Posts Tagged ‘Solomon’

Isaiah 10:15 Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!

One constant pitfall we must watch for is taking credit for something that God does in or through us, or using the gifts and callings of God for self-exaltation. In that light it may be easier to handle poverty, weakness, or insignificance, than wealth, ability, power or authority, since poverty and frailty are not normally things we boast about, and they cause us to recognize our need for God. Prosperity, gifting, and anointing, on the other hand can be powerful temptations, leading to pride, covetousness, and self-sufficiency.

Saul, who came from a humble background, was anointed king of Israel, yet his heart was revealed when the Lord exalted him, but he exulted in his own position, eventually coveting it so severely he became a fierce enemy of God. The Lord then removed His spirit from Saul and the true condition of the man became apparent to everyone.

Even the great Solomon whose gifting, anointing, and prosperity were unsurpassed in some ways, seems to have taken for granted his abilities and wealth, and, somehow, rationalizing his blatant disobedience to God’s law, he fell into idolatry and brought disaster to the Kingdom of Israel. This seems amazing, given the fact that Solomon’s most precious gift was his wisdom. (Those with this gift should take note).

Be careful how you handle the gifts and successes that God gives you! Enjoy His blessings as you serve in your family, business, or ministry – but never forget where it all comes from, and to whom the glory belongs, cause if you do, He will be sure to remind you.

dr evilAren’t friends great?! Look around you today and what do you see? Friends—lots of friends! Yes,friends are wonderful. In fact, the Bible says, “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). God’sWord also reminds us that “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). If we have a friend who is closer to us than a relative like a brother or a sister, then that person must be very special indeed. And some of us have friends who are just like that, don’t we? They are people in whom we trust people on whom we can always depend, and people whom we genuinely love. Good friends not only are a joy to be with, but they also help us be better people. For example, have

you ever noticed how being around friends who do what is right, who are honest, and who respect others causes us to want to do what is right, be honest, and respect others, too? The apostle Paul once wrote: “No one lives to himself, and no one dies to himself” (Romans 14:7). You may have heard the old saying “No man is an island,” which makes the same point that Paul was making: people around us have an effect on us, and we have an effect on them. But if friends who act right  can encourage us to want to act right, what might friends who act wrong cause us to do? Have you ever done something wrong because you were with someone else who was doing something wrong? It is easier for us to do something wrong, it seems, if others around us are doingsomething wrong. Moses knew that—which is why he warned the Israelites: “Do not follow a crowd to do evil!” (Exodus 23:2). Moses wanted the Israelites to realize that being around people who “do evil” could influence them to do things that were wrong, too. In fact, the Bible gives us the perfect example of a man who did not choose his companions correctly—and who paid a terrible price for his poor choices.
His name was Solomon, and he was the wisest human ever to have lived on Earth. God repeatedly warned the Israelites about becoming friends with,or marrying, people around them who “did evil.” God told Solomon, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you—because they will surely turn  away your hearts after their gods” (1 Kings 11:2). But Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s warning. Instead, he made friends with evil people, and even married some of their women. Sadly, the Bible says that
“Solomon’s wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God” (1Kings 11:4). Solomon’s pagan wives convinced him to build temples filled with idols to false gods. Eventually, the Israelites began worshiping those gods,too. Because one man chose to associate with the wrong individuals, God’s people abandoned Him—and ended up suffering horribly because of it. This is why, many years later, Paul told first-century Christians, “Do not be deceived; evil companionships
corrupt good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The New King James Version puts it like this: “Do not be deceived: bad company ruins good morals.” Yes, it certainly does!

What do you think would eventually happen to me if I started running around with people who smoked, drank alcohol, and used illegal drugs, and never went to church? What effect do you think it would have on me if the friends with whom I associate on a daily basis used curse words, disrespected their teachers at school, took God’s name in vain, and made fun of those who are physically or mentally handicapped in some way? Solomon learned the answers to those kinds of questions the hard way. He ignored God’s warnings to stay away from evil people, and instead chose to not only associate with them, but to marry some of them! As a result, he ended upsetting the stage for his kingdom to be split in half when he died.
God knows what is best for us because He created us! If God tells us in His Word that “bad company ruins good morals,” we need to take His warning seriously and seek to spend time with friends who are “good company” rather than “bad company.” Let’s face it: the company we keep doesaffect how we act. Let it never be said of us that “bad company”ruined our “good morals” like it did King Solomon’s because if that happens, we very likely will miss out on getting to go to heaven. And if that happens, then we will end up in hell where there will be nothing but evil people! Who would want to live there forever?

scroogeI’ve been noticing a very disturbing trend among Christians lately, and that trend is people focusing more on what they don’t have than what they posses in their hearts, Jesus. It’s one of those things that really make me scratch my head and wonder how anyone calling themself a Christian can be so focused on what they have on this earth, but will never be able to take with them to heaven. The Bible specifically addresses worrying over wanting what others have, and being angry about what we don’t have in Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with having money or possesions, it’s what we do with them that can make or break us spiritually. If we own a lot, and hoard it instead of helping others with it, then we need to reevaluate our faith and our hearts. I also believe that God allows us to have what we can handle. And by that I mean that if He blesses us, and we squander the money instead of using it wisely, then we may find ourselves having it taken away. It’s like a parent giving a teenager a new car. Will they give the young adult a muscle car that may lead them into a dangerous situation, or will they give the child a car that’s safe and and conservative so they will not be harmed? Sometimes God deals with us the same way when it comes to possesions and faith, He’s not going to allow us to have more than what we can handle, so we need to respect His judgement and be content with what we do have, not what we don’t.

The bottom line is best summed up in the Matthew verses above. We can be angry that we don’t have a palace to live in while we’re here on this earth, or we can be happy knowing that one day we will be living in the greatest mansion of all in the kingdom of Heaven. If you cannot find happiness in knowing that Jesus died on the cross for you so you can enter the gates one day, then I would suggest that you ask Him for a more grateful heart. In fact, that’s not a bad idea to do even if you do find contentment.

Take a look around today and ask yourself if you are truly happy with a heart full of God, or a bank full of money. Be honest with yourself. I’ll let you be the judge and hopethat we learn to be content with whatever it is that God has blessed us with rather than what we don’t have. Be blessed today…:)

wisdomHe that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyedProverbs 13:20

There is an interesting insight within this proverb that gives hope, as well as warning. Notice the language of purposeful intimacy that is used in both the positive and contrasting negative admonitions.

He that walks with wise men is sure to be wise. It is not as though wisdom automatically rubs off on anyone who finds themselves in a family or church full of wise individuals. Almost every family, and certainly every church, has seen some individual — who even grew up in their midst — turn away from the wisdom of God‘s Word to the foolish pursuits of the world.

It is not simply being around wise people that makes a person wise — it is walking with them. It is the conscious choice to learn from, agree with, and live by the wisdom that one sees. While this certainly includes surrounding oneself with wise counselors and friends, it is more than that. It is the purposeful decision to walk according to the friendly, wise counsel and example they give.

The contrasting, but corollary, lesson is this: a companion of fools will be destroyed. Everyone of us has ungodly classmates or coworkers, but this does not in itself ensure our demise: it is making companions — intimate friends — of these individuals which will prove detrimental. It is fitting in with their foolishness.

There is warning in this proverb, because success or failure depends on the friendships we choose to form. However, there is hope because we can choose who our companions, our close confidants, will be.

Which decision are you currently pursuing? What friendships are you forming? Which way will your companions be pulling you?

Enter not into the path of the wicked…Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away- Proverbs 4:14-15

Have you ever been stuck in slow-moving traffic, only to discover finally that the entire delay was caused by people rubber-necking an accident on the other side of the highway? If so, didn’t you wish afterward that you could have caught the traffic report that morning on the radio and avoided the scene altogether?

Similarly, Solomon writes to his son to encourage him to altogether avoid situations that could potentially entangle him in sin. The best approach, Solomon says, is to avoid the scene of wickedness altogether.

However, if you do have to engage such an environment (e.g. at work, at home, in the barracks), this wise father counsels: don’t be guilty of “rubber-necking” the sin around you. Avoid it, don’t go near it, get away from it as quickly as you can.

The magazine rack at the supermarket, with provocative poses on almost every cover? Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. The flirty co-worker at the office? Avoid him, pass not by her, turn from the temptation as quickly as possible and go on your way. The same wisdom applies to ungodly classmates, illicit entertainment, or unhealthy atmospheres.

Will others think you’re strange for so conscientiously avoiding sinful distractions and potential shipwrecks for your faith? Yes, especially if they are rushing headlong toward it themselves. But Solomon is not concerned with what others think — he is concerned about you