Today’s reading: 2 Chron 4:1–6:11, Titus 1:5–9, Ps 92:1–93:5
Today’s theme: Total devotion
Today we learn that God has called us to total devotion and abandonment to Himself and His purposes. We learn crucial lessons for our devotion to God from Solomon, in getting the Temple built. These are; getting the job done, sparing no expense and glorifying God. As we devote ourselves to the Lord, we can enjoy His manifest presence as we hold fast to the faith handed down to us.
2 Chronicles 4:1–6:11
Three lessons from Solomon
So Solomon made all the vessels that were in the house of God: the golden altar, the tables for the bread of the Presence, the lampstands and their lamps of pure gold to burn before the inner sanctuary, as prescribed; the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs, of purest gold; the snuffers, basins, dishes for incense, and fire pans, of pure gold, and the sockets of the temple, for the inner doors to the Most Holy Place and for the doors of the nave of the temple were of gold. 2 Chronicles 4:19–22, ESV)
This summary of all Solomon accomplished in furnishing the temple, teaches us three lessons: 1. Get the job done, 2. Spare no expense. 3. God is glorified.
- Solomon set his heart and mind to getting this job done, no matter what came, this job would get over the finish line. We are called to this way of living as Christians. Jesus told us that when we put our hands to the plough, we should not look back, instead we need to get our heads down and get to work.
- Solomon invested the treasures of the kingdom and valued the work, or rather the one he was working for, so highly, that countless amounts of precious metal, fabrics and premium wood was used in the building of the temple. We learn from this that we should faithfully, in faith, honour God with our substance.
- The tabernacle and now the house of God, reflect things about who God is. When we see the majesty of Solomon’s temple with gold covering so much, we see the glory and majesty of God, the true King.
As believers, our works will be judged. We should seek for our works to come out as gold, as Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 3:12–13 “Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.”
And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. 2 Chronicles 5:6 (ESV)
Solomon and the people gave themselves in total abandonment to the Lord, they gave the Lord everything. Jesus calls us to this total devotion, when He calls us to forsake all and follow Him.
Jesus descales in Matthew 19:29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”
Jesus said in Luke 9:23 “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Jesus calls us to give all, in Luke 14:26–33 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. … So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
God’s manifest presence
and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, 2 Chronicles 5:13 (ESV)
This is wonderful, in response to the praises of the people, God blesses them with His manifest presence. We must not forget that today, we can invoke the Lord’s presence by just praising and worshiping Him. We see God’s presence so often when we engage in corporate worship.
Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:23–24 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
but I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.’ 2 Chronicles 6:6 (ESV)
Despite the exaltation of man’s choice, the fact is that God chooses too. God is not an impersonal force, no, God is the very essence of personhood, He consciously makes choices at periods in time, for His own honour, glory and pleasure.
No matter what man says, God has chosen Jerusalem and the line of David. God sticks with His choice forever, we see this in the fact that Jesus came from David’s line and in the final book of the bible, we see the new Jerusalem. John declared in Revelation 21:2 “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
This should encourage us because God has chosen us too.
Elders, the best of men
if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. Titus 1:6 (ESV)
Our egalitarian society is not comfortable with this message but it is God reflecting His order and truth in the church, just as He does in the home, where the man is the head and lovingly leads the whole family through service.
Men can only be elders according to this clear direction of scripture, not just any man, but the best of men. They should have their homes in good order with just one wife and children who are obedient to them.
We should pray for the body of Christ, that strong men will be raised up as elders, to help God’s church flourish and we should give God thanks for the good elders we have.
Hold firm to the faith
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. Titus 1:9 (ESV)
One of the key areas for Elders is that they hold to and defend the faith that was handed down to us, Elders should be able to instruct and teach in the word of God. Elders should be men of the word, with the authority to rebuke those who try to lead the people astray.
Although this is a qualification for an Elder, we can learn from it that we too should hold to what we have been taught in the faith. From this we should be able to encourage, teach and remind each other of the truth of the gospel and defend the faith against those who come against it.
God’s great works
How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: Psalm 92:5–6 (ESV)
When we consider the works of God in creation, the normal, expected, intelligent response is to breakout in praise, awe, worship and adoration.
Look at God’s great works in creation and the work of redemption on the cross, these great works show us God’s glory and our response should be to praise Him for the great works He has done.
Atheism, Naturalism and Darwinian Evolution are stupid and foolish – this psalm says the stupid and foolish men cannot see the works of God so they do not give him the praise He deserves, instead they come up with their own ideas and worship those ideas instead.
Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 reminds us that the fool says there is no God.
but you, O LORD, are on high forever. Psalm 92:8 (ESV)
God does not change, He will always be king. 1 Timothy 1:17 declares “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
God’s trustworthy decrees
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore. Psalm 93:5 (ESV)
As God’s decrees are trustworthy, when He decrees a thing, it comes to pass.
Hebrews 6:17–18 declares “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.”
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Titus 1