Bible Readings and Devotion for August 6, 2020
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 August 6, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
A few days back I mentioned the wisdom of Solomon. It is true that he was a wise person. It was a wonderful gift from the Lord. Remember, Wisdom, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is, “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” In many things, Solomon did use experience, knowledge, and good judgment. The devotion from the end of July – Click link – shows a powerful example.
In some other things, Solomon was a complete fool. He was highly unwise and extraordinarily disobedient. The centerpiece of his foolish disobedience was his marriage life. His was unique among the Kings of Israel. There were some who took more than one wife. Solomon took not just a few wives, but 1,000 wives. That is not a misprint in scripture nor this devotion. 700 of these were princesses, or regular wives. There were also 300 concubines, or servant/slave wives. It has been said that two girls/wives are too many, three’s a crowd, and four you’re dead. I don’t really know how to describe what he put himself through.
It is likely that the marriages to the princesses were for political alliances with foreign nations. The princess wife of greatest status and affection was the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh. He also married women and princesses from the neighboring kingdoms, as listed in the reading.
These marriages, even just one to a foreign wife, were a deep problem. The problem was that these foreign wives were people who worshiped any of various false gods and goddesses. They did not know, worship and serve the one true God, the Lord. Solomon’s foolishness was compounded in that he accepted the invitation of these various wives to worship their false idols.
Solomon became distracted and drawn away from faithfulness to the Lord. It was not pleasing to our God. We read where the Lord says about the resulting judgment against Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant.” After his lifetime the kingdom was split between north and south, Israel and Judah.
It is painful thing to see how our foolishness hurts us and others. Each of us can reflect on our lives and see something or numerous things which were signs of our foolishness and which had negative consequences.
Even more important is that God’s final word for our lives in mercy. Sure, we have often been foolish when we could have utilized God’s wisdom. We, like Solomon, have been inconsistent. We have been a mix of faithful and sinful, wise and foolish. As St. Paul notes in Romans 7:24-25a, “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Our only hope in this struggle of life is the source of all goodness and wisdom, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
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