Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 10 - 2 Chronicles 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Chronicles 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today we begin reading 2 Chronicles which is, as you might guess, the "sequel" to 1 Chronicles. It records some of the history (from approximately 970 BC to about 586 BC) of God's people, specifically those who lived in the nation of Judah. At the time Israel was divided into two kingdoms, but 2 Chronicles focuses on Judah, the southern kingdom.
  • The "Tabernacle" (verse 3) was the place where God's presence dwelled on earth, and where the people were to worship Him. It was the Tabernacle that Moses built (see Exodus 35-40).
  • Notice that God (in verse 7) comes to Solomon relationally, like a good father. That is also the way we are told (throughout the Bible) that God comes to us, and that we are to approach Him.
  • Solomon is young and suddenly in charge of an entire nation. He must have been intimidated. When God offers to give him anything he wants, he very wisely chooses wisdom. God grants his request, and gives him much more.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Think about the ordering of priorities. The importance we place on different things is, obviously, very ... important. Too often we live with misplaced priorities. Things that shouldn't be significant at all to us we make very significant; things that should be important we make the most important. We could make a good case that our lives are made up of our priorities, and that how our lives go is based on how we order our priorities. When God asks Solomon to ask for anything, it was a priority defining moment for Solomon. Because of his new position as king, he chooses wisdom, and God is very pleased with his prioritizing it over wealth or fame. In fact, because Solomon chose the right priority, God also gives him wealth and fame.
    • Repeatedly throughout the Bible we are told to make God our top priority. In fact, we're told that the only way we can be in relationship with God is if we put Him first. He demands to be first. (Why? Because He is God and deserves to be first, AND because having Him first is the only way our lives can work right.) 
    • In Matthew 6, Jesus is talking about the things we tend to prioritize (and therefore worry about), like our possessions and what we'll eat. He tells us not to worry about those things, and then says, "But seek first God's Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
    • If, like Solomon, we get our priorities right - if we put God first, God promises to also give us the other things we need. But if we get our priorities wrong - not putting God first, we have no promise from God that He'll provide for us, and we miss out on having God as well.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • If God told you that you could have anything you want, that He'd grant any request, what would you ask for? Would it be Him? Do you want more of God? Do you want God more than anything else? Do you realize that if God isn't first, He's not really God in your life? And if God's not first, something else is, and that's too much importance and too much pressure to put on that thing. So ... 
    • What would it look like for you to put God first? 
    • And how would you get from here to there? How would you get to a place where God is your top priority? 
    • Who could help you to make the changes you'd need to make?
    • Why don't you start by imagining God just asked you to ask Him for anything you want, and pray, telling Him that what you want most is Him.