Progressive revelation is beholding the glory of the Lord until we see Him above ourselves, our all in all.
What an exciting week of reading we have before us. Luke’s gospel is in full swing with Jesus revealing the kingdom of God and His ways. There are stories recorded in these chapters that never made it into the other gospels. We finish 2 Corinthians and coming into Galatians, we run inside the grace of our Lord Jesus. Ephesians begins as well as beginning 1 Chronicles. Song of Solomon concludes with the Shulamite having matured in the Beloved’s love. This will finish our Poetry books in the Old Testament. We begin Habakkuk and next week Zephaniah, the last of the prophets during Israel and the First Temple.
Luke 6 – 12
In Luke 6, the Lord calls His disciples to Himself and chooses the twelve. There, He shares the laws of the Kingdom of God, which we know as the Sermon on the Mount. In Chapter Seven, Jesus is invited to the home of Simon the Pharisee and a sinful woman crashes the meal and goes home forgiven. In Chapter Eight are the parables and miracles, deliverance, healing, and resurrection. Jesus then sends out the twelve, feeds five thousand, and is transfigured on the Mountain in the glory of God. Here He talks with Moses and Elijah about His soon departure that He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. The seventy are sent out and return with joy. Martha and Mary welcome Jesus into their home and Mary is drawn into Jesus’ presence and His word, while Martha becomes irritated.
Chapters Eleven and Twelve begin with the only requests the disciples ever made of Jesus to teach them something. “Lord, teach us to pray.” Timeless truths on our eternal life in the Spirit are given and then charged to beware of hypocrisy, covetousness, worry, and slothfulness in waiting for the Lord’s return. There is so much in here in which to see Jesus.
2 Corinthians 9 – 13
Paul brings promise to the cheerful givers, who sow bountifully and all the thanksgiving, prayer, and grace it brings. Chapter Ten contains truths about our spiritual warfare that center in the mind. So many are caught in appearance and call Paul weak. Paul wants all to glory only in the Lord, and not compare themselves with themselves and commend themselves. In Chapter Eleven, Paul now shares his heart, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2
From there, he must defend his apostleship with boastings of measurable externals. He sees it as foolishness to do so, but for their sake, who are being drawn away from the simplicity, that is in Christ he must. Chapter Twelve moves into heavenly visions and revelations and the conflict of the messenger of Satan to fight against Paul. Paul now demonstrates victory in the Lord’s word “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Chapter Thirteen is Paul’s epilogue and warnings about his soon coming to Corinth. He wants to find them in the faith, made complete, in good comfort, with one mind, and living in peace.
Galatians 1 – 6
This is the epistle of grace and its defense. Paul continually uses himself, Peter, Abraham, and the two covenants and their effects (Chapter Four). Chapters Five and Six address how we can walk in the freedom that Christ has made us free, in grace and not circumcision (which is a New Testament picture of salvation from the law). Paul shares that the Holy Spirit-led life is one of abiding in the fruit of the Spirit, and the flesh-controlled life is in opposition to the Spirit. But it is not able to prevail when we walk in the Spirit. Being mindful of this, we endeavor to help those overtaken in trespass, in the spirit of gentleness. He ends with an exhortation to not grow weary while doing good, for we will reap in due season if we do not lose heart.
Ephesians 1 – 2
Here we learn the fullness of what God has given us in Christ. Beginning with Paul’s explanation of salvation to the utmost in Ephesians 1 – 14. This mystery is so great that Paul pauses and prays for the Ephesians to be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God and that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened to know, calling, inheritance, and power, Ephesians 1:15-23
Chapter Two brings these truths into the body of Christ, the church, and His fulness, and makes out of two (Jew and Gentile) one new man. This Chapter ends with the vision of our being built together as a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.
Note: In Ephesians, we see that the church is referred to as His body, as a holy temple in the Lord, a family in heaven and earth, and the bride/wife of Christ. Body, Temple, Family, Wife, in Christ.
1 Chronicles 1 -8
The books of First and Second Chronicles cover the same period in history described in Second Samuel through Second Kings but from a heavenly perspective. Therefore, what God thought, how He responded, and why He responded is much more prevalent. On the contrary, sins that were dealt with are omitted (David and Bathsheba) or the door of hope and new life found after sin repented (the census) shows us that the worst offense to God fully owned and repented of opens new vistas into the exceeding riches of His grace in Christ Jesus.
The first nine chapters record the family of Adam leading to Abraham and his sons. Next, follows the family of Israel and his twelve sons plus the Levites. We might remember that when Jacob met Joseph in Egypt, he claimed for Himself Ephraim and Manasseh (Joesph’s two sons) as His own. When Israel was redeemed out of Egypt God claimed Levi as His own in exchange for the firstborn that were killed in Egypt but spared through the Passover blood. So, we have thirteen tribes by number but in distinction we have twelve tribes and the priesthood of Levi.
Song of Solomon 6 – 8
I hope you have seen last week the progression of maturity of the Shulamite and the continual love and calling forth from the Beloved. They are married, Solomon is like Jesus (for me) and the Shulamite is like the church (for me). Christ’s grace draws us out of self-consciousness into Christ-consciousness. Out of fear and control to love and trust. One example is the maturity of the relationship found in these words.
My beloved is mine, and I am his…Song of Solomon 2:16
I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…Song of Solomon 6:3
I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. Song of Solomon 7:10
From me first in the relationship to Him first until I am fully identified in His desire for me.
The book of Habakkuk is a shortened “Job” conversation with God. Like Job, Habakkuk cannot perceive the injustice of God in not judging. Like Job, God must enlarge His vision which is made small by Habakkuk’s pride, beginning with shock. This happens in the first chapter.