Spiritual Rants: July 12 “Running On Faith” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17 Romans 1:1-17 Psalm 9:13-20 Proverbs 19:4-5

Old Testament:  1 Chronicles 12:19-14: 17

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1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17   Uzz-ing Trouble

The main story in this section is the account of Uzza (spelling is Uzzah with an “h” in 1 Sam. 6) and the ark.  The ark was a chest with a jar of manna in it, the Ten Commandments, and Aaron’s rod that budded.  There were specific commands given by Moses about how the ark was to be transported.  It was supposed to have rings on it for poles and then the ark was to be carried by Levites on the poles (Exod. 25:10-16; Num. 4:15, also see blog Uzzah, Oopsa).

The ark had been captured by the Philistines but caused them a lot of trouble including various sicknesses including what could have been bubonic plague (cf. 1 Sam. 6).  They sent it back to Israel on a cart where it stayed at Abinadab’s house in Kiriath-jearim just north of Jerusalem.

Though the Scriptures were explicit regarding the instructions on transporting the ark, for some reason David allowed the ark to be moved the same way as the pagan Philistines moved it.  They put it on a cart.  Uzza and Ahio were in charge of getting the ark to Jerusalem.  David led the procession of the ark along with many Israelites and musicians when apparently they hit a bump in the road.  Uzza used his hand to steady the ark and Yahweh offed him.  David didn’t know what to do since everyone really wanted to move the ark to Jerusalem.  He decided to leave it in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

The family of Obed-edom housed the ark for three months and Yahweh especially blessed him the whole time.

The moral:  If God commands something, do it and do it the way He says!

New Testament:  Romans 1:1-17

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Romans 1:1-17  Running On Faith

The book of Acts tells us that the gospel moved from Jerusalem, to Judea, and Samaria and to the whole world!  (Acts 1:8).  Paul brought it as far as Rome.  Paul wrote this letter from Corinth while taking up a collection for the Jerusalem church on his third missionary journey.  He was hoping to later visit them (cf. Rom. 15:24) and mentions also in v. 11 that he wished to shared one of his spiritual gifts with them.  In verse 13, he mentions that he had planned to visit them but had been prevented.  Of course, we know from the book of Acts that Paul did eventually make it to Rome.

This was not the first letter that Paul wrote.  It was probably the sixth of his letters.  But it is most probably the most important and flows nicely from the book of Acts ending in Rome.  The reason it is the most important is because it is the closest thing in Scripture we have to a systematic approach to theology, an explication of salvation, sanctification and even the future of Israel and the place of the church.

Verse 1 follows the form of the day by stating the author of the epistle first whereas we usually put our names at the end of our letters.  Paul states that he is an apostle and set apart by God himself.  The subject matter, he says, is Jesus Christ Who had come in the flesh and was the Son of God, resurrected from the dead.  His purpose was to inform Gentiles as to their responsibility though he admits in v. 16 that the gospel went first to the Jews.

The key verses in today’s reading are verses 16-17, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”   One of the most important purposes of the book of Romans was to explain what it means to be saved, that salvation was by faith alone without having to do anything ourselves (cf. Rom. 10: 9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus [as] Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”).

Paul says that in the gospel God’s “righteousness is revealed from faith to faith.”  In other words, we become the righteousness of God when we exercise faith in Jesus.  We take on His righteousness when we trust in Him.  But he will make that even more clear as we proceed through the letter.

He will also talk more about how we should live the Christian life, sanctification.  But in verse 17, he quotes Hab. 2:4, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Paul is saying the same thing he said in Col. 2:6, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk in Him.”   We were saved and going to Heaven by faith but we are also to live our Christian lives on earth by faith.

 

Balancing The Books, Pt. 2  Psalm  9:13-20   A Psalm Of Thanksgiving By David

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Psalm 9:13-30  Balancing The Books, Pt. 2

We finish up Psalm 9 today.

Yesterday, we saw that David was writing praise to God, basically he was praising God because He was going to subdue His enemies as well as protect David.

Someone on Facebook just asked if I remembered the neighborhood bully.  I said I did and then the bully’s sister posted, surprised that her brother was a bully.  If you want to be a good Christian, there will be those who will bully you (cf. 2 Tim. 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”).  Jesus was bullied.  Big time.  So were the apostles. And ages before, here is David being bullied.  Expect it.  The unrighteous do not like the righteous.  Remember Cain and Abel.  It began way back when.

David asked God for protection from those who wanted to bully him to death (v. 13).  He asks to be guarded from death (v. 13c).  And you thought you were being bullied?

David wants to live to so he can continue to praise God (v. 14).  More talionic justice (v. 15, see A Cush On You).

Yahweh will balance the books (v. 16).  The wicked and their entire countries will end up in Sheol, the holding tank for the dead at that time (v. 17).

On the other hand, God won’t forget those who are being abused and need help (v. 18).  At least he won’t forget them forever.  Righteous people get abused and God sometimes allows it for their betterment.  The apostles were all martyrs.  Joseph was thrown in a pit.  So was Daniel, a lion’s pit.

David asks God not to allow his enemies to have their way (v. 19).  This would include demons nipping at us in our day.

He wants God to express His power in such a way that mankind knows Who’s Who (v. 20).

 

Proverbs 19:4-5    No Escape

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Proverbs has a lot to say about poor people.  Puzzling isn’t it since it was written by one of the richest men in the history of the world, Solomon?

Solomon knew that he had a lot of friends because he was wealthy and powerful (v. 4a).  I wonder if he pondered how many of them were true, faithful friends?

People don’t like to hang out with the threadbare (v. 4b).  No one seems to understand the wisdom that can be gleaned from the poor though Solomon did.  In fact, so did Jesus.  He told the story of the poor man, Lazarus (cf. Luke 16:19-30).  Turned out that Lazarus might have been poor but he wasn’t so dumb.  The rich man a much harsher fate.

Unfortunately, the rich seem to get much better treatment and the poor get the short-shaft. Smart people will put their bets on the afterlife, though.  Maybe, you should start thinking about befriending the poor!

I’ve been listening to Congressional hearings today.  They are very interesting.   I’m trying to discern if the FBI director is really as good as his reputation.  Here’s the problem that no one is taking into consideration.   Though the book of James was cited by one of the congressmen (James 1:19, he’s been reading my blog?), no one has cited Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”  That’s the problem.  We can deceive ourselves into thinking that we are honest when we’re not.  Perhaps that’s why Paul said he didn’t even judge himself (cf. 1 Cor. 4:3).  He let the Lord judge him (cf. 1 Cor. 4:4).

Be encouraged that some day there w

 

Choose Life: Scripture:  Romans 1:16    NASB    “Are You Ashamed?”

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”    Romans 1:16

 

Paul said he wasn’t ashamed of the gospel.  That might seem like a strange thing to have to state.  Why even say it?  Who would be ashamed of the gospel?

Well, I’ll tell you.

 

If you don’t believe that the gospel is by faith alone in Christ alone, you are probably ashamed of the gospel.

If you think you are righteous and deserving of God’s favor, you’re probably ashamed of the gospel.

If you think you can be righteous by what you do, you’re probably ashamed of the gospel.

If you think you can be righteous by who you are, you’re probably ashamed of the gospel.

If you think you need to clean up your life before you’re saved, you’re probably ashamed of the gospel.

If you think you have to clean up your life after you’re saved in your own power, you’re probably ashamed of the gospel.

If you think you have to persevere in righteousness to the end of your life in order to make it to Heaven, you’re probably ashamed of the gospel.

 

However . . .

 

If you think you can just trust Christ and make it to Heaven no matter what else you do in life, you’re probably proud of the gospel.

If you trust Christ alone by grace alone for your salvation, you’re probably proud of the gospel.

If you believe there is nothing in and of yourself deserving of salvation, you’re probably proud of the gospel.

If you believe your only righteousness is through Christ, you’re probably proud of the gospel.

If you believe there is nothing you can do to merit God’s grace and all you have to do is choose Christ in faith, you’re probably proud of the gospel.

If you  believe there is nothing you can do to merit God’s mercy and all you have to do is choose Christ in faith, you’re probably proud of the gospel.

If you are proud of Christ and not of yourself in all that you do, you’re probably proud of the gospel.

 

 

 

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

Fun Application: 

Use the above as a checklist to see how you’re doing in your faith.  Are you ashamed of the gospel?

After graduation from seminary, the thing I was scared of most was being like Uzzah (see blog, Uzzah, Oops on today’s reading in 1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17 and blog Running On Faith) who disobeyed the law and got zapped to death.  It seemed like God was being arbitrary.  What I am most afraid of now is being ashamed of the gospel and not preaching grace.  The greatest penalty under grace is the same as it was in the OT:  death.  Being so proud as to not accept grace leads to a penalty worse than Uzzah’s.  It could lead to spiritual death.

Keep studying the Bible and trusting God.  This blog is also written so you can find grace.

 

 

 

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:   Running On Faith

ill be a really, really big throne that Jesus will sit on to judge unbelievers (v. 5a, see The GWT, Rev. 20:11-12; John 12:48).  He will balance all the books.  Justice will be done.

Whoever lies might escape Congress or the Supreme Court but they won’t escape Jesus (v. 5b).

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