Do you ever pine for the past? When the Israelites came back to the promised land after the exile, they were encouraged to rebuild the temple. However there were some there that remembered how glorious Solomon’s temple had been. The prophet lets them know that, even though the physical magnificence of the temple wasn’t nearly as great, something more important would happen there. Many believe that Jesus Christ visiting the temple is a fulfillment of the prophecy! The reminder for us is that, regardless of current or past circumstances, the best is yet to come!
Haggai 2:1-9 “In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet: ‘Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, “Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.”’”
There is an interesting statement here: “they made Solomon the son of David king the second time.” Solomon had been rather hurriedly anointed and installed as king in response to Adonijah’s attempted coup (1 Kings 1:28–40, not mentioned in Chronicles). This second ceremony occurred when his succession was secure and widely acknowledged (1 Chron. 29:24). David himself had been anointed king on three occasions: privately before his family (1 Sam. 16:13), and twice in Hebron (2 Sam. 2:4; 5:3).
It’s amazing to see what happens here when God is at work in the hearts of his people. “They all gave willingly.” God always moves His people to give to His purposes and accomplish His priorities.
Don’t worry, there’s a short one tomorrow and then a reflection day on the 21st!
So many names! It shouldn’t surprise us though. David/Solomon was the height of the Jewish monarchy. To be named here was to be a part of something special. Priests (descendants of Aaron) were responsible for sacrifices, Levites (descendants of Levi) carried out various duties in the temple, and the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were responsible for the music. You also have the heads of the various tribes, the generals, and those who were worked in the palace listed.
The extensive lists of those who were responsible for worship should remind us that corporate worship is a very serious undertaking. Paul alludes to this when he says “But all things should be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). And we should recognize the number of people that are involved in the local church to make sure that everything is ready to go on Sunday mornings and beyond: custodians, greeters, musicians, teachers, a/v workers, ministry teams, trustees, elders, etc, etc, etc! And God gives different gifts and talents to make all of this possible. Corporate worship is truly marvelous and intricate, and we should thank God for all those who make it possible!
“Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the Israelites” (1 Chronicles 21:1).
“Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah'” (2 Samuel 24:1).
We see here how God’s sovereignty works. God is always, always in charge. He either allows things to happen, or decrees that they happen. That means that everyone is an agent of God one way or another. Satan may be the adversary, the accuser, the liar, and the evil one, but he can still only get away with what God allows him to get away with. Here, God allows Satan to influence David, but only because God has a purpose in mind.
So, what does this mean in our own lives? God does allow us to make bad choices. He has already decreed that bad choices will bring bad outcomes – we see that throughout Scripture! He also allows bad things to happen to us, but there is always a purpose and a meaning behind it. Scripture reminds us that pain brings growth and drives us closer to God. And that ultimately, “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Seven chapters is better than nine, but still daunting. We’ve covered this material before (In 1 & 2 Samuel), but it is given here in more detail. For instance, God’s anger and the death of Uzzah are explained: “Because you Levites did not carry the Ark the first time, the anger of the Lord our God burst out against us. We failed to ask God how to move it in the proper way” (1 Chronicles 15:13). This is why our devotional asks us to consider how we do things, not just why we do them. It’s very easy to say, “I’m doing this for God,” but if we’re not doing it the right way is he really going to be pleased?
1 Chronicles 16:8-36 (and Psalm 105:1-15) is a marvelous Psalm about God’s sovereignty and care. It also details what we are to do in response to God: yes, we praise and sing, but we should also “tell all the nations that the Lord is king!”
Thank God He Keeps His Promises!
I) God made a __________ to Abraham
A) In fact, God made _________ promises to Abraham
B) But we are concerned with ________ promise in particular
II) And a promise is a _____________!
A) Even human beings recognize that agreements are
B) If human agreements are binding, just think about
III) The _________ doesn’t change that promise
A) The promise came _________!
B) The ________ came long after!
C) If human agreements can’t be changed, then __________
certainly won’t be!
IV) There is __________ to the promise than first appears
V) The promise is ultimately ___________ in Jesus Christ!
A) ________ is not necessarily single, but can be seen as
B) Some think that Paul is using questionable ___________
C) But he is really bringing out the ________ theological
VI) God’s promise is what provides the _____________!
VII) What has God promised to ________ us as an inheritance?
A) __________________ (Eph 2:4-5)
B) __________________ life (John 4:14)
C) __________________ life (2 Cor 5:17)
D) __________________ life (John 10:10)
E) Spiritual _________________ (Eph 1:3)
F) The _____________ (Eph 1:13-14)
G) The ___________ of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)
H) _________________ (Php 4:19)
I) __________________ (2 Cor 1:4)
J) ___________________ (Matt 11:28)
K) ___________________ (Php 4:6-7)
L) ____________________ (1 Peter 1:3)
M) ___________________ (Rom 8:28)
N) ___________________ (Php 1:6)
O) Eternal _____________ (John 10:28)
P) Eternal _____________ (John 14:2-3)
Nine chapters! Mostly genealogies. If you aren’t comfortable skimming, then I suggest listening to them (perhaps at a 1.5 speed)! If you are having trouble visualizing the family relationships, perhaps this chart can help. You should be able to click on it to open it in a new window, and then click on it to enlarge it again.
We are getting ready to go into 1 & 2 Chronicles, which will cover much of the same material that we covered in 1 & 2 Kings. There is a difference, however. Chronicles will cover the Davidic dynasty and the kingdom of Judah exclusively. That’s because it is more concerned with the spiritual and the theological than simply the historical.
There is a reminder for us in that as well. We look at history and we live through history. What are we most concerned about in the midst of it? Simply what happens, or how God is at work around us? We need to make sure that we remember that there is always the spiritual dimension to consider!
Josiah loved God and revered His Word. His reforms are truly amazing. But what is even more astonishing is the level of ungodliness in the kingdom. 2 Kings 23 reads like a horror story. What was done to/in the temple was horrifying, and the fact that other kings had tolerated the pagan shrines and altars can hardly be believed. It’s no wonder God finally had enough! One good king could do a lot, but he couldn’t make up for a people and leadership that continually turned away from God. It’s a good reminder for us that God is not only gracious, he is holy too, and sometimes He cries “Enough!”
One of the ongoing lessons from the history of Israel is the impact that the ruler has on the nation. He can destroy idols and false shrines, or build them. While it may not change many peoples hearts, it can certainly provide some peer pressure and have an impact on ongoing practices. I think of when our kids were younger. We’d do all that we could to encourage them to do what was right in God’s sight, but in the end whether or not they followed was up to them.
Isn’t it interesting that something God used to bring salvation ends up being worshiped instead (2 Kings 18:4). That’s one of the reason many in the Protestant reformation were so against icons and images in the church. It is a human trait to worship/adore the object that represents God, rather than worshiping God himself (who is Spirit, and those who worship must worship in Spirit and in truth – John 4:24).
Along those sames lines, did you catch 2 Kings 18:32? Sennacherib’s representative said, “Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one.” Why? To take the people away from their possessions and surroundings certainly, but there was also a religious reason as well. Many thought that the gods you worshiped were tied to the land, and by removing people from the land you separated them from their gods. But we know better, and the Israelites were taught differently as well. Think back to Solomon’s prayer when they brought the ark into the temple: “But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built” (1 Kings 8:27)! God is awesome and everywhere, and He is the only one worthy of our worship!