Script for the May 26th episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast.

Introduction

Welcome to the May 26th episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast. I’m Matt Ellis, and I’m the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida.

Today’s reading is in 1 Chronicles 28-29 and John 9. Hopefully, you’ve already spent time in God’s Word so let’s get started.

1 Chronicles 28

King David is about to die. His life will be a story that will be told for thousands of years to come. It is one of humble beginnings, acts of heroism, scandal and repentance, victories on the battlefield and defeats at home, injustice, adultery, murder, fleeing from betrayal, and so much more. But all stories must come to an end.

One thing we observe in 1 Chronicles 28-29 is that David successfully passed the baton on to his son, the next king of Israel. The people of Israel would not be subjected to the trauma of a bad transition of power. Instead, they would enjoy a seamless transition where the outgoing king publicly affirmed and called upon the people to affirm and support their new leader.

1 Chronicles 28:1 (CSB): “David assembled all the leaders of Israel in Jerusalem: the leaders of the tribes, the leaders of the divisions in the king’s service, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and cattle of the king and his sons, along with the court officials, the fighting men, and all the best soldiers.”

Now that he has gathered everyone and has their attention, he tells them that he had wanted to build the Temple in Jerusalem. However, the Lord would not allow him to do so because he had shed much blood.

Then, in verses 4-7, David expressed his humility in the fact that God had selected him.

1 Chronicles 28:4 (CSB): “Yet the LORD God of Israel chose me out of all my father’s family to be king over Israel forever…”

Yet even though God had graciously selected David to be king, God had graciously selected Solomon, David’s son, to build the Temple. God had even given such a wonderful promise through David to Solomon: If Solomon obeyed the Lord’s commands, then his kingdom would be established forever.

Since obedience and disobedience to the Lord would determine the success or failure of Solomon’s reign and Israel’s wellbeing, David called Israel in verse 8 to obey the Lord’s commands. Their obedience, or lack thereof, would determine whether or not they would pass the land of Israel on to their descendants.

Then, David turned to his son, Solomon, and called on him to commit to building the Temple and to obey the Lord.

1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (CSB): “9 As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him wholeheartedly and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will reject you forever. 10 Realize now that the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong, and do it.”

Then, in verses 11-19, we read of the plans that David had made for the building of the Temple.

And as I thought about this, my mind recalled a story I once heard even though I’ve not been able to verify it. In October 1971, Lillian Disney was at the grand opening of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Her husband, Walt, had died five years earlier in 1966 so she sadly had to attend the grand opening without him. Someone supposedly said to her: “It’s sad that Walt wasn’t here to see the grand opening of Walt Disney World.” Her response is alleged to have been: “Oh, he did see it. That’s why it’s here.”

That’s the power of vision. Visionaries can see things in the future as if they were already a reality. And then they work toward it.

That’s what I see with King David. He passionately worked toward the construction of the Jerusalem Temple that he would never see … except in his mind’s eye.

As David concludes his formal, public remarks to Solomon, he gave a verse that I have personally found great comfort in during a few seasons of my life.

1 Chronicles 28:20 (CSB): “Then David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He won’t leave you or abandon you until all the work for the service of the LORD’s house is finished.’”

Friend, we have work to do and only one life to live. Let’s get busy in order to make our life count. We’re going to stand before the Lord one day as He takes an assessment of what we did. We don’t want our works to burn up like wood, hay, and straw. Instead, we want our endeavors to be such that they come out of the fire as gold, silver, and precious stones.

King David worked toward the building of the Temple. Let’s work inside of our Temple, our bodies, to make our lives count for the Lord Jesus.

1 Chronicles 29

As we enter this chapter, David focuses once again on the people of Israel. In verses 1-5, he tells them that he has prepared everything for the building of the Temple. He even gave an enormous amount of his own wealth to its eventual construction.

1 Chronicles 29:5 (CSB): “… Now who will volunteer to consecrate himself to the LORD today?”

As we read David’s question, we aren’t sure what he’s asking. What does he mean when he asks the people who will consecrate themselves, or set themselves apart, for the Lord? Judging by the response of the people in verses 6-9, they understood that David was calling for them to give toward the construction project.

But they didn’t give reluctantly. They didn’t give because they were forced to give. They gave cheerfully. It gave them great joy to become a part of the vision of King David.

1 Chronicles 29:9 (CSB): “Then the people rejoiced because of their leaders’ willingness to give, for they had given to the LORD wholeheartedly. King David also rejoiced greatly.”

Well, when God does something wonderful, a God-follower just has to break out into prayer. And that’s what David did. So, let’s briefly summarize the prayer that David offered up at an important, exciting time.

In verses 10-13, David’s prayer begins with an acknowledgment that all wealth and power belong to God. This implied that he and the people could do nothing if it were not for the Lord, So, as they celebrated, they were moved to gratitude and praise.

In verses 14-17, David moves to the application of God’s power and provision. David acknowledged that he and his people could only give back what the Lord had enabled them to give.

1 Chronicles 29:14 (CSB): “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your own hand.”

So, David remains humble even in the face of an ambitious, exciting project.

Then, in verses 18-19, David asks the Lord to keep the people of Israel and Solomon faithful and obedient to Him. If they remain obedient and if the Temple is built, the Lord will be free to continue blessing them.

Then, David looked from Heaven to earth and called his people to express their own heartfelt worship to the Lord.

1 Chronicles 29:20 (CSB): “Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Blessed be the LORD your God.’ So the whole assembly praised the LORD God of their ancestors. They knelt low and paid homage to the LORD and the king.”

This act of worship leads us to clearly see that even a building project can and should be an act of worship. Everything the Lord does through us is an opportunity to express our gratitude and praise to Him.

1 Chronicles 29:21-22 (CSB): “21 The following day they offered sacrifices to the LORD and burnt offerings to the LORD: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, along with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 They ate and drank with great joy in the LORD’s presence that day…”

Well, when things are going well, people want to do things to keep the joy flowing. And that’s exactly what they did.

1 Chronicles 29:22-23 (CSB): “… Then, for a second time, they made David’s son Solomon king; they anointed him as the LORD’s ruler, and Zadok as the priest. 23 Solomon sat on the LORD’s throne as king in place of his father David. He prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the leaders and the mighty men, and all of King David’s sons as well, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon. 25 The LORD highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been bestowed on any king over Israel before him.”

And then this chapter comes to an end as David’s life also comes to an end.

1 Chronicles 29:26-28 (CSB): “26 David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. 27 The length of his reign over Israel was forty years; he reigned in Hebron for seven years and in Jerusalem for thirty-three. 28 He died at a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor, and his son Solomon became king in his place.”

But there is something in the next two verses that we need to address. It speaks about the books of 1 and 2 Samuel when it calls them the “Events of the Seer Samuel.” But then it speaks of two other books that we don’t currently have.

1 Chronicles 29:29 (CSB): “As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, note that they are written in the Events of the Seer Samuel, the Events of the Prophet Nathan, and the Events of the Seer Gad,”

Without spending too much time on this, just realize that not everything that was written was written by the Holy Spirit. We believe the Holy Spirit wrote the books we call 1 & 2 Samuel through the prophet Samuel and then the Holy Spirit preserved those writings for us to read, understand, obey, and enjoy. But when the prophets Nathan and Gad sat down to write, we do not believe the Holy Spirit wrote through them because the Holy Spirit did not see fit to preserve them for us.

This also shows up in the New Testament. We know that Paul wrote a book to the Christians in Colossae, and we call that book, “Colossians.” But did you know that Paul also wrote a book to the Christians in Laodicea?

Colossians 4:16 (CSB): “After this letter has been read at your gathering, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.”

Since the early church recognized the letter to Colossae as Scripture and the Holy Spirit preserved it for us, we receive it as Scripture. But since the letter to Laodicea was not preserved, we believe that it was not Scripture.

Determining what is Scripture and what is not is based on much more than whether or not something was preserved. But this is certainly one of the factors. It the Lord wrote it, He kept it for people to read until He comes back.

John 9

In John 9, we are introduced to a blind man who had been reduced to begging. The story of this blind man will unpack for us some wonderful spiritual principles.

In verses 1-2, we are introduced to the age-old question: “Why do bad things happen?”

John 9:1-2 (CSB): “1 As he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’”

The disciples suspected that blindness, or anything else bad that happens, is the result of sin. They believed it was God’s punishment upon someone who disobeyed Him. So, they wanted to know who sinned to cause the blindness.

Also notice that the disciples, while they have a great question, see the man as an opportunity to ask a great question. They don’t necessarily see him as someone to help. Jesus would have compassion on the man and heal him. The disciples seemed to simply have a “sorry about your luck” attitude.

Well, the disciples had asked Jesus a question and He loved teaching moments. So He told them that the man’s blindness was not a result of the man’s sin or his parent’s sin. Instead, the Lord had allowed the blindness so that the blind man could experience the goodness of God in healing Him.

John 9:6-7 (CSB): “6 After he said these things he spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. 7 ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means ‘Sent’). So he left, washed, and came back seeing.”

So, this brings us to another question. Why did Jesus heal this man in this way? Jesus could have easily just declared that he could see, and it would have been so. Why the spit, the mud, and then washing in the pool of Siloam?

When we think back to Genesis 2, we remember that God made us out of mud. Our bodies are made of the earth and when we die will decompose and go back to dirt. So it may have been that Jesus used mud to create some component of the eyeball that was deficient. Of course, this is just speculation, but it seems like a plausible view.

Then Jesus leaves and the man’s neighbors ask him how he could now see. We realize that the man didn’t know anything about Jesus except his name and that He healed him.

Well, this was too amazing to let it go at that. The neighbors wanted answers.

John 9:13 (CSB): “They brought the man who used to be blind to the Pharisees.”

The Pharisees, always glad to be seen as the “experts,” asked the man how he received his sight and he briefly explained it to them.

Some of the Pharisees heard his brief explanation and immediately discredited Jesus. They said that He couldn’t be from God because He violated the Sabbath by healing a man on it. Their answer makes it clear that they couldn’t have cared less about the man or his healing.

Yet other Pharisees seemed a bit intrigued by Jesus and the healing. The man who was healed spoke into the mix and said that Jesus must be a prophet.

Well, the Pharisees were going to get to the bottom of this. So they called the man’s parents. They asked them if the man was their son, if he was born blind, and how he was now able to see.

We aren’t surprised that parents who would send their blind son out to beg would leave him high and dry when the Pharisees were threatening ex-communication.

John 9:20-23 (CSB): “20 ‘We know this is our son and that he was born blind,’ his parents answered. 21 ‘But we don’t know how he now sees, and we don’t know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he’s of age. He will speak for himself.’ 22 His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews, since the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed him as the Messiah, he would be banned from the synagogue. 23 This is why his parents said, ‘He’s of age; ask him.’”

The Pharisees call the man who was healed to step back into the room. What we gather is that his parents were terrified of the Pharisees and this man was not. The big difference is that this man has been with Jesus who did something wonderful for him and his parents have not met the Lord.

As the Pharisees continue to ask the man questions, he’s getting a bit upset. Even a bit cocky. He may get put out of the synagogue, but he doesn’t seem to care. He can see! Listen as the Pharisees try to act like the authorities in the room and the man isn’t playing along.

John 9:26-27 (CSB): “26 Then they asked him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ 27 ‘I already told you,’ he said, ‘and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become his disciples too, do you?’”

This man is not showing the Pharisees the respect they feel that they deserve. So, they talk down to him. The tension is growing in the room but the man who was healed doesn’t seem to care. He’s feeling footloose and fancy-free! Jesus has healed him!

John 9:30 (CSB): “‘This is an amazing thing!’ the man told them. ‘You don’t know where he is from, and yet he opened my eyes.’”

In other words: “You guys need to get out more often. There’s a man in your neighborhood who is working miracles and you don’t even know anything about him.”

But he’s not through educating the Pharisees. It’s like the baseball coach who gets ejected in a game. He’s going to leave but not without giving a piece of his mind to the umps. This man knows he’s about to get banned from the synagogue so he’s going to get his money’s worth.

John 9:31-33 (CSB): “31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does his will, he listens to him. 32 Throughout history no one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.’”

That was the final straw. The Pharisees were shocked that anyone could feel so free to instruct them. So, they retaliated by banning him from the synagogue.

Banning from the synagogue was a way of forcing someone into isolation. They were not allowed to show up to worship. They were seen to be disobedient to the Law and a disgrace. Banning could last for as little as a day or for as long as a lifetime. But, if the person were allowed back, they must fully repent before doing so.

Jesus heard that the Pharisees had unjustly banned him. Realizing that this was a big deal, Jesus found the man and revealed His identity to him. The man, whose physical eyes were opened, now has his spiritual eyes opened. Just listen to John recount his salvation experience.

John 9:35-38 (CSB): “35 Jesus heard that they had thrown the man out, and when he found him, he asked, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ 36 ‘Who is he, Sir, that I may believe in him?’ he asked. 37 Jesus answered, ‘You have seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.’ 38 ‘I believe, Lord!’ he said, and he worshiped him.”

And then Jesus said something powerful. We come to understand that this man’s physical blindness and healing were an illustration of the world’s spiritual blindness that Jesus can heal.

John 9:39 (CSB): “Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.’”

We understand the first part of what Jesus said. He came to open the spiritual eyes of the blind. Those who are lost and in sin, who have been blinded by Satan, are given the ability to see who the Lord really is and continue to come into a greater understanding of the kind of life that God has called us to.

But what did Jesus mean when He said: “And those who do see will become blind?” All we need to do is read the last two verses of this chapter.

John 9:40-41 (CSB): “40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things and asked him, ‘We aren’t blind too, are we?’ 41 ‘If you were blind,’ Jesus told them, ‘you wouldn’t have sin. But now that you say, “We see,’ your sin remains.’”

Jesus’ response to those Pharisees made it clear that if they were truly spiritually blind (which they were), then they might have claimed ignorance as a defense. In fact, there are quite a few places in the New Testament that clearly teach that ignorance of God’s law doesn’t negate guilt, but it does lessen the punishment.

Yet, these Pharisees looked at Jesus, offended that He might think that they were spiritually deficient. “You surely aren’t saying that we are blind, are you!” So, Jesus responded that since they claimed to have their eyes wide open, their guilt for their offense of rejecting Him would be severe.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, please help us to always be humble. We saw how King David was humbled in Your presence even as He made preparations for the Jerusalem Temple to be built. But then we see sickening pride in the Pharisees who couldn’t recognize the Son of God, even when He was right in from of them. Help us to be humble so that we can learn from You, Jesus. Help us as we spend time in Your Word to humbly assume that there will always be something we need to read and adjustments that we need to make. And this sort of humility can only come from You, so we ask You to humble us, Lord. We pray in Your Name, Amen.

Closing

I hope today’s episode has helped you to understand and enjoy God’s Word so that you can apply it in the power of the Holy Spirit.

If looking over the script for this podcast would be beneficial to you, hop on over to my website at mattsmusings.net. I will provide a link in this episode’s show notes.

The “Enjoying the Bible” podcast is a ministry of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida. Check us out at fbcpolkcity.com. See you tomorrow!