Death and Dying2 Timothy 4:6
The apostle Paul ended his second letter to Timothy knowing that death was near. But he didn’t dread his departure. In fact, he looked forward to where he was going—and who he would see. Can we say the same? Hear more on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.
Hope for the Future and Joy for Today
The hope laid up for you in heaven.Colossians 1:5
Our hope in Christ for the future is the mainspring and the mainstay of our joy down here today. Our hearts will be stirred by thinking often of heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there.
Here we are tired and weary, but over there is the land of rest where the sweat of toil will no longer soak our shirts, and fatigue will be banished forever. To those who are weary and worn, the word rest is full of heaven. We are always in the field of battle; we are so tempted and so molested by foes that we have little or no peace; but in heaven we will enjoy the victory, when the banner shall be unfurled in triumph, and the sword will be sheathed, and we will hear our Captain say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”1
We have suffered bereavement after bereavement, but we are going to the land of the immortal where graves do not exist. Here sin is a constant grief to us, but there we will be perfectly holy, for there will be nothing in heaven to defile it. There are no needs in the furrows of celestial fields. It is a source of deep joy to realize that the wilderness journey of our earthly pilgrimage will end and we will inherit heaven.
But let us make sure that we are not just dreaming about the future and thus forgetting the present. Let all thoughts of the future serve to make us useful in the present. Through the Spirit of God the hope of heaven is the most powerful force for producing virtue; it is a fountain of joyful endeavor; it is the cornerstone of cheerful holiness. Those who have this hope in them go about their work with vigor, for the joy of the Lord is their strength. They fight hard against temptation, for the hope of the next world repels the fiery darts of the adversary. They can work without immediate reward, for they anticipate a reward in the world to come.
1) Matthew 25:23
1 Kings 4
1King Solomon was king over all Israel, 2and these were his high officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; 3Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 4Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 5Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and king's friend; 6Ahishar was in charge of the palace; and Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor.
7Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. Each man had to make provision for one month in the year. 8These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; 9Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elonbeth-hanan; 10Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher); 11Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); 12Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean that is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, and from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he had taken Basemath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); 16Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. And there was one governor who was over the land.
Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom
20Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. 21Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates1 to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.
22Solomon's provision for one day was thirty cors2 of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, 23ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. 24For he had dominion over all the region west of the Euphrates3 from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kings west of the Euphrates. And he had peace on all sides around him. 25And Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. 26Solomon also had 40,0004 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. 27And those officers supplied provisions for King Solomon, and for all who came to King Solomon's table, each one in his month. They let nothing be lacking. 28Barley also and straw for the horses and swift steeds they brought to the place where it was required, each according to his duty.
29And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, 30so that Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.
1 Kings 5
Preparations for Building the Temple
1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David. 2And Solomon sent word to Hiram, 3“You know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. 4But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune. 5And so I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to David my father, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.’ 6Now therefore command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. And my servants will join your servants, and I will pay you for your servants such wages as you set, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”
7As soon as Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people.” 8And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message that you have sent to me. I am ready to do all you desire in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. 9My servants shall bring it down to the sea from Lebanon, and I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you direct. And I will have them broken up there, and you shall receive it. And you shall meet my wishes by providing food for my household.” 10So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the timber of cedar and cypress that he desired, 11while Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 cors1 of wheat as food for his household, and 20,0002 cors of beaten oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. 12And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
13King Solomon drafted forced labor out of all Israel, and the draft numbered 30,000 men. 14And he sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in shifts. They would be a month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the draft. 15Solomon also had 70,000 burden-bearers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hill country, 16besides Solomon's 3,300 chief officers who were over the work, who had charge of the people who carried on the work. 17At the king's command they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. 18So Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the men of Gebal did the cutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.
By Grace Through Faith
1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.2 4But3 God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
One in Christ
11Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,4 but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by5 the Spirit.
Prophecy Against Mount Seir
1The word of the Lord came to me: 2“Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, 3and say to it, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and a waste. 4I will lay your cities waste, and you shall become a desolation, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 5Because you cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment, 6therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; because you did not hate bloodshed, therefore blood shall pursue you. 7I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation, and I will cut off from it all who come and go. 8And I will fill its mountains with the slain. On your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those slain with the sword shall fall. 9I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
10“Because you said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them’—although the Lord was there—11therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy that you showed because of your hatred against them. And I will make myself known among them, when I judge you. 12And you shall know that I am the Lord.
“I have heard all the revilings that you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are laid desolate; they are given us to devour.’ 13And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it. 14Thus says the Lord God: While the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate. 15As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
Revive Us Again
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
1Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you covered all their sin. Selah
3You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.
4Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
5Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
9Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.
10Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.
Get the Program, Devotional, and Bible Reading Plan delivered daily right to your inbox.