BiND: Day 31
More review today…I just want to highlight a couple of things in this recap of David and Solomon’s reign(s) (which the Chronicler wants to blend together in one big happy-days montage).
- Judging from the number of people involved, worshiping God is a full time job for most of the nation. I wonder what our lives would look like if we considered worship our full time job and had to figure out how to do other things in a spirit of worship?
- In a time when we as a congregation are contemplating a building project, it’s interesting to read 1 Chronicles 29, about how everyone gave big offerings (of their own freewill, no less!) and, once again, just like in the Tabernacle story back in Exodus, there is more than enough to complete the project of building for God’s glory. Today we would say we are building for God’s mission, but that doesn’t change the offering situation! And then David’s prayer of gratitude and praise is amazing. I think I might start using it.
- At the end of David’s prayer of gratitude in 1 Chr. 29, he turns to the people and says “Bless the Lord your God.” This is the most common use of the imperative form of the word “bless” in the Hebrew Bible. We in English tend to turn it around, ordering God to bless us, our endeavors, our nations, etc. But in the Bible the people are the ones who are ordered to bless God. It’s a little different mindset. How might it change the way we view God, ourselves, our endeavors, and our nations if we turned it around?
- I love Solomon’s prayer in 2 Chr. 6 (a recap of his prayer in Kings) because he is so certain that people will sin (he even says, like Paul, “there is no one who does not sin.”) but he is even more certain that God’s love and forgiveness are bigger than the sins of people. It’s there and all we have to do is notice! What a great theological statement Solomon makes—very Reformed. “There is no one who does not sin” but “there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant in steadfast love.” This is, in essence, our theological tradition. Though we interpret things slightly differently than he goes on to do (we believe that God’s love and forgiveness are given to us before we can even ask for it, whereas Solomon says “give it to them when they ask”—but as I said in the excursus on exile below, we have a slightly different (and less physical-literal) worldview so we know what it’s like to feel unforgiven because we haven’t asked for forgiveness, though we may be forgiven in actuality).
- In 2 Chr. 7, that’s a lot of sheep. (it’s probably hyperbole, a way to say: it was a lot, and this was a really super important occasion!!!! But still. 120,000? wow.)
photo is of an arch reconstructed like one from Solomon’s Temple, on the site of the Temple. by DDanzig, from Flickr.