December 13, 2016

I Chronicles 27-29 - 
Here is the listing of the sons of Israel by family heads, commanders and captains, and other officers who served the king in everything military.  Army divisions were on duty a month at a time for twelve months of a year.  Each division comprised 24,000 men...  David also chose an administrator of the affairs of each tribe including his brother Elihu for the tribe of Judah....David didn’t keep count of men under the age of 20 because God had promised to give Israel a population as numerous as the stars in the sky.  Joab started out counting the men, but he never finished.  God’s anger broke out on Israel because of the counting.  The king’s storage facilities were also assigned to a handful of leaders who’s responsibility was for taking care of King David’s property.

Jonathan, David’s uncle, a wise and literate counselor, and Jehiel were responsible for rearing the king’s sons.  Ahithophel was the king’s counselor; Hushai was the king’s friend.  Ahithophel was later replaced by Jehoiada and Abiaathar.  Joab remained commander of the king’s army.

David called together all the leaders of Israel and stated,”God chose me out of my family to be king over Israel forever.  First he chose Judah as the lead tribe, then he narrowed it down to my family, and finally he picked me from my father’s sons, pleased to make me king over all Israel.  And then from my sons- and God gave me many- he chose my son Solomon to sit on the throne of God’s rule over Israel...I will guarantee that his kingdom will last if he continues to be as strong-minded in doing what I command and carrying out my decisions as he is doing now.”...”And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father’s God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind for God examines every heart and sees every motive.  If you seek him, he’ll make sure you find him, but if you abandon him, he’ll leave you for good.”

Then David presented his son Solomon with the plans for the Temple complex...He turned over the plans for everything that God’s Spirit had brought to his mind and informed his son, “Here are the blueprints for the whole project as God gave me to understand it....Take charge!  Take heart!  Don;t be anxious or get discouraged.  God, my God, is with you in this;  he won’t walk off and leave you in the lurch.  He’s at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of God....  

Then David addressed the congregation, “My son Solomon was singled out and chosen by God to do this.  But he is young and untested and the work is huge--this is not just a place for people  to meet each other, but a house for God to meet us...Furthermore, because my heart is in this, in addition to and beyond what I have gathered, I’m turning over my personal fortune of gold and silver for making this place of worship for my God...”And how about you?  Who among you is reading and willing to join in the giving?”  Ready and willing, the heads of families, leaders of the tribes of Israel, commanders and captains in the army, stewards of the king’s affairs stepped forward and gave willingly....and the people were full of a sense of celebration---all that giving and all given willingly, freely!  King David was exuberant.  David blessed God in full view of the entire congregation.....and here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you, praising your splendid Name.”

“But me--who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you?  Everything comes from you;  all we are doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand...  As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us...I know God, that you care nothing for the surface--you want us, our true selves---and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily.  And now see these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly--what a joy!”  

“O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts firmly set on you.  And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building the Temple

All the leaders of the people of Israel, including the sons of King David, accepted Solomon as their king and promised their loyalty.  Solomon rode high on a crest of popular acclaim-- it was all God’s doing...” 

Revelations 8 - 
When the Lamb ripped off the seventh seal, Heaven fell quiet---complete silence for about half an hour.  

I saw the 7 angels who always in readiness before God handed 7 trumpets....
At the first trumpet blast, hail and fire mixed with blood were dumped on the earth.  A third of the earth was scorched.  

The second angel trumpeted.  Something like a huge mountain blazing with fire was flung into the sea.  A third of the sea turned to blood....

The third Angel trumpeted.  A huge start, blazing like a torch, fell in heaven, wiping out a third of the rivers and a third of the springs.  The star’s name was Wormwood.  A third of the water turned bitter and many people died. 

The fourth Angel trumpeted.  A third of the sun, a third of the moon and a third of the stars were hit, blacked out by a third

I heard a lone eagle, flying through mid heaven, crying out ominously, “Doom, doom! Doom to everyone left on earth!  There are three more Angels about to blow their trumpets.  Doom is on the way!