Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 7 July 18:
1. 2 Chronicles 9:1-4 – “…There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her….” Solomon had everything, and seemed to know everything, but this was not enough in his life to give him peace and security. Character is not riches, fame, reputation, or even knowledge. Character is based upon what is truly in your heart, your relationship with God. God gave Solomon wisdom and riches, but Solomon had to choose to put God first in his life.
2. 2 Chronicles 9:8 — “Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” God establishes earthly kings for His purposes. Godly kings execute justice and righteousness due to their relationship with God who is justice and righteousness. God often blesses nations with godly kings and curses nations with ungodly kings. The fate of elections is in God’s hands, and God will give to a nation according to His blessings and disciplines. The hope for America is repentance and revival.
3. 2 Chronicles 9 — People often think that with more resources, opportunities, or intelligence, their life would be better. However, Solomon had everything, nothing was spared him by God, and he would end up destroying the kingdom and ending his life in regret. The secret to life is nothing but relationship with God.
4. 2 Chronicles 10:1-15 — You need to choose very carefully the people from whom you take advice. If they are not seeking to advise you from their understanding of God’s word, they will mislead you.
5. 2 Chronicles 10:8, 14 – “But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him…. And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, King Rehoboam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men.” How important is it to listen to wise counsel who will not just tell you what you want to hear or attempt to appeal to your ego and pride? At a critical time for the kingdom of Israel, King Rehoboam chose poor counsel, thereby decimating the kingdom. Where do you seek advice for tough decisions? Psalm 1:1, 2 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Your primary counsel should be from the Holy Spirit through God’s word. Will you delight in God’s word and meditate upon it all day and night?
6. 2 Chronicles 10:15 — “So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” The Bible assumes the reader knows what happened in 1 Kings 11. Bible study requires a careful study of the whole Bible. None of it stands alone. Many ere in Bible interpretation because they only lightly study and take verses out of the context of the entirety of God’s word. Hence, the importance of systematic Bible reading programs such as this.
7. 2 Chronicles 10:15 – Again, God leads the hearts of men to accomplish His purposes which can include both blessings or curses depending upon the fidelity of those with whom He is dealing.
8. 2 Chronicles 10:19 – “So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.” God works through the rebellion and changes of government to accomplish HIs mission.
9. Proverbs 7:6, 7 — For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense….” Look and see God’s truth being revealed all around you in the lives of others.
10. Proverbs 7:11 – “She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home….” The wicked are loud and lawless, true?
11. Proverbs 7:18 – “She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home.” The wicked pursue pleasure in disobedience to God. They deceive themselves into thinking there are no consequences.
12. Psalm 76:1 – “In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.” Nations are great when God is known by the people and respected by the people as God.
13. Psalm 76:1, 11 – “In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel…. Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared.”
– Asaph’s Psalm explains where God is truly “known” He is truly worshipped, feared, and obeyed. When speaking to the Pharisees who pursued obedience and religion motivated by pride and self-righteousness, Jesus reiterated this truth — you must not be like the hypocrites [actors]. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward…. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:5, 9, 10) Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary says that “hallowed” means to “mentally venerate,” and venerate means to revere, adore, esteem, honor or worship. When God is truly hallowed, and honored as KING in the heart, genuine worship and acceptable obedience is the result. Today we read that the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon and said this, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard.” (2 Chronicles 9:5, 6) Her experience with Solomon seems like a great example for the Christian life. Hearing about Jesus and believing enough to go to him is the first step – “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17; Galatians 3:5) However, our faith blossoms when hearing transitions to experiencing. We are not witnesses to what we have heard, nor witnesses to a philosophy or religion. We are witnesses to what we have seen and experienced first-hand; and we are witnesses to who we know personally and genuinely. It is the reality of Christ within us that produces fruit and works which will not be destroyed (see 1 Corinthians 3:12). When the queen of Sheba experienced first-hand the truth of Solomon, then she offered him many gifts with a heart similar to what Asaph describes in today’s Psalm – “let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared.” In response to the queen’s honoring of him, Solomon “gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked.” Consider how Solomon’s response to Sheba compares to the words of Jesus referenced yesterday from John 15: “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing…. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” Let it be said “In [your heart] God is known; His name is great in [your heart].” John 15:11 — “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
14. Psalm 76:11-12 — “Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared, who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.” The nation who obeys God is the nation God blesses. Again, our only hope for America is repentance and revival.
15. Psalm 76:11, 12 — When you must choose between your loyalty to God or government, always remain loyal to God.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 7 July 18: Pray for repentance and revival. Repentance and revival must occur in God’s church. (See today’s notes above)