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Posts Tagged ‘depend on God’


Thursday, January 9, 2020

Wisdom 9: Solomon’s Prayer

SolomonsPrayer[1]Solomon is a well-known figure in scripture.  At a fairly young age he is given a unified kingdom by his father, David.  When asked what he wishes to have in this world he asks for Wisdom.  We are told that he receives this and more . . . all the wealth, power and status he had not asked for.  He seems destined for greatness and so he is.

Rulers from all parts journey to visit him, to see the beautiful palace and temple he builds, and to experience at close range how this singular king loves and is loved by his singular God.  Even the remarkable Queen of Sheba requests and is granted a special visit.  Later in his story, we are told that he loved many foreign women and married several.  It is likely that in this way he meant to secure alliances with potential enemies; yet these enemies defeat him in a quiet and insidious way.  The writer of 1 Kings tells us: When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the Lord, his God, as the heart of his father David had been. (1 Kings 11:4) After this, the kingdom comes tumbling down.

Today we spend time with Solomon’s Prayer which can also read in 1 Kings 8 and we speculate what it was that drew him away from God into the world.  We picture what lured him to foreign gods and extravagant women.  We can imagine what and who convinced him that authority and influence were more important than fidelity to Yahweh.  When we reflect on Solomon’s Prayer, we might want to make it our own and pray it often . . . resisting the lure of self-deceit and warding off the siren song of the material world.  And so we pray to the God of Solomon, the Living God.

Give me Wisdom, the attendant at your throne . . . For alone I cannot manage my days and nights sensibly.

Reject me not from among your children . . . I will make mistakes and I know that you will pardon me.

You have bid me build a temple on your holy mountain, an altar in the city that is your dwelling place, a copy of the holy tabernacle you had established of old . . .  I will do my best to act as you ask, to answer as you call, to praise as you create.

Send forth Wisdom from your holy heavens that she may be with me and work with me . . .  I really cannot do this without your voice in my ear.

For who knows God’s counsel, who can conceive what the Lord intends?  I cannot conceive of that you see, all that you know, all that you do. I only understand that your are goodness and therefore do only good.

Piero della Francesca: Legend of the Cross - The Queen of Sheba Meeting with Solomon

Piero della Francesca: Legend of the Cross – The Queen of Sheba Meeting with Solomon

Thus were the paths of those on earth made straight, and we learned what was your pleasure, and were saved by Wisdom.  So abide with me that you might bring goodness out of any action I take may harm another.  Remain with me that I might remain in you.  Love me always that I might always love others.

Amen.


A re-post from January 9, 2013.

Read more about Solomon in 1 Kings and in 1 Chronicles. www.Biblegateway.com

To read more about Solomon’s Prayer, click on the image above or go to: http://www.hedua.com/blog/solomons-prayer/

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Thursday, December 22, 2011 – Matthew 11  – An Evil Generation

El Greco: Jesus Healing the Blind

The New American Bible designates this portion of Matthew’s Gospel: Opposition from Israel.  Today and tomorrow we will examine Chapters 11 and 12 to discover more fully Jesus’ role in Israel.  We will prepare more deeply for the arrival of the Spirit that brings joy and hope into our own lives and hearts.  And we will understand more intensely what it means to totally and unconditionally depend on God for all. 

As Chapter 11 opens, messengers arrive with word from Jesus’ cousin John to ask if what they have heard is true.  Are you the one who has come or shall we look for another?  We also want to know the answer to this question.  Is it true that someone will take away our pain?  Will we really begin to see an end to all the struggling between us?  Can we at last relax and not worry so much about all we have to do?  Is it true that someone will finally begin to right wrongs and deliver justice for those who suffer at the hands of the wicked?  Jesus answers John’s messengers and he answers us as well. 

Jean-Marie Melchior Doze: Jesus Healing the Leper

Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.  And we wonder . . . Is it true that the baby born in a few short days does all of this for us?  We watch and take in the news.  We work with others and we see how conditions might be improved.  We interact with family and friends and hope for the best; yet we see too well the dark side of our reality.

Poor leaders and insincere co-workers use fear and guilt and manipulation to achieve their own goals.  If we read Matthew 11 and 12 carefully we understand that a kind word and a committed heart call more people to a cause than force and coercion.  Jesus confronts this evil generation and calls us as he called to the unrepentant towns: If the mighty deeds had been done in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.

Corrupt family and friends use subterfuge, dishonesty and tricks to force others into committing to their point of view.  If we to read Matthew 11 and12 mindfully we see that honesty and courtesy invite more people to commitment than passive aggression and duplicity.  Jesus challenges this evil generation and urges them as he urges us: Whoever has ears ought to hear. 

Rembrandt: The Raising of Lazarus

Deceitful loved ones use betrayal, secrecy and projection of their own problems onto others because they cannot or do not want to grow.  If we read Matthew 11 and 12 intentionally we comprehend that openness and love bring more people to union than threats and lines drawn in the sand.  Jesus speaks to this evil generation and assures them as he assures us: My yoke is easy, and my burden light. 

As Jesus moves about Israel healing, preaching and converting, the power structure feels its own influence dwindling . . . and those invested in the status quo begin to panic.  They oppose Jesus at every turning and we watch to see how Jesus will meet this opposition.

Jesus the Healer knows that words mean little while actions mean all.  Jesus the Interceder knows that corruption runs deep and is not easily unseated.  Jesus the Cornerstone knows that we are like children playing games who sit in the marketplace calling out to one another.  Jesus the Redeemer knows that we are in need of his help and that God is the only one who can fully confront this evil generation.  Jesus, the Son of Man, knows that his authority and strength are in God alone. 

Tomorrow we take a look at how Jesus confronts those who challenge him.  Today let us depend on God as Jesus does, and let us we pray as Jesus prays.

I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.  Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.  Amen. 

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