 Samuel 23:3). If you need a refresher on how you are guilty, let’s go to the Law!

Romans 3:22 — Notice the contrast – righteousness to all who believe vs. no flesh shall be justified by the deeds of the Law. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned, whereas Romans 3:24 tells us that all can be justified.

Psalm 12:7 — Paul talked yesterday about the Jews as the guardians of the Law. God used them as part of His process to preserve His Word forever.

Proverbs 19:13 — Forever Be Sure wrote a song based on this verse. Enjoy! By the way … in case you wanted to know … my wife is a Proverbs 19:14 woman!

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Daily Encouragement

July 15 – Whitewashed David? Where Was the Temple?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Chronicles 19:1-21:30
Romans 2:25-3:8
Psalm 11:1-7
Proverbs 19:10-12

1 Chronicles 19:19 — Why were the servants of Hadarezer “put to the worse” (defeated)? Because of 1 Chronicles 19:13 – the battle was given to the LORD.

1 Chronicles 20:1 — Did the phrase “at the time that kings go out to battle” jump out at you? That was the warning phrase that something bad happened in 2 Samuel (hint … the David and Bathsheba incident). 2 Samuel 11:1 matches 1 Chronicles 20:1, but 1 Chronicles 20:2 jumps ahead to 2 Samuel 12:30.

1 Chronicles 21:7 — Why was God so angry with David for the census? Deuteronomy 17:18 says that the king was to hand copy the entire Law/Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy). So, David should have been very familiar with all of God’s commands in the Torah, all 613 of them. In Exodus 30:12, it was clearly stated that if you take a census, everyone had to pay a ransom to the LORD for his life in order to prevent a plague. The exact reasons for David’s actions are unclear even to commentators, but David should have known it was wrong to do it improperly. The outcome here is similar to the outcome of carrying the Ark improperly – it cost Uzzah his life (2 Samuel 6:7), and the outcome of handling strange fire cost Nadab & Abihu their life (Leviticus 10:2). Dexter Penwell notes:

Each person was to provide a half shekel silver coin of redemption (Exodus 30:12). In the Bible, silver represents blood. So those half shekel coins represented that each person being counted was redeemed by blood … (Exodus 30:12-16) states that if those redemption coins were not provided, then there would be a plague among the people. So, what happened was what was stated in Exodus. As a side note, the bases (sockets) for the boards of the holy place and the holy of holies were made from the original redemption coins.

1 Chronicles 21:30 — God used the sword of the angel to point David to the new spot for His House. No longer would it be the altar at Gibeon but the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Dr. Leen Ritmeyer has a great post on the location of this sacrifice:

Jewish tradition maintains that David’s altar was built (c. 980 BC) on the same place that Abraham had erected his altar in preparation for the sacrifice of Isaac, before God intervened. Based on the relationship between Herod’s Temple and the Rock inside the Dome of the Rock, the altar would have been located just east of the Dome of the Chain, as depicted in this photograph: https://www.ritmeyer.com/2014/10/27/the-temple-mount-in-jerusalem-during-the-jebusite-period/

While some claim that this was not on the “Temple Mount” but rather on the “City of David,” Dr. Leen Ritmeyer refutes that argument proposed by Dr. Ernest Martin and repeated by Bob Cornuke.

Romans 3:5 — Paul is re-orienting our thinking – to understand God we must first admit He is righteous, and of consequence, more righteous than us (Romans 3:4)!

Psalm 11:4 — The psalmist makes reference to the “temple”, and we immediately think of the building that David tried to build. Yet, the LORD cannot be contained on earth or in heaven (1 Kings 8:27)! Even though He transcends the earth, He still beholds the children of men.

Proverbs 19:11 — There are many offences that we could point to and make a stink about, yet it is our glory to pass over a wrong that someone has done to us. If we can forgive an action (intentional or unintentional), we are not just “the bigger man” – we have glory!

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Daily Encouragement

July 14 – Who is Tou of Hamath?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17
Romans 2:1-24
Psalm 10:16-18
Proverbs 19:8-9

1 Chronicles 16:41 — This is the equivalent of today’s American citizen reading the Federalist Papers – reading about how our nation was established. The Israelites, hundreds of years after David, would read the Chronicler’s account as he told what happened back at the founding of Israel. This verse echoes Psalm 136:1 (which is echoed in every verse of the psalm), that the mercy of the LORD wasn’t just way back with the founding fathers – it endures forever – therefore it endures today!

David telling his plans to build a house for the LORD

1 Chronicles 17:12 — Twenty-two times in 1 Chronicles is the term “forever” used. The Davidic Covenant was forever, and it humbled David (1 Chronicles 17:16).

1 Chronicles 18:4 — This verse repeats almost verbatim 2 Samuel 8:4, because this points back to the Torah (Deuteronomy 17:16) and echoes what Joshua did (Joshua 11:9) at the Battle of the Waters of Merom.

1 Chronicles 18:9 — Who is this Tou of Hamath? Amazingly, Hamath is referenced thirty-nine times in the Old Testament! Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) reports that the man Anatolian, who archaeologists know as King Taita, may be the Tou ally of David:

And what of King Taita, now emerged from obscurity as a powerful monarch of the Early Iron Age, possibly even descended from the great Hittite kings of the Empire? If such a king ruled over a large territory, is there mention of him elsewhere in ancient documents? So far the answer appears to be in the negative, at least not yet, unless you include the Old Testament, which brings us back to the city of Hama. Taita may have well been a contemporary—a friend and ally—to King David himself. The author of 2 Samuel knew him as Toi, King of Hamath (2 Sam 8:9-10; Tou in 1 Chron 18-9-10). David’s military victories over Hadadezer, King of Zobah and his Aramaean allies prompted Toi to send his son Joram as an envoy bearing gifts to the Israelite conqueror. For Hadadezer was warring against Toi, so forging an alliance with David made strategic sense. But how does Taita become Toi (Hebrew: תּﬠיּ)?

Romans 2:15 — Everyone has the Law of God written in their hearts – their conscience tells them that some things are right, and some things are wrong. Consciences are not all agreed, however (1 Corinthians 8:7), and they can be seared (1 Timothy 4:2), defiled (Titus 1:15), and be evil (Hebrews 10:22). The bottom line is, however, that we are all aware that there is a moral law.

Romans 2:21-23 — Paul reiterates that knowledge of the explicitly revealed Law (the Torah in general and the Ten Commandments in particular) is not enough. Hearers are not justified, only doers are justified (Romans 2:13). Those who know the Law and warn against stealing, adultery, and idolatry, still commit these sins. Why? Paul, having shown the universality of the knowledge of right and wrong, will show that no matter our best attempts, we are all still sinners.

Psalm 10:16 — We read earlier today about the Davidic Covenant promising a Davidic king over Israel forever. A thousand years after David we will see these two declarations merge – the LORD becomes the Son of David to be King forever!

Proverbs 19:9 — This verse fits in with Paul’s warning that even those who preach against lying still lie. And Paul will show us that lying leads to death (Romans 6:23).

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