Month: May 2017

2 Chronicles 13-14

2 Chronicles 13:1-3
1 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah set the battle in order with an army of valiant warriors, four hundred thousand choice men. Jeroboam also drew up in battle formation against him with eight hundred thousand choice men, mighty men of valor.

The bible is clear as to when these various kings reigned. Jeroboam was the first king of the Northern Kingdom. These verses tell us when Abijah (the second king)became king over Judah. Because we know when Jeroboam was king, we can figure out the year Abijah was king. This is the way it is throughout that we might come up with a good chronology of when these kings reigned. There was fighting between the Northern and Southern kingdoms throughout their history.

2 Chronicles 13:12
Now look, God Himself is with us as our head, and His priests with sounding trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O children of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper!”

This is such a true statement, anyone who comes up against the Lord will not win. This is such great news for us.

2 Chronicles 13:21
But Abijah grew mighty, married fourteen wives, and begot twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.

This is a picture of God’s mercy, that Abijah grew mighty in spite of his disobedience. It was not His will that man have more than one wife. In His permissive will, He allowed it. However from the beginning it was not so. This is evident in the establishment of marriage in the book of Genesis 2.

2 Chronicles 14:2-4
2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, 3 for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment.

It is evident why the land was quiet for ten years, why there was peace. When we remove the idols from our lives and seek the Lord and observe the commandments, we can expect there to be peace. When we are obedient, even in the midst of difficulty, the is great peace of heart. I love that about our God.

2 Chronicles 14:8
And Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah who carried shields and spears, and from Benjamin two hundred and eighty thousand men who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty men of valor.

Remember that there were twelve tribes of Israel. When the kingdom was divided, ten made up the Northern Kingdom and two made up the Southern Kingdom. The Southern Kingdom consisted of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin…as we see here in this verse.

2 Chronicles 14:11
And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “ Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”

This is such a great reminder to us as to how powerful our God is. Though they were terribly outnumbered by 420,000 men, it was nothing for God. Let this be our prayer, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God…O Lord, You are our God.”

2 Chronicles 10-12, John 11

2 Chronicles 10:1
1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king.

Remember, that from this point forward, we are going to be reading of the kings of the Southern Kingdom only. The kings of the Northern Kingdom are not covered, apart from short mentions in Second Chronicles.

2 Chronicles 10:8
But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.

One of the great tendencies when you are growing up, is that you think you know more than your dad knows. That it until you run into enough problems that you realize how smart your dad really is. When Solomon got started, he humbly acknowledged that he was a child and didn’t know what he was doing. He asked God for wisdom, to which God answered him profoundly. Now that he has been king for a while and people think he is great, he foolishly disregards the wisdom of his father’s elders and consults with people his own age. We can fall into this same trap. Wisdom tells us we should always seek those who are older and wiser in experience than we are.

2 Chronicles 11:4
“Thus says the Lord: “You shall not go up or fight against your brethren! Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” Therefore they obeyed the words of the Lord, and turned back from attacking Jeroboam.

Rehoboam wisely listened to the Lord here. It is hard to back off when someone has wronged you, or someone is attacking you. However, to fight someone in our strength rather than the Lord’s strength is a foolish thing to do. Even when it doesn’t make sense to us, we must listen to the direction of the Lord.

2 Chronicles 11:17
So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.

Notice that is wasn’t the king who strengthened himself, but rather the priests who had turned to the Lord. They did this through their faithful seeking of the Lord. Exodus 15:2 says, “The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”

2 Chronicles 12:1
1 Now it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel along with him.

I cringe when I read verses like this one. We can always expect calamity when we forsake the word of the Lord. In every instance, where people are having ongoing trouble, the root issue is a total disregard for God’s word. It is so unnecessary!

2 Chronicles 12:7
Now when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.

The Bible says in James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” Mighty things begin to happen when we let go of our pride and humble ourselves before the Lord.

2 Chronicles 12:14
And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.

Preparing our hearts to seek the Lord, protects us from evil.

John 11:6
So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

Why would Jesus stay two more days, knowing his friend Lazarus was sick? It seems rather cruel doesn’t it? I believe it is because he wanted to display his glory by raising Lazarus from the dead.

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “ I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

These are some great verses. Do you believe this? I know that I do…with all of my heart. What a great comfort knowing that we will live forever. Lord, by the Holy Spirit continue to reveal this truth to our hearts.

John 11:39
Jesus said, “ Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

Knowing that Lazarus had been dead for four days, made this miracle all the more amazing. The day will come when God will literally raise everyone from the dead. Some to everlasting punishment and others to everlasting life with Him.

John 11:48
If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

Sadly, this was the Pharisees one great and overriding concern, that they would lose their place as the religious leaders of the land. Their lust for power led them straight to hell. If only they had listened to the very prophets which they read week and week, Sabbath after Sabbath.

2 Chronicles 7-9

2 Chronicles 7:1
1 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.

Imagine having a prayer time like this one! We read of the dedication of the temple here. The glory of the Lord was so powerful that not only were the offerings and the sacrifices consumed, but the priests couldn’t even go in. The day is coming, when we will be in the presence of the Lord, in his very presence, with no problems. Why? Because we will be covered by the precious blood of the Lamb, the precious blood of Jesus.

2 Chronicles 7:14
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

This verse if often used out of context in that people believe that if we faithfully pray this prayer, God will heal the problems in the United States. While I believe that this scripture is applicable to a number of situations, we must be careful of all scripture to make sure we are reading it in context. This was a word given to Solomon specifically in reference to Israel. The Lord responds to any humble prayer, any prayer with a repentant heart, but we must make sure that we are praying according to our particular situation. We must always pray, according to His will.

2 Chronicles 8:11
Now Solomon brought the daughter of Pharaoh up from the City of David to the house he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not dwell in the house
of David king of Israel, because the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy.”

This is interesting to me and shows a bit of the backwards thinking of some of these leaders. The Lord made it clear that they were not to intermarry with foreign nations. Obviously, he disregarded that command, but seems to be concerned that his foreign wife might somehow violate the temple area. Seems like a contradiction to me!

2 Chronicles 9:3-4
And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 4 the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers and their apparel, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her.

People who are extremely knowledgeable in things intrigue me. It really doesn’t matter what they are knowledgeable in, it is just the mere fact that they are experts in something. In the case of Solomon, his wisdom was so vast in many subjects, that it literally took the Queen of Sheba’s breath away, it left her speechless. And, you can bet that as a queen she would have been exposed to vast amounts of knowledge.

2 Chronicles 9:12
Now King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked, much more than she had brought to the king. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.

Apparently Solomon was pretty impressed with the queen, or at least very flattered. In the new testament, she is referred to as ‘the queen of the South’ (Matthew 12:42) as Jesus declares himself to be greater than Solomon.

2 Chronicles 9:22-23
So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.

Not only did God bless Solomon with wisdom, but with riches as well, just as He said He would. “Then God said to Solomon: ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.’” (2 Chronicles 1:11-12)

2 Chronicles 9:25
Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.

When we tour Israel, we visit the ruins of Megiddo, where we see the ruins of some of Solomon’s stalls. Needless to say, it is pretty amazing.

2 Chronicles 4-6

2 Chronicles 4:2
Then he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.

The Lord, in His word, has preserved the details of the temple and all of the things surrounding it in such a manner that artists have been able to create a number of renderings in order to give us a good idea of what the temple might have looked like.

2 Chronicles 5:2
2 Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, in Jerusalem, that they might bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord up from the City of David, which is Zion.

One can only begin to imagine how spectacular this event would have been. Remember, that this is the same ark, that had been built in the wilderness, during the days of Moses. And now, it is being brought into the temple all of these hundreds of years later.

2 Chronicles 5:10
Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they had come out of Egypt.

Originally, the ark contained the two tablets, Aaron’s staff which had budded, and a jar of manna. At this time, only the tablets were in the ark. Imagine what an incredible discovery it would be, to find the original ark. It is no double buried under tons and tons of rubble somewhere in Jerusalem. The Lord knows right where it is.

2 Chronicles 5:14
so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

I would love to be preaching one day, and the glory so fill the sanctuary that everything stopped and I could no longer minister. That would be awesome!

2 Chronicles 6:6
Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel. ’

Jerusalem is an amazing city. I have had the privilege of visiting it on four different occasions, and Lord willing will be taking a group from our church back there in 2013. The state of Israel, is about the size of New Jersey. Not a lot of real estate there, and yet all of the religious and political tension in the world seems to hover over Israel. Why is that? Because it is God’s city and it is on the Mount of Olives, just east of Jerusalem, that our Lord Jesus will be returning to. I can’t wait!

2 Chronicles 6:18
“But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!

We would do well to meditate on the glorious truth that the universe cannot contain God. That is how big He is. Our minds cannot grasp such truth. However, as we consider it, the Holy Spirit will speak wonderful things to our hearts, wonderful truths about our God.

2 Chronicles 6:26
“When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them,

When orthodox Jews pray, they always pray towards Jerusalem. Even on the flight to Israel, early the morning, they will don their prayer shawls and move to various areas in the plane and turn towards Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 6:30
then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men),

God and God alone knows the hearts of men. This is why we must never try to hide anything from God. It is an exercise in futility.

2 Chronicles 1-3, John 10

2 Chronicles 1:10
Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

I have always loved this account of Solomon. When he could have asked for anything else, he asked for wisdom. If there is anything we need in the world today, once we have Jesus, it would be wisdom. There are a lot of foolish things that are happening today, because people lack wisdom. Proverbs 10:21 tells us that “fools die for the lack of wisdom.”. I ask for wisdom all of the time. I fear trying to deal with the challenges of this world without it. Where does wisdom come from? Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

2 Chronicles 2:1
1 Then Solomon determined to build a temple for the name of the Lord, and a royal house for himself.

As you read through the building of the temple, try to imagine…not only what it looked like, but all it took to build it. The manpower, the materials, the design, had to have been magnificent.

2 Chronicles 2:6
But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him?

Clearly Solomon had the right attitude here. He understood that he could not build something that could possibly contain an omnipotent and omnipresent God. The purpose of the temple, was to provide a place of worship and sacrifice. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, it became an idol to the Jews.

2 Chronicles 3:1
1 Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

Remember, that Mount Moriah was the same area where Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac. God stopped Abraham at just the right moment and provided a ram, instead of a lamb. 2,000 years later, God would provide the Lamb to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. This ultimate sacrifice would take place on this very same Mount Moriah. So cool!

John 10:3
To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

This idea of humans being compared to sheep is quite appropriate. Sheep are not the smartest animals in the barnyard. They are prone to wander and they need a shepherd to survive. I love the song, ‘Come Let Us Worship and Bow Down’. I especially love the verse that says, “For You are our God and we are the sheep of Your pasture, and the sheep of Your hand, we’re the sheep of Your hand.” The bulk of Chapter 10 addresses this glorious subject of us being sheep and Jesus being the Good Shepherd. Things will go well for us, as long as we appreciate and embrace being His sheep.

John 10:10
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

If people would but understand this profound truth. Satan hates God and as a result, hates anything or anyone who belongs to God. His sole intent, before his final judgment comes, is to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus is just the opposite, he came to give life, life that is abundant. I praise God that I have accepted Jesus as my savior and Lord. Because of that fact, I have abundant life, more abundant than I would ever have had otherwise.

John 10:18
No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

This is a wonderful, wonderful truth about what Jesus did. Not only did He lay His life down for us, but He did it gladly. Why? Because He loves us! He knew that this was the only way we could be reconciled to God and assured of eternity in heaven with both of them. Every single time I think upon this, it boggles my mind. I am so thankful for Jesus’s sacrifice.

John 10:27
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

One of the simplest ways of knowing if a sheep is a genuine sheep, is of they follow the things that Jesus says. There are a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing around today. How do we know that? They don’t follow the things that Jesus says. It is as simple as that!

1 Chronicles 28-29, John 9

1 Chronicles 28:4
However the Lord God of Israel chose me above all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever, for He has chosen Judah to be the ruler. And of the house of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father, He was pleased with me to make me king over all Israel.

David understood that the Messiah would come through his lineage, which is why he said, “…the Lord God of Israel chose me above all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever.” This is the reason that David is referred to so very often throughout the Scriptures.

1 Chronicles 28:9
“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

This is such a powerful and convicting verse. The fact that the Lord “searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts” is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Exciting if our thoughts our pure, terrifying if they are not. This is why we must be in a constant state of seeking the Lord. Our thoughts and hearts must be consumed with a desire to know Him more intimately with each passing day. As we do this, we will find Him, and our lives will be filled with God, in unimaginable ways. It is such a wonderful way to live.

1 Chronicles 28:20
And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God— will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.

When will we have finished the work that the Lord has for us? When He has finished the work in us. Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6, “…He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Of we keep our attention focused on the Lord, He will make sure that the entire work He has for us is completed, until His return, or until He takes us home.

1 Chronicles 29:2
Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance.

When you consider all of the materials that God used to build His temple, one can only imagine how beautiful and spectacular it must have been. The tragic side of it all, was that the Jews ultimately worshipped the temple, more than the God of the temple and in fact, to this day, still lament its destruction.

1 Chronicles 29:9
Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord; and King David also rejoiced greatly.

Once we truly recognize that absolutely everything we have comes from the Lord, then we will offer everything we have willingly back to Him, with loyal hearts. 2 Corinthians 9:7, So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

1 Chronicles 29:19
And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision.”

What a great prayer to pray for our children, “Lord give my children loyal hearts to keep Your statutes, Your testimonies, and Your statutes.

John 9:2
And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

It was a common belief in that culture that sickness came as a result of sin. To some extent, this is true. When God created man, He created him in a perfect environment where there was no sin, no sickness or pain of any kind. After the fall, sin and sickness entered the once perfect world. Some sickness even comes upon you because of sinful behavior, such as alcoholism or sexually transmitted diseases. However, sickness doesn’t come upon a person in the sense that these Jewish teachers were suggesting.

John 9:5
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

I love that this verse is in the context of the story of this blind man. We live in a dark world, a world that insists on closing its eyes to sin and their rejection of Jesus. They are intentionally blind to their sin. Light dispels darkness. Only Jesus can open the eyes of the blind because He is the light of the world.

John 9:16
Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

The reality of the gospel is that it will always cause division. People will either accept it, or reject it. We mustn’t be surprised that this is the case. Jesus said, “You are either for me, or against me.” With that spiritual truth in mind, when we stand for Jesus, people will either be for us, or against us. This is just a fact of life.

1 Chronicles 25-27

1 Chronicles 25:7
So the number of them, with their brethren who were instructed in the songs of the Lord, all who were skillful, was two hundred and eighty- eight.

When you consider all who were involved in the worship of the Lord, you realize how skillful they must have been. When we get to 2 Chronicles, we will see how they played and sang as one. This would have only been possible through much prayer and practice. I would have loved to have heard this worship. I’ll bet it was magnificent!

1 Chronicles 26:1
1 Concerning the divisions of the gatekeepers: of the Korahites, Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph.

Provision was made for the gatekeepers to guard the grounds twenty four hours a day. In addition, provision was made to care for the treasuries as well.

1 Chronicles 27:1
1 And the children of Israel, according to their number, the heads of fathers’ houses, the captains of thousands and hundreds and their officers, served the king in every matter of the military divisions. These divisions came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, each division having twenty- four thousand.

David arranges for the appointment of the army commanders as well as tribal leaders. Additionally, he lists the various overseers of the royal household. These overseers were in charge of extensive orchards, vineyards and herds. These things served to ensure that the king’s needs were well supplied.