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