WEEK 51, Day 1, Monday, 19 December 2022


Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 19 December 2022:

1 Chronicles 14:2:3 – And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel. And David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David fathered more sons and daughters.

Remember the secret of success we learned from Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Jesus reiterated, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28). Today’s readings reveal how David sowed the seeds of destruction for himself, his family, and the kingdom of Israel in that, though He knew the LORD had established him as king over Israel, he nonetheless failed to carefully follow the law of God.

Here is what Deuteronomy 17 has to say to kings and leaders: “You may indeed set a king over you whom the LORD your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:15-20)

Despite God’s clear instruction to kings, David, “took more wives…,” and acquired for himself much wealth. Additionally, 1 Chronicles 14:1 points out that David started building a relationship with Hiram, king of Tyre. Hiram was a benevolent and successful king who “loved David.” However, Hiram was an unbeliever, and we will soon read how David’s partnership with Hiram contributed to Solomon’s syncretism, compromise, and ultimate failure as a king.

As we continue in our readings, we will learn how David’s polygamy and associations with ungodly men contributed to his failure as king, deadly divisions within his family, and Solomon’s eventual failures which ultimately resulted in the kingdom’s permanent division and eventual dissolution. Remember, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) Today’s readings are our a gift from God to remind us to be very careful to obey His word. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) John subsequently pointed out, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3) Said another way, God gave us His commands because He loves us, and when we truly love Him, obeying God’s commands isn’t hard; it doesn’t feel like a burden. Jesus also said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11) In loving obedience to Jesus, we will find the fullness of joy, the fullness of life. Of course, the key to joy was always submission to God and LORD and loving obedience: Remember, God placed Adam and Eve in the “Garden of Eden” which in Hebrew means, an “enclosure of pleasure” – pleasure has boundaries, walls of protection. While this was an actual, physical location, this enclosure of pleasure reminds us that we can only find true fulfillment within the boundaries of God’s protective laws, where He has given us an abundance far beyond measure.

In preparation for Christmas, a dedicated brother in Christ encouraged me to take a closer look at the well known, often misrepresented, account of the visit of the wisemen to see Jesus – “And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11) He pointed out that while we remember that the wise men gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the first and most important things they gave Him was their submission (“they fell down”) and worship. If only David, who was eager to build the Temple for the Lord, had continued to give God proper submission and worship through obedience to His word. Oh that we would submit and worship the Lord through loving obedience in all that we do that He would be rightly glorified and that we would have the fullness of joy He intends for us.

1 Chronicles 14:10-12 – And David inquired of God, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Go up, and I will give them into your hand.’ And he went up to Baal-perazim, and David struck them down there. And David said, ‘God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.’ Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. And they left their gods there, and David gave command, and they were burned.

David inquired of God, knew without question God’s reply, was quick to see God’s hand in the outcomes, and publicly gave God all the credit while recommitting to obedience. Is that how you function?

Revelation 13:7-10 — Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

Popular interpretations of revelation say that the saints won’t suffer persecution. For a time, the saints are conquered by the beast and will require patient endurance. Revelation warns the saints to grow in endurance through persecution in order to be ready for greater persecutions and greater opportunities to glorify Him.

Revelation 13:8 – …and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

Only God’s people oppose satanic systems. Are you opposing the satanic system or relying on it?

Revelation 13:16, 17 – Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Satan’s ungodly system involves control of commerce. To trade, people will have to endorse sin. Most people will tell themselves they are still godly.

Revelation 13:18 — This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

There are many theories about what the number 666 really means. Don’t worry too much about it. If interested, listen to this teaching by Dr. R.C. Sproul on “The Beast” — https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/last-days-according-to-jesus/the-beast

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 19 December 2022: Celebrate this Christmas season by submitting to the Lord through loving obedience and truly worshipping Him.

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