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1 CHRONICLES 22:1-23:32 | ROMANS 3:9-31 | PSALM 12:1-8 | PROVERBS 19:13-14
The account of David’s reign continues. David is growing old in years, and is preparing his son, Solomon, to take over as king, and when he is still alive but very old, David appoints Solomon as the new king. David exhorts the leaders to support the new king, Solomon, in his efforts at building the Temple.
He says to them, “Is not the LORD your God with you? And has he not granted you rest on every side? For he has given the inhabitants of the land into my hands, and the land is subject to the LORD and to his people. 19 Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.”
Also, there is special mention of the tribe of Levi who were entrusted with the priestly duties. The text summarizes these duties as follows, 28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the LORD: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the special flour for the grain offerings, the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. 30 They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the LORD on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. They were to serve before the LORD regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.
Even as we are reminded of the prescribed ways of conducting oneself, and of the manner of worship that was established during the time of the first covenant under the Law of Moses, we are now introduced to Paul’s views on the Law and those who attempt to observe it.
Turning to our reading in the book of Romans, we find Paul offering a straightforward theory on the value of the Law.
What is the Law? Whom does it apply to? How is it able to help us?
Good questions, these are, and Paul’s answer to them is as follows: 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
And so, if the Law cannot be observed, how then can the Jew or even the Gentile achieve righteousness? Is it possible?
Yes, says Paul, it is, and this is how you do it: 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.
Following this great truth that Paul so boldly expounds, he goes on to offer even more clarification to all his circumspect Jewish brethren who believe they are upholding the Law so well that they may feel a sense of superiority.
Paul explains that faith in the completeness of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ supersedes one’s best attempts at upholding the Law. He says this: 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Turning next to our reading of the psalms, we find a description that David, the poet-king of Israel offers about the Lord Almighty’s words. It is foolish to even attempt a comparison of them to mere mortals, and therefore, the only appropriate response is to take note and marvel at the beauty of the description of our God. David says:
6 And the words of the LORD are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
Finally, in the book of Proverbs, we find Solomon, the wise king of Israel, describe certain key human relationships—that of child to parent, and wife to husband. He writes:
13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin,
and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.
14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.