Reading #1 – Luke 8
Reading #2 – Psalms 76
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 4
Reading #4 – Isaiah 54
Reading #5 – 2 Chronicle 2
2 Chronicles 2 – Preparations for Building the Temple. Solomon was given the plans for building the temple along with the supplies he would need. The problem is, he also wanted a royal palace built for himself (1). Solomon sent a letter to King Hiram of Tyre (located in Southern Lebanon) “So send me a master craftsman who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with purple, scarlet, and blue cloth. He must be a skilled engraver who can work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father, David. “Also send me cedar, cypress, and red sandalwood logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are without equal at cutting timber in Lebanon. I will send my men to help them (7-8).” Solomon understood that the Temple would be used for offering sacrifice to the G_d of Heaven. But who can build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him (6)? The LORD G_d did not, I think anyways, want a temple built and would have been content with the simple structure built at Gibeon. Solomon took a census of all foreigners in the land of Israel, like the census his father had taken, and he counted 153,600. He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen (17-18).
Psalms 76 – A Psalm of Asaph. When we stand on G_d’s side and honor him with our whole heart, He is present and actively working for our benefit. od is honored in Judah; his name is great in Israel. Jerusalem is where he lives; Mount Zion is his home. There he has broken the fiery arrows of the enemy, the shields and swords and weapons of war (1-3). Even when the strongest foe comes against us, G_d will always have a plan that will stop the foe although we may not see it (Isaiah 54:17). When we praise Him with our life, our actions, and our resources, He is honored and will draw people to Him (John 12:32). When the world jeers us for our steadfast devotion and it looks like He has abandoned us, be steadfastly unmoveable always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). Human defiance only enhances your glory, for you use it as a weapon (10). We must honor G_d when life is at its very best, during times of stagnation, and when life is at its very worst for this pleases Him (11-12).
Song of Solomon 4 – Love Sonnet. This sonnet is a connection between husband and wife (Song of Solomon 8:4). While intercourse is implied, the union was more than the pleasure it speaks of the connection between two hearts which is the difference between “lust” and “love”.
Isaiah 54 – Future Glory for Jerusalem. This was Isaiah or the school of Isaiah’s vision for Jerusalem which was currently in ruin and the people in exile. This is sort of like looking at a home that is destroyed and seeing the possibilities. This was an encouragement for the people that would be going to rebuild the city and the temple. When we have been beaten and abandoned, it is hard to see how G_d could do anything with us but, “all things are possible with G_d” (Matthew 19:26) even though it may not look like it. “Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams. Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities (2-3). This was an impossible vision and the listener or reader probably thought the prophet was crazy yet when a contingent went to start the project, more and more people came. In the same way, when a G_d is alive in a church, people will throng to it and desire to be part of it. For your Creator will be your husband;
the LORD of Heaven’s Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. For the LORD has called you back from your grief— as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,” says your God (5-6). When the LORD builds the house, the laborer’s work will always be purpose-filled (Psalm 127:1). Because G_d created everything, everything is at His disposal so we need never fear (16). ut in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken (17)!
Luke 8 – Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed. Where ever Jesus went, people, flocked to listen to him. Some of the people upon hearing the parable thought, “Gee that Jesus has a way with words” but did not understand what he meant. Other people thought, “I want to know about this G_d who loves me”; so they took the message on board and earnestly desired to walk in Jesus’ pathway but the trials of life and the struggle with relinquishing control of their wealth stopped them in their tracks. The smallest number of people took the message on board and, in time, had fruit to prove it (5-8). When we first receive the salvation message and repent of our sins, we see ourselves as being the next Paul but, Monday comes and we get pulled down by the attitudes of those around us. “So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them (18).” When we take G_d’s word on board for our life, the Devil’s minions will play on our minds to trip us up. The three types of seed mentioned above will respond to the minions according to where their heart is. The first one will surrender without a fight. The second one will try to defeat the minion by their willpower. The third will reply to the minion in the words of his/her father and will though may trip many times will get back up again maybe not immediately though. Seeds take time to grow and they take being pollinated by pests. The woman who came to Jesus and touched the hem of his garment did so by faith after seeing all of the things Jesus did for the community of believers and the same can be said for Jairus (Mark 5:21-43) and the Roman Officer (Matthew 8:5-13).