2 Chronicles 9:13-31 – Over the Top!

Read 2 Chronicles 9:13-31

I admit I got caught up in the details of this reading. I can’t fathom that many horses and that much gold! To say Solomon was a wealthy king is a definite understatement. After all, the LORD promised him wealth in addition to the wisdom Solomon had asked for. God always keeps his promises.

Perhaps I am amazed because I live in a developing nation and witness poverty every day, not elaborate palaces. I see how people live simply and contentedly. God has miraculously taken away any desire or expectation for extravagant wealth my heart may have ever had, too. Just perfect for a couple of missionaries situated in Mexico!

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2 Chronicles 6:1-11 – Praise to the Lord!

Read 2 Chronicles 6:1-11

I love how the Bible uses speeches like Solomon’s to testify to God’s movement among the people. Each time we recall what God has done and share that with others, we reveal God’s character to those who many not otherwise understand.

There may have been people present that day who didn’t realize what the LORD’s promise to David had been. Solomon was “catching them up,” so they would know that the construction of the temple was not just something Solomon arranged on a whim. The temple had been the desire of his father, David. Now that construction was complete, that dream was realized at last, and Solomon gave God the credit.

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Lamentations 4:1-22 – Punishment for Sin

Read Lamentations 4:1-22

Some of the verses of this lament were very hard to read. I won’t quote those horrific scenes, but they will haunt me when I think of the punishment God’s people endured for their sinfulness. When we read passages like this, we often want to run immediately to the New Testament and fill up on some grace. Instead, take a moment to reflect on what God is saying to you today.

This lament is written from the viewpoint of the misery affecting the citizens of Zion. We see the fate of several different classes of people mentioned. Escaping this reality was not an option, even for the rich and powerful. These terrible things were punishment and a direct result of the people’s sinfulness.

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Nehemiah 4:7-23 – On Guard!

Read Nehemiah 4:7-23

The situation facing Nehemiah in this passage sounds volatile. It’s times like these that really test our faith. We saw how Nehemiah instructed everyone to be on guard for enemy attacks. Good works that glorify God can be targets for the evil one. We, too, need to be vigilant when we are involved in work that furthers the kingdom. The evil one is waiting to pounce and mess up our plans, too.

Nehemiah was not going to let the opposition interfere with the progress of their divine mission. Prayer was again Nehemiah’s go-to solution. He said in this reading, “But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.” Prayer was coupled with action. It wasn’t that Nehemiah didn’t think God would protect them, but that he wanted to be instrumental in that protection.

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Nehemiah 4:1-6 – Handling Big Bullies

Read Nehemiah 4:1-6

Construction of the Jerusalem wall continues. We hear more about the bully, Sanballat, in this passage. Sanballat is spouting off his taunts to discredit the work of the Jews. I couldn’t help but think of when Jesus was taunted during the final hours before his crucifixion. People can be so mean.

We can only suppose what Sanballat’s problem is with the rebuilding process. Could it be he feels threatened and wants to show his superiority? Sanballat tries to get others to agree and join in on his mockery.

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