Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23- Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

July 23, 2011

Scripture Readings:
2 Chronicles 8:11-10:9; Romans 8:9-25;
Psalm 18:16-36; Proverbs 19:26

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. 
 ~Benjamin Franklin

2 Chronicles 8:11-10:9

Ben Franklin struck a chord with his generation when he wrote Poor Richard's Almanac, which was published and distributed in the American colonies from 1732 to 1758.  It was a collection of weather, calendar, poems, astronomical and astrological information, and Franklin's musings and proverbs.  The proverb I quoted above is an example of Franklin's counsel on prudence.  Too bad that we can't all rely on going to bed early and rising early to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.  I would be a millionaire savant if this proverb were true.  Today, Solomon gets healthy, wealthy, and wise because God has decided to bless him in this fashion.

You will remember that after consulting the Lord and offering sacrifices upon becoming the king of Israel, Solomon asks the Lord for wisdom to govern his people.  God is pleased and tells Solomon that He will also make Solomon rich and famous.  Today, we see the fulfillment of that promise. This portion of Scripture opens with Solomon building a separate palace for his Egyptian wife, who is the daughter of Pharaoh.  We are told that he does this so that she is not in the same palace where the Ark of the Lord has been.  This is our reminder that Solomon has married pagan women.  Although forbidden by God in the Mosaic Law, Solomon secures peace for Israel through these strategic alliances.  No king would attack the country if his daughter was a queen of the country.  We can see some of the motivation behind Solomon's many wives. 

Again, we have the story of the Queen of Sheba coming up from Africa to see for herself the incredible witness of God's glory, as displayed by the wealth of Solomon and by his tremendous wisdom and knowledge.  It should be noted that Israel was set apart in the ancient world to be a witness to the One True God.  This role is at its finest hour under David and Solomon.  Solomon's wealth, power, knowledge, high civilization, and just ruling of God's people were well known throughout the ancient world and were a witness to those people who did not know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

In 2 Chronicles 9:23, we are told that kings from every nation on earth came to visit Solomon and learn from the wisdom that God had given him.  Every nation on earth!  Now that is called witnessing.  I would like to point out that as a witness to the world, Israel pointed itself inward.  People were to be drawn to Israel and come to her to meet God.  The Church of Jesus Christ is commanded to go out into the world to give the Good News about Jesus.  We are not to face inward, but run outward to the world as God's witnesses in this day of grace. Solomon's witness and the fact that every nation came to him to see how God had blessed him is a picture of a future reality.  One day, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Every nation will be represented in the Kingdom of Christ.

As we begin chapter 10, the idea that high taxes can ruin a nation is evident.  As is common with governments, they begin to believe that they can benefit the people and have a corner on what will elevate the society.  They do this by taking a portion of the citizens' money and doing with it what they please.  The problem with this concept is that humans are flawed.  As a result, greed, inefficiencies, lust, and incompetence lead to waste and the need for more money to run the mammoth programs set up by the elite to help the masses.  High taxation led to the demise of the Roman Empire, it led to the American Revolutionary War, and to the French Revolution.  Today, high taxes and a harsh new leader in Israel leads to the split of the nation.

Rehoboam is Solomon's son, who is named to be the next king of Israel.  Rather than being wise like his father, Rehoboam is young and brash.  He takes the advice of his young counselors, rather than the older elders, and pronounces that rather than cut back on the high taxes that his father Solomon levied in order to carry out his massive building programs, Rehoboam is going to be an even harsher master.  This leads to a revolt in which 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel split from Rehoboam and form their own nation.  Will earthly leaders never learn to not repeat this cycle?  I think not.

Remember that in the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, we are getting God's perspective on the period of the kings of Israel.  You will note that we are focusing on the kings in David's line.  As a result, we will not hear about the kings in the Northern Kingdom, after this split.  These books focus on the kings in the Southern Kingdom, which has its capital in Jerusalem and includes the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

Solomon asked God for wisdom.  What do you ask God to give you?

Romans 8:9-25

Today, Paul tells us the benefits of living in the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is a key to not living a life of constantly being overcome by your own sinful tendencies.  Paul reminds us that the Holy Spirit that we have been given is the same Spirit that was powerful enough to raise Jesus from the dead.  This is an interesting concept.  The third aspect of the Trinity is the person who raised the dead part of the Trinity back to life.

Paul is telling us that God's powerful Spirit, a life giving entity, is inside of anyone who has trusted Christ as their Savior.  We are able, as Christians, to tap into that power.  It is in our bodies and able to transform our minds, hearts, and actions.  Do you realize this?  You have power.

Here is a list of benefits of having the Spirit of God in you, according to Paul:
  • Having the Spirit makes you a child of God.  You are now part of His family through adoption. Vs. 15-16
  • Since we are family, we share in His treasure/wealth.  The Holy Spirit is part of that wealth. Vs. 16
  • Since we are family, we share in His suffering. Vs. 16-18
  • Since we are family, we will share in His glory. Vs. 16-18
  • Because we are on this fallen earth, we are groaning under sin and suffering, like the whole creation is groaning for redemption.  Vs. 19-23
  • The Holy Spirit is a foretaste of future glory. Vs. 23
  • We will get our full rights as God's children, when we receive our new, perfect bodies. Vs. 23
  • One benefit of having the Holy Spirit is that we can look forward to these perfect bodies with patience and confidence.  The Holy Spirit is proof that we will be completely redeemed physically, one day. Vs. 24-25
Wow.  What beautiful promises these are!  Do you look forward to having a body that never suffers?  Do you identify yourself as a child of God?  If He is your daddy, how are you now approaching Him?  Do you wish to obey your daddy?

Psalm 18:16-36

In this psalm, notice the work of the Lord and the results of His work in David's life.  Some of these passages are prophetic and picture the Lord Jesus.

Proverbs 19:26

It is bad to not honor your parents. It is really a disgrace and an embarrassment.

What did you notice today as you read?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

1 comment:

  1. I read somewhere that Ben Franklin did not follow his own advice and was not an early riser!