The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded,
and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin:
The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law,
but when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them.
2 Chronicles 15:1-4 ESV
Reading through 2 Timothy this morning I ran across this which sounded so familiar.
“… God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace ….”
2 Timothy 1:8-9 ESV
Also stated by Paul famously in
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
I believe in a personal, engaged, all-powerful, God who is alive, aware and refers to Himself within His creation. I believe the garden of Eden was His first example and Judaism was another. I believe He is and has been demonstrating that we, humans, as His creation will chose sinfulness rather than Him that no matter what options He gives us; we will choose to turn our backs on Him and reject Him.
I believe that He gave Israel (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Israel) repeated grace; leading them Himself, through judges, prophets, priests and kings and they still rejected Him until He chastised them with slavery in other nations for almost 3,000 years.
“Now this is the commandment–the statutes and the rules–that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it,
that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.
Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 6:1-5 ESV
Then David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly: “O LORD, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever!
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.
Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
“O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!
But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!
We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
“O LORD our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you!
I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.
“O LORD, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes.
Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.”
Then David said to the whole assembly, “Give praise to the LORD your God!” And the entire assembly praised the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and they bowed low and knelt before the LORD and the king.
1 Chronicles 29:10 – 20 NLT
While reading about the split of the kingdom of Israel after Solomon’s death I ran across the description of Jeroboam.
Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph.
1 Kings 11:28
I wanted to revisit how God described Saul, Israel’s first king.
[Kish] had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome peson than he among he sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.
1 Samuel 9:2
So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, “Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever.
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.
“Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
“Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.
“But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.
“For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope.
“O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours.
“Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You.
“O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You;
1 Chronicles 29:10-18 NASB
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. –
Galatians 4:4-5 NASB
I don’t know any details of God that He hasn’t shared with everyone but I take the clause here “… in the fullness of the time ….” to apply to history.
Jesus was born when God, the Father, planned; not before, not after; His birth wasn’t hastened or postponed by anything.
Sometimes, however, English translations have subtle differences from the original texts. Take for example a passage from Paul’s first letter to Timothy.
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 NLT
The Bible presents lists like this passage in 1 Timothy. My question when I read this was which part is “the list?” I see two possibilities and the difference may change what I focus on as I seek to follow Jesus.