542.) 1 Chronicles 27

May 31, 2011

1 Chronicles 27 (New Living Translation)

Military Commanders and Divisions

1This is the list of Israelite generals and captains, and their officers, who served the king by supervising the army divisions that were on duty each month of the year. Each division served for one month and had 24,000 troops.

I will illustrate the Israelite divisions with pictures and accounts of US Army divisions, for two reasons.  1)  For ten years I was an Army wife and I have untold respect for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States military.  2) I hope these pictures and accounts will help us see all these (endless!) lists of (odd!) names as real people, with mothers and fathers who loved them, and children at home.

2 Jashobeam son of Zabdiel was commander of the first division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the first month. 3 He was a descendant of Perez and was in charge of all the army officers for the first month.

Big Red One.  The First Infantry Division is the oldest continuously active division in the US Army today.  The division has fought in WWI, WWII, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Bosnia/Kosovo, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  During the Korean War, the division was stationed in Germany.  Since 2006, they have been stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.


4 Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah, was commander of the second division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the second month. Mikloth was his chief officer.

Its current primary mission is the defense of South Korea in the initial stages of an invasion from North Korea until other American units can arrive. There are approximately 30,000 soldiers in the 2nd Infantry Division.  Unlike any other division in the Army, the 2nd Infantry Division is made up partially of Korean soldiers, called KATUSAs (ka-TWO-ses) (Korean Augmentation to US Army).


5 Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest was commander of the third division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the third month. 6 This was the Benaiah who commanded David’s elite military group known as the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was his chief officer.

Members of the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division Governorate Support Team stationed in Baghdad, Iraq, are shown holding the “Go Discovery” banner they signed to show their support for NASA’s Return to Flight.  Based in Fort Stewart, Georgia, the Third Infantry Division was the first conventional U. S. unit to enter Baghdad during the 2003 invasion; they have now served multiple tours there.


7 Asahel, the brother of Joab, was commander of the fourth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the fourth month. Asahel was succeeded by his son Zebadiah.

The 4th Infantry Division is a modular division of the United States Army  based at Fort Carson, Colorado, with four brigade combat teams.     It is a very technically advanced combat division in the U.S. Army. The division is known as the Ivy Division—a play on words of the Roman numeral IV or 4.


8 Shammah the Izrahite was commander of the fifth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the fifth month.
Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa was commander of the sixth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the sixth month.
10 Helez, a descendant of Ephraim from Pelon, was commander of the seventh division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the seventh month.
11 Sibbecai, a descendant of Zerah from Hushah, was commander of the eighth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the eighth month.
12 Abiezer from Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin was commander of the ninth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the ninth month.
13 Maharai, a descendant of Zerah from Netophah, was commander of the tenth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the tenth month.

The 10th Mountain Division is a light infantry division of the United States Army based at Fort Drum, New York.  It is a subordinate unit of the XVIII Airborne Corps and the only division-sized element of the U.S. Army to specialize in fighting under harsh terrain and weather conditions. The division retains the “mountain” designation for historical purposes but is actually organized as a light infantry division.


14 Benaiah from Pirathon in Ephraim was commander of the eleventh division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the eleventh month.
15 Heled, a descendant of Othniel from Netophah, was commander of the twelfth division of 24,000 troops, which was on duty during the twelfth month.



“Onward, Christian Soldiers”  by organist Diane Bish and the St. Andrews Miami Bagpipe Band.


For an interesting take on the (inappropriate) use of military language from the Bible in mission work, as composed by Christian leaders in India, click HERE.  Several years ago my alma mater, Wheaton College, changed its mascot from “Crusaders” for this very reason.  (They changed it to, of all things, “Thunder,” but we will not go there!)


Leaders of the Tribes

16 The following were the tribes of Israel and their leaders:

Tribe — Leader
Reuben — Eliezer son of Zicri
Simeon — Shephatiah son of Maacah
17 Levi — Hashabiah son of Kemuel
Aaron (the priests) — Zadok
18 Judah — Elihu (a brother of David)
Issachar — Omri son of Michael
19 Zebulun — Ishmaiah son of Obadiah
Naphtali — Jeremoth son of Azriel
20 Ephraim — Hoshea son of Azaziah
Manasseh (west) — Joel son of Pedaiah
21 Manasseh in Gilead (east) — Iddo son of Zechariah
Benjamin — Jaasiel son of Abner
22Dan — Azarel son of Jeroham

These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel.

23 When David took his census, he did not count those who were younger than twenty years of age, because the Lord had promised to make the Israelites as numerous as the stars in heaven. 24 Joab son of Zeruiah began the census but never finished it because the anger of God fell on Israel. The total number was never recorded in King David’s official records.

Officials of David’s Kingdom

25 Azmaveth son of Adiel was in charge of the palace treasuries.
Jonathan son of Uzziah was in charge of the regional treasuries throughout the towns, villages, and fortresses of Israel.
26 Ezri son of Kelub was in charge of the field workers who farmed the king’s lands.
27 Shimei from Ramah was in charge of the king’s vineyards.

Zabdi from Shepham was responsible for the grapes and the supplies of wine.
28 Baal-hanan from Geder was in charge of the king’s olive groves and sycamore-fig trees in the foothills of Judah.
Joash was responsible for the supplies of olive oil.

Shitrai from Sharon was in charge of the cattle on the Sharon Plain.
Shaphat son of Adlai was responsible for the cattle in the valleys.

30 Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels.
Jehdeiah from Meronoth was in charge of the donkeys.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

1 Chronicles 27:30 — And over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite.

Jehdeiah’s name meant “Union of Jah.”  I once had a letter from a man who was trying to run a big political organization in India.  He said he had sympathy with Paul, who wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:32 that he had fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, but he was quite sure it was still harder to fight with asses.

I am glad that we do not have to fight with asses, but we certainly have to look after them sometimes.  I wonder if Jehdeiah found comfort in his name?  Work like his needs patience, firmness, kindness, and these good things are not naturally in us.  John 15:5, WITHOUT ME ye can do nothing, is a word all who have to do with asses understand.  But WITH ME—that is the secret.  God in us can be patient and kind, even with poor asses.

God make all of us who have to do with asses His Jehdeiahs.

31 Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the king’s flocks of sheep and goats.

All these officials were overseers of King David’s property.

32 Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a wise counselor to the king, a man of great insight, and a scribe. Jehiel the Hacmonite was responsible for teaching the king’s sons. 33 Ahithophel was the royal adviser. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend. 34 Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar. Joab was commander of the king’s army.

So we see that David has prepared his country with excellent leadership for both war and peace. 


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
armor of God.   http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VjVPFaL8naY/TWv4Wus1e-I/AAAAAAAAAwY/tqRBhA9e4m0/s1600/armor-of-god.jpg
First Division patch.    http://www.firstdivisionmuseum.org/images/1idhistory/patch.jpg
Second Division.    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3217/2751194831_2595462343.jpg
Go Discovery.    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/images/content/116319main_banner-lg.jpg
Ivy Division.    http://www.afwear.com/media/07/a20792b12cb2b39a263908_m.JPG
10th Mountain Division on patrol.    http://cdn.wn.com/pd/90/1f/39fc8c5be1ea3b93e77851e0d93c_grande.jpg
crusader.     http://winteryknight.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/screenshotaa64_crusader_tn.jpg?w=400&h=300
vineyard in Israel.    http://houston.culturemap.com/site_media/uploads/photos/2010-10-06/pic.350w_263h.jpg
olive oil.    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XDoiO-2seK0/Ssbn64BCKqI/AAAAAAAAENg/R2k34vw9y9I/s400/olive+oil.jpg
cattle in the Golan.    http://ferrelljenkins.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/golan_cattle305t.jpg
donkeys in Alma Park Zoo, Brisbane. By Nick Craven of York.    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00998/donkeys_998553i.jpg
sheep and goats in Spain.     http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_0H6sAEdRAQA/TSj_ge_rBCI/AAAAAAAAApA/PnF7VHlbH_M/s1600/stopping+for+sheep+and+goats.jpg

541.) 1 Chronicles 26

May 30, 2011

1 Chronicles 26 (New Living Translation)

Duties of the Gatekeepers

John 10:1-3 (Today’s NIV)

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

1These are the divisions of the gatekeepers:

From the Korahites, there was Meshelemiah son of Kore, of the family of Abiasaph. 2 The sons of Meshelemiah were Zechariah (the oldest), Jediael (the second), Zebadiah (the third), Jathniel (the fourth), 3 Elam (the fifth), Jehohanan (the sixth), and Eliehoenai (the seventh).
4 The sons of Obed-edom, also gatekeepers, were Shemaiah (the oldest), Jehozabad (the second), Joah (the third), Sacar (the fourth), Nethanel (the fifth), 5 Ammiel (the sixth), Issachar (the seventh), and Peullethai (the eighth). God had richly blessed Obed-edom.
6 Obed-edom’s son Shemaiah had sons with great ability who earned positions of great authority in the clan. 7 Their names were Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad. Their relatives, Elihu and Semakiah, were also very capable men.
8 All of these descendants of Obed-edom, including their sons and grandsons—sixty-two of them in all—were very capable men, well qualified for their work.
9 Meshelemiah’s eighteen sons and relatives were also very capable men.

Oh, to be counted among them, as “very capable” men and women in service to our God!

10 Hosah, of the Merari clan, appointed Shimri as the leader among his sons, though he was not the oldest. 11 His other sons included Hilkiah (the second), Tebaliah (the third), and Zechariah (the fourth). Hosah’s sons and relatives, who served as gatekeepers, numbered thirteen in all.

12 These divisions of the gatekeepers were named for their family leaders, and like the other Levites, they served at the house of the Lord. 13 They were assigned by families for guard duty at the various gates, without regard to age or training, for it was all decided by means of sacred lots.

“A very important point is made by the inclusion of these groups, even though they might seem to represent a diversion from Chronicles’ main theme. As God’s people pay proper attention to their status as a worshipping community, the distinction between the sacred and the secular disappears. All tasks, whether mundane or specialized, ‘religious’ or ‘lay’, have value in the eyes of God.”

–Martin. J. Selman

14 The responsibility for the east gate went to Meshelemiah and his group. The north gate was assigned to his son Zechariah, a man of unusual wisdom. 15 The south gate went to Obed-edom, and his sons were put in charge of the storehouse. 16 Shuppim and Hosah were assigned the west gate and the gateway leading up to the Temple. Guard duties were divided evenly. 17 Six Levites were assigned each day to the east gate, four to the north gate, four to the south gate, and two pairs at the storehouse. 18 Six were assigned each day to the west gate, four to the gateway leading up to the Temple, and two to the courtyard.

19 These were the divisions of the gatekeepers from the clans of Korah and Merari.

According to 1 Chronicles 23:5, there were some 4,000 gatekeepers, all of them Levites.  They were responsible for many tasks:  keeping track of all the equipment and utensils used each day; ordering, receiving, and storing all the food supplies; ensuring all things were in order for the sacrifices; mixing the incense; caring for the furniture; receiving the gifts brought by the worshipers; and so on.

Treasurers and Other Officials

“We give thee but thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be,
All that we have is thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from thee.”


20 Other Levites, led by Ahijah, were in charge of the treasuries of the house of God and the treasuries of the gifts dedicated to the Lord. 21 From the family of Libni in the clan of Gershon, Jehiel was the leader. 22The sons of Jehiel, Zetham and his brother Joel, were in charge of the treasuries of the house of the Lord.

23 These are the leaders that descended from Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel:

24 From the clan of Amram, Shebuel was a descendant of Gershom son of Moses. He was the chief officer of the treasuries. 25 His relatives through Eliezer were Rehabiah, Jeshaiah, Joram, Zicri, and Shelomoth.
26 Shelomoth and his relatives were in charge of the treasuries containing the gifts that King David, the family leaders, and the generals and captains and other officers of the army had dedicated to the Lord. 27 These men dedicated some of the plunder they had gained in battle to maintain the house of the Lord. 28 Shelomoth and his relatives also cared for the gifts dedicated to the Lord by Samuel the seer, Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner, and Joab son of Zeruiah. All the other dedicated gifts were in their care, too.
29 From the clan of Izhar came Kenaniah. He and his sons were given administrative responsibilities over Israel as officials and judges.
30 From the clan of Hebron came Hashabiah. He and his relatives—1,700 capable men—were put in charge of the Israelite lands west of the Jordan River. They were responsible for all matters related to the things of the Lord and the service of the king in that area.
31 Also from the clan of Hebron came Jeriah, who was the leader of the Hebronites according to the genealogical records. (In the fortieth year of David’s reign, a search was made in the records, and capable men from the clan of Hebron were found at Jazer in the land of Gilead.) 32 There were 2,700 capable men among the relatives of Jeriah. King David sent them to the east side of the Jordan River and put them in charge of the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. They were responsible for all matters related to God and to the king.



The Kampen Boys Choir from the Netherlands sings “How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings” from the Brahms Requiem.

How lovely are thy dwellings, O Lord of Hosts!

My soul longeth, yea, fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house, and swallow a nest where she may lay her young, even Thine altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God.

O Lord God of Hosts, hear my prayer. I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand.


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Ps. 84:10.     http://media.salemwebnetwork.com/ecards/scripturecards/psalms84_10.jpg
pot of gold.   http://www.better-trades.com/analyst-exchange/economy/_images/treasury-pot-of-gold.jpg

540.) 1 Chronicles 25

May 27, 2011

1 Chronicles 25 (New Living Translation)

Duties of the Musicians

David and the army commanders then appointed men from the families of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to proclaim God’s messages to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, and cymbals. Here is a list of their names and their work:

Traditional Jewish music used cymbals made of brass or bronze.  Different sizes produced a higher or lower pitch.

Psalm 150:5 (English Standard Version)

Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!


2 From the sons of Asaph, there were Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah. They worked under the direction of their father, Asaph, who proclaimed God’s messages by the king’s orders.

Twelve psalms are attributed to Asaph (Psalm 50 and Psalms 73 through 83).

3 From the sons of Jeduthun, there were Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six in all. They worked under the direction of their father, Jeduthun, who proclaimed God’s messages to the accompaniment of the lyre, offering thanks and praise to the Lord.

This reconstruction of the “Silver Lyre” found in Ur (ca. 2800 BCE and now in the British Museum) illustrates the kind of lyre played in the royal courts in Abraham and Sarah’s hometown.  It was originally covered with silver plating and had inlays of jewels and ivory.

Psalm 144:9-10 (Today’s NIV)

I will sing a new song to you, my God;
on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
to the One who gives victory to kings,
who delivers his servant David.


4 From the sons of Heman, there were Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. 5 All these were the sons of Heman, the king’s seer, for God had honored him with fourteen sons and three daughters.

6 All these men were under the direction of their fathers as they made music at the house of the Lord. Their responsibilities included the playing of cymbals, harps, and lyres at the house of God.

A harp is larger than a lyre, with more strings and a greater musical range. Often a lyre was tuned to a five-note (pentatonic) scale, while a harp was tuned to a seven note (do-re-mi) scale. Then again, the terms “harp” and “lyre” are sometimes used interchangeably.

Psalm 147:7 (King James Version)

Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving;
sing praise upon the harp unto our God.


Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman reported directly to the king. 7 They and their families were all trained in making music before the Lord, and each of them—288 in all—was an accomplished musician. 8 The musicians were appointed to their term of service by means of sacred lots, without regard to whether they were young or old, teacher or student.

9 The first lot fell to Joseph of the Asaph clan and twelve of his sons and relatives.
The second lot fell to Gedaliah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
10 The third lot fell to Zaccur and twelve of his sons and relatives.
11 The fourth lot fell to Zeri and twelve of his sons and relatives.
12 The fifth lot fell to Nethaniah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
13 The sixth lot fell to Bukkiah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
14 The seventh lot fell to Asarelah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
15 The eighth lot fell to Jeshaiah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
16 The ninth lot fell to Mattaniah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
17 The tenth lot fell to Shimei and twelve of his sons and relatives.
18 The eleventh lot fell to Uzziel and twelve of his sons and relatives.
19 The twelfth lot fell to Hashabiah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
20 The thirteenth lot fell to Shubael and twelve of his sons and relatives.
21 The fourteenth lot fell to Mattithiah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
22 The fifteenth lot fell to Jerimoth and twelve of his sons and relatives.
23 The sixteenth lot fell to Hananiah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
24 The seventeenth lot fell to Joshbekashah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
25 The eighteenth lot fell to Hanani and twelve of his sons and relatives.
26 The nineteenth lot fell to Mallothi and twelve of his sons and relatives.
27 The twentieth lot fell to Eliathah and twelve of his sons and relatives.
28 The twenty-first lot fell to Hothir and twelve of his sons and relatives.
29 The twenty-second lot fell to Giddalti and twelve of his sons and relatives.
30 The twenty-third lot fell to Mahazioth and twelve of his sons and relatives.
31 The twenty-fourth lot fell to Romamti-ezer and twelve of his sons and relatives.



Phillips, Craig & Dean is a Christian musical group made up of three men, each a full-time pastor in three different cities in the USA.  They came together as a group in 1991 and now count more than two million records sold and 20 #1 singles.  Here is one of their songs that speaks to our chapter today — “Let the Worshipers Arise.”


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Music Ministry.     http://www.fbcimmokalee.org/clientimages/26212/music_ministry_logo223173412_std.jpg
cymbals.    http://worship.encounterfl.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/cymbals.jpg
lyre.     http://www.piney.com/UrSilverLyre.jpg
harp.    http://www.biblicalstoryteller.com/images/Hebrew%20Harp.JPG

539.) 1 Chronicles 24

May 26, 2011

The Levites cast lots to determine their “appointed order of ministry.”

1 Chronicles 24 (New Living Translation)

Duties of the Priests

1 This is how Aaron’s descendants, the priests, were divided into groups for service. The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and they had no sons. So only Eleazar and Ithamar were left to carry on as priests.

Leviticus 10:1-2 tells the cryptic story of Aaron’s elder sons Nadab and Abihu.  They brought “unauthorized fire” before the Lord and were struck dead.


3 With the help of Zadok, who was a descendant of Eleazar, and of Ahimelech, who was a descendant of Ithamar, David divided Aaron’s descendants into groups according to their various duties. 4 Eleazar’s descendants were divided into sixteen groups and Ithamar’s into eight, for there were more family leaders among the descendants of Eleazar.

5 All tasks were assigned to the various groups by means of sacred lots so that no preference would be shown, for there were many qualified officials serving God in the sanctuary from among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar. 6 Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, acted as secretary and wrote down the names and assignments in the presence of the king, the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the family leaders of the priests and Levites. The descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar took turns casting lots.

A Russian icon shows the angel appearing to Zechariah.

All these descendants!  David divides them into groups so that everyone has a fair share of the work, especially the privileged work.  The Hebrew calendar is lunar, with 48 weeks, so the 24 groups rotate evenly throughout the year.  Each group served two weeks a year at the Temple and the remainder of the year in their hometowns.  This system was still in place during the time of Jesus; Luke 1:5-9 tells us that Zechariah was on his shift at the temple when an angel appeared to him and told him he and Elizabeth would have a son, John.


7 The first lot fell to Jehoiarib.
The second lot fell to Jedaiah.
8 The third lot fell to Harim.
The fourth lot fell to Seorim.
9 The fifth lot fell to Malkijah.
The sixth lot fell to Mijamin.
10 The seventh lot fell to Hakkoz.
The eighth lot fell to Abijah.

Zechariah was a member of the Abijah division.

11 The ninth lot fell to Jeshua.
The tenth lot fell to Shecaniah.
12 The eleventh lot fell to Eliashib.
The twelfth lot fell to Jakim.
13 The thirteenth lot fell to Huppah.
The fourteenth lot fell to Jeshebeab.
14 The fifteenth lot fell to Bilgah.
The sixteenth lot fell to Immer.
15 The seventeenth lot fell to Hezir.
The eighteenth lot fell to Happizzez.
16 The nineteenth lot fell to Pethahiah.
The twentieth lot fell to Jehezkel.
17 The twenty-first lot fell to Jakin.
The twenty-second lot fell to Gamul.
18 The twenty-third lot fell to Delaiah.
The twenty-fourth lot fell to Maaziah.

19 Each group carried out its appointed duties in the house of the Lord according to the procedures established by their ancestor Aaron in obedience to the commands of the Lord, the God of Israel.



We are commanded to love the Lord, to praise Him and honor Him.  I think of all this preparation going on in these chapters, for generations, for hundreds of years — all to teach us how to receive the Son of God!  Here is one of my favorite groups, the Oslo Gospel Choir, to inspire us to worship our Savior with our whole heart!  “His Name Will Shine.”

There is no salvation in any name but Jesus Christ
There is no salvation except in the name of the Lord
There is no salvation in any name but Jesus Christ
There is no salvation except in the name of the Lord

He heard my cry (He heard my cry and came to heal me)
He took my pain (He took my pain and he relieved me)
He filled my life (He filled my life and comforted me)
And his name will shine
Shine eternally

There is no salvation in any name but Jesus Christ
There is no salvation except in the name of the Lord

He came my way (He came my way and stopped to touch me)
He came to stay (He came to stay and he won’t leave me)
He made me whole (He made me whole and sanctified me)
And his name will shine
Shine eternally
Shine eternally

There is no salvation in any name but Jesus Christ
There is no salvation except in the name of the Lord
Except in the name of the Lord
There’s no salvation – Oh no
Salvation – oh there is no Salvation
In any other name
The name of Jesus Christ


Family Leaders among the Levites

20These were the other family leaders descended from Levi:

These names following are of men who were not descendants of Aaron, so they were not priests.  But they were descendants of Levi, so they worked in the temple.


From the descendants of Amram, the leader was Shebuel.
From the descendants of Shebuel, the leader was Jehdeiah.
21 From the descendants of Rehabiah, the leader was Isshiah.
22 From the descendants of Izhar, the leader was Shelomith.
From the descendants of Shelomith, the leader was Jahath.
23 From the descendants of Hebron, Jeriah was the leader, Amariah was second, Jahaziel was third, and Jekameam was fourth.
24 From the descendants of Uzziel, the leader was Micah.
From the descendants of Micah, the leader was Shamir, 25 along with Isshiah, the brother of Micah.
From the descendants of Isshiah, the leader was Zechariah.
26 From the descendants of Merari, the leaders were Mahli and Mushi.
From the descendants of Jaaziah, the leader was Beno.
27 From the descendants of Merari through Jaaziah, the leaders were Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri.
28 From the descendants of Mahli, the leader was Eleazar, though he had no sons.
29 From the descendants of Kish, the leader was Jerahmeel.
30 From the descendants of Mushi, the leaders were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.

These were the descendants of Levi in their various families. 31 Like the descendants of Aaron, they were assigned to their duties by means of sacred lots, without regard to age or rank. Lots were drawn in the presence of King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the family leaders of the priests and the Levites.


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Levites cast lots.    http://www.biblical-art.com/extra/ownpub/public/pd166.jpg
Nadab and Abihu consumed by flames.    http://www.myheavenlyfather.com/images/nadab.jpg
Russian icon.     http://beingbob.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/angel-annunciation_to_zechariah.jpg
banner for the tribe of Levi.    http://timothyministries.org/images/Levi.jpg

538.) 1 Chronicles 23

May 25, 2011

These next chapters give us a picture of the people of God organized for a life of service. They show us that God is central in all of life.

1 Chronicles 23 (New Living Translation)

Duties of the Levites

1 When David was an old man, he appointed his son Solomon to be king over Israel.

David had other sons who might also claim the throne of Israel after his death, especially Adonijah. 1 Kings 1:31-40 describes in greater detail how David made sure that Solomon and not Adonijah took the throne after his death.

2 David summoned all the leaders of Israel, together with the priests and Levites. 3 All the Levites who were thirty years old or older were counted,

Numbers 4:1-3 says a Levite takes his assigned responsibilities once he turns 30.

and the total came to 38,000. 4 Then David said, “From all the Levites, 24,000 will supervise the work at the Temple of the Lord. Another 6,000 will serve as officials and judges. 5 Another 4,000 will work as gatekeepers, and 4,000 will praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have made.”

These 38,000 qualified Levites were divided into different duties.

To look after the work of the house of the Lord: The temple was a busy place constantly flowing with worshippers, sacrifice, and service unto God. It took many skilled people to take care of all the practical matters behind this activity.

 Officers and judges: The Levites were also the civil servants for the Kingdom of Israel. Governmental records, decisions, and administration were all in the hands of the Levites.

 Gatekeepers: These had the responsibility for security, both in a practical and spiritual sense. They made sure that only those who were ready to serve and worship God could come to the temple and its associated building.

 Four thousand praised the Lord: These Levites had the job of worshipping God both with their voices and musical instruments. They did this both to honor God directly and also to encourage others to worship God.

–David Guzik

6Then David divided the Levites into divisions named after the clans descended from the three sons of Levi—Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

The Gershonites

7 The Gershonite family units were defined by their lines of descent from Libni and Shimei, the sons of Gershon. 8 Three of the descendants of Libni were Jehiel (the family leader), Zetham, and Joel. 9 These were the leaders of the family of Libni.
Three of the descendants of Shimei were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. 10 Four other descendants of Shimei were Jahath, Ziza, Jeush, and Beriah. 11Jahath was the family leader, and Ziza was next. Jeush and Beriah were counted as a single family because neither had many sons.

The Kohathites

Aaron was the first high priest of Israel.

12 Four of the descendants of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
13 The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were set apart to dedicate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s presence, to serve the Lord, and to pronounce blessings in his name forever.

A priestly job description: 

to dedicate the most holy things,
to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s presence,
to serve the Lord,
and to pronounce blessings in his name forever.

14 As for Moses, the man of God, his sons were included with the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. 16 The descendants of Gershom included Shebuel, the family leader. 17 Eliezer had only one son, Rehabiah, the family leader. Rehabiah had numerous descendants.
18 The descendants of Izhar included Shelomith, the family leader.
19 The descendants of Hebron included Jeriah (the family leader), Amariah (the second), Jahaziel (the third), and Jekameam (the fourth).
20The descendants of Uzziel included Micah (the family leader) and Isshiah (the second).

The Merarites

21 The descendants of Merari included Mahli and Mushi.
The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar died with no sons, only daughters. His daughters married their cousins, the sons of Kish.
23Three of the descendants of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.

24 These were the descendants of Levi by clans, the leaders of their family groups, registered carefully by name. Each had to be twenty years old or older to qualify for service in the house of the Lord. 25 For David said, “The Lord, the God of Israel, has given us peace, and he will always live in Jerusalem. 26 Now the Levites will no longer need to carry the Tabernacle and its furnishings from place to place.”

David foresaw that the Temple which he was planning would require considerable personnel to maintain it it.  The bringing of the ark to Jerusalem has inaugurated a new era in Levitical service, since the central Levitical duty presented in Numbers chapters 3-4 is the tending of the accoutrements of the now obsolete mobile sanctuary.  David has divided the Levites on the one hand according to traditional family groupings (Gershom, Kohath, and Merari), and on the other according to their new functions, viz., officers and judges, gatekeepers and musicians.

–J. G. McConville

27 In accordance with David’s final instructions, all the Levites twenty years old or older were registered for service.

28 The work of the Levites was to assist the priests, the descendants of Aaron, as they served at the house of the Lord. They also took care of the courtyards and side rooms, helped perform the ceremonies of purification, and served in many other ways in the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the sacred bread that was set out on the table, the choice flour for the grain offerings, the wafers made without yeast, the cakes cooked in olive oil, and the other mixed breads. They were also responsible to check all the weights and measures. 30 And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him.



Songs of thanks and praise to God every morning and evening!  “Bless the Lord, oh, my soul!” — Andrae Crouch style!


31 They assisted with the burnt offerings that were presented to the Lord on Sabbath days, at new moon celebrations, and at all the appointed festivals. The required number of Levites served in the Lord’s presence at all times, following all the procedures they had been given.

Some of these jobs assigned to the Levites were menial.  Every undertaking conceals a vast amount of unseen and unrecognized work for it to be successful.  But all that work being done around the Temple, great and small, was glorious in God’s eyes.  How careful are we in noticing the seemingly mundane work done by faithful people of God for the sake of our own safety, comfort, and well-being?

32 And so, under the supervision of the priests, the Levites watched over the Tabernacle and the Temple and faithfully carried out their duties of service at the house of the Lord.


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Serve one another (Freedom Fellowship Church, New Braunfels, TX).  http://www.freedomnb.org/images/File/serve%20one%20another.png
Aaron.    http://www.edgarphillips.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/high-priest-1.jpg

537.) 1 Chronicles 22

May 24, 2011

David gives the plans for the Temple to Solomon.

1 Chronicles 22 (New Living Translation)

1 Then David said, “This will be the location for the Temple of the Lord God and the place of the altar for Israel’s burnt offerings!”

Preparations for the Temple

2 So David gave orders to call together the foreigners living in Israel, and he assigned them the task of preparing finished stone for building the Temple of God.

dressing stone

3 David provided large amounts of iron for the nails that would be needed for the doors in the gates and for the clamps,

hand made iron nails

and he gave more bronze than could be weighed. 4He also provided innumerable cedar logs, for the men of Tyre and Sidon had brought vast amounts of cedar to David.

cedar logs

5 David said, “My son Solomon is still young and inexperienced. And since the Temple to be built for the Lord must be a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world, I will begin making preparations for it now.” So David collected vast amounts of building materials before his death.

Just as David was not the man to build, Solomon was not the man to plan.  The Temple will be a result of both men’s gifts and work.  Truth to tell, all service to God is cooperative.  That is why we are  called “the body of Christ” — many members working together. 


6 Then David sent for his son Solomon and instructed him to build a Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel.

David assures Solomon that the Lord and David both have chosen him to build the Temple:

7“My son, I wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God,” David told him. 8 “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a Temple to honor my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will secure the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’

David reminds Solomon of the requirement of obedience to God and prays for Solomon’s wisdom as he builds and as he rules:

11 “Now, my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow his directions in building the Temple of the Lord your God. 12 And may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the Law of the Lord your God as you rule over Israel  13 For you will be successful if you carefully obey the decrees and regulations that the Lord gave to Israel through Moses. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!

14 “I have worked hard to provide materials for building the Temple of the Lord—nearly 4,000 tons of gold, 40,000 tons of silver, and so much iron and bronze that it cannot be weighed. I have also gathered timber and stone for the walls, though you may need to add more. 15 You have a large number of skilled stonemasons and carpenters and craftsmen of every kind. 16 You have expert goldsmiths and silversmiths and workers of bronze and iron. Now begin the work, and may the Lord be with you!”

17 Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to assist Solomon in this project. 18 “The Lord your God is with you,” he declared. “He has given you peace with the surrounding nations. He has handed them over to me, and they are now subject to the Lord and his people. 19 Now seek the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. Build the sanctuary of the Lord God so that you can bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant and the holy vessels of God into the Temple built to honor the Lord’s name.”

The Temple also has a dimension of witness for David and Solomon and the people of Israel.  Verse 5 says it is to be “exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands.”  An essential part of their raison d’etre as God’s people is to demonstrate before all the world that God alone is worthy of worship.  The splendour of the Temple is not self-indulgent, nor dedicated to the greater glory of King Solomon—but a symbol, in a world in which such symbols were important, that the God of Israel was King over all the earth.

–J. D. McConville



“You Are Worthy” is a phrase that has been on the lips of believers from David’s time till now.  We join with the saints of all the ages, and the angels, and all creation in praising God’s name!

Any crown I’ve ever worn
I lay it down
Any praise I’ve ever gained
I give it all to You

For there’s nothing in this world
That can compare
For You alone are worthy
You alone are worthy

You are near to all who call
Upon Your name
Ever giving, ever loving
You remain the same

For You open up Your hand
And satisfy
I give You all the glory
Give You all the glory

You are worthy, oh Lord, of all honor
You are worthy to receive all praise
In Your presence I live and with all I have to give
I will worship You

I will worship you
Honor You

Glorify Your holy name
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
David and Solomon.     http://www.ellenwhite.info/images/chapt-illus/PP/RH-DavidGivesTemplePlansToSolomon_DSC_0023.jpg
dressing stone.    http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/v_LAumupL2U/0.jpg
nails.     http://www.handfaste.se/cache/large/339.jpg
cedar logs.     http://www.easygreen.net/cedar_logs/cedar_log_boom.jpg
body of Christ.    http://elvishjesusfreak.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/body-of-christ.jpg
picture of Solomon’s temple from an old manuscript.

536.) 1 Chronicles 21

May 23, 2011

"King David Purchasing the Threshing Floor" by William Brassey Hole

1 Chronicles 21 (New Living Translation)

The theme of the preparations for the building of the Temple continues.  We have seen the promise to David that Solomon would be the builder (ch. 17), and how David’s wars would contribute to the project (18-20).  Now, in chapter 21, the site of the Temple is located.  There is so much other important material in this chapter that its central purpose can be missed at first reading.  Yet the Chronicler has taken pains to show how all the events of the chapter serve that purpose.  And in the end we see that the discovery of the location of the Temple site is only won through a scenario of sin, in all its mysteriousness, judgment and mercy.

–J. G. McConville

David Takes a Census

Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel. 2So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the people of Israel—from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north—and bring me a report so I may know how many there are.”

3 But Joab replied, “May the Lord increase the number of his people a hundred times over! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?”

4 But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab traveled throughout all Israel to count the people.

The question here, I think, seems to be motivation.  A census in itself is no sin; Moses conducted two such counts in the wilderness.  It cannot be a sin in that it is for a military purpose, since God has been with David and brought him military victories.  So did Satan cause David to be overly proud of himself as a military leader and place his reliance, and perhaps his ideas for future military action, on his own numerical strength?  Was he forgetting God in this arena?


Then he returned to Jerusalem 5 and reported the number of people to David. There were 1,100,000 warriors in all Israel who could handle a sword, and 470,000 in Judah. 6 But Joab did not include the tribes of Levi and Benjamin in the census because he was so distressed at what the king had made him do.

Judgment for David’s Sin

7 God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. 8Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.”

9 Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer. This was the message: 10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’”

11 So Gad came to David and said, “These are the choices the Lord has given you. 12 You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”

I offer you three things: God used David’s sin and the resulting chastisement to reveal David’s heart and wisdom. His choice of the following three options would test David:

  • Three years of famine: This would surely be the death of some in Israel, but the wealthy and resourceful would survive. Israel would have to depend on neighboring nations for food
  • Three months to be defeated by your foes: This would be the death of some in Israel, but mostly only of soldiers. Israel would have to contend with enemies among neighboring nations
  • For three days . . . the plague in the land: This would be the death of some in Israel, but anyone could be struck by this plague — rich or poor, influential or anonymous, royalty or common

 –David Guzik


13 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”

David chooses the shortest punishment.  He also trusts God, who even at a time like this is still gracious and merciful.

14 So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 people died as a result. 15 And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But just as the angel was preparing to destroy it, the Lord relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

16 David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth with his sword drawn, reaching out over Jerusalem. So David and the leaders of Israel put on burlap to show their deep distress and fell face down on the ground. 17 And David said to God, “I am the one who called for the census! I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? O Lord my God, let your anger fall against me and my family, but do not destroy your people.”

David Builds an Altar

18 Then the angel of the Lord told Gad to instruct David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

The threshing floor had both rich history and a rich future. 2 Chronicles 3:1 tells us that that threshing floor  was on Mount Moriah; the same hill where Abraham offered Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and the same set of hills where Jesus died on the cross (Genesis 22:14).

–David Guzik


19 So David went up to do what the Lord had commanded him through Gad. 20 Araunah, who was busy threshing wheat at the time, turned and saw the angel there. His four sons, who were with him, ran away and hid. 21When Araunah saw David approaching, he left his threshing floor and bowed before David with his face to the ground.

22 David said to Araunah, “Let me buy this threshing floor from you at its full price. Then I will build an altar to the Lord there, so that he will stop the plague.”

23 “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, and the threshing boards for wood to build a fire on the altar, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give it all to you.”

24 But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” 25 So David gave Araunah 600 pieces of gold in payment for the threshing floor.

“He who has a religion that costs him nothing,
has a religion that is worth nothing.”

–Adam Clarke



“All to Jesus I Surrender” here by Selah.


26 David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And when David prayed, the Lord answered him by sending fire from heaven to burn up the offering on the altar. 27 Then the Lord spoke to the angel, who put the sword back into its sheath.

28 When David saw that the Lord had answered his prayer, he offered sacrifices there at Araunah’s threshing floor. 29 At that time the Tabernacle of the Lord and the altar of burnt offering that Moses had made in the wilderness were located at the place of worship in Gibeon. 30 But David was not able to go there to inquire of God, because he was terrified by the drawn sword of the angel of the Lord.

1 Then David said, “This will be the location for the Temple of the Lord God and the place of the altar for Israel’s burnt offerings!”

Exactly as Moses had told them!

Deuteronomy 12:10-11 (English Standard Version)

But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD.


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Hole.     http://www.orientalism-in-art.org/King-David-purchasing-the-threshing-floor.html
question mark.     http://www.clker.com/cliparts/9/1/4/0/11954322131712176739question_mark_naught101_02.svg.med.png
1, 2, 3.     http://coachdawnwrites.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/123.jpg
threshing floor (near Nazareth).     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/nazareth__threshing_floor-2.jpg
I surrender all.     http://www.popularhymns.com/images/i_surrender_all8.jpg

535.) 1 Chronicles 19 and 20

May 20, 2011

Oh, not these ammonites? (an extinct group of marine invertebrate animals)

1 Chronicles 19 (New Living Translation)

David Defeats the Ammonites

1 Some time after this, King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. 2David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun because his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent messengers to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.

But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, 3 the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the land so they can come in and conquer it!” 4 So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved them, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.

Speaking of clothes that do not cover one's rear end . . .

Free Hebrew men wore beards; slaves were clean shaven.  And the short robes exposed their nakedness.  This treatment was humiliation upon humiliation, and by doing it to David’s ambassadors, the Ammonites were in effect doing it to David.


5 When David heard what had happened to the men, he sent messengers to tell them, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back.” For they felt deep shame because of their appearance.

6 When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent 75,000 pounds of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from Aram-naharaim, Aram-maacah, and Zobah. 7 They also hired 32,000 chariots and secured the support of the king of Maacah and his army. These forces camped at Medeba, where they were joined by the Ammonite troops that Hanun had recruited from his own towns. 8 When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them. 9 The Ammonite troops came out and drew up their battle lines at the entrance of the city, while the other kings positioned themselves to fight in the open fields.

Ammonites in front of them, Ammonites back of them — not a comfortable position for the Israelite general!

10 When Joab saw that he would have to fight on both the front and the rear, he chose some of Israel’s elite troops and placed them under his personal command to fight the Arameans in the fields. 11 He left the rest of the army under the command of his brother Abishai, who was to attack the Ammonites. 12 “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me,” Joab told his brother. “And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will help you. 13 Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord’s will be done.”

I think I need to put Joab’s speech on my mirror to read every morning!

“Be courageous!”  This is a choice we can make each day.  We can “be strong in the Lord and the power of his might” (Eph. 6:10).

“Fight bravely!”  Consider the things that are at stake:  nothing less than the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven!

“May the Lord’s will be done!”  Trust God.  His love in Jesus Christ and his power in the Holy Spirit will accomplish his great purposes even through us!



“Be strong and take courage” — and enjoy the babies!


14 When Joab and his troops attacked, the Arameans began to run away. 15 And when the Ammonites saw the Arameans running, they also ran from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab returned to Jerusalem.

16 The Arameans now realized that they were no match for Israel, so they sent messengers and summoned additional Aramean troops from the other side of the Euphrates River. These troops were under the command of Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s forces.

17 When David heard what was happening, he mobilized all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, and positioned his troops in battle formation. Then David engaged the Arameans in battle, and they fought against him. 18 But again the Arameans fled from the Israelites. This time David’s forces killed 7,000 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers, including Shobach, the commander of their army. 19 When Hadadezer’s allies saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they surrendered to David and became his subjects. After that, the Arameans were no longer willing to help the Ammonites.

1 Chronicles 20 (New Living Translation)

David Captures Rabbah

1In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, Joab led the Israelite army in successful attacks against the land of the Ammonites. In the process he laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.

And what happened when David stayed behind in Jerusalem?  Oh, baby.


In fact, the account in 2 Samuel 12:26-31 tells us that Joab himself did not win this battle over Rabbah. He fought the Ammonites to a stalemate and then called for David to help, after his sin with Bathsheba and subsequent repentance. Then, 2 Samuel 12:29 tells us, David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah. This was the final phase of David’s restoration. He went back to doing what he should have done all along – leading Israel out to battle, instead of remaining in Jerusalem. This means that David was in victory once again. His sin did not condemn him to a life of failure and defeat. There was chastisement for David’s sin, but it did not mean that his life was ruined. 

–David Guzik


2 When David arrived at Rabbah, he removed the crown from the king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and he found that it weighed seventy-five pounds. David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. 3 He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes. That is how David dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.

Rabbah was the capital of the Ammonites and is the site of modern Amman in Jordan.  I had an aunt and uncle who lived in Amman for five years; he worked for Boeing.  I visited them there just a couple months before they returned home.  When I asked my aunt what she would miss most about Amman, she replied, “Beige.”


Battles against Philistine Giants

Often giants are not very cute and not too bright --

4After this, war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, a descendant of the giants, and so the Philistines were subdued. 5 During another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath of Gath. The handle of Lahmi’s spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!

6 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. 7 But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.

8 These Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.


The account of David’s wars in chapters 18-20 is drawn from various parts of 2 Samuel, chs. 8-21.  The unity of theme that is thus achieved is a result of the omission of a large amount of material in 2 Samuel.  There, the Ammonite war, for example (2 Sam. chs 10-11), is primarily a backcloth for the story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and related murder of Uriah.  Those actions in turn spark off a series of events which are far from glorifying to  the house of David (mainly Ammon’s rape of Tamar, ch. 13, and Absalom’s rebellion, chs. 15ff.).  The omission of this block of material is as instructive as that which is included for it shows that Chronicles is determined to develop the theme of David’s positive contribution to the establishment of God’s kingdom in Israel, a purpose which would not have been served by the inclusion of evidence of his deficiencies.  All this is dramatic evidence of God’s willingness to use even the most inconstant of people in his service.

Christians often become obsessed by their failures.  It is a measure of the grace of God that he is willing to put the best interpretation upon the most vacillating life of faith.

–J. G. McConville


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
ammonites.     http://www.fossilmuseum.net/Fossil-Pictures/Ammonites/Ammonite-5/Ammonite-5.jpg
baggy pants.    http://sunflowerstate.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/baggy-pants.jpg
mirror.     http://hdleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/mirror_fretwork_english_looking-glass.png
Susan Hayward in the 1951 movie “David and Bathsheba.”  Gregory Peck played David.
Amman.     http://www.expatify.com/files/2009/11/am1.jpg
giant.    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zTFVTCLvvHI/TVbSd9pfHlI/AAAAAAAAM_I/ot3X1roKhLw/s400/giant.jpg
forgiveness.     http://images.quickblogcast.com/109160-101943/forgiveness.jpg

534.) 1 Chronicles 18

May 19, 2011

Chapters 18, 19, and 20 show David the Victorious Warrior! By his military successes he achieves peace for the kingdom of Israel.

1 Chronicles 18 (New Living Translation)

David’s Military Victories

1 After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath and its surrounding towns. 2David also conquered the land of Moab, and the Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.

David’s great-grandmother on his father’s side was Ruth, a Moabite.


3 David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, as far as Hamath, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. 4 David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots.

5 When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. 6 Then he placed several army garrisons in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.

7 David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem,

a model of the ceremonial gold shield of Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character in Homer’s “Iliad”

8 along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah and Cun. Later Solomon melted the bronze and molded it into the great bronze basin called the Sea, the pillars, and the various bronze articles used at the Temple.

One needed two things to build the temple: security and money. These chapters show how David, though he could not build the temple himself, obtained the security and money necessary for his son to build the temple.

–David Guzik

“In view of the desire of the king to build the Temple of God, the chapter is of special interest; it shows how in these wars he was amassing treasure with that purpose in view, not for himself, but for his son.”

–F. B. Meyer

9 When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Joram to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of gold, silver, and bronze.

11 King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord, along with the silver and gold he had taken from the other nations—from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.

Now David has taken pretty much ALL of the land that God had promised long ago to Abraham and to his descendants!


12 Abishai son of Zeruiah destroyed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He placed army garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.



I like hymn tune arrangements on the piano!  Here is a song I remember from long ago — “Faith Is the Victory.”

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.


Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwinds breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.


On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.


To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be given.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heaven.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
Well vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus conquering Name.



14 So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah was the court secretary. 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard. And David’s sons served as the king’s chief assistants.


No great ruler succeeds by himself. Only the smallest organizations can be governed well without a gifted and committed team. Part of David’s success as a ruler was in his ability to assemble, train, empower, and maintain such a team.

We never find such a list regarding the organization of King Saul’s government. This is because David’s government had much more form and structure than Saul’s.

There is a limit to what we can be and what we can do for the Lord without order and organization. It isn’t that order and organization are requirements for progress in the Christian life; they are progress in the Christian life, becoming more like the Lord.

Nothing is accomplished in God’s kingdom without order and organization. While it may seem so to us, it is only an illusion – behind the scenes God is moving with utmost order and organization though sometimes we cannot see it.

–David Guzik


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Lights, camera, action.     http://dsdtglobal.com/images/Bollywood_Lights_Camera_Action.gif
Ruth and Boaz.     http://creativedreamers.com/Gallery/ruth%2Bboaz-web.jpg
gold shield.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/achilles-gold-shield.png
teamwork.     http://febird.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/teamwork.jpg
map of kingdom under David.    http://www.trackingbibleprophecy.org/images/david_kingdom_map.jpg

533.) 1 Chronicles 17

May 18, 2011

“Dreaming of Ancient Israel” by Eva Deutsch Costabel, 2007.

1 Chronicles 17 (New Living Translation)

The Lord’s Covenant Promise to David

OR:  Who will build God’s house?

1When David was settled in his palace, he summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant is out there under a tent!”

an example of the cedars of Lebanon

Remember — David’s neighbor, King Hiram of Tyre, had sent him cedar, a highly valued wood.  Evidently that had been used to build a palace for David and his many wives and children.  But it is weighing now on David, and he is distressed with the gap between his lovely home and the simple tent in which God’s Name dwells.  David wants to build a temple for the Lord.

Learn about a discovery believed (by some, not by others) to be the ancient palace of King David!  Very interesting!  Click HERE.


2 Nathan replied to David, “Do whatever you have in mind, for God is with you.”

3 But that same night God said to Nathan,

4 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: You are not the one to build a house for me to live in. 5 I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. My home has always been a tent, moving from one place to another in a Tabernacle. 6 Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s leaders, the shepherds of my people. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”’
7 “Now go and say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before your eyes. Now I will make your name as famous as anyone who has ever lived on the earth! 9 And I will provide a homeland for my people Israel, planting them in a secure place where they will never be disturbed. Evil nations won’t oppress them as they’ve done in the past, 10 starting from the time I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. And I will defeat all your enemies.
“‘Furthermore, I declare that the Lord will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings! 11 For when you die and join your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, one of your sons, and I will make his kingdom strong. 12 He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for me.

But God has a different idea.  David will not build a house for God.  Instead, God will build a house, a dynasty, for David!  God is the architect of David’s legacy and his kingdom.  And a son (Solomon) will build the actual temple.

And I will secure his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my favor from him as I took it from the one who ruled before you. 14 I will confirm him as king over my house and my kingdom for all time, and his throne will be secure forever.’”

“Root of Jesse” by German artist Walter Habdank.

The family of David did rule over Israel for more than four centuries, but was eventually removed because of evil added upon evil. Yet out of the “stump” of Jesse, God raised up a new branch that would reign for ever and ever (Isaiah 11:1-2).

–David Guzik



“All Hail, King Jesus!” by Dave Moody.  I like the five titles that are listed for the One whose name is high and lifted up!


15 So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the Lord had said in this vision.

David’s Prayer of Thanks

16Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed,

“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And now, O God, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! You speak as though I were someone very great, O Lord God!
18 “What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like. 19 For the sake of your servant, O Lord, and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known.

David is in awe of the greatness of God and amazed that God would so elevate him.  He has come to appreciate that to ask God to do according to his word is better than to act precipitately according to his own perceptions, even if highly intentioned.  Of course, we must always ultimately act on the basis of our perceptions.  But they must be informed, and transformed, by unremitting exposure to the word of God.

–J. G. McConville


20 “O Lord, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 21 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations that stood in their way. 22 You chose Israel to be your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.

David has also come to see that God is not only his God, but the God of all Israel — and not just for now, but forever.  Of course, “forever” presupposes obedience!  God made that clear in 1 Samuel 2:30 — “Those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me will be lightly esteemed.”  For the Israelites and for us, choices have consequences!

23 “And now, O Lord, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. May it be a promise that will last forever. 24 And may your name be established and honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.
25 “O my God, I have been bold enough to pray to you because you have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him—a dynasty of kings! 26 For you are God, O Lord. And you have promised these good things to your servant. 27 And now, it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, so that it will continue forever before you. For when you grant a blessing, O Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Costabel.     http://www.artinfo.com/media/image/234361/DreamingOfAncientIsrael_large.jpg
cedars of Lebanon.     http://www.worldweatherpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/cedar_of_lebanon_001.jpg
Habdank.    http://www.habdank-walter.de/2english/shop/bildkarten/A10.jpg
Thank You, God.     http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lj21hjeCB61qeax09o1_250.jpg