When God began His marvelous creation, he started with the character of Himself. Darkness filled the earth, and the Spirit of God moved over the surface. He said, “Let there be light! And there was light!” [Gen 1:2-3]
John wrote: God is Light, and in him, there is no darkness at all. [1John 1: 5] The Psalmist added to that description: “He covers himself with light as if it were a garment.” [Ps 104:2]
God is pure and without sin, and He radiates that light in His creation. Jesus came to “testify about the light so that everyone might believe through him.” [John 1:7-9]. That is why Paul wrote in Romans 1: “since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” [Rom 1:20]
“God’s Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” [119:105] Draw near to God and allow Him to illuminate your path today.
1Chron 7 to 10 Do you see your area of service as God ordained?
God put into the heart of the Chronicler to record voluminous lists and lists of unpronounceable names and places where they lived. He also recorded the professions of the men who served in the Tabernacle. Some were gatekeepers or doormen. God assigned them to guard the gates of the Lord’s sanctuary. They stood guard at all four corners of the Tabernacle; 24/7. When their sons grew up, they too were gatekeepers.
Others were in charge of the articles used by those who served and counted them when they brought them in and when they brought them out. Ezra followed that pattern when Cyrus released them from captivity to return to Israel. And then there were the musicians or the orchestra. These stayed in rooms at the sanctuary and were exempt from other duties. The Chronicler even recorded that some were bakers of the most refined unleavened bread for the Table of Shewbread, and their sons followed in their footsteps.
The Chronicler is making the point that no matter what you are assigned to do, it is the Lord’s work and that work is essential. No work is greater or lesser in the eyes of God. God has a place for you in the service for you serve the King of Kings. What area of service has the Lord given to you?
“In the early 1960s, excavators uncovered a manuscript including Psalms 81–85 at Masada, the Jewish fortress on the west side of the Dead Sea. Psalm 81 was sung each Thursday as part of the daily services for worshipers? The author, Asaph, reminds the people that God is pleading with them “if only you would obey me…if only you would submit to me.” Three times God says, “THEN…I would quickly subdue your enemies, THEN I would feed you with the blessings, THEN I would be your satisfaction.” John Greenleaf Whittier’s words say it all: “For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been.”
Therefore we are to remind ourselves to learn from the past so that we do not need to repeat it. Today we do it by reviewing the faithfulness of God at regular intervals as we sing for joy, shout joyfully to God, raise a song, and blow the trumpet.
God is saying the same to us: If we would obey, THEN I will open wide the windows of heaven and pour out blessings so great we would not be able to contain them! [Mal 3-author’s paraphrase]
John Stott knew this principle: Do “not to ignore what Scripture taught…but hold fast to the fullness of the Bible’s teachings.” Years may have changed, but the thoughts of yesterday meet our needs of today. Therefore, review and pray this psalm as a way of remembering and praising God.
Matt 6 John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress while imprisoned for his faith. It was an instant publishing success and sold possibly 100,000 copies in its first fifteen years. Another book by this author is “How to Pray in the Spirit.” Within this small volume is a chapter on the Lord’s Prayer, which you probably have memorized and/or recited in time’s past. Bunyan asks several questions about this passage found in Matthew 6 the first which is: “Do you know the meaning of the very first words of this prayer, “Our Father which art in heaven?” Bunyan also asks: “do they, those who call themselves Christians, truly understand and believe that God is their Father?”
Jesus taught this prayer to his disciples that they might know that their first order of prayer business begins with honoring and hallowing the name of God as Father. Is He your Father? Do you honor Him by calling Him your Father?” [Gal 4:6] What does it mean to you that God is your Father? It means He is Lord over all. It means as John wrote: God is light and in Him is no darkness (meaning sin). [1John 1:5] It means we can have an intimate relationship with Him because we have come to Him seeking cleansing of our sin and restoration, and we have received the Spirit of adoption so that we can cry “Abba, Father.” [Rom 8:15]
Psalm 71 and 78 There is a saying, “getting older is not for sissies,” but until we take our last breath, God has work for us to do. Senior citizens have much to offer the younger generation about the lessons gleaned from trials to blessings. But how do we ensure that the next generation knows these lessons? We must purposefully choose to take time to sit with them and share our life’s story. How many years are there between you and the next generation? Twenty or even fifty? Do you regret not sharing with the next generation about your past and your parent’s lives? Time is fleeting, and memories are slipping away. We must begin to tell the next generation of our story—whether good or bad.
The psalmist is writing from his perspective of being “old and gray.” He has one request of the Lord. His prayer is that God allows him to remain until he tells the next generation about God’s strength and His power. What is your prayer? Do you choose to tell about His praiseworthy acts, strength, and the amazing things He has done? Do you desire to teach and speak of His splendor and tell about His marvelous deeds, power, and majesty?
What is your prayer this day? Don’t waste this opportunity! Prepare now to tell your story.
1Chron 3 to 5 We love reading about the positive, strong role models in scripture such as Joshua, but we are to remember that Christ died for all, the noble and the ignoble.
Don’t get bogged down in these genealogical records, but as you read, sort out the character qualities of the families. Make a list of those that are pleasing to the Lord and choose to emulate them. For instance, how about Jabez? His life began in the birth canal, where he struggled to come forth. It seems that his Mother recorded that fact or reminded him of it throughout his life. He boldly went to God and poured out his heart to Him, who knows all things in eternity past, today and tomorrow.
The Chronicler tells us that Jabez was more honorable than all of his brothers. Yet, it appears he did not Lord it over them; he was instead a humble man who earnestly desired God’s best for himself. While his brothers may have been out building altars and worshiping idols, Jabez was worshiping God.
Jabez began his prayer humbly: “if you…” Jabez left no stone unturned; I want the full scope of the blessing! He even noted what that blessing would entail and included, protect me. He wanted or sensed he needed a hedge of protection and that he might not endure pain. That closes the circle from Mother’s words; I brought you forth in pain.
Psalm 84 There was a gentleman (and I say that with great tribute) many years ago who was one of the survivors of the Pearl Harbor disaster. He was one of the few who saw and lived through the horror unfold on the decks of the Arizona battleship. Upon returning from that experience, he always stood and opened the doors to God’s house to welcome us with great grace. When asked to recount that day, he would never recall it. From that day forward, he only said all he wanted in this life until God took him home was to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord, and until his death, that is what he did—faithfully. Today he serves in the heavenly kingdom. God looks at his children for one key component: Faithfulness in service.
The psalmist wrote: Certainly spending just one day in your temple courts is better than spending a thousand elsewhere. I would rather “be a doorkeeper” or stand at the entrance to the temple of my God than live in the tents of the wicked. [Ps 84:10]
Where are you serving until Jesus comes and takes you home?
1Chron 1-2 We order our days by the number 12 but what is the significance of the number 12 in scripture? While giving us the genealogical record of several men like Jacob, this number has more meaning than we realize. If one follows that train of thought, you will find that it is just not a number of hours in a half-day, but it has something to do with the authority or perfection often used in the context of government. There were 12 sons of Jacob, 12 Minor Prophets, Manasseh was 12 when he began to rule, 12 disciples, and 12 years the woman was afflicted with a blood disease. Also, there are 12 gifts of the Holy Spirit as noted (get this!) in the twelfth chapter of 1Corinthians! There are 12 gates in the New Jerusalem, 12 foundations, and 12 names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. [Rev 21] God has a purpose that we may often gloss over.
Dr. Constable quoting Dr. Morris, notes, “The combination of the twelve tribes in verse 12 and the twelve apostles is a way of saying that Israel of old and the Christian church are united in God’s final scheme of things.”
The next time you read, note closely what the Holy Spirit states regarding the order of people, places, and things. Even the psalmist noted in 90:12 that our prayer should be teach us to number our days so we might live wisely. God has put them there for a reason, and it behooves us to extract what that is.
David wrote these psalms, and the recurring theme is God is God and there is no other. “O Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your reputation throughout the earth.” [Ps 8:9] The ungodly deny Him and His presence which brings to mind Rom 1:20 “For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” Read that last line carefully and meditate on it. God is just, and He is love, but we will have no excuses to offer at the judgment seat if we deny Him. He will say, “I never knew you…” [Matt 7:23].
Because of that truth, David extols the virtues of God as he also explains the mindset of the wicked (they are wicked because they deny God.) John wrote one of his books by explaining this mindset: “If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth” and “If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” [1John 1:5 -8]
Where are you this day, in the camp of those who believe God or the camp of the deniers? Choose wisely.
2Samuel 1 to 4 How often do we instantly make snap judgments or allow a thought to fester like a boil until it bursts open? Again we are presented with this thought: Avenging is God’s work, not man’s.
David as the man after God’s own heart reveals how we are to respond to the death of another—even If they are our rival. We question the ulterior motive of this one who came to tell David of Saul’s death. Bringing the news, the man expected David to celebrate, but David rightly said God is the avenger in death as he is in life. This Amalekite overstepped his bounds because our only justification for taking a life is self-protection. He miscalculated David’s response. In chapter four, again, we find another incident when two men decided to avenge David. David had them executed because they killed an innocent man and worse in his own bed! They too sought to do God’s work with man’s methods.
If David was right to be angry, how do you think God will deal with those who rejected and crucified Jesus Christ, His anointed? As David dealt harshly with the Amalekite and the two who slew Ishbosheth, God will deal harshly with those who reject His Son, Jesus Christ.