Problems and their resolution

From time to time I have seen this little old lady and her outstanding feature is that she has an "attitude"!!!  In this case its an attitude towards housecleaning, but as far as I can tell, it could be any one of a thousand or more topics.  She has an unusual way of looking at things and therefore does unusual actions.  Thinking about this, I thought of the book of Acts and considered both the normal and abnormal expectations for Paul...

Acts, Chapter 18
 1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth. 2 He found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. He came to them, 3 and because he practiced the same trade, he lived with them and worked, for by trade they were tent makers.  4 He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.  5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.  6 When they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his clothing and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!”

Paul had contradictions.  He would do practically anything, go anywhere, suffer hardships and patiently preach and teach.  BUT, he had limits too.  When Barnabus wanted to take John Mark with them in Acts chapter 15, Paul strongly disagreed and here in Acts 18 Paul gave up on the Jews and changed his ministry to service for the Gentiles.  Sometimes, you just have to change the way you do things, no matter how dramatic that change may be.  Oh, that life were so simple that you could just put your problems into a file and delete them.  Maybe I'll try the "housework" remedy, but I don't have high hopes!!!  As far as the rest of my life goes... I am still working on just following the Bible.  That should take me a long, long way!!! Try it, you will like it.  And you don't even need a computer!!!!!

July 25 2 Chronicles 7-9

July 25
2 Chronicles 7-9

2Ch 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of Yahweh filled the house.
2Ch 7:2 The priests could not enter into the house of Yahweh, because the glory of Yahweh filled Yahweh's house.
2Ch 7:3 All the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down, and the glory of Yahweh was on the house; and they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped, and gave thanks to Yahweh, saying, For he is good; for his loving kindness endures for ever.
2Ch 7:4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before Yahweh.
2Ch 7:5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.
2Ch 7:6 The priests stood, according to their offices; the Levites also with instruments of music of Yahweh, which David the king had made to give thanks to Yahweh, (for his loving kindness endures for ever), when David praised by their ministry: and the priests sounded trumpets before them; and all Israel stood.
2Ch 7:7 Moreover Solomon made the middle of the court holy that was before the house of Yahweh; for there he offered the burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offering, and the meal offering, and the fat.
2Ch 7:8 So Solomon held the feast at that time seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt.
2Ch 7:9 On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.
2Ch 7:10 On the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that Yahweh had shown to David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.
2Ch 7:11 Thus Solomon finished the house of Yahweh, and the king's house: and he successfully completed all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of Yahweh, and in his own house.
2Ch 7:12 Yahweh appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him, I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice.
2Ch 7:13 If I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
2Ch 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2Ch 7:15 Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place.
2Ch 7:16 For now have I chosen and made this house holy, that my name may be there forever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually.
2Ch 7:17 As for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my ordinances;
2Ch 7:18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, according as I covenanted with David your father, saying, There shall not fail you a man to be ruler in Israel.
2Ch 7:19 But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;
2Ch 7:20 then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have made holy for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
2Ch 7:21 This house, which is so high, everyone who passes by it shall be astonished, and shall say, Why has Yahweh done thus to this land, and to this house?
2Ch 7:22 They shall answer, Because they abandoned Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them, and served them: therefore has he brought all this evil on them.
2Ch 8:1 It happened at the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of Yahweh, and his own house,
2Ch 8:2 that the cities which Huram had given to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.
2Ch 8:3 Solomon went to Hamath Zobah, and prevailed against it.
2Ch 8:4 He built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the storage cities, which he built in Hamath.
2Ch 8:5 Also he built Beth Horon the upper, and Beth Horon the lower, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars;
2Ch 8:6 and Baalath, and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.
2Ch 8:7 As for all the people who were left of the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel;
2Ch 8:8 of their children who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel didn't consume, of them did Solomon conscripted forced labor to this day.
2Ch 8:9 But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and rulers of his chariots and of his horsemen.
2Ch 8:10 These were the chief officers of king Solomon, even two-hundred fifty, who ruled over the people.
2Ch 8:11 Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David to the house that he had built for her; for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places where the ark of Yahweh has come are holy.
2Ch 8:12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to Yahweh on the altar of Yahweh, which he had built before the porch,
2Ch 8:13 even as the duty of every day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tents.
2Ch 8:14 He appointed, according to the ordinance of David his father, the divisions of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their offices, to praise, and to minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required; the doorkeepers also by their divisions at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded.
2Ch 8:15 They didn't depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures.
2Ch 8:16 Now all the work of Solomon was prepared to the day of the foundation of the house of Yahweh, and until it was finished. So the house of Yahweh was completed.
2Ch 8:17 Then went Solomon to Ezion Geber, and to Eloth, on the seashore in the land of Edom.
2Ch 8:18 Huram sent him ships and servants who had knowledge of the sea by the hands of his servants; and they came with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and fetched from there four hundred fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.
2Ch 9:1 When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great train, and camels that bore spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she talked with him of all that was in her heart.
2Ch 9:2 Solomon told her all her questions; and there was not anything hid from Solomon which he didn't tell her.
2Ch 9:3 When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,
2Ch 9:4 and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their clothing, his cup bearers also, and their clothing, and his ascent by which he went up to the house of Yahweh; there was no more spirit in her.
2Ch 9:5 She said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts, and of your wisdom.
2Ch 9:6 However I didn't believe their words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it; and behold, the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me: you exceed the fame that I heard.
2Ch 9:7 Happy are your men, and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you, and hear your wisdom.
2Ch 9:8 Blessed be Yahweh your God, who delighted in you, to set you on his throne, to be king for Yahweh your God: because your God loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore made he you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.
2Ch 9:9 She gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, and spices in great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
2Ch 9:10 The servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones.
2Ch 9:11 The king made of the algum trees terraces for the house of Yahweh, and for the king's house, and harps and stringed instruments for the singers: and there were none like these seen before in the land of Judah.
2Ch 9:12 King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides that which she had brought to the king. So she turned, and went to her own land, she and her servants.
2Ch 9:13 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold,
2Ch 9:14 besides that which the traders and merchants brought: and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.
2Ch 9:15 King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one buckler.
2Ch 9:16 he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
2Ch 9:17 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
2Ch 9:18 And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the stays.
2Ch 9:19 Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps: there was nothing like it made in any kingdom.
2Ch 9:20 All king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: silver was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
2Ch 9:21 For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
2Ch 9:22 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
2Ch 9:23 All the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
2Ch 9:24 They brought every man his tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
2Ch 9:25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he stationed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
2Ch 9:26 He ruled over all the kings from the River even to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt.
2Ch 9:27 The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance.
2Ch 9:28 They brought horses for Solomon out of Egypt, and out of all lands.
2Ch 9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, aren't they written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat?
2Ch 9:30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.
2Ch 9:31 Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.



                              Chapter Six


1) To see how Paul's ministry commended itself to others

2) To appreciate the need for having "hearts wide open"

3) To understand the principle of "separation", and why we cannot be 
   unequally yoked with unbelievers


At the close of chapter five, Paul described himself as an ambassador
for Christ who pleads on God's behalf for people to be reconciled to
God.  With that thought in mind, he makes a special plea for the
Corinthians not to receive God's grace in vain, reminding them that now
is the time for salvation (1-2).

In the ninth and final description of his apostolic ministry, Paul 
focuses on the "approved" nature of his ministry.  Determined not to
give offense nor reason for blame, Paul has acted commendably.  This is
seen in the physical sufferings he has endured and the spiritual graces
he has displayed.  Even the conflicting reactions and reports by 
others, along with the various experiences described in a contrasting
manner, help to confirm that his ministry is "approved" (3-10).

At this point, Paul makes an appeal to the Corinthians.  With a heart
that is wide open to them, he begs for them to open wide their hearts 
to him as well.  Then he pleads with them not to be unequally yoked
with unbelievers, in order that they might receive the promises of
everlasting fellowship with God as their Father (11-18).



      1. Made by those who are God's co-workers (1)
      2. For the "day of salvation" spoken of in Isaiah 49:8 has 
         arrived (2)

      1. Giving no offense, he seeks to commend himself as a minister 
         of God in all things (3-4a)
      2. Physical sufferings endured as a minister (4a-5)
      3. Spiritual graces demonstrated as a minister (6-7)
      4. Conflicting reactions and reports by others toward him as a
         minister (8)
      5. Contrasting experiences as a minister (9-10)


      1. Paul's own openness towards the Corinthians (11)
         a. He has spoken freely (11a)
         b. His own heart is wide open (11b)
      2. The Corinthians likewise need to be open (12-13)
         a. They are restricted by their own affections (12)
         b. As a father pleads with his children, Paul appeals to them
            to reciprocate by being open to him (13)

      1. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (14-16a)
         a. Righteousness has no fellowship with lawlessness (14b)
         b. Light has no communion with darkness (14c)
         c. Christ has no accord with Belial (15a)
         d. A believer has no part with an unbeliever (15b)
         e. The temple of God has no agreement with idols (16a)
      2. Implications of the promise given to the temple of God
         a. As the temple of God, God has promised to dwell and walk 
            among us (16b)
         b. Therefore, we must be separate if we wish to be the 
            children of God (17-18)


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The "approved" nature of Paul's ministry (1-10)
   - Paul's plea to the Corinthians (11-18)

2) How does Paul describe himself as he pleads with the Corinthians to
   not receive the grace of God in vain? (1)
   - As workers together with Him

3) Why was Paul so careful not to give offense in anything? (3)
   - So that his ministry would not be blamed

4) List some of the physical sufferings which commended Paul as a 
   minister of God (4-5)
   - Tribulations, stripes, imprisonments, tumults

5) List those areas where Paul demonstrated his integrity as a minister
   of God (6-7)
   - Purity, knowledge, longsuffering, kindness, sincere love, the Holy
     Spirit, the word of truth, the power of God, the armor of 

6) List the contrasting experiences Paul had as a minister of God 
   - Unknown, yet well-known
   - Dying, yet alive
   - Chastened, yet not killed
   - Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing
   - Poor, yet making many rich
   - Having nothing, yet possessing all things

7) How does Paul describe his affection toward the Corinthians? (11)
   - His heart is wide open

8) What does he say about the Corinthians' affections toward him? (12)
   - They were restricted

9) What charge does Paul give concerning our relation to those in the
   world? (14)
   - Not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers

10) List the contrasting pairs that Paul uses to show the incongruity
    of believers being unequally yoked with unbelievers (14-16)
   - Righteousness vs. lawlessness
   - Light vs. darkness
   - Christ vs. Belial
   - Believer vs. unbeliever
   - Temple of God vs. idols

11) What is necessary to receive the promise of having God as our 
    Father who dwells among us? (17-18)
   - Come out from among them and be separate
   - Do not touch what is unclean