Humility, sincerity, generosity

18 04 2013

DAY TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-ONE : 1 Chronicles 28 v. 1 – 29 v. 30; 1 Corinthians 5 v. 1 – 13; Psalm 93 v. 1 – 5
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1 CHRONICLES
David’s plans for the temple – David calls together all the officials of Israel (officers, commanders, those in charge of property, livestock etc.); he rises to his feet and addresses them:
‘I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it.‘ Yet God has told him not to build it, for he has a warrior heart and has shed blood.
David reminds them that God has chosen him as King over Israel, and then ‘of all my sons – the many God has gifted me – he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom’. It is Solomon who will build the temple, ‘for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom for ever…’, said the Lord.
The Lord urges David to follow His commands to possess the land and pass it on; and urges Solomon to ‘acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you…..the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.’
David gives to Solomon all the plans for every room – ‘the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord’ (including the treasuries etc.). He also gave his son the divisions of labour (priests, Levites, serving in the temple), the designated weights for gold and silver (for many, many items), and the plan for the chariot, ‘the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and shelter the ark of the covenant.’
David confirms that he has received all these instructions from the Lord.
‘David also said to Solomon, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid, or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work….is finished.’
Everyone is lined up to help, and everything is ready to start.

Gifts for building the temple – King David appeals to the whole assembly on behalf of his son, who is ‘young and unexperienced’, because it’s a big ask to build this palatial structure. David is, himself, giving large quantities of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, onyx, turquoise, fine stones etc., even his personal treasures.  He asks, ‘Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?’
Leaders, officers, commanders and officials stepped forward and gave willingly, offering more large quantities of gold, silver, bronze, iron. ‘Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord.’
‘The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the King also rejoiced greatly.’
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David’s prayer – 
King David offers up a prayer,
‘I praise you, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
Yours is the greatness and the power, and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours is the kingdom, You are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honour come from You – You are ruler over all.
Strength and power are from You too – You raise up and strengthen all.
O God, our God, we give You, now, our thanks and praise – most glorious name over all.’
David continues his prayer, humbling wondering who he is, and who his people are, that God has given so generously to them.
‘Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.’
They exist like aliens / foreigners, and their earthly days are like ‘shadows’, however all the abundance collected for the building of the temple is credited to God;
‘I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity’
David is overwhelmed by the generosity of the people, and glorifies God in it all.
He prays that God of their fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Israel), who has been faithful throughout the ages will ‘keep this desire in the hearts of Your people for ever, and keep their hearts loyal to You’.
He prays also that God will bless Solomon, his son, with ‘wholehearted devotion to keep Your commands..and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.’
David urges the people to praise the Lord their God, which they gladly do, bowing low and prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.

David’s prayer teaches us humility, and gratitude, and his prayer for the people and for Solomon, for their loyalty, devotion, and close walk with God is a great model for all in leadership.

Solomon Acknowledged as King – 
all the right sacrifices are offered the very next day – 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, 1,000 male lambs, with drink and other offerings. There was a day of feasting, ‘with great joy in the presence of the Lord’.
Then Solomon is anointed – acknowledged a second time as the new king, and Zadok as priest. Solomon became king – and he prospered and Israel obeyed him. All the leaders and officers (and his siblings) pledged submission to King Solomon.
‘The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendour such as no king over Israel ever had before.’

The death of David –
Jesse’s most famous son, David, reigned over Israel for 40 years (7 in Hebron, 33 in Jerusalem), dying at ‘a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honour’. Solomon succeeded him as king. All the events of David’s life are in Samuel’s, Nathan’s and Gad’s records (his reign and power, events and circumstances regarding Israel and surrounding lands).

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1 CORINTHIANS
Expel the immoral brother – Paul has been made aware of sexual immorality being practised within the Corinthian church – in particular ‘a man has his father’s wife’ (sleeping with mother / stepmother). And that this is something those some are proud about.
‘Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?’
Even in his absence, Paul is with them in spirit, and casts his judgement over the situation.
‘Hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.’

Paul chastises the church for its boasting whilst letting sin act like yeast amongst them:
‘Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast’.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb and has been sacrificed for us:
‘Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.’

Paul’s counsel is that they do not ‘associate’ with sexually immoral people, meaning the one who ‘calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not eat.’ Paul makes a distinction between those inside and those outside the church, saying he has no business to judge those outside the church. God judges those outside. We must hold one another to account within the body of Christ.
‘Expel the wicked from among you.’

There’s some really bad stuff going on within the fellowship of believers in Corinth, and Paul sees that it is more dangerous to allow the sin to contaminate the whole (yeast in dough imagery), than to expel the one who is causing the wickedness.

PSALM
My Lord, my God, You reign in majesty
You are robed in majesty, armed with might.
The whole earth is firmly fixed, bound on its course.
Your throne was established long, long ago –
existing beyond time – eternal.

See how the oceans rise up and roar, O Lord, my God;
the seas sound off, their waves soar and pound.
How much more mighty is the Lord –
mightier than the thundering waters, than the breaking seas.

Your words stand forever – firmly fixed.
Your house, filled with Your presence, is holy, holy, holy
for ever and ever,
eternally,
my Lord, my God.
AMEN.

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