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Bible Pathways - May 12, 2005

May 12


Read I Chronicles 3 -- 5


In Today's Reading:


Descendants of David, Solomon, Judah, Simeon, Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh


God compared the small tribe of Simeon, that chose to live in the promised land, to the much larger tribe of Reuben, that chose not to settle in the promised land. Of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to Mount Seir. . . . And they smote (destroyed) the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelled there to this day (I Chronicles 4:42-43). What a contrast this is to the more powerful sons of Reuben. . . . they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring (played the harlot) after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them. And the God of Israel stirred up the . . king of Assyria . . . and he carried them away, even the Reubenites . . and brought them to Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, to this day (5:1,25-26).


The Reubenites chose to live in the fertile lands outside the promised land on the eastern side of the Jordan River, even though it was far from the Tabernacle, which was the only place where God had chosen for people to worship Him (see Numbers 32:1-5,25-42). They chose what they believed would bring them greater material success rather than spiritual blessings, direction, and protection.


Jacob's prophecy regarding Reuben truly came to pass. By birthright, the descendants of the firstborn son should have had preeminence over all the other tribes. But Jacob had prophesied: Reuben, you are . . . Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it (Genesis 49:3-4). Water is a good illustration because it naturally flows to the lowest possible level. Water is also unstable in that it can be driven by the winds as well as evaporate with the heat. The Reubenites are an example of some today who become so involved in the things of the world that little time is left for serving the Lord and for reading His Word. They consider the plan of God for their lives less important than personal ambitions and pleasures.


Christians need never fear that we are not talented enough, strong enough, or good enough. Everything God wants us to be or to do He makes possible. O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23). I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).


Christ Revealed:


Through the genealogy of David (I Chronicles 3:1-24). Christ, the Son of God, was also called the Son of David. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David (Matthew 1:1; Luke 3:23-38; see also Romans 1:3).


Word Studies:


3:9 concubines = slave woman that legally became secondary wives; 4:10 coast = border ; 4:40 fat = rich, good; 5:11 over against = across from.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer · BPM Staff: Karen Hawkins · Government Official: Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ) · Country: Vietnam (77 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Vietnamese and French · Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter · 65% Buddhist and Buddhist sects; 7% Roman Catholic; 4% belief in evil spirits and ancestor worship; .4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Remember, what is impossible with men is possible with God (Matthew 19:26).


Optional Reading: Romans 15


Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 3:16

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