GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!
Grab a cup of something warm and dive into the word with us today!
Today’s readings are 1 Chronicles 3-5
Interesting Facts For People Who Like To Know Stuff
•In the opening of this chapter you may notice that David had a son named Elishama and a son named Eliphelet, and then shortly after it is recorded that he had another son named Elishama and another named Eliphelet. It is possible that the former ones passed away and the latter sons were named in their honor.
•1 Chronicles 3:9 tells us that David had other sons from concubines that were not named in this passage.
•1Chronicles 4:10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.
This prayer is from a man whom we are told, in the immediate verse prior to this, was more honorable than his brothers. This is to set the stage to let us know his character in praying such a prayer as this. There is no mention of a father so it can possibly be assumed that he was born out of wedlock, an even more difficult state. Add to this that his name means “pain” and we have a pretty good picture of some of the obstacles he was up against early on in life.
But his prayer demonstrates a turning to YHWH for deliverance from his many curses – and God did deliver him. Amid his curses he turned to YHWH, believed in Him, and sought Him – and God honored that faith.
Something to think about today:
Blessings are embedded within the commandments – and they are worth far more than what this world considers to be wealth.
When we follow them, when we take heed of our Father’s wisdom, our lives are far better as a result.
Let’s go through them and see just a few of the embedded blessings from just the ten commandments alone.
Note: There are countless embedded blessings in each commandment of the Father. We cannot possibly list or know them all so I am just going to give an example or two for each one to illustrate my point of embedded blessings.
Taken from Exodus 20:1-17
1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
Embedded blessing: If we follow this commandment we will not chase after empty idols who will leave us desolate, wanting, and lacking in purpose and wisdom. We will have a personal, abiding relationship with the one true God, who imparts His eternal salvation to those who seek Him with all their heart. I cannot even begin to list the blessings embedded in this one!
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
This one lines up with the first commandment. Notice that the first four commandments have to do with how we are to worship and seek Him and what His place is to be in our lives. If we have Him in that proper place, literally everything else lines up. When we seek Him with all our heart, when we love Him with all our mind and all our soul and all our might- He sees to the rest. So many embedded blessings!
3.You shall not take the name of YHWH your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
When we have proper reverence for Him, we stop putting so much weight on ourselves. He is God, we are not. Realizing that, takes such a heavy burden off of us. Honoring Him in turn brings joy to us.
4.Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to YHWH your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore YHWH blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Sabbath is a game changer. There has not been a single corner of our lives that has not been blessed by following His instructions here. We are rested. We do not feel tethered to the world as we once did. We feel no guilt when we take time away with our families, and being so intentional with it (as prescribed) has really caused us to develop the proper perspective of YHWH’s authority in our lives over the world’s. It has made an immeasurable difference in our quality of life. We get a vacation every single week!
5.Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
I realize there are exceptions (there will always be poor examples of parents just as there will always be poor examples of children), but for the most part a child who honors his or her parents is blessed with a long lasting, deep, and edifying relationship with their parents. They are able to have full access to them as mentors, wise counselors, and encouragers.
6.You shall not murder.
Not murdering keeps us out of jail. But seriously, the blessing of self restraint, of recognizing that line and not crossing it gives us peace to be able to live out our days knowing we did the right thing and did not take another’s life unjustifiably. (note, the definition of murder does not include self defense, but this is part of the bigger picture we need to read the entire Bible to understand)
7. You shall not commit adultery.
Our modern world has lost sight of the fact that our mind can lead our heart. Instead, we are taught to allow our own desires, whims, and human “wisdom” to lead us. But the Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and God’s word teaches us to honor our spouses, keeping our relationship with them as a covenant. People who have long lasting relationships will tell you that it is about falling in love multiple times – with the same person. There is a peace, security, and assurance in this relationship that blesses for a lifetime to those who manage to find it.
8. Thou Shall Not Steal
Again, keeps us out of jail. But also allows us to live free of guilt or fear of consequences.
9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Proverbs 6:16-19 talks about the seven things YHWH despises – five of them are covered in this one sin alone. Peace, harmony, self control, and living righteously are great blessings to anyone who walks in their paths. Friendships, trust of their community, and kindness from others are just some of the results.
10.You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”. this is a wonderful quote I’ve heard for years that really resonates if you take a moment to think about it. Coveting what others have sets us on a path to destruction – and our loved ones. With our eyes on the neighbor’s lawn we never fully appreciate our own, nor look after it. It is a horrible self fulfilling destiny when we decide to compare our lives to others rather than appreciating our own blessings. Not coveting cultivates a grateful heart that is able to find joy and delight in their own life.
A relationship with the Father blesses us in countless ways and in Him is true prosperity unlike anything this world could ever offer!
As in our reading yesterday, there is a wealth of information in today’s readings just waiting to be mined. Now may not be the best time for you but make sure you read through it all and tuck it in your back pocket to come back to another day. I challenge you to research and make notes, and keep them going as time permits, on the meanings of each name given. These meanings are pieces to a puzzle!
Following the Father has the natural consequences of blessings!
You literally cannot escape the blessings when you follow YHWH!
HOW AWESOME IS THAT? May blessings chase you everywhere you go today!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!