Today’s Reading: Psalm 35, Genesis 32, 2 Chronicles 9, Acts 1
Psalm 35 – If ever there were a prayer that showed that it is okay to pray for your own needs, this is it. David is asking the Lord to work on his behalf because there are people who are actively seeking to harm him.
As you read this prayer, you can’t help but be struck at the desperation in David’s words. He also seems to have full confidence that God will not only deliver him, but that his heart will praise God when he is delivered.
Genesis 32 – This is a fascinating chapter of Scripture. First, Jacob prepares to be reunited with his brother, Esau. Jacob is scared to death about this meeting with Esau. And, why wouldn’t he be? He had betrayed Esau. It’s interesting to see Jacob’s bargaining with God continue in this passage. He is pleading with God for Esau to show mercy on him. Jacob even instructs his servants to tell Esau that “your servant” Jacob is coming to meet him. I believe that Jacob is convinced that he will truly become Esau’s servant.
The second half of the chapter deals with Jacob’s wrestling with God. It’s interesting that God would choose to deal with Jacob in this way. I don’t have much to write about the wrestling match, but I do find it interesting that at the conclusion, when God blesses Jacob, that He tells him that his name shall be Israel. This is the first mention of Israel in the Bible.
2 Chronicles 9 – The Queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon was a spectacle to behold. She was amazed at both the wisdom and the wealth of Solomon. Her visit shows that the rulers of the world had taken notice of Solomon’s wealth. She even infers that Solomon’s wealth was the talk of her kingdom, but the talk didn’t do it justice.
Then she does something spectacular. She says, “Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the LORD your God! “
She praised God for Solomon’s blessings. She also showered Solomon with blessings.
May we recognize that God has blessed our land. He has given us more than we deserve. We should be praising Him every day for the blessings that He has given to us.
The end of 2 Chronicles 9 records the wealth of Solomon increasing, and then his death. There is much more information about Solomon’s reign in 1 Kings.
Acts 1 – The book of Acts was written by the Apostle Luke. We finished Luke’s Gospel yesterday, and now we get to dive into his account of the early church.
Luke explains to Theophilus that his first letter was all about Jesus, and that this is a continuation of the Jesus story. Even though Jesus had ascended into heaven, He was still spiritually present on earth, and He continued to teach through His disciples and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8 is one telling of the Great Commission. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus gave His disciples a model for ministry. They were to share Christ in their hometown (Jerusalem), in their region(Judea), with their neighboring region(Samaria – even though the Samaritans were enemies of the Jews), and to the ends of the earth.
We are to do the same thing. God has called us to reach people like us and people that are not at all like us with the Gospel. How active are we in seeking to share Christ with the world around us? It is Christ’s desire for us, and should be our consuming passion.