Spiritual Rants: July 10 “The Sin Unto Death” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 1 Chronicles 9:1-10:14 Acts 27:21-44 Psalm 8:1-9 Proverbs 18:23-24

Old Testament:  1 Chronicles 9:1-10:14

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1 Chronicles 9:1-10:14   Goin’ Back

Chapter nine begins, “So all Israel was enrolled by genealogies; and behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was carried away into exile to Babylon for their unfaithfulness.”  McGee believes the genealogies hung in the Temple for all to see.  When the Israelites went into captivity they took them with them and posted them again when they got back.  McGee believes the genealogies were on display in the days of Christ so the scribes or anyone else would have been able to check out Jesus’ family.  No one ever took exception with his pedigree as man.  They certainly had problems with His pedigree as God!

After the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans, the genealogies were destroyed.  They were no longer necessary.  Paul points out, as we’ll see in the book of Romans (chap. 15), that all men have their origin in the first man, Adam.  Only those in Christ are related to the second man, Jesus.  So though we all theoretically could have our lineage traced through one of Noah’s three sons, the only genealogy that really counts is the one that traces back to Jesus.  That genealogy is entered into by faith in Christ.  Those that are of that line go to Heaven.  Those that trace themselves only to Adam, do not.

1 Chronicles 10:1-14  The Sin Unto Death

Since Chronicles fills in what is missing in Kings and the Samuels, after the genealogies, we are told about the death of Saul.  All the rest of the Chronicles are about David or his family.  The reason is that Chronicles tell Israel’s history from God’s point of view.  Apparently, the main event in Saul’s life was his death.

In the beginning of chapter ten we find out who killed Saul.  It appeared that Saul committed suicide after being fatally wounded from the account in Kings (1 Sam. 31:1-5).  There was a contrary account from an Amalekite soldier who claimed to have killed Saul (2 Sam. 1:1-16).  The account in Chronicles tells us definitively who killed Saul.  It was Yahweh.  Verse 14 states that He, Yahweh, killed him because he was disobedient (v. 13) and asked advice of a witch instead of  the Lord (v. 14).

Perhaps, we take things like ouija boards, astrology, palm-reading, Wiccanism and the like, too lightly in our day.  God took the life of Israel’s first king for consulting a witch.  The penalty in the Old Testament was death (Lev. 20:27).  Of course, God reserves the right to take a Christian today who is not walking in His ways.  It is called “the sin unto death” or “sin that leads to death” (1 John 5:16, 17; James 5:19, 20; 1 Cor. 11:30).

New Testament:  Acts 27:21-44

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Acts 27:21-44    No Jumping Ship

Paul begins his voyage as a prisoner-passenger but now he looks to be their principal.  He knows that they will all be saved from the storm because an angel appeared to him and told him.

After the fourteenth night, they made some measurements and ascertained they may be running aground, destroying the ship.  Some of the men, were going to steal a lifeboat and try to get away.  Paul told the centurion to make sure the men stayed onboard or they wouldn’t be saved.

Paul tried to get everyone to eat saying they’d need their energy for what lay ahead.  Paul said “grace” and distributed some lunch for everyone which lifted their spirits.  There were 276 people on the boat.  After lunch, they threw the wheat out into the sea to lighten the ship.

The sun came up but they still couldn’t recognize any land but they did observe a beach and decided to head for it.  They ran the boat aground so the soldiers were going to kill the prisoners but the commander wouldn’t allow it since he wanted to save Paul.  So all swam ashore and not one died just as Paul had prophesied.

 

Psalm 8:1-9   Awesome!  A Psalm Of Praise By David

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Psalm 8:1-9 Awesome!

Sandi Patti sang a great song based on this psalm.  Listen to it here.

This is a psalm of praise.  David is praising the Lord.  A great way to pray is to start with praise (see Your Feets Smell).

David begins by making definitive statements about Yahweh (vv. 2-3).  God takes care of even babies.  When David looks up, he is in awe of God (cf. Rom. 1:19-20).

David ponders God’s awesomeness when he looks up (v. 3).  Then he wonders why God has any concern at all for people (v. 4).

Did you realize that men are ranked just below angels right now but in the future will be promoted above them?  Verse 5 indicates that they are above us now but in the future men will judge angels (cf. 1 Cor. 6:3).   The word for angel is elohim in the Hebrew and could be translated God as in the NASB.  Obviously, we are below God.

Mankind is also more advanced than animals (vv. 6-8).  Take that “fellow creatures” people!  Sorry to be so harsh, but we are more advanced than the animals and birds.

Again, David sums things up by repeating his first line, “How majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (v. 9).

God is awesome!

 

 

Proverbs 18:23-24   Sticky People

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Humble people are the closest to God.  They pray all the time and depend on Him (cf. Luke 18:13; James 4:6-7; 1 Pet. 5:5).

Poor people tend to be humble and depend on God (v. 23).  The rich tend to be arrogant and flip you off on the highway (v. 23).  Did I mention the lady at the movies the other day (Looking For Life In All The Wrong Places)?

Have you noticed how many friends a person has who has won the lottery?  They have a lot more than they had had the day before!  Too many friends can be a bad thing!  They can drive you to ruin, even if you’ve won a million dollars!

It’s best to know who your real friends are.  They will stick with you through thick and thin.  Which is probably why these phrases are found in traditional wedding vows, “for better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health.”

Who is your best friend?  Will they stick closer to you than a brother?

 

Choose Life: Scripture: 1 Chronicles 10:4   NASB    “Falling On Your Sword”

“Then Saul said to his armor bearer, ‘Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, otherwise these uncircumcised will come and abuse me.’  But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took his sword and fell on it.”    1 Chronicles 10:4

 

Saul died like he lived.  Kinda cowardly, I would say.  He asked someone else to off him so the enemy wouldn’t be able to do it.  What goes around, comes around (cf. Gal. 6:7-8).  He was afraid he’d be abused by the enemy but his armor bearer wouldn’t do the job because he was afraid he’d be abused.  Saul’s body was abused anyway (1Chron. 10:10 that states his head was hung up on the wall in the temple of Dagon and 1 Sam. 31:10 states that his body was hung on the wall at Beth Shan).  Saul was not only disobedient but also consulted with mediums (1 Chron. 10:13-14; 1 Sam. 28:7, see blog A Small Medium At Large).  God put Saul to death, the Scripture says (cf. 1 Chron. 10:14).

In contrast, in our reading for today, ” . . .  the centurion, wanting to bring Paul safely through, kept them from their intention, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land” Acts 27:43.  God kept Paul alive though his life was threatened.

Winston Churchill, the prime minister of England during World War II, famously gave a speech at his old high school.  It was short and sweet.  He got up, stepped to the podium, and said, “Never give up.  Never. Never. Never . . .  give up!”  And then he sat down.

Saul failed God numerous times and went out in disgrace.  Paul obeyed God numerous times and is one of the most respected men in history.

You have a choice.  You can fall on your sword or you can keep on keepin’ on.

 

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

Fun Application: 

When you feel like giving up there are numerous verses in the Bible that can sustain you.  Here are a few.

1 Cor. 15:58   “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not [in] vain in the Lord.”

Phil. 4:13  “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Josh. 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Isa. 41:10 “‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”

Zeph. 3:17  “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

Phil. 3:12   Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Isa. 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up [with] wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”

That should keep you going for a while.  Pick one, memorize it, and trust God for it.

 

 

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:   The Sin Unto Death

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