Bible reading for Nov 25.
1 Chronicles 21.
"And David built there an altar to the LORD and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the LORD, and the LORD answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. Then the LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath." (21:26-27)
CENSUS AND PLAGUE. Second Samuel reports this event after the last words of David (2 Sam 24), as a kind of appendix, although it obviously occurred earlier. The Chronicler, with his emphasis on worship in Jerusalem, records it at this point in David's story, since the temple is a central theme. How did the temple mount come to be designated as the place of atonement? It was the sin of David that needed atoning. He confessed his guilt and entrusted himself to the judgment of God (v 13). It is David himself, facing a very large destroying angel (cf Rev 10, 11, 14), who purchases the altar site for full price and offers sacrifice. The Son of David, our Savior Jesus, though having no sin of his own, likewise paid full price for our forgiveness, as we have recently read in Hebrews. This location just above the City of David will become the building site for the temple which Solomon will build.
DIFFERENCES? 2 Samuel 24 tells us that God incited David to take the census, and here it says Satan did. This may be similar to what occurred in Job (chapters 1-2), where God allows the testing, but Satan does the tempting (see also Luke 22:31-32). Or it could be that "satan" in the Chronicles account is used in a generic sense of "an adversary", perhaps a threatening nation. See the NET Bible notes for more.
TRUSTING HIS WORD. As I've studied God's word through the years, I have encountered difficulties, but never direct contradictions. I've learned to give Scripture the benefit of the doubt. Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles -- just like the gospels -- sometimes give differing accounts of the same events. But with some study we can come to see that these are not contradictions, but rather the different perspectives of the human authors. William Lane Craig writes, "The doctrine of biblical inerrancy establishes a sort of default assumption of the truth of Scripture’s assertions that can protect theology from doctrinal harm, just as the presumption of innocence until proven guilty serves to protect citizens in Western democracies from injustice." Read more here.
1 Peter 2.
"...you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (2:5)
A SPIRITUAL HOUSE. Peter is encouraging those who are experiencing rejection from the world for their faith in Christ. In facing trials and persecution we need to remember that Christ was (and is) rejected by many, but he is God's chosen and precious cornerstone. We are like living stones connected to him into a spiritual house. Those who were outside the commonwealth of Israel (Gentiles) would now see that they are in God's household, and those of Jewish-background would be aware that life for them was not dependent upon worship at the temple in Jerusalem. In fact, just a few short years after this epistle the temple site would be demolished by Roman troops. All believers in Christ are now united to Christ as to a living temple (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19). As believers living in this world we obey God-ordained authorities, all the while knowing that our identity and destiny come from the Lord himself.
REFLECT. What does it mean to you to actually be -- along with other Christians -- the house of the Lord? As priests, what offerings do we bring? Why should the pursuit of holiness be so important for us? And what does it mean that, "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps"? In what way do we follow in his steps?
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. One recommended resource is NETBible.org, a ministry of bible.org.