For Freedom

I am in the USA, but if you are not – please read even though I use the US flag and holiday. I believe this message is relevant around the world as Christ died for our freedom!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ” Galatians 5:1 NIV

In the United States, Memorial Day weekend is the kick off of the summer season with a weekend of celebrations with fun and family and hopefully nice weather – but Monday, on Memorial Day – we remember those who are no longer with us. Specifically those who went off to fight for our freedom and did not survive. As a self-declared Christian nations, you would think we could easily understand the significance of this remembrance and observe it in a respectful way.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of 1st Kings chapters 3-4, 2nd Chronicles chapter 1 and Psalm 72 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  Solomon asked for wisdom.  Some say it is among the “dangerous prayers” – like when you ask for patience, your [patience gets tested. Often I hear older more mature Christian telling the young NOT to pray for patience or wisdom or any of these prayers that could lead to trials – which grow us.  STOP IT!!!! Let them run fool hardy for God as we did! Let them dig in, and be tried and grow!  We need mighty warriors for Christ – not wimps who are afraid of having to be more patient.

Truth is – it is Memorial Day and fewer and fewer people are actually honoring or respecting the day – parades are no longer held in honor of our fallen soldiers. Truth is as a nation we no longer understand that it took a blood sacrifice for us to be safe. And that is NOTHING SMALL.

But the USA is now claiming to be a secular nation – not Christian, and they disregard the blood that was shed on Calvary for their freedom – and therefore also must made smaller the uncomfortable truth that only by spilled blood are we made free! Modern war has fewer causalities – we remove ourselves further and further from blood and the understanding – the wisdom!  (We must pray fervently for wisdom, pray fervently for repentance in the USA – as well as all over the world.)

Without wisdom and understanding – we may very well miss what is happening. We may miss our appointed calling. How long will grace forebear? We know that the “end days” does not refer to the end of time – but to the end of the period called the dispensation of grace.

“if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,” Ephesians 3:2 NKJV

To what end, Paul ponders to the Ephesians – I ponder of this modern world.  At what point will the Spirit be so grieved He pulls back, at what point is the end of the rope, at what point is grace depleted?! 

Theologically many say that when the “one who hinders in taken away” in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 and based on context clues it will be when the rapture occurs – yet how much more grace will be needed for those who are walking through Jacobs Sorrow.  Because of that some believe the rapture will be after the tribulation – while pointing to many other verses many believe the rapture happens before.

Since it is NOT for us to know the day or hour – I am happy NOT to ponder further the theology. Rather, My God is a mighty God who is Holy and Just. He has the earth swallow up the unjust. He has left a generation to struggle in vain in a desert. AND these were the ones he loved first.  Do we think grace shall continue to abound to us ward under the dispensation?! Roman 6 ponders the same concept of continuing in sin and letting grace abound! God Forbid!

Oh Lord we need wisdom! You are the same yesterday, today and forever! In our hope to thrive under grace and continue in sin – we separate ourselves from blood sacrifice. We separate our self from the cross – we shamefully dishonor the men and women who fought for our nation’s freedom and made a blood sacrifice. For freedom, Jesus set us free and spilled His blood. For freedom our fallen soldiers did the same for civil and military freedoms. Forgive us and please grant us the wisdom we need to not continue in sin. Grant us the wisdom to thrive in such a time as this. Grant us the wisdom to fear you with the respect you deserve. – in the name of Jesus – amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 1 Kings 3-4, 2 Chronicles 1, & Psalm 72 NKJV

1 Kings 3-4

Solomon Requests Wisdom

Now Solomon made [a]a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall all around Jerusalem. Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days. And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.

Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am 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 numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an [b]understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen[c] your days.”

15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

Solomon’s Wise Judgment

16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him. 17 And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; [d]no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. 21 And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.”

22 Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.”

And the first woman said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.”

Thus they spoke before the king.

23 And the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’ ” 24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.”

26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!”

But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.

27 So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.”

28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

Solomon’s Administration

So King Solomon was king over all Israel. And these were his officials: Azariah the son of Zadok, the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, [e]scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, over the army; Zadok and Abiathar, the priests; Azariah the son of Nathan, over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan, a priest and the king’s friend; Ahishar, over the household; and Adoniram the son of Abda, over the labor force.

And Solomon had twelve governors over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month of the year. These are their names: [f]Ben-Hur, in the mountains of Ephraim; [g]Ben-Deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan; 10 [h]Ben-Hesed, in Arubboth; to him belonged Sochoh and all the land of Hepher; 11 [i]Ben-Abinadab, in all the regions of Dor; he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as wife; 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth Shean, which is beside Zaretan below Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah, as far as the other side of Jokneam; 13 [j]Ben-Geber, in Ramoth Gilead; to him belonged the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, in Gilead; to him also belonged the region of Argob in Bashan—sixty large cities with walls and bronze gate-bars; 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali; he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife; 16 Baanah the son of Hushai, in Asher and Aloth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan. He was the only governor who was in the land.

Prosperity and Wisdom of Solomon’s Reign

20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing. 21 So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the[k] River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

22 Now Solomon’s [l]provision for one day was thirty [m]kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal, 23 ten fatted oxen, twenty oxen from the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl.

24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side of [n]the River from Tiphsah even to Gaza, namely over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace on every side all around him. 25 And Judah and Israel dwelt[o] safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

26 Solomon had [p]forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 And these governors, each man in his month, provided food for King Solomon and for all who came to King Solomon’s table. There was no lack in their supply. 28 They also brought barley and straw to the proper place, for the horses and steeds, each man according to his charge.

29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. 30 Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. 33 Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. 34 And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 3:1 an alliance
  2. 1 Kings 3:9 Lit. hearing
  3. 1 Kings 3:14 prolong
  4. 1 Kings 3:18 Lit. no stranger
  5. 1 Kings 4:3 secretaries
  6. 1 Kings 4:8 Lit. Son of Hur
  7. 1 Kings 4:9 Lit. Son of Deker
  8. 1 Kings 4:10 Lit. Son of Hesed
  9. 1 Kings 4:11 Lit. Son of Abinadab
  10. 1 Kings 4:13 Lit. Son of Geber
  11. 1 Kings 4:21 The Euphrates
  12. 1 Kings 4:22 Lit. bread
  13. 1 Kings 4:22 Each about 5 bushels
  14. 1 Kings 4:24 The Euphrates
  15. 1 Kings 4:25 lived in safety
  16. 1 Kings 4:26 So with MT, most other authorities; some LXX mss. four thousand; cf. 2 Chr. 9:25

2 Chronicles 1

Solomon Requests Wisdom

Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly.

And Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses. Then Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to [a]the high place that was at Gibeon; for the tabernacle of meeting with God was there, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness. But David had brought up the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim to the place David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. Now the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, [b]he put before the tabernacle of the Lord; Solomon and the assembly sought Him there. And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 10 Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

11 Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”

Solomon’s Military and Economic Power

13 So Solomon came to Jerusalem from [c]the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the tabernacle of meeting, and reigned over Israel. 14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15 Also the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland. 16 And Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. 17 They also acquired and imported from Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred and fifty; thus, [d]through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 1:3 Place for worship
  2. 2 Chronicles 1:5 Some authorities it was there
  3. 2 Chronicles 1:13 Place for worship
  4. 2 Chronicles 1:17 Lit. by their hands

Psalm 72

Glory and Universality of the Messiah’s Reign

A Psalm of Solomon.

72 Give the king Your judgments, O God,
And Your righteousness to the king’s Son.
He will judge Your people with righteousness,
And Your poor with justice.
The mountains will bring peace to the people,
And the little hills, by righteousness.
He will bring justice to the poor of the people;
He will save the children of the needy,
And will [a]break in pieces the oppressor.

[b]They shall fear You
As long as the sun and moon endure,
Throughout all generations.
He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
Like showers that water the earth.
In His days the righteous shall flourish,
And abundance of peace,
Until the moon is no more.

He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
And His enemies will lick the dust.
10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba
Will offer gifts.
11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.

12 For He will deliver the needy when he cries,
The poor also, and him who has no helper.
13 He will spare the poor and needy,
And will save the souls of the needy.
14 He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;
And precious shall be their blood in His sight.

15 And He shall live;
And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him;
Prayer also will be made for Him continually,
And daily He shall be praised.

16 There will be an abundance of grain in the earth,
On the top of the mountains;
Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon;
And those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

17 His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.

18 Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
19 And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.

20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 72:4 crush
  2. Psalm 72:5 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Vg. They shall continue

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