The book of 2nd Chronicles opens with Solomon’s getting the feel for what it means to be king. This book will chronicle Solomon’s reign as well as all the kings until the time of exile. We’ll be taking a glimpse at all these kingdoms; each king descending from King David. We’ll find out which ones are good and which ones are bad. Solomon clearly starts his reign in a wise way.
What did he do? He sought God at the altar in Gideon. He didn’t go alone either. Solomon called together quite a group of leaders to the place of worship so they could consult the LORD. Solomon sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings. Can you even imagine?
Continue reading “2 Chronicles 1:1-17 – A Great Start!”
Now that David’s kingdom has been established, it seems one of the first items of business are to bring the Ark of God into the City of David. This was a big deal, and it shows us that David was intent on having God’s presence surrounding him in his kingdom.
As you recall, the Ark is the most sacred object in Israel’s ancient traditions. It was an ornately decorated box containing the tablets of the ten commandments, among other holy items. The Ark was revered for what it represented, the presence of God. Exodus 25:10-22 tells us more detail about the construction of the Ark.
Continue reading “1 Chronicles 13:1-14 – Moving the Ark”
Have you ever confessed your sins out loud to another human? Our sins certainly become a lot more “real” when we do that. It’s also a great way to give away the power our sins have over us, simply by speaking them out loud. And we have an accountability partner to keep us from falling into that sin’s trap!
James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Nehemiah’s contemporaries are ready to make their confession public. I bet you haven’t ever sprinkled dust on your head or worn a burlap garment because of lament over your sin.
Continue reading “Nehemiah 9:1-3 – Confession”
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.
Continue reading “Nehemiah 4:7-23 – On Guard!”
Welcome to the book of Nehemiah! In this book we meet another player in God’s rebuilding and restoration plan. Timelines and everything can get confusing, but the 20th year of King Artaxerxes’ reign is mentioned. That would historically place Nehemiah after Ezra.
God’ restoration plan will now focus on the enclosure to the great city of Jerusalem. Rebuilding the wall is the vision God will place on Nehemiah’s heart. Nehemiah is already overcome with emotion thinking that the home of his ancestors lies in ruin, the walls crumbled and unsuitable for protection.
Continue reading “Nehemiah 1:1-11 – Nehemiah’s Prayer”