Spiritual Rants: July 5 “Cutting In Line” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17 Acts 23:11-35 Psalm 3:1-8 Proverbs 18:14-15

Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 1-2:17

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1 Chronicles 1-2:17  Cutting In Line

A genealogy of mankind is given to open the book of Chronicles.  The author, perhaps Ezra, begins with Adam and goes through Abraham, his twelve sons, and David.  What’s interesting is that the rejected lines drop out and only the lines that lead to King David and Jesus remain.

Chronicles was written as one book but broken into two when the Hebrew was translated into Greek between 300 and 200 B.C.  They called it “Things Omitted” which was an inadequate title.  They were referring to Chronicles reiteration of things that were in the Samuels and Kings but in more detail.  It is useful to see that Chr0nicles has a different purpose than Kings and Samuel just as there are four gospels that emphasize different aspects of the same material.

Chronicles gives the story of all the kings but from Yahweh’s viewpoint rather than a man’s history.  Thus the spiritual aspects of the recounts are emphasized.  David’s sin with Bathsheba is not mentioned because Yahweh forgot it!  It was not important in Yahweh’s recounting.

New Testament:  Acts 23:11-35

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Acts 23:11-35    Plotting Along

The Lord told Paul that night that just as he had been faithful in witnessing to Him in Jerusalem, he was to tell his story in Rome.

The next day about forty Jews bound themselves together by an oath that they would neither eat nor drink till they had extricated Paul from the earth.  They asked the council and elders to summon Paul under the prevention of bringing a verdict on his case.  The assassins told the council they would make sure Paul never made it as far as them.

Paul’s nephew heard about the plot and he tipped off Paul.  Paul asked one of the centurions to escort his nephew to the commander to report the treachery.  The commander told the boy not to tell anyone that he had squealed.  The commander readied two hundred soldiers with seventy horsemen and two hundred spear-chuckers to protect Paul.  Paul was going to appear before the governor, Felix.

The commander wrote a letter that said

1)  Paul had been arrested by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when he, the commander, rescued him

2)  Paul, it turned out, was a Roman citizen

3)  The commander ascertained that the Jews were upset with Paul over points of Jewish law

4)  The commander found Paul innocent of any sentence of death or even imprisonment

5)   The commander stated that he was informed of a plot on Paul’s life and decided to send him to the governor along with his Jewish accusers

 

The soldiers brought Paul to Antipatris, about 35 miles north of Jerusalem, under cover of the night.  The soldiers left the horsemen in charge and went back to the barracks the next day.  The governor had Paul held in Herod’s Praetorium until the Jews arrived.

 

Psalm 3:1-8   Break His Face!  A Psalm of Trust By David

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Psalm 3:1-8  Break His Face!

When David wrote this, he was fleeing from his son, Absalom, who had rebelled against him and was trying to rip his kingdom from him.  It was a horrible situation since David loved Absalom (2 Sam. 18:13) and he also liked being king.  No one thought David was going to make it through this crisis (v. 2).  David, who had forced out of the capital city (cf. 2 Samuel 15:14-20:26), relied on the Lord completely for his safety, the Lord was “his shield” (v. 3).

David knew that the only reason he was able to wake up alive in the morning was because God was protecting him (v. 5).  He knew that his son has the larger force of thousands of troops (v. 6).  You think you have it bad?  Have you had thousands after you?

David expresses confidence in his Lord who has already smacked his enemies and even broken their faces (v. 7).  “Shattered the teeth” is a metaphor for breaking their faces which is a metaphor for killing them.

When God takes care of you, He is “saving” you like when He “saves” you (v.8, cf. Rom. 10:9-10; Titus 3:5).  So He is always saving believers from everything (cf. Zeph. 3:17).

Whenever anyone is trying to destroy you, demons or people, you can pray that God break their faces.  It doesn’t mean that you have to be retributive, but it does mean that God that you are asking God to use all means to protect you.

Proverbs 18:14-15   The Spirit Of Things

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Emotional pain can be a lot worse than physical pain.  When my son went away to college, I was surprised how hurt I was by that.  My old band teacher told me the worst day in his life was when his son went off to college.  The second worst was when he came back.  I think he was kidding.

The point is that we can usually bear physical pain better than emotional pain.  A loss of a spouse or family member can be some of the worst suffering we can bear (v. 14).

I misread verse 15 at first.  At first glance, I thought it said that the mind of a prudent person requires knowledge (v. 15a).  It says the mind of a prudent man “acquires knowledge.”  Of course,both are true.  A person trying to do the right thing, God’s will, will require and acquire knowledge.  That person’s ear is always out trying to pick up some new fact to enhance their life (v. 15b, see Sensitivity To The Holy Spirit).

 

Choose Life: Scripture: 1 Chronicles 2:3    NASB    “A Major Er-ror”

“The sons of Judah were Er, Onan and Shelah; these three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanitess. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, so He put him to death.”    1 Chronicles 2:3

 

You can read about Onan in this blog, Dysfunction At The Junction.  Onan certainly had his problems but his brother, Er, was no joy either.  We don’t know what he did but whatever it was God did not consider him worthy of life.  So He offed him.  God personally disposed of him somehow.

When I explain that we are saved by grace alone, I often encounter the objection, “But doesn’t someone have to live a good life?”  The answer is no they don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for believers who go off and do “their own thing.”  Paul was confronted with the same query in Romans 6:1 and gave his answer to that question.  We’ve become new creations (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17), why would we want to live in death and do what we used to do (cf. also, 1 Pet. 4:4)?

Is it possible to be saved and not act like it?  A person who trusts Christ and then doesn’t act like it is in danger of being confused about their salvation.  2 Pet. 1:5-9 indicates that we will become more assured that we are saved if we act like it.  But then verses like John 5:24 (“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life”) and 1 John 5:13  (“I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life”) are acutely clear that we are saved by faith through the Scripture apart from any good works on our part (cf. also Eph. 2:8-9, “not by works”).

What is the outcome for those for who persist in evil after trusting Christ?   This is where we come to the “Er-ror” of some people’s ways.  They could croak.  Give up the ghost.  Have their soul separated from their bodies.  Kick the bucket.  Expire.  Go belly up.  Push up daisies.  Buy the farm.  Cash in one’s chips.  Meet one’s maker.  Sleep with the fishes.  Moved to the narrow house on the worm farm.  Go six feet under.  Curtains.  But perhaps I belabor the point.   I think you get the idea.

Basically, Yahweh yanked Er’s chain.  In the New Testament, it is said that a person who is a believer can commit the “sin unto death” (cf. 1 John 5:16-17 and blog Shazam!).  That could have been what happened to Er.  Of course, it is also possible he wasn’t saved and had no possibility of being saved so God ended his life prematurely.

If you have trusted Christ and have tried to follow Him faithfully, you don’t have to worry about committing the “sin unto death.”  But look around you.  Are there people around you that you need to pray for?

 

 

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

Fun Application:  

The “sin unto death” is not a topic oft discussed or preached about.  But it is clear in Scripture that God can and will take some out of this life before their normal time.  Here are the Scriptures:   1 John 5:16-17; James 5:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:29-30 and Acts 5:1-11.  The subject makes a nice study and also brings some sobriety to the subject of salvation by grace alone and faith alone.

 

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:   Cutting In Line

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