Thursday, June 7, 2007

Living in Prosperity

The story of Solomon is one dear to my heart. Solomon was the son of King David and Bathsheba from their adulterous affair. From the time he was born, the Bible says God loved him. He gave Solomon a special name through the Prophet Nathan, which was Jedidiah. In Hebrew, Jedidiah means “Friend of God”. I can almost feel God smiling upon Solomon when he was born in his giving him a name that meant He would be His friend.

But Solomon’s life was not all wine and roses! When King David lay dying, he almost lost the throne that was rightfully his to Adonijah. Had God not interceded, that might have been the end of the story of Solomon’s greatness. But God saw fit to prosper him, and put him on the throne.

Solomon was a very wise man and loved God. King David, in 1 Kings 2:3 tells Solomon “And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn;”. Solomon was obedient to his Fathers words, and did live within the laws given by God. Adonijah, on the other hand, worshipped idols. After he was dethroned, he is never mentioned again.

God was so pleased with Solomon that in 1 Kings 3 He asked Solomon what He could give him. God sought to bless Solomon! Can you imagine? Solomon actually got to pick his blessing! And when Solomon asked for wisdom instead of great riches or the things most men would ask for, God was very pleased! He blessed Solomon not only with the wisdom and understanding he requested, but with the things other men would have asked for as well. In fact, the Bible says in 1 Kings 3:12 that there has never been a wiser man than Solomon – even to this day.

Because of Solomon’s love and obedience to God, He made him to prosper. He prospered so much that rumors began to spread internationally about how rich and powerful Solomon was. In today’s society, he’d be in the ranks of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet! Forbes would be knocking on his door requesting an interview!

The Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s wealth, and decided to come for a visit to see it herself. When she arrived, she said in 1 Kings 10:7 “However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard.” Keep in mind – this is the Queen of Sheba, not a pheasant girl! She was completely impressed not only with what God had given Solomon.

The prosperity of Solomon continued and 1 Chronicles 29:23 says “Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.”

In 2 Chronicles 26:5 we read that “He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.” Did you see that? As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper!

The story of Solomon, unfortunately, doesn’t end with a happy ending. Solomon fell in love with women who worshipped idols, and eventually began to worship them as well. In 1 Kings 11:11 God tells Solomon “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.” Yes, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away! It’s important to note that as long as he walked with God, God continually provided for Solomon, and made sure of his success.

Make no mistake! God can bless you beyond what you can ever imagine! Solomon only imagined God giving him wisdom. He never even fathomed the wealth and success God gave him. And why did God decide to give it to Solomon? I think it goes back to the name given to him, Jedidiah – Friend of God. He wasn’t just a friend of God on Sunday. He didn’t walk his own way during the week, and follow God when in church. He was sold out! He was someone God could rely on! He was someone God could point to and say, “Wow, look at my servant, Solomon!”

When you seek to have God bless your life, to provide you with success and prosperity, rest assured that you seek something easily within God’s reach, and that God want’s to give you. Solomon had no special claim on God’s love. God wants to be your friend too. But that’s in your hands! You can’t just say a prayer and use God as a big slot machine in the sky! You have to earn what is given to you by being a friend to God. Seek and follow God. Let God be the consumption of your mind, heart, and soul. Success is easily attained once you know who is in charge of your success.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” – Psalms 1:1-3

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