A Truly United Kingdom – (1 Chronicles 16)

The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant

The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that the Levites had successfully transported the Ark to Jerusalem, David begins celebrating in the most proper manner – with tribute to God. God’s people were in the middle of the greatest times that the united kingdom would know. And for the most part, it would last through Solomon’s reign. Second only to the dedication of the Temple by Solomon, this would be the greatest celebration of that time.

David had the ark of the covenant brought in to the tent that he had erected for it. They then had burnt offerings and peace offerings. The peace offering is sometimes called a fellowship, or more properly, a thanksgiving offering, and is introduced in Leviticus 3:1-17 and Leviticus 7:11-34. Afterwards, the celebration continued with every man and woman of the vast number of Israelites present being given “loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins.”

English: Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordi...

English: Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordier in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Français : Statue du roi David par Nicolas Cordier, dans la chapelle Borghèse de la basilique Sainte-Marie Majeure. Italiano: Statua del re Davide di Nicolas Cordier, nella Capella Borghese della Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David then appointed certain Levites to “minister before the ark” invoking thanks, praising the Lord, and playing harps, lyres, cymbals, and blowing trumpets. Chief among this group of Levites was Asaph who authored Psalms 50 and 73-83. Also among them was Benaiah, one of the most powerful of David’s “mighty men,” whose exploits (some of which are described in 2 Samuel 23:20-22) included the single-handed defeat of Moab’s two mightiest warriors. Verse 7 tells us that it was the first time that David appointed Asaph and his brothers to sing thanksgiving to the Lord.

Verses 8-36 contain David’s song of thanksgiving. It is a long and wonderful song of praise to the Lord; and parts of it are contained in Psalm 105:1–15, Psalm 96:1–13, and Psalm 106:1, 47–48. Verses 37-42 describe how David made ministering to the ark a long-term responsibility for Asaph and his brothers. He also left Obed-edom (and his 68 brothers!), along with Zadok the priest and his brothers to offer burnt offerings and perform other duties.

Finally, the ark was to get the care that it had once had when Moses was around; and the Levites would do what they were intended to do before the Lord in such a grand scale as Israel had not seen since long before Israel had its first king.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Psalm 78:1-24 – Give Ear, O My People

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, ...

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, as in 1 Kings 6, illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, we read the first 24 verses of this comparatively lengthy historical psalm, which according to the superscription was one of about a dozen written by Asaph – one of the singers at Solomon’s dedication of the temple (2 Chronicles 5:7-14). Verses 2-3 are somewhat familiar to Christians today, as Jesus referred to it in Matthew 13:35:

I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us

Parables and “dark sayings” (somewhat the kin of riddles) were used by great teachers to impart wisdom, while challenging and exercising the imagination more than to entertain. Obviously, as any good teacher knows, the more thought the student has to put into the lesson, the more that student will learn. One has to be interested in learning the subject in order to benefit – which is one reason Jesus used them.

Verses 5-8 speak of the covenant with Jacob and the tradition of fathers teaching their children about the covenant, the law, and the wondrous things that God has done for them. Verses 9-16 continue with the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14) and God’s providing of water from the rocks to an ungrateful and unfaithful people (Numbers 20:5-9). Verses 17-20 tell of their rebellion in the desert and how they tested the Lord (Numbers 20:2-4). Verses 21-24 recount how, though God’s anger was kindled against these people who did not trust Him despite all He had done, He still provided food for them in the form of manna from heaven (Exodus 16).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Psalms 73 – The Prosperity of the Wicked

Psalm 73 begins Book III, which is composed of psalms 73-83, known as the Asaph group. The rest of the psalms in Book III are supposed to be written by the Sons of Korah.  the first part of the psalm starts with a note about the psalmist’s envy of the wicked and their prosperity.

It is a characteristic generality that Satan has us draw, for not all wicked people behave as this describes, nor do all prosper.  But it is sometimes hard for the poor servant of the Lord who struggles from day-to-day to watch the easy life of those who never know what it is to struggle, and then behave and speak irreverently to God, and even to deny him.

poverty_01In that respect (economic snobbery not withstanding) the wealthy are not as fortunate as the poor because it is not very easy for those who do not depend on God for their daily bread to acknowledge their dependence on Him for anything else.  We do well to remember the 40 years that the Lord’s people spent in the wilderness with God providing their manna daily to teach them to depend on the Lord for all things.

With that, we should count ourselves blessed if we lack in earthly riches, for our reward comes later.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you…
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;

you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge,

that I may tell of all your work

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalms 50 – God Himself is Judge

This is the first of 12 “songs of Asaph.”  Asaph was one of David’s chief musicians (1 Chronicles 16:7), and undoubtedly did write some of the psalms (2 Chronicles 29:30), although it is not certain that he wrote all 12 of these, or simply was known to sing some of them.  Most commentators agree however that this one was likely written by him.  Adam Clarke said “The style of David is more polished, flowing, correct, and majestic, than that of Asaph, which is more stiff and obscure.”

Mount Zion, Aceldama, Akeldama, or Hakeldamia, the Field of Blood.

Mount Zion, Aceldama, Akeldama, or Hakeldamia, the Field of Blood.

Some say that this is a prophetic psalm concerning the Messiah, and that does have some merit.  Verse 2 (“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,God shines forth”) seems akin to Isaiah 2:3 (“For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem”).  In the latter, “the word” obviously is Jesus (John 1:14).  And in verses 8-14, God tells His chosen ones that He neither needs nor wants their sacrifices (which we are reminded in Hebrews 10:5-7).

He rebukes the wicked among them in verses 16-22 for believing they can live their lives doing any sort of sinful act, as long as they make their sacrifices to atone for it.  God hates fake worship; and the verses are just as relevant for us today.  Too many of us live as pagans Monday through Saturday night, yet still consider themselves Christians on Sunday, as long as they go to worship services.  God will judge us for how we live our daily lives, and His salvation is for he who “orders his way rightly” (verse 23).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.