July 17 – Meet Asaph “officially”!

July 17
1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11
Romans 4:1-12
Psalm 13:1-6
Proverbs 19:15-16

1 Chronicles 24:2 – Nadab and Abihu are mentioned in Chronicles 3 times, the first mention since Numbers 26:61. Interestingly Korah is also found in the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 6:37 (Korah’s son Ebiasaph apparently did not join his father’s company’s (Numbers 16:16) or his tents (Numbers 16:24, Numbers 16:27), or his demise (Numbers 16:32)). Uzzah (1 Chronicles 13:10) joins Nadab and Korah among those directly slain by the LORD, recorded by the Chronicler as a warning.

1 Chronicles 25:1 – This is the first time we’ve met Asaph in the chronological books, but we’ve read a dozen of his other writings: Asaph is the attributed author of Psalm 50 and Psalms 73-83. The Chronicler is showing the connection between the descendants of Asaph that came to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 2:41, Ezra 3:10/Nehemiah 7:44, Nehemiah 11:22, Nehemiah 12:45) 500 years after they served in Solomon’s Temple.

1 Chronicles 25:7-8 – Cunning – Benson says: “All that were cunning — Who were so skilful that they were able to teach others.” God used the skill they had developled, and what people may call “luck” – but is actually a Biblically proscribed method (as provided for by the LORD Leviticus 16:8, Numbers 26:55, Numbers 33:54, Numbers 34:13, Joshua 13:6, Joshua 14:2, 1 Samuel 14:41, Proverbs 16:33, and lets not forget Jonah 1:7!) God expects our best, He wants our best, and He has long lists to show His orderliness (and several examples as we saw of people who were killed for breaking His order!).

Romans 4:2 – Surely if anyone could have been saved by works it was Father Abraham! God must have been impressed with his goodness to have rewarded him as a father of many nations (Genesis 17:5), especially as he was recognized for even his future acts (Genesis 18:19)? Keep in mind that Abraham disobeyed God’s first command to him (Genesis 12:1) – because he didn’t leave his father’s house – his father took him (Genesis 11:31). In addition the time he was rewarded wasn’t for any past actions but actions he hadn’t done yet (Genesis 18:19). No Abraham had nothing to glory – he believed God (Galatians 3:6, James 2:23). In fact, Paul will go on to show that he had not even been circumcised yet! (Romans 4:10-17).

Romans 4:7 – Paul quotes David in Psalm 32:1-2 outlining the case for imputed righteousness. God makes us righteous not because of our works but in spite of our works. That is a blessing that causes David to shout for joy (Psalm 32:11)!

Psalm 13:5 – David rejoices in God’s salvation. This is not because of his works but of the mercy of the LORD! And again we see David rejoicing verbally, this time in song (Psalm 13:6).

Proverbs 19:16 – There is a teaching going around that because God didn’t warn Adam and Eve specifically about the flames of hell as motivation for obedience, either a) God isn’t fair, or b) hell was invented in the Dark Ages as a motivation for obedience. This false dichotomy is most often taught by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and those who want to disconnect the Old Testament and the New Testament (similar to Jehovah’s Witnesses, they deny that the Jesus Christ of the New Testament is One with the God of the Old Testament), but many others have hopped on this train (see the comments in David Kowalski’s article). However God’s motive in not fully expositing the doctrine of hell in Genesis 1 is not to trick us when He should be selling mere “fire insurance” – our life as a follower of the LORD is greater than just avoiding hellfire. Throughout the Bible we have a choice between following the commands of the LORD and enjoying His fellowship and blessing, or disobeying and suffering death and judgment (Genesis 2:17 to Adam and Eve – the tree of life vs the tree of death, Deuteronomy 30:19 to the Israelites the choice between life and death, blessings and curses, in Daniel 12:2 the option of everlasting life or everlasting contempt, Matthew 25:46 the result of eternal life or eternal punishment and again here in Proverbs 19:16).

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