San Diego Clairemont Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Developing a loving relationship with Christ and our community

A Word To The Little Flock Part Twenty Seven

Dear Fellow Believers:

Given that we live in a very taxing time, a time when divine wisdom is so much needed, I would like to share with you the following message. Let’s begin by reading 1Kings 3:1-5.
And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days. And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. (1 Kings 3:1-5 KJV)
Y SALOMON hizo parentesco con Faraón rey de Egipto, porque tomó la hija de Faraón, y trájola á la ciudad de David, entre tanto que acababa de edificar su casa, y la casa de Jehová, y los muros de Jerusalem alrededor. Hasta entonces el pueblo sacrificaba en los altos; porque no había casa edificada al nombre de Jehová hasta aquellos tiempos. Mas Salomón amó á Jehová, andando en los estatutos de su padre David: solamente sacrificaba y quemaba perfumes en los altos. E iba el rey á Gabaón, porque aquél era el alto principal, y sacrificaba allí, mil holocaustos sacrificaba Salomón sobre aquel altar. Y aparecióse Jehová á Salomón en Gabaón una noche en sueños, y díjo le Dios: Pide lo que quisieres que yo te dé. (1 Reyes 3:1-5 SRV)
As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went out in the wilderness and was severely tempted by the devil.
We tend to speak of how God is there with us when things have been very difficult, but do not seem to pay much attention to spiritual things when all is going well.
Our main Scripture introduces us to the time that David died and his son Solomon will come to the throne.
There he is, David’s fifth son, and the product of a shameful adulterous and murderous relationship, is to become the king of Israel.
Coming to the throne in the Middle East can be a very frightening time.
Here in the West, we are use to seeing politicians gracefully handing over power to their opponents.
Not so in the Middle East.
Syria’s president Hafez al-Assad had tolerated opposition from Sunni Muslims in his country for nearly ten years. But that was it! In February 1992, he ordered a massive public extermination of his foes in the town of Hama. If you drive through the streets of Hama today, you will come to whole sections of the city where bulldozers just plowed under the homes and bodies of men, women, and children. Then steamrollers came through and flattened out the rubble. The death toll, according to the government estimate is 38,000.
Saddam Hussein of Iraq killed five of his closest associates after taking power, and then many of his own family as well. He wanted no threat to his power.
Even in the business world, a merger happens and the new management wants its own people. Pink slips fly. A new coach takes over and cleans house.
Solomon will have reason to be concerned.
“And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.” (1 Kings 3:3 NKJV)
Mas Salomón amó á Jehová, andando en los estatutos de su padre David: solamente sacrificaba y quemaba perfumes en los altos. (1 Reyes 3:3 SRV)

In which part of the sentence will Solomon die?
In verse 4 we find that he offered 1,000 animal sacrifices on God’s altar.
Walter Brueggemann writes, “Good rule and good living begin in prayer.”
“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 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?’ The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 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, 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. 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. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.’” (1 Kings 3:5-14 NKJV)
Y aparecióse Jehová á Salomón en Gabaón una noche en sueños, y díjo le Dios: Pide lo que quisieres que yo te dé. Y Salomón dijo: Tú hiciste gran misericordia á tu siervo David mi padre, según que él anduvo delante de ti en verdad, en justicia, y con rectitud de corazón para contigo: y tú le has guardado esta tu grande misericordia, que le diste hijo que se sentase en su trono, como sucede en este día. Ahora pues, Jehová Dios mío, tú has puesto á mí tu siervo por rey en lugar de David mi padre: y yo soy mozo pequeño, que no sé cómo entrar ni salir. Y tu siervo está en medio de tu pueblo al cual tú escogiste; un pueblo grande, que no se puede contar ni numerar por su multitud. Da pues á tu siervo corazón dócil para juzgar á tu pueblo, para discernir entre lo bueno y lo malo: porque ¿quién podrá gobernar este tu pueblo tan grande? Y agradó delante de Adonai que Salomón pidiese esto. Y díjole Dios: Porque has demandado esto, y no pediste para ti muchos días, ni pediste para ti riquezas, ni pediste la vida de tus enemigos, mas demandaste para ti inteligencia para oir juicio; He aquí lo he hecho conforme á tus palabras: he aquí que te he dado corazón sabio y entendido, tanto que no haya habido antes de ti otro como tú, ni después de ti se levantará otro como tú. Y aun también te he dado las cosas que no pediste, riquezas y gloria: tal, que entre los reyes ninguno haya como tú en todos tus días. Y si anduvieres en mis caminos, guardando mis estatutos y mis mandamientos, como anduvo David tu padre, yo alargaré tus días. (1 Reyes 3:5-14 SRV)

God asks Solomon, “Ask! What shall I give you?” “What do you want?”
He asks for wisdom.
A woman was working in a senior’s complex cleaning the teeth of an 85 year old woman with really nice skin. She asked her what she used. The woman said that her twin sister was all wrinkled from using Estee Lauder and junk, but she has always gone with Crisco. We want to look good and live long, no crime there; but if that becomes more important than living a Christian life, we’re in trouble.
“Those who today occupy positions of trust should seek to learn the lesson taught by Solomon’s prayer. The higher the position a man occupies, the greater the responsibility that he has to bear, the wider will be the influence that he exerts and the greater his need of dependence on God. Ever should he remember that with the call to work comes the call to walk circumspectly before his fellow men. He is to stand before God in the attitude of a learner. Position does not give holiness of character. It is by honoring God and obeying His commands that a man is made truly great.” {PK 30}

Solomon wanted wisdom, and an understanding heart, so that he could rule well.
The two prostitutes (1Kings 3:16-28)
Solomon did not refer the case to the minister of domestic affairs, he paid attention, listened, decided. He ordered the baby to be sliced in half. The mother who bore the child couldn’t bear it. Case closed.
Because Solomon wanted such wisdom, God gave it.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 KJV)
Mas buscad primeramente el reino de Dios y su justicia, y todas estas cosas os serán añadidas. (Mateo 6:33 SRV)

We need to learn to want what God wants.
Solomon started so well.
He sought for what was most important, and the rest followed.
Later in life, he focused on the rest, and lost what was most valuable.
“For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.” (1 Kings 11:4-5 NKJV)
Y ya que Salomón era viejo, sus mujeres inclinaron su corazón tras dioses ajenos; y su corazón no era perfecto con Jehová su Dios, como el corazón de su padre David. Porque Salomón siguió á Astaroth, diosa de los Sidonios, y á Milcom, abominación de los Ammonitas. (1 Reyes 11:4-5 SRV)

“Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6 NKJV)
Mirad, yo os he enseñado estatutos y derechos, como Jehová mi Dios me mandó, para que hagáis así en medio de la tierra en la cual entráis para poseerla. Guardadlos, pues, y ponedlos por obra: porque esta es vuestra sabiduría y vuestra inteligencia en ojos de los pueblos, los cuales oirán todos estos estatutos, y dirán: Ciertamente pueblo sabio y entendido, gente grande es ésta. (Deuteronomio 4:5-6 SRV)

“Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;  Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.” William Cowper
“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.” Martin H. Fischer
“Knowledge comes by taking things apart. But wisdom comes by putting things together.” John A. Morrison
Knowledge can be used to build a nice wall between oneself and others, but it’s still a wall. Wisdom, on the other hand, builds bridges. It seeks to serve rather than be served.
“Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past. Wisdom is of the future.” Proverb (Lumbee, Native American)
Max Born died in 1970. A close friend of Albert Einstein and a colleague of Max Planck and Otto Hahn, the nuclear physicists, he was one of the great minds of the twentieth century. In an interview on German television before his death, Born commented: “I’d be happier if we had scientists with less brains and more wisdom.”
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV)
Fíate de Jehová de todo tu corazón, Y no estribes en tu prudencia. Reconócelo en todos tus caminos, Y él enderezará tus veredas. (Proverbios 3:5-6 SRV)

“I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” Said by President Abraham Lincoln, when questioned with having changed his mind on some subject.
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16 NKJV)
Y guiaré los ciegos por camino que no sabían, haréles pisar por las sendas que no habían conocido; delante de ellos tornaré las tinieblas en luz, y los rodeos en llanura. Estas cosas les haré, y no los desampararé. (Isaías 42:16 SRV)

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Henry David Thoreau
“It should be clear by now that wisdom is a matter of character rather than intellect. It is the pattern of a life that is ‘tuned up’ and harmonious. A person is considered to be wise only when the whole of life is shaped by the insights of wisdom. From one point of view the wise person is nothing extraordinary; he or she is simply someone you would like to live beside, or with, or meet on the street or the market.” William Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology, 197.
“The wisdom that comes from God is firstly utterly pure, then peace-loving, gentle, approachable, full of tolerant thoughts and kindly actions, with no breach of favoritism or hint of hypocrisy. And the wise are peace-makers who go on quietly sowing for a harvest of righteousness - in other people and in themselves” (James 3:17, 18 Phillips).
Mas la sabiduría que es de lo alto, primeramente es pura, después pacífica, modesta, benigna, llena de misericordia y de buenos frutos, no juzgadora, no fingida. Y el fruto de justicia se siembra en paz para aquellos que hacen paz. (Santiago 3:17-18 SRV)

Love and peacemaking are essential elements of this wisdom which is from God.  
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5 NKJV)
Y si alguno de vosotros tiene falta de sabiduría, demándela á Dios, el cual da á todos abundantemente, y no zahiere; y le será dada. (Santiago 1:5 SRV)

Wisdom is the only thing of which God has said that He gives liberally and without reproach.
So no one should hesitate to ask God for wisdom no matter how often and how much we may ask.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10 KJV)
El temor de Jehová es el principio de la sabiduría; Y la ciencia de los santos es inteligencia. (Proverbios 9:10 SRV)

“Before God we are all equally wise-equally foolish.” Albert Einstein
Like Solomon, we are commanded to ask.
It is not that we are permitted to ask, but commanded to ask.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7 NKJV)
Pedid, y se os dará; buscad, y hallaréis; llamad, y se os abrirá. (Mateo 7:7 SRV)

Charles Bradlaugh was the outstanding atheist in England. Down in one of the slums of London was a minister by the name of Hugh Price Hughes. All London was aware of miracles of grace accomplished at his mission.
Charles Bradlaugh challenged Mr. Hughes to debate with him the validity of the claims of Christianity. London was greatly interested. What would Mr. Hughes do? He immediately accepted the challenge and in doing so added one of his own.
Hughes said, “I propose to you that we each bring some concrete evidences of the validity of our beliefs in the form of men and women who have been redeemed from the lives of sin and shame by the influence of our teaching. I will bring 100 such men and women, and I challenge you to do the same.
If you cannot bring 100, Mr. Bradlaugh, to match my 100, I will be satisfied if you will bring 50 men and women who will stand and testify that they have been lifted up from lives of shame by the influence of your teachings. If you cannot bring 50, then bring 20 people who will say, as my 100 will, that they have a great joy in a life of self-respect as a result of your atheistic teachings. If you cannot bring 20, I will be satisfied if you bring 10.
Nay, Mr. Bradlaugh, I challenge you to bring one, just one man or woman who will make such a testimony regarding the uplifting of your atheistic teachings.”
Again London was stirred. What would Mr. Bradlaugh do? In answer, Charles Bradlaugh, with great discomfiture and chagrin, publicly withdrew his challenge for the debate.
“Let Christ’s teaching live in your hearts, making you rich in the true wisdom.” (Colossians 3:16 Phillips)
La palabra de Cristo habite en vosotros en abundancia en toda sabiduría. (Colosenses 3:16 SRV)

A few years ago in a northern Minnesota village a new family moved in. Their religion was a little different from the religion of the majority. If there was no prejudice in that small community, the new family nevertheless felt a wall separating them from the inhabitants. The people were cold, distant, suspicious. This new family did not feel very welcome until an unfortunate accident occurred. Late one afternoon, as the sun was setting, their six-year-old child wandered away from her back yard. They lived near a wheat field and the mother and father frantically began to search for their daughter there, but could not find her. It became colder. Then suddenly the neighbors began to appear. Neighbors they had not even met, Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish, came to help this family during their crisis. But all was to no avail. Finally, the mayor of the town said to them: “Before it’s too late, let’s all join hands, let’s form an unbroken line, a human chain, and we will sweep this wheat field before it’s too late. We will go up and down until we find the little girl.” Sure enough, in thirty minutes they found her. She was half frozen but her heart was still beating. This girl lives today.
Beloved, “Let’s all join hands before it’s too late!” We do face great challenges: war, secularism, ethical corrosion, terrorism, exploitation, racism, and pollution of air, water, and all of our environment. We must join hands before it’s too late. We can be wise as well as clever. To our knowledge we must add love, the love of Christ.
Today, God is asking, “What do you want?”
My prayer is, “Dear Lord, help me to want what You want me to want.”
What’s your prayer?
May the Lord richly bless you during these trying times.
Pastor Richard Parent

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