1 Kings 11: 1—12: 19
Oh man there are so many inappropriate jokes about Solomon’s love of foreign women going through my head. But in hopes of upholding the regal standard of this bible recap, I will refrain. (Did you laugh when I said “regal standard”) God told him what would happen if he did not follow his decree’s. He also gave them a reason to not marry or sleep with, foreign women—they would lead him astray. So much so that he put a Chemosh shrine and worship center on the Mount of Olives! The Mount of Olives! And all the New Testament Christians clutched their pearls because this is where Jesus stood to give one of the most beautiful sermons of his ministry. But maybe that is the most perfect poetic justice. God is not surprised by this sin like we are. He told us this would happen. He told us we would be judged for it. And he also told us He loved us. So, He took the punishment for sin on him and exacted payment from Jesus so that we could have a relationship with our loving father. Thank you, Lord.
We also are witnessing the down fall of the kingdom. Just like God said they wanted a king, and they would get everything that comes with it. That would include the lovely Rehoboam who does not listen to his elders but instead listens to his buddies and tells the people he will tax them harder than his father and beat them with scorpions. No wonder they stoned his messenger. When it is all said and done, we know have a kingdom that has split.
Acts 9: 1-25
I so identify with this conversion story. I was God’s enemy and was blind to what He was doing, until he stepped in my way. I often think of how cool it was for God to save Paul. Did God look down on him and say, “Geez, this dude has so much zeal! If I could just get him zealous for the right thing I could us him as a powerhouse instrument to get my message out there.” I am going to share with you a very deep thought that I have only ever shared with God. I have asked God if he thought the same thing about me. I am like, “Did you look down at me and say, “This girl has the drive and ambition to do great things. If I could get her to see that I am the way, the truth, and life, and no one is ever perfect enough to get to me, maybe she would start telling people about me, instead of how good she is doing.” Some part of this has to be true because in my walk he has had to teach me over and over how to submit my ambition and power to him. I am sharing this with you because I talked to a sweet woman yesterday who struggles with the same thing I do. Just like I, was she was confused as to why she had all these desires and ambitions if God was not going to use her to achieve great things. This is a hard lesson to learn. But I think the actual “great thing” is that we learn to submit our desires and ambitions to him. I think that is a #middlemarchmiracle. And only when I started to learn that were the scales removed from my eyes and I could see that my ambition and power are not actually mine, but something He put in me, so the safest place for those gifts are in His hands not mine. This is what we learn from Paul’s story. He had the drive, ambition and zeal for the wrong things. I have had the drive, ambition and zeal for the wrong things. God is teaching Paul in this story how to be meek. I hope and pray that I am learning meekness. (Meekness biblically—a lion that is under God’s control.)