Day 122

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Chronicles 7:1
When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings and the other sacrifices, and the LORD’s glory filled the temple.

It isn’t often that fire comes down from the skies. Elijah prayed and fire came. Solomon in this case prayed and fire came.

Whenever fire from heaven came after a prayer – it was interpreted as God’s response and approval.

God is pleased.

I pray for the day when fire comes on a regular basis in the midst of our congregation every Sun.

To ignite hearts and fuel our faith for the journey ahead. That those who came will leave knowing they met with God.

For that to happen- I think it’s crucial that we gather for the right reasons- not out of routine but out of a sincere desire to seek God and to please Him week in week out!

This Saturday – let’s get ready our bodies, minds and hearts for fire from heaven on Sunday in all our services- burning up our sacrifices that we bring to our Most Holy God

Day 121

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Chronicles 1:7-10
That night God appeared to Solomon. He said, “What can I give you?” Solomon responded to God, “You’ve shown great love to my father David, and you’ve made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, you’ve kept the promise you made to my father David. You’ve made me king of people who are as numerous as specks of dust on the ground. Give me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people. After all, who can judge this great people of yours?”

I love this prayer … so much to learn from it.
Note how he uses the YOUs and the MEs.

Whenever he was speaking about God with the word YOU- he would speak of how God is the Giver. The One who showed love, who made him king, who can grant wisdom, who is the One who ‘owns’ the people.

Whenever he spoke of himself using ME- it was in the place of a recipient, of one in need, of one who is a vessel and not the ‘Owner’.

He had perspective at this young age.
He knew where God’s place was and where he stood in relation to it.

Too often our unhappiness and struggle in life comes when we mistakenly think we are owners and bosses when we are not.
We may think we are doing God a favor when we are mere servants.

Perspective- it matters.

Day 120

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Chronicles 28:2-3
Then King David rose to his feet and said: Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building. But God said to me, You may not build a house for my name, for you are a man of war and have shed blood.

The Temple was to be a place of worship for God’s followers to gather.

David had been a soldier, killing many and conquering by force. For him to establish the Temple, would invariably lead to it being remembered as a monument built through much killing and slaughter.

His son Solomon however would reign in peace and the Temple would be built by such a man.

Why was this important?
To me, I see similarities with the Church- which would be established by the Lord Jesus Himself. Not through any blood shed, except His own.

Like the Temple, the Church would help mankind connect with God and unite His followers in purpose- as they came from around the world to worship God.

Day 119

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Chronicles 23:27-32
For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered from twenty years old and upward. For their duty was to assist the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, having the care of the courts and the chambers, the cleansing of all that is holy, and any work for the service of the house of God. Their duty was also to assist with the showbread, the flour for the grain offering, the wafers of unleavened bread, the baked offering, the offering mixed with oil, and all measures of quantity or size. And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening, and whenever burnt offerings were offered to the Lord on Sabbaths, new moons and feast days, according to the number required of them, regularly before the Lord. Thus they were to keep charge of the tent of meeting and the sanctuary, and to attend the sons of Aaron, their brothers, for the service of the house of the Lord.

There is nothing wrong with counting the number of people gathered – if the purpose is for logistical reasons or to gauge how to better prepare for the gathering size.

It became a problem in David’s earlier census when it was done with the motive of trumpeting how great David himself was.

There is a difference – one seeks to ascertain how we can do our job better, and the other seeks to ascertain one’s greatness instead of God’s.

We must ask ourselves on a daily basis what our motivations are- its seldom the action itself that is wrong but more often the motives behind our deeds.

Day 118

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Chronicles 22:2-5
David commanded to gather together the resident aliens who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to prepare dressed stones for building the house of God. David also provided great quantities of iron for nails for the doors of the gates and for clamps, as well as bronze in quantities beyond weighing, and cedar timbers without number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought great quantities of cedar to David. For David said, Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it. So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.

Our children will be called to achieve things that are different from what we have achieved.
They will live different lives.

They may even surpass what we have done!

David knew Solomon would be the one building the Temple but before his death, David labored to prepare the materials that Solomon could use for the construction.

Yes we can labor in our lifetimes to help the next generation succeed. That is the best that we can do as loving parents.

But whether they accomplish what they are destined to, depends on their willingness to pursue God’s destiny for them.

Day 117

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Chronicles 20:1-3
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. And Joab struck down Rabbah and overthrew it. And David took the crown of their king from his head. He found that it weighed a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone. And it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and axes. And thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Joab labored on the battlefield against the enemy for his king.
When it was about to be destroyed, he told David and invited him to come for the final overthrow of the enemy.

That is why though David remained in Jerusalem initially, that he was there to receive the crown at the end of battle.

Joab could have soaked in the honor of being the one who takes the enemy city, returns home with the crown for his king.
But no, he knew his rightful place and honored his leader and let his king strike the final blow instead.

Joab labored not for his own glory but for his king’s.
What a good lesson for us all – our achievements on the battlefield of life are not for our own glories either but for our rightful king, without whom none of these could be possible.

Day 116

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Chronicles 17:1
Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.

In reality, God is too big to be housed in a dwelling built by human house.
After all, He declares “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool.” (Isaiah 66.1)

So what did David desire?
He desired a more respectable place of worship for God, one greater than a tent.
He saw the palace he lived in, and wondered how he could enjoy such luxury and do nothing for the place of worship for God.

He saw his blessings not as an end but a means. A means for him to do more for His God.

That is my thought for today,
“How am I using my received blessings as a means to do more for my God?”