×
A devotional bible commentary
in partnership with
Join Us!
Join Us!

Today’s Reading

Devotional

WE HAVE ALREADY OBSERVED that 1 and 2 Chronicles differ from the books of Samuel and Kings (though the Chronicles cover roughly the same period of history as Samuel and Kings) in placing much more emphasis on the southern kingdom of Judah, after the monarchy divides. Even at this juncture, however, during the period of the united monarchy, 1 and 2 Chronicles greatly expand on anything to do with the temple.

In this framework, 1 Chronicles 28 discloses a little more detail not only of the transfer of power from David to Solomon, but of the origin of the temple’s plans. On the former point, David charges the people with serving Solomon well; he charges Solomon with serving the Lord God with his whole heart: “For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (1 Chron. 28:9). In particular, David charges Solomon with the building of the temple for which he, David, has made such large provision (1 Chron. 29:10, 20–21). Nothing is reported of the attempt by David’s son Adonijah to usurp the throne before Solomon could be crowned, or of Bathsheba’s strategic protection of her son Solomon (1 Kings 1); nothing is mentioned of the substantial array of other charges David gave to Solomon (1 Kings 2). All the focus here is on the transfer of power as it affects the construction of the temple.

There is a new element of stellar importance. We are told that David gave Solomon “the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things” (1 Chron. 28:12)—as well as for the divisions of the priests and Levites, the amount of gold or silver to be used in the various instruments, and so forth (1 Chron. 28:13–17). Above all, “he also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and shelter the ark of the covenant of the LORD” (1 Chron. 28:18) in the Most Holy Place. “‘All this,’ David said, ‘I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan’” (1 Chron. 28:19).

Here is the counterpart to the constant emphasis in Exodus on the fact that Moses and his peers built the tabernacle in exact accordance with the plan shown Moses on the mountain. That is then picked up in Hebrews 8:5: this proved the tabernacle was only a copy of a greater original (see the meditation for March 14). Implicitly, the same care is taken with the construction of the temple, with David, not Moses, now serving as the mediator.

1 Chronicles 28

David's Charge to Israel

28:1 David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the officials of the tribes, the officers of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of thousands, the commanders of hundreds, the stewards of all the property and livestock of the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty men and all the seasoned warriors. Then King David rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building. But God said to me, ‘You may not build a house for my name, for you are a man of war and have shed blood.’ Yet the LORD God of Israel chose me from all my father's house to be king over Israel forever. For he chose Judah as leader, and in the house of Judah my father's house, and among my father's sons he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. He said to me, ‘It is Solomon your son who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues strong in keeping my commandments and my rules, as he is today.’ Now therefore in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek out all the commandments of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever.

David's Charge to Solomon

“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. 10 Be careful now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.”

11 Then David gave Solomon his son the plan of the vestibule of the temple,1 and of its houses, its treasuries, its upper rooms, and its inner chambers, and of the room for the mercy seat; 12 and the plan of all that he had in mind for the courts of the house of the LORD, all the surrounding chambers, the treasuries of the house of God, and the treasuries for dedicated gifts; 13 for the divisions of the priests and of the Levites, and all the work of the service in the house of the LORD; for all the vessels for the service in the house of the LORD, 14 the weight of gold for all golden vessels for each service, the weight of silver vessels for each service, 15 the weight of the golden lampstands and their lamps, the weight of gold for each lampstand and its lamps, the weight of silver for a lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand in the service, 16 the weight of gold for each table for the showbread, the silver for the silver tables, 17 and pure gold for the forks, the basins and the cups; for the golden bowls and the weight of each; for the silver bowls and the weight of each; 18 for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD. 19 “All this he made clear to me in writing from the hand of the LORD, all the work to be done according to the plan.”

20 Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished. 21 And behold the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and with you in all the work will be every willing man who has skill for any kind of service; also the officers and all the people will be wholly at your command.”

Footnotes

[1] 28:11 Hebrew lacks of the temple

(ESV)

2 Peter 2

False Prophets and Teachers

2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell1 and committed them to chains2 of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;3 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,4 and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge5 in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions,6 while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery,7 insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves8 of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Footnotes

[1] 2:4 Greek Tartarus
[2] 2:4 Some manuscripts pits
[3] 2:6 Some manuscripts an example to those who were to be ungodly
[4] 2:9 Or temptations
[5] 2:10 Greek who go after the flesh
[6] 2:13 Some manuscripts love feasts
[7] 2:14 Or eyes full of an adulteress
[8] 2:19 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

(ESV)

Micah 5

The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem

5:1   1 Now muster your troops, O daughter2 of troops;
    siege is laid against us;
  with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
    on the cheek.
  3 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
  from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
  whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days.
  Therefore he shall give them up until the time
    when she who is in labor has given birth;
  then the rest of his brothers shall return
    to the people of Israel.
  And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
    in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
  And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
    to the ends of the earth.
  And he shall be their peace.
  When the Assyrian comes into our land
    and treads in our palaces,
  then we will raise against him seven shepherds
    and eight princes of men;
  they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
    and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
  and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
    when he comes into our land
    and treads within our border.

A Remnant Shall Be Delivered

  Then the remnant of Jacob shall be
    in the midst of many peoples
  like dew from the LORD,
    like showers on the grass,
  which delay not for a man
    nor wait for the children of man.
  And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,
    in the midst of many peoples,
  like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
    like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
  which, when it goes through, treads down
    and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver.
  Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries,
    and all your enemies shall be cut off.
10   And in that day, declares the LORD,
    I will cut off your horses from among you
    and will destroy your chariots;
11   and I will cut off the cities of your land
    and throw down all your strongholds;
12   and I will cut off sorceries from your hand,
    and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes;
13   and I will cut off your carved images
    and your pillars from among you,
  and you shall bow down no more
    to the work of your hands;
14   and I will root out your Asherah images from among you
    and destroy your cities.
15   And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance
    on the nations that did not obey.

Footnotes

[1] 5:1 Ch 4:14 in Hebrew
[2] 5:1 That is, city
[3] 5:2 Ch 5:1 in Hebrew

(ESV)

Luke 14

Healing of a Man on the Sabbath

14:1 One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son1 or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they could not reply to these things.

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Parable of the Great Banquet

12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers2 or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant3 to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you,4 none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

The Cost of Discipleship

25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Salt Without Taste Is Worthless

34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Footnotes

[1] 14:5 Some manuscripts a donkey
[2] 14:12 Or your brothers and sisters
[3] 14:17 Or bondservant; also verses 21 (twice), 22, 23
[4] 14:24 The Greek word for you here is plural

(ESV)