Bible reading for weekend Dec 12-13.
2 Chronicles 13-14.
"And Asa cried to the LORD his God, 'O LORD, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.'" (14:11)
NEXT TWO KINGS. There were other accounts of the history of Israel and Judah which have not survived (1 Chron 29:29; 2 Chron 9:29; 12:15). The Lord has ordained that Samuel, Kings and Chronicles be the inspired record of these events. Focusing on the kingdom of Judah, the temple, and the priesthood in Jerusalem, Chronicles gives a different emphasis on the events of that time. These chapters record the reigns of Abijah and Asa (cf 1 Kings 15). The Chronicler shines a light on a positive accomplishment of Abijah (who was not "wholly devoted" to the Lord), as well as all the good that King Asa did. One recurrent theme here is that when kings humbled themselves and relied upon the Lord, deliverance was close at hand.
REFLECT. We must always be asking ourselves, "whom are we trusting to get us out of this mess?" Good leadership is vital, but ultimately what's important is not the power, skill, or cleverness of leaders, but their integrity and trust in God. What's even more important during difficult times is our own trust in the Lord.
"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." (4:11)
THE VIEW FROM HEAVEN. Chapter three records the addresses of our risen Lord to three more churches. The following chapters will announce the things to come. Chapter four begins with the view from heaven. We see in this chapter that God, the eternal, self-existent God, is above creation and guiding history to its culmination. It's not the stock market, the White House, or the media moguls who decide where history is going, or even what's "on the right side of history." Creation is God's creation; it's his universe. As J. Vernon McGee once said, "This is God's universe and God does things his way. You may have a better way, but you don't have a universe." We are created beings in a created world, and we are accountable to the Creator. In writing of the problems of the modern world, Francis Schaeffer wrote,
“It is either not knowing or denying the createdness of things that is at the root of the blackness of modern man’s difficulties. Give up creation as space-time, historic reality, and all that is left what Simone Weil called ‘uncreatedness.’ It is not that something does not exist, but that it just stands there, autonomous to itself, without solutions and without answers.” (Francis Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time)
AS YOU READ the book of Revelation there will be some curious, even mysterious, images. We may not yet know the full meaning of some of these, and so we shouldn't get too bogged down by details we don't understand. Many have pondered what John meant by the "seven spirits" (Rev 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6), especially if this is a reference to the one Holy Spirit (Eph 4:4). My own opinion is that seven represents perfection, and that this is an allusion to the seven-fold title of the Spirit as listed in Isaiah 11:2... He is the Spirit of "the LORD, wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord." So, for example, the NLT translates the phrase in Revelation as "sevenfold Spirit of God." That's one possibility.
REFLECT. As we noted in the first reading -- what's most important during difficult times is our own trust in the Lord -- so here too. Do we trust that God is in control of his universe and guiding history to its appointed goal? Are there things that you are tempted to doubt God's control over?
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.