21:7 But the LORD was not willing to destroy David's dynasty, for he had made a covenant with David and promised that his descendants would continue to rule forever. Here is another translation blunder by NLT that doesn't appear too important until further inspection. Consider NASB: Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever (Hebrew: "all the days"). As we have discussed in an earlier entry, I no longer believe Jesus will "rule" forever. We looked at several verses that indicate this, because in the future when Jesus has established His authority on earth and every person has submitted to Him, there will be no need for a ruler. We will then all be "sons and daughters" of the Most High along with Jesus, not subjects of the Kingdom. Pretty much all the other translations use the word "lamp" which has an entirely different feel—a light, beacon, or source of life.
21:12 Then Elijah the prophet wrote Jehoram this letter:
This is actually an important verse. Elijah wrote this letter AFTER his
supposed disappearance into heaven that is taught in today's churches.
This can be uncovered through careful study of what was going on at the
time of Elijah's "disappearance" (there was a king prior to Jehoram in
power) and the fact that Elijah was often "transported" from place to
place to do his work. We have covered this before in depth.
21:16 Then the Lord stirred up the Philistines and the Arabs... I never noticed God's sovereignty so much as I do this time through the Bible. Literally everything, both good and bad, is all at His hand. I can't even express the peace this has given me in every area of my life. I don't have to control anything...just do the work He assigns me for that day, and let Him do the rest.
21:19 The disease grew worse and worse, and at the end of two years it caused his bowels to come out, and he died in agony. I don't doubt it. Talk about stating the obvious!
21:20 No one was sorry when he died. What a sad legacy. For a couple months now through Kings and Chronicles, we've read the obituaries of all the kings. The good, the bad, and the ugly. What would yours look like if your life and death record were listed among the kings? What would your legacy be? One of the reasons why the Bible is not more suspect for being a work of fantasy/fiction, is because it does not paint people in a glorified light. A good reminder from the kings, when you die, you carry the remembrance of your sins as well as your faithfulness to the grave with you. People remember. God remembers. What will your biblical obit tell about your life?
23:6 Remember, only the priests and Levites on duty may enter the Temple of the Lord, for they are set apart as holy. The rest of the people must obey the Lord's instructions and stay outside. I believe this is a picture of the Kingdom. Perhaps the chosen, resurrected immortals will serve the Lord as His Kingdom of priests while the immortals surviving the Tribulation will be required to stay outside the Temple. Remember, pictures of old are also pictures of something yet to be. The OT is not a random set of strange customs and occurrences. It is all to teach about future people and events. We must uncover the gems hiding in the text and learn. Perhaps there are even parts of each story that tell us a story about the future. For instance, perhaps the account of crowning Joash king (vs. 8-13) is a mini-picture of the great joy and celebration of crowing Jesus King on a future Feast of Tabernacles day. I imagine in vs. 17-21 could fit nicely into that scenario, too. Dare to imagine...
23:20-21 Then the commanders, nobles, rulers, and all the people of the land escorted the [King] from the Temple of the Lord. They went through the upper gate and into the palace, and they seated the [King of kings] on the royal throne. So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was peaceful because [Satan] had been [bound for 1,000 years].
11:26-29 ...and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS."From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. This is a powerful verse about God's faithfulness to Israel for the sake of the fathers of faith!
11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
Hmmm...interesting parallel. I wonder if "all" means the same "all"
on both sides of the coin? Intriguing.
11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. As I read this tonight, I marveled at Paul's marveling of the Good News. I realized that for Paul, it was a total conversion experience on that Road to Damascus. His whole theology changed over night, and as soon as he grasped the scope of God's "story," and His love, and His plan for Israel and for the nations, Paul was smitten. This is what gave him the energy, passion, and courage to do what he did for the rest of his days on earth. Like Paul, I have been a Pharisee, well educated in proper theology, yet have totally missed the story in blindness. But like Paul, I have found a message worth living--and dying for. I have found a beautiful story that has ignited passion, purpose, and joy in me like no other "knowledge" ever has. Yes, Paul, to Jesus be the glory forever!
Psalm 22:16-18 I am sure we discussed this prophetic Messianic Psalm the first time around, but just thought I'd point it out!