May 18, 2006

Read 1 Chronicles 21

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. Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the Law of the LORD thy God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil 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 ye 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 were now in the possession of his son. But Solomon ignored the spiritual advice of his father David to set your heart . . . to seek the LORD . . . arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary. Building the Temple should have been his first priority, but Solomon 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 (II Chronicles 1:14; 3:1-2; I Kings 10:26-11:4). This was in violation of the Law for the kings of Israel (Deuteronomy 17:16-17).

David's appeal to Solomon to seek the Lord is still the need 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. Consider this fact: Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought (working) with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? . . . Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. . . . For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:21-22,24,26).

Christ Revealed:

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

Word Studies:

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

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer · Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson · Government Official: Rep. Tom Udall (NM) · Country: Togo (5 million) in western Africa · Major languages: French and several African languages · Limited religious freedom · 41% belief in false gods and voodoo; 32% Roman Catholic; 19% Muslim; 8% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask according to the will of God and you will receive (John 16:24).

Optional Reading: I Corinthians 5

Memory Verse for the Week: Job 1:1