Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 16- Soli Deo Gloria

July 16, 2011

Scripture Readings:
1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32; Romans 3:9-31;
Psalm 12:1-8; Proverbs 19:13-14

The aim and final end of all music should be none other 
than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. 
~Johann Sebastian Bach

1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32

Born in 1685 into one of the most prestigious musical families in Germany, Johann Sebastian Bach was destined to be a musician.  Initially taught to play the violin and the harpsichord by his father and the organ by his uncle, Bach was a willing and talented student.  Following his passion for music and his passion for God led Bach to become the most revered organist, choir master, and composer in Germany.  In his lifetime, Bach composed over 1000 compositions.  Every piece of music he wrote contained the following words at the end of its completion, "Soli Deo Gloria."  This is Latin for "to God alone the glory."  Bach was powered by his passion to create some of the most beautiful worship music ever produced on earth.  His passion for God and his desire to glorify God led to a life of worship.  Today, King David is powered by passion and the results of David's passion provide the nation of Israel with a legacy of worship.

As our reading begins, David is obsessed with providing God with a house, rather than a tent.  David realizes that he should use the threshing floor property he bought from Aranuah as the land for the Temple. This land is where he sacrificed on the altar to God to stop the plague after taking the census which displeased God. It is here that the pre-incarnate Christ appeared as the angel of the Lord.  David is fueled by passion.  He spends an incredible amount of money and uses an incredible amount of his energy, late in his life, to plan and provide for the Temple.  Although we call the Temple that is eventually built for God- Solomon's Temple, God's perspective, as given in 1 Chronicles, lets us know that it should probably be called -David's Temple. 

David is told by God that he will not be allowed to build the Temple because he has been a man of war and has shed much blood.  This is reminiscent of Moses not being allowed to step foot in the Promised Land because of his sin of striking the rock at Meribah to provide water for the people.  God is consistent in His theme of allowing his servants to suffer the consequences of their actions.  God promises David that his son, Solomon, will be a man of peace and rest.  It is this man that will build God's Temple.  God also confirms His promise to David that one of his descendants will be God's Son, and God will establish his throne over Israel forever.  God is speaking of Jesus Christ.

David instructs Solomon on how to build the Temple.  He prays for Solomon's wisdom, courage, and obedience to God's laws as he becomes the ruler over Israel.  David points out that he (David) has worked hard to provide all of the materials for the Temple and the workmen to complete the task.  It is his primary focus and obsession. King David notes that there are four thousand tons of gold and forty thousand tons of silver that he has amassed for the Temple. The iron and bronze are so abundant that they cannot be counted. Can you imagine?  We are beginning to see how rich and powerful David had become in the ancient world.  Under David and Solomon, the nation of Israel experiences her finest hour.  Does David take this success as an opportunity to elevate himself?  No.  He takes this as an opportunity to honor God.

David, in his older years, appoints Solomon to be the king and sets up the worship team and organizational jobs for the Temple. He counts and assembles the priests and Levites. The Levites will no longer have the task of setting up the Tabernacle, so David appoints their jobs in the Temple that include caring for the maintenance of the structure, helping with purification ceremonies, laying out the bread for use, checking weights and measures, and singing songs of praise to the Lord every morning.  Under David, who was an amazing musician, the song book of Israel is composed and the musicians are appointed from the Levites. There were 4000 men, who were thirty years old or older, who served as instrumentalists and singers. David, like Johann Sebastian Bach, gives forth praise to his God through music.  David's passion for God led to his magnificent planning for a place of worship to honor God and his writing of soul-inspiring music that worshiped the Creator.

David, in his passion for the Temple, is a shadow/type of Christ.  In John 2:17 we are told, "Then His disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures, 'Passion for God's house will consume me.'"  Jesus, as He confronted the merchants and money changers at the Temple, demonstrated the same passion for God's Temple that David had.  Any person who is right with God will naturally find themselves pursuing ways to worship God.  Using the creative arts to worship God is scriptural.  We see through this story that God wants our gifts and talents to be dedicated to God alone-"To God alone be the glory!"  Soli Deo Gloria!

How has your passion for God manifested itself in your life?  Do your passions lead you to glorify yourself or God?

Romans 3:9-31

Paul is a man with a passion for God.  Paul's passion is manifested through his magnificent writings.  It is through the book of Romans that the outline of the Christian faith can be found.  If we walk Paul's Roman Road, it will lead us to Jesus Christ.

Today, Paul is finishing his section on man's sinfulness.  Paul opens this portion by stating that both Jews and Gentiles are under the power of sin. Paul quotes David's song book of Israel, the book of Psalms, which happens to also be a prophetic writing to prove that man is sinful.  He quotes from the following psalms 14:1-3; 53;1-3; 5:9; 140:3; 10:7.  Each section echoes the theme that there is none who are good on the earth.  There are none who are righteous, no not one.

Paul explains in verse 19 that the purpose of Moses' Law was to bring the entire world into judgment before God, because the more you learn of the law, the clearer it becomes that you aren't obeying it.

Paul presents the crux of God's solution for the problem of sin.  He states that God has shown us a different way to be made right in His sight- not by obeying the law, but by trusting in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.  Here is the Good News according to Paul, we can all be saved in the same way no matter who we are or what we have done.  Did you get that?  It does not matter what you have done.  You can be saved. 

It does not matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile.  We are all saved the same way.  That way is by faith in Jesus Christ.  Hallelujah! 

Since no person is able to perfectly obey the Law and all people have sinned, we are doomed to death eternally unless there is an individual who has perfectly obeyed the Law and is willing to die a sacrificial death in our place to take the punishment for the sins that we have committed.  Thank God, Jesus came, lived a perfect life, fulfilled God's Law, and was willing to take our punishment.  In addition to this, He rose from death to conquer that death and provide eternal life for those who have faith in His work on our behalf. Jesus is the source of eternal life.

Paul ends with this amazing statement, "In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the Law."  This is key.  God does want His law fulfilled and that is accomplished through faith in the one man who did fulfill the Law perfectly, Jesus Christ.

Do you accept the premise that all men have sinned?  If not, please explain how you have managed to live a life where you have NEVER wronged another individual or a holy God.  Do you see the need for a Savior to save you from the death you deserve because of your sins?  Jesus is that Savior.

Psalm 12:1-8

This psalm laments the sin of man.

Proverbs 19:13-14

I love this, "A nagging wife is like a constant dripping."  Ooh, I guess we need to be careful, ladies!!

What did you learn today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton