Saturday, May 15, 2010

2010 – May 15 – Not a Wise Move

Study from God’s Word 1st Kings 7: 1 – 12; 1st Kings 9: 1-9 [2nd Chron. 7: 11-22]; 1st Kings 9: 10-14; 2nd Chron. 8: 1-3; 1st Kings 9: 17-19 [2nd Chron. 8: 4-6]; 1st Kings 9: 20-23, 15 [2nd Chron. 8: 7-10]; 1st Kings 9: 24 [2nd Chron. 8: 11]; 1st Kings 9: 26-28 and 10: 22 [2nd Chron. 8: 17, 18 and 9: 21]; 1st Kings 4: 29-34; 1st Kings 10: 14-21, 27, 23-25 [2nd Chron. 1: 15, 9: 13-20, 27, 22-24]; 1st Kings 4: 26, 10: 26, 28-29 [2nd Chron. 1: 14, 16-17; 9: 25, 28]; 1st Kings 4: 21, 24 [2nd Chron. 9: 26]; 1st Kings 4: 20, 25; 1st Kings 4: 1-19; 1st Kings 4: 22, 23-28; 1st Kings 10: 1-13 [2nd Chron. 9: 1-12]; Psalm 72: 1-19 … Passage for Reflection: 2nd Chronicles 8: 11 … NIV 11 Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said, "My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because the places the ark of the LORD has entered are holy."

My Journal for Today: As you can see above from the record of what I’ve read from the Old Testament today in The Daily Bible in Chronological Order, the record of Solomon’s accomplishments and his accumulation of wealth, worldly influence, and power were impressive, to say the least. And I’m so grateful for F. LaGard Smith’s editing of all of this from 1st Kings and 2nd Chronicles, where it is all written for us to study in parallel reference. I would have never been able to see all of this in such concise space and time to appreciate all that Solomon did in his 20 year reign while the Temple and his palace were being built.

But as I read all of this during my devotional time this morning, especially being alerted by Dr. Smith’s highlight passage and his devotional entry for this date, I was stricken by the strange point/counterpoint of Solomon’s God-given wisdom and his human foolishness. And we see that coming into focus as he makes a worldly and politically “wise” move in marrying an Egyptian princess to solidify his security position with Egypt in those days. However, then he must, against God’s commands, bring this pagan wife into his palace. So, he builds her a separate quarter in the palace so that she will not pollute the holiness of the Arc of the Covenant. Go figure! Such a wise man being so foolish to think that he could bypass God’s will and The Lord’s commands. And this goes on, as I read in 1st Kings 4 and 10 of Solomon’s accumulation of horses and wealth and women, I couldn’t help but reflect on this man’s almost pathological denial of what he must’ve known were God’s commands for any man who became King of Israel. Solomon was mega-wise; and if so, as he accumulated all those horses, women, and wealth, he had to have been convicted by God’s rules for His Kings laid out in Deuteronomy 17.

So, did Solomon, this super-wise man, think that he was pulling the wool over God’s eyes? But knowing how foolish and prideful I can be – and have been – in my life, I empathize with Solomon’s degree of arrogant stupidity, pridefully wrapped up in a package of worldly wisdom, which God had imparted to this man who inherited the kingship from his father, David. Certainly like father, like son; because David knew of God’s commands; but his kingly arrogance was a model of foolhardy judgment in his interaction with the woman who was Solomon’s mother. Wow, Solomon certainly didn’t get this mixture of wisdom and arrogance from anybody strange, did he? As they say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

The whole thing is a clarion and glaring warning that NO ONE can bypass God’s commands. NO ONE is wise enough in our fallen humanity to think that he can get away with a departure from God’s way. And in this New Covenant dispensation, we Christians really have no excuse because we have God’s word – His absolute truth – to shine a light on our path. God, the Father, sent His Son to light that path; and all we have to do is be obedient to His word and follow His (the Son’s) way; and we will have all the wisdom we need to live in this life. That’s what Peter learned and espoused to believers in 2nd Peter 1: 3-4; and this being the truth, we need to realize that if we believe this and live by the truths of such passages as Psalm 119: 105, Prov. 3: 5-6, and Luke 9: 23, we’ll never let pride or denial or human foolishness bring us down as these sinful forces did for Solomon.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help us to believe in, follow, and live by these truths. For in doing so, we will glorify You. Amen

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