Sunday, June 11, 2017

June 11

I Kings 8:1-66; Acts 7:51-8:13; Psalm 129:1-8; Proverbs 17:1

As King Solomon prays and dedicates the temple with a beautiful prayer, it’s hard for me to read it and not think of the future ahead of this king who had it all. He had wealth, power, position, yet he will throw it all away on 700 wives and 300 concubines. We will read about them in the days to come, and we will read of the altars Solomon built to foreign gods, altars that his wives worshipped at and, presumably, sacrificed at. And their gods demanded human sacrifice! Not a pretty picture of what is ahead. But as my husband told me years ago when one of our sons’ youth leaders had been unfaithful to his wife, “It doesn’t invalidate the good ministry he had with our sons prior to that.”

So today Solomon sacrifices and prays. “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your love” (I Ki. 8:23). Solomon knew who God was. He knew he was the God above all gods. He knew God had the power to forgive (vs. 30).

Solomon finished his prayer and then turned to the people and blessed the people with these words: “May He turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers…. Your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands” (I Ki. 8:58-61).

This reminds me that all I have to follow Jesus with is today. On that day Solomon was following the Lord. I must choose to follow him today,  to read his word, to obey his word, to speak of his love to others, to give of my money to His work, to care for the poor and dying. I have only today. If I allow my heart to grow cold and indifferent for even just one day, I am in danger of walking away from the Lord, being lured away from His love, as Solomon eventually was by all his wives and concubines.

“Oh, Lord, may we - the older generation - finish well. I pray that Don and I and our older friends would finish strong, not counting on our past ‘successes’ or ministry positions or personal accomplishments, but having a heart to follow You, dear God, and to walk in humbleness of heart, with repentant spirits. And I pray this for the dear ones who read this blog, too, that each one may serve you today and thus finish well by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

- Nell Sunukjian

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