Category Archives for Daily Meditation

David & The Lord’s Presence

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 29 verse 29 through the second book of Chronicles chapter 1 verse 10.

Synopsis     1Chron 29:29-2Chron 1:10     2/19/2020 

King David’s life was well chronicled by multiple observers. After his death, Solomon became king in his place.  

King Solomon immediately consolidated his power. First, he called an assembly together at Gibeon. Apparently, the Tent of Meeting was located there. So, as part of this initial assembly, Solomon went there and sacrificed at the altar of the Lord.  

Specifically, he sacrificed in the Lord’s presence.  

Later that same night, God appeared to Solomon in a dream. And during this exchange, God offered to bless Solomon. However, instead of asking something for himself, Solomon asked for the wisdom necessary to rule over the vast Israelite nation.  

The Lord’s Presence 

Early in his reign, David moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. However, he never moved the Tent of Meeting. And so, the Ark and the Tent that were originally designed by God and built by Moses remained separated. The Tent of Meeting remained the center of communal worship. But the Ark in Jerusalem became a place of personal relationship for David. 

Accordingly, Solomon went to the Tent of Meeting with the assembly. And there, in the context of the community at-large, he offered sacrifices to inaugurate the beginning of his reign.  

Communal Worship 

By His grace, I know that God is always with me. He is personal. And we have a relationship. And this kind of personal relationship is available to every person that God has created.  

But God’s relationship with the community of faith is different. It is based on a communal act. It requires a “coming together”.  

“Then I will thank you in the great assembly; I will praise you before the mighty throng” Psa 35:18 

February 19, 2020

David’s Final Feast

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 9 verse 17 through verse 28.
1Chron 29:17-28

Synopsis     1Chron 29:17-28     2/17/2020 

King David held his final assembly with the people. Near the end of the assembly, David led his leadership team in a feast and a final blessing for the Lord.  

After this, he once again named Solomon as the new king. And so, Solomon began his extraordinary reign over Israel.  

David’s Final Feast 

King David held his final assembly. During the event, he raised additional money for the temple construction project. Then, he announced Solomon’s kingship. And, he also led his people in offering a sacrifice. Finally, he celebrated a feast with the whole assembly.  

The Feasting Assembly 

Jesus ate. And when he ate, he often ate with other people.  

This was normal. Still, it’s no small thing that he ate with other people even after his resurrection. And before ascending the Mount of Olives, his last communal act was to eat with his apostles.  

Eating is necessary to survive. And, eating in community is necessary for a community to survive.  

So, it’s no real surprise that we remember Him in our eating. And it’s even less of a surprise that we most closely relate to him, in an act of eating.  

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” John 6:56  

February 18, 2020

Israelite Generosity

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 29 verse 5 through verse 16.
1Chron 29:5-16

Synopsis     1Chron 29:5-16     2/14/2020 

Near the end of his life, King David formed an assembly of all the leaders of Israel. Once assembled, he addressed them. And in this address, he reminded the people of God’s faithfulness to Israel. Additionally, he described how he had longed to build a special house for God where the Ark of the Covenant would dwell. 

Furthermore, he reminded them of how God had prevented him from constructing a temple. And then David declared, with shocking certainty, that Solomon would be the next king and the builder of the God’s temple.  

After this, he mentioned how he had committed all of his personal wealth to the construction of the temple. And then, in no uncertain terms, he asked all of his leadership to likewise dedicate a portion of their personal wealth to the great cause of building the temple.  

King David’s leadership assembly did not disappoint. In fact, his leadership team donated an extraordinary sum of precious metals and jewels and other forms of wealth. And afterward, they all rejoiced at the great haul of resources that was made available to build a house for God.  

Israelite Generosity 

King David asked the Israelite leaders to donate resources for the temple building. Of course, before he asked, he committed all of his personal wealth to the project. And so, his leadership team followed suit. They gave generously. 

They generously gave back to the God who had lavishly given them everything. 

My Generosity 

I’d like to be like one of David’s leaders. At least that’s what I tell myself. But what I think I really mean is that part of me would like to be wealthy – extremely wealthy.  I’d like to be the guy to give a great contribution to the building of a church or some other holy institution.  

But then, in a moment of honest self-examination, I wonder if I really would.  

I find that it’s easy to fantasize about what I might do with great wealth. But if my personal financial situation was so secure that I could not reasonably imagine failing, would I really give? And when, exactly, could money make me feel that way?  

Jesus once pointed out a poor woman who gave her last two pennies to the temple offering. He casually noted to his followers that she had given more than all the other generous benefactors. And I hear this story dumbfounded.  

It’s not that I don’t understand. But on the other hand – I don’t really understand. I don’t understand that woman. And though I don’t like to admit it, I don’t really understand what Jesus is saying.    

“One person is lavish yet grows still richer; another is too sparing, yet is the poorer. Whoever confers benefits will be amply enriched, and whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Prov 11:24-25 

February 14, 2020

King David’s Gift

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 28 verse 18 through chapter 29 verse 4.
1Chron 28:18-29:4

Synopsis     1Chron 28:18-29:4     2/13/2020 

King David called an assembly of leaders prior to his death. He intended to communicate what should happen after his death.  

As he laid out the plans for the future, he described the resources he had amassed for the completion of the temple. And after he described these, he spoke words of encouragement to Solomon. But he did not speak these words in private. Instead, he spoke loudly in front of the entire assembly.  

Finally, in an act of absolute benevolence, David committed his personal fortune to the temple project. Remarkably, he gave all of his amassed fortune in gold and silver to the treasuries of the Lord. In the end, he directed that it should be used to adorn the walls of the temple.  

King David’s Gift 

The temple project was born out of a remarkable interdependence between God and King David. In the past, David’s love for God caused him to want to build a fitting house for the Lord.  

Even so, God did not allow David to build his envisioned house. What’s more, in his rejection of David’s desire to build, God blessed David. Specifically, He “built a house” for David. But God’s promised house was everlasting. David’s legacy was everlasting.  

And in an act of utter abandon and reciprocal faithfulness, King David poured every resource available into the temple project. He held nothing back. 

Hold Nothing Back 

My joy and the possibility of my life is revealed right here. Counterintuitively, it’s in the commitment to total self-giving.  

Everything I want is on the other side of the decision to give everything I have to God.  

Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.” 1Cor 9:6-8  

February 13, 2020

David’s Temple Plans

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 28 verse 18 through chapter 29 verse 4.
1Chron 28:18-29:4

Synopsis     1Chron 28:7-17     2/12/2020 

King David gave his final address to all the assembled leaders of Israel. In it, he encouraged them to remain faithful to God. And, he directed them to keep the law of the Lord.  

In speaking directly to Solomon, the king encouraged his son to remain resolute in building the temple. And after this, he handed him the plans for the construction of the temple. Of course, this included the designs for all the vessels and service items necessary to perform the temple offerings.  

David’s Temple Plans 

David gave Solomon everything necessary for success. Forgetting nothing, the king gave his son the materials, the infrastructure, and the detailed plan of how to build, and rule, and reign.  

Our Father’s Plan 

Jesus has given me everything necessary for success. Forgetting nothing, He has given the materials, the infrastructure, and the detailed plan of how I am to build, and rule, and reign. 

“This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matt 6:9-13 

February 12, 2020

Public Profession

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 27 verse 30 through chapter 28 verse 6.
1Chron 27:30-28:6

Synopsis     1Chron 27:30-28:6     2/11/2020 

As king, David had distributed key management responsibilities to his trusted staff people. Each of these people he knew by name.  

So later, near the end of his life, he made and assembly. And here, he gathered all of his administration’s key staff.

The assembly included his military commanders, and estate managers as well as all of his sons. At this assembly, he addressed the people. And he began by reminding all the people that it had been his desire to build a house for the Lord.  

However, through the prophet, God told David that Solomon would be the one to build the temple. Accordingly, King David informed the entire assembly that Solomon would be the next king. And, as such, he would be the actual builder of David’s fantastic temple.  

David’s Public Profession 

King David could have communicated to his high officials in many different ways. He could have left a written decree. Or, he could have spoken to his leaders individually. But instead, he chose to speak to them as an assembly.

In this way, everyone present at the assembly served as an enduring witness of the king’s intentions, even after his death.  

Communicating Across Generations 

Moses commanded the children of Israel, “Take to heart these words which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut 6:6-7) 

I say things in a public way to communicate my intentions to the entire community. In this way, I impact with both my beliefs and my behavior. And, it is the combination of these two things that will endure to the generations that follow.  

“One generation praises your deeds to the next and proclaims your mighty works. They speak of the splendor of your majestic glory, tell of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 145:5-6 

February 11, 2020

King David’s Success

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 27 verse 14 through 29.
1Chron 27:14-29

Synopsis     1Chron 27:14-29     2/10/2020 

In the assembly of leaders, the chronicler listed the elders from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Additionally, he also wrote a notation commemorating the failed census.  

Just after this, David individually recognized various staff for their unique role. And this included the mangers of David’s various business operations.  

King David’s Success 

King David enjoyed extraordinary success in his life. Although he began in a lowly state, he ended up winning in politics, warfare and in business.  

But David recognized that his successes came from a team. So, over the course of his life, he created an increasingly large team of people committed to success.  

The Successful World 

To the extent that I have control over circumstances, success is the result of consistently making good decisions. As a result, it follows that the scale of my success is constrained by the number of decisions I can make. And, of course, one person can only make so many decisions.  

So, if I hope to achieve success at a greater scale, I will have to rely on other people who have the ability to make consistently good decisions.  

And to attract such people, I will have to have create value that likewise blesses them. 

“Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil.” Eccl 4:9 

February 10, 2020

King David and His Army

Synopsis     1Chron 27:1-13     2/7/2020

King David set up the army leadership on a rotating basis. In keeping with this system of rotation, he had generals who each controlled a division of twenty-four thousand men. And each of these generals, along with the division, was on duty for one month.

King David and His Army

Having a rotating command structure had certain advantages. One of these was that the army divisions were able to stand down when not on duty. So, the men in the army divisions could have a normal, productive life with their families when not active.

Another advantage of the rotating assignment was that no commander was well-positioned to co-opt his authority in order to take illegitimate control over the entire army.

Wisdom and System

There is wisdom is designing systems that tend to produce stability. Excellence is more than a singular achievement; it is a way of living.  

“But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties are trained by practice to discern good and evil.” Heb 5:14 

February 7, 2020

King David, Sacrfice & Praise

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 25 verse 16 through chapter 26 verse 7
1Chron 25:16-26:7

Synopsis     1Chron 25:16-26:7     2/4/2020 

King David recognized the importance of vocal praise of God. So, he reorganized the responsibilities of the priests and the non-priest Levites. Under his program, there were twenty-four classes of priests. Likewise, there were twenty-four classes of musicians.  

King David, Sacrifice and Praise 

King David once wrote, “For you do not desire sacrifice, or I would give it; a burnt offering you would not accept. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” (Psa 51:18-19)  

He didn’t say this because sacrifice was unimportant. Instead, he proclaimed this because both sacrifice and praise are intended to accomplish a similar thing. The purpose of both is to focus attention and elevate the value of relationship with God above all things.  

Sacrifice and Praise 

What is the difference between sacrifice and praise?  

I make these distinctions because of what’s going on inside of me. My temptation is not different than what tempted the ancients. I want to be able to say, “I paid my tithes and sacrifices, so now I can do whatever I want.”  

I never say it in such boldface terms, but distilled down to essence this is what’s going on. It’s transactional. 

But praise is harder to fake. After all, I’m dealing with the God of all Creation. No matter what I offer, it could never be enough. My praise is exhausted only when I’m exhausted. My praise is exhausted only after I’ve left everything on the field.  

“Through him [then] let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.” Heb 13:15 

February 6, 2020

King David & The Levites

Synopsis     1Chron 26:23-32     2/6/2020

King David had placed all of the administration of the temple in the hands of skillful Levites. Each was given responsivity in accordance with their skill and their family’s legacy.

Accordingly, David turned over to a clan of Levites all of the materials that had been devoted to God’s purpose. And this included not only materials that he had designated, but also materials that Samuel and King Saul had devoted.

Additionally, King David gave over administrative responsibility for civil affairs and military support to certain, designated clans of Levites.

King David & The Levites

The Levites were the educated class of the nation. By virtue of their role as preservers and teachers of the law of Moses, they required education. And with education, they became the best qualified to administer the wealth and infrastructure of the nation.

For these families, work and praise were integrally related.

Work & Praise

It is said that in the Hebrew language, the word avodah  is used for both English words “work” and “worship”.

This is why the relationship between work and righteousness is so closely knit together in the Judeo-Christian tradition. To work with excellence is rightly understood as an offering to the God of all Creation.

So, may I make the commitment today to do whatever I do as unto the Lord.

“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others,” Col 3:23 

February 5, 2020
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