Blogging Through the Bible with a few of my Christian sisters, means that as we READ the Bible, we take turns to write a devotional and share our thoughts. While it is a joy and great challenging pleasure, it is also intimidating at times, and as we soon head into Chronicles, I am going to confess that it is almost terrifying.
Really part of why I am terrified is besides the content is heavy and thick at times, my sister partners in this endeavor have set the bar HIGH. I am impressed over and over with the tributes, contributions, and comments that they share. Such wisdom, insight, and encouragement they artfully bring!
I reflect on how this began. I just wanted to read the Bible cover to cover and desired fellowship in the journey. I declared my goal, in the online Christian Women's group called Titus Women's Gathering, and I invited others to join me. I created a place there for us to comment as we went. My comments were so long, I decided to write a blog post about each chapter or two.
This made my progress of reading the Bible cover to cover very SLOW. I solicited HELP or partners to take turns with me, and Stacey and Angela answered the call ! Soon, Tatianna will join us in Blogging Through the Bible.
Anyway, what these gals bring to the table is impressive, if you love sharing in God's word!
Catch Angela's post on chapter 7 and 8, > here<
Stacey's post on chapter 5 and 6, is >here<
Sincerity, passion, and humility I bring. Nothing fancy or sophisticated. Would you join us? Join the reading and discussion!
1 Kings Chapters 9-10
The temple has been built and Solomon is in heyday of his reign, blessed by God at every turn. Politically he enjoys peace, respect and prestige. Much of chapter nine details the gifts brought to him.
Interestingly, early in chapter 9 it is documented that the Lord visited Solomon again, and He expressed affection for the temple:
1 Kings 9:3
"...My eyes and my heart will always be there."
Chapter 9, verse 4-9, the Lord goes on to use words to impress the importance of obedience and reverence, as linked to blessings through the ages. Obedience and loyalty begats blessing, and the opposite leads to the opposite...
Solomon Had it ALL
One staggering detail mentioned is of the amount of gold brought to him each year: 666 talents of gold (chapter 10, verse 14 which equals 25 tons or 23 metric tons according to Biblegateway.com's footnote.) The thought occurred to me that what any single person or entity must own in modern times would be a drop in the bucket comparatively. Solomon was rich, blessed and wise, and yet, his heart was in justice for the people.
I chose the word justice rather than the word service because chapters 9 and 10 do give the vision of someone who lives in luxury and there is actually reference made to "forced labor," (NIV version chapter 9, verse 15). KJV, makes no mention, but gives other specifics.
Solomon accepted his leadership and seemed to excel at everything about it..... administration, delegation, creative planning, problem solving, entertaining, schmoozing, judging, AND not least of all, SERVING his God and living accountably before Him.
ART in Our Lives
As the intricacy of style of his throne seat is described (1 Kings 10:18 >>), something struck me. Because of the commandment of, "Thou shalt have no graven images," sometimes I had wondered if God did not wish us to be like the Amish or Quakers and live with PLAIN being a common standard, but now I think not.
Such intricacy and art of metal, gold, wood, even stone and ivory were crafted and described in detail in the Bible, that more than ever I am convinced that rather than being opposed to intricate art, I suspect that our Father creator enjoys seeing what his creations create. Perhaps it is in His plan and design that art move us to joy and worship, and give many of us pleasure.
How blessed we are to know and serve such an awesome God!
Dear Father in Heaven, whether we be in leadership or "forced labor," leader, or follower, served, or servant, may we live to bring you glory. You be our strength, wisdom, and guide please.
"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord,"
May we seek to honor You Father, with our talents and our treasures, no matter how small they seem.
Lord, YOU are magnificent and so is your creation. Thank you for our blessings here now, and for what you prepare for us in Heaven. Your will be done on earth as in Heaven.
In Jesus's name I pray,
*What verses can you find to support the idea that all honest work has value, and that all is done before the Lord? (thinking of the different jobs and people that it took to build the temple under Solomon's reign)
*Do you see a lesson to learn, in the reading of all of Solomon's riches? What do all of his riches make you reflect on, or make you think of?
*Do you believe there is value in all Bible study? Is God calling you to more diligently devote time to Bible?
*How to do you view the role of art in people's lives, or in places of worship? Do you believe your view is ever worth conflict of division among God's children?
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May the Sonshine be rich on your path,
Disclaimer: I did not summarize these two chapters. You are missing out on a blessing if you do not read these chapters from scripture yourself. My blog post is simply me sharing thoughts on what struck me most notably this time of reading. I look forward to many years of reading and studying God's word, as he allows, and blesses me.