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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


1 Chronicles 20-21 B

David taking the census. What a great reminder that sometimes it’s not specifically your action that is sinful, but the intention behind it. Taking a census is not a completely forbidden act; God himself asked Moses to take a head count in Numbers. But David’s motives here were selfish and prideful. Like a greedy millionaire fanning through a stack of his money with his thumb; counting and taking inventory of his gains.

Like David, when we catch ourselves behaving poorly, we should respond and repent immediately. I liked Bethany’s feedback on God’s love for us that we see in these chapters.

Is there something you’re participating in that seems fine on the outside, but you know is sinful for your to partake in?

What’s stopping you from repenting and changing?


1 Chronicles 18-19 B

Assuming each chariot only had one guy in it (which is most likely not the case), in these chapters alone, David is credited with the deaths of 115,000 people. That’s a lot of bloodshed.

As a generally pacifist woman, I do not understand war at all. As much as I understand the general motivation for it, I cannot imagine carrying it out. I hope to God I never am responsible for taking another person’s life. This seems like a nightmare, like my soul would be split (Voldemort style).

So how do I feel about this man of God killing so many people in such a short amount of time? I have no idea. I have no concept. I decided to add up the numbers just because I found myself glossing over them. “But wait!” I said to myself, “These are souls! These are real people. As real as me and as real as David.” Just not on the right side, apparently.

The LORD’s right to selecting which people group He was going to use is totally up to Him. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Around war.

Life is messy and complicated. We indulge a fantasy world if we think we can neatly sort right and wrong into little black and white boxes.

We must always choose humility.

I’m not Jewish. Maybe my distant ancestor lost a father or brother in these wars. I can never know, but I must surrender these stories to the LORD.

Chronicles is a collection of stories. This is what happened. We are here to study and wonder at the Bible, wrestling and adoring along the way. No one cares what our lofty judgements about it are. Let’s not abandon the struggle. Yet, let’s always choose humility.


1 Chronicles 16-17 B

We’re always trying to make God be like us, aren’t we?

David’s motive to build God a house is pure; he wants to respect and honor his presence. But the last thing the Lord needs is to be boxed in and contained by manmade comforts. He’s not like that. He’s with us, always moving, able to meet us wherever we are, travel with us wherever we go and doesn’t need to kick his feet up on the couch afterwards.

But we can’t help it. We try to make him small. We want to make sense of him. We think he needs us.

 “And now I’m telling you this: God himself will build you a house! When your life is complete and you’re buried with your ancestors, then I’ll raise up your child to succeed you, a child from your own body, and I’ll firmly establish his rule. He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom’s rule forever. I’ll be a father to him, and he’ll be a son to me. I will never remove my gracious love from him as I did from the one who preceded you. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will always be there, rock solid.” 17:10-14

I love this glimpse of Jesus we get in the Lord’s response to David!

How do you try to make God human?

What does it look like to step back and deconstruct your understanding (or misunderstanding) of him?