May 26 | Daily Devotion

May 26 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a complete reading of the passage

Lectio Semi-continua: a shorter reading of the passage

Lectio Divina

At one time, the final book in the Hebrew Scriptures was the book of Chronicles (subsequent translations were often ordered differently). The book was written to remind a people exiled for their sins that God had not abandoned them. They had history going back to Adam (1 Chron. 1:1). They had roots (thus the genealogies). They had families. They had land (and a concise record of it in the genealogies). They had been called out to worship God (thus the emphasis on the tabernacle, temple, and the work of the priests). What an encouragement for us to remember that we are not the first to start out on this God-ward journey. Others have blazed a trail before us. In fact, many thousands have done so for many thousands of years.

Today’s reading reminds us again of God’s promise to bless His people. He promised to establish a kingdom for them. Imagine the hope and encouragement this commitment would be to people longing for restoration. The theme of eternal blessing and an eternal kingdom resonates through chapter 17: “O Lord, you are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever” (1 Chron. 17:26).

Forever blessed! What a promise. God has never abandoned His dream to bless His people forever. Jonathan Edwards, the great theologian from colonial America, was one of the first to clearly articulate God’s dual desire to glorify Himself and bless His people. Edwards agreed with theologians who viewed the glory of God as the central theme of Scripture and human history (see the Westminster Catechism, Question 1), but he pointed out that the glory of God and the blessing of His creatures are so bound up together that they are nearly inseparable. In his words: “God’s respect to the creature’s good, and his respect to himself, is not a divided respect; but both are united in one” (Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World).

Edwards’ words reframe some of David’s sentiments. The king recounted God’s blessing upon himself, “O Lord, for the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises” (1 Chron. 17:19). And he recalled God’s love for His people, “You made your people your very own forever, and you, O Lord, have become their God” (1 Chron. 17:23).   What does promise of eternal blessing lead David to do? Glorify God. “There is no one like you, O Lord, and there is no God but you” (1 Chron. 17:20).

So I encourage you to find hope in God today, even if you too are in a kind of exile. God is on a mission to bless His people forever! He delights in blessing us more than any father or mother delights in blessing a child. There is absolutely no reason not to pray for the good He intends to shower upon us forever to start right now. May He bless you today for your good, for the good of those you love, and for the glory of His name. There is no one like Him!

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the Senior Pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.