July 12 – The Just Shall Live by Faith!

1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17
Romans 1:1-17
Psalm 9:13-20
Proverbs 19:4-5

1 Chronicles 12:22 — Day by day the numbers grew. Daily faithfulness brings daily rewards.

1 Chronicles 13:1 — David’s leadership involved consulting with his captains. Afterwards, he then presented his plan to the people, and as a result, it had universal acclaim (1 Chronicles 13:4). He forgot, though, that the Ark of God was not to be carried in a cart (1 Chronicles 13:7 – compare 1 Chronicles 15:15), and he also skipped the part in God’s Law about multiplying wives (Deuteronomy 17:17). But he did seek the LORD (1 Chronicles 14:10, 1 Chronicles 14:14).

1 Chronicles 13:10 — Why was the LORD so angry at Uzzah that He killed him? Couldn’t God have prevented the oxen from stumbling? Even more troubling – the sin wasn’t solely Uzzah’s – it was David’s. David was obligated to read the entire Law and hand copy it (Deuteronomy 17:18). In spite of the instructions found in the Law, David gave the orders to move the Ark on an oxcart (1 Chronicles 13:6-7); as a result, a bystander was killed for disobeying the Law, even though he meant well. The LORD, given His control of the world, allowed/caused the oxen to stumble. Why? The LORD is a jealous and holy God (Exodus 34:14). As we know from the New Testament, the wages of even just one sin (James 2:10) is death (Romans 6:23), and so Uzzah died as a result of the sin of David. This is another example of substitutionary death in the Old Testament, specifically with David. David’s sin with the Ark led to the death of Uzzah. David’s sin with Bathsheba led to the death of Uriah (2 Samuel 11:17) and his first son (2 Samuel 12:18). To top things off, 70,000 men died (2 Samuel 24:15) for David’s ill-advised census (2 Samuel 24:2) because it was done improperly (Exodus 30:12).

Substitutionary death is a big theme in the Bible. Paul teaches us in Romans 5:12 that one man’s sin caused many to die, but it was (Romans 5:19) one man’s perfect obedience of all 613 laws of the Torah that can bring eternal life (Romans 5:21) to all who believe.

It doesn’t seem “fair” to us, but let’s remember:

  • God created morality – so it’s like arguing with Shakespeare what “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” really means;
  • God created us (Genesis 2:7) – so it’s like arguing with your artist neighbor who threw away a broken clay pot (Isaiah 45:9 and Romans 9:21);
  • All men are sinners (Romans 3:23) and deserve death (Romans 6:23), and God has appointed that day (Hebrews 9:27); and finally
  • Uzzah should have known he was forbidden from touching the Ark (Numbers 4:15) – and if he didn’t know, take note that his biblical illiteracy was fatal.

Romans 1:5 — Remember Paul’s preaching on the resurrection? Here is the basis of his message – the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Romans 1:17 — In the early 1500s, a monk named Martin Luther made a discovery. From R. C. Sproul:

He says, “Here in it,” in the gospel, “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘the just shall live by faith.’” A verse taken from the book of Habakkuk in the Old Testament that is cited three times in the New Testament. As Luther would stop short and say, “What does this mean, that there’s this righteousness that is by faith, and from faith to faith? What does it mean that the righteous shall live by faith?” Which again as I said was the thematic verse for the whole exposition of the gospel that Paul sets forth here in the Book of Romans. And so, the lights came on for Luther, and he began to understand that what Paul was speaking of here was a righteousness that God in His grace was making available to those who would receive it passively, not those who would achieve it actively, but that would receive it by faith, and by which a person could be reconciled to a holy and righteous God.

Psalm 9:14 — David rejoiced in the salvation of the LORD, i.e. his deliverance from Saul and the Philistines. Paul rejoiced in the salvation of the LORD, i.e. his preservation to be a testimony in Rome. Martin Luther discovered the salvation that came not from becoming righteous but from receiving the righteousness of God. Thank the LORD for His salvation!

Proverbs 19:5 — Truth is your ultimate defense. Yes, in the short run it may seem that lying may save you trouble – like the time when a parent without discernment asks his two sons if they stole a candy bar (both of them had). One son admits it and is punished, the other denies it and is not punished. But even though in the short run telling the truth may seem costly, telling a lie is far more expensive.

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