The Gift of Wisdom

7 06 2013

DAY TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO : 2 Chronicles 1 v. 1 – 17; 1 Corinthians 6 v. 1 – 20; Psalm 94 v. 1 – 11

wisdom-large-3

2 Chronicles 1
Solomon Asks for Wisdom – David’s son, Solomon, establishes himself as king, for the Lord God is alongside him, helping him become ‘exceedingly great’. Solomon speaks to all Israel (commanders, judges, leaders, heads of families) – getting everyone to the high place at Gibeon, God’s Meeting Tent, which Moses had made. David had brought the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place prepared, having pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. The bronze altar (made by Bezalel, Uri’s son) was still in Gibeon, in front of the Lord’s tabernacle – and that’s where Solomon and the people met before the Lord. Solomon offers a thousand burnt offerings on it.
When, that evening, God appears to Solomon, He asks him what Solomon would like Him to give.
Solomon’s answer is fantastic:
‘You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed…you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of Yours.’
God shows His delight in Solomon’s prayer, glad that his heart’s desire is not for wealth, riches or honour, nor death of enemies, nor a long life. God grants Solomon then, the wisdom and knowledge he’s requested, but also wealth, riches and honour beyond all others.

Following this, Solomon went to Jerusalem from Gibeon, and he reigns over all Israel. He accumulated chariots (1,400) and horses (12,000), kept in chariot cities and Jerusalem. ‘He made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig.’ Solomon’s horses came from Egypt and Kue (purchased by the royal merchants), and a very expensive chariot came from Egypt (600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150). The merchants also exported items to the surrounding kings (Hittite and Aramean).

How often, when we ask God for ‘main thing’, do we find He supplies much, much more. Remember Jesus’s ‘Seek first the Kingdom, and all else will be added to you’.
What are we chasing after today?
What are we asking God for today?
Wisdom / knowledge for leadership is a very good place to start.

1 Corinthians 6
Lawsuits Among Believers – Paul continues to write to the Corinthian church about their divisions and how they should manage things better. Paul questions why disputes are taken so readily to the law courts, ‘before the ungodly’, rather than being sorted out in-house, ‘before the saints’. These saints will be called to judge the world, and are therefore competent enough to judge on more trivial matters.
‘Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life.’
The church should appoint its own ‘judges‘, even ‘men of little account’ – it is inconceivable to Paul that there is no-one in the fellowship who could make a judgement over a local dispute.
It’s such a bad witness to have ‘one brother go to law against another – in front of unbelievers’.
As a fellowship, they’ve already lost (credibility, integrity, honesty?) if people are seeking lawsuits through the courts. It would be better to be cheated against, to be wronged, than to be the one carrying out / carrying on the cheating and wrongdoing through court.
Those who do wrong (‘the wicked’) will not inherit the kingdom, Paul reminds them. Neither those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom.
‘But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.’

Paul reminds them who they are, in Christ, and is troubled about the lawsuits for two reasons, it seems – (i) we’ve failed badly as a fellowship if we can’t resolve things within, calling the ‘saints’ to judge and (ii) it’s a terrible witness to the ungodly.
1cor-6-19

Sexual Immorality – Paul tackles the view that once a Christian, anything is permissible – Paul reminds the Corinthians that not everything is beneficial, and there is a difference when people let things / issues ‘master’ them, when they give in to temptations. For example the saying, ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food’ is so temporary, both the stomach and its food will pass away. Our bodies are not ‘for sexual immorality’, as if that’s their purpose, but rather, ‘for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body’.
As God raised Jesus from the dead, so He will also raise us.
‘Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?’
How abhorrent, then, to prostitute our bodies – we should rather unite ourselves with the Lord, becoming one with Him in spirit, than for ‘the two to become one flesh’ immorally.
Paul urges the church members to ‘flee from sexual immorality’, because this is a sin against one’s own body –
‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?’

Then, once again, Paul reminds them whose they are:
‘You are not your own, you were bought at a price – therefore honour God with your body.’

How vital it is for us to remember whose we are, who we are in Christ, as the motivation to seek to honour God, and to be holy as He is holy.

Psalm 94
My Lord, my God, my avenger
My Lord, my avenger, shine on
My Lord, earth’s judge, rise up
pay back the proud
end the jubilation of the wicked

Let’s look at the wicked…
they pour out arrogance,
they crush Your people,
they oppress Your chosen inheritance,
they murder widows and foreigners,
they strike down orphans
they deride, ‘Ha ha – the Lord’s blind, Jacob’s God is not acting, not paying attention’.

Let’s look at the truth…
you are senseless, foolish people – when will you become wise?
God created and implanted ears – He values and is good at hearing!
God created and formed eyes – He values and is good at seeing!
God created nations – He values and is good at discipline!
God is the great teacher – He values and imparts knowledge.
My Lord, my God, knows the thoughts of everyone – each feeble, futile thought. 

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