From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/8:

Today Solomon calls us to remember the Lord during our days on earth because one day we will stand before Him:

  • “but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
  • “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
  • “Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed…Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7)
  • “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

In Solomon’s later years, he chased after the lesser things in the world and turned from the Lord. However, at the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon comes to the right conclusion – “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” Solomon left behind his wisdom writings to warn us of the emptiness that is found in the world, and to teach us about the fullness of life that is found in the Lord and in walking in His ways. Solomon wants us to remember that all is fleeting under the sun apart from a relationship with the Son, Jesus Christ. And that’s a wrap on the Kingdom Era. Next up is the Divided Kingdom Era. 

Today Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, becomes king of Israel. The people ask him to lighten the heavy labor load that his dad, Solomon, put on them. Instead of listening to the wise counsel of the elders when they said “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever”, Rehoboam takes the terrible advice of his young buddies and says to the people “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke.”

“So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word, which the Lord had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” When Jeroboam, Solomon’s former servant, returns from Egypt, he leads a revolt against Rehoboam. Rehoboam assembles the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to fight against the other ten tribes of Israel, but the Lord says they shall not fight their brothers “for this thing is from Me.” Therefore the kingdom divides, and Jeroboam becomes king over ten tribes of Israel. 

Did you notice that the Lord was sovereign over the revolt in the kingdom? The Bible said “the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word.” The Lord is sovereign over everything, the good and the evil, in order to accomplish His plans and His purposes by His word. We have seen His sovereignty throughout the story, from the beginning in the Creation Era to where we are today in the Divided Kingdom Era. And we will see it until He sends His Son Jesus Christ as the final atoning Sacrifice for all who believe in Him. The Lord will remain sovereign over this world until the day He sends Jesus back to redeem His people, abolish evil for good, and create a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21) because whatever God says, He always does.

However, instead of trusting in the Lord and in the promises the Lord made to Jeroboam, Jeroboam decides to trust in himself and his own plans. When Jeroboam becomes the new king of Northern Israel, he fears if he allows the people to go to Jerusalem, their hearts will turn back to God and to King Rehoboam. Then he fears that if they turn to Rehoboam, they may want to kill him. So in an effort to coerce the people into staying in Northern Israel, Jeroboam manipulates Israel by forming a new blended religion that looks similar to the way they have been worshiping the Lord; except Jeroboam takes two golden calves and says “Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” Jeroboam then sets the calves up in Dan and Bethel, builds shrines on high places, and makes priests of every class instead of using the Levites, the sons of Aaron, as the Lord instructed. Jeroboam also changes the days for the corporate worship, “in the month which he had devised in his own heart.” The people fall for man’s manipulation because they were not seeking the Lord and obeying His word. Therefore, Jeroboam leads the entire nation of Israel into idolatry with this new religion of his imagination, which negatively impacts the Israelites for hundreds of years. 

Since the Levites are rejected by Jeroboam, they leave Northern Israel and go to Southern Judah and Jerusalem with all the others seeking to worship the Lord God of Israel. “So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.” 

Side note – There are 20 kings of Northern Israel (all evil) and 19 kings and 1 queen of Southern Judah (all from King David’s bloodline as the Lord promised and they are a mix of good, bad and in-between). The Lord will send prophet after prophet to each kingdom in an effort to get the people to turn from their idolatry and wicked ways back to the Lord. Unfortunately, the people will not heed the Lord’s warnings, and both kingdoms will eventually be overthrown. Northern Israel will last 209 years before they are overtaken by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Southern Judah will last 345 years before they are taken over by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. 

Tomorrow the Lord uses two prophets to rebuke Jeroboam for his wickedness. Keep reading.  (Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14, 1 Kings 12:1-20, 2 Chronicles 10:1-19, 1 Kings 12:21-24, 2 Chronicles 11:1-4, 1 Kings 12:25-33, 2 Chronicles 11:5-17)

14 Eras: 

Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26) ✔️

Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️

Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✔️

Conquest Era (Joshua) ✔️

Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✔️

Kingdom Era (1,2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✔️

Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) is up now! 

Eras to follow:  

Captivity, Return, Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End Times/New Beginnings

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/7:

“Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4).

What Solomon is saying sounds nothing like what the world teaches. The world teaches us that we deserve to be happy all of the time. However, Solomon says “Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason” (Ecclesiastes 7:7). This is because the Lord doesn’t want us to trust in our own capabilities. Instead, He wants us to trust in Him. God knows that when everything is going well and we are experiencing nothing but pleasure, we tend to forget our need for Him just like the Israelites did when they entered the promised land. Therefore, the Lord uses oppression in this world to draw people toward Him as we saw Him do in the Judges Era, and as He continues to do throughout the entire story, even today. Solomon explains how the Lord is sovereign over both our pleasure and pain:

  • “Consider the work of God; for who can make straight what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find out nothing that will come after him” (Ecclesiastes 7:13-14).

The Lord desires for His people to walk by faith, trusting that He is good and His word is true, and He often uses pain and suffering to teach His people. At the end of the Israelites’ forty years of wandering in the wilderness, Moses said to the people – “And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3). 

Moses warned the people not to forget the Lord or His word when they enter the promised land and become prosperous – “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth’” (Deuteronomy 8-11-17).

“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:18-20).

Solomon, like Moses, also exhorts us to fear the Lord and walk in His ways so that it will go well for us – “Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God” (Ecclesiastes 8:12-13).

The Lord saved the Israelites out of Egypt and trained them in the wilderness to walk in His ways so that they would be set apart as His people. The Lord desires His children to live lives of hope in Him so that we might shine brightly in this dark world, drawing others into the light — into a relationship with Jesus Christ. God does not promise us a life without pain and trouble, but He does promise to be with us through the struggle just as He was with the Israelites through their difficult journey in the wilderness before He brought them into the promised land. And God also promises to bring us into a better land, the land of the living as David wrote about in his psalm – “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13).

As Charles Spurgeon said, “In this land of the dying, it is our blessedness to be looking and longing for our fair portion in the land of the living, whence the goodness of God has banished the wickedness of man, and where holy spirits charm with their society those persecuted saints who were vilified and despised among men. We must believe to see, not see to believe; we must wait the appointed time, and stay our souls hunger with foretastes of the Lord’s eternal goodness which shall soon be our feast and our song.” 

Tomorrow concludes the Kingdom Era and we begin the Divided Kingdom Era, so keep reading. (Ecclesiastes 7:1-11:6)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/6:

“I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:12-14).

The Lord designed us to long for a relationship with Him. He never intended for anything in this world to fully satisfy us. That is why Solomon says it is a burdensome task trying to seek fulfillment in this world. Therefore, after his pursuits of searching for meaning through wisdom, pleasure, and wealth, Solomon concludes today that it is all “vanity and grasping for the wind”. If our eyes are on the physical and not the spiritual, then all is futile because nothing in the physical world has eternal value. But when Solomon raises his sights and focuses on the Lord, then he sees the eternal:

  • “I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-15).

If we live in light of eternity, we know there will be a day when the Lord will judge or require an account of our past deeds. If we are only focused on what we can see under the sun, it may appear that the wicked will never be held accountable for their evil acts. When Solomon looks at injustice and oppression under the sun, he finds no hope:

  • “Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: and look! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter— On the side of their oppressors there is power, but they have no comforter. Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3).
  • “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them” (Ecclesiastes 5:8-9).

There is no everlasting hope or pure justice to be found under the sun because we live in a fallen world where evil is rampant. However, there is always way more going on behind the scenes in the spiritual realm than the eye can see. Jesus Christ, the Son who is in control of everything under the sun, the ultimate High Official who watches over all, our Lord and Comforter, will one day serve justice to all just as Solomon says – “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work” (Ecclesiastes 3:17). 

The Lord sees all, and He will serve justice to the wicked and save the righteous through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus will be the judge who judges the nations in righteousness:

  • Jesus is Judge – “The father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).
  • Jesus judges the nations – “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32).
  • Jesus judges righteously – “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

So when we see all the anger, hate, and injustice in the world, our hearts break. But we can hit our knees in prayer to the One who sees, to the One who is in control, to the One who changes hearts, and to the One who will ultimately serve justice to the wicked and save the righteous in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. 

Tomorrow Solomon teaches us that mourning is better than laughing. Keep reading to learn why. (Ecclesiastes 1:12-6:12)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/5:

“But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.”

Because of Solomon’s disobedience and unfaithfulness to the Lord, the Lord tells him that He is going to tear ten of the twelve tribes out of the hand of his son Rehoboam, whom we will meet soon, and give them to his servant Jeroboam – “However, I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”

When the prophet Ahijah approaches Jeroboam, he tells him that God is tearing ten tribes away from Solomon and giving them to him because Israel has forsaken the Lord. However, the Lord will give one tribe to Solomon’s son “that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there.” Then the Lord gives the same promise to Jeroboam that he gave to David and Solomon – “So I will take you, and you shall reign over all your heart desires, and you shall be king over Israel. Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you. And I will afflict the descendants of David because of this, but not forever.”

When Solomon hears about the promises made to Jeroboam, he tries to kill Jeroboam. So Jeroboam flees to Egypt until the death of Solomon. Solomon dies in today’s reading. Jeroboam will soon return from Egypt now that Solomon is dead, leading us into the Divided Kingdom Era. But first we are going to read one of Solomon’s writings from his later years, the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

Now Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest person alive with endless amounts of resources, and he set out to find happiness in the best that the world could offer. Solomon looked for meaning and purpose through wisdom, wealth, accomplishments, labor, pleasure and possessions, and time after time he says it is meaningless, all is vanity. 

Solomon makes this statement – “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11).

Solomon is correct! Everything under the sun is fleeting and meaningless apart from a relationship with the Son, Jesus Christ. So where Solomon says there is nothing new under the sun, that is not true for those in Christ, for the Lord is the God of Creation and He makes all things new – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

And where Solomon says there is no remembrance of former things nor will there be remembrance of things to come, that is also not true for those in Christ. The Lord is later going to say – “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” (Isaiah 46:9-10). Nothing can stop the Lord’s plans and purposes, and they will stand the test of time just as we see throughout the Scriptures. So we can rest assured that the vision John has at the end of this story, the vision of the end of times when Jesus will one day return and make all things new, will also come true – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more… And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ And He said to me, ‘It  is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death’” (Revelation 21:1,5-8 ).

This is why Solomon will come to the conclusion at the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes that all things are meaningless apart from the Lord – “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Choosing Christ as your Savior is the difference between life or death. We will all stand before the Lord one day. For those in Christ, you are a new creation and your sins have been paid for by the blood of Jesus. But what account will you give for how you spent your days? Wasting time chasing temporary happiness that the world has to offer, or living a life that is pleasing to the Lord by seeking truth through His word, drawing close to Him in prayer, walking by faith and not by sight, and being a light that shines bright in the darkness of our earthly days.

Keep reading. (1 Kings 11:1-43, 2 Chronicles 9:29-31, Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/4:

Today we read the Song of Solomon, also called the Song of Songs, indicating that this might be Solomon’s best song. This book has been debated over the years. Some say it is an allegory of God’s love for Israel. Others say an allegory of Christ’s love for the church. Some say it’s a love poem between either Solomon and his Shulamite bride, or between a shepherd and a shepherdess.

At face value, the song tells the story of a young man and woman looking forward to their marriage, and then the pleasure of a sexual relationship within the boundaries of marriage. The couple experiences separation in the story, but ultimately they are restored back to each other. Song of Solomon emphasizes that sex is meant for marriages between one man and one woman. Couples that honor sexual boundaries and the marriage covenant honor the Lord and reflect their love for Him to the world. God uses the image of marriage as an illustration of His relationship with His people throughout the Bible.

Later in the story, Malachi will say to the Jews who have returned from exile in Babylon regarding marriages – “the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. ‘For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence’” (Malachi 2:14-16). And Jesus will be questioned by the Pharisees about marriage and divorce in an attempt to get Him to misrepresent the law. Jesus will respond saying that the Lord allows divorce under certain circumstances (Deuteronomy 24) because of our hardened hearts, but it was never God’s intent for a married couple to separate – ”Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate… Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:6-8). 

In the beginning of the story, the Lord formed Eve and brought her to Adam saying that they should be joined together as one (Genesis 2:24). But then Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil bringing sin into the world. Now we are all born sinners, working to stay committed to another born sinner in our marriages for the rest of our lives. This is not possible without the Lord. 

God desires for us to show compassion, love, forgiveness, and restoration in our marriages, which displays the character of Christ to the world. Paul will later tell the Christians, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:22-33).

Marriage is hard, and the union only works well when both the husband and the wife are submitted to the Lord. It is easier for a wife to submit to a husband who is submitted to the Lord because she will trust his leadership. A man surrendered to Christ will seek His guidance in all aspects of his life, and he will cherish his wife as Christ cherishes her. Therefore, it is important for both the husband and the wife to draw close to God and pray for one another as they walk together in marriage with the purpose of displaying the love Christ has for the church.

Solomon’s life is not a great example of preserving the marriage union. Many commentaries said that Solomon probably wrote this song earlier in his life because in Solomon’s later years he defiles the Lord’s design for marriage by acquiring a thousand women across the nations. As a result of Solomon’s disobedience, the Lord is going to tear ten of the twelve tribes from the hand of Solomon’s son and give them to Solomon’s servant Jeroboam. That’s up tomorrow, so keep reading. (Song of Solomon 1:1-8:14)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/3:

“Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?” (Proverbs 22:17-21).

True wisdom comes from a correct view of the Lord, which can only be found in the Bible. Solomon tells us to apply ourselves in seeking wisdom so that our trust may be in the Lord. The more we seek to know truth through His word, the wiser we become. This leads to a greater dependency upon the Lord. 

Solomon also says that we are to know the truth so that we may answer to others. Having knowledge of the Scriptures gives us confidence to share our faith with the world. Later in the story, Peter is going to say “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). 

Our hope is found in Jesus Christ, and the truth is that we are all sinners in need of a Savior – “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Solomon says today that even “a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again” (Proverbs 24:16) because we can run to the Lord for restoration: 

  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (John 1:9)
  • “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it” (Philippians 1:6)
  • “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10)

Although Christians will stumble, we are not defined by our stumbling. We are defined as saints because Jesus’ bloodshed pays the price for our sins – “So then you are no longer strangers or aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). 

Therefore, Solomon tells us, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:17-18). We aren’t to envy unrepentant sinners who appear to flourish in this world. We are to fear God by submitting our lives to Christ and walking in the ways of the Lord, trusting and depending upon Him since we know there is much more in store for us than what this world has to offer. Everything that our human eyes can see will one day be gone, but there is an eternal home awaiting those whose hope is in Christ. 

The Lord gave us His word so that we may know Him and walk in freedom, not fear, just as Jesus will later say- “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciple, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Tomorrow we read the Song of Solomon, so keep reading. (Proverbs 22:17-24:34)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/2:

In the beginning of the story we learned that the Lord created us to work – “This is the history of the heavens and the earth… For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground… And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed… Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:4-15).

Solomon knows the value of hard work, and he warns against being lazy in today’s proverbs:

  • “The lazy man will not plow because of winter, he will beg during harvest and have nothing” (Proverbs 20:4) 
  • “Do not love sleep lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread” (Proverbs 20:13)
  • “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end” (Proverbs 20:21)
  • “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to property” (Proverbs 21:5)
  • “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man” (Proverbs 21:17) 
  • “The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long, but the righteous gives and does not spare” (Proverbs 21:25-26)
  • “The lazy man says ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!’” (Proverbs 22:13)

Later, Paul will also exhort the Christians to work hard – “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). And when Jesus is sending out the seventy-two to share the Good News, He will say to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Luke 10:2).

When we get to the Missions and Church Eras in our reading, Paul and Jesus teach us to go and do the work of the Lord. So if you are alive and following Christ, this is your work. We are currently living in the Missions and Church Era, and the same charge that Jesus gave his disciples applies to all Christ followers – “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).

The writer of Hebrews encourages us not to get discouraged from doing good works. Although we may never receive the applause or acceptance of man, the Lord sees all of our labor for Him, and He will never ignore, dismiss, or forget it! “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:10-12).

Therefore, do not let discouragement stop you. Each day pray, seek the Lord, and – “Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:14).

One more day of Proverbs and then the book Song of Solomon. Keep reading! (Proverbs 20:1-22:16)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 6/1:

We all know that the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is not true. Words are powerful, and they can leave a positive or a negative impact on the receiver. In today’s proverbs, Solomon speaks of using words wisely:

  • “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:27-28).
  • “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook” (Proverbs 18:4).
  • “A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body” (Proverbs 18:6-8).
  • “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:20-21).

Later in the story, Jesus’ brother James is going to say that no one can tame the tongue – “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh” (James 3:8-12). 

The only way to produce fruit that is acceptable to the Lord is through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus will later say that we must be washed and made new through the cleansing of the Spirit in order to have a heart from which flows living water – “‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39). Jesus will pour out the Spirit, also called the Helper, upon His people after His death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. Therefore, while Jesus is on earth in the flesh, He will tell His disciples, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:7-11).

Jesus will also say that what flows out of our mouth reflects what is in our heart – “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). So in order to have a heart from which words of life flow we must be born again, made new, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul will explain this in his letter to Titus – “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7). 

Once we have truly repented of our sins and accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, He pours the Holy Spirit upon us giving us a new heart that hates sin. Does this mean that we will never say another ugly word again in the heat of anger and frustration? Probably not. There will always be a battle between the flesh and the Spirit. However, it does mean when we do stumble with our words as Christians, the Spirit will convict us, leading us to repent and to seek forgiveness and restoration with the Lord and the person we offended. 

As Christians we are called to walk in the Spirit – “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). This means that we yield to the Lord’s control over our lives by seeking Him through prayer and time in His word —by being thankful and praising and worshiping Him for what He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ. When we walk in the Spirit and allow the Lord to discipline us in ways of righteousness, the appetites of the flesh become less appealing as we begin to crave a holiness of living and kindness of speech that can only come from the Lord. Keep reading. (Proverbs 17:1-19:29)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 5/31:

Have you heard the saying that you should HALT before making decisions? H.A.L.T. is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. If one or more of these are at play in your life, chances are high that you will make a decision you will later regret. Today Solomon warns of acting out of anger:

  • “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly” (Proverbs 14:17)
  • “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29)
  • “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (Proverbs 15:1-2)
  • “A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention” (Proverbs 15:18)

Solomon says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:32-33).

Solomon is telling us to be ruled by the Spirit and not by our own flesh; to commit our decisions to the Lord and let Him guide us. Solomon knows if we act out of our own fleshly desires and anger, it will lead to destruction. This is why Solomon says twice, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25). 

Later in the story, Paul will explain walking in the flesh versus walking in the Spirit – “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh… Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God…. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-25). 

All actions begin with a thought. Therefore, Solomon tells us to “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established” (Proverbs 16:3). To commit our works to the Lord, we must halt and make no rash decisions based on the flesh. We should slow down and intentionally seek the Lord through His word and our time in prayer. When Jesus teaches us to pray he says, “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen ” (Matthew 6:8-13).

The Lord is Sovereign over all, and He knows our needs before we ask. If we remind ourselves of this truth, we can avoid responding out of anger and run to the Lord with our hurt, pain, and disappointment, trusting that He will act on our behalf. Keep reading. (Proverbs 14:1-16:33)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 5/30:

 Today Solomon speaks of the righteous:

  • “But righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 11:4)
  • “The righteousness of the blameless will direct his ways aright” (Proverbs 11:5)
  • “The righteous is delivered from trouble” (Proverbs 11:8)
  • “But he who shows righteousness will have a sure reward” (Proverbs 11:18)
  • “As righteousness leads to life” (Proverbs 11:19)
  • “The desire of righteousness is only good” (Proverbs 11:23)
  • “But the righteous will flourish like foliage” (Proverbs 11:28)
  • “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30)
  • “The thoughts of the righteous are right” (Proverbs 12:5)
  • “But the house of the righteous will stand” (Proverbs 12:7)
  • “He who speaks truth declares righteousness” (Proverbs 12:13)
  • “No grave trouble will overtake the righteous” (Proverbs 12:21)
  • “In the way of righteousness there is life, and in its pathway there is no death” (Proverbs 12:28)

We have already learned that our righteousness comes from our faith in the Lord. It all started back in the garden in Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan and ate the forbidden fruit, which brought sin into the world and broke man’s relationship with God. The Lord, however, did not leave them in brokenness without hope. He made them a promise to send a Savior to crush Satan. Then He killed an innocent animal and covered Adam and Eve with its skin. The covering of Adam and Eve in the garden with the skin of an innocent animal was a picture that pointed to the Lord’s promise of the innocent Sacrifice, His Son Jesus Christ, whom He is sending to atone for the sins of the world. 

The Lord established in the beginning of this story that it is the shedding of the blood of the innocent that atones for the guilty. Throughout the story, the Lord calls for His people to trust in Him and His promises. Those who have faith in the Lord are deemed righteous. We saw this in the life of the first patriarch, Abraham, when the Lord appeared to him and promised him an exceeding amount of descendants – “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). 

People in the Old Testament were saved the same way we are saved today – by faith in the Lord as they looked forward to the day the Lord was sending the promised Savior. That is why throughout the Old Testament, the Lord’s people observed the sacrificial system as a picture of what was coming through the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. 

Today, we are saved by faith in God as we look back on what Jesus did for us on the cross, trusting in His completed work for our salvation. Jesus did for us what we can’t do for ourselves. He lived a perfect life and was offered up as the final Sacrifice. Therefore, our righteousness does not come from our works but from His. Paul will later say:

  • “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22).
  • “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:22).
  • “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

So when Solomon says, “In the way of righteousness there is life, and in its pathway there is no death” (Proverbs 12:28), this is only possible through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The righteous, the ones who trust in Christ as their Savior, will not experience eternal death. Although this world will be a struggle and we are all guaranteed to die and leave this broken world one day, there is something far greater awaiting those in Christ. 

Later in the story, Jesus will say to His friend Martha — “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” And Martha will respond, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (John 11:25-27).

What is your response to Jesus’ invitation? Do you believe? The answer is the difference between life and death. Martha responded wisely. 

Keep reading. (Proverbs 11:13-25)