Today’s reading–

from the Old Testament–
1 Kings 6 – 7:

Chapter 6:

It was in the spring of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign that he began the actual construction of the Temple. (This was 480 years after the people of Israel left their slavery in Egypt according to most manuscripts. The Hebrew Septuagint says, in the four-hundred and fortieth year.)

Note: God sees 480 years, but historically it was nearer 570 years from the Exodus to the construction of Solomon’s Temple, placing the date at around 960 BC. Why? What accounts for the ninety plus missing years? They were “wasted days” when Israel defied God and walked in their own counsel.

In Judges 3:5-8 Israel served idols for eight years.
In Judges 3:12-14 they were again in bondage. This time it took eighteen years for them to cry out to God.
In Judges 4:1-3 they were cruelly oppressed for another twenty years.
In Judges 6:1-6 the people of Israel spent another seven years living in mountain dens to evade Midian.
In Judges 10:6-9 we again find the children of Israel in apostasy and oppression. This adds another eighteen wasted years.
In Judges 13:1 they did it again. This time they were under the hand of the Philistines for forty years.
Add it up: 8 + 18 + 20 + 7 + 18 + 20 = 91 years. Wasted!

This makes me wonder if God also disallows the wasted days and years in my life. Does my Abba, Father simply not see or record those years when I have walked in my own way, defying His guidance and walking in my own counsel? Humm…it’s something to consider.

The remainder of this chapter tells of the construction of the Temple, but I have verses 11-13 highlighted to remind me NOT to waste my days.

Then the Lord sent this message to Solomon concerning the Temple he was building: “If you do as I tell you to and follow all of my commandments and instructions, I will do what I told your father David I would do: I will live among the people of Israel and never forsake them.” 1 Kings 6:11-13 (Living Bible)

Chapter 7:

In this chapter we read about the building of Solomon’s own dwelling place and we are told it took him thirteen years to do it.  The description of the palace buildings is beyond anything we can possibly imagine today because even in today’s richest countries most of the buildings are not layered with gold. But King Solomon served an extravagant God – and so do we.

from the New Testament–
Romans: 5 – 6

Chapter 5:
Remember where we left off last time? The results of justification by faith…. The demands of the law are not simply waived. Justification is more than a pardon. In Christ, the demands of the law are fully satisfied. So this chapter begins, “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Verse 11 tells us we have now received our reconciliation with God through the work of the cross; and in verses 12 to the end of this chapter the grounds of our salvation (which is Christ) are carefully laid out. If at and time, or for any reason you have been confused by the religious notion that you must work for and earn God’s approval  –– please –– study this subject thoroughly before you move on.
Grace thorough Christ is a free gift. It is His obedience, not yours, that reconciles us as  human beings to a holy, spiritual God.

Chapter 6:
At the new birth (remember Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” ) you do do all the dying you will ever do!

 Here Paul teaches us that as believers we are united in his death, that we will be considered dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (verses 1 – 11)
Again, I urge you to pray for wisdom and understanding as you read these verses. Don’t move on until you have thoroughly understood the teaching. “you are not under law but under grace.”  When this lesson is firmly implanted in your soul and in your spirit it will become second nature to yield yourself to it.

I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God—the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness? Romans 6:19 (MSG)

To sum up…Paul is saying, “the law demands. We cannot meet those demands. Grace supplies, and the supply is a free gift. Stop yielding to your old “sin” consciousness. Get a righteousness consciousness. Be healed and made holy by His free gift.”