Asa's downfall. Earlier in his reign Asa had given silver and gold to the temple treasury. He now gave orders for the Temple treasury to be raided, and gold and silver to be gathered and sent to King Ben-Haddad of Aram as a bribe.

Day 161 (June 10): Baasha v. Asa, Nadab killed, Baasha’s sin, Israel kings, Ahab, Asa over Judah for 41 years, Jehoshaphat, Ravens feed Elijah

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
1 Kings 15:16-22
2 Chronicles 16:1-10
1 Kings 16:1-7
1 Kings 15:23-24
2 Chronicles 16:11-14
2 Chronicles 17:1-19
1 Kings 17:1-7

(913-863 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Chronicles 16:7-10): So, Asa lost site of who could really help his kingdom?  He just got nervous about King Baasha’s influence on Judah and asked an outsider for help?  Then, Hanani called him on it and he didn’t want to admit Hanani was right — his pride took over — so he punished Hanani for accusing him of ignoring God?

A. Yes, you’ve got it right.  Asa was doing a good job for most of his life, but he ignored God at a crucial moment and then basically “shot the messenger” God sent.

Q. (1 Kings 16:1-7): So, God still considers both Judah and Israel His people?  Why was Elah made king when God was infuriated with his father, Baasha?

A. I don’t exactly have an answer.  But he certainly didn’t stay king for long, and after that his family was wiped out by a traitor.  God can do as He pleases, and in this case, as we’ve seen a few times before, the wrath for the father’s sins is poured out on the children.

Q. (1 Kings 16:8-14): So, you could say that God made this happen … or that Baasha had it coming to him and it was revenge.

A. You could argue both.  But do note that Baasha got his throne in a very similar manner (by killing Nadab in 15:28).  You could conclude that what goes around comes around.

Q.  It seems that aspiring to be king was a very dangerous desire.  So many of them were killed.  Was wanting the throne viewed differently than it is today?

A. No, I would say that most of us still have the roughly the same value of life, but the men who participated in these actions valued power and control more.  I think trying to separate ourselves from such a world — i.e. we value life so much more than they did — is dangerous thinking.  There are places in the world today where the desire for power causes people to kill: some of which are a lot closer to home than we might like to think.  As our wise king Solomon noted, there is nothing new under the sun, even the value of human life.

Q. (1 Kings 16:34): This seemed to come out of nowhere.  Can you tell us more about Hiel and Jericho and what Joshua predicted long ago about this happening?

A. Sure.  In Joshua 6:26, God proclaims that anyone who rebuilt the city with new foundations and a new gate — the mark of a true city in the ancient world — would pay with the life of his oldest and youngest sons.  Jericho, which was unlikely to have been uninhabited all those years, but simply not as a walled city, was to stand as a permanent reminder to Israel of what God did to provide the Promised Land to them.  He did not take lightly the effort of someone to defy that order.  In addition, this is just one more example of the deterioration of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, that will bring about its downfall.

Q. (1 Kings 17:1-7): Elijah is a prophet, right?  We’ll see more of him?  Should we talk about Elijah now a bit or just wait?

A. Yes and yes.  He will become the centerpiece of the next few chapters.  In regards to his background, there is literally NOTHING to tell: He comes from nowhere and might as well have appeared out of thin air.  So let’s watch what God will do with him in the next few sections.  He is certainly memorable!

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Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Kings 17:8-20:22

Solomon contradictions Image of owl in a suit studying a book

Day 158 (June 7): Solomon: Wisdom for life, Wicked vs. righteous, Both face death, Wisdom and folly, Murphy’s law, Uncertainties

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Ecclesiastes 7-11:6
(937 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Ecclesiastes 7:4): Does this mean that wise people think about where they go after death?  And, a fool doesn’t, thus he/she lives the life of folly and will be judged harshly?

A. Not necessarily.  It may just mean that the wise man/woman thinks of the long term — including death — while the fool is only thinking about the here and now.

O. (7:10): I often think of how much “me” time I had before I had children.  Sometimes, I dream of it, but only briefly.  But, I remember being lonely.  And that, I am definitely not anymore!  I’m not sure what Solomon is talking about here in “the good old days,” but I agree.  I wouldn’t tinker with that.  It does seem like that as much as you may want to return to a previous time period, it’s not possible.  My husband was in the Navy and we were stationed on Guam for two years.  There were several families we knew who absolutely loved it there and had requested to stay or return.  But, most of them say that it’s never the same the second time around.

Q. (7:13): This does seem true.  No matter how much something hurts, you can’t change it, so you may as well accept it and look forward to where it’s taking you and what lesson you learned.

A. I would say there’s some good wisdom there.

O. (7:14): If no one ever prospered, we would never see or desire any goal to work toward.

Q. (7:15): We discussed earlier that this kind of talk, like Solomon saying life is “meaningless,” is probably not offending God.  Why did Solomon get so depressed in his last years?  I can’t tell if he truly acknowledges that his actions caused his downfall or if he is down on God.  Or, both?

A. We don’t have any information on when this was written within Solomon’s life, so we can only speculate.  Don’t forget, this is a contemplation about finding meaning in life outside of God, so I would say God is pretty “safe” from being offended.

Q. (7:27-29): I believe we have talked about why man falls short of following God’s laws, but it’s been a ways back and now would be a good time to bring it up again.  Did we say that human’s downfall has to do with free will?  It gives God more glory if people choose him willingly not under force?

A. Yes and yes, at least in the Armenian tradition.  Since true love — our genuine choice to follow and love God — involves a choice, the possibility must be open for people to say “no” to God … and each other.  This “no” to God is one of the ways that the Bible defines sin — it is to go our own way, without consideration of God.  God appears to want genuine followers, not puppets, and the only way that can happen is to allow some degree of free choice in life.

O. (7:14): I don’t think we do this today where the wicked are considered good in society and conversely, that the good are made out to be victims.  That does happen occasionally. On a similar note, I would say that, the media gives too much attention to bad guys: Getting so much press, one would think that they are celebrities, which may attract others to follow suit.  Also, the media plays up Hollywood.  I have never understood why actors are put on a pedestal in our country.  If they spread more news and made more movies about positive stories and people who help others, this world would likely be a more moral place!

Q. (7:17): Solomon certainly seemed like he was trying to learn everything under the sun.  This was part of his downfall?

A. If doing so took away his focus on God — and it appears that it did — then yes.

Q. (9:1): We have to consider the source here.  Solomon is down on God.  Solomon acts like he has no idea who God is.  He is pouting from his punishment?

A. We don’t know.  It is certainly cynical thinking, but as verse 2 of this chapter points out (again), the fate of the faithful and the blasphemous is the same: death.  If we carry that argument out a little farther, we can see something interesting.  If Solomon is convinced that there is no life after death, or perhaps he is making the argument, then there is no benefit to being righteous.  We see this quite often to this day — the evil often get away with it, and justice is not done.  But belief in an afterlife allows for a much more acceptable notion of justice — that there are eternal, not just temporal, consequences to the decisions that we make.  It becomes easy to see how the atheist slips into moral uncertainty — without God and His eternal justice, everything is permissible.

Q. (9:12): Maybe so, but God has told us that He won’t give us anything we can’t handle — though it may seem like doom is near — and it can be part of the plan.  Just look at Job.  He was stripped of everything, but he kept his faith and God restored him.

A. What you are beginning to touch on here is the examination of certain passages of the OT in light of others: that was a big part of developing a theology — beliefs about God and His relationship with humanity in general and Israel specifically.  This theology is always in flux — at least the details are — and new generations come to see God in different ways.  I think that such discussions honor God, because we use the very intellect He blessed us with to make up our own minds about how we will react in hard times: Will we be cynical and give up on God, or will we be faithful like Job?

O. (9:16): This reminds me of elections.  If you have money, then the people will hear you — because you can afford advertising.  If you are poor, you can’t afford to spread your platform, so you are snuffed out.

O. (10:4): So, if you make a mistake, you work harder so you can regain respect.  I think this is true in every relationship.  I think it needs to also come with an apology.  And, I believe, that everyone has messed up at work, especially when they are young.  I used to work at a newspaper.  My first mistake, probably my first or second week of work, was that I input the wrong weather page.  Yes, someone else is there to catch mistakes like that, but it was ultimately my responsibility.  I also input the wrong answers to crosswords.  But, I worked hard and was designing front pages in no time.  I have messed up with this blog several times — I know it’s not perfect, but it’s getting God’s Word out and it will be made into even more great things — but no one reamed me about it.  Don’t think that anyone has not made some major mistakes.  We learn from our mistakes at a very young age.  Mistakes breed success.

Q. (10:10): I love this saying, but coming from Solomon at this point, who would take his advice?  He is so contradicting.  Here he is saying gather more wisdom, other places he says wisdom is meaningless.  What are we supposed to take from Ecclesiastes?

A. That everything is meaningless without God.  Hang on until the next chapter, and see who gets the “final word.”

O. (11:2): Here is some sound advice from Solomon that holds true to today.

For further study: What good is Wisdom? https://preachitteachit.org/devotionals/why-is-it-important-to-be-wise/

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14
— 1 Kings 12:1-20
— 2 Chronicles 10
— 1 Kings 12:21-24
— 2 Chronicles 11:1-4
— 1 Kings 12:25-33
— 2 Chronicles 11:5-17

Solomon in Ecclesiastes. But Solomon knew that his wealth and earthly possessions would not last forever, for he said, ‘Riches make themselves wings.’

Day 157 (June 6): Solomon says ‘wisdom is useless,’ Companionship is beneficial, Leadership and wealth is futile

Moody Publishers / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Ecclesiastes 1:12-6:12
(937 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Ecclesiastes 1:13b-14): In Proverbs, I respected most of Solomon’s wisdom that he shared.  But now, he seems to have lost his focus on God.  What I have figured out is that he has put the ungodly wisdom that he has found above God’s laws and completely lost the meaning of life.  He used to be so light and bright.  Now, he has applied his wisdom to futile ways and it is now his downfall?

A. I suppose that’s possible — though we don’t have any evidence of that — but it could also be a form of “mental exercise” in which the writer, most likely Solomon, looks at the futility of life without God.  Let’s hang in there and see where he goes, ok?

Q. Why does Solomon repeat the phrases, “under the sun” and “chasing the wind”?

A. He’s using images from nature to make his points, almost like refrains.  I would say the futility of chasing the wind is pretty obvious, right?

Q. (2:15, 22b): I believe David had knowledge of the after life, but Solomon had none.  Why?

A. The way that I would phrase that same sentiment is David had faith in the afterlife, and from these verses, it would appear that Solomon did not.  Jewish thought on the existence, or not, of an afterlife was considered an unsettled matter even in Jesus’ day, so it is in no way a surprise to me that father and son were not in agreement on it.

Q. (3:1-8): I know this has been made into a song.  Solomon’s unsound mind aside, this song tells me that there is a season for everything and it all will pass with time.  But, frankly, I don’t know what we are supposed to get from it, given that Solomon was a little psycho.

A. I wouldn’t assume he’s out of his mind.  There is great wisdom in much of what he is saying.  Among the things I saw: there is a time for everything — which was made famous by the Byrds’ song Turn Turn Turn in 1965 — that in the end wealth does not separate rich from poor and the wise are not separated from the foolish.  Everyone dies and we are better off with companions than alone, etc.  Like Song of Solomon before it, this is truly one of the most unique books of Scripture, but I believe that God inspired the words, so that means there is value in reading it and learning from it.

Q. (5:4b-5): This scares me a little.  Eight or nine years ago I was struggling with something that I deeply regretted.  I was on a walk and God told me that He forgave me.  We struck a deal that I would write a book about it.  I feel like this is something I must do.  I have started it, but haven’t worked on it for probably 5 years and I’ve barely even thought about it in a year.  Even seeing some of the material that I’m using for it doesn’t even remind me of the pact.  God did give me the idea to do this blog to fulfill my desire to know the Bible better before I continue on the book.  But, the blog — which I LOVE doing — takes up all of my time.  So, the book will have to wait.  I hope that’s OK.  I haven’t got any disappointing signs from God.

A. I think he’s talking about oaths and promises that we make to others, not necessarily personal ones.  Oaths in that day — and in Jesus’ day, as we will see in the Sermon on the Mount — were often abused and God’s name was used to cover people’s deceit, i.e. people would swear promises by God’s name that they had no intention of fulfilling.  Such abuse greatly displeases God — remember our commandment discussion about treating God’s name with respect.

Q. (5:12): Solomon is acknowledging that there is satisfaction in working hard.  We have talked about how those who inherit wealth and don’t know hard work, usually spend all their money and their lives waste away.  Maybe with not having to work hard for the vision God gives you — because you have everything you need — one can have no focus and lead an unfulfilled life.  But, then Solomon retracts and says all their hard work is for nothing (6:16b).

A. 6:16 strikes me as a rather cynical statement: He clearly has laid out value in work, and goes on to talk about how work is helpful toward building relationships with others (v. 18).  But, on some level, I see his point: while wealth can make it so that your offspring have it better than you had it, in the end, this makes no difference to YOU, since you’re dead.  So there are multiple perspectives that we can take on some of these verses, and perhaps even disagree with what he is saying.

Q. (5:19b): So, Solomon continues his thought process: If you can accept the path God has for you, then you will be fulfilled.  Personally, I don’t think God would give someone a “lot” that they didn’t enjoy?  He goes on to say that the love of their work keeps their mind occupied so they keep moving forward.  I do like this wisdom: Listen to God’s direction and you don’t become despondent.  You stay busy and happy.  I think Solomon gets depressed at the fact that through God’s lots, our future and happiness are dictated by Him.  I totally understand this because I want to be in control of my own life.  But, I find that I am more and more satisfied the more I let go of the control.  It’s a long, hard process.  Why do we have this desire to control our own lives … and others’ lives?

A. It is part of the nature that God gave us when He made us in His image.  On some level — which is impossible to know this side of heaven — we have some role to play in the shape of our lives and in Creation itself — this is why God gave us a task to do in the beginning of naming plants and animals.  Don’t forget, work predates the “fall,” it is a genuine good that God has created/given to us.  And since we have this role to play and work to do, the natural extension is to work hardest at the things related to our own lives and families — sometimes doing so at the expense of the people God desires us to be!  We desire control because, ultimately, we have a role to play in how the story of Creation plays out.

Q. (6:1-2): In my understanding that God gives everyone a gift, it may be on the front lines, behind the scenes or something that seems totally unimportant.  But, whatever it is, take His direction and ignore your own ideas and motivations.

A. Careful.  That is not what those verses are saying.  They are saying that ones’ wealth can be taken and given to others, it says nothing about gifts and talents God has given to us.  Besides, you’re assuming that the ideas and motivations that we have in our day-to-day lives don’t come from God, when very often, I believe that they do.

Q. (6:9): Solomon is seeing that possessions and coveting your neighbor’s possessions is pointless?

A. I doubt he ever forgot.  But his wisdom, and wisdom in general, has a particular downfall.  His wisdom could not overcome the sinful nature of his heart, and in the end, no matter how smart or wise Solomon was, he made poor choices. I am certain that he knew he was making wrong decisions — as most of us do when we sin: we know its wrong, but do it anyway — but the corrupted nature of his heart allowed him to “overrule” his mind, and all of that wisdom ended up being wasted.

Q. (6:10): We have read that God has given us free will.  What is Solomon talking about?

A. While we have some role to play in the destiny of our own lives — which we really can’t know the extent of — we are ultimately subject to the grand design that God is weaving among the totality of human life.  I think it is cynical of the writer to say that there is “nothing” we can do about it, and I think that it is a false notion that if we could truly see the big picture — which we can’t in this life — we would complain to God about how our role in it was futile.  One of the messages that the Scriptures keep repeating is that God is good: It is His very nature.  One of the blessings of heaven, I believe, will be the ability to see how our “little” lives made an impact on so many other people in exactly the way God intended.  God is that good and that powerful that He can interweave our free will and His ultimate desire for our lives in a manner that I think will be beyond our comprehension.  Let’s see how Solomon wraps this up, shall we?

For further study: Divided Heart, Divided Kingdom, https://tifwe.org/solomons-fall-a-divided-heart-a-divided-kingdom/

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: Ecclesiastes 7-11:6

God sees human heart Homeless in city street

Day 151 (May 31): The wise prevail, Fools end in devastation

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Proverbs 14-16
(~950 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

O. The recurring theme in these Proverbs is Godly/Wisdom vs. Wickedness/Foolishness.  I also notice a lot of repetition.  Like other repetition in the Bible, it does a great job of pounding it in.

O. (14:4): I like this verse saying that you have to deal with a mess if you want to be successful.  That’s my motto … and excuse!  So, the success should be coming, right? : )

Q. (14:12): This must mean eternal life for the godly vs. death for the wicked?

A. No.  What is it talking about is the deceitful path, which can capture both the good and the evil.  It is the seductive path that feels right, but is deadly to those who take it.

O. (14:13): I have known several people with hard childhoods who use laughter and comedy to cope or bring lightness to their lives.  They make every effort to avoid conflict.

Q. (14:18): Prudent means to look into the future, but there is that old hymn “One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus.”  What’s the right answer?

A. They’re not mutually exclusive.  You can keep an eye on the future will taking things one day at a time.  In fact, finding some way to do both would appear to be quite wise to me.

Q. (14:20): I don’t understand this verse.

A. Everyone wants to be “friends” with the rich person, even if you don’t like them.  But there is no financial incentive to be friends with poor people, so such people are often cast aside.  I would say there is great insight into human character in this verse.

Q. (14:23): I think fear of failure is the hardest thing to overcome when trying to start something new, especially a business.  For me, it’s also the fear of the unknown.  I know what I want to do, but I don’t know how to get there.

A. This verse is, I think, assigning value to actually working, not merely talking about working.  I don’t think it has much to say about planning to start a business.  That’s one of our big themes from this book: Those who work are rewarded; those who do not, lose.

Q. (14:24): Does this mean financial wealth?  All wise people are not rich unless it’s talking about wealth of fulfillment.

A. No, this is not about financial wealth.  Wisdom brings its own rewards, which do not necessarily have anything to do with finances.

Q. (14:26): So, those who fear the Lord, but don’t get everything right, are still promised a place in heaven and protection for future generations?

A. As a general rule.  Don’t forget, this is general wisdom here, not etched-in-stone principles.  We are saved by our faith, not our deeds, so being in right relationship with God and trusting Him is the most important thing.  Beyond that, anything God chooses to bless us with is up to Him.

Q. (14:28): I was trying to apply this to the leaders of countries.  But there are some out there that grow in population but aren’t glorious nations.  We could apply it to businesses?  Usually if a business does everything right and produces a good product or service, they grow?

A. I would be very cautious with either application.  There are just too many variables out there.

O. (14:29): Amen.

Q. (14:31): I never thought about oppressing the poor as insulting God, but I knew it was bad.  This seems obvious.  I always thought not helping was ungodly.  When a cashier asks if we want to donate to their company’s chosen charity, should we give with a happy heart?  Honestly, I am always a little annoyed by the question.  I usually say “no.” But then, there is that stubbornness.  Here is a business trying to help others and I’m scrutinizing the practice.  But, then again, are they doing it for a tax write-off or out of love?  Should it matter?

A. Helping the poor is one of the crucial things to understand from the Law: If we are all created in God’s image, then we have a responsibility to care for those who cannot support themselves.  Beyond that, however, we all must choose our own ways of going about it.  If it involves donations to companies that you know do good work in this area, then by all means do it.  If you support people you know directly, that is certainly something that honors God as long as your donations are not “holding them back,” if that makes sense.  I struggle with the idea that if you make the donation to charities, then you are “done” with your service.  I think it is a very reasonable expectation of Christians that they find a particular area where they can donate their time, talent, treasure, etc. to personally make life better for others.  God surely blesses such efforts.

Q. (14:32): So, this is saying that the godly may go through disaster with the wicked, but at least the godly will have heaven?

A. I would say that’s about right.

Q. (15:1): I may be repeating myself, but this story applies here anyway.  In a past Bible study, the leader said that in most arguments attitude — pride, stubbornness — is half of the problem.  So true, right?

A. Yes. In fact, I would say it’s more than half.  Pastor Charles Swindoll is quoted as saying that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.  I think that puts it nicely.

Q. (15:23): It’s hard to wait for wisdom.  With so many of my conversations, I am trying to think before I speak — mostly, what would God want me to say or what would the loving Jesus do?  But, what happens when I don’t know what they would say and God is not providing me with the words?

A. Sometimes you have to guess, and if you are wrong, ask for forgiveness later.  If we know that we have — intentionally or not — wronged another person, we should, in humility, make the first step toward reconciliation and apologize.  Forgiveness covers a multitude of sins.

O. (15:24): Comforting thought.

O. (16:1): This is humbling!  And also, rewarding to know that God has a life plan for each one of us.

Q. (16:2): This is also comforting in the way that sometimes I feel like people try to show each other up, even with good things they do.  If the heart is not engaged or they boast about their charity work, then who is it for?  Not God or those you helped.

A. Remember what God told Samuel when he anointed David: we humans look at outside appearance, but God looks at the heart.

Q. (16:4): Can you explain this one?

A. This verse is touching upon a complex theology of predestination, which basically states that all humans were created to fulfill their purposes that God made them for.  So in this case, the verse is saying that the wicked could be raised up and destroyed in order to be an example, or perhaps I should say a non-example, to others.  I have mixed feelings about such ideas, but they are clearly a part of Scripture, and one of the things that God desires to teach us is that even in verses that we may not agree with, we must trust that He is sovereign and we are not.

Q. (16:7): No enemies?  Another reason to be godly!  We all have run across people like this who are super sweet, never have a bad thing to say and never seem to have enemies.

A.  Be careful here.  This is another example of general wisdom that may not work itself out in the way you think.  Jesus clearly pleased His Father more than any other human being who has ever lived, but that did not stop Him from having many enemies, who eventually got Him killed.

Q. (16:22): Can you explain this one?

A. It actually fits with all these questions you’ve had about speaking v. not speaking.  If you are discreet, and know when to talk and when to be silent, it will be a fountain of life to you.

Q. (16:26): And, what does this mean?

A. I guess generally it means we tend to work harder with some sort of incentive.  Food is one of the best incentives.

Q. (16:31): Ditto.

A. Though it is difficult for us to understand in a society where only things which are young are valued, this verse is saying that growing old and getting the gray hair that comes with it are something to be respected and admired, like a crown.

Q. (16:33): Love it.  Great saying.  I wonder when dice were invented though.  Is it likely “cast lots” like the footnote says?

A. The lots were like dice, and served the same purpose.

For further reading: God looks at the heart of humans, https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/be-encouraged-that-god-looks-at-our-heart-not-outward-appearances.html

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: Proverbs 17-19

Wisdom King Solomon was known throughout the land for his wisdom and happy people.

Day 146 (May 26): Solomon’s good reputation, Leaders, Prosperity, Wisdom to rule justly, Without the God’s direction, work is futile, Blessed are children

Moody Publishers / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
1 Kings 4
Psalm 72
Psalm 127
(979-967 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Kings 4:20-34): This account greatly contrasts from his father’s.  Why was Solomon so blessed and David’s reign was so tumultuous?

A. Um, let’s hold that thought until the story is completed.  But the answer to your question is David’s sins.  Solomon has done pretty well to this point, but things are about to turn for the same reason David’s kingdom fell apart.

Q. (Psalm 127:3-5): I love these little sprite verses.  They make me smile.   Here it says “how joyful is the many whose quiver is full of them (children).”  We were going to talk about this before, but decided to hold off.  Here it sounds like having a lot of children is a desirable thing by society.  Nowadays, families are normally much smaller with 1-3 children.  Are there any verses that address how God views the many ways of a planned family via birth control?

A. Well, obviously, artificial birth control is a modern invention undreamed of in the days of the Bible, but many of the ways that society has shifted in the last two centuries reflect the movement away from large families (i.e. they became the exception and not the norm).  First, until the modern age, no one planned for retirement (partly because a lot of people didn’t live that long), and so if you did, you were fully dependent upon your children.  So if you had more kids, you were probably pretty safe.  This was especially true of women, who would have depended upon the care of a male relative (most likely a son) after she was widowed.

Regarding the issue of how the Bible approaches family, there’s a lot going on: many of these issues have to be held in tension, but I think there’s a consistent thread.  Part of it has to do with the distinction between OT and NT.  In the OT, the main goal for each generation was raising up a new generation who would love and have a healthy relationship with God so that they to could inherit the Promised Land.  That obviously makes family paramount, so verses like these surely express the sentiment that they felt: they honored God by having many children.  But after Jesus (who as we have discussed, was NOT married), the mission focus was expanded to not only Jews, but also the entire world, while not losing the focus on an individual family.  The individual family was still prized by God: it is still HIS primary design for how His loved is passed from generation to generation, whether among Jew or Christian.  But with Jesus as the example, God set a new standard: family was not the ONLY way to spread His word.  So to some people who were not married — like Jesus, including Paul, and most major western Church leaders, and this would include women — God gave them the task of spreading the word about His actions and having only the congregation or Church as family, rather than offspring.  In other words, they were called to celibacy.  It goes back to Paul’s discussion of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12-15: God has blessed different people in different ways — some He (clearly!) desires to have children, and others He calls to a life of celibacy that they might follow Him more closely for their lives or some portion of it, they are not mutually exclusive.

The problem is that even though God honors BOTH paths equally — as long as we are faithful to Him while on these roads — we find that our society often confuses isolation and not being married with being incomplete.  Part of that incompleteness in our world is removed by having children, but sometimes having children is actually a very selfish way of dealing with feelings of isolation or loneliness.  That is often a very tragic situation.  Now, I am not saying that God cannot redeem such situations, but as we have discussed over these months, how God acts to redeem us and WHAT HE IDEALLY DESIRES are often very different things.  When we allow anything other than God to provide our fulfillment, even children, we have created an idol, however noble its creation might appear to be.  We are not living as the men and women He desires us to be if we are seeking ultimate fulfillment in a child rather than God.  So basically, as long as we keep first things first — that is, God above all else — then I think we have a great degree of freedom as Christians to seek out a partner to have children with within community.  We must honor God with our families, whether they are biological or bound by the Spirit.

For further study: Nuclear family symbolic of Christian relationships, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/biological-family-church-family-yes/

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: Proverbs 1-4

Solomon dedicates the temple to the Lord.

Day 143 (May 23): Ark moved to temple, Solomon’s amazing prayer, dedicates Temple to God, asks God to uphold ‘throne’ vow to David

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
1 Kings 8:1-11
2 Chronicles 5:1-14
1 Kings 8:12-21
2 Chronicles 6:1-11
1 Kings 8:22-53
2 Chronicles 6:12-42
(966-959 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Kings 8:1): OK, Jerusalem and the City of David are the same, right?  Sorry, I’m a little foggy on this.  Did the City of David get renamed Jerusalem.  If so, why?  So they didn’t have to move the Ark too far?  And, it still has all of it’s belongings from the Tabernacle in the desert?

A. Bethlehem is the city of David, not Jerusalem, but it’s a journey of only a few miles, so it isn’t that far.  The text does say that it was the items from the desert, though perhaps it means the versions of the ones they are using such as the new tent David had designed.  I’m not exactly sure.

Q. (2 Chronicles 5:1-14): How nice to hear such reverence for the Lord again!  The Israelites have been like a yo-yo with their loyalty to God.  After all of the work and years put into the Ark, I’m sure opening the Temple was the pinnacle of the decade … or century.  It is amazing that the Israelites have managed to carry on the stories of God throughout the centuries and retain their faith (though not all of the time!)  On that note, it’s also miraculous that the Israelites still have the Ark.

A. The Temple dedication is one of the high points of the entire nation’s history, no mistake about it.  I think they only had the Ark because of — what else but — God’s mercy upon His people.

O. (1 Kings 8:22-53): Nice prayer! Solomon sounds like he is great ruler material!  I also noticed how much Solomon gives tribute to his father, David.  He reminds God of his love for David and asks that He remember the oath he had with David to have his line on the throne forever.  The relationship between Solomon and his father seems strong.  David obviously spent time with Solomon teaching him about God’s ways and all of the miracles He performed for their ancestors.  This shows how the stories were handed down.  It’s just amazing that they weren’t lost in those long years when Israel strayed from God.  Then again, God probably deserves a lot of the credit for giving Solomon wisdom, a virtue that he requested.

For further reading: Solomon’s prayer connects the Israelites’ past with the temple. https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/solomons-prayer-of-dedication

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s Reading
— 1 Kings 8:54-66
— 2 Chronicles 7:1-10
— 1 Kings 9:1-9
— 2 Chronicles 7:11-22
— 1 Kings 9:10-14

Solomon's wisdom helped reveal the true identity of a baby's mother. Credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Day 141 (May 21): Solomon, a wise judge, prepares for temple construction, builds Lord’s temple, temple interior lavishly design

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s reading
1 Kings 3:16-28
1 Kings 5
2 Chronicles 2
2 Chronicles 3
1 Kings 6:14-38
(967-966 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (1 Kings 3:16-28): This well-known story almost seems like a parable.

A. I can see why you would say that, but it does match things that we know about the society at the time: part of what Moses established was a series of rulers/courts for the people to come and see justice as these women are seeking.  There may be some “parabolic” elements to it, but the author has something greater in mind that will come into view later.  I won’t spoil what yet, but I promise to bring it to your attention when we get there in a few days.

O. (5:13-15): It’s extremely hard to imagine a labor force that large — 153,600 — to build a temple.  But how many times have you been on a tour of some historic building and just wondered how many people it took to build it with all of it’s intricate details — and many of them have elaborate paintings?  And this one is for God.  Just for fun, I looked up the top U.S. employers.  Check it out at https://stockanalysis.com/list/most-employees/.  Keep in mind the employees of these large companies are scattered all over.  Solomon’s laborers were concentrated in a few spots.  My husband retired from the Navy last year.  His last tour was on an aircraft carrier, which holds about 5,000 sailors.  It’s hard to imagine that many people on one ship.  But, Solomon had a crew that would fill about 31 U.S. Navy ships.

Q. (2 Chronicles 2:1-18): The 2 Chronicles account is much more detailed than the 1 Kings account.

A. Yes.  Some places Kings give the “fuller” story, and in some places it’s Chronicles.

Q. (1 Kings 6:2-10): This is a great visual description of the temple plans.  Will we learn what activities went on in the temple?  Solomon just mentioned to King Hiram that God was too great to have just a temple built for Him.  And that it could, at least, be a place to burn offerings.  Was he telling a fact or just being humble?

A. The Temple will be treated as exactly as the Tabernacle was in the wilderness: it will have the same sections and divisions as the Tabernacle: an outer court for sacrifices, an inner court for the priests, and the Holy of Holies, where the Ark will reside.  Once that happens, the people will come to the Temple to make their sacrifices and offerings.

Q. (2 Chronicles 3:3-14): I guess Solomon is dictating the size and design of the temple.  In the desert, God dictated the design for the Tabernacle.  Is this because God was teaching the Israelites what he desired and now that it’s been over 400 years since the Tabernacle was built, the Israelites have learned what God desires for a place of offering?

A. While the instructions were not “dictated” as they were to Moses, there is no reason to assume that God did not give Solomon the vision for the Temple.  I don’t know the scale, but the Temple dimensions correspond proportionally to the Tabernacle, so that is part of the plan as well.  Basically the Temple is in every way a suitable replacement for the Tabernacle.

Q. (1 Kings 6:28-29): I can’t imagine so much being overlayed with gold!  Is there any information about the whereabouts of the Temple now?  And speaking of past, sacred worshiping venues, what happened to the Tabernacle and its contents?

A. The Temple has been destroyed and rebuilt a couple of times over the centuries — I won’t say more right now, that’s part of the story.  But the area of the Temple mount is surely known to this day: a portion of the western wall — called the Wailing Wall — still stands to this day, and is a sacred place for Jews to visit in Jerusalem.  Mount Moriah is also currently the home to the Dome of the Rock erected around 700 AD, one of the sacred sites of Islam, which, as you might imagine, has created some tension over the years.  So the sight itself is well known, but as to the temple itself, hang on.  Let’s get it built first and dedicated — cool story! — before we start talking about where it is today.

Peak at Solomon’s temple: https://www.metmuseum.org/blogs/metkids/2020/solomons-temple-model-judaica

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— 1 Kings 7
— 2 Chronicles 3:15-4:22

Return to glory

Day 139 (May 19): Return to glory, Asaph begs God to rescue them, pleads for release from ancestors’ sins, Israel listen and be blessed, Judge oppressors

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Psalms 79-82
(~979 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Psalm 79): This is the first time where I have read that the Israelites are asking to be lifted from the sanctions caused by their ancestors’ sins.  We have read that the sinners are told their punishment will be handed down through their family, but I don’t remember any descendants naming from where their pain came.

A. We will see that as the generations continue after David — and to a lesser extent Solomon — the people will become increasingly corrupt, often because of their leaders, the kings.  And there will be a high cost to the people’s sin, that will not just be borne by those who created the situation, but by those who live after it.  In this situation, the results of the previous generation’s sin will be SO obvious that I think you will understand the situation clearly.  Hang in there.

Q. (80): Can you tell us the significance of calling the Israelite’s God’s grapevine?

A. Grapes were one of the most important agricultural products in the world during that day.  In a day without sanitary water (or knowledge of hygiene), wine (the main product of grapes) was the safest thing to drink — though it had a much lower alcohol content in those days, so no worries about the entire society being drunk.  So good grape vines would have been precious to the people, and they would have understood not only the value of the grapes, but also the soil, and the amount of time a farmer would have had to invest in setting everything up correctly.  Asaph is calling upon this imagery — he won’t be the last, Isaiah and Jesus will do so as well — to examine the ways that God did all of this for His chosen people, but now the “vine” is threatened.

Q. (81): Will we see in future text a reason why God is letting this destruction happen?  From Asaph’s pleadings, the Israelites sound like they are in total despair.   Also, is it really as bad as they are writing about?  Reading this whiny text, I think in today’s lingo with the response, “drama mama,” but I am judging by today’s standards.  Is this destruction truly true?

A. Oh yes.  And the reasons for it will be clear.  Jeremiah will make sure of that.

Q. (82): I don’t think God would appreciate verse 2.  That’s why I ask is all of this really inspired?  Who decided what was “inspired.”  Or, do I need to be patient and see that all of Scripture does fit into the Bible’s big picture?

A. So what you are asking is: because God has allowed the true voices of His people to be heard (even if He sees things differently!), the words can’t be inspired?  I would disagree with that.  One of the most valuable things that the Bible offers us is the true, unfiltered, look at how His people reacted to the things that were happening to them.  There will be some truly horrible events that will unfold in our next couple of books, and I do not feel it is in any way unreasonable for the Spirit to inspire His people to speak with their true voices.  I wouldn’t worry too much about God taking “offense” or “not appreciating” something printed in the Bible.  He is bigger than all of our words, and I believe that we in no way offend Him when we bear our soul and beg for His mercy.  It is, to me, a great testimony to the amount of love that He has for His children.

For further reading: How is the Bible inspired by God? https://www.moodybible.org/beliefs/inspiration-and-inerrancy-bible/

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— Psalm 83
— 1 Chronicles 29:23-25
— 2 Chronicles 1:1
— 1 Kings 2:13-46
— 1 Kings 3:1-4
— 2 Chronicles 1:2-6
— 1 Kings 3:5-15
— 2 Chronicles 1:7-13

 

God judges

Day 138 (May 18): God alone judges, Wicked will suffer, Incomparable God, God, where are you? Learn from ancestors’ mistakes, Teach God’s ways to children

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Psalms 75-78
(~979 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Psalm 75): We have talked about deterrents — punishments that happen to people who “misbehave.”  The thought of being judged for all the things I have done is a big deterrent for staying on the path to righteousness.  It also helps me cope with seeing someone making unholy choices, yet living a lifestyle I may be envious of.  I may not feel rewards now, but I will later.  On the flip side, it is easy to think, “na nanny boo boo, I know better than you do” that those who are acting out will get their punishment.  But then, a stronger feeling comes over to help them so they can also enjoy the afterlife.  Is there any scripture that gives advice on how to turn people toward God without turning them away because they perceive us as “preaching,” “crazy” or a “know-it-all?”

A. There are, and I would say that they primarily come from one of Solomon’s contributions to the OT: Proverbs, the book that imparts the wisdom of the ages.  Since that book is coming up soon on our little list, why don’t we hold on to this one and re-examine it down the road.

Q. (Psalm 76): The psalms have talked about God’s anger, like this one in verse 76:7.  Can you explain this when we usually think that God is loving?  Is it fair to compare God’s anger to a parent’s?  It seems like today’s society tries to foster peaceful relationships.  To children, we say use your gentle hands and nice words.  Lawyers try to settle disputes in mediation.  Yet — I’m not being sarcastic, just saying what I think the Bible says — our role model gets angry.  Personally, I would get angry too … if I were God.  Of course, I’m not and maybe that’s the answer.  God can be angry, but we should try to be more loving.  Maybe it’s the OT vs. the NT?  Doesn’t God’s anger calm down immensely in the NT?

A. It only appears that way if you focus on Scripture from a certain perspective.  Unfortunately, that perspective has become the dominant one in modern Western society: the view that God is ONLY love, and therefore would “never” be angry or judgmental about sin.  But this perspective tends to gloss over — at great expense frankly — the idea that God is holy — set apart — and just, and He is in charge of what goes on and what does not.  When you have a “God” who allows you to do whatever you want with the understanding that they will ALWAYS love you (how does that sound in the parent metaphor?), you can see how things can get pretty messed up pretty fast.  Much of our tolerance of sin in the public eye in society today is, frankly, due to our abandoning the idea that there is an external source of justice and right and wrong — God — and when we do that, anything becomes permissible.  It is certainly something that Christians should be aware of and speaking out against.

One other quick note: we all have our biases when it comes to reading Scripture: there is simply no way to avoid it.  We tend to read — and mentally focus on — our favorite stories at the expense of other Scriptures that are a bit harder to reconcile with our belief system.  So I am not simply attacking those who want to focus on God’s love at the expense of all else: many others can and do read scripture and see no evidence of love, but only of a wrathful God waiting to strike down sinners.  If that’s what you want to see, it’s there.  The trick, I think, is to not allow yourself to be closed-minded to the possibility that there is always more that God desires to teach us about Himself.  If we have that mentality, I believe that we will be much less likely to fall into the trap of Biblical “bias.”

Q. (77): I completely understand that I’m not supposed to understand all of God’s reasons.  It’s not my place, nor anyone else’s.  I think it’s hard for humans to have patience with God, especially when we have read about his great rescuing miracles, like the parting of the Red Sea as is stated here, and wonder why he can’t grant our one simple request.  I know … He has His reasons!

A. I suppose it would depend upon what the request was and why, deep down, you wanted it.  Keep in mind, the nation of Israel was chosen by God not only to be His people, but to bring about salvation to the entire world through the Jewish God/man Jesus.  So that, in my mind, creates a necessity for some of the places where God clearly intervenes in history: if there is no nation — because they’re wiped out by Pharaoh’s armies — then there is no salvation for the world.  I think always keeping the salvation of the entire world in the back of our minds as we read through the OT is a great way to see why certain events unfold the way that they do.  That certainly gives weight to some of the things God does, doesn’t it?  (From Leigh An: This makes me also weave in one of Jesus’ comments when he says things have to be a certain way for the Scripture to be true.)

Q. (78:2): Why does Asaph want to teach in parables and why did Jesus?

A. Parables are a way of presenting truth in story on levels that can reach very different people in different ways.  You can hear the “surface” truth and just get a good story, or if you desire, you can dig into the words and often discover greater “pearls” that the author intended to be found but not everyone will seek.  That, by the way, is probably why they make such great sermons — you can attack them at multiple levels and lay the “inner” parable out for everyone to share.  Jesus will address this issue in his earthly ministry in Matthew 13.

Having said that, what Asaph is doing here is using Israel’s history as instruction on what the people SHOULD be doing, and not truly disguising ideas within the words.  He is not really using the “parable” concept in the same way that Jesus does.  He is using it more like Stephen will do in Acts chapter 7: convict the people of their present sin by looking at sins of the past.

O. (78:40-55): This is an amazing image: God causing all of this terror to the stubborn pharaoh and his people with frogs, gnats, blood, locusts, hail, death, YET he peacefully walks the Israelites out of this plague-ridden land and protects them, like a shield.

Q. (78:65): I don’t think comparing God to a warrior waking from a drunken stupor is very respectful.

A. I agree, but it’s an interesting image, no?

Q. (78:67-68): Can you tell us again why God chose Judah’s descendants for the throne instead of Joseph, who appeared to be the chosen line?

A. I do not have a good answer to that question.  From Jacob’s deathbed blessing (Genesis 48), we have seen the power of Judah grow the further we have come.  The best reason I can see for the move is that Joseph’s descendants (Ephraim) were not very good leaders (they were the ones responsible for losing the Ark when it was in Shiloh), so God rejected them as the prominent tribe and selected Judah instead out of His own purposes.  This will continue with Jesus, whom Revelation will call the Lion of Judah (Rev 5:5).

For further reading: Where did evil come from? https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-qa/what-the-bible-says-about-the-origin-of-evil/

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: Psalms 79-82

David Ark Jerusalem The Ark of the Covenant is on the move

Day 137 (May 17): Humble to God’s greatness, Righteousness is hard, knowing wicked’s condemnation helps keep you true

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleImages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Psalm 50
Psalms 73-74
(~979 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Psalm 50): Do we know if God instructed Asaph what to say in this Psalm?

A. Yes, the text is inspired.

Q. (73): Asaph seems to have a full spectrum of the destinies of those who are good and those who are evil.  We don’t read about Asaph having talked to God much.  Do we know where he gets his knowledge?

A. We do not.  All we know of him is that he was one of David’s musicians and choir leaders.  But I think we can assume that this position came with great responsibility for Asaph to have a heart for God himself, and I see no reason to assume that he was not faithful in his walk with God.  David seems to generally be very good at picking people … with God’s help.  Even that rat Joab served David well for a long time.

Q. (74): What devastation is going on here?  It sounds like enemies are destroying the temple.  Someone invaded Jerusalem?

A. If you mean during David’s time, then the answer is no.  If you mean in the OT, then the answer is yes, but…well, I don’t want to spoil the story.  The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel will lay it all out for us down the road.

For further interest: Get Asaph’s story, https://hellofromhighland.com/the-struggle-of-asaph-and-the-goodness-of-god

Shop: The big guy who created the universe, well, He cares for all who trust in Him, https://livinlight.org/product/god-is-good/

Tomorrow’s reading: Psalms 75-78