Today our passages are 1 Chronicles 22:1–23:32; Romans 3:9-31; Psalm 12:1-8; and Proverbs 19:13-14. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Steet, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
1 Chronicles 22-23:32 (Contemporary English Version)
1 Chronicles 221David said, "The temple of the LORD God must be built right here at this threshing place. And the altar for offering sacrifices will also be here."
David Prepares To Build the Temple2David ordered the foreigners living in Israel to come to Jerusalem. Then he assigned some to cut blocks of stone for building the temple. 3He got a large supply of iron to make into nails and hinges for the doors, and he provided so much bronze that it could not be weighed. 4He also had cedar logs brought in from the cities of Sidon and Tyre.
5He said, "The temple for the LORD must be great, so that everyone in the world will know about it. But since my son Solomon is young and has no experience, I will make sure that everything is ready for the temple to be built."
That's why David did all these things before he died.
David Instructs Solomon To Build the Temple6David sent for his son Solomon and told him to build a temple for the LORD God of Israel. 7He said:
My son, I wanted to build a temple where the LORD my God would be worshiped. 8But some time ago, he told me, "David, you have killed too many people and have fought too many battles. That's why you are not the one to build my temple. 9But when your son becomes king, I will give him peace throughout his kingdom. His name will be Solomon, because during his rule I will keep Israel safe and peaceful. [a] 10Solomon will build my temple. He will be like a son to me, and I will be like a father to him. In fact, one of his descendants will always rule in Israel." 11Solomon, my son, I now pray that the LORD your God will be with you and keep his promise to help you build a temple for him. 12May he give you wisdom and knowledge, so that you can rule Israel according to his Law. 13If you obey the laws and teachings that the LORD gave Moses, you will be successful. Be strong and brave and don't get discouraged or be afraid of anything.
14I have all the supplies you'll need to build the temple: You have four thousand tons of gold and forty thousand tons of silver. There's also plenty of wood, stone, and more bronze and iron than I could weigh. Ask for anything else you need. 15I have also assigned men who will cut and lay the stone. And there are carpenters and people who are experts in working with 16gold, silver, bronze, and iron. You have plenty of workers to do the job. Now get started, and I pray that the LORD will be with you in your work.
17David then gave orders for the leaders of Israel to help Solomon. 18David said:
The LORD our God has helped me defeat all the people who lived here before us, and he has given you peace from all your enemies. Now this land belongs to the LORD and his people. 19Obey the LORD your God with your heart and soul. Begin work on the temple to honor him, so that the sacred chest and the things used for worship can be kept there.
1 Chronicles 23
David Assigns the Levites Their Duties1David was old when he chose his son Solomon to be king of Israel. 2Some time later, David called together all of Israel's leaders, priests, and Levites. 3He then counted the Levite men who were at least thirty years old, and the total was thirty-eight thousand. 4He said, "Twenty-four thousand of the Levites will be in charge of the temple, six thousand will be temple officials and judges, 5four thousand will be guards at the temple, and four thousand will praise the LORD by playing the musical instruments I have given them."
6David then divided the Levites into three groups according to the clans of Levi's sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
7Gershon had two sons: Ladan and Shimei. 8Ladan was the father of Jehiel, Zetham, and Joel. 9They were all family leaders among their father's descendants. Shimei was the father of Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. 10-11Later, Shimei had four more sons, in the following order: Jahath, Zina, Jeush, and Beriah. But Jeush and Beriah didn't have many children, so their descendants were counted as one family.
12Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13Amram was the father of Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were chosen to be in charge of all the sacred things. They served the LORD by offering sacrifices to him and by blessing the people in his name. 14-15Moses, the man of God, was the father of Gershom and Eliezer, and their descendants were considered Levites. 16Gershom's oldest son was Shebuel. 17Rehabiah, who was Eliezer's only son, had many children. 18The second son born to Kohath was Izhar, and his oldest son was Shelomith. 19Hebron, the third son of Kohath, was the father of Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel, and Jekameam. 20Kohath's youngest son, Uzziel, was the father of Micah and Isshiah.
21Merari had two sons: Mahli and Mushi. Mahli was the father of Eleazar and Kish. 22Eleazar had no sons, only daughters, and they married their uncle's sons. 23Mushi the second son of Merari, was the father of Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth.
24These were the clans and families of the tribe of Levi. Those who were twenty years and older were assigned to work at the LORD's temple.
The LORD God of Israel has given his people peace, and he will live in Jerusalem forever. 26And so, the Levites won't need to move the sacred tent and the things used for worship from place to place. 27From now on, all Levites at least twenty years old 28will serve the LORD by helping Aaron's descendants do their work at the temple, by keeping the courtyards and rooms of the temple clean, and by making sure that everything used in worship stays pure. 29They will also be in charge of the sacred loaves of bread, the flour for the grain sacrifices, the thin wafers, any offerings to be baked, and the flour mixed with olive oil. These Levites will weigh and measure these offerings.
30Every morning and evening, the Levites are to give thanks to the LORD and sing praises to him. 31They must also give thanks and sing praises when sacrifices are offered on each Sabbath, as well as during New Moon Festivals and other religious feasts. There must always be enough Levites on duty at the temple to do everything that needs to be done. 32They were once in charge of taking care of the sacred tent; now they are responsible for the temple and for helping Aaron's descendants.
- 1 Chronicles 22:9 Solomon. . . safe and peaceful: In Hebrew "Solomon" sounds like "peace."
Romans 3:9-31 (Contemporary English Version)
No One Is Good9What does all this mean? Does it mean that we Jews are better off [a] than the Gentiles? No, it doesn't! Jews, as well as Gentiles, are ruled by sin, just as I have said. 10The Scriptures tell us, "No one is acceptable to God!
11Not one of them understands
or even searches for God.
12They have all turned away
and are worthless.
There isn't one person
who does right.
13Their words are like
an open pit,
and their tongues are good
only for telling lies.
Each word is as deadly
as the fangs of a snake,
14and they say nothing
but bitter curses.
15These people quickly
16Wherever they go,
they leave ruin
17They don't know how
to live in peace.
18They don't even fear God."
19We know that everything in the Law was written for those who are under its power. The Law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty. 20God doesn't accept people simply because they obey the Law. No, indeed! All the Law does is to point out our sin.
God's Way of Accepting People21Now we see how God does make us acceptable to him. The Law and the Prophets [b] tell how we become acceptable, and it isn't by obeying the Law of Moses. 22God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. 23All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. 24But God treats us much better than we deserve, [c] and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. 25-26God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life's blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus. 27What is left for us to brag about? Not a thing! Is it because we obeyed some law? No! It is because of faith. 28We see that people are acceptable to God because they have faith, and not because they obey the Law. 29Does God belong only to the Jews? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is! 30There is only one God, and he accepts Gentiles as well as Jews, simply because of their faith. 31Do we destroy the Law by our faith? Not at all! We make it even more powerful.
- Romans 3:9 better off: Or " worse off."
- Romans 3:21 The Law and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.
- Romans 3:24 treats us much better than we deserve: The Greek word charis, traditionally rendered " grace," is translated here and other places in the CEV to express the overwhelming kindness of God.
Psalm 12:1-8 (Contemporary English Version)
(A psalm by David for the music leader. (Psalm 12 leader: The Hebrew text adds " according to the sheminith," which may be a musical instrument with eight strings.) )
A Prayer for Help1Please help me, LORD!
All who were faithful
and all who were loyal
2Everyone tells lies,
and no one is sincere.
3Won't you chop off
all flattering tongues
that brag so loudly?
4They say to themselves,
"We are great speakers.
No one else has a chance."
5But you, LORD, tell them,
"I will do something!
The poor are mistreated
and helpless people moan.
I'll rescue all who suffer."
6Our LORD, you are true
to your promises,
and your word is like silver
heated seven times
in a fiery furnace. [a] 7You will protect us
and always keep us safe
from those people.
8But all who are wicked
will keep on strutting,
while everyone praises
their shameless deeds. [b]
Proverbs 19:13-14 (Contemporary English Version)
13A foolish son brings disgrace
to his father.
A nagging wife goes on and on
like the drip, drip, drip
of the rain.
14You may inherit all you own
from your parents,
but a sensible wife
is a gift from the LORD.
“God lives fully in Christ. And you are fully grown because you belong to Christ, who is over every power and authority.” - Colossians 2:9-10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
Thought for the Day
20th-century Methodist Christian missionary and theologian, E. Stanley Jones wrote, “We grow small trying to be great.”
A new York Divorce Lawyer died and arrived at the pearly gates. Saint Peter asks him "What have you done to merit entrance into Heaven?" The Lawyer thought a moment, then said, "A week ago, I gave a quarter to a homeless person on the street." Saint Peter asked Gabriel to check this out in the record, and after a moment Gabriel affirmed that this was true.
Saint Peter said, "Well , that's fine, but it's not really quite enough to get you into Heaven." The Lawyer said, "Wait Wait! There's more! Three years ago I also gave a homeless person a quarter." Saint Peter nodded to Gabriel, who after a moment nodded back, affirming this, too, had been verified.
Saint Peter then whispered to Gabriel, "Well, what do you suggest we do with this fellow?"
Gabriel gave the Lawyer a sidelong glance, then said to Saint Peter, "Let's give him back his 50 cents and tell him to go to Hell."