2 CHRONICLES 1:1-3:17 | ROMANS 6:1-23 | PSALM 16:1-11 | PROVERBS 19:20-21
We enter the second book of Chronicles today, and having learned that Solomon has been appointed as David’s successor, we are now going to examine the life and times of King Solomon. The account of Solomon’s dialogue with God concerning his one request is a fascinating one.
Solomon says, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
And God answers, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”
Next, Solomon begins the work of building the Temple. As per the detailed instructions that he has received from his father, Solomon goes about the business of acquiring all the right materials, builders, craftsmen and artisans, and enters into this endeavor with the humblest of spirits.
He says this, 5 “The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?
Turning now to our reading in the book of Romans, we find Paul continuing in his most persuasive way to argue for the value of this new concept of grace over the Law.
Paul says, 1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
Let it not be said that Paul ever trivialized this concept of grace. He points out that to those for whom it may appear that the advent of grace is a mere license to continue in sin, it is a travesty indeed because the true meaning of grace must not have been comprehended at all.
Because how can it be that one would wish to continue in sin when one is convicted of one’s sin by this extraordinary gift of grace, viz. unmerited favor. Why would you look a gift horse in the mouth? You wouldn’t! Rather, you would accept it and be overwhelmed at the fact that one was even presented to you for no apparent merit of your own.
But how can it be? Well, that is why it is called grace.
Paul cannot say enough about how great a concept this is: It may seem paradoxical, this business of allowances couched in the form of grace, and yet the exhortations to not abuse so great a gift remain unabated.
Paul says, 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Paul goes on to encourage his readers to become “slaves to righteousness.”
He says, 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. And therefore, this would be true: 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Turning now to our psalm of the day, we find a most sublime one in which David, the psalmist, appears at complete ease and rest as he makes this claim:
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Finally, two verses from the book of Proverbs packed with profundity:
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.