Bible Pathways - May 21, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Solomon begins his reign (about 20 years of age) with a humble attitude. One of his first recorded acts is to offer a thousand burnt offerings on the altar to the Lord. He then prepares and begins to build the Temple. Did you count his work force? Check out the dimensions and materials needed.
Solomon's kingdom was unequaled in wealth and splendor: Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly (1:1). It may appear strange for one to possess such wealth and wisdom and not desire to please the Lord as David did. But possessions give a false sense of security and self-sufficiency which often robs many, otherwise with spiritual insight, of the true values of life. The Scriptures teach that the Word of God is the source of true wisdom for daily direction. As we read the Bible with a desire to do His will, the Spirit of Christ — the Living Word — guides our thoughts and actions. Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. . . . For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (I Corinthians 1:30-31; 3:19).
Eventually the wisest and most wealthy man on earth did evil in the sight of the Lord . . . and turned from the Lord God of Israel (I Kings 11:6-11). Jesus told of a successful farmer who said: I will say to my soul . . . take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:19-20). This man was no fool as a farmer, but he gave himself the wrong advice when he congratulated himself on his worldly attainments.
The Lord bids us through Paul's words to Timothy: Having food and raiment let us be therewith content (I Timothy 6:8) — we have a far more important purpose in life to occupy our time than with gaining material possessions.
How much can one accumulate or be involved in the world without losing fellowship with God? Obviously there is a limit. Solomon witnesses to the danger of self-sufficiency.
We are living in days of excessive evil to which one is continually exposed; our guiding principle must be: The time is short . . . they that have . . . be as though they had none . . . they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use the world, as not abusing it; for the fashion (form) of this world passeth away (I Corinthians 7:29-31).
Thought for Today:
The desire for material gain always pulls us away from God's will for our lives. Many gifted people forsake the Lord to satisfy their own greed.
By the thousand burnt offerings of Solomon (II Chronicles 1:6). We can be thankful that the one perfect offering of Christ on the cross did away with the need for many and continual individual offerings. He died unto sin once (for all) (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 10:10-12,14).
2:2 told out =b> assigned; hew =ut; 2:7 cunning =b> skillful; can skill to grave =b> has skill to engrave; 2:14 find out every device =b> skillful to execute any design; 2:16 floats =b> rafts; 3:5 cieled =b> paneled; 3:10 of image work =b> fashioned by carving; 3:16 oracle =b> inner sanctuary (Holy of Holies).
Pray for Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr & Mrs Edward Mantych • Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Official: Rep. Tom Feeney (FL) • Country: Peru (26 million) on the western coast of South America • Major languages: Spanish and Quechua • Open to evangelism and Bible distribution • 90% Christian; 8% non-Religious/other; 1.2% Traditional ethnic; .3% Buddhist; .09% Baha'i; .02% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Put on God's whole armor so that you may be able to successfully stand up against Satan's evil attacks (Ephesians 6:11).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 8
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:19