Monthly Archives: April 2022

 1 Chronicles 11:22-15:29 

I can still remember where I was sitting, the room I was in, my age, why I was attending this class at Tyndale University & Seminary and the speaker, Howard Hendricks, as he captivated me with the story of Benaiah. Not just any story, for there are many, but the summary of things Benaiah did that captured David’s heart.

Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a Mighty Man from Kabzeel with many exploits to his credit: he killed two famous Moabites; he climbed down into a pit and killed a lion on a snowy day; and he killed an Egyptian, a giant seven and a half feet tall. The Egyptian had a spear like a ship’s boom but Benaiah went at him with a mere club, tore the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with it. These are some of the things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did. But he was never included with the Three. He was highly honored among the Thirty, but didn’t measure up to the Three. David put him in charge of his personal bodyguard. – 1 Chronicles 11:22-25 MSG

Today there are books written on this passage and it is no longer “new,” but that day changed my life and I wanted to be as bold, brave and fearless as Benaiah was in his day to day life. It had to matter because look how much attention is given to him in these verses. I want to be that servant of Jesus who is faithful and I know my name is registered in a book that will have much more honour than having my name recorded in a book of fame.

This may be odd and I hope no one takes offense to this – but I do notice something here and I believe it has to be noted – the military – a great and honourable profession. Here is a list of military men under David’s command. I try to wrack my brain – is there a list of great pacifists in the Bible?

I believe what makes Benaiah and these other men so honourable is that David was honourable in his leadership position and they followed in his footsteps with great respect. These names are placed here by the Holy Spirit with personal honour and are for me to grab its truth and essence as I consider who I am following and I ask myself – do I look like Him?

I little diversion of thought, but this struck me hard – take a slow read through the list of mighty men – do you see a name that you can say you know? For me, it was Uriah. Seriously, this is how great of a soldier he was. One of David’s greatest and most honourable men, one who would die for David in an instant. This will take some time to process.

Father, I am so glad how I have been encouraged today by Your Word – it has become alive in me – how deep and real I want my honour for You to be.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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1 Chronicles 8:29 – 11:21

13So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14instead of asking the Lord for guidance. So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

1 Chronicles 10:13-14

5When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear. 6He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots28:6 Hebrew by Urim. or by the prophets. 7Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.”

1 Samuel 28:5-7

For some reason, I have just glossed over Saul consulting a medium when I have read through this part of the Bible. Interestingly enough, Saul had decreed the no one was allowed to consult mediums earlier in his reign. Literally, this decree is documented just a few verses up in 1 Samuel 18.

So, what would drive a man to do the thing he deemed no one under his charge could do? I am going to speculate here, as I don’t know what drove Saul to do this. My opinion is that he felt a tremendous amount of pressure as a leader. He was facing overwhelming odds with the Philistine army in front of him and he was absolutely panicked since God wouldn’t give him any advice. He was desperate for an answer – any answer, from anywhere.

He had drifted away from God, and likely deep down he knew it. He was likely trying to use God as a “genie” and saying “Just help me God! Give me an answer to my prayer!” I think that this is a danger we all face, especially those of us in leadership positions as the consequences can be worse. Sometimes, our motives are completely wrong, or we have drifted so far away that God chooses to remain silent because our motives aren’t sincere. This is likely where Saul was – his motives weren’t at all sincere.

There have been numerous times over the last 5 years where I didn’t know if my business, Industrial Insight, was going to make it. There certainly have been temptations to do things on my own and not consult God. Honestly, there have been a few times where I took an action and THEN asked God to bless it, but that is another story. However, I couldn’t imagine driving down SR16 5 miles from our house to a house that advertises psychic services (I rarely see cars there, so I wonder how many people go to actually see this person). I haven’t been tempted to consult my horoscope or some astrological prediction, either. I was big into astrology before I became a Christian and literally didn’t even do so much as read a horoscope after that, so that could have become a temptation for me I guess.

There have been times where God was silent with me, often for just a time, but He has always answered my prayers, even if it wasn’t what I was praying for nor in the time I was asking for. There were times that doors closed on me/us and I am convinced God was simply protecting me/us. There were times I heard “no” or “not yet” but I am not sure I ever got to such a panicked state that I wouldn’t/couldn’t wait on an answer.

So again, I go back to what drives a man, who was once a man of God, to compromise so much? I am not sure, but the lesson here is that even when I am facing what I believe are dire circumstances, that I should trust God, even if he is silent and I can’t hear Him. Maybe I am the impediment to our relationship, or maybe He is is just choosing to be silent for a reason I have yet to understand. We have to be careful to not compromise, just because we are facing tremendous pressure. It is in those moments of trust in silence that likely galvanize our relationship with God and our faith in Him.

Dear Lord, help to stay steadfast to Your will in these crazy times. Let me never compromise my trust in you and search out people and things that could lead me away from Your will. In Jesus’s mighty name, Amen.

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1 Chronicles 6:31-8:28

A name. A legacy. A portion. A purpose. Chronicles tells me who, what, where and how.

Musicians used their talent to worship the Lord.

31 These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark came to rest there. 32 They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them. (1 Chronicles 6:31-32, NIV)

Others served the Lord with their hearts.

48 Their fellow Levites were assigned to all the other duties of the tabernacle, the house of God. 49 But Aaron and his descendants were the ones who presented offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense in connection with all that was done in the Most Holy Place, making atonement for Israel, in accordance with all that Moses the servant of God had commanded. (1 Chronicles 6:48-49, NIV)

And still others served Him with their strength.

40 All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders. The number of men ready for battle, as listed in their genealogy, was 26,000. (1 Chronicles 7:40, NIV)

In these lineages of people, I find it interesting the few phrases that highlight their actions–the whole of a life condensed into a sentence or two. What stands out as well: the service and the willingness to work for the Lord.

This past weekend, I ran a race. I stayed around for the awards ceremony. I watched people receive an award for firsts in their age group. I felt a sadness that certain things had not been valued in my family lineage, and I admit I envied the youngest athletes for their opportunity–that their families valued endurance and fitness. But it was pointless to let my thoughts land there. I give thanks to God for His intervention in my life–I may not have been raised to pursue (certain things, qualities, or even the Lord). But because of God, I can live out a portion of my life pursuing Him, loving Him, serving Him. Whenever I run (or write, or learn something new, or work towards something), I keep my eyes on the Lord. He is my Good Father who sings over me, guides me, teaches me, encourages me, loves me. He is my portion.

Father God, I may not have had the best start, but because of you, I can finish well. Thank you that you loved me enough to have a relationship with me, invest in me, and watch over me. Thank you for showing me what matters, for giving me opportunities to bring you glory, and for showing me you keep your promises. You have grown my faith, my trust, my hope, my love, and you have given me endurance. Please help me to keep a kingdom focus and to honor you with my life.

Courtney (66books365)

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1 Chronicles 3:10-6:30

In the middle of what seems to be a boring list of names making up an ancient genealogy we find an amazing story in just a few verses:

 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10 [ESV])

What many refer as the prayer of Jabez. Books have been written about these two verses. But thinking of these words in a spiritual context who wouldn’t want their spiritual borders expanded? I remember reading a devotional about this passage when our family was living and serving in Chicago. I started to pray this prayer not wanting a larger home or more money, but a broader base of ministry and influence for God’s Kingdom work. And shortly afterwards we received a call to minister in Indianapolis, IN. He gave us a broader platform and opportunity for ministry. God was answering prayer.

In reading this today, I am challenged to make this a prayer again for us Baldwin’s. Not for more money or fame, but for being more useful and effective in God’s Kingdom work. Will you join me? Let’s see how God grants our prayers.

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1 Chronicles 1:17-3:9

These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, and Shelah. These three were born to him by the daughter of Shua, the Canaanitess. Er, the firstborn of Judah, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; so He killed him. And Tamar, his daughter-in-law, bore him Perez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.” 1 Chronicles 2:1-4 NIV

It’s a shame that the only thing mentioned about Er is that he was wicked. I can’t help but wonder what will be spoken about my life. What legacy will I leave?

Also the sons of Hezron who were born to him were Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. Ram begot Amminadab, and Amminadab begot Nahshon, leader of the children of Judah; Nahshon begot Salma, and Salma begot Boaz; Boaz begot Obed, and Obed begot Jesse; Jesse begot Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh. Now the sisters were Zeriuah and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel-three. Abagail bore Amasa; and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.” 1 Chronicles 2:9-17 NIV

Some of these names are very familiar to me…David, Boaz, Abigail. Others I find myself skimming over, but wanting to find out more about their life. I am reminded that names are important. And that because of Jesus, I have a new name. I recently read a book that asked, “Do you know the meaning of your name?” (When Women Walk by Faith-Lysa TerKeurst). I’ve always known that my name means Beloved, but this time it took on a whole new meaning for me. It went from my head to my heart. It was a tangible reminder of God’s love for me. There was no doubt in my mind that God was speaking to me through this book and the words of this song…

“I’ve heard the accusation. And I’ve heard the propaganda. I’ve heard the lies they whispered to my soul. That I have been forsaken. And I’ll always be forgotten. No matter what I do it’s not enough. I am Your Beloved, You have bought me with Your blood. On Your hand You have written out my name. I am Your Beloved, the one the Father loves, Your mercy has defeated all my shame. The One who knows me best, is the one who loves me most. There is nothing I have done that could change the Father’s love…” (I am Your Beloved, Jonathon & Melissa Houser-Bethel Music)

Dear Father, thank you that you call me by my new name…Loved, Chosen, Redeemed. That I am found by You and loved by You. My name is written on the palm of your hand (Isaiah 49:16). My purpose and identity are in you. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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