Today’s reading: 1 Chron 12:1–13:14, 1 Tim 6:11–21, Ps 81:1–82:8
Today’s theme: The army of the King
We have been called to enlist in God’s great army, as servants of the one true God and King, to see His kingdom established and His name glorified throughout the earth. We also learn other related lessons such as; understanding the times, God being at work in us, fighting to persevere, guarding the truth and honouring the one true God. These are all the expectations of soldiers in God’s army, that we might enjoy God’s blessings and praise His name.
1 Chronicles 12:1–13:14
God’s great army
For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God. 1 Chronicles 12:22 (ESV)
We are called to be in God’s great army. Here are some things we pick up from this chapter about what we should be, as fighters in God’s Army:
In verse 1 – we should love the Lord with all our mind, soul and strength, using our energy to help, for the cause of our king. Mark 12:30
In verse 2 – we should be flexible and adaptable in ministry and our work for the Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:18 and Ephesians 4:16
In Verse 8 – our experiences in life and our walk with the Lord should help us as we fight the good fight, we should use the shield of faith. Let the Lion of the tribe of Judah shine through and be quick to follow the Lord, repent and do good. Ephesians 6:16
In verse 14 – we must remember that we are more than conquerors, our faith should be in God and we should be encouraged that greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world. Romans 8:37
In verse 18 – we should be clothed in the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18
Let us fight in the King’s Army today. 1 Timothy 1:18 and 2 Timothy 4:7
Understanding of the times
Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command. 1 Chronicles 12:32 (ESV)
Jesus taught us to watch and pray, in Mark 14:38, and He rebuked Israel for not seeing the signs and for missing it’s time of visitation, in Luke 19:44.
We should be like the men of Issachar who had understanding of the times. As Christians we need to engage with the world around us and keep ourselves informed on current affairs and the daily news.
We should understand what implications the news, law and cultural movements have, from a Christian worldview and what the potential spiritual impact is.
We have agencies and resources to help with this, these include: Open Doors, CSW and Release International. There is also Christian News/Trend analysis like Christian Concern and “The Briefing” by Albert Mohler, to name just a few.
We must stay watchful, be sober (1 Peter 5:8), keep our eyes open and always pray in response to what we see.
God at work in you
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God. 1 Chronicles 13:10 (ESV)
The work and ministry of the Lord cannot be handled in whichever way we want, even our lives are not our own because it is God who is in us, just like He was in the Ark. 1 Corinthians 6:19
When we seek to live before God and to work in the Kingdom, we should do so with fear and trembling because God is God. We must be led by His Spirit and not work or try to live by our own ideas and fleshly efforts, which only leads to death. Romans 8:4-6 and Galatians 5:16
Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:12-13 regarding our walk and work before the Lord, that… “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
The blessing of God’s presence
And the ark of God remained with the household of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that he had. 1 Chronicles 13:14 (ESV)
God’s presence in our lives, blesses our lives and households as it did Obed Edom. We should have homes where God’s presence dwells.
1 Timothy 6:11–21
The fight of perseverance
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 (ESV)
The word “Fight” is the Greek word agōnizomai (ἀγωνίζομαι) which means to compete, engage in a contest, to fight, struggle, conquer, defeat, help, agony, anxiety, make effort, contest, to contend, to exert, to be a combatant, to exert oneself and strive earnestly.
This is in line with the theme we observed in today’s OT reading, of being in God’s army and working in God’s way.
We are called to struggle against sin and compromise, to contend for the purity of the faith. We are summoned to take hold of eternal life, as the prize in this athletic contest.
So the encouragement is for us to persevere, to press forward despite resistance and difficulty. Our lives, if we are alive to Christ, will be lives of struggle, exertion, battle and contention. We are called to be good soldiers in the Army of our King Jesus, like David’s mighty men.
which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:15–16 (ESV)
We should read this doxology again and again (short praise to God, like the benediction we recite at the end of a service). We should meditate on the wonderful truth that this early doxology affirms, that Jesus is the true sovereign, the only true sovereign, the King.
This is the bibles overarching story of the king in his kingdom. This is why one of the great themes of the bible is the sovereignty or kingship of God.
This affirmation also makes clear that Jesus is immortal, which means He was not created and is co-equal with God.
Enjoyment and pleasure
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 (ESV)
Everything God has provided us with is so that we enjoy them in Him. God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.
God wants us to enjoy our lives with and in light of Him (not the flesh). This is one of the core reasons God created all things, for enjoyment and pleasure.
We should enjoy living selflessly too, like serving, giving to the poor, bearing one another’s burdens etc.
We should not pin our hopes on money, money is not our salvation or solution. God is the great provider and He provides richly so that we can enjoy our lives, therefore we should focus on and trust in Him.
Guard the true story
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 1 Timothy 6:20 (ESV)
We should avoid wasting our time and energy in pointless debates, we should guard what we have, the gospel that has been handed down to us.
Today we must guard our hearts and beliefs from all the false alluring stories in the world, knowing that we hold the authentic story and all others are a dim reflection or blatant distortion / repudiation of the true.
There is only one true God
I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” Psalm 82:6–7 (ESV)
These verses have caused controversy in the church and have been picked up by modern day TV preachers who say that we are all gods by our very nature and that when God created us, He created us as little gods so that we too can create things with our words, like God. This is rank heresy.
Here, God is addressing the judges and rulers of Israel who have been granted some power of attorney on God’s behalf, to administer justice, but they have not.
God makes very clear that He alone is God in the previous psalm and in this one, He makes clear to these men He is addressing, that although they were clothed for a while in the authority by which God judges men, they too were men, mortal and so would die, unlike the only true King who we read about today, who is immortal.
We may make appeals on God’s behalf and as the body of Christ we stand as representatives of the King and His kingdom, in the world today. We are not kings, we are servants. We are not gods. Only God is God!
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