Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word
Through the words of Isaiah, God is reminding us about what matters most in our lives, and that is having God in your heart.
This is one of the issues I have with the large corporate churches. They tell us that their lavish buildings and furnishings are for the glory of God. They tell us that the amount of money that flows through the organization is for doing the work of the Lord. I’m not quite sure what their excuse is for the lavish life style they lead. Perhaps they feel it is their just reward, the universe balancing out for them, rewarding them for being such a good person. I don’t begrudge anyone for making any amount of money, no matter how obscene it might seem, but just be honest about it. Continue reading
1 Chronicles 19:1-5
Now after this Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. And David said, “I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came to the land of the Ammonites to Hanun to console him. But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away; and they departed. When David was told concerning the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”
Nahash, the king who dies at the beginning of these verses, had shown King David kindness at one point in his life. Nahash or one of his sons may have protected David from his enemies who were looking to destroy him. And it is possible that Hanun, the son and successor of Nahash and now the new king of the Ammonites, may be David’s half-brother.
Now I looked up this information because in Chapter 18 of 1 Chronicles, David set about conquering all his enemies, and was quite successful in his endeavors. The question I had was why David decided to deal kindly with Hanun since he really didn’t have to. And I came to the conclusion that I wrote in the previous paragraph, Nahash or Hanun had helped David and Hanun may be part of David’s family. Continue reading
2 Chronicles 34:12-13
And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to have oversight. The Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music, were over the burden-bearers and directed all who did work in every kind of service, and some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers.
Many passages in the Old Testament reference the importance of music, especially in a spiritual way. There are verses in Samuel about the musicians accompanying the prophets and playing music as the prophets prophesied. There are verses speaking about Saul, when given to his fits of psychosis and whatever else afflicted him, how he would have the musicians play to soothe his troubled mind.
King David assigned great importance to music. He had a department of music in his government right along with his department of defense, department of the gatekeepers, department of the treasury, etc., etc. Continue reading
2 Chronicles 25:14-16
After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them. Therefore the Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?” But as he was speaking, the king said to him, “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” So the prophet stopped, but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”
Amaziah became king of Judah after his father Joash was assassinated by his own servants. Joash laid severely wounded in his bed and his servants finished him off. This was in retribution for Joash commanding the stoning of Zechariah, who was a prominent priest who help Joash restore the temple of the Lord.
Joash became powerful and full of himself. One day the princes came to Joash to pay homage and with them they brought their false gods. Joash being convinced of his own greatness abandoned God and turned to the false Gods. Zechariah came to Joash and called him out on his idolatry, but Joash’s response was to have Zechariah killed. Joash’s pride caused him to make a bad decision, which finally caught up to him as he lay wounded in bed.
Amaziah, Joash’s son, succeeds his father as king of Judah. Continue reading
2 Chronicles 10:6-10
Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” And they said to him, “If you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us’; thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs.
King Rehoboam was the son of King Solomon, and even though Solomon was one of the wisest men in history, he too was flawed and corrupted by wealth, power and outside influences. Solomon took wives from foreign lands. These wives brought their false gods with them. Soon Solomon had forsaken the commandments of God and begun worshiping the foreign gods at the request of his wives.
Solomon began to heavily tax his people to furnish his life style of luxury much like today’s leaders. Rehoboam was appointed king after Solomon’s death, and the people of Israel asked Rehoboam for some relief from the heavy burdens which Solomon place upon them. Continue reading
1 Chronicles 16:9
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
This is a verse from King David’s song of thanks. The Arc of the Covenant was being returned to the City Of David and being placed in the tent that David had pitched. I guess this was the song of thanks that David had written for the priests in charge of music to perform.
When I read verse 9 these thoughts came into my head and I made a note to write about it later. Continue reading
1 Chronicles 21:1-7
Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” But Joab said, “May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” But the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah 470,000 who drew the sword. But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king’s command was abhorrent to Joab. But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel.
When I first read these verses I didn’t understand why God would be displeased with King David taking a census. I thought, what is wrong with knowing how many citizens you have to rule. Countries, including our country, take a census every so many years to determine population growth, changes in demographics, etc. Where is the sin it this?
Then, as I read it again, I realized David was getting the number of soldiers he had under his command. Okay, again what’s wrong with that? Eisenhower needed to know troop strength for both the Allies and the Axis. What commander wouldn’t want to know this? That is vital information for strategic and logistical planning.
I also wondered why David’s top commander bulked at this request. What did he know that David didn’t know? How did Joab know David was committing a sin? Continue reading