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June 19, Day 171 – Wild Beast-People

Yesterday, we thought about how Solomon asked God for discernment and wisdom – which pleased the LORD (cf., 1 Kings 3:10). Today, in 1 Kings 3:16-5:18, we see how God fulfilled His promise to give Solomon wisdom. The deceitful prostitute shows that she could not be the child’s mother when she says, “neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” (verse 26). How could a genuine mother say that about her child? Interestingly, we read that, “when all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe because they saw that he had wisdom from God” (verse 28). Here we see that God fulfilled His promise to honor Solomon (cf., 1 Kings 3:13). In chapter 4, we see a list of Solomon’s officials and district governors, a presentation of Solomon’s daily provisions, and examples of God’s comments about the wisdom that He gave this king. We see that “the people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate and drank; and they were happy” (verse 20). This is the kind of blessed lifestyle that God desires for us all, but such a life is contingent upon our submission and obedience to God. The text indicates that, as God’s people were “as numerous as the sand on the seashore,” Solomon's wisdom was equally “measureless” (verse 29). In chapter 5, we see the narrative of Solomon’s preparations for building the temple. Although Solomon’s reign was historical, it is also prophetical; it represents our sovereign God ruling in righteousness and justice over His universal kingdom. Furthermore, Solomon’s kingdom of peace and safety portrays Christ’s rule in His future millennial kingdom when - from David’s throne - He will reign in peace, righteousness, and with an iron rod. Like Solomon’s kingdom over Israel, Christ’s kingdom over the world will be extensive and filled with abundance.

Today, Psalm 74:18-23 addresses the age-old problems that accompany a life of ignoring and mocking God. People haven’t changed in their basic nature; sin infects and affects the race; and life is filled with rage and violence. “Foolish people” continue to “revile God’s name” (verse 18). The Christ-filled life is compared to that of an innocent “dove,” and Asaph begs for God’s active protection - “do not hand us over to wild beasts “(verse 19). We live in a world of wild beast-people who want to harm us in the worst possible ways. Our only protection is God’s mercy. He will eventually “defend His cause” (verse 22).

In Acts 12:19-13:11, we see God’s defense against such wild-beast-people - Herod and Elymas were two such men - and God dealt with them severely. In verse 20, we see that “Herod had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon,” and we see that he grants an audience “wearing his royal robes,” (verse 21). His pride almost reeks through the pages of Scripture. Trying to flatter Herod, the people proclaim, “this is the voice of a god, not of a man” (verse 22). But God shows them who is the real God. “Because Herod did not give praise to God, “an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died” (verse 23). Goodness! What a horrible way to die! That sort of action doesn’t happen to God – it happens to mere mortals. In chapter 13, Elymas the sorcerer tried to oppose Barnabas and Saul – “also called Paul” (verse 9) – for which he was struck with “blindness and groped about – seeking someone to lead him by the hand” (verse 11).

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