Bible reading for Nov 30.
1 Chronicles 28.
"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." (28:19)
PLANS & PREP. In chapters 23 through 27 David is preparing the way for the reign of his son Solomon. Genealogies of the priests and the Levites are reviewed, and David organizes divisions of service (or, tours of duty) for them, including musicians and gate-keepers, and finally, the military. In chapter 28 David gives a charge to Solomon to be faithful to the Lord, and to have courage to complete the work of building the temple (vv 7-9). This work was to be done according to plan (v 19). The organization of the divisions, as well as the design of the temple, remind us that our God is a God of purpose and order. The Bible teaches that behind creation and the flow of history is an infinitely-wise and powerful Designer. Our universe is not the result of random, impersonal forces. The early chapters of Genesis show us God creating the world in an orderly and artistic way. Likewise, worship of God is to be done in an orderly way (cf 1 Cor 14:33, 40), as he has revealed. This doesn't mean we can't be spontaneous or joyful. It does mean that we should not be careless or disorderly in the way we worship the Lord. We should worship him in the way he shows us in his Word. He is not a God of confusion.
REFLECT. Solomon was faithful to build the temple in Jerusalem, but he was ultimately not the Promised One, whose rule would be eternal. Our Lord Jesus is building his church (Matt 16:18; 28:18-20; Eph 2:19-20), not with blocks and mortar but with living stones (1 Pet 2:5). And there's more: a glorious new creation is coming, where God will be worshiped perfectly, in holiness, and with unhindered sight and access. The Light of that new world will be Jesus himself (Rev 21:23). Think about these words of Jesus: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:3). What do you think it means that he goes to "prepare a place"?
Here's a quote from J. C. Ryle, reminding us that every passage of Scripture -- even the duty rosters of temple workers -- has a divinely-intended purpose: "Nothing is written by chance in the Word of God. There is a special reason for the selection of every single expression."
2 Peter 2.
"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." (1:3-4)
WATERLESS SPRINGS. Throughout the history of the visible church there have always been teachers and pastors, ministers, clerics, so-called prophets, priests, monks, and mystics, who have used their position of authority to gain money, power, and sex for their personal gratification, all the while maintaining an appearance of holiness. If they do not always lead people astray doctrinally, they certainly do morally. This problem presented itself early in the history of the church, as we see in Peter's second letter. He calls these people "waterless springs" (v 17). Peter's warning is very similar to Paul's in 2 Timothy 3:1-8, where he speaks of those who have "the appearance of godliness, but denying its power."
SOUND TEACHING, HOLY LIVING. The Apostle Peter wrote this second epistle not long before he was martyred in Rome (c. AD 67). He had concern for sound teaching, and for the kind of teaching that leads to holy living. Teachers and leaders should exemplify godliness in themselves. In chapter one we read that God's grace gives us all that we need to live godly lives for the Lord (1:3-4). He says that God's word is inspired and trustworthy, and that we should pay attention to it "as to a lamp shining in a dark place." This is a very clear statement regarding the nature of Scripture: "...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (1:20-21). That is, God's word is revealed to us by his own will and authority, and not by the dreams or opinions of prideful men. Chapter two is an extensive description of the depths of immorality into which religious influencers can descend. It's not a pretty picture, and God's judgment will not delay long, for "...the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment..." (2:9).
REFLECT. This is a most serious sin, to use a holy (or "spiritual") appearance as a cloak for self-gratification and immorality. All of us may be tempted to be hypocritical at times, but this goes further, to use one's position to deceive others, promote licentiousness, and gain advantage. We must ask, does our life bear the marks of "the divine nature"? That is, by trusting God's word, have we seen real change in what drives us? Do we have a desire to grow in virtue? The Scripture says, "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good" (Rom 12:9). Do you love what God loves, and hate what God hates?
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.