Today’s reading: 1 Chron 9:1–10:14, 1 Tim 5:18–6:2, Ps 79:1–13
Today’s theme: Loyalty and zeal for God
Today’s reading is packed with lessons all centred around our zeal and passion for the Lord. We are encouraged to be loyal and faithful to the Lord despite difficulty and trials, knowing that He disciplines us because He loves us. In light of all this, we are also called to work well for the Lord.
1 Chronicles 9:1–10:14
God, Sovereign over discipline
So all Israel was recorded in genealogies, and these are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their breach of faith. 1 Chronicles 9:1 (ESV)
It was not by chance or misfortune that the people of Judah were taken into exile in Babylon. The scriptures tells us that there was a reason for it, namely that they broke or violated their faith and relationship with God.
God is sovereign even over judgement, suffering and our discipline, as His children. The devil has no real power of his own to do anything to God’s people, because we belong to God and Satan is not God’s equal. God alone is sovereign, which means He has complete freedom and the ability to perform His holy will, He maintains control over all His creation.
One of the things we can learn from this, is that God’s creation, our lives and circumstances, are all under God’s loving control. Even exile like experiences are ordained by Him, for our good. In this sense, the devil and men in general, become tools in God’s hands, to accomplish His purposes, even if it is to discipline His people in love. See Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:28 and 1 Timothy 1:20
Work for the Lord
besides their kinsmen, heads of their fathers’ houses, 1,760, mighty men for the work of the service of the house of God. 1 Chronicles 9:13 (ESV)
In the last two chapters, we heard about men who were mighty warriors but now we see those who are mighty in the service of the Lord, in the house of God. As we work together in the body of Christ, we must not have weak feeble hands, feet or minds (Hebrews 12:12-14).
We should be strong and bold in our work for the Lord. Acts 20:35 reminds us that we must work hard to help the weak. Colossians 1:10 reminds us that our work should bear good fruit. Galatians 6:9 reminds us to not grow weary in doing well.
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.”
Passion for God’s glory
And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the chief officer over them in time past; the LORD was with him. 1 Chronicles 9:20 (ESV)
We are reminded of Phinehas who was alive in the days of Moses, he had great zeal for God, he took a spear and ran through a man of Israel and a woman from the Baal cult, who were in open rebellion against the Lord. His actions turned away God’s anger and God blessed him for it because he so zealously defended the Lord’s glory and name (Numbers 25:11).
This would again encourage the people to remember their heritage and would spur them on to be zealous for God’s Glory. We should be like Phinehas in our passion for God’s glory. See Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 3:13 and Philippians 3:12-13
all the valiant men arose and took away the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh. And they buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh and fasted seven days. 1 Chronicles 10:12 (ESV)
The Valiant men of Jabesh Gilead rose against the odds to retrieve the bodies of Saul and his sons, this is another example of today’s themes of loyalty and zeal for the Lord, leading us to work hard in faith. We can learn from their spirit and example.
Live faithfully for God
So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse. 1 Chronicles 10:13–14 (ESV)
The lesson we learn from Saul’s life is that we must remain faithful to God, we must remain loyal and we should seek the Lord for guidance. Saul’s unfaithfulness literally led him into witchcraft because as the bible says, rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft, as Samuel declared to Saul in 1 Samuel 15:23.
Again we see evidence of God’s sovereignty. God killed Saul, God took the kingdom from him and God gave it to David. It makes no sense to rebel against God, He is the King of the universe, we should willingly submit to His guidance and passionately live for His glory. See 1 Corinthians 10:31
1 Timothy 5:18–6:2
As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 1 Timothy 5:20 (ESV)
Those who are called Christians but persist in open rebellion, should be rebuked by the Elders / Pastors openly, for their own sake and the sake of the rest of the community.
All believers can learn from this principle, that we should in the spirit of Phinehas, boldly confront and kill sin. Sin is a bold affront to God and His kingdom, we should be bold in opposing it in our own lives and the wider church community.
Keep yourself pure
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 1 Timothy 5:22 (ESV)
“Keep yourself pure” – this is a very simple command – we should pause and meditate on it today. We are called to purity, it is our responsibility to keep ourselves pure (consider the things that we listen to, read, watch or think about).
Hidden sins show eventually
The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. 1 Timothy 5:24–25 (ESV)
Things are not always as they appear, some sins are not apparent so someone may seem as though they are walking right with God, but they have sins which they think are hidden,. These sins have gone on before them in the sense that although nobody else knows, the consequence and rot of the sin will eventually manifest in the person’s life, further down the line.
In the same regard, some peoples good works are not obvious to all, they are done in secret and without announcement. All of this is why Paul warned Timothy not to ordain Elders quickly, based on outward appearances.
Because of the nature of sin and true good works, we need the Holy Spirit to guide us in terms of appointing Elders, or even working with someone in any type of ministry.
Work unto the Lord
Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 1 Timothy 6:1 (ESV)
Those of us who work under a manager should do so in honour to the Lord. As Christians we should not be rebellious or disrespectful to those in authority over us.
Appeal to God’s own zeal
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake! Psalm 79:9 (ESV)
When we pray we should appeal to God’s own zeal and passion for His own glory and name.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on 1 Timothy 6