Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!
This is sound advice and a theme that appears numerous times in the Bible. Prophets from the Old and New Testament speak of guarding the words the come out of your mouth. I have written a number of posts on this subject and I thought I would touch on it again. Continue reading
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Unless the Lord builds the house.
What is the house that King David is talking about? It is you, your body, my body, and our community as human beings. To go through life, building a life and a community without God in your heart is vanity or as David’s son would say, vanity and a striving after wind. Continue reading
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.
You have heard some variations of the quote, “In God we trust, all others we verify”, or “all others we monitor”, or “all others bring data”. This is what David is saying in these two verses but in a more eloquent and poetic manner. Continue reading
King Solomon is one of my favorite persons in history. The wisdom and knowledge that he shares in the book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes has become the cornerstone for my philosophy of life. Not only does Solomon give us wisdom and truth that is ageless, he does it with simplicity. I love simplicity.
In 1 King 3:5-14 we learn how Solomon gained this wisdom.
Solomon has just been anointed king by his father David who passes away shortly after anointing Solomon.
Solomon has vanquished those who tried to usurp his reign and now realizes just how much power has been placed on his head. Solomon will reign over, “a great people too many to be numbered or counted for multitude.”
God asks Solomon, “What shall I give you?” Continue reading
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
I read these verses and thought about how they fit into the theme of why does God let bad things happen to good people and vice versa. It also goes along with the whole balance of the universe and eventually, on God’s terms, there is a price to pay for sin.
Job questioned it throughout the Book of Job. He wondered why a good and righteous man such as himself, could have such horrible events happen to him. Remember Job lost all his possessions, which were extensive He lost his entire family except for his wife. Job questioned because he looked around and saw the wicked man living in the lap of luxury, while committing sins and having the time of his life. Continue reading
Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
Sound advice for all of us. Continue reading
2 Chronicles 10:6-10
Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” And they said to him, “If you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us’; thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs.
King Rehoboam was the son of King Solomon, and even though Solomon was one of the wisest men in history, he too was flawed and corrupted by wealth, power and outside influences. Solomon took wives from foreign lands. These wives brought their false gods with them. Soon Solomon had forsaken the commandments of God and begun worshiping the foreign gods at the request of his wives.
Solomon began to heavily tax his people to furnish his life style of luxury much like today’s leaders. Rehoboam was appointed king after Solomon’s death, and the people of Israel asked Rehoboam for some relief from the heavy burdens which Solomon place upon them. Continue reading