Spiritual Rants: August 1 “A Bear Of A Passage” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21 Romans 15:1-22 Psalm 25:1-15 Proverbs 20:13-15

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.


Psalm 25:1-15   Private Instruction, Part 1    A Lament Psalm by David

 


Proverbs 20:13-15     Scams

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Remember Solomon wrote Proverbs for young people?   He was warning youths to work or they will starve (v. 13).

Solomon was warning sellers not to be fooled by scammers who were trying to buy something for less at a market sale (v. 14).

Wisdom is more precious than things.  It usually takes a long age to figure that out, unfortunately.  But when a person can figure that out, life is a lot better.

 

Choose Life: Scripture:  Romans 15:13  NASB    “Hoping For Hope?”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”    Romans 15:13

 

Sometimes people accuse Christians of living with a crutch because they believe in God.  They say Christians use their imaginary God to prop them up.

Life can be tough.  The Christian life can be even tougher!  The Bible makes quite a few demands on believers.  One command is that we be joyful (Phil. 4:4).  Another is that we should be hopeful and more than that, we should be joyful in our hope (Rom. 12:12).  These are not impossible commands (cf. 1 John. 5:3b-4).

It seems to me that the only people who really shouldn’t have any hope are those who don’t believe in God.  What do they have to hope for?  I don’t know!  Like nothing.  Nada.

My wife’s favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”  God plans for us to have a hope!

The greatest hope we have is when the Lord returns.  We are commanded to be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus . . .” (Titus 2:13).  What a day that will be!   That should really be our hope.

Some who hold a different position than I do on end times, think that my position is too dreary since I believe things will get worse before they get better.  It is because I believe there will be seven years of virtual H-E double hockey sticks on earth before the Lord sets up His thousand year kingdom (cf. blog, Rapture: Too Good To Be True and Addendum To The End, long story short: all Christians will be removed from the earth right before things get really bad, aka the Rapture).  That would mean that even if things get horribly bad, they will be unbelievably good just seven years later when Christ’s kingdom begins.  And Christians will not even be around during the seven-year period of doom and destruction.  What a deal (any unbelievers can convert during this time which is highly recommended)!

The Bible gives us many reasons to hope.  Of course, the best is that we get to spend eternity with Christ.  Second is that we don’t have to go to Hell!  Those are two pretty good reasons for hope.  The Apostle Paul once said, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely [graciously, NIV] give us all things?”  (Rom. 8:32).

Loss of hope can actually lead to physical death.  Having hope will lead us to living an abundant life (cf. John 10:10).  Do you have hope today?

 

 

If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application: 

Our ultimate hope is that the Lord could return at any moment (cf. Matt. 24:42; Mark 13:27; Titus 2:13).  Before you blink your eyes again, He could be here!

A good exercise would be to study the word hope in the Bible.  That is why God created Bible software.  It is like a Google for the Scriptures.  Or just type in “hope” and “Bible” into Google.  The recipe for hope is a good amount of Scipture mixed with an adequate amount of faith.  Give it a try!  And don’t despair, it feels really icky.

 

 

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   A Bear Of A Passage

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