June 26, Friday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT devotionals from June 20 to 26 are provided by Kate Moon who serves in E. Asia.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

1 Kings 9:17b-19: “[King Solomon] built up Lower Beth Horon, Baalath, and Tadmor in the desert, within his land, as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horses – whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3b, 8b: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: . . . a time to tear down and a time to build . . . a time for war and a time for peace.”

26With the arrival of summer come thoughts of slowing down, taking a break, having the leisure to do things we feel we usually don’t have time to do.  We start thinking about taking a trip to get away from the normal routine or perhaps picking up a hobby we’ve been meaning to try.

When Solomon became king, the people of Israel, for the first time in their long journey as a nation, had the leisure to build.  They had begun with Abraham as a nomadic people, wandering from place to place.  A famine sent them to Egypt, where they first lived as temporary visitors and later as slaves.  Moses led them out, and they wandered again for a generation before Joshua led them into their own promised land.  But it was still not yet a time for rest, for they had to fight to conquer this land, and the fighting went on through the time of the warrior king, David.  Now that they were finally settled in the land and there was peace, now that their king did not have to think all the time about fighting and defending, he could turn his attention to building.

Throughout history all over the world, when people have had their basic needs for food, shelter and security met, societies began to flourish.  Renaissances happen during times of peace.  Art, music, literature, all the “finer things in life” have room to develop – they are not “necessities” per se, but wonderfully, the way God has created us, we are wired for more than just eating and sleeping and physically existing.  Interestingly, when human beings have leisure, while it may lead to inactivity (read laziness) or even indulgence, it can also be a time for creativity, innovation and discovery.  That is, when we have the leisure, it seems we still want to be doing something meaningful that would feed and enrich our souls.

Now that summer has come and many of us have some extra time, how will we choose to build?  By making special memories with our families?  Reading books that take our long-unused imaginations out for a whirl?  Taking a special retreat with God?

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for times of peace, for times of slowing down, and for a life that is something more than just merely physically existing.  Thank you for times to build, into myself and the lives of others around me.  Help me to spend this precious time wisely and well.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 12

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Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Chronicles 22:7-10: David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God. 8 But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name.  He will be my son, and I will be his father.  And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’”

Questions to Consider

  1. Why was David not to build God’s house (v. 8)?
  2. Why would Solomon be able to build it (vv. 8-9)?
  3. In what ways is Jesus like both David and Solomon? What does this mean to us?

Notes

  1. Because he was the one who shed much blood.
  2. Because of the peace that God would grant him during his reign, but also in part because of the battles his father had already fought and won to set the stage for this peace. In short, it was God’s grace that Solomon was chosen for this privilege without having done anything to merit it.
  3. When Jesus died on the cross, he fought the battle, shedding blood on our behalf, so that we could have peace. When he rose again, he became the prince of peace under whose reign we live, and because of this peace we now have, together with him, we can build God’s house.

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 Evening Reflection

Did I experience the peace of God today?  Have I made time for resting and building in my life?

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