Thru the Bible – Day 97

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Day 97 – Thru the Bible

Today we continue First Kings and Psalms.

1 Kings 11 – Remember in Deuteronomy 17:14–20, the Lord established the “law of the king,” stipulating that Israel’s king should not acquire many horses (especially from Egypt), multiple wives, or excessive amounts of silver or gold. In other words, Israel’s king was denied political, military, and economic security in order that his trust might be in the Lord and His law. But 1 Kings 10 and 11 make it very clear that Solomon did exactly what the Lord had forbidden in Deuteronomy. He amassed horses and chariots (from Egypt) and incalculable amounts of silver and gold (10:14–29) and, a thousand wives and concubines (11:1–8). This accumulation of worldly wealth and security certainly yielded its crop of infidelity—“So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord.” In fact, Solomon’s disobedience resulted in the division of the kingdom of Israel and marked the beginning of Israel’s ultimate decline toward destruction and exile.

It may be difficult to believe, but the tragedy of Solomon’s disobedience should also give us a measure of hope. First, Solomon’s life reminds us that neither faith and obedience nor satisfaction and happiness are ever the sure result of material blessing. To Solomon belonged all the resources of life: health, wealth, wisdom, power, fame, sex, and anything else that might satisfy us in this life (Ecclesiastes 2). But all of this could not provide fulfillment or prevent infidelity. Rather, it might even be said that all of these “things” got in the way and impeded Solomon’s ability to follow or enjoy the Lord fully.

By way of contrast, David’s Greater Son, Jesus, came without all of these resources, but He showed us what a life of obedience and contentment looks like. In Jesus we learn that neither wealth nor power saves (nor do poverty or weakness, in themselves). Rather, salvation and fulfillment have come to us through the Prince of heaven, who became poor in order that we might become heirs of the kingdom of God together with Him (Romans 8:17).

We are so blessed by the Father – how can you keep this at the forefront of your mind today?

 

1 Kings 12 – The grandeur and scope of the kingdom under David and Solomon was now lost to a divided kingdom, ten tribes for Israel in the north and two tribes for Judah in the south. The heart of Rehoboam no longer desired to serve the people, and the heart of Jeroboam led the people back into the idolatry of the wilderness with the worship of golden calves.

And yet even these tragic events were from the Lord, part of His plan and design for the earthly kingdom of Israel so that the need and provision of God’s greater kingdom would be understood over time. Even the bad things that happen in life, as terrible as they can be, always remain under the supervision and care of our covenant Lord. Trusting in God’s good providence sustains the Believer in a life full of catastrophe and hardship.

How does this truth remind you to trust God in the middle difficult times?

 

1 Kings 13 – This chapter drives home the sacred importance of the word of the Lord. Through the stories of two very different prophets—one who faithfully serves the Lord (vv. 1–10) and one who does not and is killed as a result (vv. 11–32)—we are brought to see the fundamental significance and all-encompassing authority of God’s word. The faithful prophet explains his actions by saying, “for it was said to me by the word of the Lord,” and this theme of the Lord’s word resounds all through the narrative. The crucial mistake of the faithless prophet, however, was deceitfully attributing a statement to the word of the Lord that was no such thing (vv. 18–19).

Immediate submission to the Lord’s word is clearly the high calling of God’s people. His word not only carries His authority but also the instruction needed for God’s glory and the ultimate safety and care of His people. What is so striking about the Bible’s message, however, when taken as a whole, is that at the climax of human history the word of the Lord did not come merely in a message but in a man. John says Jesus is the Word (John 1:1, 14). And when the climactic word of God showed up, He did not berate us into submission. He wooed us with grace. He said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The one place in all four Gospels where Jesus tells us about His heart, He says that He is “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). And indeed, ultimately He suffers and dies in our place (1 Peter 3:18).

God’s word to you, in Jesus, is: bow the knee to Him—not because He is a harsh taskmaster, but because He is a gentle and merciful friend. God’s word to you is one of hope!

How will you rest in this truth today…and every day?

 

Psalm 97 – Because God is the good King, Believers rejoice in His reign by loving righteousness and hating sin. God’s standards flow from His character and are revealed through His Word. The fire, lightning, and earthquake at Sinai not only accompanied the Ten Commandments to reveal God’s holy glory; they also confirmed Moses as a prophet (Exodus 19:9–20; Acts 7:37–38).

That experience defined Moses’ authority for the rest of his ministry. When his teaching was questioned, he appealed to Sinai (Deuteronomy 4:9, 12, 33–36). When disputes had to be settled, Moses entered the tabernacle where the ark of the covenant was, and the cloud hovered overhead (Numbers 12:5, 8; 16:19). When he left, his face shone as well. All of those signs were reminiscent of Sinai, which verified Moses’ prophecies for all time, including that of the Prophet who would complete God’s revelation to His people (Deuteronomy 18:15–22; Acts 3:22–26). In grace, God made plain to His people His authority so that they did not doubt Him and would not doubt the Word that would guide them in life and for eternity.

Since God’s reign is spiritual, it is not yet completely revealed to our eyes (Hebrews 2:9; 1 Corinthians 15:24). God is not slow in keeping his promises, but we are often impatient (2 Peter 3:8–9). Therefore, we must not lose heart (Titus 2:13; 2 Corinthians 4:16). While we wait for the consummation, our love for God is manifested by hating evil and rejoicing in the Lord by praise of His holiness (Romans 12:9). As we walk with God, “light is sown”—that is, the radiant resplendence of what we will one day be is ignited in an unstoppable process.

How does this Psalm remind you that God’s timing is perfect and you can trust Him?

 

What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?

 

Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.

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