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.