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31 October - 2 Chronicles 29; Daniel 9; Acts 9


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Posted 31 October 2007 - 10:17 AM

First Portion

2 Chronicles 29


29:1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.. 29:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that David his father had done. 29:3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of Yahweh, and repaired them. 29:4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the broad place on the east, 29:5 and said to them, “Listen to me, you Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filthiness out of the holy place. 29:6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Yahweh, and turned their backs. 29:7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 29:8 Therefore the wrath of Yahweh was on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has delivered them to be tossed back and forth, to be an astonishment, and a hissing, as you see with your eyes. 29:9 For, behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 29:10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us. 29:11 My sons, don’t be negligent now; for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before him, to minister to him, and that you should be his ministers, and burn incense.”

29:12 Then the Levites arose, Mahath, the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah; 29:13 and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 29:14 and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 29:15 They gathered their brothers, and sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by the words of Yahweh, to cleanse the house of Yahweh. 29:16 The priests went in to the inner part of the house of Yahweh, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Yahweh into the court of the house of Yahweh. The Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron. 29:17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of Yahweh; and they sanctified the house of Yahweh in eight days: and on the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. 29:18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king within the palace, and said, “We have cleansed all the house of Yahweh, and the altar of burnt offering, with all its vessels, and the table of show bread, with all its vessels. 29:19 Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign threw away when he trespassed, have we prepared and sanctified; and behold, they are before the altar of Yahweh.”

29:20 Then Hezekiah the king arose early, and gathered the princes of the city, and went up to the house of Yahweh. 29:21 They brought seven bulls, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven male goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. He commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of Yahweh. 29:22 So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: and they killed the rams, and sprinkled the blood on the altar: they killed also the lambs, and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 29:23 They brought near the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly; and they laid their hands on them: 29:24 and the priests killed them, and they made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel; for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 29:25 He set the Levites in the house of Yahweh with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was of Yahweh by his prophets. 29:26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 29:27 Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of Yahweh began also, and the trumpets, together with the instruments of David king of Israel. 29:28 All the assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29:29 When they had made an end of offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. 29:30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to Yahweh with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped. 29:31 Then Hezekiah answered, “Now you have consecrated yourselves to Yahweh; come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of Yahweh.” The assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 29:32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to Yahweh. 29:33 The consecrated things were six hundred head of cattle and three thousand sheep. 29:34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: therefore their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was ended, and until the priests had sanctified themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. 29:35 Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of Yahweh was set in order. 29:36 Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, because of that which God had prepared for the people: for the thing was done suddenly.



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Posted 31 October 2007 - 10:19 AM

Second Portion

Daniel 9


9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, 9:2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years about which the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah the prophet, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years. 9:3 I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 9:4 I prayed to Yahweh my God, and made confession, and said, Oh, Lord, the great and dreadful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments, 9:5 we have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even turning aside from your precepts and from your ordinances; 9:6 neither have we listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 9:7 Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of face, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, who are near, and who are far off, through all the countries where you have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against you. 9:8 Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness; for we have rebelled against him; 9:10 neither have we obeyed the voice of Yahweh our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 9:11 Yes, all Israel have transgressed your law, turning aside, that they should not obey your voice: therefore the curse and the oath written in the law of Moses the servant of God has been poured out on us; for we have sinned against him. 9:12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges who judged us, by bringing on us a great evil; for under the whole sky, such has not been done as has been done to Jerusalem. 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come on us: yet have we not entreated the favor of Yahweh our God, that we should turn from our iniquities, and have discernment in your truth. 9:14 Therefore has Yahweh watched over the evil, and brought it on us; for Yahweh our God is righteous in all his works which he does, and we have not obeyed his voice. 9:15 Now, Lord our God, who has brought your people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have gotten yourself renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 9:16 Lord, according to all your righteousness, let your anger and please let your wrath be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a reproach to all who are around us. 9:17 Now therefore, our God, listen to the prayer of your servant, and to his petitions, and cause your face to shine on your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. 9:18 My God, turn your ear, and hear; open your eyes, and see our desolations, and the city which is called by your name: for we do not present our petitions before you for our righteousness, but for your great mercies’ sake. 9:19 Lord, hear; Lord, forgive; Lord, listen and do; don’t defer, for your own sake, my God, because your city and your people are called by your name. 9:20 While I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God; 9:21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening offering. 9:22 He instructed me, and talked with me, and said, Daniel, I am now come forth to give you wisdom and understanding. 9:23 At the beginning of your petitions the commandment went forth, and I have come to tell you; for you are greatly beloved: therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision. 9:24 Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. 9:25 Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times. 9:26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One shall be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and its end shall be with a flood, and even to the end shall be war; desolations are determined. 9:27 He shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out on the desolate.

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 10:20 AM

Third Portion

Acts 9


9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 9:2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 9:3 As he traveled, it happened that he got close to Damascus, and suddenly a light from the sky shone around him. 9:4 He fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

9:5 He said, “Who are you, Lord?”

The Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.* 9:6 But rise up, and enter into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

9:7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the sound, but seeing no one. 9:8 Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw no one. They led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9:9 He was without sight for three days, and neither ate nor drank.

9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

He said, “Behold, it’s me, Lord.”

9:11 The Lord said to him, “Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judah for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying, 9:12 and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.”

9:13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem. 9:14 Here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”

9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of Israel. 9:16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

9:17 Ananias departed, and entered into the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me, that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 9:18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized. 9:19 He took food and was strengthened. Saul stayed several days with the disciples who were at Damascus. 9:20 Immediately in the synagogues he proclaimed the Christ, that he is the Son of God. 9:21 All who heard him were amazed, and said, “Isn’t this he who in Jerusalem made havoc of those who called on this name? And he had come here intending to bring them bound before the chief priests!”

9:22 But Saul increased more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ. 9:23 When many days were fulfilled, the Jews conspired together to kill him, 9:24 but their plot became known to Saul. They watched the gates both day and night that they might kill him, 9:25 but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket. 9:26 When Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 9:28 He was with them entering into Jerusalem, 9:29 preaching boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. He spoke and disputed against the Hellenists, but they were seeking to kill him. 9:30 When the brothers knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him off to Tarsus. 9:31 So the assemblies throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, and were built up. They were multiplied, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

9:32 It happened, as Peter went throughout all those parts, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 9:33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, because he was paralyzed. 9:34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!” Immediately he arose. 9:35 All who lived at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.

9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which when translated, means Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and acts of mercy which she did. 9:37 It happened in those days that she fell sick, and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 9:38 As Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. 9:39 Peter got up and went with them. When he had come, they brought him into the upper room. All the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. 9:40 Peter put them all out, and kneeled down and prayed. Turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 9:41 He gave her his hand, and raised her up. Calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 9:42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 9:43 It happened, that he stayed many days in Joppa with one Simon, a tanner.

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 10:15 AM

31 October 2008

2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 10:59 AM

31 October 2009

2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:37 PM

31 October 2010

2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9

VISIONS OF THE FUTURE

Daniel was one of God’s most remarkable prophets. He was an emotional man; few have had experiences to parallel his. Imagine yourself carried away captive as a teenager. We know nothing of his upbringing, but those taken away to Babylon at that time were from the royal or noble families so we can assume that Daniel and his 3 friends came from an educated background. It was such a training that made him refuse the king’s “delicacies” [Daniel 1:8] so he would not defile himself; they probably contained blood or something forbidden under the Mosaic Law.

Today’s reading in Daniel 9 is when the Medes and Persians are in power and Darius the Mede is in control – note that he is described as “the son of Ahasuerus.” It may be that this is the same man as married Esther, but there is no certain proof of this but it would fit in well in giving a reason for the influence of Jews on Persian policy leading to the edict to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. [Ezra 6] that we will be reading in a couple of weeks.

Daniel’s visions, as we read yesterday, are about “many days from now” [Daniel 8:26] and describe how “the Prince of princes” destroys the aggressor “but by no human hand”. His emotion following the experience of this vision resulted in him being “overcome and sick for some days … I was appalled at the vision and did not understand it. [Daniel 8:27]

In today’s chapter there are visions which include the 70 times 7 period: these “times” were understood as years and add up to 490 [Daniel 9:24]. This is calculated as leading to AD26 which was the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. The people of the time were aware of this prediction and were in “expectation” [Luke 3:15].

That time, we read in Daniel, is “to finish transgression and bring an end to sin” – and in a spiritual sense Jesus did this when he made one sacrifice for all time and brought an end to the Law. Daniel continued to experience distress and sought God in desperate prayer [Daniel 9:3] and saw the need, he told God, of “gaining insight into your truth” [Daniel 9:13]. That attitude is just as much needed today.

We particularly notice that it was not just to understand the prophecy, but just as much, if not more, Daniel was “confessing my sin and the sin or my people Israel and presenting my plea before the LORD my God” [Daniel 9:20] This attitude must be the foundation of our attempts to understand what the visions God gave to Daniel are to mean to us.
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Posted 31 October 2011 - 04:05 AM

31 October 2011

2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9

"I WAS APPALLED AT THE VISION"

Daniel was an emotional man; very few have had experiences like his. Imagine yourself carried away captive as a teenager! This was some years before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem. We know nothing of his upbringing, but it was such that made him refuse the king’s “delicacies” [Daniel 1:8] so he would not defile himself; they probably contained blood or something forbidden under the Mosaic Law.

Today’s reading in Daniel [Daniel 9] is when he is an old man and the Medes and Persians are in power and Darius is in control, this man is described as “the son of Ahasuerus”. There is no proof that this Ahasuerus is the same man who married Esther but, if he was, it would fit in well with the surprising Persian policy of the edict to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. [Ezra 6] that we will read in a couple of weeks – on which we commented recently.

Daniel’s visions of the future that we read yesterday, was about “many days from now” [Daniel 8:26] when “the Prince of princes” destroys the aggressor “but by no human hand.” Now this vision results in Daniel being “overcome and sick for some days … I was appalled at the vision and did not understand it. [Daniel 8:27]: there was more to follow.

In today’s chapter there are visions which include the 70 times 7 time periods which are taken to mean years and add up to 490 [Daniel 9:24]. This is calculated as bringing us to AD26 and the beginning of the ministry of Jesus and the reason why the people were in “expectation” [Luke 3:15] when Jesus began his ministry. Daniel is told the climax of this period will “finish transgression and bring an end to sin” – and in a spiritual sense Jesus did this when he made one sacrifice for all time and brought an end to the Law by fulfilling that to which the Law pointed. In Hebrews we read that Christ “offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins” [Hebrews 10:12] and “has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” [Hebrews 10:14].

Daniel, in his distress sought God in desperate prayer [Daniel 9:3] and saw the need of “gaining insight into your truth” [Daniel 9:13]. That attitude is just as much needed today.

But there are other visions which look much further forward to our days and beyond and we hope to have appropriate thoughts about these in the next day or two.
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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:55 AM

31 October 2012

2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9

"THE PRINCE OF PRINCES"

Daniel was one of God’s most remarkable prophets. He was an emotional man; few have had experiences to parallel his. Imagine yourself carried away captive as a teenager. We know nothing of his upbringing, but those taken away to Babylon at that time were from the royal or noble families so we can assume that Daniel and his 3 friends came from an educated background. It was such a training that made him refuse the king’s “delicacies” [Daniel 1:8] so he would not defile himself; they probably contained blood or something forbidden under the Mosaic Law.

Today’s reading in Daniel 9 is when the Medes and Persians are in power and Darius the Mede is in control – note that he is described as “the son of Ahasuerus.” It may be that this is the same man as married Esther, but there is no certain proof of this but it would fit in well in giving a reason for the influence of Jews on Persian policy leading to the edict to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. [Ezra 6] that we will be reading in a couple of weeks.

Daniel’s visions, as we read yesterday, are about “many days from now” [Daniel 8:26] and describe how “the Prince of princes” destroys the aggressor “but by no human hand”. His emotion following the experience of this vision resulted in him being “overcome and sick for some days … I was appalled at the vision and did not understand it. [Daniel 8:27]

In today’s chapter there are visions which include the 70 times 7 period: these “times” were understood as years and add up to 490 [Daniel 9:24]. This is calculated as leading to AD26 which was the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. The people of the time were aware of this prediction and were in “expectation” [Luke 3:15].

That time, we read in Daniel, is “to finish transgression and bring an end to sin” – and in a spiritual sense Jesus did this when he made one sacrifice for all time and brought an end to the Law. Daniel continued to experience distress and sought God in desperate prayer [Daniel 9:3] and saw the need, he told God, of “gaining insight into your truth” [Daniel 9:13]. That attitude is just as much needed today.

We particularly notice that it was not just to understand the prophecy, but just as much, if not more, Daniel was “confessing my sin and the sin or my people Israel and presenting my plea before the LORD my God” [Daniel 9:20] This attitude must be the foundation of our attempts to understand what the visions God gave to Daniel are to mean to us.
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Posted 31 October 2013 - 03:32 AM

31 October 2013

2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9

“HIS MOTHER’S NAME WAS …”

At the end of yesterday’s chapter 28 in 2 Chronicles we read of the death of Ahaz, he had been such a godless king, probably the worst to reign in Jerusalem so that they did not put his body into the tombs of the kings. His 16 year reign had been an utter disaster. The point is made, “in the time of his stress he became yet more faithless to the LORD” [2 Chronicles 28:22] How tragic after his father Jotham had been such a good king.

Today we read how his son Hezekiah made immediate changes, “in the first year of his reign in the first month …” [2 Chronicles 29:3]! We ponder the causes of his motivation.

The chapter began by telling us that “His mother’s name was Abijah” The parallel passage in 2 Kings 18:2 simply names her as “Abi.” What an influence she must have been on him. Solomon reminisced in his proverbs, “When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother” [Proverbs 4:3] How many Abi’s of the same calibre are there today?

We also learn that Hezekiah was 25 years old when he began to reign which means that up to the age of 11 he had the example and probable influence of his grandfather the good King Jotham to lay the foundation for his mother to build upon in his later years. More lessons for us: grandfathers’ take note.

Hezekiah says, “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD …” [2 Chronicles 29:10] That’s an interesting way of putting it, can we openly say of anything, ‘Now it is in my heart to …’ commit myself to do or accomplish some particular thing?

Our thoughts yesterday highlighted the nature of a “covenant” in New Testament times. Jesus, as he handed the cup to the 12 disciples said, ”This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many”. [Mark 14:24] We accept that cup and agree to that covenant when we are baptised.

As priests in training for God’s kingdom, we are called to be “ministers of a new covenant” [2 Corinthians 3:6] to be centred on Jerusalem. Paul makes a thought challenging point when he told the Galatians, [Galatians 4:26] “the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother”

The Temple at Jerusalem, and the saints ministering from there will be “mothers” in training the world of that age in the ways of righteousness. But first the priests have to be trained themselves! How is our training progressing?
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Posted 31 October 2014 - 12:20 PM

31 October 2014
 
2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9  
 
“FOR YOU ARE GREATLY LOVED” 
             
What a remarkable set of heart stirring readings we have today, accounts of individuals with whom and through whom God can and did work.  First, in 2 Chronicles 29 we have the account of when the good king Hezekiah became king and his instant action beginning in the first month of his reign to restore the Temple and rededicate worship in it and how he inspired “all who were of a willing heart.” [2 Chronicles 29:31] to bring offerings, “and they sang praises with gladness and they bowed down and worshipped.” [2 Chronicles 29:30].  It is a chapter to be read with imagination of the event – that foreshadows -  a far greater future event .
            
In Daniel 9, the aged prophet is now living in the era of King Darius, he is deeply grieved as he “perceived in the books … according of the word of the LORD to Jeremiah" [Daniel 9:2] that 70 years must pass “before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem.”  
            
Most of the chapter is his impassioned prayer, a great example for us, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him … To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.   To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness…[Daniel 9:4,8,9]  The angel Gabriel comes to him, "saying, "O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding.  At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved." [Daniel 9:22-23] What will the angels say to the 'elect' as they gather them? How soon? When they (we) "meet the Lord in the air" [see 1 Thessalonians 4:17]  
            
Our 'feast' of thoughts continued in Acts 9 with the dramatic conversion of Saul - soon to be referred to as Paul.  His first action was to be baptised. His preaching then astonished the Jews. Immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God."  Then Paul "increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ." [Acts 9:20-22]  And us. How, is our strength increasing? How zealous are we in "proving" the things which we claim to believe?  Surely Paul became "greatly loved" for his zeal and total commitment - and we must look at ourselves, look into our own hearts.  May the angels gather us because we "are greatly loved."  
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Posted 31 October 2015 - 08:30 AM

31 October 2015
 
2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9  
 
"A CHOSEN INSTRUMENT ... TO CARRY MY NAME”
            
We have a mentally absorbing set of readings today. They are most spiritually stimulating – and challenging! In 2 Chronicles 29 we read of the ascension to the throne of Hezekiah – and in the “first month” he opened up the Temple and ordered the Levites to begin a process of thoroughly cleansing it ready for use. We think of the return of our Lord to reign. We cannot begin to imagine how his reign will start – but it is certain it will be utterly awesome!  Surely he will waste no time in setting in train events to cleanse the world of all its’ present filth!
            
In Acts 9 we read of the dramatic conversion of Saul, soon to be called Paul. As he nears Damascus he hears the voice of Jesus!  Will we hear his voice – at his return?  How?  The gospels tell us, "... the powers in the heavens will be shaken ... then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory ... then he will send out the angels and gather his elect ..." [Mark 13:25-27]
            
When Paul hears his voice he is taken into Damascus – blind!  Ananias, "a disciple at Damascus" [Acts 9:10] is told to find Saul!  He objects, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints ..." [Acts 9:13], but he is told, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel." [Acts 9:15]
            
'Food' for our serious meditation here! What is it to "carry" Christ's "name"? Do we do that? Is this not to represent Christ in some way? Did not Jesus set an example! "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" [John 14:9] So whoever sees us, sees ....? Food for our deepest meditation!
            
This takes us to our final thought today in Daniel 9 and this prophet's remarkable prayer.  It is one of the most detailed in Scripture. A particular highlight for us is Daniel 9:15. "O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day ..."  
            
That word “name” – has the sense of making a reputation.  The aim of many people today, especially politicians, is to make a 'name' for themselves!  Most 'names' are increasingly ungodly!  In utter contrast – our aim must be to make sure we "carry" Christ's "name" – following, to at least  some degree, in the footsteps of Paul as he fulfilled the role the Master destined for him -  "to carry my name before the Gentiles ..."
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- DC


#12 Librarian

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 08:27 AM

31 October 2016
 
2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9
 
“CHOSEN … TO CARRY MY NAME”
 
What does it mean – to carry a name? Well, those who have worked for companies and have gone out as ‘their representative’ know how they have carried ‘the name’ of their Company in visiting its customers – but these days, with the internet, this is rarely practiced. This reflection arose from our readings today of Acts 9 with its’ account of the divinely initiated dramatic conversion of Saul (soon to be called Paul).
 
As Saul neared Damascus intending to bring any believers in Christ he found there “bound to Jerusalem.” [Acts 9:2] “suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.” [Acts 9:3] he hears a voice, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" [Acts 9:4] and is told, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” [Acts 9:5] and to go into the city and it will be told him what he is to do.
 
He is led blind into Damascus” and for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” [Acts 9:9] - a sort of counterpart to Jesus being 3 days in the tomb. The Lord instructs Ananias, a disciple in Damascus, to go to Saul and tells him where to find him and “lay hands on him.” [Acts 9:12] Ananias is very concerned about this instruction, “But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles” [Acts 9:15]
 
And so Saul, soon to be known as Paul, spearheads the carrying of Christ’s name, God’s message of salvation through His Son. In doing this he sets the example to others like Silas, Titus and Timothy to do the same. These are among the examples that have come down to us today! Let us see ourselves as “chosen ... to carry Christ’s name” wherever an opportunity is available – until he come! And how soon now to that time?!
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- DC 


#13 Librarian

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 02:43 AM

31 October 2017
 
2 Chronicles 29
Daniel 9
Acts 9
 
"A CHOSEN INSTRUMENT ... TO CARRY MY NAME"
 
We have a mentally absorbing set of readings today. They are most spiritually stimulating – and challenging! In Chronicles 29 we read of the ascension to the throne of Hezekiah and in the "first month" he opened up the Temple and ordered the Levites to begin a process of thoroughly cleansing it ready for use. We think of the return of our Lord to reign. We cannot begin to imagine how his reign will start – but it is certain it will be utterly aweesome! Surely he will waste no time in setting in train events to cleanse the world of all its' present filth!
 
In Acts 8 we read of the dramatic conversion of Saul, soon to be called Paul. As he nears Damascus he hears the voice of Jesus! Will we hear his voice – at his return? How? The gospels tell us, "... the powers in the heavens will be shaken ... then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory ... then he will send out the angels and gather his elect ..." [Mark 13:25-27]
 
When Paul hears his voice he is taken into Damascus - blind! Ananias, "a disciple at Damascus" [Acts 9:10] is told to find Saul! He objects, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints ... " [Acts 9:13], but he is told, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel." [Acts 9:15]
 
'Food' for our serious meditation here! What is it to "carry" Christ's "name"? Do we do that? Is this not to represent Christ in some way? Did not Jesus set an example! "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" [John 14:9] So, whoever sees you or me, sees ...? Food for our deepest meditation!
 
This takes us to our final thought today in Daniel 9 and this prophet's remarkable prayer. It is one of the most detailed in Scripture. A particular highlight for us is Daniel 9:15. "O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day ..." 
 
That word "name" - has the sense of making a reputation. The aim of many people today, especially politicians, is to make a 'name' for themselves! They sort of "trumpet" their name! Most 'names' are increasingly ungodly! In utter contrast - our aim must be to make sure we "carry" Christ's "name" - following, to at least some degree, in the footsteps of Paul as he fulfilled the role the Master destined for him - "to carry my name before the Gentiles ..." 
-------
- DC





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