Read: 1 Corinthians 18-20
Marked: 1 Chronicles 19:6, When the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, Hanun and the people of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire for themselves chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, from Syrian Maacah, and from Zobah.
David wanted to show kindness to Hanun, but his kindness was misinterpreted as aggression. And so, Hanun treated David’s emissaries shamefully and embarrassed them.
Hanun, instead of admitting his error, and asking forgiveness, he compounded his mistake and hired mercenaries from Mesopotamia and other places. In response, David declares war.
I can, and have, mistaken the kindness of another as an act of aggression. How I respond determines what happens next. Do I want to start a war or be reconciled?
God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. We’ve been commanded to love our enemies and to do good to those who spitefully use us.
God’s ways are always best and there is a better chance for a good outcome if I humble myself in the sight of the Lord.
Read: 1 Chronicles 16-17
Marked: 1 Chronicles 17:16, Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: “Who [am] I, O LORD God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?
David desired to bless God and build Him a house so He could be worshipped, exalted, and praised. But God, instead, promised to bless David.
What an amazing thing it is to realize that we can’t out bless God. I look back on my life and see the unmistakable hand of God. Who am I that Gods should notice me?
Yet, He has. And it causes me to desire to have a pure heart towards God and make my heart God’s house.
Read: 1 Chronicles 13-15
Marked: 1 Chronicles 13:10, Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.
David consulted with the leaders and they decided to bring the ark of God back (V1-4). This was a good thing they wanted.
As they brought the ark back they played music before God with all their might (V18). They did it with right hearts. Then Uzza put out his hand to steady the ark because the oxen stumbled and the anger of God was aroused against Uzza and He struck him, and Uzza died before God because Uzza did what was forbidden.
I can do the right thing with the right intentions and with the right heart and still fall short of the glory of God. My religious zeal will never make me right before God. Only by doing what is right according to God’s word will my actions please the Lord.
The ark was supposed to be carried, and carried only by priests, in the way prescribed by God. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15).
Read: 1 Chronicles 11-12
Marked: 1 Chronicles 11:14, But they stationed themselves in the middle of [that] field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the LORD brought about a great victory.
While others fled from the Philistines, two men, Jashobeam and Eleazar, stationed themselves in the middle of a field and defended it.
There comes a time, when to win a battle, I must take a stand regardless of a numerically superior enemy.
In Ephesians 6:13-16 I read, “Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
To take a stand against an enemy requires preparation, knowledge, and skill in warfare. I must stand in the truth, and in righteousness, fighting for peace, and holding onto faith and not waiver. And the Lord will bring about a great victory.
Read: 1 Chronicles 9-10
Marked: 1 Chronicles 9:24, The gatekeepers were assigned to the four directions: the east, west, north, and south.
Jerusalem had gates over which gatekeepers stood watch. The gates were kept closed against enemies, but would be opened for citizens.
As a disciple of Christ I am a gatekeeper of sorts. The invitation to know Christ is given to the four corners of the earth; all nations, tribes, and tongues.
Those who desire to know the Saviour are free to enter. But those who seek to come in except through the gate are stopped (John 10)
Read: 1 Chronicles 7-8
Marked: 1 Chronicles 7:11, All these sons of Jediael [were] heads of their fathers’ houses; [there were] seventeen thousand two hundred mighty men of valor fit to go out for war [and] battle.
Among the lists of families and names are found those called, “mighty men of valor”. What made them mighty? They were “fit for battle”
The Bible speaks about preparation in numerous places. For example, 1 Peter 3:15 says, “always be ready”. 2 Timothy 4:3 says, “be ready”. And Hebrews 5:14, “having their senses ‘exercised’ to discern”, or literally, vigorous exercise of the body or mind.
To be a mighty man of valor requires preparation through use of the weapons of our warfare, exercising body, mind, and spirit to be ready to do battle.
Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Read: 1 Chronicles 6
Marked: 1 Chronicles 6:28, The sons of Samuel [were Joel] the firstborn, and Abijah the second.
Chapter 6 is the genealogy of the sons of Levi who were set apart for special service to God. From Levi came the priestly line of Aaron, but while all priests were Levites, not all Levites were priests.
Then at verse 28, almost as if it is inserted as an afterthought, is the name Samuel who would serve God as prophet and priest and be used by God in the lives of two kings, Saul and David.
I may not be remarkable among others, but if I am willing to serve God, He can use me, as He did Samuel from an early age.
I want to be more like Samuel who said to the Lord, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10)
Read: 1 Chronicles 3-5
Marked: 1 Chronicles 5:18, The sons of Reuben, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh [had] forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty valiant men, men able to bear shield and sword, to shoot with the bow, and skillful in war, who went to war.
The men of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh are pointed out as skillful with shield, sword, and bow, and in war. This made me think of Ephesians 6:10-19 and the whole armour of God
Am I skillful in the use of the weapons of my warfare, and mighty in God (2 Corinthians 10:4)? They went to war prepared.
I have found myself at times unprepared for the spiritual battles I face because I have not practiced using shield and sword, or failed to put on the whole armour of God.
To be prepared for battle I need to be skillful with my weapons which requires constant practice and is accomplished by a daily time in God’s Word.
Read: 1 Chronicles 1-2
Marked: 1 Chronicles 2:15, Ozem the sixth, [and] David the seventh.
The chapter begins with the man Israel, or Jacob as he was called before God changed his name, and lists his sons and their sons.
The sheer number of names leads many to skim over the genealogies, yet a careful review shows a definite line which is followed.
Then David is mentioned in this sea of names. He’s not even first among the first but buried in amongst the others. Yet David would play an important role in the plan of God.
David would become the greatest king of the nation of Israel and from his line comes the King of kings, Jesus.
At first glance David is one name among many. But he loved the one true God and would be mightily used by Him.
I am one man among many. Yet, by giving myself over to God, I too can be used by God for mighty things. Here I am Lord. Send me.
Read: Nehemiah 12-13
Marked: Nehemiah 13:9, Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.
In his excellent and timeless work, My Heart Christ’s Home, Robert Boyd Munger writes, “Without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ Himself through the presence of the Holy Spirit will actually enter a heart, settle down, and be at home there. Christ will make the human heart His abode.”
When I allow, or enable, anti-Christian thoughts or ideas to take up space in my heart or mind I am displacing Christ and His Word, the “articles of God” from their rightful place in my heart and mind.
My body is supposed to be the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in me (1 Corinthians 3:16). It’s either Him or the world. There is no room for both.
Am I willing to cleanse the rooms of my house and bring back what is holy, pure, and necessary for me to live to Christ?