Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“There hath not failed one word of all His good promise.”
1 Kings 8: 56
“Oh light, that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restored its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Then the king answered and said, ‘Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it; she is the mother thereof. And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.”
1 Kings 3: 27, 28
“When They Look At You and Me,
Who Do They See?”
“We must not trust every word of others or feeling within ourselves, but cautiously and patiently try the matter, whether it be of God.”
Thomas á Kempis
Do those I meet “see” that the wisdom of God is in me?
In my life, have I recognized God’s ability to help me have wisdom and judgment from above?
“Just as a lamp lights up a dark room, so the fear of God, when it penetrates the heart of a man (or woman) illuminates him (her), teaching him (her) all the virtues and commandments of God.”
“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand, he did not know that the skin of his face shone and sent forth beams by reason of his speaking with the Lord.”
Exodus 34: 19
As I read our study text for today, 1 Kings 3: 28, and observed the reaction the people of Israel had when they heard about the judgment of Solomon in the case of the two mothers with one baby, I was struck with the realization that the people of Israel immediately recognized that the wisdom of God was, as the Bible tells us, “in him (Solomon).”
This experience brought to my memory the time when Moses, God’s friend and leader ascended to the top of Sinai to meet with God and to receive the written tablets of God’s testimony.
Upon descending from his time spent alone with God, we are told that Moses didn’t even know, but the people around him certainly did, that as the New International Version of the Bible states, his face “was radiant.” Moses reflected the glory of the “One” in whose presence he had kept company.
I would like to point to the fact that the brilliance which was reflected in Solomon’s immense knowledge and wisdom, was similar to the luminous light surrounding Moses, for whether it is God’s wisdom or holiness that is mirrored by God’s children, when we are filled with the presence of God, we can’t help but radiate the characteristics which our heavenly Father possesses.
I love the words of Thomas Chalmers who wrote, “The beauty of holiness has done more, and will do more, to regenerate the world…than all the other agencies put together.”
As the Israelites heard about Solomon’s great wisdom, rather than attribute his profound genius to himself, we find that his immense abilities were seen as clear evidence that God’s blessing of the gift of wisdom was bestowed upon the young ruler.
Early in Solomon’s reign, the presence of God in his life was like a powerful magnet, attracting others, not just to Solomon, but to his God. And as Blaise Pascal notes, “The serene beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world next to the power of God.” I would add that when God’s power and presence fully fills our lives, even when we don’t recognize the fact, we will glow with the “residence” of our Father’s presence within us.
My personal life has been greatly impacted by the writings of Amy Carmichael. While I was not even born when she died, there is a link between our lives in a most unique way. For many years, Amy suffered from a freak accident, caused by a situation completely out of her control and it is this connection which has encouraged me – greatly!
Instead of deploring the circumstances she found herself in, Amy took to writing, especially personal letters and notes, and yes, devotionals. One particular passage she penned is applicable to our study today. Here are her words on “Receiving and Reflecting”:
“It has been a wonderful year and the next will be more wonderful, for the path does not grow duller as we go on but brighter – it shineth more and more unto the perfect day. And light is sown on that path and gladness.
I think of you as continually ‘receiving and reflecting’, as Rotherham translates II Corinthians 3: 18, ‘And we all with unveiled face receiving and reflecting the glory of the Lord into the same image are being transformed, from glory into glory.’
The Lord Jesus keep you so and increase your clearness of vision that the reflection may be the more perfect.”
These words certainly got me to thinking about who I reflect in my daily activities – be they work-related or personal. Do people come away from contact with me, only to see someone who calls attention to her own strengths and talents, or do people say, “God’s wisdom is with her?” Do I radiate the presence of my Father or do I try and bring glory to myself? These are tough questions to ask ourselves. I know how difficult it can be to look inside of Dorothy, only to recognize how much I like to be affirmed, when in fact, in all I do, the glory belongs to my Father, for every gift in my life is from His hand – His wisdom, His knowledge and His holiness.
When I was a young girl, the fireplace in my grandparent’s ranch house was a large brick structure built in the center of their home. My dad was very skilled at getting a roaring fire going during the winter months. He’d haul in some big logs and then put all types of kindling under them. Finally, with a few well-placed matches, the fire would take-off and become a roaring inferno – inside the fireplace! However, on several occasions, when the logs were damp, it took extra effort to get the wood to burn and I’d watch my dad blowing lightly on the flickering flames and hot coals and soon, with his added help, the logs would catch fire and begin to glow.
As I thought about the warmth and comfort brought by those winter fires, my thoughts turned to the words penned by Edward Taylor who wrote in the early 1700’s: “Lord, blow the coal. Thy love inflame in me.”
This is my wish, to radiate my Father’s wisdom, knowledge and above all to reflect that I have been in the presence of Him who has set me aflame with His love.
“True glory and holy joy is to glory in Thee and not in one’s self; to rejoice in Thy name, and not to be delighted in one’s own virtue, nor in any creature, save only for Thy sake.”
Thomas á Kempis
God In Me
“God be in my head.
And in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes,
And in my looking;
God be in my mouth
And in my speaking;
God be in my heart,
And in my thinking.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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