Saturday, May 19, 2012
Welcome to Day 139 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: 1 Kings 4; 1 Kings 5; 2 Chronicles 2; Psalm 101; 2 Thessalonians 3 (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 4, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol.”
1 Kings 5, preparations are being made for building the temple.
2 Chronicles 2, imagine a building project so large in scope so as to have nearly 160,000 workers dedicated to it!
Psalm 101, “In this psalm the king promises to live a life of obedience, pursuing holiness in his own life and seeking to root out evil from his kingdom. David could not live up to his own ideals. He failed time after time, though he lived a life of repentance. Many believe that Psalm 101 was written by David and later used as a coronation psalm, beginning with Solomon. If so, high ideals at the beginning of his reign degenerated into disobedience and, in the case of Solomon, open apostasy. Christ alone could offer perfect obedience in the flesh.” Reformation Study Bible
2 Thessalonians “We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.”
What I want to know is who is Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol?? That they are the ones considered to be so wise and insightful that Solomon is compared to them! They must have been considered the thought leaders, the wise men of their day! They are forever on this short list of very wise, insightful men of their day.
While there is so much in these passages, I am struck by the short list of wise men. At the end of David’s reign, there were 1,300,00 in his army alone. So there were easily over 2,000,00 people. Probably closer to 3,000,000 total. And these four guys were on the list of the wisest of the wise.
This really speaks to me about reputation.
I once did an ad for Huntington Bank in Columbus. The headline was, “Wealth, like a good reputation, is more easily made, than kept.”
Proverbs 22:1 states, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
Or that verse from 2 Thessalonians 3 today, “We hear that some among you are…”
And it’s funny how quickly one’s reputation can change. In an instant. One loose comment… One scandal…
Makes me think of Bernie Madoff who crafted a hedge fund ponzi scheme and “made off” with 50 BILLION dollars of other people’s money! One day he was considered one of the top guys to give your money to, the next day he lands in jail, humiliated.
The scandal list is long and distinguished. From politicians to sports figures to talk show hosts to (gulp…) highly visible pastors who made an outrageous comment that got them into hot water or led a double life and got caught.
Their reputations ruined.
How about this for a reputation, “One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” Titus 1:12
Or this one in Acts 9, “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.”
How about that for a reputation?
We craft our own reputation, day in and day out, over the long haul…
It’s the same concept as it takes months, even years to build a building and most can be brought down in a moment.
Our staff once did an exercise as part of a Franklin-Covey training. Each had to consider seven different roles we play in life. (I’m a husband, father, pastor, neighbor… you get the idea.) Then we had to write a paragraph as though one person from each category were going to pay tribute to us at the end of our life.
Then, you work toward that. I can never fully live up to what I wrote… but at least it’s a target at which to shoot.
And I just keep shooting at that same target, day in and day out.
Oh to be on that short list…
(Insert very long prayer here, crying out to God, asking for wisdom and understanding… all the fruit of the Spirit, all the gifts of the Spirit and the character to back it up.)