Posts Tagged ‘Solomon’



October 14, 2014

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.” 1 Kings 4:29-30

What is the function of a conjunction?

Volumes surround me; books standing in perpetual attention upon my shelves, clothed in dusty neglect. Familiar titles call out to me:

Process Geomorphology
Organic Chemistry
Applied Numerical Methods
Differential Equations
Probability and Statistics
Corporate Finance
Cost Accounting



The intellect of generations and genius are contained within these tombs of knowledge. I once communed among their concepts. I excavated their principles and deciphered their puzzles. I cursed the forced regurgitation of their laws and theories, consumed in short bursts of intellectual gluttony. Yet, I proved to be competent as an educated man.

I have the diplomas to prove it.

However, each text has found a forsaken place on my office shelf; set aside in a head-long pursuit of a profession. Years have swept aside those inquisitive days of study.

Theory replaced by practice;
Integration and derivation yielding to empirical;
Schedule triumphing over intellectual indulgence.

These books have become more decoration than source. They are a reassurance to visitors that the diplomas and licenses that hang on my wall have a foundation. I have learned my profession through years of practice. Yet, I have lost something through the years. Specific knowledge has faded to general in many subjects; conceptual understanding has replaced hard achieved competence.

Knowledge is not perpetual…at least not in my mind.

I do not have the mind of Solomon but neither does anyone else. God gave Solomon a wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and a breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore. The limits of my wisdom and understanding are easily delineated in a game of “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”, and the scarceness of my mind is more like the occasional sand dollar on the seashore than the sand.

The typical mind has a very limited capacity for the specific. Time erodes away a mind’s competence, when study is neglected, leaving a hollowed relic to the practical. The scores of educated adults who prove that they are not “smarter than a 5th grader” is testimony to our mind’s inability to retain knowledge absence the reinforcing power of study.

The surrender of the knowledge of a conjunction’s function may be a reasonable acquiescence to the pressures of a busy life.

What about the gospel?
Are you willing to surrender the knowledge of the gospel to the pressures of a busy life.

What is the function of the gospel?
Can you clearly present the gospel to someone who has no knowledge of it?

 The ability to clearly explain a principle is demonstration of competent, specific, knowledge of that principle. If you can only generally explain the gospel, it demonstrates a general knowledge.

We have been called to more.

God has revealed Himself through His Bible. We can know our Lord and Savior more and more through the study of His Word. This is why David delighted in God’s commandments and law. It is why David studied.

 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. (Psalm 111:2)

 How are you doing studying the Bible?
Are you demonstrating your delight in God by studying His great works?

We must remember the minds we have been created with. We must remember that every moment that we spend away from the Word of God, time is eroding the razor edge of specific knowledge down to a blunt instrument of a general understanding. We must not acquiescence our time in God’s Word to the pressures of a busy life. We must not forget His Word.

 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:16)


PRAYER: Father, thank you for your Word.  Thank you for speaking to us perfectly even though we are imperfect.  Thank you for giving us everything that we need to follow you today.  Help me to glorify you from the place where I am today. Forgive me for thinking I need a special word from you. Teach me obedience in the everyday. Help me to live upon the nurturiousment of your Word, the Bible.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen







“SOLOMON’S WISH” – April 3

April 3, 2013

“In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” 2 Chronicles 1:7

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you ask for? (You can’t ask for unlimited wishes.)

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, ...I think that most of us have played this game before.  It is an insightful game to play.  It has the tendency to reveal what a person perceives as their source of contentment.  My wife’s grandfather, Grandpa Buck, was playing this game with his daughter.  His wish was to buy the largest tractor and plow and plow the world.  He loved to watch soil roll under the edge of a good plow.  He was a true farmer at heart and that was reflected in his source of contentment.

Most of us will never win the lottery or be granted a wish so it remains a game.

Solomon had a very unique experience.  Solomon had the opportunity to play this game for real.  God allowed him one wish.  The God of all creation allowed Solomon to ask what He should give to him.  That is a big request.  I think that it is a revealing request.  I think that what he chose revealed his greatest insecurity at the time.  His father, David, said of Solomon, “my son, whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the Lord God.”  David understood that the construction of the temple was going to be a significant challenge for any person and particularly for a person who was young and inexperienced.  Solomon was probably more aware of the challenge than most as he walked through the large quantities of building materials that his father had stored up and the number of craftsmen that were awaiting his command.

What would you ask for if you had such a challenge as Solomon’s?

Solomon asked for “wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?”  That request makes sense from a person who has just become king and has the task of constructing a temple for God and is probably insecure in his abilities.  We also need to remember that the transition from David to Solomon was not without a challenge from his brother Adonijah.

I wonder if Solomon wasted his wish.  I realize that God blessed his wish and his wish was much better than many other things that he could have asked for but I still wonder if there was a better wish that he could have made.  I wonder if Solomon at the end of his days looked back and wished that he had chosen better.

I don’t think David would have picked wisdom and knowledge for his son.  That is not what he had prayed for his son.  David prayed, “Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provisions.” (1 Chronicles 29:19)  David did not tell his son to seek out wisdom and understanding.  David told Solomon, “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.  If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.”(1 Chronicles 28:9)

David knew that all men’s greatest source of contentment comes from God.  Every man’s greatest need is a whole heart and a willing mind that seeks after God.

Consider if Solomon’s request would have been the same as his father’s.  The downfall of Solomon was his wayward heart.  He retained all his wisdom and knowledge, yet his kingdom was ripped apart.  The granting of his request did not work out like he would have hoped.

Solomon’s many wives turned away his heart. (1 Kings 11:3)  He did not have a whole heart for God and he did what was evil in the sight of God and did not wholly follow the Lord (1 Kings 11:6).  God tore the kingdom apart because of Solomon’s divided heart.

David’s prayer was a better request.

If Solomon had made David’s request for a heart and mind that wholly and willingly served God, I don’t think Solomon’s reign would have ended as it did.  Solomon’s problem was not a lack of experience.  It was not a lack of wisdom and understanding of the principles of governing people.  Solomon’s primary problem, like every person’s, was a divided heart.  David knew that.

Solomon thought that contentment would be found in wisdom, knowledge, and ruling his people well.  One only needs to read Ecclesiastes to realize that Solomon did not find contentment in any of that.  He concluded that it was all vanities.

David knew that our contentment was created in such a way that there is only one thing that will satisfy it.  Contentment will only be realized when it is matched with it’s maker, God.  Man’s greatest need is for a whole heart and willing mind that seeks after God.

Where is your heart and mind?  Is your heart divided like Solomon’s?  Is your mind reluctant and resistant to serving God?  What have you been asking God for?

Jesus told us that all we have to do is ask him.  Have your requests been more like Solomon’s or David’s?

May we not make the same mistake as Solomon and choose the request that matches our immediate insecurities.  Let’s be making the better request.   Let’s ask God to grant us a whole heart – a heart totally devoted – and a willing mind that will address our greatest need.

PRAYER: Lord, you know that I have prayed for wisdom and knowledge many times.  I need wisdom and knowledge.  However, You know that is not my greatest need.  You know that my greatest problem is my divided heart and unwilling mind.  Father, grant me a heart that is wholly yours; that wholly follows You; that wholly wants You.  Grant me a mind that willingly seeks You; that willingly serves you; that willingly is set upon you.  Make me a man who is wholly yours.  Amen



February 11, 2013

“To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his abilities.” Matthew 25:15 campaign 11 campaign 11 (Photo credit: Fred Seibert)

Acclaimed violin virtuoso Joshua Bell took his violin to the train station as part of an experiment.  He played the Gibson ex Huberman.  It was handcrafted in 1713 by Antonio Stradivari during the Italian master’s “golden period,” toward the end of his career, when he had access to the finest spruce, maple and willow, and when his technique had been refined to perfection. The price tag for this violin is reported to be about $3.5 million.

In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run — for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.

So many people just hurried past a performance that normally would have cost them hundreds of dollars if they were able to get a ticket at all.  A great performance is not dependent upon the venue or the audience and can easily be missed.

I think that there are so many Christians who are preoccupied by both venue and audience.  They don’t want to use their talents in a train station where only seven people will stop to listen or they may feel like they don’t have much talent and shouldn’t even play in a train station.   Every person has been given some talent.  It is up to us to decide what we are going to do with the talents that God has entrusted us with.

Brahms for a Sunday Afternoon

Brahms for a Sunday Afternoon (Photo credit: mRio)

The good servant will just play.  The good servant doesn’t worry if they are playing with the five talents of a virtuoso or the single talent of a hack.  The good servant will just play. The good servant doesn’t worry if they are playing to a crowded music hall or an indifferent train station.

We can become so preoccupied with applying our talents in a manner that we find acceptable that we end up not applying them at all.  That is the greatest waste of a person’s talent.  Jesus has a very specific description of this type of person, wicked and slothful.

We need to use our talents and let God handle the rest.  It may be telling a stranger on the train about Jesus; teaching a Sunday School class; talking about your faith with co-workers or friends; leading your kids in a Bible study; encouraging your pastor & church leaders.  You may not think that is ministry but it is.  It is using the talents that God has given you.  You may only have the opportunity to lead a small group when you have the talent to preach.  Teach the small group with all of your talents and make it the best study ever.  Does it matter that your “train station” only has four people in it.

You may only have one talent.  Then play that talent with all of your heart.

You may have all sorts of talent but no opportunity. Then play those talents with all of your heart where you are today.  Don’t be discouraged about where you get to play your talents.  Play where you have an opportunity to play.  That is where God has you and He does not make mistakes.

Remember we are playing our talents for the Master who gave them to us.  Let Him worry about the venue and the audience.  Our job is to just close our eyes and play where we are, for His glory.

PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for being so much like the servant who refused to used their talents.  Lord, forgive me for thinking that the talents you have given me can only be used in a specific manner.  Father, you are my audience.  Lord, give me wisdom to invest the talents that you have given.  Don’t let me passively sit and let my life slide on by.  Lord, I will play my talent, where I am today with all of my heart and for your glory.  May you receive all praise and honor.   Amen



February 10, 2013

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.” 1 Kings 4:29-30

“Who in all of history, other than Jesus, would you like to meet?’

I think that most people have played this game at one point or another.  King Solomon is a man who I would love to meet.  He is probably the most unique man in all of history.  I think that it would be absolutely fascinating to take a walk with Solomon and just listen to the breadth of his knowledge and understand.

Solomon was a very special person.  He was exceptional in every respect.  He knew music, poetry, philosophy, biology, astronomy, art, architecture, logistics, psychology, finance, diplomacy, and much more.  We are told that there was none like him has ever been before him and that no one after him would be like him.” (1 Kings 4:12)

Solomon was unique to all of history.  Think about that.

Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein were not smarter than Solomon.

Rembrandt and Michelangelo did not understand art better than Solomon.

Aristotle and Plato were not wiser than Solomon.

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon was a very special man.  People traveled from around the known world just to listen to his wisdom.  I can’t get someone to travel from the adjoining room to listen to what I have to say.

Many people think that God can only use the extraordinary.  They think that since they are ordinary then God cannot really use them.  We need to remember that God does not search the world for special people that he can use.  He is not scanning the world to and fro in hopes of finding the perfect combination of intellect and speaking ability so that He can bless that person in preaching His gospel.  He does not have a list of assignments to the mission field that He is waiting for the right candidates to come along and fill.

God makes special people.

Solomon was not born extraordinary.  It was not obvious that he should be the next king.  There was a lot of controversy over how was going to inherit King David’s throne.  Solomon appears to have been a pretty ordinary choice.  Solomon got the job because of a promise made to his Mom.  Solomon was not extraordinary.

It was God who made Solomon extraordinary.

It was God who gave Solomon his wisdom and understanding and a breadth of mind that exceeded anyone of any time.  God did not need Solomon to fulfill His purposes.  God would not have put all His plans on hold if Solomon had happened to struggle with logic or if math problems stumped him.

God made Solomon special because He had a special purpose for Solomon.

It is good for us all to remember that there are no limits for those who are in Christ Jesus.  God will equip you precisely as you to be for precisely what He has for you to do.   God is looking for at least two qualities in us:

  1. Willingness to step out in faith.  Solomon was willing to accept the throne even though he knew that he was not quite ready.
  2. Humility – Solomon did not take that throne with the idea that he could figure it out.  He knew that he needed God.

That is what it means to live by faith.  We can do nothing without faith.  Yet, anything is possible for God.  What is keeping you from serving God?

Let’s set out in faith, trusting God to accomplish His will through us and to give us what we need, when we need it.

PRAYER: Lord, thank for giving me all good things.  Thank you for giving me all the talents and understanding that I have.  They are all gifts from you.  Father, I give them back to you to be used for your purposes.  Forgive me for being so good at coming us with limitations.  Lord, I can do nothing without you.  I pray Lord that you will fill be with you Spirit and with your understanding.  Help me to see this world with your eyes.  Lord, help me to live by faith in all that I do..     Amen

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