Reading #1 – Luke 6
Reading #2 – Psalms 74
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 2
Reading #4 – Isaiah 52
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicle 29
1 Chronicle 29 – Gifts for Building the Temple. David had put aside a great quantity of supplies for the construction of the Temple. This project was dear to his heart and he would have constructed it if it had not been for his actions. By faith, he planned and prepared for the project although he would never see the project start much less its completion. Solomon was given the plans for the Temple and instructed to build it. A project the size of a temple is not a “one-man job” so David encouraged the leaders to help him. Then King David turned to the entire assembly and said, “My son Solomon, whom God has chosen as the next king of Israel, is still young and inexperienced. The work ahead of him is enormous, for the Temple he will build is not for mere mortals—it is for the LORD God himself! I think, to a small extent, the instructions the Lord gave were a test of David’s motives. To get the people to donate to the temple, David set the example of generosity, and then he challenged the people to follow his example (3-6). The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD, and King David was filled with joy (9). Many projects have been built with the intention of “honoring G_d” but fell apart because it was out of selfish ambitions that the builder started the project. David understood that all of the gifts he gave were not his and that all belonged to G_d so what he did is give what was given to him (14). David reigned over Israel for forty-seven years, seven of them in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor. Then his son Solomon ruled in his place (27-28).
Psalms 74 – A Psalm of Asaph. The Temple that David worked so hard to prepare for, gave all of his wealth to, and encouraged Solomon to build was destroyed in 586. For 11 years Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem and took all of the precious jewels, gold, silver, and bronze to Babylon. The writer of this Psalm lamented the destruction as he looked around at once was the city of David and the Temple grounds seeing just the remnants of the town. O God, why have you rejected us so long? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your pasture? Remember that we are the people you chose long ago, the tribe you redeemed as your special possession! And remember Jerusalem, your home here on earth. Walkthrough the awful ruins of the city see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary (1-3). There is a part about G_d that we fail to recognize and that is, “he could care less about the stuff such as the temple. When our hearts are not pure in the eyes of G_d nothing else matters. Beautiful temples like beautiful churches are buildings and will never save anyone; the heart of the church and/or temple will either draw people to the Lord or they won’t. in the same way, church programs, gifted speakers, and choir programs will not save people. What saves people, like miracles, occurs when the heart of the church pleases G_d. We no longer see your miraculous signs. All the prophets are gone, and no one can tell us when it will end. Sadly, G_d will hold back his power and authority until the children called by his name follow Solomon’s prayer (10-11, 2 Chronicles 6).
Song of Solomon 2 – Solomon’s Love. Solomon and his young wife were in love with each other. This two-way communication expressed their love for one another. Young Woman: I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain, the lily of the valley. Young Man: Like a lily among thistles is my darling among young women (1-2). If either the young man or young woman was unfaithful, this sonnet would be “just a beautiful sonnet” that would be discarded just like the Temple was. The time to catch the problems is before they get started. Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming (15)!
Isaiah 52 – Deliverance for Jerusalem. Jerusalem was in captivity which was coming to an end. The Judites were sold into captivity for a pittance and gained nothing from the sale (Psalms 44:12). For this is what the LORD says: “When I sold you into exile, I received no payment. Now I can redeem you without having to pay for you (3).” In the first exile the people chose to live in Egypt for a while, the people reveled in Egypt until the new king came to power who knew nothing about what Joseph did or what he said nor how Egypt was saved because of him (4, Exodus 1:8). What is this?” asks the LORD. “Why are my people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation. My name is blasphemed all day long. But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them (5-6).” Sin had destroyed the kingdom so for restoration to occur, the sin must be paid for and that was through the blood of Christ Jesus. For the debt to be paid, the person paying the bill must not owe part of the debt (Romans 13:8). See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about (13-15).
Luke 6 – A Discussion about the Sabbath. The Sabbath day is an integral part of the Jewish religion and is celebrated to this date. While it is a prominent part, it is only as useful or important as the motive behind it. The religious leaders were willing to send an innocent man to the cross but were unwilling to do the dirty work until after the Sabbath. A heart full of evil is counterproductive to celebrating the festival. nd Jesus added, “The Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath (5).” If we are not concerned about honoring G_d in all that we do, what we accomplish and the work we put into it will be for naught. Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath which should have elicited a song of praise instead, it elicited a tirade. He looked around at them one by one and then said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At this, the enemies of Jesus were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him. (10-11). The people flocked to hear Jesus speak because his words were gracious, he healed them, and fed them however, the same “willing ears would turn to chastise Jesus (Isaiah 52:13-15).