Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
II Corinthians 1: 3-4
“God puts within our reach the power of helpfulness...He is ever ready to increase His grace in our hearts, that as we live and act among all the sorrows of the world we may learn by slow degrees the skill and mystery of consolation…There is no surer way of steadfast peace in this world than the active exercise of pity; no happier temper of mind and work than the lowly watching to see if we can lessen any misery that is about us; nor is there any better way of growth in faith and love.”
Today’s Study Text:
“And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying: “You know how David my father could not build a house to the Name of the Lord his God because wars were about him on every side, until the Lord put his foes under his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil confronting me. And I purpose to build a house to the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to David my father, ‘Your son whom I will set on your throne in your place shall build the house to My Name and Presence.’”
1 Kings 5: 2-5
“A Life Lived With Purpose” Part 3
“Perish each thought of human pride,
Let God alone be magnified;
His glory let the heavens resound,
Shouted from earth’s remotest bound.”
What is the picture of God that I share with those around me?
How does my own personal picture of God affect what I share about my heavenly Father with others?
“Essence beyond essence. Nature increate. Framer of the world, I set Thee, Lord, before my face. I lift up my soul to Thee. I worship Thee on my knees, and humble myself under Thy mighty hand.”
“There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.”
Israel had a new king on the throne. And so the surrounding leaders began to take note. As we found out yesterday, it was Hiram, King of Tyre, who appears to be the first to send his servants to Jerusalem to scope out the young ruler.
From our study text today, it is obvious that this gesture of friendship meant a great deal to Solomon, who we find responded directly to Hiram with a message of his own. I find Solomon’s interaction with King Hiram to be an extremely informative passage of Scripture. There’s so much we can learn from 1 Kings 5: 2-5, if we take time to explore the hidden treasure buried within these verses.
First, we discover that in reply to Hiram’s servants, Solomon responded directly to King Hiram, letting him know that the rapport he enjoyed with David, would be extended by him.
Second, with unfettered boldness, young Solomon also let it be known to King Hiram that there was not only a continuity being shown in earthly rulership, but that the same God, Creator of heaven and earth, who was David’s God, was Solomon’s God, too. We’ll find out, as we continue looking at the history of Israel’s kings, as well as in Solomon’s own life, how very important the “god” who each king chose to serve became critical, not only in the lives of the kings but in the lives of their subjects, too.
Third, it is enlightening to see the way Solomon, very candidly, discussed with Hiram, the way the God of heaven and earth, David’s God and Solomon’s God, was responsible for, not only the expansion of Israel but the stability of Israel. Solomon carefully laid out the way that David had been a king at war most of his reign. But then Solomon shared with this heathen king the way God, as The Message Bible states, “put down” the enemies of Israel until there was peace in all the land. I’d like to insert here that King Hiram in his relationship with David, found him to be a man of his word. And don’t think that King Hiram hadn’t watched with awe the way God had lead David’s life, even in the most troublesome times.
At this point in time, after David’s death, Solomon shared with King Hiram the purpose for which he lived. I find our study text lays out the goal of Solomon’s life clearly: “I purpose to build a house to the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to David my father” (1 Kings 5: 5, Amplified Bible). This was a purpose which was not only directly placed in Solomon’s heart by his earthly father, but by his heavenly Father as well.
What is evident in the exchange between King Hiram and King Solomon was that a purpose-filled life is a life which lives to glorify God and not one’s self. Even the plans for building a temple where God would be the center of worship were designed not to call attention to the works of man but the holiness of God.
All the success David had on the battlefield, he directly related to God, who Solomon said, gave victory to his father until peace prevailed.
During this new time of harmony, Solomon wanted to make certain that the purpose God had for his own rulership was also achieved.
This leads me to look at my life and it may encourage you to do the same. As we find, if we compare David’s life and Solomon’s life, God’s purpose for each of us may be very different for God’s calling upon you most likely will not be the same as what He asks me to do. But one thing is for certain, God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. In one of my favorite texts in the Bible, the prophet Jeremiah reassures us with these words from our heavenly Father: “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jeremiah 29: 11, Amplified Bible). Yes, God has a plan – a purpose – for you and me. It was the Apostle Paul, who found out on the road to Damascus, on his way to kill more Christians, that God had a purpose for his life. And it wasn’t the worldly success Paul thought was at the core of his existence. As he shared with his friends in the church in Ephesus, “God chose us (actually picked us out for Himself as His own) in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him)…making known to us the secret of His will, of His plans, of His purpose” (Ephesians 1: 4, 9, Amplified Bible).
It is at this point you may say to yourself, as I’ve asked myself before, “If God has a specific purpose for my life, how will I know what it is and if I am following His plan for my life?”
I want to share with you some extremely insightful thoughts penned by Erwin W. Lutzer, Pastor at the Moody Bible Church in Chicago:
“Jesus knew where He had come from, why He was here, and what He was supposed to accomplish. He came down from heaven, not to do His own will, but the will of the Father. That determination controlled every decision He made. As a result He was not distracted by trivia. He was never in a hurry, for He knew His Father would not give a task without the time to do it…His clearly defined goals simplified His decisions.”
When I first read these words, I began to ponder the idea that what if I had only one goal in my life – one single purpose – and that was to do the “Will of my Father.” If it was through this singular goal that all the decisions of my life were filtered, I’m curious, as I reflect on past decisions which got me off track, as to how different things may have turned out if “my Father’s Will” had been my only purpose!
In his second letter to his friends in Corinth, the Apostle Paul encouraged them with this sage advice: “So we make it our goal to please Him” (II Corinthians 5: 9, N.I.V.).
A purpose-filled life is one that reflects the Will of God. It is a life that seeks to please God. And when this happens in our life, we will assuredly bring glory to God’s name.
“We worship You, O Lord God, and give thanks to You for Your great glory and power, which You show to Your servants in Your wonderful world. All the things which we enjoy are from Your mighty hand, and You alone are to be praised for all the blessings of the life that now is. Make us thankful to You for all Your mercies and more ready to serve You with all our heart, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
The Narrow Way
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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