Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Solomon’

Firmly Established

And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever. I Kings 2:45

Solomon’s kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon was a wise man by nature. There were factors in the kingdom that he had to eliminate. There were other things that he had to embrace.

This is true of those who would follow Jesus as well. When we become Christians, there are things we need to cut out of our lives. We break some habits that are counterproductive. We leave off socializing with people who would draw us away from our fidelity to Christ.

By the same token, there are new things that we need to add to our lives. There will be mentors and friends from this new way of living. We need to be open to the changes that God will make in our lives.

When something new comes along, we need to evaluate it in light of our relationship with Christ. If it helps us to stay true to our faith in Christ, it is something we need to adopt. If it draws us away from our faith in Christ, we need to cut it from our lives, lest we be drawn away from the faith we profess.

Father, God,

Grant us the wisdom to see what is beneficial and what is detrimental to our faith. Give us the courage to embrace the beneficial, and help us to rid our lives of the detrimental.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Discipline

Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.  And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.  And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.  But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants:But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. ~~ First Kings 1:5-10 (KJV)

Adonijah was David’s son born next after Absalom. We are told that he was good looking and that his father had never interfered with whatever he wanted to do. In other words, he was a spoiled child, never disciplined.

Good looking children have a handicap. People make a fuss over them when they are small and tend not to scold them “because they’re so cute.” Even when they make mischief, it’s excused away.

When my son was small, he was very cute. He looked like a little elf, hair as gold as dead-ripe wheat, eyes as blue as an Irish lake, a sprinkling of freckles, and a grin that could light up an underground cavern.

He was about two years old when we were in the grocery store check out lane. Like every two-year-old I’ve ever known, his arms were rubbery enough to stretch to every candy bar and chewing gum package lining that aisle. I took both his hands into mine as I told him “no” and placed them on the handle of the grocery cart beneath my own hands.

A lovely great-grandmotherly type behind me said “He’s so cute! How can you scold him?”

“He’s so cute, how dare I not?” was my response.

Children need to grow up with a sense of responsibility, not entitlement. Adonijah wanted the glory of the kingship, he didn’t have the stomach to behave as a king. When Solomon was crowned by David, Adonijah withered on the vine.

Undisciplined people don’t have the perserverance to see things through to the end.

Father, God,

Help us to be Your disciplined children and to discipline our own children to Your ways. Give us the patience and endurance to persevere to the end.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Glory And Peace

Focus verses: Haggai: 2:1-9

The temple building project cannot be completed in a few days or even a few months. During the reconstruction, the Lord sends Haggai and Zechariah with encouraging messages to keep the work going. Some projects simply require more dedication, determination and effort than others.

In this passage, God reassures the children of Israel that the glory of this temple will surpass the glory of Solomon’s temple. That seems counter-intuitive because this temple is smaller in size and will have less ornamentation than the former temple.

Perhaps glory is not a quality that is measured by size and ornament. Perhaps glory is a facet of essence. You see, Jesus himself will walk the halls of this temple. He will teach here. He will drive the money changers out.

“And in this place I will grant peace,” declares the Lord Almighty.

Peace is much sought after in all times and seasons. There seems to be precious little of it in our nations today. And yet the greeting in Hebrew is shalom – peace. Our western custom of shaking hands is sprung from the offering to another of a sword hand that is empty of weapon – symbolic of peace.

We have no temple. This second temple has been destroyed as well. But each of us has a personal temple. We have been told that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We have been bought by the blood of Christ and belong to Him, not to ourselves. He has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell with us.

Let us consider ourselves as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Let us look for God’s glory in our lives. Let us rejoice in His peace, which will bless our spirits that we might continue our work for Him.

Father, God,

Help us to see things on a spiritual plane, not just in physical earthly terms. Grant us the vision to see Your work as on-going and us as Your masons, building temple for You brick by brick.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Faded Glory

Focus verses: I Kings 11:1-13

Solomon had it made! He had asked for wisdom from the Lord and received it. Because he asked for wisdom, not wealth or strength or power, God not only gave him the wisdom, but all the rest besides. What could possibly go wrong?

Well there is this small matter of disobedience. Against God’s explicit instructions, Solomon married and married and married. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. The number, however, is not the problem.

He married some from nations where the Lord had explicitly told the Israelites not to intermarry because the wives would turn the Israelites’ hearts from the Lord to their own gods.

We don’t know exactly what happened to Solomon as he grew older. Perhaps he wasn’t as diligent to follow the Lords commands. Perhaps he became arrogant with his wisdom and decided that he was the exception to God’s dictates.

Perhaps he simply took things for granted to the extent that he no longer had an appreciation of the blessings of God and failed to heed the message of God. He, with all his wisdom, chose an unwise course of action: marrying women from nations which God had forbidden intermarriage.

Whatever the pathway, he disobeyed. But notice this. He will not have the kingdom wrenched from him. That will be done to his sons! He has, in effect, disinherited his own children.

Consequences for actions are not always immediate. Sometimes they are delayed for generations. But actions have inescapable consequences. We need to keep this firmly in mind when we make our decisions about what to do.

Father, God,

Keep us ever mindful of the rich blessings You have bestowed upon us. Help us to remain faithful to Your precepts. Grant that we may see the consequences of our choices, no matter how far down the road the consequences are hidden.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

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Discerning Wisdom

Focus verses: Proverbs 2: 6-15

The wise words of Solomon are as true today as they were the day they were written down.

Here, wisdom is a prize greatly to be desired. You can get it from God, and implied is the thought from God only.

Seeking wisdom from the Lord, you can be certain that he will guard your steps so that you will not fall into bad company.

Note please, that wisdom will enter your heart. It is not just a function of the intellect, but is also a function of the emotions. When you have wisdom, you can follow what we’ve called “that gut feeling” with confidence.

Wisdom will keep your feet on the secure path. All other paths will lead to destruction and dishonor, but wisdom will keep you on the Lord’s path, walking in His ways.

Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom and was given wealth and honor and power as a result of his wisdom.

Father, God,

Grant us Your wisdom so that we may walk in Your ways and become more and more Your children.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Abandonment

Focus verses: I Kings 6:11-13

God promises Solomon that He will never abandon His people Israel. What a wonderful assurance!

When we believe in God and follow His precepts, God will not abandon us. However, when we abandon God, He allows us to reap the fruit of our own actions. It may feel like He is far away, but He never moves. We do.

Our closeness with God depends on our being faithful to His commands, singing His praises, and watching for the signs of His presence in our lives.

When we find ourselves drifting away, we can do one of two things. We can continue to drift like so much flotsam, or we can turn back to Him. He is faithful and unchanging. We’re the fickle and flighty ones.

He waits for us with open arms, eager to restore us to His favor. We need not disappoint Him.

Father, God,

Thank You for remaining faithful to us, even when we are errant children. We are grateful for Your forgiving heart. Help us to remain steadfast in our love for You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Solomon Is King

Focus verse: I Kings 2:46

Solomon’s kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon was a wise man by nature. There were factors in the kingdom that he had to eliminate. There were other things that he had to embrace.

This is true of those who would follow Jesus as well. When we become Christians, there are things we need to cut out of our lives. We break some habits that are counterproductive. We leave off socializing with people who would draw us away from our fidelity to Christ.

By the same token, there are new things that we need to add to our lives. There will be mentors and friends from this new way of living. We need to be open to the changes that God will make in our lives.

When something new comes along, we need to evaluate it in light of our relationship with Christ. If it helps us to stay true to our faith in Christ, it is something we need to adopt. If it draws us away from our faith in Christ, we need to cut it from our lives, lest we be drawn away from the faith we profess.

Father, God,

Grant us the wisdom to see what is beneficial and what is detrimental to our faith. Give us the courage to embrace the beneficial, and help us to rid our lives of the detrimental.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.