1837.) Psalm 55

May 17, 2016


Psalm 55 (New International Version)

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A contemplation of David.

For the remainder of this week we will be looking at some other psalms of David.

This psalm describes a time of some kind of rebellion or power struggle against David, and a key leader in the struggle was a trusted associate who betrayed David. The city is dangerous because of the rebellion, and David cries out to God. It may be that the events connected with this Psalm are unrecorded in the sacred history of the life of David.

–David Guzik

1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.

4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.

Ps55 wingsdove
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”

9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.

But it is you, my companion, my close friend . . .

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.

15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
for evil finds lodging among them.

16 As for me, I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.

rescue helicopter in Australia

Colossians 1:11-14 (NLT)

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,  who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.

20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.

22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.

Care is a burden; it makes the heart stoop; we must cast it upon God by faith and prayer, commit our way and works to him; let him do as seemeth him good, and we will be satisfied. To cast our burden upon God is to stay ourselves on his providence and promise. And if we do so, he will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a child; and will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall sustain the trial. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him. He will not suffer them to be utterly cast down.

–Matthew Henry’s Commentary

He shall bear both thee and thy burden. What a glorious promise to a tempted and afflicted soul! God will carry both thee and thy load.

–Adam Clarke’s Commentary

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.



In the King James Version, verse 22 reads this way:

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

What a comfort for us as we face the difficult days of life!  HERE  is “Cast Thy Burden” by Felix Mendelssohn. As you listen, rest in God’s loving care for you.


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
dove.    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/48/120456254_96e4efab70_z.jpg
Psalm 55:6.   http://40.media.tumblr.com/293f4847ab0cdaccbcc224c8356a941b/tumblr_no0jc5eU5O1ri7q4ro1_1280.jpg
betrayal.    http://matthewcleek.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Betrayal.jpg
rescue helicopter.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/rescue-helicopter1.jpg
man carrying a burden.    http://irregulartimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/burden.jpg

1836.) 1 Chronicles 29

May 16, 2016

A 1962 Israeli gold coin shows King David.  This coin is a collector’s item; it has no legal tender value.

1 Chronicles 29 (New Living Translation)

Gifts for Building the Temple

1 Then King David turned to the entire assembly and said, “My son Solomon, whom God has clearly chosen as the next king of Israel, is still young and inexperienced. The work ahead of him is enormous, for the Temple he will build is not for mere mortals—it is for the Lord God himself! 2Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could for building the Temple of my God. Now there is enough gold, silver, bronze, iron, and wood, as well as great quantities of onyx, other precious stones, costly jewels, and all kinds of fine stone and marble.

3 “And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected for his holy Temple. 4 I am donating more than 112 tons of gold from Ophir and 262 tons of refined silver to be used for overlaying the walls of the buildings 5 and for the other gold and silver work to be done by the craftsmen. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?”

from The Hungry Heart:  Daily Devotions from the Old Testament
by Jan Carlberg

King David poured his resources—wealth, wisdom, relationships, and experience—into building God’s house. Then love overtook zealous planning and giving, and David dug into his personal treasuries. Nothing was too good for his God! Gold and silver spilled out to overlay the walls of the temple. Having led by example, King David turned to his people and asked, “Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?” David could ask the question because he had answered with his life.

How have your personal treasures been affected by your love for God?

6 Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. 7 For the construction of the Temple of God, they gave about 188 tons of gold, 10,000 gold coins, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze, and 3,750 tons of iron. 8 They also contributed numerous precious stones, which were deposited in the treasury of the house of the Lord under the care of Jehiel, a descendant of Gershon. 9 The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.

1Chron29 theheartofgiving

2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV)

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

*               *               *               *               *

David’s gift is more than simply a gesture of great generosity. It amounts to a forfeit of an important visible guarantee of his personal security. In an age when many people channel large proportions of their substance into safeguarding their future David’s example here is salutary. Jesus too took up the theme of voluntary vulnerability in a number of his sayings — Matthew 16:24-26, for example:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  What good will it be for you to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul? Or what can you give in exchange for your soul?”

And his Incarnation left us with the supreme example of faithfulness to the challenge. The gospel calls into jeopardy not only the “fringe benefits” or the “little luxuries” of life, but its centre and substance. Often the extent to which we are prepared to put at risk our material well-being is a measure of the seriousness with which we take our discipleship.

–J. G. McConville

David’s Prayer of Praise

10Then 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! 11 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. 12 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.

Did Jesus have these verses in the back of his mind when he gave the disciples the Lord’s Prayer? For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! 14 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! 15 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.

Hebrews 11:13-16   (CEB)

All of these people died in faith without receiving the promises, but they saw the promises from a distance and welcomed them. They confessed that they were strangers and immigrants on earth.  People who say this kind of thing make it clear that they are looking for a homeland.  If they had been thinking about the country that they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return to it.  But at this point in time, they are longing for a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God isn’t ashamed to be called their God—he has prepared a city for them.

16 “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! 17 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.
18 “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. 19 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.”

20 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.



“See to it that our love for you, Lord, never changes.”  HERE  is Chris Rice’s beautiful hymn, “Come to Jesus.”  A fitting song as we read the last chapter of the book of 1 Chronicles!

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall…so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!


Solomon Named as King

Solomon became king around 970 BCE.

21 The next day they brought 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 male lambs as burnt offerings to the Lord. They also brought liquid offerings and many other sacrifices on behalf of all Israel. 22They feasted and drank in the Lord’s presence with great joy that day.

And again they crowned David’s son Solomon as their new king. They anointed him before the Lord as their leader, and they anointed Zadok as priest. 23 So Solomon took the throne of the Lord in place of his father, David, and he succeeded in everything, and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the officials, the warriors, and the sons of King David pledged their loyalty to King Solomon. 25 And the Lord exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and he gave Solomon greater royal splendor than any king in Israel before him.

The major difference of the Chronicles account from the Samuel-Kings account of the transition from David to Solomon is the strong focus on the temple. Everything else is subordinated to this. We hear nothing of the tussle between David’s sons over the succession, nor of the moral weakness of David, nor of Solomon’s own brutal suppression of his enemies. The transition is clean and the issues are clear.

–Philip E. Satterthwaite and J. Gordan McConville

Summary of David’s Reign

26 So David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27 He reigned over Israel for forty years, seven of them in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 28He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor. Then his son Solomon ruled in his place.

29 All the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in The Record of Samuel the Seer, The Record of Nathan the Prophet, and The Record of Gad the Seer. 30 These accounts include the mighty deeds of his reign and everything that happened to him and to Israel and to all the surrounding kingdoms.

from the Life Application Bible:

First Chronicles vividly illustrates the importance of maintaining a relationship with God, particularly as illustrated by the life of David. Few men or women in the Bible were as close to God as David was. His daily contact with God increased his capacity to worship and strengthened his desire to build God’s temple. David’s life shows us the importance of staying close to God—through studying and obeying his Word and communicating with him daily. Second Chronicles, on the other hand, reveals how quickly our lives can deteriorate (spiritually, mentally, and socially) when we fail to stay well grounded in God.


We will get to Second Chronicles in a few days.  Until then, we shall spend some time in the Psalms and the New Testament.  Something cheerful before we head toward division and exile!


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:
King David coin.    http://www.taxfreegold.co.uk/images/1962israel100shekelobv400.jpg
offering plate.    http://remnantculture.com/wp-content/uploads/offeringplate.jpg
the heart of giving.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/2cor8-theheartofgiving.jpg
Our Father in heaven.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/ourfatherinheaven.jpg
Love the Lord your God.    http://holdontoyourfaith.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/lovethelordmk12-30_fs1.jpg?w=640&h=505

1835.) 1 Chronicles 28

May 13, 2016

“Building the Temple” by Darlene Slavujac, 1992.

1 Chronicles 28 (New Living Translation)

David’s Instructions to Solomon

David summoned all the officials of Israel to Jerusalem—the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of the army divisions, the other generals and captains, the overseers of the royal property and livestock, the palace officials, the mighty men, and all the other brave warriors in the kingdom.

ALL those people whose names we have been reading for the past several chapters! They have come to Jerusalem to see David relinquish his ideas and plans for the temple to his son Solomon. 

2 David rose to his feet and said: “My brothers and my people! It was my desire to build a temple where the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, God’s footstool, could rest permanently. I made the necessary preparations for building it, 3but God said to me, ‘You must not build a temple to honor my name, for you are a warrior and have shed much blood.’

It is a poignant and powerful moment. Can you hear the longing in David’s voice? He had wanted so much to build the temple himself. I think of what David said when he bought the land, the threshing floor, for the temple — “I will not give to God that which cost me nothing.” Letting Solomon have the joy of building God’s house is costing David something, and not just money.

4 “Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, has chosen me from among all my father’s family to be king over Israel forever. For he has chosen the tribe of Judah to rule, and from among the families of Judah he chose my father’s family. And from among my father’s sons the Lord was pleased to make me king over all Israel. 5 And from among my sons—for the Lord has given me many—he chose Solomon to succeed me on the throne of Israel and to rule over the Lord’s kingdom. 6 He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon will build my Temple and its courtyards, for I have chosen him as my son, and I will be his father. 7 And if he continues to obey my commands and regulations as he does now, I will make his kingdom last forever.’

The torch is passed.

8 “So now, with God as our witness, and in the sight of all Israel—the Lord’s assembly—I give you this charge. Be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, so that you may continue to possess this good land and leave it to your children as a permanent inheritance.

This charge is given to all the leaders who have come for the occasion, and through them, to all the people of Israel. David says, Be careful — take your faith in the Lord seriously! Obey all the commands — know what the Word of God says and do it! 

9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.”

David is pleading with his son to follow the Lord closely and not to make the same kinds of mistakes he himself had made. Yet David’s very words foreshadow Solomon’s faith:  he will seek the Lord, and then he will forsake the Lord. He will serve the Lord not with his whole heart, as David his father had, but with a half-heart.

11 Then David gave Solomon the plans for the Temple and its surroundings, including the entry room, the storerooms, the upstairs rooms, the inner rooms, and the inner sanctuary—which was the place of atonement. 12 David also gave Solomon all the plans he had in mind for the courtyards of the Lord’s Temple, the outside rooms, the treasuries, and the rooms for the gifts dedicated to the Lord. 13 The king also gave Solomon the instructions concerning the work of the various divisions of priests and Levites in the Temple of the Lord. And he gave specifications for the items in the Temple that were to be used for worship.

Considered together, David did almost everything for the building of the temple except actually build it. He gave Solomon security, a location, the land, money, materials, supervisory staff, workers, and an organized team to run the temple.

–David Guzik

14 David gave instructions regarding how much gold and silver should be used to make the items needed for service. 15 He told Solomon the amount of gold needed for the gold lampstands and lamps, and the amount of silver for the silver lampstands and lamps, depending on how each would be used. 16 He designated the amount of gold for the table on which the Bread of the Presence would be placed and the amount of silver for other tables.

17 David also designated the amount of gold for the solid gold meat hooks used to handle the sacrificial meat and for the basins, pitchers, and dishes, as well as the amount of silver for every dish. 18 He designated the amount of refined gold for the altar of incense. Finally, he gave him a plan for the Lord’s “chariot”—the gold cherubim whose wings were stretched out over the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant.

Lots of gold! 

19 “Every part of this plan,” David told Solomon, “was given to me in writing from the hand of the Lord.”

20 Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. 21 The various divisions of priests and Levites will serve in the Temple of God. Others with skills of every kind will volunteer, and the officials and the entire nation are at your command.”

“Do not talk about it; do not sit down, and dream over the plans, and think how admirable they are, and then roll them up; but, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it.’”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon



HERE  is Hillsong and “Dwell in Your House Forever.”


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:
Slavujac.     http://www.biblicalartist.net/originaloils.html
torch.    http://www.uaa.rochester.edu/Images/Mascots/NYU_Torch.jpg
half heart.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/half-heart.png
blueprint.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/blueprint.jpg
Git-r-done.    http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/colomtn/git-r-done.jpg

1834.) 1 Chronicles 27

May 12, 2016

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.

David’s army was divided into units of twelve, with one group of the twelve on alert each month of the year. This was an effective way to keep troops always ready and the inactive troops regularly trained.

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 more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. 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.

The current primary mission of the 2nd Infantry Division 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, this 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.

1Chron34 Ivy-Division

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.



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


Leaders of the Tribes

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

These leaders are neither priests nor military; they are administrators of the civil order.

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.

vineyard in Galilee

vineyard in Galilee

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.

“Hushai’s post of ‘king’s friend’ (cf. 2 Samuel 15:37) may have begun on an informal and personal basis; but it became an official advisory position (cf. 1 Kings 4:5).”
–David F. Payne

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.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/armor-of-god1.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.galloree.com/stock/artwork/large/9050/4th-Infantry-Division-Ivy-Division.jpg
10th Mountain Division on patrol.    http://cdn.wn.com/pd/90/1f/39fc8c5be1ea3b93e77851e0d93c_grande.jpg
vineyard in Israel.   http://www.post-gazette.com/image/2014/04/07/ca14,12,991,671/20140407RecanatiUpperGalileeVineyard-2.jpg
olive oil.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/oliveoil.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.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/stoppingforsheepandgoats.jpg

1833.) 1 Chronicles 26

May 11, 2016

1 Chronicles 26 (New Living Translation)

Duties of the Gatekeepers

1Chron26 gatekeeper

John 10:1-3 (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! I could write a long list of capable people who have taught me much about the Christian life. But today I will mention only one, my dear husband, David, who is celebrating a birthday and looking forward to another year of serving the Lord!

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.

–David Guzik

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.



HERE  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
gatekeeper.   http://www.coachbrown.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/gatekeeper.png
pot of gold.   http://www.halliecrawford.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/career-direction.png

1832.) 1 Chronicles 25

May 10, 2016

1Chron25 MusicMinistry

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.

1Chron25 harp
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.



Today calls for harp music!  HERE  is a piece from Christ Church, Jerusalem, Israel. The title of the piece refers to the Lord: “Who Is Like You?”


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://firstcommunityantioch.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/MusicMinistry.187205051_std.png
cymbals.    http://worship.encounterfl.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/cymbals.jpg
lyre.     http://www.piney.com/UrSilverLyre.jpg
harp.    http://mcmscommunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/mcms_winter_concert_Jan2013_by_MPLomanno_0013.jpg

1831.) Psalm 30

May 9, 2016

Ps30 weeping
Psalm 30 (New International Version)

A song. For the dedication of the temple.

Some scholars think that this psalm was actually written prophetically for the dedication of the temple –- which David prepared for, but Solomon built.

1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

Mark 10:46-52 (NLT)

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”  Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave ;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)

You love him even though you have never seen him.
Though you do not see him now, you trust him;
and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”

7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain  stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:

Ephesians 2:4-7 (CEV)

But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done.

9 “What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help.”

When a man is at his wits’ end
it is not a cowardly thing to pray;
it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality. 

–Oswald Chambers (author of the widely-read devotional book My Utmost for His Highest)

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.



Ps30 mourning into dancing

American Jewish composer and singer Debbie Friedman set a number of Psalms to music — HERE  is Psalm 30, “Mourning into Dancing.”


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Joy.   https://i.ytimg.com/vi/KC04a2yWmQw/hqdefault.jpg
Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus.    http://freetobefred.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/blind-man-healed.jpg
“Greet the morning.”    http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i242/formebb/Greet_the_Morning_by_phatpuppy.jpg
Mercy window from Central Christian Church, Orlando, FL.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/30-mercy.jpg
Lord’s Prayer.    http://www.drpaulose.com/wp-content/uploads/Lords-prayer.jpg
mourning into dancing.   http://36.media.tumblr.com/489f946571367182d07bfd2596b05771/tumblr_n5llachBOM1safybko1_1280.jpg


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