OYB June 8
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Jun 08
3:3 Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense [on the high places]. According to commentary, the Israelites were permitted to sacrifice to God on the pagan high places before the Temple was built as long as they did it from the right heart. It appears that Solomon had his heart in the right place so far, since God appeared to him afterward. However, something in me wonders why he had to sacrifice so many—it seems over the top. Was he truly giving God a thank offering or flaunting his newfound wealth? Only God knows for sure.
3:9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?" God is pleased when our hearts are in the right place. As any good parent, He rewards good intentions, humility, and obedience. The dark cloud on the horizon tells me that since Solomon eventually turned away from God, he full well knew what he was doing in his rebellion. He asked God to help him know the difference between right and wrong, and so that made his error in following after the pagan gods even more of an abomination. I think for me, one of the scariest thoughts is becoming willfully stubborn against God's work and will in my life. I have been there once before, and I never want to go there again! It was truly a dreadful place to be.
3:25-27 Then [Solomon] said, "Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!"
Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, "Oh no, my lord! Give her the child-please do not kill him!"
But the other woman said, "All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!"
Then the king said, "Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!"
This passage can be applied to divorced parents fighting over their children—parents who are cutting their children's hearts in half by pulling at them constantly like a rope in tug-of-war. The "mother of greed or entitlement" will demand rights, pulling the children in two. The "mother of love" will sacrifice her children for them to be whole because they are most precious to her. The Good King will restore the children to the mother who loves, because of her great sacrifice. This is my experience. If you need a resource, I actually wrote an article for Focus on the Family called "Ex Bashing" that might be helpful.
This principle can be applied to many places in our lives. What is the dream God would ask you to give to Him so that it can remain intact and so that He can restore it to you at the appropriate time?
The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the
seashore. They were very contented, with plenty to eat and drink. Again,
I don't believe this was the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise of
offspring as numerous as the sand on the seashore. I believe it was
man's estimation of the population, but I also believe it was a
prophecy of the future Kingdom when the offspring will be that
numerous. I also believe the promise will include all the Gentiles as
they are brought into the covenant.
4:24-25 For he had dominion over everything west of the River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings west of the River; and he had peace on all sides around about him. So Judah and Israel lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. I believe this is prophetic of the Millennial Kingdom. Notice every many under his "Vine" (my emphasis).
4:26 Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen (NLT reads 4,000 stalls and 12,000 horses-quite different).
4:32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. I wonder why we have so few of them.
6:10-11 But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God." They did the exact same thing to Jesus!
126 Gosh! I love this Psalm! The Millennial Kingdom is all over the OT. No wonder the Jews were so excited to get there (and so disappointed when Jesus did not set up this Kingdom NOW, while He was on earth the first time). Well, everyone was excited except the Sadducees, and so they are still sad.
126:1-2 When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, "What amazing things the Lord has done for them." Yep, I'm there baby!
126:5-6 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. Amen to that!
Is there any seed in your life that has been planted in tears? Prayers for a loved one unanswered? Acts of love rejected? A kind word rebuffed? A spiritual relationship ended in betrayal? Well Good News! Someday you will sing as you return with your harvest! Leapin' lizards this makes me happy!