Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1 Chronicles 3-5

Daily Reading
Daily Thought

First Chronicles begins with 9 chapters of names, family genealogies fulfilling God's promise to Abraham, "I will multiply your offspring as the sand that is on the seashore" (Genesis 22:17). One long list after another, but look closely, there are shiny objects hidden in the sand. For example, the oft-overlooked Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh, "valiant men who carried shield and sword, and drew the bow, expert in war, 44,760, able to go to war. They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. And when they prevailed over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him" (1Chronicles 5:18-20). Trusting God does not relieve us the responsibility to prepare ourselves, and these tribes came ready for battle, then followed God to victory. Neither is faith blind. God writes his greatness and goodness and grace in history and this history is recorded in his Word. His Word guides us to a mighty faith.

In the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Indy is chasing the Holy Grail, the cup of legend, supposedly shared by Jesus with his disciples at the Last Supper. The bad guy wants the cup, too, so he shoot's Indy's dad, not dead, but dying.  "It's time to ask yourself what you believe," said the bad guy. Go get the Grail, Indy, it's the only thing that can save your dad. Indy took a book, given to him by his father, that should lead him to the Holy Grail. Could he trust the book?

The book said, "Kneel." Indiana Jones knelt, and blades of steel passed harmlessly over his head. The book said, "Proceed on the name of God," and Indy stepped on rocks labeled I-E-H-O-V-A-H (with an "I" because it's Latin) to safety. Then the book said, "Leap," but there was nowhere to leap; just a deep chasm. He stepped forward anyway. It was a leap of faith, but it wasn't blind, because the book had proven true. Indiana Jones trusted the book.

Followers of Jesus are those who trust the book. God's Word proves true and we put our lives in the hands of its author. "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31). We, like the Hebrews, discover and develop trust in God as we immerse ourselves in Scripture, even long lists.

Daily Prayer

God, You are faithful and true. I can trust fully in You. Build my faith, God, and strengthen my trust. You are certainly worthy of it. I know that if I seek You and only You, I do not need to worry or be anxious. All things are in Your hand. It baffles me how many things distract me when I only need to keep my eyes on One. You.

May I be faithful to Your Word, reading it, no, devouring it with delight. The more I am in it, the more I am overwhelmed by Your grace and truth. You search deep inside me with Your Words, and You clean house, and You lead me to a life fully of Your majesty and wonder.


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