Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:40
1 Chronicles 7:1-8:40 Scopes Trial
Chapters seven and eight recount the lineages of the tribes of Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim and Asher. All of these tribes went into captivity in Assyria. Chapter eight scopes in on Benjamin with the emphasis on Saul and Jonathan.
New Testament: Acts 27:1-20
Acts 27:1-20 Roman Around
Paul was sent as a prisoner to Rome aboard a ship that passed by the coastal towns on the outskirts of Turkey. Paul was allowed to see friends in Sidon. When they resumed the trip, Paul warned that the voyage would be difficult. The centurion in charge listened more to the captain of the ship than Paul. They attempted to get as far as a harbor on the southwest side of the island of Crete to spend the winter.
They didn’t get very far before they were hit with a storm. The best they could do was let down their anchor to slow down the boat. The next day things got worse and they had to start throwing their cargo overboard. That wasn’t enough so the next day they had to throw overboard the ropes, rigging and gears used to shift the boat’s sails. The sky was so dark, they couldn’t even see the sun or stars. They had to give up hope of being saved since they were encountering hurricane strength winds.
Psalm 7:1-17 A Cush Job A Lament Of David
Psalm 7:12-17 A Cush On You
What’s bugging you today? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food to eat? Do you have money to pay all your bills? Does your car start? If you answered yes to most of those, you’re doing OK.
I had a dream last night that a couple thugs were following me. For David, it wasn’t a dream. It was a reality.
It wasn’t just a couple thugs that were following him but in particular was bugging him. According to the superscription to this psalm, David was being chased by a guy named Cush. He is only mentioned here in Scripture. He wants to drag David away (v. 2). David asks the Lord to deliver him (v. 1). Is there something dragging you away today? Maybe it’s a persistent sin that it keeping you from being close to the Lord (cf. Heb. 12:2; Isa. 59:1; Ps. 66:18)? Maybe it’s some sort of lust (cf. Rom. 7:7; 1 John 2:14-15).
David hopes he never acts like Cush is acting (vv. 3-7). It’s always good to ask yourself the same question when you think people are wronging you. “Am I ever acting like them?” You should be careful not to “project” your actions onto others and then dismiss them in yourself. We are psychologically mis-wired to do that (cf. Jer. 17:9). So be careful not to do it!
David asks the Lord to vindicate him (cf. 8, Prov. 4:18). David confessed that he wanted to follow the Lord but he was trusting vengeance against his enemies with the Lord (vv. 8-14, cf. Rom. 12:19). He prays talionic justice on his enemies (vv. 15-16). He prays that his enemy would fall into the same pit he had dug for David. You might remember Haman was hung on the same gallows he had prepared for the righteous Mordecai (see Hanging Together Or Hanging Separately?). Pharaoh tried to off all of the Israelites’ children yet all of the Egyptians’ children died including the Pharoah’s own son (cf. Exod. 1:22; 11:5). Joseph’s brothers tried to subdue him by throwing him in a pit but they ended up being subdued under him (cf. Gen. 37-50). Talionic justice. It’s like a boomerang. You reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7).
Notice David starts out all whiney but ends up trusting the Lord at the end of the Psalm again (v. 17)
How are you ending up?
Proverbs 18:22 Findeth A Good Thing
One of my old pastors just celebrated his 53rd anniversary. So did his wife.
She doesn’t look like she could have been married that long, at all! He maybe could . . . . OK, no, he looks young, too!
What is the secret of their long-lasting marriage? As Micky Mantle said at the end of his life, “This is a role model: Don’t be like me!” Mantle said that after he was saved and was dying of cancer. He meant that boys shouldn’t live the profligate life that he had.
In the same way, my pastor friend married his Christian wife while he was still unsaved! Of course, his wife knew better and it wasn’t long before he was saved. Even before entering the ministry, he was known for walking around with his big, black Bible.
I remember that he quoted Solomon from big, black, King James Bible, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing. . . .” REALLY? “Findeth a good thing”?
Yes, even back in the 70’s, my pastor-friend pointed out the political incorrectness of ole King James back then. My friend foundeth a good thing. Fifty-plus years of blissful marriage.
Find a good Christian and you, too, can also findeth a “good thing.”
Choose Life: Scripture: 1 Chronicles 7:23 NASB “Here Comes Blessing!”
“ . . . . and she conceived and bore a son, and he named him Beriah, because misfortune had come upon his house.” 1 Chronicles 7:23
When people see me coming, often they will say, “Here comes Trouble!” By that, I think they mean, “Here comes Blessing.” I think they are being sarcastic. Maybe not . . . .
Beriah’s name sounds like the word for “tragedy.” The same word also could be translated “misfortune,” “disaster,” “trouble,” “adversity,” and “calamity” (see NAS Hebrew dictionary and other translations). Literally, when they saw him coming, they would say, “Here comes trouble!”
Beriah’s father’s name, Ephraim, means “fruitful” (Gen. 41:52). His uncle’s name Manasseh meant “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” (Gen. 41:51).
You could see why someone might want to name their kid “fruitful” or “God has made me forget all my trouble” but why would anyone want to name their kid “trouble” or “tragedy”?
The Serenity Prayer asks God to, “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can . . . .”
I have found that the more I try to repress or reject bad things that have happened, the more they control me and hurt me. The reason Ephraim named his son Beriah was because it was a reference to the tragedy of his two sons being slain in a robbery by the big guys from Gath (Philistines like Goliath, cf. 1 Chron. 7:21).
I’m not sure it’s a great idea to name a kid, “Tragedy,” but it is a good idea to accept the tragedies in our lives. I’m still glad my cat is named “Hope.”
Are you accepting the tragedies that God allows to come your way?
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Reading the Scriptures is the best way to be comforted in tragedy. We need to remember that anything that happens in this life is temporary. If you’ve read this blog, you know how often God reminded his people in the major prophets and particularly in the minor prophets, that there would be a future for their country despite all the horrible things that had happened to them. We need to keep our focus on the “blessed hope” of our future (cf. Titus 2:13).
Peter had his share of trouble in his life. He wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3). Those who haven’t trusted Christ have only this fallen world as their hope and that hope is acutely temporary. Peter realized that God uses trials to build our character (cf. 1 Pet. 1:6-7; 2 Pet. 1:5-9).
The best way to be blessed in this life is to keep our focus on Christ. In the meantime, we can read the Psalms. (A good way to read through the Psalms and not get lost is to take the day of the month and add thirty to it five times. You’ll get through the whole book every month. You can save Ps. 119 for any 31 day months since it’s so long.)
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: Roman Around