2 Chronicles 5-6 B

“He said, ‘O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no god like You in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart;’” (6:14)

Every day I am thankful for this. There is no power on earth, no person or force, that compares to the LORD, or carries His beautiful attributes. Israel was so fortunate to be chosen to know Him. To be sure, any of us who have sought to know Him are blessed.

The Creator God, whom Solomon makes sure to mention doesn’t need this house, is full of loving kindness. What an incredible truth. His patience endures. It is how anyone has made it this long.

The world and church history is bleak and confusing, but He remains perfectly stunning, brilliantly beautiful. One of my favorite lyrics from a song (I’m sure I’ve quoted it here before) is by The Waiting:

Your glory, LORD, is still a burning light, a light that all our faithless hands could never dim.

He remains faithful when we are faithless. Look at all the situations in which Solomon pleads for the LORD to answer prayers. The ways in which we humans can screw up are endless. Please answer us when we call, anyway, LORD. Based on Yourself and not us.

Things change so quickly in our world. I love how steadfast the LORD is. He never changes, and that’s great news, because He’s unlike any other: perfect.

-Bethany

2 Chronicles 3-4 B

It’s so interesting reading about all the details of the Temple. It’s hard to imagine all the work that went in to it, when it’s creation quickly unfolds in just a few chapters. But wow, everything is covered in gold and pomegranates and cherubim!

I’m always wavering between come-as-you-are-to-God and worrying that I’m underestimating his holiness. Chapters like this add to my confusion a little bit, although I try to keep in mind that God had not come down to dwell with man yet. We weren’t able to coexist quite yet.

But now, living in time after Christ, aren’t our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit? 

How well do I steward this?

I know I can’t earn worthiness with the Lord, and what makes the gospel so special is that our hearts are no place for God, yet he dwells with us anyway. I don’t know, it’s just something to keep in mind.

Solomon went to all this trouble, building long tables and building solid gold lamps, I could at least clean up my language a little bit, right? Exercise, eat well, avoid crude images and practice good hygiene. Right?

Of course, we can come as we are to Jesus. Anytime, any condition we’re in. But I also want to keep in mind that my heart and soul are hosting a very important guest, worthy of sacrifice and respect.

 

-Carly

2 Chronicles 1-2 B

“Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?” (1:10)

The thing about this move that’s truly amazing, is

  • Solomon sees His reign over Israel as a task bigger than himself
  • He admits His dependence on the LORD to do it well
  • He wants to do it well for the glory of the LORD, who was with his father

We all have been entrusted with something from the LORD. Our time, relationships, talents, positions, etc. How seriously do we take these tasks? Do we see their size and significance? Do we walk in it humbly, knowing we need the LORD? Do we want the summation of our lives to glorify the LORD?

What has the LORD given you? When was the last time you asked for wisdom? How can you make a habit of presenting your time, relationships, talents and positions to the LORD; requesting His wisdom?

He loves to answer the prayers of the humble.

-Bethany

1 Chronicles 28-29 B

“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” 28:9-10

Solomon is on the scene and things are about to get good! And then bad again. Is it inevitable that a good, godly leader will eventually fall from grace? It seems that way. I want to believe the best in people, and be able to count on them. I also can’t think of a SINGLE godly person in the Bible who hasn’t done something terribly sinful.

It’s easy to feel discouraged by your future with the Lord. Or maybe you’re already in a season where you’ve screwed up and you feel distant and terrible.

I love David’s exhortation to his son to know God and serve him willingly. If you seek him, he will be found by you. I love that.

-Carly

1 Chronicles 26-27 B

I really enjoyed Carly’s thoughts on this last time.

Chronicles, at once, covers much more and much less than I would expect from a book of the Bible. For many generations, I could imagine it being a thrill for a family member to spot their great (to the nth) grandfather’s name and trade in these pages. “You see son, we are (insert occupation here) people.”

In this way, Chronicles remains an identity document. More job titles are listed than I would assume necessary, but that’s because I’m from a culture obsessed with status, which doesn’t value every trade.

The truth is, all jobs are important and we need people for all of them. It’s very beautiful to think of how the LORD gave us different skills and gifts. What a glorious work of art we are as a collective group!

Maybe you’re still trying to find your place in the story, but don’t get tripped up with comparisons or status. The best we can all do is live the life we’re allotted to the glory of God, which is designed to edify the whole.

-Bethany

1 Chronicles 24-25 B

I love chapter 25 and the time, effort and dedication that went into worship music. I know a few of our readers attend churches that exclude musical instruments from their worship services. I don’t particularly know why, although I’m sure they have their reasons. I appreciate the way it strips down the experience worship. There’s less distraction, no guitar solos and less opportunity to jockey for the spotlight. It’s just raw, holy voices, uniting over the lyrics and a love of the Lord.

But there’s just something to be said about the beauty of musical instruments paired with singing voices. (There is also something to be said about a cappella worship services as well!) I would love to hear the music that the people in chapter 25 wrote. I bet it was beautiful and hopefully honored the Lord.

Music, whether it includes instruments or not, has always drawn me in to worship and sabbath with the Lord. I’m so thankful for it and for the people God has gifted with musical talent!

How do you connect with God through music?

-Carly

1 Chronicles 22-23 B

“David said, ‘My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore now I will make preparation for it.’ So David made ample preparations before his death.” (22:5)

This could at once be an object lesson for parenting, or also a challenge to us all about how to set up the next generation for success.

So often I hear people quake with fear at the thought of what the world will look like in the next fifty years. Some people are afraid to even have kids, thinking the future looks so bleak!

Here’s the thing. Life does go on, and just because those in charge now won’t be in charge later (thank God, actually) it doesn’t necessarily mean things have to get worse.

Solomon outshined his father in many ways. His days were much more The Golden Age of Israel. He was a king in peace. He was immeasurably wealthy and expanded Israel to its broadest borders.

It takes a lot of humility (and faith) to image the next generation doing better than us. God is still powerfully enthroned and anything is possible.

So why the anxiety? Maybe we’re tracking trends, but isn’t history more cyclical than a steady descent into oblivion?

  • What has the Lord put on your heart?
  • How can you inspire the next generation to take this dream further than you can in your lifetime?
  • What would it looks like to prepare?
  • What resources can you gather to pass on?

Maybe you need to go further back. Ask the LORD for hope and vision for the future. All of us frantically running around like Henny Penny isn’t helping. We need to be hopeful for the coming century.

Pray for young leaders to rise up. Pray for creative solutions and peace. Pray for a generation who can worship and serve the LORD better than we did.

-Bethany