Saturday, June 25, 2022

A King's Resume

 Recently I was asked to write a resume. Since I had not written one in nearly 30 years, it presented a real challenge. As I thought about the many things I had done, some well and some not so well, I was grateful for the fact that the choice of what I would include was up to me.

Solomon did not write his resume. God did. Nor was he the last one to make a statement about who he was and what he had accomplished. God did that as well. (And, by the way, God will do the same for you and me.)

Even a casual review of Solomon’s resume is impressive.

-Early Childhood Education:

Exposed to sages, philosophers, wise men

Observed troops preparing for battle

Studied large building construction

Accompanied his father in foreign affairs

Sang Psalms written by his father

Involved in worship, prayer, and praise

-Major Life Achievements:

The third king of Israel

Built God’s Temple in Jerusalem

Diplomat, trader, patron of the arts

Recognized as “wisest man who ever lived”

Author, sage, and philosopher

-Final Notations:

Leadership accomplishments destroyed

Married pagan women, compromised his God

Enslaved God’s children

What could have been, never was. Sadly, sin defeated Solomon, and he lost everything.

Prayer:  One day, Father, we will all stand before You to be judged for the lives we lived.. May You bless us and say, Well done, Faithful Servant! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Today's Bible Verse:  Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women. Nehemiah 13:26


A King's Resume

Recently I was asked to write a resume. Since I had not written one in nearly 30 years, it presented a real challenge. As I thought about the many things I had done, some well and some not so well, I was grateful for the fact that the choice of what I would include was up to me.

Solomon did not write his resume. God did. Nor was he the last one to make a statement about who he was and what he had accomplished. God did that as well. (And, by the way, God will do the same for you and me.)

Even a casual review of Solomon’s resume is impressive.

-Early Childhood Education:

Exposed to sages, philosophers, wise men

Observed troops preparing for battle

Studied large building construction

Accompanied his father in foreign affairs

Sang Psalms written by his father

Involved in worship, prayer, and praise

-Major Life Achievements:

The third king of Israel

Built God’s Temple in Jerusalem

Diplomat, trader, patron of the arts

Recognized as “wisest man who ever lived”

Author, sage, and philosopher

-Final Notations:

Leadership accomplishments destroyed

Married pagan women, compromised his God

Enslaved God’s children

What could have been, never was. Sadly, sin defeated Solomon, and he lost everything.

Prayer:  One day, Father, we will all stand before You to be judged for the lives we lived.. May You bless us and say, Well done, Faithful Servant! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Today's Bible Verse:  Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women. Nehemiah 13:26


Friday, June 24, 2022

Looking Deeper

Advice only has value if it achieves its goals. Often, we follow the advice we get if it agrees with what we want to hear or if it comes from a trusted friend. When we need sound, reliable, and timely advice, we need assurance that our sourve is wise. Certainly, advice coming from David, a “man after God's own heart,” would be worth following. So, when he gave advice to his son, it was a tipping point in his career as a king, husband, father, teacher, and warrior.

And, his advice was simple, and can be summed up in a few words: “Be strong and obedient to God.” But, what does this mean?

First and foremost, Solomon, if he chose to succeed, needed a deep, personal relationship with God. As he grew up in David’s household, he saw his father reading the law and prophets, worshipping and praying, writing the psalms and following God faithfully. David proved what obedience was. And, when he failed, he repented, and returned to obeying God’s teachings!

However, he had to know God’s laws to obey them. To know them, he had to study them before he could apply them. This would take time from other things - but would be time well invested and keep him from failing in life by being disobedient to God.

 He also was given advice to worship God wholeheartedly, surrender to Him completely and serve Him willingly and faithfully. Sadly, history shows us that he refused to do that.

As the story of Solomon unfolds in the Bible, we read of “what might have been” if he had surrendered to God completely. His lack of surrender destroyed the plan God had for him.

The same is true for us. We must study God’s Word and, surrender to Him, or fail.

Prayer:  Father, may we willingly study and obey Your Word, and then surrender our lives to You and bring honor to Your Name and peace to our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Today's Bible Verse: When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.  “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.” 1 Kings 2:1-3


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Fatherly Advice

There is no shortage of advice in today’s world. We can discover endless resources in the exploding number of self-help books and magazines, radio and TV shows. No matter where we look or what we listen to, someone has some formula to solve our problems, enrich our lives, make us more attractive, add years to our lives, and make us wealthy.

Solomon, apart from his Proverbs, also offered insight on how to live life well in some of his other writings. And, at the end of his life he wrote, “Of making many books there is no end...all has been heard, and here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments.” In these few words, he went back to the beginning of his reign when his father, David, gave him some “fatherly advice” – “Solomon, be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires.”

There are, as mentioned earlier, many sources and resourses on how to live life. But the advice we find here is different. After reflecting on his life and reviewing his successes and failures, he summed up the essence of life: “Life, apart from God, is meaningless.”

David, “a man after God's own heart,” offered his son, Solomon, a man who would one day be recognized as “the wisest man who ever lived” the formula for success.

God’s wisdom, however, only has value if followed. As long as Solomon followed the advice of his father, David, God honored and blessed him. And, nothing since then has changed.

If we follow the advice of our Heavenly Father as He presents it in His Word, He will honor and bless us, guide us and guard us, too!

Prayer:  To accept and live by Your requirements, Father, is easier said than done. But, with Your power, it is possible if we trust in Your strength, not ours.. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Today's Bible Verse: Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:12-13


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Where Did The Proverbs Come From?

No one has ever asked me to answer a question that had no limits. Sometimes, I have been asked questions that have encouraged me to “think big” or to “go beyond what I have thought of in the past,” or to “think into the future for what could be.” Those questions have been very challenging. However, no one has ever approached me and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you, and I will!” At least, no one who had the power to give me a “whatever.”

But that happened to Solomon. And, the one who asked him that question was not his father who he would replace as king. It was One who was much more powerful than his father, and One who, indeed, could grant Solomon the “whatever” he wished for. It was God Himself!

He realized and admitted to God that he was not qualified to be a king. He saw himself as “a little child.” So, he asked God to “give Your child a discerning heart” – (not mind) – “to govern Your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of Yours?” Then, the very next verse begins with, “The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for this!” And, God responded: “I will give you what you asked for and what you have not asked for: wealth and honor, and in your lifetime you will have no equal!”

What an interesting question: “Ask for whatever you want” - and what a humble answer: “Nothing for myself. My only desire is to have a discerning heart.”

God granted his request and through him gave us His inspired, infallible, inerrant Proverbs as “life guides.”

Prayer:  Father, in Your wisdom, You gave Your servant wisdom to offer to Your children so they could “live well!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Today's Bible Verse:   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? 1 Kings 3:9