Day 209

Beautiful Feet

Wisdom Proverbs 18:7-16
New Testament Romans 10:5-11:10
Old Testament 1 Chronicles 2:18-4:8

Introduction

Friends of ours had been waiting for ten years for a baby. They had been told it was impossible. One day there was a ring on our doorbell. There she was. It was written all over her face. As soon as she was in the house she started jumping up and down, stamping her feet with joy and delight, announcing the good news. She had conceived. Their wait was over. She was carrying the good news in her own body. There is nothing more exciting than being the bearer of good news.

You too are the bearer of good news. The message of Jesus is in you. That is why, according to the apostle Paul, you have beautiful feet (Romans 10:15).

As his followers, we are all called to share the good news of Jesus. Some of us have the immense privilege of being called to do it as a full-time job. Way back in January 1978, when I was practising law, I wrote in my prayer diary:

‘I long to spend my whole time preaching the gospel – telling people about the love of Jesus. But Romans 10:15 warns, “How can \[people\] preach unless they are sent?” I cannot and will not be able to preach the gospel unless I am sent by God to do so – it is a wonderful calling. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”’

The heart of the good news is a righteousness that comes by faith (v.6). ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (v.13).

Wisdom

Proverbs 18:7-16

7 The mouths of fools are their undoing,
   and their lips are a snare to their very lives.

8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
   they go down to the inmost parts.

9 One who is slack in his work
   is brother to one who destroys.

10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
   the righteous run to it and are safe.

11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
   they imagine it a wall too high to scale.

12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
   but humility comes before honour.

13 To answer before listening—
   that is folly and shame.

14 The human spirit can endure in sickness,
   but a crushed spirit who can bear?

15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
   for the ears of the wise seek it out.

16 A gift opens the way
   and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

Commentary

Run to the Lord

This passage in Proverbs is full of practical wisdom. We need to guard our lips: ‘Fools are undone by their big mouths; their souls are crushed by their words’ (v.7, MSG). ‘Gossip’ is very tempting but to be avoided: ‘Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?’ (v.8, MSG).

We need to work hard and not be ‘slack’: ‘Slack habits and sloppy work are as bad as vandalism’ (v.9, MSG). It is foolish to rely on wealth: ‘The rich think their wealth protects them; they imagine themselves safe behind it’ (v.11, MSG). Pride leads to downfall: ‘Pride first, then the crash’ (v.12a, MSG). Humility leads to honour (v.12b).

There is also some very good advice to those hosting or helping on Alpha: ‘Answering before listening is both stupid and rude’ (v.13, MSG). ‘Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights’ (v.15, MSG).

In the midst of all this practical advice, there is a verse that ties in with today’s theme: ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe’ (v.10). Not all are safe. Only those who run to the strong tower, which is ‘the name of the Lord’, will be saved.

Even here we find the roots of the teaching of the New Testament that those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Prayer

Lord, help me today to guard my lips, to be careful about what I say, to work hard and humbly depend on you. Thank you that your name is a strong tower and a place of safety for all who run to it.

New Testament

Romans 10:5-11:10

5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

  “Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
   their words to the ends of the world.”

19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,

  “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
   I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”

20 And Isaiah boldly says,

  “I was found by those who did not seek me;
   I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But concerning Israel he says,

  “All day long I have held out my hands
   to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

The Remnant of Israel

11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written:

  “God gave them a spirit of stupor,
   eyes that could not see
  and ears that could not hear,
   to this very day.”

9 And David says:

  “May their table become a snare and a trap,
   a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
  10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
   and their backs be bent forever.”

Commentary

Call to the Lord

I was eighteen years old. I had been a Christian for two months when I had the privilege of telling someone the good news about Jesus in such a way that he believed. His life, like mine, was changed that day.

Do you remember the first time you understood the good news about Jesus and believed in him? Have you ever had the privilege of telling another person the message of Jesus in such a way that they believed?

The claim of the New Testament is breathtaking. The name of the Lord was so sacred in the Old Testament that no one dared take it on their lips. Now we know that the name of the Lord is Jesus. Not only can we take his name on our lips but when we believe in him and call on him we are ‘saved’ (10:9–10).

The Christian message is both exclusive, because Jesus is the only name given for our salvation, and inclusive, because everyone in this world can call upon his name.

Jesus is easily accessible to all of us. ‘No precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah, no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah.’ Paul continues:

‘The word that saves is right here,
 as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as close as the heart in your chest’ (vv.6–8, MSG).

It is important to not only believe in your heart, but to actually say you have done so: ‘If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved’ (vv.9–10).

I have often noticed on Alpha, for example, that something happens to a person, a change takes place, when they ‘confess’ with their ‘mouth’ for the first time, ‘I am now a Christian.’

Paul is keen to emphasise that as far as salvation is concerned, ‘There is no difference between Jew and Gentile’ (v.12a). It is ‘the same Lord \[Jesus, who\] is Lord of all, and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”’ (vv.12b–13).

It is of utmost importance, therefore, that we tell people the good news about Jesus. People cannot call on the name of the Lord unless they believe. They cannot believe unless they hear. They cannot hear unless someone tells them. People will not tell them unless they are sent (vv.14–15). It is an amazing privilege to be sent out to tell people. ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ (v.15).

It is not enough simply to be a member of the race of Israel (any more than it is enough now to be born in a Christian country). Paul demonstrates this by quoting Moses and Isaiah. Not all believed. Some were disobedient and obstinate (v.21).

The answer to the question, “Has God rejected his people?”, is, “No, no, no” (11:1–4). The rejection of Israel is only partial. There always has been and always will be a remnant. Paul was an example of that truth (v.1).

Paul refers to Elijah (who was depressed after Mount Carmel) saying, ‘I am the only one left.’ God says, in effect, ‘Cheer up, I kept for myself seven thousand people who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ It is all of grace (v.6). Paul says, ‘So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace’ (vv.5–6).

Prayer

Lord, thank you that everyone who calls on your name will be saved. Thank you that there is no greater privilege than being sent out to tell others. Help us to raise up and send out those who bring good news to Jew and Gentile alike.

Old Testament

1 Chronicles 2:18-4:8

Caleb Son of Hezron

18 Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wife Azubah (and by Jerioth). These were her sons: Jesher, Shobab and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 Hur was the father of Uri, and Uri the father of Bezalel.

21 Later, Hezron, when he was sixty years old, married the daughter of Makir the father of Gilead. He made love to her, and she bore him Segub. 22 Segub was the father of Jair, who controlled twenty-three towns in Gilead. 23 (But Geshur and Aram captured Havvoth Jair, as well as Kenath with its surrounding settlements—sixty towns.) All these were descendants of Makir the father of Gilead.

24 After Hezron died in Caleb Ephrathah, Abijah the wife of Hezron bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa.

Jerahmeel Son of Hezron

25 The sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron:
  Ram his firstborn, Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. 26 Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam.
27 The sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel:
   Maaz, Jamin and Eker.
28 The sons of Onam:
   Shammai and Jada.
The sons of Shammai:
   Nadab and Abishur.
29 Abishur’s wife was named Abihail, who bore him Ahban and Molid.
30 The sons of Nadab:
   Seled and Appaim. Seled died without children.
31 The son of Appaim:
   Ishi, who was the father of Sheshan.
   Sheshan was the father of Ahlai.
32 The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother:
   Jether and Jonathan. Jether died without children.
33 The sons of Jonathan:
   Peleth and Zaza.
These were the descendants of Jerahmeel.

34 Sheshan had no sons—only daughters.
He had an Egyptian servant named Jarha. 35 Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to his servant Jarha, and she bore him Attai.
36 Attai was the father of Nathan,
Nathan the father of Zabad,
37 Zabad the father of Ephlal,
Ephlal the father of Obed,
38 Obed the father of Jehu,
Jehu the father of Azariah,
39 Azariah the father of Helez,
Helez the father of Eleasah,
40 Eleasah the father of Sismai,
Sismai the father of Shallum,
41 Shallum the father of Jekamiah,
and Jekamiah the father of Elishama.

The Clans of Caleb

42 The sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel:
Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph, and his son Mareshah, who was the father of Hebron.
43 The sons of Hebron:
Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44 Shema was the father of Raham, and Raham the father of Jorkeam. Rekem was the father of Shammai. 45 The son of Shammai was Maon , and Maon was the father of Beth Zur.
46 Caleb’s concubine Ephah was the mother of Haran, Moza and Gazez. Haran was the father of Gazez.
47 The sons of Jahdai:
Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph.
48 Caleb’s concubine Maakah was the mother of Sheber and Tirhanah. 49 She also gave birth to Shaaph the father of Madmannah and to Sheva the father of Makbenah and Gibea. Caleb’s daughter was Aksah. 50 These were the descendants of Caleb.

The sons of Hur the firstborn of Ephrathah:
Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim, 51 Salma the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth Gader.
52 The descendants of Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim were:
Haroeh, half the Manahathites, 53 and the clans of Kiriath Jearim: the Ithrites, Puthites, Shumathites and Mishraites. From these descended the Zorathites and Eshtaolites.
54 The descendants of Salma:
Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth Beth Joab, half the Manahathites, the Zorites, 55 and the clans of scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, Shimeathites and Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the Rekabites.

The Sons of David

3 These were the sons of David born to him in Hebron:
The firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
the second, Daniel the son of Abigail of Carmel;
2 the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
3 the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah.
4 These six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months.
David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, 5 and these were the children born to him there:
Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel. 6 There were also Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet—nine in all. 9 All these were the sons of David, besides his sons by his concubines. And Tamar was their sister.

The Kings of Judah

10 Solomon’s son was Rehoboam,
Abijah his son,
Asa his son,
Jehoshaphat his son,
11 Jehoram his son,
Ahaziah his son,
Joash his son,
12 Amaziah his son,
Azariah his son,
Jotham his son,
13 Ahaz his son,
Hezekiah his son,
Manasseh his son,
14 Amon his son,
Josiah his son.
15 The sons of Josiah:
Johanan the firstborn,
Jehoiakim the second son,
Zedekiah the third,
Shallum the fourth.
16 The successors of Jehoiakim:
Jehoiachin his son,
and Zedekiah.

The Royal Line After the Exile

17 The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive:
Shealtiel his son, 18 Malkiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah.
19 The sons of Pedaiah:
Zerubbabel and Shimei.
The sons of Zerubbabel:
Meshullam and Hananiah.
Shelomith was their sister.
20 There were also five others:
Hashubah, Ohel, Berekiah, Hasadiah and Jushab-Hesed.
21 The descendants of Hananiah:
Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, and the sons of Rephaiah, of Arnan, of Obadiah and of Shekaniah.
22 The descendants of Shekaniah:
Shemaiah and his sons:
Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah and Shaphat—six in all.
23 The sons of Neariah:
Elioenai, Hizkiah and Azrikam—three in all.
24 The sons of Elioenai:
Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah and Anani—seven in all.

Other Clans of Judah

4 The descendants of Judah:
Perez, Hezron, Karmi, Hur and Shobal.
2 Reaiah son of Shobal was the father of Jahath, and Jahath the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites.
3 These were the sons of Etam:
Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi. 4 Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah.
These were the descendants of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah and father of Bethlehem.
5 Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.
6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Haahashtari. These were the descendants of Naarah.
7 The sons of Helah:
Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan, 8 and Koz, who was the father of Anub and Hazzobebah and of the clans of Aharhel son of Harum.

Commentary

Put your faith in the Lord

God created us to live in a relationship with him. Until we find that relationship, there will always be something missing in our lives.

God loves you and wants you to find fulfilment and purpose in that relationship. That is why worship of God is central to our lives and it is the backbone of the book of Chronicles. Faithful worship is what matters most of all.

God is faithful to you. He calls you to be faithful to him. Unfaithfulness leads to trouble.

The chronicler continues his introduction to the people of Israel. The list of the kings of Judah (3:10–16) is almost like the index to the books. Much of 1 Chronicles is devoted to King David – who is held up as an example of true worship and faithfulness to God.

One of the great themes of the Book of Chronicles is the importance of this faith in the Lord. He is going to demonstrate that not all the people of Israel were faithful.

You may feel very isolated and alone at times. It may appear that there are not many believers around you. But there always remains a remnant who have faith in God.

This is one of the key messages throughout the Book of Chronicles. ‘Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful’ (2 Chronicles 20:20).

Prayer

Lord, thank you that you always keep a remnant. Help us not to be disheartened but rather to go on spreading the good news of Jesus.

Pippa adds

In Romans 10:13 it says,

‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

It’s as simple as that.

reader

App

Download The Bible with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel app for iOS or Android devices and read along each day.

reader

Email

Subscribe now to receive The Bible with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel in your inbox each morning. You’ll get one email each day.

reader

Website

Start reading today’s devotion right here on The Bible with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel website.

Read now
reader

Book

The Bible with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel Commentary is available as a book.

References

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version Anglicised, Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 Biblica, formerly International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, an Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. ‘NIV’ is a registered trademark of Biblica. UK trademark number 1448790.

Scripture marked (MSG) taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

The Bible with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel

  • INTRODUCTION
  • WISDOM BIBLE
  • WISDOM COMMENTARY
  • NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE
  • NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY
  • OLD TESTAMENT BIBLE
  • OLD TESTAMENT COMMENTARY
  • PIPPA ADDS

This website stores data such as cookies to enable necessary site functionality and analytics. Find out more