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August 13, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Jeremiah 4-6
Audio: Jeremiah 4-6

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

1 Chronicles 20 (ESV)

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. And Joab struck down Rabbah and overthrew it. And David took the crown of their king from his head. He found that it weighed a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone. And it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and axes. And thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

And after this there arose war with the Philistines at Gezer. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued. And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, struck him down. These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

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Next: 1 Chronicles 21

Back: 1 Chronicles 19

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. What's Not In This Chapter?

    While today's chapter continues to show God's favor with David as Israel's king, it's interesting to note there is no mention of David's sin regarding Bathsheba in today's chapter; especially since the adultery and murder occurred during this time. This was certainly not omitted to hide David's sin, as it was well documented and part of the historical record; but as John MacArthur writes, the Chronicler's focus was on "God's permanent interest in His people Israel."

    Skeptics often use this as proof the Bible can't be trusted.

    This morning when Michelle and I sat down to open God's Word together and to pray, she opened her Bible to Jeremiah 7. In verse 22 it says, "For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices."

    We then looked at Galatians 5:14, "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

    How can this be? When a Pharisee who was a lawyer asked Jesus, "'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?' 37 And he [Jesus] said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'"

    So is the "whole law" fulfilled in loving our neighbors as ourselves or in loving God with all of our heart, soul and mind, AND loving our neighbor as ourselves?

    Skeptics often use this as proof the Bible is "full of contradictions" and can therefore not be trusted. 

    First, Jesus, who is referred to in Scripture as "The Word," does not change. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

    Hang on! Is this another contradiction or "discrepancy" in the Bible? Jesus was not fully God and fully man in eternity past! He "emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7). 

    In "Greek for the Rest of Us," author Bill Mounce talks about the importance of discovering the meaning of the Greek (and Hebrew) words that lie behind the English. He writes, "Words don’t have exact counterparts in different languages. The range of meaning of an English word will almost never be the same as the range of meaning for the Greek word behind the English. We call this the word’s 'semantic range.' So just because an English word can have a certain meaning, it is by no means certain that the Greek behind it has that specific meaning."

    Mounce, W. D. (2013). Greek for the Rest of Us: The Essentials of Biblical Greek, Second Edition (pp. xi–xii). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

    An example of this is found in Matthew 26:27. 

    The King James Version says, "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it."

    Mounce shares a personal story about his father regarding this verse:

    "My dad tells the story of how, when he was younger, he made sure he drank every last little bit of grape juice in the communion cup. He would shake it until every drop was gone; he was going to obey Scripture and drink 'all of it.' Only one problem: that’s not what the verse means. The 'all' means 'all of you,' not 'all the liquid.'"

    The ESV (which included Bill Mounce on the team of translators) renders Matthew 26:27 with more clarity, "And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you."

    On last example, John 16:13 says, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

    And yet we read in Ephesians 4:11-14, "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes."

    If the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, why do we need teachers? If the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, how can we be deceived by human cunning and craftiness and tossed "to and fro by the waves" of child-like, immature understanding?

    Regarding these apparent "contractions", R.C. Sproul writes, "When it comes to studying the actual consistency of Scripture, it’s not long before we have to deal with allegations that the Bible is full of contradictions. This can be devastating to the Christian faith, because we know that if the Bible has real contradictions, it’s not a consistent account, and if it’s not a consistent account, it can’t be divinely inspired."

    If someone wants to view apparent contradictions in Scripture as a reason to not trust Scripture, they have to live with the consequences of that decision.

    If someone wants to understand how to reconcile apparent differences in the Bible and work through challenging verses which are difficult to understand apart from in-depth Bible study, then we get to live with the blessings of that conviction. 

    While Logos Bible Software (and other apps) give people access to the original languages of Scripture (Hebrew and Greek), learning Greek (and Hebrew) helps me know how to use the tools I have more effectively and equips me to not have to rely on translations as much as I currently do. 

    Let's keep in mind that God is sovereign – and is way beyond any language or any other means of communication. Even though we can't know everything from the original language of Scripture, that doesn't mean we can't know anything.

    We should not become skeptical or devalue Scripture as a whole because of our lack of understanding or lack of desire for in-depth study of things we're unsure of from Scripture.

    Okay, here is a "bonus example" that came to mind from what I just wrote:

    Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."

    But Luke 8:17 says, "For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light." We also just read John 16:13, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth."

    So which is it? Will the secret things always be hidden or will the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth? 

    While I can't address every example I mentioned in today's comment, what I can share is it's obvious the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth is a reference to guiding us into all the truth which God has revealed to us and not all the secret things of God.

    What is also obvious is that although the Holy Spirit guides us to all truth, our ability to comprehend, process and retain it varies from person to person.

    What is certain, if we are born again, is part of God's sanctifying work in our lives is to know the truth and that truth will set us free (John 8:32). 

    It’s imperative that we never pull a verse out of the Bible (potentially out of context) and build a belief system or interpretation on what we “think” something means. We must always allow Scripture to interpret Scripture and not assume or ascribe meaning to what has been revealed. Alistair Begg often says, "The main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things." I think that's a good reminder for us to focus on the essentials that are clear in Scripture and not get bogged down in details which can distract us from making disciples. 

    (Not to contradict what I just said but for clarity sake and a double-bonus example of the limitations of language and the challenges of communicating all possibilities within each sentence written):

    With that said, it's so important for all Christians to know God's Word and to spend time doing all we can to understand Scripture for ourselves. We shouldn't just rely on what others say about God but like the Bereans, we should receive the word "with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily" (Acts 17:11) to see if what we are hearing, learning and reading is so.

    In order for us to "Go therefore and make disciples" and teach people to observe and obey ALL that Christ commanded (Matthew 28:19-20), we have to know what He taught and how to make disciples. But Jesus also tells us to let our lights shine and love (and serve) people around us. It's hard to do this if our faces are glued to books studying without living, sharing and loving.

    We need to be careful not turn our faith into attaining knowledge at the expense of being Christ to those around us.

    Since this is an important subject, here is a link to a short article about the inerrancy of Scripture from John MacArthur:

  2. I've often wondered about this very thing: since the Bible has been translated by human beings so many times and in so many languages, how can we be sure of its accuracy? 

    Your comment and John Macarthur's article was a big help; it makes perfect sense. 

    Of course God would oversee the process of translation and preserve the authenticity of His Word for us! I feel very reassured. 

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