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May 4 Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 8-10
“So All Israel were Reckoned”
1 Chronicles 9:1
What a succession of men and monarchies have passed through the world whose names, whose works, whose riches, whose momentary fame no one knows! Yet, scattered among those vast numbers of men spread over the face of the earth is a people, poor and despised, unknown among men, whose names are held in everlasting remembrance, because they are the Israel of God.
Written in Heaven
Rejoice, my soul, that your name is written in heaven, written in the Lamb’s book of life by the finger of God before the worlds were made! Think of that great day soon to come when the dead, both small and great, shall stand before God in judgment. — “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
With every memory of everlastingly forgotten, but everlastingly damned souls, blessed Lord Jesus, give me grace to remember and give thanks to you for your great grace and your great salvation. You have delivered your chosen people from the wrath to come. For that great deliverance by your blood and righteousness, by your power and grace, by your love and mercy, I rejoice and give thanks for the pleasing, glorious hope that my name, worthless as it is, is written in heaven!
When the children of Israel returned from Babylon, which is where 1st Chronicles 9:1 begins, the people returned to their beloved city, finding Jerusalem and Zion as a plowed field. How sad the picture! Jerusalem was ruined by sin. Yet, how little we think of sin’s effect! If God so punished Israel, what security does any other nation have? If God spared not the natural branches, what must the nations of the Gentiles expect?
Let us this day, for ourselves and for our nation, confess our sins to God and beg his mercy. O Lord God, visit us again in mercy! Come with grace to pardon, grace to sanctify, grace to bless, grace to deliver, grace to renew, grace to heal all our diseases. — “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up” (Hosea 6:1).
Saul, who murdered God’s priests was deserted by God and murdered himself in darkness and despair. He who abandoned his dearest friend was abandoned by every man and abandoned forever by God. Such shall be the end of every rebel sinner dying with his fists in God’s face, eternally abandoned by every friend and eternally abandoned by God in hell! — O precious, precious Lord Jesus, keep me, keep me in your hands, keep me in your grip, lest I depart from you at last!