Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Asa II Chronicles 14

II Chronicles 14:1 "So Abijah slept with his fathers and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years."

Refer to I Kings 15:7-8 and I Kings 15:8-10

In the first ten years of Asa's reign there was no war. In the first 35 years there was only one.

v9 "And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopiah with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah."

The Ethiopians had a million man army while Asa had 560,000. v8 The odds seemed not to be in his favor. But Asa trusted the Lord.

It is hard for me to imagine a million and a half men fighting at one time. The bloodshed must have been awful. At least, then they could see the results of war up close so peace must have been precious to them.

v11 "And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power; help us, O LORD our God for we rest on thee and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD thou art our God, let not man prevail against thee."

See II Chronicles 16:8

Asa put the LORD out front. He indicated to the LORD that a defeat of Judah would be the same as a defeat for God since they were trusting in him. We know that there is no defeat for God. So Asa smote the enemy and brought back spoils from the land. For the next years, Asa spent his time fortifying the cities. Then we will see in the next chapter how he handled the next war.

Psalm 1:6 "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous but the way of the ungodly shall perish."

Asa defeats Ethiopia.

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Ending

We are fast approaching the end of 2008. It has been a year like no other. Things have changed so fast in so many areas that it has been hard to keep up. Some of us have lost family members. Some have lost jobs. Some have lost homes. The very face of the world seems to have changed. We have gone from financial stability to the edge of ruin. The weather even seems to be attacking us. Needless to say, these are tough times. We have been shaken from our comfort zones. It is not a time to despair. That is easier to say than to do. Despair is an enemy that we must all fight against. Little ones are looking to us older folks for hope. We may have been battered by life and be looking for a place to 'park it' but these little ones have their life ahead of them. It is our responsibility to seek strength from the LORD so that we can guide them. That strength lies in his word where we find his promises. One I like is where he said 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'

The journey of this Bible Study started back in 2006. It has been hard at times to turn to the next chapter and search for a truth that might help someone. Consistent throughout the scripture is the fact that when God says something will happen, it will happen. We started in Genesis where Adam and Eve sinned against the LORD and he had to shed innocent blood to provide a covering for them. A promise of redemption was made, a nation was born. A great king named David became ruler of that kingdom and through him the promise for redemption continues. I have said that this nation is like a pregnant lady carrying the promise down through the ages. Efforts continue in our studies to destroy that nation but the LORD is faithful. We know from further reading that a remnant did survive and was there when Christ was born of the tribe of David and the promise of redemption was fulfilled. God's promises are reliable.

So another year comes. We must lift up our heads and find strength to point our children to the LORD. His word is stable in times of turmoil. He is faithful.

Abijah II Chronicles 13

II Chronicles 13:4 "And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim which is in mount Ephraim and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all Israel;"

Abijah, king of Judah and Jeroboam, king of the ten tribes of Israel, are facing each other ready to do battle. Judah is outnumbered and surrounded. Abijah does some pretty good preaching to Israel. He tells them about their false gods and how they have forsaken the proper worship of the LORD with false priests. He also reminds them how they overcame Rehoboam when he was young and tender. It is as if Abijah is saying: It is not the same now. He reminds Rehoboam that he descended from a servant of Solomon and not from the line of David as he himself does.

v6 "Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up and hath rebelled against his lord."

This statement must have had an effect on the men of Israel, for they knew it was true.

v8 "And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods."

Here is what Jeroboam had going for them: a great multitude, golden calves, false priests and a trap where they had surrounded Judah while Abijah delivered his sermon. Judah had another advantage though.

v12 "And behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you, O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers, for ye shall not prosper."

Abijah looked around and saw the trap. Judah did three things in the face of these odds: v14 They cried unto the LORD, the priests sounded with the trumpets, they gave a shout.

v15" came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel..."

Being outnumbered and surrounded by the enemy is not hopeless when God is on our side.

Jeroboam was stricken sick and never recovered, neither was Israel (ten tribes) able to become strong against Judah.

v21 "But Abijah waxed mighty,..."

Psalm 18:29 "For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall."

Abijah defeats Jeroboam.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas 2008

I have often told my children when they come to me with a problem: Some things, you just have to let God fix. I can listen but I cannot mend a broken heart but God can. I can weep over lost souls but God can redeem them. I can sorrow over a wasted life but I cannot convince another to turn from a destructive path but God can woe them with his great love. I cannot fill the empty places that life leaves in our life but God can. He is well able to be for us what we need at this time in our life. I have often felt helpless but it is true peace to be able to put my concerns in the strong and loving hands of the LORD. He really does love us.

Isaiah 55:4 "Behold I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people."

Isaiah 2:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign, Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel."

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Luke 1:26-31 "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary, And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him she was troubled at his saying and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her Fear not Mary; for thou hast found favour with God. And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. v32 He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the LORD God shall give unto him the throne of his father Davie; v33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob, for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

Luke 2 "And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria,) And all went o be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David;) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

John 4:14 "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

Luke 23:33 "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left."

Luke 24:1-7 "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning they came unto the sepulchre bringing the spices which they had prepared and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they wee afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen, remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."

I Peter 1:19-20 "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."

Jesus does not hold out an empty hand but bears the gift of salvation for you. Won't you Reach out and take His gift of eternal life.

Rehoboam's Apostasy II Chronicles 12

II Chronicles 12:1 "And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD and all Israel with him." I Kings 14:21-24 Also Isaiah chapter 61 is a good read in connection.

We have read it before, Rehoboam was a king who honored the LORD for three years but once he was established in Judah and felt he had fortified the kingdom (Judah), he left doing as the law said. v14 Deuteronomy 31:16.

Jeroboam came up from Egypt upon Solomon's death and the ten tribes of Israel followed him after Reoboam's disastrous speech to them. Now Rehoboam has forsaken the LORD and 'did evil', so he is invaded by Egypt. Along with Egypt, came Lubims, Sukkiims, and Ethiopians. Twelve hundred chariots and 60,000 horsemen came storming into Judah and took the fenced cities.

v6 "Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said The LORD is righteous."

Rehoboam served the LORD then left him, he is protector of Jerusalem where the LORD had chosen to put his name. He cannot get away with leaving the LORD and leading the people to do so. Jeroboam on the other hand never proposed to serve the LORD, yet he served much longer.
I think Rehoboam had it better since the LORD cared enough for him to chasten him.

The LORD spared Jerusalem but did not let them off completely.

v8 "Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries."

v12 "And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether; and also in Judah things went well."

Rehoboam served from the time he was 41 for seventeen years in Jerusalem. His son Abijah took his place as king.

Isaiah 61:11 "For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."

Rehoboam turns from the LORD. His punishment.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rehoboam Ready to Fight II Chronicles 11

II Chronicles 11:1 "And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam." (I Kings 12:21)

In the aftermath of Rehoboam's speech to the people, where he spoke meanly to them, the people separated themselves from him. He now assemblies an army to forcefully bring them back under his rule. It was not to be so.

v2 "But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying v3 Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying:

v4 "Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house; for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD and returned from going against Jeroboam."

Thus the kingdom is divided. Rehoboam fortified Judah and Jeroboam set up camp in Shechem.

Shechem was therefore the first capitol of the ten tribes that rebelled, now called Israel. So, for now we refer to the ten tribes as Israel and the rest as Judah located in Jerusalem. It is also where Joseph was buried.

Jeroboam cared little for the correct worship (remember he had been in Egypt) so he ordained his own priests to worship images in the high places. The Levites then left their homes and went to Jerusalem.

v14 "For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem; for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest's office unto the LORD:"

For a while (three years) Rehoboam followed the LORD, until his kingdom was established. See next chapter. In the mean time he is marrying, a lot. He wanted many wives and had many children. One of this children was Abijah, the son of the wife he loved the most. He made him chief hoping he would be king someday.

v22 "And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren, for he thought to make him king."

In the next chapter, his downfall.

Proverbs 3:1-2 "My son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days and long life, and peace shall they add to thee."

Rehoboam reigns over Judah. Jeroboam reigns over the ten tribes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rehoboam II Chronicles 10

II Chronicles 10:1 "And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king."

Rehoboam ends up being the king of Judah. He might have been king over all Israel except for the word of the LORD that the kingdom would be divided but not in Solomon's time. So out of Egypt an adversary hears of Solomon's death and comes to claim the throne of Israel.

v2 "And it came to pass when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heart it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.

War almost broke out between the two but a prophet was sent to Rehoboam to tell him it was of God and to not go up to battle. He heeded the word and instead fortified Judah.

v13 "And the king answered them roughly and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, v14 And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying , My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto, my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."

In our day we would call that listening to our buddies instead of your elders. It got Rehoboam off on the wrong foot with Israel, so the time was ripe when Jeroboam came on the scene. Israel even renounced having any thing to do with the house of David.

v19 "And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day."

More on this story in the next chapter.

Psalm 35:19 "Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me; neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause."

Rehoboam king of Judah.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Solomon and Queen of Sheba II Chronicles 9

II Chronicles 9:5 "And she said to the king. It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom...v...behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me;.."

Often we hear what the Queen of Sheba said and Solomon's great wealth is mentioned. Here we find that it is his wisdom (a gift from God) that she is so amazed about.

Sheba is or was a very fertile country in Arabia which adjoins the Red Sea.

She had a great caravan loaded with treasures to give Solomon as gifts. He in turn gave her gifts. I expect she got more treasure than she brought with her because of this verse.

v12 "And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants."

The key phrase is 'all her desire'. I believe it was his wisdom that she sought most and I picture her listening intently to his every word. Unlike the movies, I believe there was no romance between them. It does say she returned to her own land and from the passage I can see no interval of time where she stayed a long time.

v23 "And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart."

v26 "And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt."

This chapter magnifies Solomon greatly (for he was a great king) but leaves out some of the things he did that are written in a previous book. That is often the case, once mistakes are made and the individual has paid his own price for the mistake, the good things he did are mentioned over and over in scripture.

v30, 31 "And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers and he was buried in the city of David his father; and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead."

Psalm 136:1 "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."

Solomon is visited by the queen of Sheba. Solomon's greatness and his death.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Solomon's Buildings II Chronicles 8

II Chronicles 8:1 "And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house,"

Then follows a listing of the building projects Solomon pursued.

Huram (Hiram) had restored some cities to Solomon and Solomon built them up and put his people in them. v2

He then captured other cities and put his people there. v3, 4, 5, 6.

v7 "As for all the people that were left of the Hittites, and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites which were not of Israel v8 But of their children, who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel consumed not, them did Solomon make to pay tribute until this day."

Solomon set things up after the commandments of Moses and his father David as far as the offerings and sacrifices and those who praised with song and instruments.

v11 "And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her; for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come."

With the help of Huram, Solomon set up a navy and brought in gold from Ophir. v18.

So Solomon, the builder, has now been king for twenty (20) years. He has been very busy. His kingdom is established. I believe Pharaoh's daughter had a great influence on him in the years to come. Solomon obviously wished to please her as well as his other wives. We shall see how that goes.

Psalm 72:3 "The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness."

Solomon has reigned 20 years and builds more buildings and cities.

Monday, December 15, 2008

God Accepts the Temple II Chronicles 7

II Chronicles 7:1 "Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house."

I mentioned in the last chapter that what if you or I built a house for a loved one and when we showed it to them, they said they didn't like or want it.

That did not happen with the temple Solomon built. The LORD honored the temple and the effort that was put forth. The temple came about when David was sitting with the prophet Nathan in his own house and realized the ark was in a tent. He determined to build a house for the LORD's name but was not allowed to do so because of the blood he had shed. Solomon was allowed to build the temple using the preparations David had made and his own. It is wonderful when you do something for someone and they like it.

v12 "And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice."

Although, we know, Israel departed from the LORD and the temple was destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed again, God has not changed his mind about that place and the temple will be rebuilt once again. That will be a great day. (Many references could be placed here, the temple is a study all its own. Daniel and Revelation would make good reading.)

v15&16 "Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually."

I think of the Lord Jesus Christ walking up and down in Israel and his great disappointment when he found the temple being used for profit instead of its intended use (John 2:13-16). Over in Ezekiel, He declares to the prophet(my own perception of the words) , 'look what they have done to my house'. Ezekiel 8:6.

The chapter also contains a warning of what happens to the temple when Israel forsakes the LORD. It also tells Solomon his choice of following the LORD and being blessed or turning aside and not being blessed.

v17-18 "And as for the, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel."

There is a great desire, in this day, in Israel to rebuild the temple. It is not just a building but rather a mark in time when prophecy will be fulfilled. There are those who do not want it to happen and fight against it, but it will happen when the time is right.

(There were three temples built: by Solomon, by Zerubbabel (see Ezra), by Herod the Great. The last one was destroyed by Titus in AD70 fulfilling Jesus' words of Matt 24:2.)

Psalm 40:17 "But I am poor and needy; yet the LORD thinketh upon me; thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God."

God accepts the temple as a place to put his name.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Temple Dedication II Chronicles 6

II Chronicles 6:1-2 "Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. (Exodus 19:9;20:21) But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever."

That was Solomon's opening statement, then he turned to the people and recited some history about David and the promise the LORD made to him. Solomon later mentions this to the LORD.

v12 "And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:"

It is important to notice the progression of this prayer. He is here standing before the people on a platform he made of brass. Then in the next verse he knelt down and spread forth his hands toward heaven.

After that Solomon seems to cover every instance of how Israel might sin but ask that if they turn back to the LORD and from their wicked ways that he forgive them. We will see the LORD's answer in the next chapter.

v22 "If a man sin against his neighbor..."
v24 "And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy..."
v26 "When the heaven is hut up, and there is no rain..."
v28 "If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence..."
v32 "Moreover concerning the strangers..."
v34 "If thy people go out to war..."
v37 "Yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive..."
v38 "If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul..."

v39 "Then hear thou from the heavens...and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee."

Solomon speaks of the various features of the LORD and himself in this chapter:
v3 his face, v4 LORD's mouth, v7 David's heart, v12 his hands, v13 his knees, v15 LORD's mouth, hand, v20 LORD's eyes, v20- LORD's name, Lord's ear and his dwelling place.

Solomon speaks of the elements: lack of rain, war, pestilence. He also speaks of the captivity. But most of all he speaks of sin, turning from sin by the people and forgiveness by the LORD. Solomon well understands the nature of the people he rules.

Psalm 107:28 "Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses."

Solomon dedicates the temple.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Temple Ready II Chronicles 5

II Chronicles 5:1 "Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God."

Imagine for a moment, if you had a loved one and that you built them a very fine house especially for them. Then, they told you they did not want it. Solomon has gone to a lot of effort in building the temple. In this chapter or next, he entreats the LORD to inhabit it, at least in name.

But he was not disappointed for the LORD is faithful.

v13 "It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick and praised the LORD, saying For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever; that then the house was filled with a cloud even the house of the LORD; v14 So that the priest could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God."

In the book of Revelation, there is a description of the bride of Christ, New Jerusalem. It is a majestic city with gates made of a single pearl and walls of precious material and a street of gold. It was made in heaven. The temple Solomon built, although great by earth standards could not compare. Yet the LORD honored the effort and came down and entered the temple. He is good to his people.

There was unity on this day in Israel, the sounds were as one.

Revelation 21:23 "And the city had no need of the sun neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof."

The ark is brought into the temple.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Articles in Temple II Chronicles 4

II Chronicles 4:1 "Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof."

This was not the typical altar we see in churches these days, at least in most churches in days gone by. This altar was used for animal sacrifices and so had to be rather large. 30 feet by 30 feet by 15 feet. I am not an expert but I think the height (15 feet) was to allow a place for stuff to fall away when the animals were sacrificed.

Many Bibles have a graph of the temple. It was made in the fashion of the tabernacle. The temple was of course more extravagant. It was made like a rectangle inside a rectangle plus the porch. Preparations were made outside the inner court, i.e. the washing and cleaning of ones self. Then the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies where the LORD appeared.

As the priest approached from the outside, the importance of cleanliness became progressively more important as the Holy of Holies was approached. Man cannot be in the presence of God without the blood to compensate for mans sinfulness. That is why the blood of Jesus is so important to us. He sacrificed once for all time and so the rigorous ceremony of the law is not now necessary in Jesus.

Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

Hebrews 9:12 "Neither by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place having obtained eternal redemption for us."

Then in this chapter we have a listing of the various instruments and what they were made of. Precious metals all but it is said of the gold used that it was perfect gold.

v20-21 "Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold; And the flowers and the lamps and the tongs made he of gold and that perfect gold;"

So great care and great expense went into the building and furnishing of the temple. After all, Solomon had said that he was building a great house for the name of the LORD.

Psalm 138:2 "I will worship toward thy holy temple and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

Solomon makes the things to furnish the temple.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Solomon Begans to Build Temple II Chronicles 3

II Chronicles 3:1 "Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

Back when David numbered the people against the Lord's will and the angel was destroying the people, it was here where David told the LORD that it was he who sinned and to please spare the people. Here on mount Moriah Solomon began to build the temple. It was to be a magnificent building.

The basic structure was 60 cubits by 20 cubits or 90 by 30 feet. 1 cubit is 18 inches.

In front of this was a porch which was 20 cubits by a height of 120 cubits. Verse 4 does not say how wide (how far out from the front of the basic structure) the porch was. It was overlaid with gold within. So upon entry, the scene was striking.

v7 "And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty and the gold was gold of Parvaim."

Everywhere the house sparkled with gold silver and precious stones. The most holy place was given special attention. Two cherubims stretched for 20 cubits (30 feet) their wings from side to side over the ark with their wings touching in the middle. They faced inward toward the altar.

v14 "And he made the veil of blue and purple and crimson and fine linen and wrought cherubims thereon."

These representing royalty and the blood. (I see nothing else the crimson could represent)

Verse 17 is interesting. The pillars were named after Boaz who married Ruth of Moab who was a stranger in Israel but was married to a Jewish man who was the husband of Naomi. They had gone down to Moab during a drought where all died but Naomi and the daughters-in-law. Ruth refused to leave Naomi and so became the wife of Boaz of whom Jesse and David and Solomon descended, as well as Jesus Christ. Jachin was the head of the twenty-first course of the priests. His name means he shall establish. Boaz means fleetness and strength.

v17 "And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand and the other on the left and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin and the name of that on the left Boaz."

Psalm 97 "Ye that love the LORD, hate evil; he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked."

Solomon starts work on the temple and the beauty is described in this chapter of Chronicles in our Bible Study.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Solomon Prepares to Build II Chronicles 2

II Chronicles 2:1 "And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom."

Solomon needed labor, material and expertise. He got the labor from the people, the strangers in the land. The timber he got from Lebanon and the expertise he got from the king of Tyre in the son of a woman of Dan and a father of Tyre. This one man was cunning in many things.

70,000 were designated to bear burdens
60,000 to hew in the mountains
3600 to oversea the workers

In exchange for the timber that Tyre provided Israel would give great quantities of food.

v10 "And behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber; twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil."

The king of Tyre agreed to the terms and replied with compliments to King Solomon.

v17 "And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father hand numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred."

I can not imagine all the activity that was going on in preparation for the building of the temple, but the awesome number of people working must have been a sight to see. The task of feeding all of the people and the animals would have been a big job.

v5 "And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods."

Psalm 11:3 "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

Bible Study. Solomon gathers people and material to build the temple.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Solomon II Chronicles 1

II Chronicles 1:7 "In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee."

What an amazing question from one who could actually give whatever was asked!

Solomon remembered the words of his earthly father (David) and asked for wisdom and knowledge to lead the people. It impressed the LORD greatly. Not only did Solomon get what he asked for but also all the things the average person might ask for.

v12 "Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee and I will give thee riches and wealth and honour such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like."

That is where Solomon's greatness came from...God himself.

Solomon came down from the mountain and began gathering chariots and horses for his kingdom. He also gathered precious metals for the house of the LORD.

v15 "And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance."

So again we look at the story of Solomon. There may be some new things here and some other details left out that are in our previous study of Solomon. Solomon was not perfect but he did accomplish the work he was ordained to do. He built the temple.

Psalm 87:1-3 "His foundation is in the holy mountain. The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge to lead the people.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Notes On II Chronicles

"And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly,"

One striking thing about these times (to me) is the reference to the LORD made by other cultures: 'the LORD his God'. I found writers acknowledging the LORD as a persons God or the God of Israel even though they themselves worshipped other gods. An example is in the next book of Ezra with king Cyrus of Persia.

Both books of Chronicles can be considered one book and were probably written during the captivity in Babylon. Some change in language is reflective of the writers picking up terms from the land they live in. One example is the reference to the house of the LORD as a palace. It was called the tabernacle, sanctuary temple but in I Chronicles 29:1 David refers to it as a palace which was probably a word picked up in Babylon.

Isaiah 1-5 gives a summary of the spiritual state of Israel at the time of this writing with exceptions during the reign of certain kings i.e. Asa and Hezekiah and others. Isaiah 1:8 "And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city."

Before I can go into this book, however, I must get my computer repaired. So for my absence I apologize. I'll get back as soon as I can make repairs or get the money to have someone else do it for me. Keep up your studies.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

David Exhorts I Chronicles 29

I Chronicles 29:1 "Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God."

David has grown old and it is time for Solomon to take over the kingdom. We know from reading other passages that David is sick in bed and another of his sons is attempting to take over the kingdom. God has chosen Solomon alone to be king.

I have divided the chapter into sections as I see them: Preaching, giving, thanksgiving, action, reviewing of David's reign.

v3 "Moreover because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house."

David here sets the example on giving. He has already dedicated a lot to the house of God but he now gives of his own property. He calls it his proper good. The people follow suit but the key word is willingly.

v9 Then the people rejoiced for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD; and David the king also rejoiced with great joy."

David now turns to the LORD in prayer. He recognizes that all things belong to God in the first place and they are but giving it back to him.

v14 "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee."

Amid rejoicing, giving, and thanksgiving, Solomon is made king.

v22 "And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest. I Samuel 10:1, I Kings 1:27-35)

So David dies and Solomon is king and we know of his greatness as well as David's. It seems their greatness was for different reasons but I think it was for one reason and that, that they honored God first.

Psalms5:2 "Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God; for unto thee will I pray.

David addresses the people. Solomon is made king.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to You All

It is a special time to remember our blessings. Although life is continuously changing and challenging, there are many things I can think of that are a blessing to my life. My mind is still clear enough to find a blessing in reading the Bible and in doing this study. People still have great capacity for kindness as illustrated by their kind words and deeds during the passing of our son. God's grace is new every day for the things that face us, both old and routine and new and often frightening. I am still amazed with the newness and steadfastness of His great love. May you have a happy day.

David Calls Assembly I Chronicles 28

I Chronicles 28:1 "And David assembled all the princes of Israel,... v2 Then David the king stood up upon his feet and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people:"

We know from reading Kings that a lot was going on during this time. Another of David's sons was trying to usurp the kingdom from Solomon. David was sick. But on this day, David is much the king.

v4 "Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the House of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel;"

David asserts here the will of God in making him king and in choosing Judah as the ruling family of Israel. There had been division between Judah and the rest of Israel but on this day there was unity. David of Judah was the king. Based on that assertion, David makes the next one.

v5 "And of all my son, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD, over Israel."

Of all the sons, perhaps Solomon was an unlikely one to be king. He was not a young man of war as Israel had been accustomed with Saul and David. Solomon had a purpose and that was to build the house of the LORD.

Then David addresses Solomon directly: v10 "Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong and do it."

v11 "Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch and of the houses thereof and of the treasuries thereof, ..."

David in other words, gave Solomon the blueprint to be followed and the precious metals to be used in the building. Much had been dedicated to the house of God but David added to that of his personal wealth as we will see in the next chapter.

v20 "And David said, to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it; fear not, nor be dismayed; for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD."

So David first established the will of God in the minds of the people that his line was the ordained line to the throne. Then, he declares that Solomon is to follow him with the purpose of building the temple. A man of war passes the throne to a man of peace and a builder.

Psalm 4:3 "But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

David reminds the people that his kingship was ordained of God.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twelve Captains I Chronicles 27

I Chronicles 27:1 "Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand."

David is still setting up the kingdom in an orderly manner. He covers each month and assigns men to be over the duties of the king. He also recognizes the leaders of the twelve tribes. David was old and was closing on his 40th year on the throne, but he was a very busy man. This seems to have taken place during the time when David numbered the people as referenced in verse 23. Although, I cannot tell if it is chronological or not.

v1 The twelve captains for every several months
v16 The princes of the twelve tribes
v23 The numbering of the people is hindered
v25 David's several officers

Psalm 21:1 "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will."

keywords: David, Chronicles, twelve tribes, princes. David organizes the kingdom.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

David Feared but Later I Chronicles 21:30 Psalms 23

I Chronicles 21:30 "But David could not go before it to enquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD."

Children sometimes learn fear before they learn love. Perhaps, they always learn fear first but that is not in the parents heart, to make them fear. The parents heart is to cause them to learn respect for authority and to have a happy life.

David had done that which was forbidden. He numbered the people. There was a great price to pay for that sin. In the end, David was afraid. It may have been the first time for David to fear. He had ripped the lion by its jaws and slain the bear. He had killed the giant. He had slain his 'ten thousands'. He was a leader of men who could have themselves been mighty leaders.

We turn to Psalms 23.

v4 "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

The rod and staff were tools of a shepherd. The rod could be used for discipline and the staff could be used to rescue a lamb or sheep on a cliff. The staff was restrictive. When a lamb wondered off, I expect they quaked when the shepherd came calling them with his rod and staff. If not the first time, the second time for sure. I am told that sometimes a shepherd would have to break a leg, maybe two, to stop a lamb from wondering off. The shepherd would then carry the lamb until it was well again.

So, it was fear that first got the attention of the lamb. But the rod and staff were used to ward off the enemy. The shepherd would use the tools expertly to run off or kill wild beast that were a threat to the lambs and sheep. As time went on, the lamb grew and learned that the shepherd was there to protect them and they learned to appreciate the weapons of comfort that the shepherd carried. Fear was replaced with love and respect. They answered only to his call.

David learned this lesson. The LORD's disciplinary measures were to teach and protect him. David in turn learned to return the love of the shepherd with respect and honor and discipline. He learned that obeying was for his own good.

v5 "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."

Within the care circle of the shepherd, it did not matter that the enemy circled in the shadows. The sheep was free to enjoy the comfort of security created by the shepherd and to partake of the blessings: a table prepared, oil to heal and more than enough from the cup.

The future is not to be feared for: v6 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

I John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Missing Days of Study

My eldest son passed away this week so I don't know when a new post will come out.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Porters and Treasures I Chronicles 26

I Chronicles 26:1 "Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph."

As we know, Asaph wrote a number of the Psalms and was put in charge of the singers. It was said of him that he 'made a sound with the cymbal.' Making a sound with a cymbal may not seem like much but (not being a musician) it seems that timing would be everything to make a cymbal fit in with other instruments. So we can say that Asaph had timing and it must have run in the family.

This chapter seems like only a list of names for porters, some who watched the gates and some who watched after vessels and the treasures. As I was looking at the chapter I wondered what I could point out that might be a help. The Bible gives little short burst about these trustworthy men. Following is a sort of list of those:

In verse 5 it is said of Obed-edom, because he had eight sons instead of seven like others mentioned here that "...for God blessed him."

v6 "...for they were mighty men of valour."
v7 "...whose brethren were strong men..."
v8" men for strength for the service..."
v9"...strong men..."
v10"...for though he was not the firstborn, yet his father made him the chief..."
v13 "And they cast lots, as well the small as the great..."


v20 "And of the Levites, Ahijah was over the treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the dedicated things."

These things were taken in wars and dedicated to the LORD by different men: Samuel the seer, Saul the son of Kish, Abner the son of Ner, Joab teh sonof Zeruiah v28.

v31 "...they were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valour..."

It is a good thing that when men are needed for a purpose that they are there to be found. I guess we could say that we ought to be findable.

So David, in his fortieth year, set these things in order with men over all the important things of the nation Israel and the house of the LORD. As the Bible says, "...for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king." Much of Solomon's success was due to the diligence of his father David.

Psalm 6:5 "For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave who shall give thee thanks?"

Keywords: David, Bible, Asaph, Abner, Joab. David continues to set the kingdom in order.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Singers I Chronicles 25

I Chronicles 25:1 "Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:"

v7 "So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight." (288)

The balance of the chapter list those assigned to the singing and music of the house of the LORD.

I can see a lesson in this chapter, that younger people need guidance in the service of the LORD. Some are talented in one thing, some another. Here the fathers were responsible for teaching their sons.

Psalm 98:1 "O sing unto the LORD a new song, for he hath done marvellous things; his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory."

keywords: David, singers, house of the LORD, Aaron, Asaph. Singers are appointed.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Who Might Benefit from this Study?

The study I am doing here is not a deep theological one. It is a simple journey through the Bible with links back to other parts of the Bible we have already went over. Who might benefit from this study? I was thinking of service personnel who may have only a few minutes to get a quick clip of the Bible before they go off on their duties. I was thinking of people on the move, who might want to just have a few minutes with the Bible. I was thinking of friends who have journeyed to places and have not carried their Bible. Perhaps friends in foreign countries where the Bible is not even allowed. I'll leave it up to your imagination but we know that people should honor the Bible by reading some here and there if not everyday. So please get the word out. I'd like to see the little map covered with dots where people have stopped by to read a passage. Thank you for passing it on. Milton J Southerland

Aaron's Sons I Chronicles 24

I Chronicles 24:1 "Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron Nadab, and Abibu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. v2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children, therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest's office."

Aaron had two sons left after judgment was executed on two of them for bringing false fire before the LORD. The duties of the children of the other two are decided by lot.

These actions were overseen by David to set things in order for the future.

v31 "These likewise cast lots over against their brethren the sons of Aaron in the presence of David the king, and Zadok, and Abimelech, and the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites, even the principal fathers over against their younger brethren."

It may help to remember that this book was probably written in Babylon. It is important to have these things recorded for the day when Israel returns to the promise land. As the generations pass by in captivity, there will still be a record of what people's duties are upon their return.

Psalm 8:3 "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?"

Keywords: Zadok, Abimelech, Israel, Chronicles, Aaron. David sets down the division of duties of Aaron's sons.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sons of Levi I Chronicles 23

I Chronicles 23:2 "And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites."

This chapter is primarily about the Levites and their division but the first verse lets us know that David has made Solomon king.

Levi was one of the sons of Jacob (Israel). Levi had four sons. Since Aaron is the main focus, we can trace him from Levi's son Kohath (who had four sons) to Amram who had Aaron and Moses. Aaron and descendants were given specific duties:

v13 "The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever."

With the sons of Aaron having these duties, it left many other Levites. These other Levites were also set aside to a duty.

v28 "Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the LORD, in the courts and in the chambers and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God;"

Therefore, as I understand it, Aaron's sons were to minister to before the LORD in a more spiritual manner while the other Levites were to take care of all the chores associated with that ministry, the physical part of the ministry. The sons of Aaron were not distracted by cleaning and guarding and maintenance, they were to minister to the LORD on behalf of the people.

That is not to say that any of the ministry was not spiritual but it was the sons of Aaron who went into the holy place.

v30 And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;" was also part of the ministry of the other Levites.

Churches follow much the same pattern. The spiritual leaders of the church guide the church in spiritual manners while if the building needs painting, it ought to be the members who see to those chores, as well as helping the downcast.

Psalm 107:33 "He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; v34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein."

Keywords: David, Levi, Aaron, Moses, service, Levites. Ministry of the Levites designated by David.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

David Prepares Material for Temple I Chronicles 22

I Chronicles 22:1 "Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt-offering for Israel."

David's desire was to build a temple to bring the ark and the altar back together in one place. The LORD would not allow David to build the temple but said his son would, so David gathered material for the purpose. Here is the reason David could not build the house.

v8 "But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight."

That is not to say that the LORD was denouncing David for fighting the wars for Israel. It was a point of separation: David prepared the way through war, for a time of peace in which Solomon could build the temple. David was a man of war. Solomon was a man of peace.

v9 "Behold a son shall be born to thee who shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about, for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness not Israel in his days."

You may remember from previous studies how Solomon ask of the LORD wisdom so he could judge the people and the LORD was well pleased and also gave him wealth. David in his charge to Solomon mentioned that he should seek wisdom.

v12 "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."

Solomon was a man who listened and did ask the LORD for wisdom as his father David suggested.

David could not build the house but he did a lot to prepare the way by gathering building materials and precious metals. He wanted it to be a grand place and it was.

v14 "Now behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto."

I can almost envision David and Solomon going for a walk, perhaps when Solomon was a boy. They walk past piles of timber and great piles of iron nails. Then David takes his young son to the storehouse where there is gold piled on one wall and silver and brass all around. I suspect Solomon asked what it was all for and David replied that it was for the LORD's house. If it had been me, I think I would have thought that the LORD must be quite great to have such a house built for him. That's just my writer's imagination talking but I have also raised two sons.

To the others of royal blood David gave a charge also.

v19 "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."

Pretty good, isn't it? One generation can have an impact on the next.

Psalm 107:7 "And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation."

Keywords: David, Solomon, temple, gold, sanctuary. David instructs Solomon on building the temple.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

David's Sin of Numbering I Chronicles 21

I Chronicles 21:1 "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." Reference II Samuel 24:1-9

There was a time when the LORD gave instructions to number the people. For example, when the Levites were established as the priesthood, there was an equal exchange of persons. It was, however, forbidden for anyone to just decide to number the people out of curiosity. That is basically what David was doing.

Joab gave David good advice to not number the people. He called it abominable in verse 6. But David insisted.

v5 "And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And al they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword." Joab left off Benjamin and Levi in the numbers because he felt it was wrong to count the people.

The prophet Gad came to David and told him what Joab had already tried to warn him about. The LORD was displeased. v7

v8 "And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."

The situation is this: David and Joab have established the kingdom and defeated the enemies of Israel. I think David could have a time of peace now if he had not willfully sinned in numbering the people. It was not hard to convince him that he had sinned. I think he knew it before he sent Joab out to do the job. Now he confesses and although the LORD is quick to forgive, sin always has a price to be paid.

v10 "Go and tell David, saying Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee."

The three things were: 1)three years famine 2) three months of destruction by his enemies or 3) three days pestilence at the hand of the LORD.

v13 "And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man."

70,000 men fell in the pestilence before the angel came to Jerusalem to destroy it. The LORD did indeed show mercy then.

v15 "And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

David is greatly saddened. Sin hurts everyone. David stood and begged the LORD to take his own life and spare Jerusalem for it was he who sinned and not the people. v17

v18 "Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

Ornan had also seen the angel, verse 20, and offered to give David the property and animals to offer but David insisted on buying the property. verse 24. Ornan made a statement that we should all take to heart. v23 end "...I give it all."

So David built the altar and made sacrifices there. To me, the separation that sin causes is the saddest part of the whole thing. The LORD and David talked through the prophet and the angel because of the sin that came between them. David's sin.

Then there is verse 30 which makes a statement about David. He who loved the LORD and was a man after God's own heart, was afraid of the LORD.

v30 "But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD." Speaking of the tabernacle that Moses made. v29.

Psalm 64:9 "And all men shall fear and shall declare the work of God: for they shall wisely consider of his doing."

Keywords: David, Joab, Ornan, threshing floor, numbering people. David sins in numbering the people.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rabbah I Chronicles 20

I Chronicles 20:1 "And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah and destroyed it."

Ammon are the people who had a new king who got poor advice and shamed the messengers of David. I believe after the first campaign, it would have been winter then this battle took place in the spring. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.

For me the key phrases are: at the time that kings go out to battle and David tarried at Jerusalem. It marks a difference in the activity of David. Joab is the captain of the host but usually the king would lead the campaign. David tarried.

v3 "And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws and with harrows of iron and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem."

David also took of Ammon a crown made of a talent of gold inlaid with precious stones and put it on his head.

Next there was war with the Philistines. There was again a giant to deal with. One with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. David had a brother with a son named Jonathan. It was he who slew the giant of the Philistines.

v8 "These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants."

At this point it appears that Ammon has been destroyed as well as the Philistines.

Psalm 107: 39 "Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow."

Keywords: David, Joab, Ammon, Philistines, Gath. Joab defeats Ammon. Another giant is killed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Joab's Campaign I Chronicles 19

I Chronicles 19:2 "And David said I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him."

Nahash, king of Ammon has died. David wanted to show kindness in a genuine way by sending messengers to express his sympathies. The son of Nahash had some poor advisers though. They convinced the new king that David was up to some trick. They shamed the messengers by shaving half their beards and shortening their garments.

v5 "Then there went certain and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return."

The Ammon's realized they had made a grave mistake. They apparently knew that David would avenge his messengers. For in representing the king, it was as if they had shamed David himself.

v7 So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots and the king of Machah and his people; who came and pitched before Medeba. And the children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities and came to battle."

David sent Joab to deal with them. Joab found himself surrounded and so divided his forces. The idea was that which ever division that needed help, the other would turn and help.

v12 "And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me; but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will hep thee."

It was a good plan and the enemy lost many of the hosts and fled the battlefield. The Syrians tried another maneuver but David himself, went out to battle and took on the Syrians.

v18 "But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host.

The Syrians made peace with Israel and would not again help Ammon.

Psalm 124:6 "Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth."

Keywords: Joab, Israel, Chronicles, David, Syrians. Joab fights for Israel as captain of the host.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

David's Wars I Chronicle 18

I Chronicles 18:1 "Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hand of the Philistines."

Up until David, the Philistines and other nations have had a pretty easy time of it, harassing Israel and taking cities and territory from them. No so, when David became king. He conducts a campaign that was victorious over many enemies.

v2 "And he smote Moab... v3 And David smote Hadarezer... v4 And David took from him a thousand chariots and seven thousand horsemen... v6 Then David put garrisons in Syria-damascus..."

David accumulated great wealth in these wars. He brought back gold, silver and brass. These things he stored up and Solomon used it in the building of the temple.

v11 "Them also king David dedicated unto the LORD, with the silver and the gold that he brought from all these nations, from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek."

Joab came to power during this time and was placed over the host.

v15 "And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehosphaphat the son of Ahilud, recorder." v16 And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Shavsha was scribe:"

I call these David's Wars because after this Joab took over on the battlefield for the most part. A king can get pretty busy with internal affairs.

v14 "So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment, and justice among all his people."

Psalm 2:3 "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."

Keywords: David, Joab, Chronicles, Old Testament, war, Israel. David defeats his enemies.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

David's Desire - Davidic Covenant I Chronicles 17

I Chronicles 17:1 "Now it came to pass as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains."

v11 "And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. v12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever."

David has just brought back the ark and placed it in a tabernacle (tent). He has set up 68 people to attend to it and commanded that songs of praise and worship be sung. After this time of rejoicing, he returned to his house of cedar and was talking with Nathan the prophet. It dawned on him that he had a fine house but the ark was out there in a tent. So he decided he would like to build a house for the LORD.

The LORD's response: v5 "For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another."

In this passage, the LORD tells David through Nathan that David is the first to mention building a house and also that the LORD had not asked for one. I think it is a touching response to David's desire to build. I take it as 'you are the first to think of that'. But David would not get to build the house (temple) but did gather some material for that purpose.

Under the great covenant of David, the LORD talks to him about where he found him as a shepherd boy and how he had made him a renown king. He told David how he had been with him every step of the way in his life. It is a wonderful exchange.

This covenant of David has far reaching implications. It reaches down through the ages to Jesus Christ who will one day sit on the throne of David.

v16 "And David the king came and sat before the LORD and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?"

David is not talking to Nathan the prophet now. He has humbled himself before the LORD and offers a long prayer to him. He recognized the promise the LORD made and in this prayer agreed and prayed that it be so established.

v27 "Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever, for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever."

A good chapter to remember. We will see this promise fulfilled when Jesus rules from Jerusalem and the throne of David.

Revelation 21:5 "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful. v6 And he said unto me: It is done, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."

Keywords: David, covenant, Chronicles, ark. David wants to build the LORD's house, receives the Davidic Covenant.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

After Getting the Ark I Chronicles 16

I Chronicles 16:1 "So they brought the ark of God and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it and they offered burnt-sacrifices and peace-offerings before God."

We should note that although the ark was retrieved, sacrifices were still made in the high place at Gibeon. You could say the tabernacle was divided at this point.

The chapter is one of a praise and worship mood and list the appointments David made to honor God.
-David's festival sacrifice
-David orders a choir
-Psalm of Thanksgiving
-Ministers, porters, priests and musicians to attend the ark

v4 "And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:"

Here it list the people, one of particular note is Asaph who made a sound with cymbals: It doesn't say anything about it being a pretty sound or anything but he was there making a joyful noise. Psalm 100:1. Asaph wrote many of the Psalms also including: 50 and 73-83.

David delivered a psalm to get them started:

v7-8 "Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people." See also Psalm 105.

So after a failed attempt to bring in the ark, this effort is successful and David rallies the people and restores the Levites to their ordained purpose of ministering around the ark. Next we will find David going to his house and having a conversation with Nathan the prophet.

Psalm 50:1 (A Psalm of Asaph)
"The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. v2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined."

Keywords: Chronicles, Levites, Asaph, David, Psalms, ark of God, ark of the LORD. David sets up singers and ministers for the ark.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Getting Ark the Right Way I Chronicles 15

I Chronicles 15:12 "And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it."

We saw in chapter 13 where David had good intentions to bring up the ark but did it the wrong way. Here he has either read up on the subject or sought wisdom from the elders or God. How ever he got the information, he now knows how the ark should be transported and so instructs the priest.

For reference, I Chronicles 13, Numbers 4:1-15 Numbers 4:2, Deut. 10:8, 31:9

The ark was suppose to be carried upon the shoulders of the priest and not on a cart.

v15 "And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD. "

Every man was appointed his task and singers were appointed. The ark was brought up to the tabernacle David had ready. There was great rejoicing and David danced before the LORD.

v27 "And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen."

v28 "Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting and with sound of the cornet and with trumpets and with cymbals making a noise with psalteries and harps."

Michal did not understand the whole event and despised David for all his dancing.

The story continues in the next chapter.

Psalm 36:7 "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings."

Keywords: Chronicles, ark of covenant, David, Levites. David brings up the ark in the right way.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

David's Kingdom Established I Chronicles 14

I Chronicles 14:2 "And David perceived that the LORD had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel."

And his kingdom was lifted up. We saw a couple of chapters back all the armed men he had. The Bible called them mighty men. In this chapter they go up against the bullies of the area and give them a sound whipping.

v11 "So they came up to Ball-perazim; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters; therefore they call the name of that place Baal-perazim."

See also II Samuel 5:17-21

David is settling in as king. The king of Hiram as sent materials and people to build David a house. David has married and married and had many children. He has attempted to bring up the ark but did it the wrong way. This chapter covers the happenings during this time (generally). The Philistines must have been thinking that they could not afford to loose their hold on Israel for they tried again to unseat David.

In this battle, the LORD gave David specific instructions to fight with a different battle plan. He was to come up behind the enemy and wait for the sound in the mulberry trees which would indicate that the LORD was attacking ahead of him.

v15 "And it shall be when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines."

So the Philistines were defeated and the fame of David spread throughout the land.

Psalm 132:11 "The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David, he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne."

Keywords: Chronicles, Old Testament, David, Philistines, mulberry trees. David's kingdom is established, Philistines are defeated.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

David's First Attempt to Retrieve Ark of God I Chronicles 13

I Chronicles 13:6 "And David went up, and all Israel to Baalah, that is, to Kirjath-jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring u thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it."

The ark was the center of worship in the tabernacle and then the temple. It was where certain priests went into the holy of hollies to offer sacrifice to God for the sins of the people.

It had been stolen by the Philistines but returned after it caused them much heartache and body ache. But it had not been brought to the capitol of Israel. David sought to do so but in this first attempt went about it the wrong way. Back in the law the ark was to be carried a certain way and it was not on a cart. Priests were suppose to carry it on shafts put through rings.

v7 "And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Ussa and Ahio drave the cart."

For a priest to go before the ark, he must be purified and dressed a certain way. It is a dangerous thing for sinful man to go before a holy God without the blood covering.

v9 "And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Ussa put forth his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. v10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Ussa and he smote him because he put his hand to the ark, and there he died before God."

This story should stress the importance of the blood of Jesus Christ which was offered for our sin upon the cross of Calvary. His blood covers our sin in salvation so that we can stand before a holy God and not be struck down because of our sinful nature. It may be a hard thing for some to understand: Man has been sinful since the garden of Eden (we all know that story). Adam's sin has been passed down through his blood to all mankind. Jesus was sinless and so his pure blood took the place of our tainted blood. When God sees someone who has received Jesus Christ as Savior, He sees the blood of his son and not our own.

v12 "And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?"

Adam and Eve hid in the garden until they were clothed with the garment made by the LORD through the shedding of innocent blood. They were afraid and ashamed. Throughout the ministry Jesus often said 'Be not afraid.' He had come to take away the barrier between man and his Father.

In the days of this story, the law had been put aside much like the Bible has been pushed aside in our society. David did not know or ignored the instructions contained in the law as to how to transport the ark. He revived that knowledge in the next chapter as we will see. The answer was there all the time to the question of verse 12. People often asked the question these days: How can God? The answer is in the Bible.

v14 "And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that he had."

David left off bringing the ark of God to Jerusalem for a time. The house where it remained was blessed. I hope we do not push aside the word of God. It is our ark. It is our answer.

Why did David fail in bringing in the ark of God? He tried to do the right thing in the wrong way.

Psalm 34:12-14 "What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good, seek peace, and pursue it. v15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry."

Keywords: Chronicles, Old Testament, David, Ark of God, Ark of Covenant, Bible study, salvation. David's first attempt at bringing in the ark of God.