YouVersion Reformation Reading Plan, day 234
I Corinthians 4
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
I Corinthians 4:1
How do I steward the mysteries of God?
How often in my walk, especially in my judgment of myself or others, do I “go beyond what is written” (verse 6)?
Yesterday I noted that discipleship should be (at least in good measure) about making me dead. In this chapter Paul talks about all the ways that he has become lessor in his service:
To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.
I Corinthians 4:11-12
Paul writes that we should imitate him in this. Not that we should strive to become better, but that we should strive to become less as Christ becomes more in our lives.
I Corinthians 5
There is no room for sin in the church. Paul passes judgment without even being present (verse 3). A little sin brings everyone down — as I was once told, “Any time you fail to make a correction, you set a new [lower] standard.” How much sin am I putting up with, or even boasting about, in my own life? How leavened have I allowed myself to become (verse 7)?
Huge hard line against sin here: don’t associate with anyone who is in unrepentant sin and claims Christ. That means me — don’t call myself a Christian if I am sinning! Reinforces my thought that I can’t call myself a Christian; other people have to call me that. God judges those outside the church; the church is called to judge (in love) our own members (verses 12-13).
II Chronicles 10
Of course the young men are not only not wise, but they make a crude joke. They (and Rehoboam, who listens to them) are the joke of this passage.
Israel rebels (for good reason) against Rehoboam, and in doing so they throw away their inheritance in the line of David (i.e. Christ). Yet this is from the LORD (verse 15). This is a foreshadowing of the Israelites’ collective response to Jesus: “Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day” (verse 19).
II Chronicles 11
God even confirms that the rebellion is from Himself (verse 4).
The priests and the Levites also seem to prefigure the disciples. They “left their common lands and their holdings,” because otherwise they would not have been able to continue serving the LORD. Strange that Rehoboam proves wise, even for a few years, after making such a colossal mistake at the beginning.
II Chronicles 12
So of course the other shoe drops. As soon as he is strong (and he became strong because all those in Israel who loved the LORD came to Judah and strengthened him), he abandons God. Story of Israel, and of many people. In what ways am I forgetting God in the areas where I think I am strong?
Once Rehoboam and his princes turn back to God in repentance, God limits their destruction. However, God still makes them subject to the Egyptians — for the explicit purpose (verse 8) of teaching them to know His service. Earthly authority, then, however cruel, is meant to help us understand our relationship with God our King.
II Chronicles 13
The best thing that happens in this chapter is that God rises up and defeats Israel for Judah. The best thing that happens in this chapter is that 500,000 men are slain by their kinsmen. That’s sarcasm. As Paul will later write, doesn’t your heart break for these Israelites, that they are in rebellion against God and will be destroyed?
II Chronicles 14
lucky blessed is Asa, “for the LORD gave him peace” (verse 6).
Even when war does come, the LORD prevails over his enemies, to the point that Judah carries away “much spoil.”