1 King 10
Judges 19:1-21 – A Levite and His Concubine. During the time of the Judges, the nation Israel had become lawless after the elders and the judges passed away. The time of the Kings had not yet come to fruition so everyone did as they thought proper. The Levite was living in the hill country of Ephraim where the Danites had settled (Judges 18) and had married a woman from Jerusalem or Jebus. When the woman ran away from him back to her parents, the man followed her and talked her into coming back home again. On their way back, they stopped in Gibeah where the Gibeonites lived with the Benjamites. In the time of Joshua, the Gibeonites showed up at the camp pretending to have traveled from a long distance although it was just over the hill from where Israel was camped. Because Joshua and their elders did not inquire from the Lord before accepting the Gibeonites, the nation was given permission to live in Israel and would be protected. The Gibeonites were not a nice people and had become utterly corrupt and in turn corrupted the Benjamites. So when the man, his wife, and servants arrived someone took pity on them and welcomed them into their home for the night to protect them from the wicked community.
Psalms 107:1-22 – Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So. Has the Lord delivered you from disaster? Proclaim what He has done. A common problem for all humans is that we ask for something through prayer and fasting and when we receive it, we are so excited that we tell no one about G-d’s faithfulness. We are very good about proclaiming defeat and misery because it gets attention. Yet when we are blessed by G-d we keep it to ourselves. “Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and tell of his deeds in songs of joy?” (21-22).
Proverbs 15 – Solomon’s Wisdom. When we take Solomon’s wisdom to heart and allow the Spirit to speak through us, we become wise. These words, although spoken through a foolish king, are life that wells up in us. Wisdom keeps us from following wicked pathways provided we listen to them and take them to heart. Wisdom compels us to think about what is about to come out of our mouths or pen before speaking or writing. Wisdom is not a chain, it is a door that we can push through without having to put a lot of force on it.
Isaiah 46 – Idols of Babylon and the One True G-d. The first commandment “I am the Lord …” tells us that we are to have no other gods besides him. Israel was escorted out of captivity by the hand of the Lord and brought to the mountain which gives the Lord license to command that the nation has no other gods. Having other gods vie for your attention is tantamount to calling your friend at 2AM to get you home and then ignoring them from that point on. What does G-d look like? Well, He certainly doesn’t resemble a bag of sawdust carried on the shoulder and then put into a position and having people come and bow before it. G-d, just like mankind, has eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to feel because we were made in His image. Mankind makes idols out of just about anything including our jobs, our religion, and/or our property yet, G-d is not in them and is not the same as them even if we call them “Lord”. Despite what the “crowd” did, there was always at least one person whose heart has not been turned to stone and is white-hot for the Lord. The people who have remained true to the Lord grow deep roots and survive even the worst drought and trouble.
1 King 10 – Solomon’s Wealth. Solomon is at a tipping point in which he turns from the Lord because of the wealth, and the attention he receives from visiting dignitaries. When Solomon acceded to the throne, he had nothing that was his. All of the wealth in the kingdom belonged to his father David and was set aside for building the temple. Now that the temple and his palaces were built, the remaining gold, silver, and precious stones were added to Solomon’s treasury. The Queen of Sheba came to hear what Solomon had to say and to see for herself if the stories about Solomon were true. When she saw the wealth, heard Solomon speak, and the tables that were set for each meal, she was astonished. There was no king like Solomon and never has been one like him since his time. Algum wood is a type of “Pine” which grew in Lebanon and was used to make instruments like violins, lyres, etc (algum).