Spiritual Rants: July 16 “A Big Drip Or A Fountain Of Blessing” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32 Romans 3:9-31 Psalm 12:1-8 Proverbs 19:13-14

Old Testament:  1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32

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1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32     David Denied

This section has no parallel in Samuel (except verse 1).  David was not allowed to build a house for the Lord because of his participation in all the wars of Israel.  Yahweh told David that his son, Solomon, would build the Temple.  David made all the preparations, though, for his son to be able to fulfill his dream.

Chapter 23 tells how David organized the Levites in preparation for the work in the Temple.  The ark has found its permanent home and will not be moved again but the Levites still have work to do.  Notice again the musicians are professionals.  David had 4,000 musicians whose job was just to praise the Lord and he, himself, made the instruments! (v. 5).  This may have meant that David designed them rather than made them all (cf. Amos 6:5).

New Testament:  Romans 3:9-31

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Romans 3:9-31  All Have Sinned

When I give the good news to someone that they can trust Christ and go to Heaven, I use what is called the Roman Road.  The Roman Road begins with Romans 3: 23 (proceeds to Rom. 6:23; Rom. 5:8 and finally ends at Romans 10:9-10).  I use Romans 3:23 to establish that everyone who ever lived (except Jesus) has offended God by not living up to His righteousness and standards.  Almost everyone I’ve ever talked to has admitted that he or she has sinned and violated at least one of God’s laws.

Only twice have I ever encountered anyone who thought they hadn’t done anything to offend God and had never sinned.  The first person was the maintenance man in the apartments we lived in while in seminary.  I asked if he had ever sinned and he said he never had.  A few weeks later he came back to fix something and I asked him again if he had sinned and he said, “You mean the Ten Commandments?”  I said, “Yeah, that works.”  So, he said that he had probably sinned.  Another time, we were having a Bible Study in our home and one of the neighbors, an older lady, was attending.  I asked the same question and she also said she had never sinned.  A couple weeks later she returned and admitted that she may have sinned “a little” but only small sins.

I’m guessing that I had encountered, over a lifetime, the only two people who had marginally offended God.  So I think it’s safe to affirm what Paul is writing, “no one is righteous, not even one” (v. 9).  Paul is using the authority of the Old Testament to prove his point, quoting from Pss. 5:9; 10:7; 14:1-3; 36:1; 140:3; Isa. 59:7-8.  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) sums up the passage.

McGee uses the illustration of jumping from the Santa Monica coast to the isle of Cantalina out in the sea off the coast of California.  He said some might be able to jump further but will still come back dripping wet and none would make it to the isle.  He said even some in church might be more righteous but still not be able to come close to achieving the righteousness of God.  It is a good illustration.  Sometimes the hardest people to reach with the gospel are “good” people who grew up being “goodie-goodies” and affirmed by parents and teachers alike.  Sometimes the “scum of the earth” realize more quickly than others their need of God and are eager to accept his pardon in grace.  One of the most difficult challenges in the Christian life is to remember that we are sinners and that we live the Christian life by faith and grace through the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal. 2: 20; Col. 2:6).  We saw recently in our Old Testament reading that David who trusted God completely in conquering Goliath as a boy, then reverted to his flesh in numbering the people of Israel and trusting in his army rather than God (see yesterday’s blog).

What Paul is moving toward is the great teaching that Christ died for our sins.  This is what distinguishes Christianity from all man-made religion.  All religions are looking to provide justification for man to feel better about himself by acknowledging some righteousness in him.  Christianity does not allow that.  The only think a person can do on his own is insult God.  The only way for a person to get into Heaven is take on the righteousness of Christ provided through His death.

As Paul explains in v. 27, man has nothing in himself to commend himself to God though he may try.  When we come to the end of ourselves and accept God’s gift, then we can have fellowship with Him.

As I’ve stated, the theme of the Bible is that rebellion against God and sin lead to death but a relationship with God leads to life.

The way of righteousness, says Paul, is through faith since it is the only fulfillment of the Law.  He will explain in the next chapter.

 

Psalm  12:1-8   C’mere Sweetie!   A Psalm Of Trust By David

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Psalm 12:1-8   C’mere Sweetie!

This is another psalm of confidence or trust in the Lord.  Doesn’t it help sometimes just to read these?  (Answer is “yes.”)

Again, David is in a crunch.  I don’t know which crunch time this might be but we’ve already seen David to be in a sticky wicket on several occasions.

It seems sometimes like we might be the last faithful Christian standing in a world gone wild (v. 1).  Well, we’re not.  Elijah thought that, too, and he was wrong (cf. 1 Kings 19:10).  It might not seem like it but there faithful ones scattered around everywhere.  But I like to see that there are other whiners like me in Scripture.  God always puts up with them.

Ungodly are liars (v.2a).  Flattery is basically lying to manipulate someone else (v. 2b).  David pictures the Lord as a plastic surgeon, rearranging people’s lips and tongues (vv. 3-4).  Perhaps He will do it, figuratively speaking, to save the “needy” (v. 5).

I love verse 6.  It speaks of the Word.  David describes God’s words in Scripture as being refined seven times (v. 6b).  Silver is refined multiple times to remove the imperfections.  Seven is a perfect number meaning that God’s Word is perfectly pure.

If we stay in God’s Word, He will protect us from the world’s flattery and lies (v. 7).

The wicked strut around (did you see the Golden Globes last weekend?) promoting “vileness” (v. 8).  Anywhere we look there seems to vileness.  The world system (1 John 5:14-15) surrounds us.

Years ago in my first seminary experience, one of my friends defined “propositional revelation” as when the world says to you, “Hey, c’mere Sweetie!”  (Propositional revelation just means that God’s Word is understandable.  So ha-ha.  Theological humor.)

Is the world flattering you?  Is it saying, “C’mere, Sweetie!”?

Proverbs 19:13-14    A Big Drip Or A Fountain Of Blessing

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Solomon is warning his son again (v. 13, cf. 10:1; 15:20; 17:21, 25).  His son needs to raise his son in the discipline of the Lord so he won’t cause destruction to his father, that is, his grandson’s father (v. 13a, cf. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” Prov. 22:6).  You know who I mean?  Solomon’s grandson’s father.  Solomon’s son will incur the disaster.  David must have taught Solomon to taught his grandson.  What a tangled web we weave.

OK, here’s another way to put it.  God, ” . . . will by no means leave [the guilty] unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations” (v. 13a, Exod. 34:7; Num. 14:18).  Families will be messed up for a long time if fathers don’t keep things straight.  You can study the generations of David, for example, in the books of 2 Samuel and Chronicles.

Another way to destroy the head of a family is to join the husband in holy matrimony with a cantankerous matron (v. 13b).  She will break down her husband trickle by dribble just as a stalactite or stalagmite would disintegrate (v. 13b).

On the positive side, a house and money inherited from parents are a blessing (v. 14a).  Even better than an inheritance is a wife with a good brain who can manage the family with good judgment (v. 14b).

 

Choose Life: Scripture: Romans 3:23  NASB    “Wholly Messed Up”

“ . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . .”    Romans 3:23

 

Wholly messed up.  That’s how bad our world is.  It is wholly messed up.  In fact, you are wholly messed up, too.  You come from a dysfunctional family.  In fact, everybody comes from a dysfunctional family.

But the reason the whole world is wholly messed up is because they don’t know how messed up they are.  The main reason they don’t know that they are wholly messed up is because they don’t acknowledge that God is all-holy.  They don’t have a clue how holy God is.  In fact, you don’t realize how holy God is.  I don’t either.  God is holy beyond our wildest imaginations.  Try to imagine how holy God is then multiply it by infinity.  That’s close to how holy God is.

I have two books in my library on holiness.  One was written in 1912 and the other in 1967.  I am reluctant to read them.  I am afraid of what I will find out.  Publishers have not printed many books on holiness over the years because, I think, many people are like me.  So the books won’t sell.  And especially since 1912 and 1967!  The reason is because if we look at the holiness of God, we realize how un-holy we are.  And also how un-whole.  Which is another way of saying dysfunctional.

However, the good news begins here.  God is all-holy.  We are un-whole.  We need God.  That’s the part we rebel against.  But that is also the good news.   We have sinned, missed God’s standards for us.  We fall short of the glory of God.  If we can admit that we can become whole by trusting Christ.

We can “put on Christ” (cf. Rom. 13:14) and start the journey toward pleasing Him.

Have you gotten dressed today?  Have you put on Christ?

 

 

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

Fun Application: 

Have you admitted that you are wholly messed up?  Do you admit that apart from Christ, you can’t really do anything (cf. John 15:5)?  It is only by faith that we can please Him (cf. Heb. 11:6).  It is by faith that we clothe ourselves with Christ (cf. Gal. 3:27).  We only have purpose in life by exchanging our life for His (cf. Gal. 2:20).

Even as believers, we need to remember that any of our best deeds are like “filthy rags” to God.  We should work for God but we should realize that whatever we do isn’t worth much unless we do whatever we do in God’s power and by His leading (cf. Col. 3:23; Rom. 8:14; see blog, Get The ‘Led’ Out).

What is the way to truly enjoy life?  It is not by the your pursuit of your personal happiness.  Your personal happiness can only be achieved by serving God in His power by His leading.  Then don’t look back on your life and wonder what you’ve achieved.  You won’t be able to tell what you’ve achieved.  Some day you will find out, however, what God had achieved through you (i.e. at the bema seat judgment, cf. blog Bema Me Up, Scotty!).

Take a load off yourself and put it wholly on Christ (see blog, Smell The Roses).   Then you’ll truly be able to stop and smell the roses and wholly enjoy life.

 

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:   David Denied

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