“A Bear Of A Passage” – One Year Bible Reading – August 1

Old Testament:  2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21

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2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21   Not Passed Over

Here are the parallels in Kings to our section for today:

2 Kings 18:4-8                                             2 Chron. 31:1

2 Chron. 30:1-27 and 2 Chron. 31:2-21  are unique without parallels in Kings.

I have written on Hezekiah  previously here:

A Prophet Gets Belted

Most of the passage for today is unique to 2Chronicles.  It is about Hezekiah restoring the Feast of Passover.  Passover, of course, speaks of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross which opens the door of salvation to those who trust in Him.  The people enjoyed celebrating the Passover so much that they extended it for another week (v. 23).  Have you ever been in church and the people were enjoying the service so much that they met for an extra couple hours?  Me neither.

After the Feast, the people broke down all the pagan areas of worship.  The Levites were divided into their appropriate groupings to perform the work of worship.  Hezekiah commanded that the Levites be paid as they should to ensure they could teach the law as they should (v. 4).  Pastors today need to be paid so they can study and give out the Word.  But who cares about that?  The mega churches have sucked up all the smaller churches that used to exist so there are not the places for preachers to learn preaching.  Of course, with so many mega-churches, there is not as much need for good preachers.

At first, there were not enough priests since all the systems had broken down during the reign of Ahaz (v. 3).  The Passover had to be postponed from the first month of the year to the second according the provision in the law (Num. 9:10, 11).  Now there were enough contributions and tithes to fund the worship around the nation (v. 12; “throughout all Judah,” v. 20).

New Testament:  Romans 15:11-22

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Romans 15:1-22  A Bear Of A Passage

Paul said in Galatians 6: 2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”  That is the theme of chapter 15.  More specifically, he is concerned that Gentile and Jewish Christians all get along in unity.  He quotes Pss. 18:49; 117:1; and 69:9 to appeal to Jews with their own Scriptures that they should defer to others in the body.  Ps. 69:9 was quoted to show that Christ enduring insults and was their model.  To boot, he adds words from the Mosaic song in Deut. 32:43 to show that God had always intended to add the Gentiles to the fold.  He uses Isaiah 11:10 (from the Greek Gentile version) in the same way.

Paul insinuates in v. 13 that as the Jews and Gentiles get along in the body, they will experience joy and peace resulting in hope in the Holy Spirit.

Paul is very concerned that the Gentiles and Jews all work for the good of each other.  He wants them to understand that all that has been done for the Gentiles has been the work of God, even “signs and wonders in the power of the Spirit” (v. 19).  I have been struck in writing this commentary that God has used “signs and wonders” but apparently only through the apostles.  There is no sign (pun intended) that all Christians were endued with special powers to do miracles, signs and wonders.  Believers are never exhorted to exhibit signs and wonders, only the gifts that have been given to them (see Rom. 12 blog).  The signs and wonders given to Paul were not to puff him up (cf. 1 Cor. 13:4e) but to minister to others (1 Cor. 12:7).  It seems whenever I see a pastor claiming “signs and wonders,” he ends up pointing to himself and not Christ.

Paul is adamant that God has been working through Him and it is not he, himself, doing the work.  He is eager to take the Gospel to new places and now be redundant by going where someone has already been.  He quotes Isaiah to that end, They who had no news of Him shall seeAnd they who have not heard shall understand” (Isa. 52:15).  It was because of this purpose that he had not been able to visit Rome yet.

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