THIS WEEK’S MEMORY VERSE: PROVERBS 31:28

 “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”

Why Proverbs 31:28?

 Not just because the verse is so fitting for ladies, coming off of the heels of Mother’s Day, but because it is such a reminder to every child of God, man or woman, of what really matters and of what’s really important!

 First, we must set the context. Proverbs 31 is infamous for its teaching on the “Virtuous Woman” (31:10).  It is filled with significant and admirable qualities that God wants every woman to aspire to possess.  But biblically, there’s more going on here than that.  Much more!  Though Proverbs 31 presents God’s description of the Virtuous Woman (through the counsel provided to King Lemuel from his mother), there is only one woman in all of Scripture that is specifically referred to as a Virtuous Woman.  Do you know who it is?

 It just “happens” to be Ruth!  (Ruth 2:3; 3:11)  And as we’ve already seen in our 365 Days of Pursuit, Ruth is that member of a cursed race, who in a time of famine hears the good news that there was bread in the city of Bethlehem. She leaves all to partake of this Bread, and in Bethlehem, her one and only Jewish Kinsman Redeemer calls her up out of his harvest field to be his bride.  Obviously, she is the greatest picture of the church (the Gentile Bride of the Jewish Kinsman Redeemer from Bethlehem who is the Bread of life!) in the entire Old Testament.  From a prophetic standpoint, the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 finds her fulfillment in us, the Bride of Christ!

 Once you see that, this chapter takes on a whole new significance, not just for ladies, but for every person who is espoused to Jesus Christ as their one husband (II Cor. 11:2)!

 In terms of this week’s verse, Prov. 31:28 looks to a time when all of God’s children will “arise up.”  It’s spelled out in I Thess. 4:11-17, an event we call the Rapture.  Once we are raptured, the Bible teaches that we will all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

At that event, all of the people God has graciously permitted us to win to Christ (i.e. our spiritual “children”) will call us “blessed.”  What a joyful and humbling experience that will be.  But not to compare, however, with the joy and humility for those to whom our “husband,” the Lord Jesus Christ, will “praise” because He has regarded us a Virtuous Woman.  What greater joy than, on that day, to hear our husband say, “Well, done!” (Matt. 25:21) 

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TODAY’S READING: I CHRONICLES 26-29

 

OVERVIEW: The divisions of the porters (gate keepers); the treasurers and other officers; the divisions of Israel’s military; David’s challenge to the leaders of Israel to the work of the Temple; David’s charge to Solomon to build the Temple; David’s gifts for the Temple; David’s offering of praise to the Lord; the people’s offering of praise of the Lord; Solomon’s official installation as Israel’s king; the death of David.

 

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

As we move into chapters 26 and 27 today, the major portion of these two chapters is consumed with the listing of names.  In the midst of a genealogy, or lists of names such as this, when not studying the names to determine biblical time-lines and/or family connections, its quite interesting to just observe the brief comments God inspired the writers of Scripture to interject.  For example, 26:4 begins, “Moreover the sons of Obededom were….” And the remainder of verse 4 and 5 lists their names.  However, at the end of verse 5, God just drops in, “for God blessed him.”  And that’s that.  But do you remember why God blessed Obededom?  Remember, he was the one who sheltered the Ark after the death of Uzza back in I Chronicles 13.  He was blessed because the presence of God was manifest in his life and in his home (13:14).  We, too, will be blessed like Obededom when God’s presence is manifest in and through our lives and in our homes.

 

Notice also God’s commentary on Obededom’s sons and grandsons.  In verse 6, “...they were mighty men of valour;” in verse 7, “...[they] were strong men”; in verse 8, “they...[were] able men for strength and for service.”  Most pastors all over the world would tell you that what is lacking in the church in the Laodicean Period, but so desperately needed is “strong men.”  That doesn’t mean men who are extroverts, intimidating men, cocky men, dominating men or men who are “successful” by the world’s standards.  Remember, we have been called to be strong!  BUT!!! Not in our own strength!  Ephesians 6:10 says, “Be strong IN THE LORD”! And remember, HIS “STRENGTH is made perfect in WEAKNESS” (II Cor. 12:9)!  Some words to a few of my favorite songs come to mind, “Help me fight to be weak” – (think about it!) and “Before we follow Christ, we need to be advised it’s only for the weak.”  Real biblical “strength,” and biblically “strong” men is paradoxical.  Be very discerning!

 

Had to laugh at 26:18.  Pastor Frank (my special buddy now with Jesus) used to quote this verse in jest when asked what was his “life’s verse.”  Thanks for the memories, Frankie!

 

Compare 26:31, “...they were sought for, and there were found,”  with Ezekiel 22:30, where God says, “And I SOUGHT FOR A MAN among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land that I should not destroy it:  BUT I FOUND NONE”!  As God is seeking servants as in 26:31, may He find you and me!

 

Chapter 27 lays out the military and governmental leaders and structure of the nation.  Note that the army was comprised of over a quarter of a million soldiers, 288,000 to be exact, with 24,000 on duty each month.  As we make our way through chapter 27 and on in to chapter 28 and verse 1, it is more than apparent that this was not a rag-tag band of soldiers, but a highly organized and regimented military operation.  In chapter 28, verse 1-8, David addresses all of the leaders about how the whole thing had actually unfolded concerning the building of the Temple, and enlists their support of Solomon and the incredible project at hand.  In verses 9 and 10, David addresses Solomon himself.  In doing so, David presents four things: a command, a promise, a warning, and an exhortation:

 

1)The COMMAND:  “Know thou the God of thy father, and serve

  him with a perfect heart” (28:9a). Note that Solomon could know

  ABOUT God from his father David, but to KNOW HIM would require that

  Solomon be acquainted with God on a personal basis himself! 

  Understanding who Solomon’s mother was, you understand why David  

  would tell his son, “serve [the Lord] with a PERFECT heart” (Matt.

  1:6). I’m quite certain David wished he had!

 

2)The PROMISE: “If thou seek him, he will be found of thee,”(28:96). 

  It’s a reminder of the theme verse of our 365 Days of Pursuit, “But

  if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find

  him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul”

 (Deut. 4:29).

 

3)The WARNING:  “But if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for

  ever” (28:9c).

 

4)The EXHORTATION:  “Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to

  build an house for the sanctuary: be strong and do it” (28:10).  It

  almost sounds like a Nike commercial: “Just do it!” That was

  David’s admonition to his son to fulfill his commission.  It fits

  perfectly with the commission we have received from the Lord:  “Be

  strong and do it”!

 

As we come into chapter 29, it is the record of the end of David’s life.  David’s life ends just as it had begun — he is a humble man, with an incredible heart for God! In verses 1-5 he tells the people that he not only had been setting aside money from the national budget for the great work of the Temple, but from his own personal finances, and he challenged all the people to do the same.  Notice their response in verse 6-10.  They “offered willingly” (29:6)!  “Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly to the Lord:  and David the king also rejoiced with great joy” (29:9).

 

In verses 10-19, David blessed the Lord his God, and then in verse 20, challenged the people to do the same. Note their response in verses 21-22.  Solomon is then formally installed as the new king, and I Chronicles ends with a brief summary of David’s reign:  “And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour” (29:28).

 

CHRIST IS REVEALED:

Through the TEMPLE TREASURES – I Chron. 26:20-28 (Col. 2:2-3 says of “Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”)