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July 16: True Success

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 8-9, Psalm 141, Luke 10:38-42, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18 2 Chronicles 8-9: The chronicler lists Solomon’s extensive accomplishments in these two chapters. He is a “builder,” emphasized many times in chapter 8, who completed and finished the work that was given to him by God—building up, extending, magnifying and establishing Israel and Jerusalem, and especially the “house of the Lord.” The only hint that he is over-extending his reach is in his recruitment of “forced labor,” though the author is careful to note that this forced labor was not from the people of Israel themselves (8:7-8). That said, it seems apparent from the later tension that impacted Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, that Solomon had put his people under intense pressure to accomplish what he accomplished (10:4 and following). Chapter 9 indicates Solomon’s other main, great achievements, namely that of wisdom and wealth. His wisdom is emphasized by the famous witness of...

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July 15: Heal Our Land

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 6-7, Psalm 140, Luke 10:25-37, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-10 2 Chronicles 6-7: While the LORD has said he would “dwell in thick darkness” (6:1)—that is, not be accessible to the naked human eye for the holiness and gloriousness in which he resides—yet through the temple (and its ultimate fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ), God makes his presence known in this visible world. This is a cause of great rejoicing and blessing, and so Solomon turns and blesses the people (6:3-11). The blessing which he gives them, though, is the blessing of God himself: compare verse 3 with verse 4. The ultimate blessing that anyone can experience is the blessing of knowing God. Do you have that blessing? Are you making the most of the extraordinary privilege of knowing God? In this building of the temple, all these promises of God are being fulfilled (6:10). Solomon then prays (6:12-42)—and he...

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July 14: Glory!

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 3-5, Psalm 139, Luke 10:17-24, 1 Thessalonians 3:7-13 2 Chronicles 3-5: So Solomon begins to build the temple, and starts in the second month of the fourth year of his reign (3:1-2). The precise measurements are listed in great detail throughout these chapters, as well as descriptions of the ornamentation and valuable materials; all was in great quantity and a statement of honor to God. This work is all done for the house of the LORD, and all the things that David had dedicated are brought in—the silver, the gold, and all the vessels in the treasuries (5:1). It is all finished. It is also glorious. The ark of the covenant is brought up (5:1-14). In it is nothing but the two stone tablets that Moses put there at Horeb (5:10), and the song that is sung is a refrain from the same song that David sang when the...

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July 13: Wisdom

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 1-2, Psalm 138, Luke 10:1-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-6 2 Chronicles 1-2: The chronicler of this Second Chronicles begins his account on an encouraging note. He surveys the greatness of Solomon and especially his wisdom. Before he dives into Solomon’s well-known request for that wisdom, and God’s bountiful reply with wisdom and far more blessing beside, we are reminded (once more) of the source of all greatness. “The Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great” (1:1). We do well to underline that sentence in the Bible. It is too easy to think that God hides his eyes when we desert him or sin against him, or, conversely, that his arm is too short to save. But as Psalms teaches, it is not the east or the west, not circumstance, personal brilliance, culture, situation, or influence of others which exalts one and pushes down another. It...

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July 12: Give Willingly

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 29, Psalm 137, Luke 9:51-62, 1 Thessalonians 2:10-21 1 Chronicles 29: 1 Chronicles finishes with some shrewd advice from David, as well as establishing thereby some fundamental and foundational principles for effectiveness and genuine “success.” Solomon, David acknowledges, is young and inexperienced (29:1). However, because of that, David has put together a huge amount of resources to help him with the building of a temple (29:2-5)—which is a great task because it is for God (29:1). He then challenges the whole assembly whether they will give “willingly” (29:5). They do indeed—a massive amount is given, without compulsion, and instead with a good will (29:6-9). The Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). And because they give this way, “the people rejoice” (29:9). There is a deep connection between open hands of generosity and rich hearts of rejoicing. Then David praises God before the assembly (29:10-19). In...

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July 11: A Plan and a Person

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 26-28, Psalm 136, Luke 9:37-50, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9 1 Chronicles 26-28: Again we have a list of the various responsibilities and “divisions” or departments of the officials and their designated authority and relation to others (1 Chron. 26-27). We have a view here of the internal workings of a complex bureaucracy, organized according to having point people for particular responsibilities and those responsibilities carefully defined. This is how organizations—and organisms—run. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you” (1 Cor. 12:21). Then in chapter 28, David assembles everyone who now has been so organized. He explains to them that this vision of a temple for God was given by God to be accomplished, not by him, but by his son Solomon (28:1-8). He thereafter turns to Solomon and, in the hearing of all, commends to him the importance of sticking to the task, the bravery and perseverance...

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July 10: As Each Does Its Work

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 23-25, Psalm 135, Luke 9:28-36, 1 Thessalonians 1 1 Chronicles 23-25: David, now “old and full of days,” suggesting a sense of fulfillment as well as agedness, makes Solomon his son king in his place (23:1). The chronicler passes over the courtly intrigue that was necessary to establish Solomon in that role, and instead focuses on how David has organized the systems and processes to be in place for his son before David died. Everything is meticulous and careful, and is communicated to all the leaders and the Levites (1 Chron. 23) and priests (1 Chron. 24), as well as the musicians (1 Chron. 25). David masterminds his succession and manages to complete his task as servant of the LORD and king of Israel in an exemplary fashion, and position his successor for success. While we have all heard of David, these many names and their many responsibilities delegated and...

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July 9: An Imperfect, but Repentant King

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 20-22, Psalm 133-134, Luke 9:18-27, Colossians 4:10-18 1 Chronicles 20-22: The chronicler begins this section as if he is about to relay the story of Bathsheba (20:1)—indicating that it would be normal for David to have been at battle this time of year, when instead (as we know from 2 Sam. 11) David seduced Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. This narrative does not mention Bathsheba, for reasons not immediately apparent. Perhaps the chronicler senses that the story is well enough known that it is appropriate to draw a veil over it now. Perhaps there were other lives now at stake whose sullied history would do them no good to have yet again publicly repeated. While we are to be frank about the failings of our heroes, when such failings have been repented of (as David did), there is a time when we let “love cover a multitude of sins”...

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July 8: King of Kings

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 17-19, Psalm 132, Luke 9:1-17, Colossians 4:1-9 1 Chronicles 17-19: David has it on his heart to build God a temple. He sees a discrepancy between the house of cedar in which he lives and the tent in which the ark is placed (17:1). He describes his desire to the prophet Nathan—note the more positive, friendly relationship David has with the prophets and compare with Saul’s disastrous relationship with Samuel (1 Sam. 15)—and Nathan encourages him (17:2). But God speaks to Nathan contrary to what seems like biblical common sense (17:3-15). Sometimes God’s ways are higher than ours (Is. 55:9), and we do well to study the Bible carefully to hear from him. David, God says, is not to build a house for God (17:4). Instead, God will build a household for David (17:10). He will make David’s name great (17:8). And it will be David’s son who will build...

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July 7: Praising God

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 15-16, Psalm 130-131, Luke 8:40-56, Colossians 3:15-25 1 Chronicles 15-16: The ark now in Jerusalem (1 Chron. 15), David prepares a place for the ark, as well as houses for himself (15:1). He makes various arrangements for the worship of God, and the narrator tells us how it was with “rejoicing” that the ark was brought up from the house of Obed-Edom (15:25). Real worship leads to true joy. David himself was prominent among those rejoicing (15:27-29). It is considered undignified to show enthusiasm for God, but it is honorable because in so honoring God, we are honoring who is to be honored above all. Michal, the daughter of Saul, does not understand this, and despised David for his enthusiastic worship of God (15:29). But we cannot be half-hearted about God, for God is God—and greatly to be praised. Then David appoints a famous song of thanksgiving (16:8-36)—see Psalm 105....

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