Bible Readings and Devotion for July 28-29, 2020
A note from Pastor David Tinker:
Today marks the return of the daily devotions. I have been on vacation the past two weeks. I have greatly appreciated the long needed rest and refreshment. Thank you for your patience during this time without these daily offerings.
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for July 28 & 29, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
In our readings from First Kings we have the transition of power between King David and his son, King Solomon. A major part of this transition is the prayer of Solomon for wisdom. Wisdom, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is, “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment.”
Wisdom is a good thing, and we have notable sections of scripture dedicated to wisdom. We look to the Old Testament books of Proverbs, Ecclesiasts, and some aspects of Psalms, Song of Solomon, along with accounts of Moses and King Solomon earlier in the Hebrew Bible. We also see wisdom in the life and teachings of Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament.
Right after the request for wisdom, we are given an example of his wisdom. This is in the context of one of the less talked about role of kings and leaders of that time. They were looked upon to resolve conflicts and make judgments. They were often called upon to resolve conflicts both large and small. This was almost a sort of mix between small claims court all the way up to the supreme court all in one person. They were also expected to bring the wisdom and word of God to apply to the situation.
The burden of this role was so much on Moses that he was advised to delegate the role to a large number of other people. We read about this in chapter 18 of Exodus. It was just too much for Moses or any one person to bear.
King Solomon had this role of judge for the people. We do not know how often he did this, nor what percentage of the cases in Israel he had to hear. What we have is an example of how he did this and how he used God’s gift of wisdom to judge cases. In 1 Kings 3:16-28 we have the account of his judgement between two women who were fighting over one living baby. Solomon’s wisdom was expressed in that he knew the true mother would rather let her child go than to see the baby die. When Solomon give the order to have the child cut in half and split between the two arguing women, the true mother begs to spare the child, and the grieving, yet false mother give the go ahead to cut the child. Solomon give the child to the true mother. Solomon would not really kill the child. In his wisdom he elicited the reaction he needed to judge the case.
We can all benefit from wisdom. Here are a few time-tested ways to gain greater, godly wisdom.
One is to do what Solomon did: pray to God the for greater wisdom. No matter our role in family, church, work, or community, we all can benefit from more God given wisdom.
Another tool is to read from the book of Proverbs. It has been suggested by many teachers over time that a person can use the monthly calendar to read through this book. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. So, in August, you can include in your Bible reading a chapter from Proverbs each day. The proverbs are not really a story or extended statement. You will notice that most are about one verse long.
Proverbs are to be taken as part of a larger package of wisdom. Each proverb is a facet on a finely cut gemstone. One facet along is nice, but not grand. When one pulls back and looks at the entire gemstone one sees the beauty of the whole. Reading just one proverb and basing much on that is less helpful. Reading whole chapters, and the whole book, will give one a much better and more complete view of Biblical wisdom.
As you read your proverbs chapter each day in August, I encourage you to pray for an increase in godly wisdom in your life.
Gracious and Holy God, give us diligence to seek you, wisdom to perceive you, and patience to wait for you. Grant us, O God, a mind to meditate on you; eyes to behold you; ears to listen for your word; a heart to love you; and a life to proclaim you; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.