July 20 – 2 Chronicles 2-4, Romans 15:1-13, Psalm 18:25-50, Proverbs 19:26

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2 Chronicles 2-4

Preparing to Build the Temple

[a] Now Solomon purposed to build a temple for the name of the Lord, and a royal palace for himself. [b] And Solomon assigned 70,000 men to bear burdens and 80,000 to quarry in the hill country, and 3,600 to oversee them. And Solomon sent word to Hiram the king of Tyre: “As you dealt with David my father and sent him cedar to build himself a house to dwell in, so deal with me.Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the Lord my God and dedicate it to him for the burning of incense of sweet spices before him, and for the regular arrangement of the showbread, and for burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths and the new moons and the appointed feasts of the Lord our God, as ordained forever for Israel. The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him? So now send me a man skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in purple, crimson, and blue fabrics, trained also in engraving, to be with the skilled workers who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. Send me also cedar, cypress, and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon. And my servants will be with your servants, to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the house I am to build will be great and wonderful. 10 I will give for your servants, the woodsmen who cut timber, 20,000 cors[c] of crushed wheat, 20,000 cors of barley, 20,000 baths[d] of wine, and 20,000 baths of oil.”

11 Then Hiram the king of Tyre answered in a letter that he sent to Solomon, “Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you king over them.” 12 Hiram also said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, who has discretion and understanding, who will build a temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself.

13 “Now I have sent a skilled man, who has understanding, Huram-abi, 14 the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre. He is trained to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, and in purple, blue, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and to do all sorts of engraving and execute any design that may be assigned him, with your craftsmen, the craftsmen of my lord, David your father. 15 Now therefore the wheat and barley, oil and wine, of which my lord has spoken, let him send to his servants. 16 And we will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon and bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa, so that you may take it up to Jerusalem.”

17 Then Solomon counted all the resident aliens who were in the land of Israel, after the census of them that David his father had taken, and there were found 153,600. 18 Seventy thousand of them he assigned to bear burdens, 80,000 to quarry in the hill country, and 3,600 as overseers to make the people work.

Solomon Builds the Temple

Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord[e] had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. He began to build in the second month of the fourth year of his reign. These are Solomon’s measurements[f] for building the house of God: the length, in cubits[g] of the old standard, was sixty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits. The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house,[h] and its height was 120 cubits. He overlaid it on the inside with pure gold. The nave he lined with cypress and covered it with fine gold and made palms and chains on it. He adorned the house with settings of precious stones. The gold was gold of Parvaim. So he lined the house with gold—its beams, its thresholds, its walls, and its doors—and he carved cherubim on the walls.

And he made the Most Holy Place. Its length, corresponding to the breadth of the house, was twenty cubits, and its breadth was twenty cubits. He overlaid it with 600 talents[i] of fine gold. The weight of gold for the nails was fifty shekels.[j] And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.

10 In the Most Holy Place he made two cherubim of wood[k] and overlaid[l] them with gold. 11 The wings of the cherubim together extended twenty cubits: one wing of the one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and its other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub; 12 and of this cherub, one wing, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and the other wing, also of five cubits, was joined to the wing of the first cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits. The cherubim[m]stood on their feet, facing the nave. 14 And he made the veil of blue and purple and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and he worked cherubim on it.

15 In front of the house he made two pillars thirty-five cubits high, with a capital of five cubits on the top of each. 16 He made chains like a necklace[n] and put them on the tops of the pillars, and he made a hundred pomegranates and put them on the chains. 17 He set up the pillars in front of the temple, one on the south, the other on the north; that on the south he called Jachin, and that on the north Boaz.

The Temple’s Furnishings

He made an altar of bronze, twenty cubits[o] long and twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high. Then he made the sea of cast metal. It was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference. Under it were figures of gourds,[p] for ten cubits, compassing the sea all around. The gourds were in two rows, cast with it when it was cast.It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The sea was set on them, and all their rear parts were inward. Its thickness was a handbreadth.[q] And its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily. It held 3,000 baths.[r] He also made ten basins in which to wash, and set five on the south side, and five on the north side. In these they were to rinse off what was used for the burnt offering, and the sea was for the priests to wash in.

And he made ten golden lampstands as prescribed, and set them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. He also made ten tables and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. And he made a hundred basins of gold. He made the court of the priests and the great court and doors for the court and overlaid their doors with bronze. 10 And he set the sea at the southeast corner of the house.

11 Hiram also made the pots, the shovels, and the basins. So Hiram finished the work that he did for King Solomon on the house of God: 12 the two pillars, the bowls, and the two capitals on the top of the pillars; and the two latticeworks to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars; 13 and the 400 pomegranates for the two latticeworks, two rows of pomegranates for each latticework, to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the pillars. 14 He made the stands also, and the basins on the stands, 15 and the one sea, and the twelve oxen underneath it. 16 The pots, the shovels, the forks, and all the equipment for these Huram-abi made of burnished bronze for King Solomon for the house of the Lord. 17 In the plain of the Jordan the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredah.[s] 18 Solomon made all these things in great quantities, for the weight of the bronze was not sought.

19 So Solomon made all the vessels that were in the house of God: the golden altar, the tables for the bread of the Presence, 20 the lampstands and their lamps of pure gold to burn before the inner sanctuary, as prescribed; 21 the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs, of purest gold; 22 the snuffers, basins, dishes for incense, and fire pans, of pure gold, and the sockets[t] of the temple, for the inner doors to the Most Holy Place and for the doors of the nave of the temple were of gold.

Romans 15:1-13

The Example of Christ

15 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles

For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
    and sing to your name.”

10 And again it is said,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”

11 And again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
    and let all the peoples extol him.”

12 And again Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse will come,
    even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Psalm 18:25-50

25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26 with the purified you show yourself pure;
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27 For you save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28 For it is you who light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
29 For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30 This God—his way is perfect;[a]
    the word of the Lord proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God, but the Lord?
    And who is a rock, except our God?—
32 the God who equipped me with strength
    and made my way blameless.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your right hand supported me,
    and your gentleness made me great.
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet did not slip.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
    and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
    they fell under my feet.
39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,[b]
    and those who hated me I destroyed.
41 They cried for help, but there was none to save;
    they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
    I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

43 You delivered me from strife with the people;
    you made me the head of the nations;
    people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
    foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart
    and came trembling out of their fortresses.

46 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47 the God who gave me vengeance
    and subdued peoples under me,
48 who rescued me from my enemies;
    yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
    you delivered me from the man of violence.

49 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
    and sing to your name.
50 Great salvation he brings to his king,
    and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
    to David and his offspring forever.

Proverbs 19:26

26 He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
    is a son who brings shame and reproach.