May 18

 

Read I Chronicles 21 -- 23

 

In Today's Reading:

 

David's sin in taking a military census; his preparation for building the Temple and instructions to Solomon; duties of the Levites

 

Solomon was about 20 years of age when he was anointed king. Since young people do not have the years of experience that their elders do, they often underestimate the things that are of greatest importance. Consequently, David was not satisfied with just providing Solomon with the materials needed to build the Temple. He instructed and cautioned him to let Only the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the Law of the LORD your God. Then shall you prosper, if you take heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel. . . . Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build you the Sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the House that is to be built to the Name of the LORD (I Chronicles 22:12-13,19).

 

David's accumulation of materials for the Temple was now in the possession of his son. But Solomon ignored the spiritual advice of his father to set your heart . . . to seek the LORD . . . arise therefore, and build you the Sanctuary. Building the Temple should have been his first priority; but, Solomon instead put personal interests first and did not begin building the Temple until the fourth year of his reign. Instead, he began to amass chariots and horses as well as wives (see II Chronicles 1:14; 3:1-2; I Kings 10:26-11:4). This was in direct violation of the Law for the kings of Israel (see Deuteronomy 17:16-17).

 

David's appeal to Solomon to seek the LORD is still the basic responsibility of every Christian. True faith is demonstrated by our commitment and obedience to the Word of God and our dependency upon Him to answer prayer while we do all we can to bring it to pass. We should not assume that we can just "leave it up to the Lord" and do nothing. The Lord expects our participation in all that we can do. Christ calls every believer to seek you first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things (physical necessities, food, clothing, shelter) shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33). Then consider this fact: Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? See you how faith wrought (working) with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (James 2:21-22).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

Through the altar David built to sacrifice to the Lord that Israel might be restored to a right relationship with God (I Chronicles 21:18,26). Through Christ we can be restored to a right relationship with God and be justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

 

Word Studies:

 

21:13 a great strait = deep distress; 21:15 repented Him of the evil = had compassion due to man's repentance and intercession; 22:3 without weight = beyond calculation; 23:1 old and full of days = reached old age; 23:6 courses = divisions or groups; 23:11 in one reckoning = counted together; 23:24 by their polls = individually, by census, head counts.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BPM Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Country: Albania (3 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Albanian and Greek · Newly opened to evangelism · 40% Muslim; 11% Albanian Orthodox; 7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord's teaching; grow and mature in your prayer life (Luke 11:1).

 

Optional Reading: I Corinthians 5

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 3:17