Daily Scripture readings for November, set #7:
1 Kings 11 begins by describing Solomon’s moral downfall, which resulted in the downfall of Israel as a whole, being split between Jeroboam and Rehoboam. “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father” (vs 4). How is it that such a wise man (cf 4:29) forsakes the Lord and turns to false gods? How can that action possibly be described as wisdom? I have heard it said that the mind is merely a slave to the heart, to fulfill it’s desires. When the heart asks the mind to suspend it’s wisdom and instead serve the passions and lusts of the flesh, it will often obey without hesitation. Solomon’s wisdom was astounding, but his heart went after women (cf 11:1-3)… and therefore so also did his mind.
The Psalmist says of himself in 119:56, “This blessing has fallen to me, that I have kept your precepts.” The keeping of the precepts is referred to here as a blessing, not an accomplishment.
Simeon, the Spirit-filled man who met Jesus in the temple, prophesies about him and in so doing reveals the same “mystery” that Paul refers to in Ephesians 3, that the gospel is for the Gentiles also. “A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:32).
“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Eph 4:7). Two observations: 1) Grace is apportioned, and not necessarily equally apportioned. 2) This apportioning is Christ’s doing.
Daily Scripture readings for November, set #8:
Two verses in 1 Kings 12 make clear that Israel’s split was part of God’s sovereign plan. “So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat” (vs 15). “Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives the people of Israel. Every man return to his home, for this thing is from me” (vs 24).
The Psalmist reflect on the bond of brotherhood among believers: “I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts” (Ps 119:63).
“And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them” (Luke 2:51). This is a description of Jesus, the Son of God, 2nd person of the Trinity, obeying his parents. I’m going to point this verse out to my daughter Betty next time she’s on a sassy streak.
Another Facebook “check yourself” moment, brought to you by the Apostle Paul: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph 4:29).