Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36
1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36 Thanks A Lot
Somehow it dawns on David that he was supposed have brought the ark to Jerusalem on the shoulders of Levites, just as it said in Scripture (Exod. 25:10-16; Num. 4:15). Though at first he blamed God for Uzza’s death, he now confessed his mistake (v. 13). Don’t judge. How many times have we messed up and blamed God for the mistake? Hopefully, we, like David, later come to our senses.
Notice David used first class musicians for his parade (v. 16-24). He didn’t use weekend warriors, FM hit wannabes.
Many churches today program for their audience, the congregation. Fortunately, David didn’t play to his wives since he really disappointed Michal. She didn’t like the way David “let it all hang out for God” (v. 29). Often those who are “totally sold out” to God (NT: “bond-servant” cf. Rom. 1:1 NASB) are “despised” by others (v. 29).
David had prepared a tent for the ark. Then they had a pot-luck dinner, of sorts. Everyone had brought sacrifices, offered them, then ate them.
David assigned Asaph and his relatives just to give thanks to the Lord. We’re told in the NT to always give thanks (Eph. 5:20; 1 Thes. 5:18). David wrote a psalm for the occasion. It shows up in the book of Psalms as Psalm 105. In categorizing the psalms by type, it is a . . . wait for it . . . you guessed . . . a thanksgiving psalm. Do you how we know it is a thanksgiving psalm? It says “thanks” a lot. Do you?
David also puts in a warning not to “touch his anointed ones” (v. 22). Of course, they didn’t listen. They were always offing the prophets, even up to Jesus and beyond. They would’ve loved to kill Paul (he was beheaded but according to secular history the Romans might have got to him first).
New Testament: Romans 1:18-32
Romans 1:18-32 I’m Not Gay But I Could Use A Hug!
Ut, oh. The culture has got to me so much that I hate to cover this next passage. When I was young, no one would have had a problem with this passage. Its truths were accepted in our culture. But now it’s controversial.
Let me first say, I don’t hate gay people. It’s unfortunate that it’s not possible to have an opinion these days without someone calling you a name. So let’s get that out of the way. I’m not a homophobe. I’m not afraid of gays. How dumb! In fact, I like to hug them. And that doesn’t make me gay, either. What is in this chapter about homosexuality is God’s opinion, not mine. Though I try to agree with Him as much as I can. Like always, I hope. I guess I’m a Theo-phobe because I fear God. And I fear Him more than any human beings of any persuasion!
So here’s what the Lord God says who created every one and every thing. He says homosexuality is wrong. He made the parts and the machine so I’m thinking He knows how they were best meant to work. And He is the One that says it’s wrong. So get mad if you want but you won’t have me to deal with someday. That would be better for anyone who disagrees with this. But trust me, it would be better to fear God.
A confused lady once stood up in a Sunday School lesson I was observing and when the subject came up regarding fearing God she proudly declared, “I don’t fear God!” Well, I think she misunderstood. We shouldn’t fear to have a relationship with God but we should have a respectful awe before Him before Whom we have to do (Heb. 4:13). Another translation says, “with Whom we have to give an account” (NIV). Everyone seems to be living as though there is no God. We just do whatever we want to do and enjoy whatever we want to enjoy with no sense that someday we will have to give an account.
Woody Allen used to tell a stupid joke about how Billy Graham used to double-date with God. Haha. How many churches today reverence God? Or do they act like they are all going on a double-date with God. Jesus is their pal. Well, He is our friend (John 15:14) but He always deserves respect. It’s a commandment (No. 1).
Let me clarify something else. I don’t believe anyone is gay. Crazy? What I mean is no one is born gay. I know some say there is science to it. But I think it’s the same scientists who hoisted the biggest hoax ever perpetuated on mankind, evolution. So like, there really is no science to it. (Ooo, is that the globe I feel warming???) Now, I do believe that some people may have a disposition to act homosexualily. (I know I made up a new word there.) Some guys have a tendency to like other guys in the wrong way because they don’t have fathers that have paid enough attention to them. Some guys like girls too much in the wrong way because their mothers didn’t love them right as they were growing up. We all commit all kinds of sins because we are trying to recreate our early family experiences. That’s why I believe the Bible tells us in more than one place that the sins of the fathers are passed to the third and fourth generations.
Now Jesus loves every one. Even ones with faulty upbringings. Which would be . . . every one! And I love them, too. Even those who think they are gay. Perhaps they need love the most. I’d love to have an entire church of people who think they are gay! We all have things to struggle through but we’ll never be all that we can be (appreciation to the Marines for that) unless we submit to what God tells us.
Here’s what He tells us at the end of Romans chapter one. He says homosexuality is wrong behavior. Paul begins by saying that some things make God extremely mad or his word would be wrathful (v. 17).
Verse 19 is a fantastic statement (cf. Ps. 19!). In fact, this concept is what led me to salvation in Chirst. A friend of mine who was a girl (not a girlfriend) in high school was trying to prove to me that there was a God. She told me to look out the window and see the green grass and blue sky and say there wasn’t a God. Even though we were in New Jersey at the time, the grass was green and the sky was blue. I couldn’t say there wasn’t a God. That is what verse 19 says. Not long ago I used this same argument with a man at lunch and he looked out the window and denied there was a God. But he was a lawyer.
Verses 20 through 23 say that every one is without excuse when it comes to a belief in God because they can look out the window (if they’re inside) and see that there is a God by just looking at nature.
Let me explain something in Scripture. When you see the term “fool” it usually means someone who doesn’t believe in God. Proverbs had many references to “fools.” So it doesn’t mean like jesters or clowns, although, in a sense, I guess they are.
Then in verse 24, Paul says that God “gave over” the fools who followed “the lust of their hearts.” This is probably why Mr. T. says he, “pities the fool.” What did God “give them over” to? He gave them over to their hearts that wanted to do the exact opposite of what God wanted them to do. He wants the best for every human being. That is why He gave us an owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is the Bible. But just like when we get a car, when something goes wrong, what is the last thing we consult? The owner’s manual.
People today are ignoring the owner’s manual. Even in churches! Even people who have trusted Christ! It should be the first thing we go to and should be studied in detail! But we don’t.
God has given everyone free will. Any church that tells you that He hasn’t, is preaching a gospel from Hell. Genesis began with the story of a choice with Adam and Eve. God wants us to love Him and we can’t love Him unless we are able to make a choice!!! He could’ve just made robots if He just wanted servants. But He wants our love. Perhaps that is why David was favored by God over Saul. David committed some pretty big sins but he had a pretty big love for God. Saul didn’t, who also committed some doozies!
The end result is that God in allowing free-will, lets people sin. And if they want to take His wonderful gift of sex and misuse it, He lets them. He doesn’t stop them. He “turns them over” to it (v. 26-27). In fact, He allows any one to sin in whatever way they’d like . . . for now, anyway. Someday He will call in all his cards and put everything the way He wants it. And He is not just allowing homosexuality, He also straight people to do whatever they want like all kinds of “unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful” (v. 29-31). Paul says that people know better and that when they do bad things that they deserve death. But they don’t care and even hang with people who do things they shouldn’t do (v. 32). “Birds of a feather,” as they say.
OK, I know what I just wrote will infuriate a lot of people. Sorry. Like I said, I didn’t think it up, Some One else did. And if you’re really, really mad at me, it’s OK. Come seek me out and I’ll give you a great, big, hug!
Psalm 10:1-15 Bullies Bullied, Part 1 A Lament By David
Psalm 10:1-15 Bullies Bullied
We look at the first half of Psalm 10 today.
I love when David is miserable. As the saying goes, Missouri loves company.
He begins by asking why God seems so distant, especially when he needs Him (v. 1).
He is still being pursued by his son’s men who is trying to overthrow his kingdom (v. 2).
David’s adversaries had these characteristics:
Prideful (v. 2)
Wicked (v. 3)
Atheists (v. 4)
Arrogant (v. 5)
Self-trust (v. 6)
Potty mouth (v. 7)
Bullies (v. 8)
Sneaky (v. 9)
Use surprise (v. 10)
Think God won’t notice them (v. 11)
David asks God to protect those who were being abused by these evil men (v. 12). These men thought they could get away with their evil (vv. 13-14) even against orphans. David asks God to take care of these thugs for him.
Did you ever have anyone who took up for you against bullies? God was probably using those people. He is always for the underdog (cf. 1 Sam. 2:8; Ps. 113:7).
Proverbs 19:6-7 Getting A Call Back
We’ve seen verse 6 before. And we already know it’s true. People like to hang with rich people (v. 6). We just saw that in verse 4 yesterday! Solomon is really trying to impress his son that wealth is not everything. Many things can be learned by being poor. In fact, the New Testament promises us suffering (cf. Rom. 5:3-5). Peter said that suffering could very well be the will of God for us (cf. 1 Pet. 4:19). Part of that suffering, despite what some prosperity preachers preach, could be financially suffering. Nothing prohibits that kind of suffering in the Bible.
Keep in mind that friends and workers always like to work for a rich person (v. 6). Why would anyone want to help someone who is poor? Only a Christian would care about someone who is poor (cf. Gal. 2:10; James 2:2-3). Because a Christian should be working for the Lord (cf. Col. 3:23-24).
Nobody loves you when you’re down and out (v. 7). That should be a song. Nobody cares about a poor person . . . except a representative of Christ. His own bothers don’t care about him or his close friends either. I can’t even get my plumber to call me back and he’s paid up (v. 7c)!
Choose Life: Scripture: Romans 1:19 NASB “Conversation With A Lawyer”
“ . . . because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” Romans 1:19
I had lunch with a couple of lawyers a few years ago. That sounds like a setup line for a joke, doesn’t it? It was no joke. One of them chose to debate me on the topic of the existence of God. He was against it. I was for it.
I asked him to do what I had done so many years before. I asked him to look out the window, look at the sky and the trees, and tell me there was no God (cf. v. 20). He looked out the window, looked at the sky and the trees and said there was no God. I knew lawyers’ reputations for lying so I asked him to look again and tell me there was no God. He told me there was no God. I was incredulous. I still am. He was a devout atheist.
The next time I saw him was also in a restaurant. I introduced him to my naturopathic doctor who was sitting with me and her husband. I went back to my table and he went back to his but a while later he got up and whispered a curse in my ear. I was puzzled. He then approached my doctor and apologized to her for calling her doctor, that he knew it was her husband who was the doctor. He knew I was just kidding him and fooling around. To his chagrin, my doctor explained that she was, indeed, the doctor in the family. I guess you can lead a horse to water . . . .
It befuddles me to no end that people can look truth in the face and not recognize it. Or maybe, better, it should be said that they refuse to recognize it. Why do they refuse to recognize it? The answer is in our passage today. People want to do what they want to do (cf. v. 26-27). They don’t want to change, particularly their lifestyles. If you don’t believe in God, you can do whatever you want. (Believe it or not, lawyers are not taught that God is behind all law. He is, if you think about it. That’s why we are where we are as a country today.)
The Bible says that people were “professing to be wise” but “they became fools” (v. 21).
So if you sat down with a “lawyer,” would you be able to point them to God?
If you could, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Josh McDowell wrote a classic book defending the faith and answering all kinds of questions that can be asked about God and Christianity. It’s called Evidence That Demands A Verdict (now New Evidence That Demands A Verdict). It is almost an encyclopedia of apologetics (defense of the faith). So you may not just want to read straight through it. It is more of a reference for when you need an answer on something.
However, if you want a book you can just sit down and read like a story, try The Case For Christ written by former Chicago Tribune editor, Lee Strobel.
Don’t forget that as Christians it is suggested that we should be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.” OK, I was kidding. It is not a suggestion, is it? It is a command.
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: I’m Not Gay But I Love Them!