Reading for Today:
- 1 Kings 7:1–8:66
- Psalm 68:28-35
- Proverbs 17:16-17
- John 11:1-29
1 Kings 8:22–53 Solomon moved to the altar of burnt offering to offer a lengthy prayer of consecration to the Lord. First, he affirmed that no god could compare to Israel’s God, the Lord (vv. 23, 24). Second, he asked the Lord for His continued presence and protection (vv. 25–30). Third, he listed 7 typical Israelite prayers that would require the Lord’s response (vv. 31–54). These supplications recalled the detailed list of curses that Deuteronomy 28:15–68 ascribed for the breaking of the law. Specifically, Solomon prayed that the Lord would judge between the wicked and the righteous (vv. 31, 32); the Lord would forgive the sins that had caused defeat in battle (vv. 33, 34); the Lord would forgive the sins that had brought on drought (vv. 35, 36); the Lord would forgive the sins that had resulted in national calamities (vv. 37–40); the Lord would show mercy to God-fearing foreigners (vv. 41–43); the Lord would give victory in battle (vv. 44, 45); and the Lord would bring restoration after captivity (vv. 46–54).
Proverbs 17:17 The difference between a friend and a brother is noted here. A true friend is a constant source of love, while a brother in one’s family may not be close, but is drawn near to help in trouble. Friends are closer than brothers because they are available all the time, not just in the crisis.
John 11:17 in the tomb. The term “tomb” means a stone sepulcher. In Palestine such a grave was common. Either a cave or rock area would be hewn out, the floor inside leveled and graded to make a shallow descent. Shelves were cut out or constructed inside the area in order to bury additional family members. A rock was rolled in front to prevent wild animals or grave robbers from entering. The evangelist made special mention of the fourth day in order to stress the magnitude of the miracle, for the Jews did not embalm and by then the body would have been in a state of rapid decomposition.
DAY 30: Why did Jesus delay when He heard that Lazarus was sick?
The resurrection of Lazarus in John 11 is the climactic and most dramatic sign in this Gospel and the capstone of Christ’s public ministry. Six miracles have already been presented (water into wine [2:1–11], healing of the nobleman’s son [4:46–54], restoring the impotent man [5:1–15], multiplying the loaves and fishes [6:1–14], walking on the water [6:15–21], and curing the man born blind [9:1–12]). Lazarus’s resurrection is more potent than all those and even more monumental than the raising of the widow’s son in Nain (Luke 7:11–16) or Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8:40–56) because those two resurrections occurred immediately after death. Lazarus was raised after 4 days of being in the grave with the process of decomposition already having started (v. 39).
Upon hearing that Lazarus is sick, Jesus’ immediate response is that it is “for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (v. 4). This phrase reveals the real purpose behind Lazarus’s sickness, i.e., not death, but that the Son of God might be glorified through his resurrection. So He stayed two more days. The decision to delay coming did not bring about Lazarus’s death, since Jesus already supernaturally knew his plight. Most likely by the time the messenger arrived to inform Jesus, Lazarus was already dead. The delay was because He loved the family (v. 5) and that love would be clear as He greatly strengthened their faith by raising Lazarus from the dead. The delay also ensured that Lazarus had been dead long enough that no one could misinterpret the miracle as a fraud or mere resuscitation.
Coming to Martha, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (v. 25). This is the fifth in a series of 7 great “I AM” statements of Jesus (6:35; 8:12; 10:7,9; 10:11,14). With this statement, Jesus moved Mary from an abstract belief in the resurrection that will take place “at the last day”(see 5:28, 29) to a personalized trust in Him who alone can raise the dead. No resurrection or eternal life exists outside of the Son of God. Time (“at the last day”) is no barrier to the One who has the power of resurrection and life (1:4) for He can give life at any time.
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.