Schemes in Jerusalem!
Scripture reading for May 18th: 2nd Samuel 7-8, 1st Chronicles 17, Psalm 132, Acts 25
Acts 25: 8-12 “Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I hade done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against men, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.””
Paul had been in prison under Roman authorities in Ceasarea for over two years. He was charged by the Jewish religious leaders for violations of their law and insurrection. Even after two years, these leaders from Jerusalem were still plotting to kill Paul or have him moved to Jerusalem. Jesus had been crucified outside Jerusalem and they wanted Paul to die there too. But God had other plans and His plans stand forever. Paul was to go to Rome and the Roman government would pay for it. God would also deal with Jerusalem, razing it to the ground in the near future. But long term, God has plans for Jerusalem and Israel. He has chosen Zion and desired it for His dwelling place forever! His blessing will rest on her and His people forever as well! Amen!
Psalm 132:13-16 “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place; “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for confounding the schemes of those opposing Your plans and for fulfilling Your will. Thank You for Your abundant blessings of salvation, clothing of Your people in righteousness and filling them with peace and joy through the Holy Spirit–Who finds His resting place inside Your people! This is the greatest blessing! May it continue forever and ever!
1st Chronicles 17:27 “Now You have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before You, for it is You, O Lord, Who have blessed and it is blessed forever.”