Do you trust His Word? Do you trust His Character? Do you trust His promises?
Will you obey Him? Will you imitate His character? Will you walk in faith believing? Will you live your life with Him in the center?
Do your words align to your actions? Do your actions align to your words? What does your character say about you? Where do you point people to? Is it at yourself or to God?
Will you point people to God? Will you point them to Heaven? Will you care for the small things and the big things? Will you care about the people? Will you care about being obedient? Will you live a life with justice, mercy, and faithfulness? Will you allow Jesus into your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse you from the inside out? It’s not what goes in that makes you unclean, it’s what comes out of your heart! Will you live as a living sacrifice, a living temple of the Holy Spirit for God?
Today’s reading looks into this from three perspectives…Saul’s and David’s and Jesus’…
Kohanim and Levites in Nehemiah’s Day
1So all Israel were registered by genealogies—behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. Judah was carried away captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness. 2The first to settle on their property in their towns were Israelites, kohanim, Levites and the Temple servants. 3Those from the children of Judah, the children of Benjamin, and the children of Ephraim and Manasseh who settled in Jerusalem were: 4Uthai son of Ammihud, son of Omri, son of Imri, son of Bani, who was a descendant of Perez son of Judah. 5From the Shilonites: Asaiah the firstborn and his sons. 6From the sons of Zerah: Jeuel and their kinsmen—690. 7From the sons of Benjamin: Sallu son of Meshullam, son of Hodaviah, son of Hassenuah; 8Ibneiah son of Jeroham; and Elah son of Uzzi, son of Michri; and Meshullam son of Shephatiah, son of Reuel, son of Ibneiah, 9and their kinsmen, according to their genealogies—956. All these men were leaders of their clans. 10From the kohanim: Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, Jachin, 11Azariah son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, the ruler of the House of God; 12Adaiah son of Jeroham, son of Pashhur, son of Malchijah and Maasai son of Adiel, son of Jahzerah, son of Meshullam, son of Meshillemith, son of Immer, 13and their kinsmen, heads of their clans 1,760 very able men for the work of avodah in the House of God. 14From the Levites: Shemaiah son of Hasshub, son of Azrikam, son of Hashabiah, from the sons of Merari; 15Bakbakkar, Heresh, Galal, and Mattaniah son of Mica, son of Zichri, son of Asaph; 16Obadiah son of Shemaiah, son of Galal, son of Jeduthun; and Berechiah son of Asa, son of Elkanah, who lived in the villages of the Netophathites. 17The gatekeepers: Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, Ahiman and their brothers. Shallum was the leader; 18he serves to this day at the king’s gate to the east. These were the gatekeepers for the camp of the descendants of Levi. 19Shallum son of Kore, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, and his kinsmen from his ancesteral clan, the Korahites, were assigned to guard the gates of the Tent. Their ancestors had been responsible for guarding the entrance to the dwelling of Adonai 20when Phinehas, son of Eleazar had been ruler over them in time past and Adonai was with him. 21Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was gatekeeper of the door of the Tent of Meeting. 22All these chosen to be gatekeepers at the gates were 212. These were registered in the genealogical records of their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed them to their offices. 23They and their sons were guards of the gates of the House of Adonai, that is, the Tabernacle. 24The gatekeepers were posted on the four sides, toward the east, west, north, and south. 25Their kinsmen in their villages were to come from time to time and serve with them for seven days. 26For the four chief gatekeepers, who were Levites, were entrusted over the chambers and over the treasuries in the House of God. 27They would spend the night around the House of God, because they were assigned to guard it and were in charge of opening it morning by morning. 28Now some of them had charge of the utensils for avodah, for by count they brought them in and by count they took them out. 29Some of them were appointed over the equipment and over all the utensils of the sanctuary, as well as over the fine flour, the wine, the oil, the frankincense and the spices. 30But some of the sons of the kohanim prepared the mixture of spices. 31Mattithiah, one of the Levites, the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, was in charge of preparing the flat cakes. 32Some of the relatives of Kohathites were in charge of preparing the rows of bread every Shabbat. 33Now these were the singers, patriarchal leaders of the Levites, who stayed in the chambers and were exempt from other service, for they were on duty day and night. 34These were heads of the Levite families, chiefs in their geneaological records. These lived in Jerusalem. 35Jeiel, the father of Gibeon, lived in Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maacah. 36His firstborn son was Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 37Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah and Mikloth. 38Mikloth fathered Shimeam. They also lived with their kinsmen in Jerusalem, opposite their kinsmen. 39Ner fathered Kish and Kish fathered Saul. Saul fathered Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 40The son of Jonathan was Merib-baal and Merib-baal fathered Micah. 41The sons of Micah were Pithon, Melech, Taharea and Ahaz. 42Ahaz fathered Jarah and Jarah fathered Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri. Zimri fathered Moza 43and Moza fathered Binea; Rephaiah was his son, Eleasah his son and Azel his son. 44Azel had six sons: Azrikam, Bocru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. These were the sons of Azel.
–from 1 Chronicles 9
We now see Saul and David…
Saul Dies on Mount Gilboa
1Now the Philistines fought against Israel. The men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines pursued Saul and his sons. The Philistines killed Saul’s sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchi-shua. 3The battle raged around Saul and the archers spotted him and he was wounded by the archers. 4Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, so that these uncircumcised will not come and torture me.” But his armor-bearer refused to do it, because he was terrified. Therefore Saul took the sword and fell on it. 5When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died. 6So Saul and his three sons died; his whole household died together. 7Now when all the men of Israel who were in the valley saw that they had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. The Philistines then came and lived in them. 8The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9They stripped him and took his head and his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines proclaiming the good news to their idols and to the people. 10They put his armor in the house of their gods, and hung his head in the house of Dagon. 11Now when all Jabesh Gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, 12all the valiant men arose and retrieved the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons and brought them to Jabesh. They buried their bones under the oak tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days. 13So Saul died because of his unfaithful acts that he committed against the word of Adonai, which he did not keep, and he even consulted a medium for guidance 14rather than inquire of Adonai. So He put him to death and transferred the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.
–from 1 Chronicles 10
Saul Killed on Mt. Gilboa
1Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel. Israel’s men fled before the Philistines and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines pressed hard after Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 3When the battle intensified against Saul, the archers hit him, so he was severely wounded by the archers. 4Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, or else these uncircumcised will come and thrust me through after torturing me.” But his armor-bearer refused, for he was too afraid. So Saul took the sword and fell on it. 5When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword and died with him. 6So Saul, his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his men died together that same day. 7When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the towns and fled. Then the Philistines came and occupied them. 8It was the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent them throughout the land of the Philistines, to spread the good news to the house of their idols and to the people. 10Then they put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth and fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 11Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12all their valiant men set out and walked all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, then went to Jabesh and burned them there. 13They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted for seven days.
–from 1 Samuel 31
Then we hear from Jesus…
1Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying, “The Torah scholars and Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. 3So whatever they tell you, do and observe. But don’t do what they do; for what they say, they do not do. 4They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5All their works they do to be noticed by men. They make their tefillin wide and their tzitziyot long. 6They love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called rabbi by men. 8“But you are not to be called rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And call no man on earth your father; for One is your Father, who is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah. 11But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 13“But woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not enter yourselves, nor do you let those enter who are trying to go in. 14 15“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel over land and sea to make one convert. And when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Gehenna as yourself. 16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘Whoever swears by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Temple, he is obligated.’ 17O fools and blind ones! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that made the gold holy? 18And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19O blind ones! Which is greater, the offering or the altar that makes the offering holy? 20Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the Temple, swears both by the Temple and by Him who dwells in it. 22And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. 23“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You tithe mint and dill and cumin, yet you have neglected the weightier matters of Torah—justice and mercy and faithfulness. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others. 24O blind guides, straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel! 25“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. 26O blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well. 27“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, you appear righteous to men on the outside, but are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the tzaddikim. 30And you say, ‘If we’d been alive in the days of our forefathers, we wouldn’t have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers! 33O snakes, you brood of vipers! How will you escape the condemnation of Gehenna? 34“Because of this, behold, I’m sending you prophets and wise men and Torah scholars. Some of them you will kill and execute at the stake, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. 35And so, upon you shall come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36Amen, I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.”
Holy Temple to Be Destroyed
37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38Look, your house is left to you desolate! 39For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘ Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
–from Matthew 23