Colossians 4:7-18 – Final Instructions

Read Colossians 4:7-18

We are all God's Onesimus - quote from Martin Luther

Paul drops a lot of names here of fellow servants of Christ. Such a great group of believers with the same mission. The common goal was to make Jesus known and to nurture and encourage other believers. How familiar does that sound?

It’s clear that Paul wants to keep in touch. He has identified for the Colossians who they can turn to for help since he’s in prison and unavailable. Seeing the network of believers listed makes me realize how thankful I am for them. Their faithfulness has made it possible for us to know about Jesus!

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1 Kings 14:1-20 – Hiding from God

Read 1 Kings 14:1-20

person peering out between the crack in some boards as if hiding from sight

Do you think anyone can hide from God’s watchful eye? For some, we are comforted by the thought that God cares for us that much to be mindful of us. Others may be terrified because of the guilt they feel for living a life that is not pleasing to God.

Do you think that’s what was happening to Jeroboam? He was king because God had spoken it so through the prophet. So, now that Jeroboam wants to make contact with God, he sends his wife in disguise. It reminded me of Adam and Eve trying to cover themselves up in the garden after they had sinned against God.

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1 Kings 8:54-66 – What a Dedication!

Read 1 Kings 8:54-66

The words "The Will of God" with an open door sharing the picture

I can’t get over the sheer number of animals sacrificed during this dedication ceremony. 142,000 cattle, sheep, and goats. I don’t think I can even fathom how much space they would take up, much less the time it would take. It makes sense the dedication took multiple days, even before the traditional Festival of Shelters was celebrated.

Getting caught up in the details can keep us from seeing the underlying message. Such numbers would suggest to me extreme devotion and a repentant heart. The magnitude of the temple’s importance in the lives of God’s people is also apparent. The grandeur of the temple would call for such a display. It sounds like everyone in attendance was blessed. I hope God was, too!

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2 Samuel 23:1-7 – David’s Purpose

Read 2 Samuel 23:1-7

This is a partner poem to the one we just walked through. Here’s an interesting idea. In a commentary I was reading, it suggested that Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel and these two poems of David serve to bracket the story of David and his kingship. Interesting.

We see David introduced here as the son of Jesse, anointed by God, and the “sweet psalmist.” David certainly left his mark on God’s people then and now. What a life David has led! He was certainly multifaceted.

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2 Samuel 19:9-14 – What Do You Really Want?

Read 2 Samuel 19:9-14

Graffiti like letters on a brick wall background that say: "DREAMS COME TRUE"

Do the Israelites really know what they want? It seems like the land is in a bit of an upheaval after the events of recent days. A family feud gets way out of control where it affects an entire nation. That’s a powerful family.

It began as a conflict between brothers over Tamar, a sister to one and half-sister to the other. This is already a bit of a different scene than we would see today. Bloodshed was also punished in a different way than we are used to. Then anger ensues from son to father due to difference of opinion in how a situation should have been handled. It was David’s own daughter, after all. Shouldn’t the king have done something?

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