Day 151

Today’s Reading – I Kings Chapters 3-4

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

“Now, LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”   I Kings 3:5-9
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If you could have anything, what would be on your wish list? What would you wish for?

If we are honest with ourselves, we all play that game from time to time: What if? What if I won the lottery? What if I found Aladdin’s magic lamp? What if you were given one wish? Now some may think this is a silly exercise, after all it is all fantasy and it would never happen. Or could it?

The Bible tells the story of a man whom God granted a wish.

Solomon was granted one wish from God. What does he ask for? Wisdom but in Hebrew it actually means Solomon asked for a ”Hearing” heart.

What is a hearing heart?

A hearing heart allows one to hear and obey.  Solomon desired the ability to distinguish good from evil, right from wrong, truth from falsehood.  He also wanted to be able to hear his people, to know their needs, their concerns, and their desires.

Solomon desired divine help in carrying out the responsibilities of the kingship.

There are many things we desire in life.  Many things we would add to a list of wishes and wants. Perhaps, today you would even add the idea of “hearing” heart to your list of wishes.

We need not wish though for God has given us each a hearing heart. We just need to be able to listen as The Holy Spirit spirit speaks.

Perhaps we can’t hear because we have too much other noise in our life drowning out God’s voice.

Turn down the noise today and listen with “hearing” heart.

Tomorrow’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 1 and Psalm 72

Day 150

Today’s Reading – Psalm 119

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I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11

In our desire to live a life that honors God, could it be that easy?

Study God’s word – make it part of your life.

So, instead of asking God, “What do you want me to do with my life?”

How about reading God’s word to discover the answer.

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To better understand this Psalm, it is helpful to know that this is an acrostic poem, each stanzas begins with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  In addition, the verses of each stanza begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Tomorrow’s Reading – 1 Kings Chapters 3-4

Day 149

Today’s Readings – 1 Kings Chapters 1-2 and Psalms 37, 71, and 94

Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
The LORD knows all human plans; He knows that they are futile. 

Psalm 94:8-11

David and Solomon both must have thought, “How long will it take for these people to learn?”

Even family doesn’t get it. As David is dying and plans are made for Solomon to take the throne, treachery is at foot again.

sdgMakes you wonder as your read the story of David’s life did Disney borrow the story of The Lion King from the pages of the Old Testament?

You fools, when will you become wise? 

How many times has God said that about us?
 

We see the folly of others actions so easily and miss the folly of our won actions.

If your life was a movie, how many times would the audience be saying to themselves, “what an idiot!”

Wise up.

God has plans for you and they far surpass anything you could imagine.

Tomorrow’s Readings – Psalm 119

 

 

 

Day 148

Today’s Reading – Psalms 111-118

FEAR OF THE LORD GIFT OF THE SPIRIT

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.  Psalm 111:10

David gives direction for worship and praise to continue and leaves behind a wonderful series of poems and prose celebrating all that there is to praise God for and about.

But why should we fear God?

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word used for this fear is yirah, which denotes piety and reverence rather than terror. This is why some modern translations state “revere the Lord” rather than “fear the Lord”.

Wisdom and understanding come when we are able to revere God as holy. Holy as in totally unique and set apart.

When we are able to humble ourselves in relationship to God, it is then that all that God is trying to teach us begins to make sense.

Unless God is God, the Bible and all that God is teaching us will have no understanding.

Therefore, wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord.

Are you ready to wise up?

Then humble yourselves, it is never too late to start.

 

Tomorrow’s Readings – 1 Kings Chapters 1-2 and Psalms 37, 71, and 94

Day 147

Today’s Readings – 1 Chronicles Chapters 26-29 and Psalm 127

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” 

Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement.
I Chronicles 28:9-11

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David’s life is drawing to a close and he is making final wishes known.

Clearly, Solomon is the choice to be the new king, but more than that Solomon is given a charge to complete – build the temple!

David also instructs Solomon to seek after God.

I like what John Wesley wrote about this idea of seeking after God . . .

If thou dost only put on a profession of religion to please me, or if thy obedience to God be unsincere, thou mayest indeed deceive me, but thou canst not deceive Him, for He searcheth the motions of thy heart.

Wise words today from King David and John Wesley.

In our relationship with God, we need not put on a show for people – they are easy to deceive. God knows your every thought and motive – therefore do not set out to deceive Him.

Faith in God is not a game to be played and won.

Faith is a relationship that changes your life – that gives it meaning and purpose.

Stop playing games today and seek after God’s direction for your life.

Trust that God has a plan for you – a plan that will bring glory and honor to God – a plan that in time will be perfect and pleasing to you as well.

Tomorrow’s Reading – Psalms 111-118

 

Day 146

Today’s Reading – Psalms 131, 138-139, and 143-145

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends Your works to another; they tell of Your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty —
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of Your awesome works —
and I will proclaim Your great deeds.
They celebrate Your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

Psalm 145:3-7

It is one thing for each of us to to personally declare our adoration and praise for God and all that He has done in our lives, BUT (and this is a big but!)

We are not to keep this praise to ourselves!
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We are to tell the next generation of all that God has done, so that they too might share in the celebration of all that God has done.

God’s good works are a bandwagon that we have permission to jump on!

It’s okay to celebrate all that God has done in your life and the life of others.

David celebrated the victories he had shared in, but he also celebrated the victories of the past generations.

If we stop telling the stories, I fear we are doomed to lose another generation. I don’t think it is too late, but time is running short.

Share your story.

Stop waiting for someone else to tell the story.

It’s your turn.

Tomorrow’s Readings – 1 Chronicles Chapters 26-29 and Psalm 127

 

 

Day 145

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles Chapters 23-25

When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the LORD and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the LORD with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.”  I Chronicles 23:1-5

A couple things to note:

1) David provides for a smooth transition in leadership as Solomon is the next king. Considering the recent past this was a wise move.

2) You might be thinking to yourself, “Really? Three Chapters to name the people in charge of the temple. Can’t we just skip this part?”

That would be the point – we can’t just skip this part!

Remember how important worship was in the life of King David?

Take note that worship is to be just an important to the people.

little_church_1.jpgAnd that is why David is being careful to make provisions as one of the last acts as king.

David knows that the kingdom has grown and now he is making sure that there will always be enough priests and musicians available to the people to assist and lead in worship.

David’s legacy will not be the building of the new temple, but his legacy is
laying the foundation for the building of the temple and in the provision for the
leadership.

David reveals in his plans the priority of worship for the nation of Israel.

What have you done to reveal the priority of worship in your life?

 

Tomorrow’s Reading – Psalms 131, 138-139, and 143-145

 

BONUS THOUGHT

*** to those planning to build new “temples” . . . have you provided first for the leadership that the new building will require?  Too often we rush to build new facilities without any leadership (or programs) for the buildings.  “Build it and they will come – only works in the movies!” ***