2 Chronicles Chapter 1
Verse 1: Solomon was already firmly established as King, and God made him great - see also 1 Kings 2 vs. 12; 1 Kings 3 vs. 4-9; 1 Chronicles 29 vs. 23-25.
Verse 2: Solomon summoned all the leaders of Israel - as his father had done when outlining the plans for building the Temple - see 1 Chronicles 28 vs. 1.
Verse 3: Solomon assembled everyone before the Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting) at Gibeon - see also Exodus 36 vs. 8 and 40 vs. 18; 1 Chronicles 16 vs. 39 and 40.
Verse 4: The Ark of the Covenant was actually in Jerusalem where David had brought it - see 2 Samuel 6 vs.2; 1 Chronicles 15 vs. 25; 2 Samuel 6 vs. 17; 1 Chronicles 15 vs. 1.
Verse 5: Instead, Solomon enquired of God before the bronze altar at Gibeon.
Verse 6: A thousand burnt offerings may seem excessive, but the necessity to come before God is to give so that it hurts. God will then acknowledge the seriousness of our request - see Luke 21 vs. 1-4. Note especially - Jesus gave everything on the cross. God expects us to give everything when we come to Him - see Luke 18 vs. 18-30.
Verse 7: Only as we worship will we see God's appearance, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We give everything in praise and worship, He meets our needs. See Luke 11 vs. 1-11; Matthew 21 vs. 18-22; John 14 vs. 12-14. We should declare our faith constantly through prayer, praise and worship - only then will we hear God's voice: 'Ask for whatever you want Me to give you.'
Verse 8: Of all the sons of David, God chose Solomon, whose mother was Bathsheba, to be heir to his throne. - see 1 Kings 1 vs. 28-31; 1 Chronicles 28 vs. 5; 1 Chronicles 23 vs. 1
Solomon was the 'born again' son after David's first son died. - see 2 Samuel 12 vs. 22-24.
As born again believers, we are also heirs. - see Isaiah 66 vs. 1 and 2; Hebrews 10 vs. 13; Acts 7 vs. 49. As heirs we can have confidence to 'Ask for whatever you want Me to give you' - see Psalm 18 vs. 50
Verse 9: Solomon appeals to God to keep His promise to his father, David - see 2 Samuel 7 vs. 25; 1 Kings 8 vs. 25
In the Great Commission, Jesus passes on His authority to the disciples - see Matthew 28 vs. 16 to end. He promises to be with them always, to the end of the age.
Verse 10:Solomon asks for wisdom and knowledge, for the task of ruling this great nation is too difficult in his own strength. 'Wisdom' and 'Knowledge' are gifts of the Holy Spirit - without them, and the other seven gifts, our witness will be powerless - see 1 Corinthians Ch. 12.
Verse 11: Deuteronomy 17 vs. 17 - God declares that any King over Israel should not possess great wealth.
Verse 12: However, wealth and riches are God's to bestow - see David's prayer in 1 Chronicles 29 vs. 12
When God bestows wealth it is remarkable, extraordinary and lavish - see 1 Chronicles 29 vs. 25; 2 Chronicles 9 vs. 22, but does not guarantee the receiver will not sin - see Nehemiah 13 vs. 26. Only Jesus is without sin - see Matthew 12 vs. 42. He clearly pointed to our priorities for life - see Luke 12 vs. 22-34.
Verse 13: Only after extensive worship and then hearing God's message does Solomon go to Jerusalem to reign over israel. We are too impatient to be doing instead of worshipping (which is far more than singing hymns) and waiting on God to hear His message.
Verse 14: Now we see the wealth which God 'adds on' to the gift of wisdom. God created wealth when He created the Universe. He can use His wealth to bless abundantly - see John 10 vs. 10 (King James Version).
Verse 15: Great wealth will be seen in the glory of His Church - see Isaiah 60 vs. 5, but not in the buildings!
Verse 16: No expense spared in God's abundance - even the death of His own Son!
Verse 17: Wealth and wisdom combine with not only importing but also exporting.
Titus Chapter 1
Verse 1: Paul is sure of his calling as 'servant of God', and 'apostle of Christ'. - see Romans 1 vs. 1. 'Faith and 'knowledge of truth' are two recurring themes in Paul's writing. God's 'elect' - His chosen ones, applies to all those who have 'faith' and 'knowledge of the truth'. - see Deuteronomy 7 vs. 6
Verse 2: Eternal life is a promise made by God 'who does not lie' - see Numbers 23 vs. 19; 2 Timothy 1 vs. 1. His promises are eternal, made before the beginnings of time. - see 2 Timothy 1 vs. 9.
Only by grace can we find the hope of eternal life. - see Titus 3 vs. 7; Matthew 7 vs. 14; Revelation 22 vs. 19
Verse 3: God's timing is always perfect - see 1 Timothy 2 vs. 6. His Word, brought to light, is the revealing of Christ - the light of the world - see 2 Timothy 1 vs. 10 - now preached by Paul and all those commanded by God to reveal the gospel - see 1 Timothy 1 vs. 11. The gospel is simple, even 'foolish' to some, but salvation to those who respond - see 1 Corinthians 1 vs. 20-25.
Verse 4: Titus - a true brother in Christ - see 2 Corinthians 2 vs. 13; 2 Corinthians 8 vs. 16-24.
Verse 5: Crete was reached on Paul's journey to Rome - see Acts 27 vs. 7. Elders were appointed in every place where the Church of Christ existed - see Acts 11 vs. 30; Acts 20 vs. 28 - n.b. - these Elders already existed - anointed by the Holy Spirit for this role. What Titus was to do was formally appoint them. Elders/Bishops are the same role. Elders - plural. No instance of only one Elder in a local church.
The appointing of Elders is important. The qualities we should see in Elders (which are gifts of the Holy Spirit) are not a mystery. Here, as in 1 Timothy 3 vs. 1-7, Paul outlines the criteria for appointment, so that in future, churches themselves can make appointments.
Verse 6: See 1 Timothy 3 vs. 2
Verse 7: 'Overseer' helps to describe the role of Elders/Bishops. 'Enrusted with God's work' suggests they should be reliable servants of Christ - see 1 Corinthians 4 vs. 1. These qualities are consistent with those given in 1 Tomothy 3 vs. 1-7.
Verse 8: These qualities may be recognized in others, but in the last days many will fall away from, and even deny these qualities (even within the churches). See 2 Timothy 3 vs. 1-5. 'Holy' - see Hebrews 2 vs. 11; Revelation 22 vs. 11 (the last days).
Verse 9: Holding firmly to sound doctrine - see 1 Timothy 1 vs. 19. Refuting those who oppose it - so important in the last days - see 2 Thessalonians 2 vs. 15
Verse 10: The circumcision group - those who emphasize 'the law'. This is religion steeped in tradition, where everything must be done in a certain way, because that is the way it has always been done - see 1 Timothy 1 vs. 6 and 7; James 1 vs. 26.
Verse 11: Such religion teaches anything to appease the people, rather than the gospel and sound biblical doctrine. They try to welcome everyone into their churches by appealing to what people want - anything for a bum and a purse (as my wife would say!) - see 2 Timothy 3 vs. 6 and 7; 1 Timothy 6 vs. 3-5.
Verse 12: Note: 'Cretans' were among those filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost - see Acts 2 vs. 11. Legalists will always criticize the work of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 13: Rebuking this evil of legalistic religion is imperative - see 2 Corinthians 13 vs. 10; Titus 2 vs. 2; 2 Timothy 4 vs. 2.
Verse 14: Religion speaks of myths and geneologies rahter than living by faith - see 1 Timothy 1 vs. 4. Religion teaches law, which will ultimately perish - see Colossians 2 vs. 22.
Verse 15: The only purity comes by faith - see Romans 14 vs. 14 and 23
Verse 16: The actions of the religious deny the presence and power of the Holy Spirit - see 1 John 2 vs. 4; 2 Timothy 3 vs. 5 and 7; Matthew 7 vs. 20-23.
Numbers Chapter 33
Verse 1: A summary chapter from Passover to the Promised Land. Demonstrates God as The Great Shepherd, leading His sheep - see Psalm 77 vs. 20. See also Micah 6 verse 4
Verse 2: Moses obediently detailed God's hand upon the Israelites. Likewise, God's hand is preparing His Church for the second coming of Christ, the Bridegroom for His Bride.
Verse 3: The day after the Passover is remembered by the Feast of Unleavened Bread - see Exodus vs. 3-10; note also Exodus 14 vs. 8. Moses led the people out 'boldy, in full view' (NIV); 'with an high hand' (KJV); 'Proudly' (Living Bible). In the same way Jesus, after celebrating the Passover at the last supper (see Matthew 26 vs. 17-19, led believers out of the slavery of sin and guilt following the cucifixion, and on towards the promised land of a new heaven and new earth at His second coming.
Verse 4: No-one likes the idea of judgement, but everyone has an opportunity to repent, and put their trust in the One true God. Judgement shows the futility of trusting anything else, especially false gods. - see Exodus 12 vs. 12; Exodus 18 vs. 11; Isaiah 19 vs. 1
Verse 5: Then begins a summary of the journeyings of the Israelites, following, as God led them - see Exodus 13 vs. 21 and 22.
This chapter summarizes the journey, but reading from Exodus chapter 14 shows how the Israelites focussed on their circumstances rather than putting their trust in the presence and power of God. This has continued to be a constant challenge for God's followers throughout the course of history.
Verse 37: Here, we pause in the summary to remember the death of Aaron at 123 years old. He died at God's command (vs. 38) on Mount Hor. Eleazer, his son, succeeded him as priest - see Deuteronomy 10 vs. 6.
Due to lack of faith by the Israelites, when they first approached Canaan, it took 40 years in the wilderness before they finally returned to the borders of Canaan - see vs. 38-40.
Verse 51: God instructs Moses to speak to the Israelites. Crossing the Jordan was to see another miraculous dividing of the waters - see Joshua 3 vs. 17.
Verse 52: God knew how easily the Israelites succumbed to temptation. All traces of the previous occupants of Canaan had to be removed, especially their carved images and idols. - see Exodus 23 vs. 24; Exodus 34 vs. 13; Leviticus 26 vs. 1; Deuteronomy 7 vs. 2 and 5; Deuteronomy 12 vs. 3; Joshua 11 vs. 12; Psalm 106 vs. 34-36
There are clear warnings here, not just for the Israelites, but for Christians - it is so easy to be ensnared by sin and idolatry. Keep our eyes firmly fixed on God and His Word. There can be no compromise.
Verse 53: Whatever God gives, we should take complete possession of it. - see Deuteronomy 11 vs. 31 e.g. 'Salvation' - see Joshua 21 vs. 43
Verse 54: The land is to be distributed between the tribes by lot - the larger areas to the larger tribes, the smaller areas to the smaller ones. God's provision is never inadequate - each person will have everything according to their needs. - see Numbers 26 vs. 54
Verse 55: If we refuse to remove those things we do not need, then we will be plaqued by 'barbs' and 'thorns'. There can be no compromise. - see Joshua 23 vs. 13; Judges 2 vs. 3; Psalm 106 vs. 34-36. Compromise slowly diminishes faith until we are only left with religious ritual. - see Exodus 23 vs. 33; Ezekial 28 vs. 24.
Verse 56: Judgement awaits unless we turn fully to Him.
2 Corinthians Chapter 11
Verse 1: Foolishness can be found in the simplicity of the gospel, requiring simple faith in Christ. - see Matthew 17 vs. 17; 2 Corinthians 5 vs. 13
Verse 2: This simple faith is soiled and spoiled when churches open themselves to all sorts of other teachings and theologies - see Hosea 2 vs. 19; Ephesians 5 vs. 26 and 27; 2 Corinthians 4 vs. 14
Christ will come again for His unsullied Bride - see John 3 vs. 29; Revelation 19 vs. 7; Ephesians 1 vs. 22 and 23; Matthew 16 vs. 18; Hebrews 12 vs. 23.
There is only one true Church - see Luke 14 vs. 15. Note also Matthew 22 vs. 1-14 - the parable of the wedding feast. Some refuse the invitation; some try to attend under false pretences (nominality, religiosity).
Verse 3: The devil is crafty, subtle and cunning and easily outwits those who lack a simple faith in Christ. - see John 8 vs. 44; 1 Timothy 2 vs. 14; 2 Thessalonians 2 vs. 9; Revelation 20 vs. 7 and 8.
Verse 4: There is only one foundation - Jesus Christ; only one gospel, through His crucifixion and resurrection, and only one Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who encourages us to weigh carefully what we are hearing, to discern what is of God, what is of human invention and what is of satan. - see 1 Corinthians 3 vs. 11; Romans 8 vs. 15; Galations 1 vs. 6-9. If these early followers were being deceived, how much more shall we?
Verse 5: Beware! There will always be 'super-apostles' who people will place all there hopes in and revere their charisma. - see 2 Corinthians 12 vs. 11. The marks of a true apostle are hard work and humility. - see 1 Corinthians vs, 10; Luke 17 vs. 10
Verse 6: Paul was an educated and knowledgeable writer. - see Ephesians 3 vs. 4. he may not have been a brilliant speaker, but he expressed his knowledge through the way he lived. - see 2 Corinthians 10 vs. 10 and 11. The ability to speak well and draw a crowd is not necessarily a gift from God.
Verse 7: There is no disgrace for being paid to preach, in fact, the Church should support its preachers. But the gospel of salvation is free. We are saved by grace alone, so the message should be preached free of charge whenever necessary. - see 1 Corinthians 9 vs. 18; 2 Corinthians 12 vs. 13. Remember, Paul didn't avoid hard work. - see Acts 18 vs. 3; 1 Corinthians 4 vs. 12
Verse 8: Each local church should financially support those who lead and teach - see Philippians 4 vs. 15 and 18. The church in Corinth didn't support Paul, who encouraged all the churches as an apostle - see vs. 28.
Verse 9: Paul repeatedly makes the point that has never and will never ask for financial support. Far more important is winning their souls for Christ. - see 2 Corinthians 12 vs. 13, 14 and 16.
Verse 10: Paul is sure of his message - a message from God. - see Romans 9 vs. 1. he will preach it in spite of opposition. - see Acts 18 vs. 12. He is not afraid to die rather than preach. - see 1 Corinthians 9 vs. 15. Where are the leaders who preach unflinchingly to the world today?
Verse 11: The driving force is God's love for Mankind - to open peoples' eyes to see His grace, His salvation, His love - see 2 Corinthians 12 vs. 15; Galatians 5 vs. 6
Verse 12: There are others who preach with impure motives - bringing honour to themselves rather than God, or promoting a technique, a style or a tradition.
Verse 13: We should constantly discern between the true preachers and those who are unrighteous - flase, deceitful, twist the Word of God to their own ends - see 2 Peter 2 vs. 1; Titus 1 vs. 10; Revelation 2 vs. 2; Matthew 7 vs. 15; Matthew 24 vs. 11 and 24; 1 John 4 vs. 1-3. Some deceptions are subtle.
Verse 14: Demonstrates how subtle satan can be - see Revelation 20 vs. 10. These warnings tell us we should be constantly on our guard.
Verse 15: More warnings of subtle deceit - Philippians 3 vs. 19. Some may preach righteousness without recognizing that only true salvation can lead to a righteous life. By God's grace alone can the Christian live righteously, because he has been made righteous - see Romans 3 vs. 22.
Verse 16: If people think us fools, all the more incentive to preach the gospel.
Verse 17: We are daily bombarded with advertisements, but we are far more sure about the genuiness of our product.
Verse 18: We can boast more confidently than the world boasts.
Verse 19: See 1 Corinthians 3 vs. 18-23. This is what the world considers as wisdom, which gives plaudits and honours to men and women. God's wisdom seems foolish in comparison. The Corinthian church would rather honour men than God, which is why Paul is so cynical. There are churches and church denominations today which clearly do the same.
Verse 20: It is so easy to become enslaved to a tradition, a system or a leader e.g. the vicar or the charismatic leader, rather than relying on God's wisdom - see Galatians 2 vs. 4 and 5; Matthew 23 vs. 13 and 14; Luke 20 vs. 46 and 47; Acts 20 vs. 29-31.
Verse 21: Paul admits that he lacks the charisma of others - see 2 Corinthians 10 vs. 1 and 10. he had every reason to boast about the law, and all he had achieved in the flesh, but he recognized this counted for nothing. All he would boast about was his faith in Christ - see Philippians 3 vs. 2-14.