Reading #1 – Luke 7
Reading #2 – Psalms 75
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 3
Reading #4 – Isaiah 53
Reading #5 – 2 Chronicle 1
2 Chronicles 1 – Solomon Asks for Wisdom. Solomon was now the king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah after David’s passing. Solomon was filling a huge set of shoes in keeping the kingdom intact. David made it look like ruling the kingdom was easy just to make decisions and enforce them. When Solomon became the King and saw all that needed to be done, it had to be overwhelming especially being tasked with building a Temple, dealing with Joab, and passing judgment on his brothers. A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the LORD directs his steps and establishes them (Proverbs 16:9). Finding out what G_d wants from us requires us to go and ask or as Solomon did, “go to the Tabernacle at Gibeon (3). The sacrifice that Solomon conducted was a gift to G_d. In the Mosaic law, it is recorded that the men had to come to the place G_d chooses 3 times a year and you were not to come to him empty-handed but to each man was to sacrifice in keeping with how G_d had blessed them (Deuteronomy 16:16-17). The first High place that was built in the promised land was at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1). When the Philistines returned the stolen Ark of the Covenant, the oxen pulling the cart stopped at the Oaktree in Gibeon so that is where the “High Place” was built ( 1 Samuel 4:1-22). The Ark of the Covenant was moved to Jerusalem in the time of David but the bronze altar was at Gibeon (4-5). After the sacrifice was completed, Solomon went home and then received a dream that the Lord asked Solomon “what do you want me to do for you”? Solomon asked for wisdom (10) but I think he should have also asked for a “willing heart to obey your word” because, as we will find out, he was wise in his words but foolish in his actions (13-17). Solomon’s prayer pleased G_d and he was granted wisdom making him wiser than any king in his time, the previous years, and the kings to follow. In addition to wisdom, he was granted a long life and wealth beyond what he could conceive (11).
Psalms 75 – A Psalm of Asaph. There are truths about the Word of G_d that the reader must come to grips with. First and foremost, everything belongs to G_d (Hebrews 2:10-18) and everything returns to G_d. Second, “even when the world appears to become unhinged, G_d is still in control” so we need to trust him (2-3). Third, G_d is not on our side, we must always be on his side and being obedient to what He commands” (4-8). Like Joshua, we have the choice of which path we will take (Joshua 24:15). But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly (9-10).”
Song of Solomon 3 – Young Women. The young woman is Solomon’s Egyptian born wife. The woman was given to Solomon when he made a treaty with Egypt (1 Kings 3:1). Based on her testimony, she loved Solomon and he returned the love to her so it was a good marriage.
Isaiah 53 – The Righteous Servant. This prophecy talks about the coming servant that would save the soul of mankind. The servant didn’t appear to be anyone special yet, by his actions he showed himself to be a warrior. There were no “kingly qualities” yet by his actions he proved himself worthy of the title “King of Righteousness”. My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care (2-3). There was no record of his life or death because he was a servant, not an earthly king. Though he would not a mountain of a man physically, he would carry the sorrows and the weight of our sins upon him (4). The righteous servant would be crucified for our rebellion and crushed for our sins (4-5). No one is exempt from sin so everybody needed and still needs a Savior. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth (7). But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands (10). Because of his willingness to be obedient to the Father, many billions of lives were saved and restored. This “long life” was not a physical “long life” but a life lived vicariously through the spirit of mankind (11-12).
Luke 7 – The Faith of a Roman Officer. The Roman officer understood the power and responsibility of a commanding officer. By relaying the words “I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it (7-8), the Officer spoke from experience. Faith is not something people are born with, it is a seed that is planted by the experiences of our life. If the person we put our hopes in follows through on what they have promised continually, our faith in that person grows. When Jesus raised the widow’s son from the grave, a seed was planted in the heart of the mother and the community as a whole (17). When John the Baptist went out to baptize the people, he did it not as a “duty” but as a joyful task; before going out, he received a message about the coming Massiah who would come to him and the event that would occur to prove the authenticity of the man (John 1:33). Based on the story his father told him, John went on faith and G_d did not disappoint him. The problem with the seed of faith is that it never looks like we conceive it to be but always in line with the Word of G_d. The world will never agree with the Word of G_d because it doesn’t aline with their preconceived notions. But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it (35).” The woman who sacrificed her prized possession (alabaster box) gave it willingly for her sins. And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace (50).”