Reading for Today:
2 Chronicles 30:1–31:21
2 Chronicles 30:6 return. The nation was required by law to annually celebrate 3 feasts in Jerusalem: 1) Passover; 2) Pentecost; and 3) Tabernacles (Ex. 23; Lev. 23; Num. 28; 29; Deut. 16). God would have returned to bless the people of the northern apostate and idolatrous kingdom of Israel if they had returned to Him.
2 Chronicles 30:1–27 Hezekiah reached back to restore the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover (Ex. 12:1–20; Lev. 23:1–8), which apparently had not been properly and regularly observed in some time, perhaps since the division of the kingdom 215 years earlier (v. 5). The Passover would later be revived again by Josiah (2 Chr. 35:1–9) and Zerubbabel (Ezra 6:19–22). It celebrated God’s forgiveness and redemption of His believing people.
2 Chronicles 30:26 nothing like this. A telling statement about the spiritual degeneracy of the divided kingdom since the time of Solomon over 215 years earlier.
2 Chronicles 31:6 tithe. Since the priests and Levites served the nation, they were to be supported by the people through the taxation of the tithe. According to Leviticus 27:30–33 and Numbers 18:21, 24, the people were to give the tenth (tithe) to supply all the needs of the Levites. Malachi 3:8 says they were robbing God when they did not give the tithe. Deuteronomy 12:6, 7 called for a second tithe that was to support the nation’s devotion to the temple by being used for the national festivals at the temple in Jerusalem. This was called the festival tithe. Deuteronomy 14:28, 29 called for a third tithe every 3 years for the poor. The sum of this tax plan totaled about 23 percent annually.
Acts 20:3 three months. Most or all of it were likely spent in Corinth. Jews plotted against him. Tragically, most of the opposition to Paul’s ministry stemmed from his fellow countrymen (2 Cor. 11:26). The Jewish community of Corinth hated Paul because of its humiliating debacle before Gallio (18:12–17), and the stunning conversions of two of its most prominent leaders, Crispus (18:8) and Sosthenes (18:17; 1 Cor. 1:1). Luke does not record the details of the Jews’ plot, but it undoubtedly involved murdering Paul during the voyage to Palestine. The apostle would have been an easy target on a small ship packed with Jewish pilgrims. Because of that danger, Paul canceled his plans to sail from Greece to Syria. Instead, he decided to go north into Macedonia, cross the Aegean Sea to Asia Minor, and catch another ship from there. That delay cost Paul his opportunity to reach Palestine in time for Passover, but he hurried to be there in time for Pentecost (v. 16).
Acts 20:9 young man. The Greek word suggests he was between 7 and 14 years old. His youth, the fumes from the lamps, and the lateness of the hour (v. 7) gradually overcame his resistance. He dozed off, fell out of the open window, and was killed.
Acts 20:10 his life is in him. This does not mean that he had not died, but that his life had been restored. As a physician, Luke knew whether someone had died, as he plainly states (v. 9) was the case with Eutychus.
DAY 17: Why did the church gather to worship on Sunday?
“Now on the first day of the week” (Acts 20:7). Sunday was the day the church gathered for worship, because it was the day of Christ’s resurrection (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; 1 Cor. 16:2). The writings of the early church fathers confirm that the church continued to meet on Sunday after the close of the New Testament period. Scripture does not require Christians to observe the Saturday Sabbath:
- The Sabbath was the sign of the Mosaic Covenant (Ex. 31:16, 17; Neh. 9:14; Ezek. 20:12), whereas Christians are under the New Covenant (2 Cor. 3; Heb. 8);
- there is no New Testament command to keep the Sabbath;
- the first command to keep the Sabbath was not until the time of Moses (Ex. 20:8);
- the Jerusalem Council (chap. 15) did not order Gentile believers to keep the Sabbath;
- Paul never cautioned Christians about breaking the Sabbath; and
- the New Testament explicitly teaches that Sabbath keeping was not a requirement (Rom. 14:5; Gal. 4:10, 11; Col. 2:16, 17).
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.