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Today's Readings: 1 Chronicles 22 | Ezekiel 32 | Ephesians 4

Reading 1 - 1Ch 22:8

"But this word of the LORD came to me: 'You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight' " (1Ch 22:8).

It almost looks as though David is being punished because he had been a warrior. But Solomon's words in 1Ki 5:3 may put this in better perspective: "You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet."

That is, until his death, David had to devote most of his time to fighting his enemies and expanding his kingdom to its rightful bounds. This was a necessity, and David -- a man of faith -- did as the LORD required. But David was not GUILTY for "shedding much blood" in wars, because he was fighting the wars God had commanded.

Reading 2 - Eze 32:15

"When I make Egypt desolate and strip the land of everything in it, when I strike down all who live there, then they will know that I am the LORD' " (Eze 32:15).

"The oracles against the nations in Eze 25 -- 32 were originally delivered to the people of Judah. Although the words written seem to be solely for those particular nations, they are foremost for the people of Judah in Jerusalem and Babylon and serve at least three purposes. First, these oracles reveal God's judgment against the nations that either mocked or aided in Jerusalem's fall [cf Gen 12:3: "whoever curses you I will curse"]. Second, as with both the king of Tyre and the Pharaoh of Egypt, God would throw them down from their self-elevated positions of power -- there is no room for such arrogance and pride in God's creation. Third, the oracles are essentially a dismantling of the gods of the nations, which is in turn a dismantling of the gods Judah had begun to rely wrongly upon, and the proclamation that Yahweh is the one and only true God for all nations... the phrase 'know I am the LORD' occurs nineteen times. The primary purpose of these oracles is that everyone should come to 'know the LORD' " (David Cooper, cited in "Expository Notes", by Thomas Constable).

Reading 3 - Eph 4:14,15

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ" (Eph 4:14,15).

"Be a 'man of God' -- externally and internally: to the world, and to yourself. Bring everything you do into harmony with this holy pattern. Make it your life's goal and ideal. Eschew everything that is inconsistent with it. Be real, and solid, and genuine all through. Man is not true man at all, unless he becomes a man of God. This is his divinely intended glory and destiny. Grow up unto God -- this is the purpose for which we are given the wonderful gift of life. Keep growing, keep learning, keep developing. So many are content to stop growing, and to just vegetate -- to be childish and ignorant and immature all their lives. It is a tragedy, when the human mind and character have such incredible potentials for divine development" (GVG).


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