Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for June 8-14 are provided by Philip Chen, who oversees the college ministry of Church of Southland.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Kings 3:5-10 (ESV): At Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.
There is an Aesop’s fable of a foolish donkey that had an idol strapped on his back as he was led through the town to deliver the idol. All of the people who saw the idol would bow down in respect and worship. After a while, the donkey believed that it was he that the people were bowing down to in worship. One morning, when the idol was not strapped on his back, he wandered into the towns, expecting to be worshipped by the people. But no one even gave him a second glance. In anger, he demanded worship by those around him, but soon found out that he was, in the end, just a donkey who was undeserving of worship.
Although the focus of this passage is on Solomon’s request for wisdom and understanding in ruling God’s people, he says something very important in this dream that we should not overlook. He declares that it is the Lord God who has given David a seat on the throne over Israel and that it is the Lord God who has made Solomon king over all of Israel. He hasn’t done anything to earn it. He recounts God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. Surely Solomon would have heard from his father of what happened to Saul and how God could take away his position as king over Israel as quickly as He established him as king. Solomon does not overlook this fact and shows what it means to have wisdom and understanding: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. The understanding of who we are in comparison to God and the brevity of our time on this earth is what helps us approach God with humility. The understanding that everything is but a gift that is given to us by the Lord is an important reminder that we must come back to again and again
We can often get caught up with our own accomplishments and think of ourselves higher than we ought to. Let us strive to live a humble life by ascribing glory unto our God rather than deceiving ourselves into believing that glory belongs to us. Solomon, in his early reign, is marked as a man with great wisdom and understanding because of his humility. May it be that we are also described as people with great wisdom and understanding.
Father, forgive us for the times we robbed You of Your glory. Too often we tend to wrongly take credit for what You are doing in and through our lives. May we become more and more aware of the times we do this and correct ourselves so that we are correctly ascribing glory to you. You are the One who is truly deserving of all praise and worship! Help us have the wisdom to understand that. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 46
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Chronicles 29:12-16 (ESV): David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.
Question to Consider
- Where did David give this declaration and why is it important?
- What does David mean that they were foreigners and strangers in God’s sight?
- David says that everything comes from God’s hands, and all of it belongs to him. What are things in our lives that we need to attribute to Him?
- David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly. Corporate worship and praise is so important because it is one of the most effective avenues to remember the faithfulness and goodness of our God.
- David sees the grace of God in that they were once not a people, but now are considered God’s people. They were once aliens and outcasts, but God has drawn them in.
- Opportunities, health, friendships, even the strength to do certain things all are from Him. Everything indeed is from the Lord.
As the day ends, spend some time reflecting on your current place in life and the position you are in. Ask God to reveal to you how He has brought you this far and how he continues to sustain you each and every day. As you recount His faithfulness and goodness in your life, give Him the praise and glory He deserves!