Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, even then in this will I be confident…for in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 27: 3,5
“Never yield to gloomy anticipations. Who told you that the night would never end in day? Who told you that the winter of your discontent should proceed from frost to frost, from snow and ice and hail to deeper snow? Do you not know that day follows night, that flood comes after the ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter? Place your hope and confidence in God. He has no record of failure.”
Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
God After All
“Our God is the Master at earth’s console.”
Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
Today’s Study Text:
“Blessed be the Lord your God, Who delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel. Because the Lord loved Israel forever. He made you king to execute justice and righteousness.”
1 Kings 10: 9
“Lessons Taught By the Lady From Sheba” Part 7
Lesson #7 – From the words of Ethan the Ezrahite written in Psalm 89: 14 (Amplified Bible)-- “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; mercy and loving-kindness and truth go before your face.”
“Justice”: The principle or ideal of moral rightness. Sound reason. Moral rightness in conduct and attitude.
“Justice”: In Hebrew means -- virtue, rightness, prosperity.
“Righteousness”: Genuine, true, morally right.
“Righteousness”: In Hebrew means -- morally right.
“Biblical righteousness does not begin with our preferences. God’s righteousness is settled and authoritative. God does not change His standards to conform to us. His standards are the expression of what is right, and our behavior becomes righteous as we come into alignment with them.”
What do you think the Queen of Sheba meant when she told Solomon that God had set him on the throne to “execute justice and righteousness”?
How are we blessed when we live a life which reflects what is “morally right”?
“It is when we live by the right principles that we begin to love the right principles.”
“But let justice run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream.”
Amos 5: 24
Overwhelmed by all she had witnessed as Solomon answered her comprehensive questions and took her on a guided tour of his palace, God’s Temple and the city of David, the Queen of Sheba, after being left speechless at first, responded to what she had witnessed. What I find impressive is that when this “lady” opened her mouth, what came out was not some shallow dribble. Instead, the Queen of Sheba’s words served only to reflect the depth of her intellect and the thoughtfulness of her inquiry.
As she viewed the order which was present within Solomon’s palace; as she saw the joy reflected in the lives of those who served in Solomon’s place; and as she listened to the wisdom which was exposed as Solomon spoke of the God he served, the Queen of Sheba offered adoration to a God who had chosen to shower His blessings upon His beloved, Solomon. And then this foreign queen offered this assessment of Solomon’s life: “It is because God loved His children, Israel, so much, that He placed you on the throne. And furthermore, you have been elevated to the throne to “execute” or to “put into effect, to perform, to create,” justice and righteousness, to do what is morally right.”
I find it tremendously instructive that after a rather short time with Solomon, not only did this Arabian queen understand the purpose of Solomon’s reign but what’s more, she had a profound sense of what is at the foundation of the character of God -- justice and righteousness. Without hesitancy, she informed Solomon that God had placed him on the throne of Israel, not for Solomon to gain personally from this appointment, but that the characteristics of our heavenly Father would permeate all Solomon did. Solomon had a heavenly mandate to rule with justice and righteousness.
Notably, we find that Solomon, himself, understood the importance of right and just behavior for he expressed in Proverbs 21: 21, “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” I really like the way The Message Bible paraphrases this passage: “Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind finds life itself -- glorious life!”
This is exactly what the Lady From Sheba teaches us in Lesson #7, that right and just living bring blessings beyond compare.
We find this lesson shared by the Old Testament prophet Amos who carried God’s Message to the family of Israel when he spoke these words:
“Seek God and live! You don’t want to end up with nothing to show for your life but a pile of ashes…seek good and not evil -- and live! Do you know what I want? I want justice -- oceans of it. I want fairness -- rivers of it. That’s what I want.”
Amos 5, 6, 14, 24
The Message Bible
How sad that Solomon, so very quickly, forgot the lesson the Queen of Sheba learned in such a short time and it is this: that the person who lives a morally right life -- as Solomon tells us in his own words, will not only find life but also “uprightness and right standing with God” (Proverbs 21: 21, Amplified Bible).
“O God, the king of righteousness, lead us, we pray Thee, in the ways of justice and of peace, inspire us to break down all tyranny and oppression, to gain for every man (and woman), his (her) due service, that each may live for all and all may care for each, in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Exuberant Spirit of God
“Exuberant Spirit of God, bursting with brightness of flame into the coldness of our lives to warm us with a passion for justice and beauty, We Praise You.
Exuberant Spirit of God, sweeping us out of the dusty corners of our apathy to breathe vitality into our struggles for change, We Praise You.
Exuberant Spirit of God, speaking words that leap over barriers of mistrust to convey messages of truth and new understanding, We Praise You.
Exuberant Spirit of God,
burn, breathe, speak in us; fill Your world with justice and with joy.”
Bread of Tomorrow
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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