RMM RoundUp November 18
1 Chronicles 11-12
The Chronicler here tells of the rise of David as the anointed king of Israel which roughly parallels 2 Samuel 5. The theme of “all Israel” is evident from the beginning and we can see that the people are united under David as their shepherd and ruler. The king establishes the city of David from which to rule and mighty warriors rally around him to accomplish his tasks. This passage’s main point is to show God’s providence and favor in anointing David as a type of the coming messianic king. We should not miss that but I also think there is great wisdom here to model.
While it would not be appropriate to limit the Bible to be a handbook on leadership, there are practices that we see godly leaders practice that would be wise to imitate. We find that David, in these two chapters, was surrounded by mighty warriors. He entrusted his life and kingdom to trustworthy, loyal men. We live in a world that often believes leadership is eliminating threats to be the top person at any cost. This world also celebrates the “self-made man” who doesn’t need anyone. So the fact that David surrounds himself with these men who could be seen as a real threat should be a sobering meditation!
Godly leadership should not be lonely as so many say. A wise person will heed Proverb 24:6, “For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” No one can fight successfully in this world alone. No leader who hopes to lead others can lead alone. So pray and search for the faithful, devoted warriors that will fight for you, carry your burdens, and even lay down their life for you. That’s part of why God gave us the church. And when this gift of companions is granted to you be like David who did not swell with pride but rather poured out the water won by these men as a libation offering to God.
Assistant Pastor Evan Webster
In this final chapter of Hebrews the writer gives a list of instructions for Christian living. One doesn’t need a degree in theology to understand them:
Show love. Be hospitable. Remember the prisoners. Honour the marriage bed. Don’t love money. Be content. Trust God. Honour Christian leaders. Obey them. Submit to them. Imitate their faith. Pray for them. Don’t be deceived by error. Endure opposition. Praise God at all times. Do good. Share with those in need.
Though simple to understand these instructions cut across the grain of our selfishness. We feel the seemingly ever-present fight of the flesh opposing the desires of the spirit and cry out to God in desperation, “Lord, who is sufficient for these things?”
Wonderfully, beautifully, and hope-filled, this chapter concludes with a benediction, the commitment of God to enable his children to live for his glory.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21 ESV)
Jesus our Good Shepherd has suffered, died and been raised for us. By the blood of the new covenant we have a new heart. We can trust his never-failing love. Jesus our Great Shepherd lives for us, intercedes for us and provides for us. By the blood of the new covenant we have a new desire to do his will. We can trust his ever-faithful care. Matthew Henry writes,
“There is no good thing wrought in us but it is the work of God; he works in us, before we are fit for any good work. No good thing is wrought in us by God, but through Jesus Christ, for his sake and by his Spirit. And therefore, eternal glory is due to him, who is the cause of all the good principles wrought in us and all the good works done by us.1
Praise him for who he is, your Shepherd, the exalted Lord. Live by faith in him (Hebrews 11:6) and trust his power that you might be equipped to obey him. Pray through the list of instructions asking the Lord to help you live these out. To Jesus our enabling Shepherd be glory forever. Amen. Grace be with us all!
Associate Pastor Jody Cross
This chapter of Amos is arranged by three visions and then an accusation made by a priest to the prophet.
1. Amos’ vision of a plague of locusts.
2. Amos’ vision of a judgment of fire.
3. Amos’ vision of God and the plumb line.
4. Amaziah’s accusation.
The visions are fairly short. God shows Amos what He intends to do to punish Israel. Amos cries out and God relents. In the plumb line vision, God cements His intention to punish His people.
1. We notice in this first vision that God is the one forming the swarm of locusts. Joel understands God’s sovereignty in punishing a wayward people. This plague is not coming from some indistinct source, it comes from the hand of God Himself.
2. In the vision of the fire, we again notice the sovereignty of God. He calls for a fire so consuming that it not only burns up the vegetation but also dries up the wells that would have helped regrow the lost grain. Again, Amos prays emphatically that God would relent and God does.
3. In the third vision, God explains that He has measured His people and they have not met His standard. He has been patient with them, He has called them back to Himself, yet they refuse to listen and obey. God’s judgment is now final and there will be no more relenting. Judgment is coming.
4. The second half of this chapter is an accusation brought on Amos by the priest Amaziah. Amos has prophesied all of these visions to the people in Israel, and guess what, they found it rude and annoying. Especially the elite. How dare Amos, a shepherd, talk about the king in this way? Amos was accused of being a rabble-rouser, but when God gives a message, it will be spoken.
So, what should we make of all this? In the first two visions, we see God’s heart of mercy and forgiveness. Our God cares for the weak, and as Amos said, “How can Jacob stand? He is too small.” These words moved the heart of God and he was quick to relent of these disasters.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Psalms 86:15 ESV)
However, God’s patience with humanity is finite.
Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17 ESV)
There is coming a day when that patience will run out and on that day we want to be the people found faithful. Lastly, God’s word is infallible. When God pronounces judgment; make sure you are on the right side of that pronouncement. Amaziah was on the wrong side. He looked for approval from an evil king when he should have been seeking the approval of almighty God.
Associate Pastor Jonathan Welch
This chapter can be subdivided into several segments of Christ’s early life before ministry. We look here at the first, his birth. It gives an open window to his humble beginnings. Skipping past the records of his conception, we find his grand entrance into this world. No, it is not the entrance that we would consider for our children and certainly not the early beginnings we would expect for a king, who would become the King.
The birth of Christ was chosen by God to show such humility. He was born in a stable or cave in a little town of Bethlehem, in a rural setting. Compare this to the child of a king born in a sterile hospital in some large city surrounded by all of the attendants and doctors with the best training. Jesus, with an inexperienced new dad came into this world with an audience of animals. The commonness of Jesus’ birth is so different in contrast to his greatness.
This comparison also takes a twist with the birth announcement. An earthly king may get a royal welcome with joyous messages via social media and modern technology but look at the announcement of Jesus: it was made by a heavenly host of angels. Who else would have such a display?
The audience reached by this announcement was so different. It was made to the lowest of people; the shepherds - poor, humble, but industrious men, often outcasts of society, not even counted in the census, but ironically looking after sheep that were used in sacrifices by the people.
The angels were heralds of the new-born Saviour. What a grand display of God’s resources! A sky filled with angels announcing Christ’s birth. The type of audience chosen to witness this display shows God’s concern for people regardless of their social status or vocation.
The announcement and the refrain are so revealing of who came:
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:11,14 ESV)
This Saviour was predicted as the Prince of Peace.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:5 ESV)
The gospel brings peace. Jesus came to make peace by reconciling the world to God by his atonement; bringing the sinner to peace when he submits his soul to God, and leading his people to love each other through redemption.
Jesus brought good will toward all men. Redemption is represented by love to people. This love is expressed in John 3:16, Ephesians 5:2 and I John 4:10. O what a Saviour!
Associate Pastor Bill Fyvie
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name! You alone can rescue and you alone can save - and yet you do not call us to live alone. You save us into community and into friendship. Thanks be to God! You save us into churches and under leaders. You save us into nations and under Kings and Queens, Prime Ministers and Kings. They too are ministers of God and worthy of our respect. Help us to pray for them and to work with them towards peace and human flourishing. Thank you for prayer and for the freedom we have to enter your presence through the mediation of Jesus Christ. Hear our prayer O Sovereign Lord and heal our land! Open eyes, dig ears and soften hearts to receive the implanted and saving Word, O God, we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Pastor Paul Carter
N.B. RMM Roundup assumes the Bible reading guide also known as “The M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan”. You can find a single page version of the 1 year plan here: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/year_classic_single_letter.pdf and a version of the 2 year plan here: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/year_carson_a4.pdf
1 Matthew Henry, Commentary on Hebrews 13, www.biblegateway.com/passage/