1 Kings 10:14-29 – Is It Too Much?

Read 1 Kings 10:14-29

a handful of gold stars all floating up in the air

King Solomon has quite the reputation. More and more wealth continues to flow his way. He is well-respected, helping many nations, not just his own, with the wisdom God gave him.

The lavish appearance of the palace as well as the multitude of horses, chariots, and such seems a bit like overkill to me. I started to ask myself, “is it too much?” Enough is enough. Aren’t there hungry people somewhere that could use support? Covering everything in gold seems a little excessive to me.

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1 Kings 4:20-34 – Prosperity

Read 1 Kings 4:20-34

cartoon-bag of money with a bunch of gold coins in front

Prosperity often eludes us, but not so for Solomon and his court. I love how this section starts off with an answered promise. You may recall God promised Abraham in Genesis 22:17, “I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.” I love when the Bible points to itself. These people are those promised descendants!

A breath of fresh air! Solomon’s rule is peaceful, and there is harmony. I can’t help but remember how much fighting we read about during David’s reign. But then his gift was to be a warrior. His son is taking a different route. Could you even fathom the daily allowance of food and supplies for Solomon’s household?

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2 Samuel 21:1-14 – Pleasing God

Read 2 Samuel 21:1-14

Little girl looking up smiling with golden stars illuminated behind her

Are we like David seeking to please God? The famine is not pleasant, and it is good to see David seeking God’s counsel in the midst of it. Imagine how surprised David was when he heard God’s explanation. “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.”

We are not told when this famine takes place other than it’s during David’s reign. We have just entered the final chapters of 2 Samuel that begin with this narrative. However, it’s a random story, and where it fits into the scheme of David’s reign is not clear. We’ll need to read 1 Kings 1 to take up where our last chapter left us.

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Judges 14:1-20 – Use Your Gifts Wisely

Read Judges 14:1-20

hands holding a gift wrapped in gold paper with gold lace bow

Samson seems a bit spoiled. He saw the woman of his dreams and said to his parents, “I want to marry her. Get her for me.” I thought that was a bit demanding. Especially in light of the fact she was a Philistine, the enemy that was oppressing the Israelites. Didn’t he care? “His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time.” There you have it, God was at work. Now, it all makes sense!

If you’ve ever wondered why you have a desire for something that doesn’t make sense, it could be that God is working inside you. Don’t take that as an opportunity to go eat a whole carton of ice cream in one sitting because of a “desire.” That’s not what I meant. This is a good reminder, however, that God will use unusual circumstances to do his work.

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Judges 10:17 – 11:11 – The Best Option

Read Judges 10:17-11:11

lots of little papers with the word OPTION on it in different colors and fonts

It was about to get real. The Israelites were going to be attacked, and they had to feel a bit exposed. From our last reading, it would seem that God has left them to fend for themselves. But, the “leaders of Gilead said to each other, “Whoever attacks the Ammonites first will become ruler over all the people of Gilead.” Were they sensing God’s intervention was yet to come, or were they simply looking for the best option for success?

They knew they needed a strong leader. Who would it be? Sometimes our best candidates are those who we have overlooked. Certainly, the individual the leaders chose to recruit was even one who had been shown no favor in the past. How fitting that God would use even the son of a prostitute to rescue his people. He was a mighty warrior after all and well-equipped for the mission.

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