Friday, May 18, 2012
Welcome to Day 138 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 3; 2 Chronicles 1; Psalm 78; 2 Thessalonians 2 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
1 Kings 3, insert ALL of 1 Kings 3 here.
2 Chronicles 1, ditto.
Psalm 78 is a “Maschil”—a psalm that gives instruction. It gives an overview of Israel’s long history of turning away from God and His display of mercy and faithfulness. It culminates with David’s rule as shepherd of Israel.
2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
What incredible passages we are reading today. Solomon’s humility and wisdom is on display for all to see. Asking only for wisdom to rule Israel. 1 Kings 3:9, “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?””
This makes me wonder what I would ask for if God appeared to me in a dream…
(Of course, we have the benefit of knowing Solomon’s request and God’s response to that request, so it’s really not possible to answer that, no matter how honest I am with myself…)
Also makes me wonder if Adonijah had become king, and God appeared to him in a dream, what would he have asked for?
But we also have the benefit of knowing the outcome of Solomon’s life… that he ended up cynical, disobedient and well, his heart had turned away from God. (See 1 Kings 11.)
I am curious over the next week or so to see Solomon’s life as king unfold before us…
(I really wish I could read this for the very first time again… not knowing any of the outcome.)
But for today, Solomon is at the very top of his game. Full of humility and wisdom. He has a great reputation and wealth beyond his wildest dreams…
His decision in regards to the two women and the baby is a huge part of his legacy, in addition to having built the temple and for uttering the famous words in Ecclesiastes 1, “The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: 2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
I’m sure his disobedience in marrying foreign women had a little something to do with his attitude and the outcome of his life… with his very first wife being an Egyptian daughter of Pharaoh? Of course, hundreds of years have passed since Moses had led them out of slavery and Egypt, but God had made it abundantly clear that they were to not marry foreign (non-Israelite) women. And he marries a lot of them… and they lead him astray.
I wish I could read this and simply land on, “Wow, Solomon was so wise! Asking only for wisdom and God gave him wisdom and wealth too!” and simply learn the lesson from that. But for me, I end up seeing the cautionary tale within. It’s not that his wealth got the best of him, it was that his heart turns away from God. He realized that wealth and power were meaningless. That is the lesson.
Then, as Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
Lord, help me to hold fast to your teachings… to your word. To always stay near to you. To walk in obedience, but more importantly, in eternal encouragement and good hope, being strengthened in every good deed and word!