Men of a Single Mind

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)

 

The information contained in chapter 12 of 1 Chronicles is not found anywhere else in the Scriptures. It begins with a remembrance of the time when David was at Ziklag, and many mighty men joined him as warriors. We learn here many were Gadites, and that some of them even came from Saul’s own tribe – the Benjaminites. All were described as mighty warriors, and verse 14 says that the Gadites “were officers of the army; the least was a match for a hundred men and the greatest for a thousand.”  

 

When the men from Benjamin and Judah came, David questioned whether their loyalties to Saul would result in his betrayal. The chief of them, Amasai, had divine guidance it seems, as his words were those of a prophet:

 

“We are yours, O David,
and with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
and peace to your helpers!
For your God helps you.”

 

Verse 19 continues with some defections by the tribe of Manasseh, and then verse 23 jumps ahead about seven years to “the present” as David is about to be crowned king. There were literally thousands of warriors that came to David from all over the twelve tribes to pledge their loyalty, and to celebrate the new kingship. In fact, the chronicler says “all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king.” It was a proud and unified time in the history of God’s people.

 

(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.  

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

A Cure For What Ails Me

English: Gerhard Amauer Hansen, Norwegian bact...

English: Gerhard Amauer Hansen, Norwegian bacteriologist who discovered the bacillum for leprosy. Since this photograph was likely taken before 1923 as Hansen died in 1912, it is public domain in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The leper that came to Jesus to be cleansed in verse 12 of Luke chapter 5 may have had one of many skin diseases that in biblical times was referred to as leprosy – not necessarily what we know today as leprosy, which is also known as Hansen’s disease (named for the physician, Gerhard Armauer Hansen, who discovered the bacteria that caused it). But it may very well have been this form of leprosy. It is beside the point, however. There are several things that are significant about this account, which occurs in verses 12-16 – none of which have to do with leprosy.

First, there is the matter of the miracle itself. Verse 13 tells us that Jesus stretched out His hand and touched the leper, and immediately, the leprosy left him. That was it – it was gone. Secondly, it is quite significant that Jesus touched Him at all. Such a thing simply was not done. Nothing was known by people then about bacteria or “germs,” but the public health was protected by the fact that such a condition made the sufferer ceremonially unclean, and thus they had to be separated from everyone else until the condition healed – after which a ritual of cleansing would be performed. Once Jesus had cured his disease, He instructed the man to go to a priest to make an offering – as the law of Moses commanded “for a proof to them.” The proof would be the priest’s use of the offering for cleansing, and would serve to allow the man to be among others again. The details of all of this can be found in Leviticus 14:2-32.

A third matter of significance here is that Jesus instructed the man to “tell no one.” Certainly, He knew that the man was going to tell the priest, and that word of what had occurred would be made known. He was admonished not to run to tell others right away, but to take care of the requirements of the law of Moses straightaway. One effect this would also have would be to minimize the spreading of the news which would bring a flood of people to Jesus for more healing. Even so, verse 15, says, it brought more crowds of people – both to hear God’s word, and for more healings.

Olive Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives.

Olive Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives.

All of this is important in its own way, but there is also a point made that may not be so obvious. Besides the fact that Jesus came to sacrifice Himself for our sins, and the plan of salvation that He gave to us, He also left us with divine guidance for our lives here on earth – and as is often the case with the word of the Lord, that guidance can have great benefit to us in the here and now, as well as our long-term good. Verse 16 says that as more and more demands were made on His time and energy, “he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”

Jesus was fully God, but had come here as a man with emotions, stress thresholds, and the ability to be physically taxed and to become fatigued. Throughout His ministry, we read in each of the Gospels of times when He went to be alone, to rest when weary, and to spend time talking at length to God. I find that the days in which I make the time to talk to God at greater length are the days that my anxiety and stress – my entire well being is the most improved. If our Lord and savior needed to do this when He was here in order to keep his “battery charged,” is it any wonder that we should need to do these things as well? The Lord does not want us to be lazy, but He knows better than we do that we must “close shop,” shut things down and rest, and most importantly, spend time in prayer with God.

(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.  

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Boy Jesus In the Temple

After the blessing by Simeon in the temple 40 days after the birth of Jesus, Luke 2:39 has Mary and Joseph returning to Nazareth. Verse 40 says that he grew and became strong, “filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.”

Luke then “fast-forwards” to the age of 12. The text says that his parents went up to Jerusalem every year for the Feast of the Passover. Of course they did – Joseph and Mary would observe all of the required feasts. By the Law of Moses, all males were required to attend the feast (Exodus 23:14-17, Deuteronomy 16:1), and the whole family usually made the journey together. This year, when they left to return home, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. As a matter of expediency, to help each other, and for greater safety, people who had to go long distances for the feast would travel together in caravans with their extended families and friends. So they had gone a day’s journey (likely the end of the day) before they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.

When Jesus was twelve, Mary and Joseph took him to the Passover feast in Jerusalem. But Jesus remained behind to talk with the teachers in the temple. Mary and Joseph searched for him throughout the caravan with which they were traveling, then returned to Jerusalem to find him

When Jesus was twelve, Mary and Joseph took him to the Passover feast in Jerusalem. But Jesus remained behind to talk with the teachers in the temple. Mary and Joseph searched for him throughout the caravan with which they were traveling, then returned to Jerusalem to find him

Not finding him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. After three days (likely meaning a day before missing him, a day to return, and a day of searching) they found him in the temple listening to the teachers and asking questions. The text says that all who heard him were amazed at his understanding. And when Mary told him how they had been searching for him, he said “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

Verse 50 says that Mary and Joseph did not understand what he had said. We might wonder what difficulty they would have with the statement. Jesus at that age was fully aware of who He was (if not before this Passover, then certainly now that it had ended, that was so). But were Mary and Joseph really fully aware of who Jesus was yet? Certainly they knew that He was a gift from God, and the angel Gabriel had told Mary that He was to be the Son of God. But they had nevertheless been raising a child that in all physical aspects was thoroughly human. He had the same needs and dependencies as any other child, and he had required the same sort of nurturing as other children.

Any parent goes through moments of pride and moments of wistful sadness at watching their child grow up. Imagine the added complexity of raising the Son of God! As verse 51 says, Mary treasured all these things in her heart. Naturally, the text also says that he came with them to Nazareth and was submissive to them.

(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

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 can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

Introducing the Books of Chronicles – not what you might think

Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (blue) and ...

Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (blue) and Judah (orange), ancient levant borders and ancient cities such as Urmomium and Jerash. The map shows the region in the 9th century BCE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year, we will read the Books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, along with Luke and Acts. It should not be a surprise that these 2 Old Testament books seldom get very close attention. After all, they just repeat what is contained in part of Samuel and Kings, right? Well, not so fast. It’s true that some passages from Samuel and Kings are contained in Chronicles, and some are even word for word. But certainly, that does not apply to the entire books – and there is more to it than that.

So what is the difference? To start with, the Books of Kings are written chiefly from the perspective of the northern kingdom of Israel, ending with the fall of Judah and the beginning of the Babylonian captivity. The Books of Chronicles are written primarily for the exiles who have returned from captivity (and of course, for us as well). There is much contained in Chronicles that is not written anywhere else, and much more attention is paid to the southern kingdom. In fact, the northern kings are rarely mentioned outside the context of their interaction with the southern kingdom.

Before going into too much more detail about the Books of Chronicles, let us provide a few tips for reading 1 Chronicles – which is where we start the year. First, it is important to point out that most of the first 9 chapters contain almost exclusively genealogies – beginning with Adam, all the way to the post-exilic period. Why? A couple of reasons.

The chief reason is that the Lord wanted the people to have this information documented very well for those returning from exile so that there would be no confusion as to lineage when questions arose concerning such matters as who could serve as a Levitical priest. Secondly, there is much information in these genealogies that explain things that we might not otherwise know. For example, we read much in the Book of Joshua about the Jebusites and the Amorites. But where did they come from? The answer is in the first 14 verses of 1 Chronicles chapter one.

Destruction of Jerusalem under the Babylonian ...

Destruction of Jerusalem under the Babylonian rule. Illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So tip #1 when reading these first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles is to remember that your natural inclination will be to hit the “fast forward button” and move ahead. That’s OK, but when you let yourself do that, skim through and make a note of any names or places you may remember being mentioned elsewhere for further investigation. With this easy schedule, you may want to look further into it.

Tip #2: Don’t get impatient and move too far ahead in the schedule of 1 Chronicles. We are just reading less than 30 verses per day – many times, even less than 10! Let God’s word work in you. Remember 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Tip #3: Our daily blog will alternate between a focus on Luke and on the Books of Chronicles. We will do our best to give meaning and understanding to some of the details of these genealogies until we get through them. Once we do, the reward in the following chapters will be well worth the wait.

We will complete this introduction to the Books of Chronicles this week and begin our study of Luke’s gospel as well.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per 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

All of my comments in this blog 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 used by this blog can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Year in Luke’s Writings! – 2014 Reading Plan

Father reads the Scriptures from a scroll to his family as the mother prepares food to eat.

Father reads the Scriptures from a scroll to his family as the mother prepares food to eat.

Once again, this year we will be following someone else’s reading plan, and once again, it is singularly special! It was not finished at the time of this writing, but I will post the schedule on the “Schedules” tab as soon as I get it.

Here is what I can tell you about it. We will be spending the entire year studying the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts.  The plan’s designer appropriately calls it “Cause and Effect.” We will be reading at the pace of a chapter a week. An easy schedule? Perhaps, but some of the chapters are quite long, and there is no shortage of material to study.

First, 24 chapters of Luke – all focused on the life, death, burial, and Resurrection of the savior, Jesus the Christ. And 28 chapters of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles – from the first gospel sermon ever to the imprisonment of Paul in Rome. It is going to be another great year in God’s word, I can  promise you! And we will start tomorrow!

Science museum, Vancouver

Science museum, Vancouver

But, as our regular readers know, since our reading plans are 5 days per week, we have always done something different on Sundays. And 2014 will be no exception. We will still be writing on various subjects and about several different books of the Bible throughout the year. But we will be doing two things on a fairly regular basis.

First, we will have more frequent articles centered on the subject of Apologetics- articles designed to help the christian strengthen his or her faith in God’s word, and hopefully, help prepare to comply with 1 Peter 3:15: “…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”

Throughout the wilderness journey, Moses talked to the Lord, often begging Him for help in leading the Israelites.

Throughout the wilderness journey, Moses talked to the Lord, often begging Him for help in leading the Israelites.

Secondly, we will try to devote one Sunday article per month to the subject of prayer – the other half of our communication with the Lord. In doing so, it is our hope that we can improve our ability to pray more effective prayers that are pleasing to the Lord and beneficial to those we pray for – and pray with. With God’s help, we hope this will also be an aid to men who often are called upon to lead public prayers in church services and elsewhere.

We hope and pray that these new items on our agenda for 2014 will help us all to grow spiritually in the coming year. We hope you will join us in this effort!

/Bob’s boy