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Bible Pathways 05/18/2002

May 18

Read 1 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.

Verses for Today:

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. . . . Is not the Lord your God with you? . . . for He hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the Lord. . . . 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 (1 Chronicles 22:12-13).

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. Therefore, David was not satisfied with just providing Solomon with the materials needed to build the Temple. Yes, the stone, wood, gold, iron, and precious metals were necessary, along with the workers' willing hands, earnest minds, and devoted hearts; but the best materials and the finest skilled workers would all be meaningless if the people were not surrendered to the Lord.

David's accumulation of materials and plans for building the Temple were put into the possession of Solomon. But he ignored the spiritual advice of his father David to set [his] heart . . . to seek the Lord. . . . arise . . . build . . . 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 (2 Chronicles 1:14; 3:1-2). This was in violation of the command of God for the kings of Israel (Deuteronomy 17:16-17; 1 Kings 10:26:4). David's counsel to Solomon is still the need of every Christian.

True obedience is dependent upon putting God and His will first in our plans. Our commitment and obedience to the Word of God is demonstrated when we pray for guidance that His will be done as He answers our prayer while we do all we can to bring it to pass. This is illustrated by David when he was told that his most trusted adviser Ahithophel had joined with Absalom to overthrow him. He prayed: O Lord . . . turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness (2 Samuel 15:31). But he also sent Hushai to Absalom's camp in an attempt to frustrate the advice of Ahithophel. God answered David's prayer through the advice of Hushai to Absalom.

Faith and works always go together. Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (James 2:21-22).

Christ Revealed:

Through the altar David built to sacrifice unto the Lord that Israel might be restored to a right relationship with God (1 Chronicles 21:18). Only through Christ can we be restored to a relationship right with God. Being justified freely . . . through . . . Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24-26).

Word Studies:

21:13 a great strait = deep distress; 21:15 repented Him of 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 reckoning = counted together; 23:24 by their polls = individually.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for your Pastor · Country: Eritrea (4 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: English and Tigrinya · Religious freedom · 51% Muslim; 40% Eritrean Orthodox; 4% Catholic; 1.5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Seek God in prayer with your whole heart and He will hear you (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 5

Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 3:16

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