TORNADO 2

THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM

We have completed the Psalms and the message of King David.  He reminded us to praise the Lord, and he is remembered as a man after God’s own heart.  His son Solomon witnessed the rebellion of his brother Absalom and all the trials of David’s kingdom.  He was instructed by the Psalms and all the teachings of this godly father.  Yet when he became the king he had allowed some compromises that were not pleasing to God.  We may have hope for our children if they can remember our wisdom when it is needed.  David was a king who demonstrated humility to his son.  Solomon must have remembered this lesson from the Psalms:

 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.  Psalm 111:10

The fear of God is a starting point for wisdom, but it may take a season to reach us.  So we find Solomon in a few youthful indiscretions as he assumes leadership of a nation that is also inclined to backslide.

And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.  Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days.  And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.  And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.  In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.   1 Kings 3:1-5

So Solomon had taken a gentile wife, and sacrificed in the high places forbidden in the Law of Moses.  Even after the temple was built he offered sacrifices in a well known high place.

Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:  And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.  Deuteronomy 12King :2-3

God is merciful, and agreed to give Solomon his wish, to answer his prayer in spite of the errors going on.  It takes us time to learn, and Solomon was a young king.  So Solomon made his request.

And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.  And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.  And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.  Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?   And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.  1 Kings 3:6-10

Solomon was king, and he was already a married man, but he was humble enough to acknowledge his youth and inexperience.  He knew that he needed help to manage a nation that had brought some grief to his father.  He knew that he had to ask for help for the mission ahead of him.  The Lord rewarded his servant for this request.

And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;  Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.  And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.  And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.  And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.  1 Kings 3:11-15

Solomon was given wisdom, wealth, and honor.  His first act with this wisdom was to go to the proper house of worship in the temple in Jerusalem and make offerings there.  He immediately demonstrated wisdom in his leadership for which he became famous.  Yet the working of wisdom is not an instant miracle, and his life would only see that gift fulfilled after some hard lessons.  He will only reveal the sum of that wisdom after the sum of his regrets.

Proverbs 1

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;  To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:  To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.  Proverbs 1:1-6

These proverbs are presented to give perception and discretion.  Oh I wish our leadership candidates today could understand discretion, diplomacy, and humility.  God is taking us into situations that have been prophesied for many millennia and those warnings are cloaked in dark sayings.  Understanding, wisdom, and equity do NOT proceed from the mouth of the loud, vain, corrupt, wealthy, powerful, FOOLS we would choose to be our kings.  Hear these proverbs!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.  Proverbs 1:7-9

So the Psalm of David was remembered and repeated by Solomon, and his instruction and examples live on in the confirmation of these proverbs.

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.  If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:  Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:  We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:  Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.  Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.  And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.  So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.  Proverbs 1:10-19

So Solomon has turned away from the high places, and calls us to ignore the popular temptations.  It should be obvious that we are not to join with thieves and killers, but almost the entire population of Germany followed a lie for their own prosperity in the last century.  Is America any better for the previous century when our desire for land and farms displaced the Native Americans?  Are we any better when we allow big corporations to corrupt our political system to gain our way in elections?  Do we send our young people to war for the greed for oil and profits?  Your snares are known to everyone; your secrets are revealed.  Those who are discovered conspiring to violence for greed will be caught in their own traps and hanged on their own gallows.  (Thus saith the Lord)

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:  She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Proverbs 1:20-23

The message of hope has been declared in all the world; in every language by missionaries  in the air, on the radio, and on the internet.  Good men have lived the example of faith for many millennia so wisdom has been displayed to everyone.  Even the Old Testament people received the Gospel when Jesus went to them after his crucifixion.  God accepted Solomon while he was sinning, and rewarded his humility with wisdom and wealth too.  How long will we try to steal what God is willing to give?

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Proverbs 1:24-30

We have been offered the only name by which we can be save; Praise the name of the Lord, who is Yeshua, Jesus.  This God of mercy has made a limited time offer.  Because the world follows popular belief they have chosen to mock the truth of the Ancient of Days, and they deny the life offered to them.  God will destroy the people who rebelled against him even as Absalom rebelled against his father David.  He evokes the image of a tornado, which we have often seen in America, as his destruction of evil men.  They who do not fear God will not be heard when they finally will cry out to him.

Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. Proverbs 1:30-33

If the world chooses to devour others with evil, they will be devoured by their own evil.  Deviating from the truth of salvation in Jesus will kill the fools of this world.  The wealth gained by oppressing others will be the evidence of possessing stolen goods before the throne of judgment.  This does not apply to those who come humbly to find wisdom to help other people and will serve our God.  You who have entered the Kingdom of God by faith will fear no evil.

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