This week, we take a look at the life of Solomon as he asks God for wisdom and builds the temple.
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good morning welcome i was very tempted and you'll get this joke if you were here last week to do something last week we had a little bit of technical difficulty if you're new here among us my name is gene i serve here as your lead pastor if you're not new you knew about the technical difficulties and i told you guys something i said after telling a whole story for two minutes without the sound working i said i'm not going to tell that story again i lied i'm going to tell that story again this week just so you get the rest of that story we're going to kind of continue here in this series and in this story it was about a little boy who was spoiled like adenija he was never disciplined at any time his father gave him whatever he wanted in this case a boat no not a real big boat a toy boat they brought it out to the lake the father gave the sun some instructions you may want to put a string on this thing it's a big lake if it gets out there you will lose it then he goes and he sits on a bench and then i said the father just kind of sat on his cell phone and i made a joke like that's kind of how we parent nowadays right in between flicks and apps and all those other things and if you're checking your phone that's fine i'm assuming you're on your bible app that's okay so this wasn't a pointed thing at anyone it was just a general commentary on parenting anyway the dad's sitting on the bench ignoring the boy the boy does exactly what we expect him to do he lets the boat go out on the water without any kind of string at first it's fun then the boat gets out on the water and he's losing it he realizes it and he starts calling for help the dad on the phone ignoring him he looks over he sees a man about 50 or so feet away an old man he says help help my boat i'm going to lose my boat the old man looks at the boy looks at the boat look at the boy looks at the boat picks up a handful of rocks and starts throwing them toward the boat well the boy freaks out no don't sink my boat i need you to get my boat dad help tell the old man stop doing that dad reluctantly gets off the phone goes to talk to the old man so from the boy's perspective he sees the father talking to the old man or not he looks at the old man looks at the boat looks at the old man again and the boy just sees his dad turn around walk right back toward him smiling it's like the old man still throwing the rocks dad this is no good well the boy was so focused on the old man that he didn't notice his boat had already come back to shore you see the old man wasn't throwing rocks at the boat the father saw when he got into the old man's perspective that he was throwing the rocks just beyond the boat so that the ripples created by the rocks would bring the boat back to shore it's all about perspective as we continue well when the little boy saw the boat he picked it up and he's really excited he's overjoyed he's smiling i got my boat back everything's great after inspecting the boat that joy turned to sadness dad observed this didn't say anything right away and the boy began to walk towards the old man and so the father stayed where he was and just watched this whole thing play out well he couldn't tell what the boy was saying to the old man but he was saying something and then what happened next amazed the father he witnessed the boy giving the boat to the old man he almost cried i can't believe it my son's finally gotten it the boy comes back and he looks sad so the dad he's going to preach a sermon going to make him feel better son that was amazing you should feel great about what you've done you've stored up your treasure in heaven this is like better than a hundred boats what you've just done here don't be sad well the boy interrupts the sermon he says dad i didn't give him the boat father's like okay i watched you hand him the boat i said no no no i looked at the boat i noticed there was a scratch on it it was probably from one of the rocks the old man was throwing so i told him he had a week to fix it today we find ourselves in the rest of the story i'll go somewhere with that don't worry that's all you'll remember maybe we talked about discipline we looked at the story of adonisia we ended with david's reign he's now passed away and passed on the kingdom to his son solomon we saw that there's some cleanup work he had to do because david did not pass on that discipline that god put on him he didn't pass it on to his son so he has problems with absalom then last week adenisia tragic stuff big problems he probably should have had more discipline wisdom and humility we're gonna talk about wisdom and humility this morning today we find ourselves in first kings three through ten and second chronicles one through nine it seems like a lot but i have something to say about that we've been talking about this a lot at bible study i've been dropping these seeds here on sunday mornings the problem in christianity as far as the bible is concerned is it is like reading or watching let's say 10 seconds of a movie at a time and that's it that's how most christians are reading the bible the verse of the day but that is the very best way to get it out of context we often take these one verses and just apply it to whatever we want and again if you watch 10 seconds of a movie at a time by the time you're done in like two years or whatever it would take you wouldn't get the point but that's what christians do they take the one little line at a time so it's always better to look at larger sections of text sit down and just spend some time like you would a sitcom or anything else spend like a half hour reading the bible get the whole book in there and then you'll get the point so that's what we're doing in this series but we're taking the time to look at all the little details in the rest of the story that people don't usually look at today will be a good example as we look at the life of solomon of when you look at these larger portions of text you get the point and so this is going to be a teaching on solomon that you're not going to hear a whole lot because people only do like little tiny sections so why these two sections well if you're new to christianity or you haven't read the bible a lot you might not know that the bible isn't one continuous flow just one book and it goes chronologically straight through nope not even close in its smallest form the one that all christian denominations can agree on it is 66 books kind of a lot and some of these books detail the same accounts they're looking at the same things so you probably understand four gospels right all basically talking about the same-ish stuff the life and ministry of jesus but gives us different details and perspectives not contradictions this happens in the old testament too and so that's exactly where we are first kings second chronicles running parallelish and this is confusing because sometimes they're out of order sometimes the author will recall things and snap them in in different places so to make this easier or less confusing for you i made a chart they told me i gotta lean like this in order to make it accurate but i hurt my back earlier doing that so i'm not gonna do it again now i did make this chart but i did not draw that drawing and you can tell that i didn't do it because if i did it cartoon gene would have much bigger biceps anyway just saying instagram artist so you can see here that unlike last week if you were here they're mostly in sync we had a huge section of text in first chronicles in fact 22 through 29 the whole ending wasn't in this corresponding chapters we went to first kings one and two so we get coming into sync fairly well here but i'll point out the differences so first kings gives us a little bit more information there's a couple ish of accounts that aren't in second chronicles and so i'll start there and we'll detail them for you if you're wondering first kings is before ii chronicles so kind of makes sense first kings three one solomon made an alliance with pharaoh the king of egypt and married one of his daughters he brought her to live in the city of david until he could finish building his palace in the temple of the lord and the wall around the city at that time the people of israel sacrificed their offerings at local places of worship for a temple honoring the name of the lord had not yet been built now if you're new there's a couple things in here that may not be obvious to you but if you kind of know the stories you'll go oh that's weird remember they're in captivity and where egypt you know the exodus story even if you've never read the bible so that's weird why is he doing that we're going to see later that he's already breaking the rules so it's kind of funny you'll smirk a little if you know a lot of this text and go wow he's not doing it right so right off the bat here no bueno it's not good um the local places places of worship scholars will debate about that a little bit but they're supposed to worship in the tabernacle so basically it's like a set up church if you've been a part of one of those they have this traveling church that goes around that's where you're supposed to worship the lord so not fantastic here so solomon as the accounts come together in second chronicles one and first kings three as we keep reading it says this he's a gibeon first kings three three solomon loved the lord and followed all the decrees of his father david except that solomon two offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local places of worship except operative word the most important of these places of worship was a gibeon so the king went there and sacrificed one thousand burnt offerings that night the lord appeared to solomon in a dream and god said what do you want ask and i will give it to you solomon replied you showed great faithful love to your servant my father david because he was honest and true and faithful to you and you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne now o lord my god you have made me king instead of my father david but i am like a little child who doesn't know his way around and here i am in the midst of your own chosen people a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted give me an understanding heart so that i can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong for whom by himself is able to govern this great people of yours the lord was pleased that solomon had asked for wisdom so god replied because you have asked for wisdom and governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies i will give you what you asked for i will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has ever had or i will ever have and i will also give you what you did not ask for riches and fame no other king in all the world would be compared to you for the rest of your life and if you follow me and obey my decrees and commands as your father david did i will give you a long life then solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream he returned to jerusalem and stood before the ark of the lord's covenant where he sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings then he invited all his officials to a great banquet if we keep reading there's a story that a lot of you know even if you've never read the bible you kind of know this story or you've made reference in your life to this kind of idiom cut the baby in half so there's two prostitutes it says that they're living in a house together they go to solomon for judgment over an issue so as we saw in this series people would go to the king with their case the king is often like a judge the first woman presents her case she said i had a child i had a baby and three days later this woman who was living with me also had a baby well she rolled over on that baby and suffocated it one night but then she swapped the babies out giving me her dead child and taking my child well when i woke up i noticed that the baby was dead when i could finally see it maybe some versions will say when the morning light came i noticed that it wasn't my child so that's the case well the other woman disagrees and so they're going back and forth and back and forth and solomon finally interrupts he reviews the case and he said okay bring me a sword here's what we're going to do we're going to cut the baby in half i'll give each one of you a half well the real mother the first woman says no no give her the baby her motherly instincts kick in solomon knows that this is the real mother the other woman cut it in half neither one of us will have the baby and then everyone was amazed at the wisdom of solomon if we keep reading and turn the page we get to chapter four first kings and we get a summary of solomon's officials we see solomon's peace prosperity and wisdom make a note solomon has 12 000 horses why is that important well we'll see as we go on just put that one in your back pocket first kings 4 29 summary here god gave solomon very great wisdom and understanding and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore in fact his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men in the east and the wise men of egypt he was wiser than anyone else including ethan the ezra height and the sons of mahal he-man and the masters of the universe calcul and darda you have to be my age and paying attention to get that his fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations he composed some 3 000 proverbs we'll look at some of those next week we don't have all of them and wrote one thousand five songs he could speak with authority about all kinds of plants from the great cedar or cedars of lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from the cracks in a wall he could also speak about animals birds small creatures and fish not to the fish about the fish and kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of solomon what i'm going to do as we approach the rest of the texts i'm going to summarize for you this is another place where people quit reading their bibles it's kind of like numbers when you get there in the bible or parts of leviticus it's a lot of names details numbers it's kind of important but it's hard to get through and i'm told that we would like to be out of here by like 11 or 12 today so i'm going to summarize it for you it can be monotonous i'll just admit that for the regular reader so we get the chart up there and we'll see so we see that now solomon is going to fulfill the work given to him david remember another really long section of text he's gathering all these materials for this temple well now solomon's going to do it he's going to build the temple he makes some further preparations and so we see that he has interactions with this guy king hiram of tyre kind of important guy david knew him solomon continues the relationship in lebanon they're cypress and cedar trees so it's good wood to use for the building especially the paneling you see that in a lot of these books of the bible so they're going to come up with a very complex like shipping route and they're going to mill all this stuff so this is where you're finding all of those details in the text it's a pretty massive project really big solomon pays him with a hundred thousand bushels of wheat per year and 110 000 gallons of oil pure olive oil it says and it's a huge labor force 153 600 people are working here big so now if we keep going we see that the temple is built remember what i said last week if you convert just the gold for the temple alone it is a 15 billion 600 million dollar project in today's money not to mention it says silver is worthless in solomon's day so imagine that massive wealth this guy has it's unbelievable the project is huge mount moriah kind of important place going all the way back to abraham this is where he was willing to sacrifice his son it's where the threshing floor of aruna the jebusite was this is what decided where this place is going to be important place so this is second chronicles three through four in first kings six through seven it begins with this first king six one it was mid-spring in the month of ziv during the fourth year of solomon's reign that he began to construct the temple of the lord this was 480 years after the people of israel were rescued from their slavery in the land of egypt the temple that king solomon built for the lord was 90 feet long 30 feet wide and 40 feet 5 feet high now keep these measurements in mind just stick like 90 feet in your back pocket and remember that so when we look at the tempo i'm going to summarize this for you too so there's one picture here that's uh just a study bible that gives us like the outside and the inside a better picture is that right so we get the outside there and so what solomon does and here i'm going to take second chronicles and first kings and mash them together for you some of this stuff kind of happens out of order we can keep that picture of the temple up just because i'll be describing it here so he hires a guy hurum abbay from tires it gets a little confusing because it's like hiram so people get them switched all the time so the panel on the inside it's paneled with all this the temple i meant to say if i switch those words it's paneled with a bunch of cypress wood really beautiful you know you make the hangers out of cypress wood if you care about your clothes like me anyway it smells good in there probably it's paneled with all this stuff then it has things like the cherubim giant wings they're seven and a half feet each wing huge and they're covered with pure gold so all this stuff is covered with cedar wood and pure gold then on the outside if we can see you see those pillars he names them jake and boaz and that thing with the cattle looking creatures there that's a thing called the sea it's a big bronze basin actually and that's where the priests bathe there are three of those cattle faith facing north west east and south representing the 12 tribes of israel and later the apostles and it is also it can be seen because the priest washed there is a pre-figure of baptism so everything is representative and carries over to the new testament beautiful it's worth noting the altar on the end well the altar there actually on the outside it's 30 feet wide the original altar in the tabernacle is seven and a half feet wide remember that number just like the cherubim's wings big big huge huge altar so another thing to take note of is that this project takes seven years seven years to do this and about 15 billionish dollars so if we keep reading we see something that is not in second chronicles which is interesting solomon's palace first king starting at verse 7. solomon also built a palace for himself remember your old numbers and it took him 13 years to complete the construction one of solomon's buildings how many one of one of solomon's buildings was called the palace of the forest of lebanon it was 150 feet long 75 feet wide and 45 feet high and so what i'm doing is i'm bringing numbers out of the text that are really important if you're good at math and paying attention you probably noticed that his own house was about twice the size as god's house that's interesting so we're getting some clues here that a lot of people don't pay attention to and also he spent about twice as much time on his house than he did god's house okay so remember those things so here the accounts come to come together again i'll summarize for you second chronicles five through six first kings eight the ark is brought into the temple the ark of the covenant finally brought in and it's this really magnificent worship service so to speak god's glory fills the temple solomon blesses the people praises the lord and prays to the lord when he does it's hard to catch you've got to read it carefully it says he's kneeling this is really rare for a king to be doing in front of his subjects or anyone so he's doing okay but then he dedicates the temple and he stands on a platform which is seven and a half feet wide the same width as the old altar the cherubim wings so just in second chronicles something really awesome happens fire comes down from heaven and consumes the offering so there's so many animals sacrificed they lost count so it consumes the offering a prefigure of pentecost the holy spirit coming we come together again in second chronicles 7 through 8 first kings 8 through 9. solomon and the people offer sacrifices we see that they celebrate the feast of tabernacles which is the feast of booths not the feast of pentecost the covenant is confirmed again really important statement god says if if you obey my commands you will prosper if you do not then disaster will come upon you we have just a side note a little interaction between hiram the king from tyre and solomon solomon gives him 20 towns interestingly in galilee kind of interesting he inspects the towns and hiram doesn't like them he's not happy about it they're probably payment for what uh he had given solomon but he names that place if you're watching the news this will be familiar kabul because it means worthless kind of interesting so maybe the bible was telling us something anyway he pays him 9 000 pounds of gold it says solomon's territory increases but at the cost of enormous forced labor says solomon's enemies are defeated so it's time of peace but there's a little bit of war both sides of the coin here the summary of solomon's religious practices economic operations and leading up to that another person that you probably know about even if you've never read the bible the queen of sheba she hears about solomon's great fame it says that it was what draws her to him so he's wealthy and famous like a rock star so she comes to visit it's this huge entourage with camels and she's bringing him spices and gold and all kinds of stuff when she gets there she said everything i heard about you was true it's amazing your court officials are lucky just to work for you to hang around and just hear your wisdom so she gives him like hiram nine thousand pounds of gold and a whole bunch of spices interestingly he gives her back more than she gave him so the text summarizes solomon's wealth it also says and this is interesting debated that he is taking in 25 tons of gold every year and that's aside from everything that the merchants and traders are bringing him so people will debate about what this 25 tons of gold is in my opinion and i'll separate that out from fact it looks like a tax to me because of the way the text reads so this is what he's taxing the people most probably in today's money 1.5 billion dollars a year in just the taxes not the income remember that for later it says he has a huge throne like nothing the world has ever seen overlaid in pure gold with two lions flanking the sides of it and six steps leading up to it with lions on either side a prefigure of the apostles representing the 12 tribes of israel and also it mentions 12 000 horses again first kings 10 23 so king solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth people from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom god had given him year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold clothings weapons spices horses and mules now in second chronicles if we're running parallel it says solomon dies but there's a bunch of stuff that happens in between so over the next few weeks we're going to look at some of the other works attributed to solomon and then also where he really messes up spoiler alert but we'll stop there for today you're like that was enough solomon was a very wealthy man god's word tells us the most wealthy man but god's word tells us that wisdom is better than wealth proverbs 16 16 how much better to get wisdom than gold and good judgment than silver exclamation point many of us know how to get riches even at a small level we know how to go out get a job and get some money but how many of us know how to get wisdom how do you think we do that perhaps by reading perhaps you know where i'm going people you've been here for a while reading your bible that might be a start we're big on that here if you're new if you don't like to read the bible you might not be comfortable here because there are some who have heard the messages here and told me or others behind my back which contain many scriptures as you can see here at c3 we like more of god's word and less of pastor jeans my opinion is not that valuable right so what do i do at bible study what he's doing right there that's what i encourage i need you to do that check my work i'm just a flawed human nobody just a mouth here on sunday but some say they don't like so many scriptures they tend to be drawn to opinions more have you seen that a lot of people preaching today put up a little bit the verse of the day and then talk for 50 minutes about it seems a little upside down some people will say i didn't understand that maybe you would if you read your bible you don't know so the question is is he your favorite author is the author of life your favorite author i'll submit to you today that i observe just what i'm seeing too many people calling themselves christians who prefer to listen to the world over the word and as a result they spend their time spreading the news of the world instead of the good news of the word i'll line it up so maybe you heard the news that thanksgiving is cancelled i heard this on the news all right i heard this on the news and i'll explain don't just wait so i'm going to confess my sin this morning to you as i do often not better than any one of you i'm in the word a lot that's not my sin that's a good thing i'm in the word a lot a lot okay so i love the word of god i believe that it is my job to be in it constantly as paul tells timothy right entrepreneurs it means constantly nourished on the scriptures if you're a teacher it's really really really really really important so if i'm not reading it i'm listening to it it's on in my house all the time we didn't rehearse that all of the time if you want to hang out with pastor gene you better like listening to the word of god on 1.5 speed so it's a lot because i just believe in just being nourished and washed in the scriptures but there's nobody that's it but i make a mistake every day for 30 minutes i poke my head up out of the gopher hole and i see what's going on in the world around me because i feel i need to be somewhat culturally relevant right you know i kind of got to meet you guys where you are so i could tell you to stop sinning so much anyway i look around and so i turn on the news it's my news time i eat my salad and i watch the news i do something good for me something bad for me and so i'm watching the news and they tell me thanksgiving's cancelled because we can't get turkey like there's no meat you can't get turkey and so i'm watching and they're going on they have like an expert talking about the turkey it's like crazy but i'm like kind of getting into it i'm watching it and i'm like whoa right we're not going to have turkey and they really got me convinced they are good really good at what they do and so i'm getting a little bit worked up so i'm being honest with you my wife heather she comes home right i don't even let her get started put away things you gotta go back out i don't see any turkey in your hands you haven't heard we need turkey now or we're not gonna have thanksgiving right so she's like shut up turn off the news right she knows right so here's the problem beside that this issue makes it all the way to the staff minutes the next day you know because she's the one who had to go out immediately and get a turkey this really happened last week but guess what she got a turkey it was a big turkey too wasn't like a chicken or an and no substitutes i made her and i gave the whole staff a speech about insurance plans right so you know and that's true we should have insurance plans for things but now she's got sliced turkey she's got a lasagna cause apparently some people like that too on thanksgiving everything right so she comes she does the grocery shopping they like it when i'm wrong so the next day heather goes and gets a turkey make sure i see it on the counter and then lets me know i got it for the same price as last year talk about accountability there's a lot of it here at c3 church and you know what's really funny when i was watching the news i was eating a turkey salad whoa and here's what i think i'm like hold on a second i don't want to be boastful i'm going to say how much i am in the word a lot right and that happened to me what like i'm a pastor who's in the word a lot and that happened to me the news is a very powerful drug and the symptoms are the fruit of the flesh i see a lot of it way too much of it man i'm just encouraging you not scolding you get in the word turn off the world man we're gonna see in the series there's nothing new under the sun the world it wants to keep you worried about your stuff can we talk about root problem underneath all this righteous indignation that people seem to have it's about your stuff am i wrong no one's going to say no yes yes you're wrong pastor kind of manipulative but anyway the world wants to keep you worried about your stuff keep you consuming everything but consumerism is antithetical to christianity period period no but it's just so well designed to keep you on that hamster wheel unreal even got me pastor jeans worried about turkeys are you kidding me like i got to saturday and i was like this i'm going to talk about this because it's ridiculous the world cannot offer godly wisdom so when we look to the word what does it say about how to get wisdom i'm glad you asked new testament james 1 starting at verse 5 if you need wisdom ask our generous god and he will give it to you he will not rebuke you for asking but when you ask him be sure that your faith is in god alone do not waver for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind such people should not expect to receive anything from the lord their loyalty is divided between god and the world and they're unstable in every thing they do the word of god says we can not have divided loyalties for as wealthy as solomon was this is what the bible says about wealth including his in general james 1 9 believers who are poor have something to boast about for god has honored them does it sound like anything you hear on the news let's soak that in for a second we got a few minutes believers who are poor have something to boast about for god has honored them blessed are those who are poor and those who are rich should boast that god has humbled them they will fade away like a little flower in the field the hot sun rises and the grass withers the little flower droops and falls and its beauty fades away in the same way the rich will fade away with all of their achievements i would put that in parentheses if i was translating that solomon became proud in his wealth and achievements he also let flattery fanned the flames that would wither him and as we'll see his whole kingdom but the word of god says proverbs 27 21 fire tests the purity of silver and gold but a person is tested by flattery a lot of people who become wealthy become prideful this is because the world tells you that pride's a good thing doesn't it not what the word of god says it can lead you to believe that you know everything got a little bit too much of that don't we nowadays it can tell you you know what you're talking about especially if you think that your wealth or achievements confirm it listening to the world can make us arrogant prideful in our knowledge in our achievements the world says that pride is a really good thing we should be proud in our wealth proud in our achievements our positions our titles blah blah blah the world tells us that these things i see a lot of this make us better than other people proverbs 11 12 but the word says pride leads to disgrace but with humility comes wisdom there's the key ingredient humility we must live with humility we shouldn't let our wealth if we have it or accomplishments the things of this world make us proud or turn our hearts from god humility is wisdom and if you've been a christian for a while you know this we sometimes like solomon seem to or maybe start out things right and then we start getting it wrong because of the world solomon seems to have started out okay and that's usually the account you hear when you don't read the full context right he's so humble he asks for wisdom so god gives him other stuff too and that's what we like but we got some hints he married a foreign bride sacrificed to idols that's not great at all so the full context gives us the full picture then as we read through as i pointed out he builds a better house for himself than the temple of the lord oh but i did it first oh do we do that oh but i put god first for an hour on sunday and then i make my house greater than the lord's i see it happening you see with his mouth he was saying one thing but with his actions he was saying my house is bigger than god's solomon also taxed the people heavily 25 million yeah million tons tons of gold for 25 yeah no 25 tons of gold excuse me 1.5 billion dollars not good at math that's what my wife is for had to check my notes 25 tons of gold i'll clarify about 1.5 billion dollars this is worth noting it's a conversion the bible converts numbers for us a lot because we don't measure things the same way but if we read the original that number 666 talents of gold worth noting and we'll see that all of this leads to disaster for the future kingdom as we saw with david it began with his pride solomon continues with his pride and his wealth and his achievements if we don't stay humble we can lose our wealth if we have it or worse yet our wisdom if we go to the law of moses and i'll uncover something for you as we close this morning it wasn't really supposed to have all this stuff it's kind of interesting if we go back 400 or something-ish years to the law of moses deuteronomy 17 says this you are about to enter the land the lord your god is giving you when you take it over and settle there you may think we should select a king to rule over us like the other nations around us not the ideal if this happens be sure to select as king the man the lord your god chooses you must appoint a fellow israelite he may not be a foreigner the king must not build up a large stable of horses like twelve thousand of them for himself or send his people to egypt to buy horses or get a foreign bride the king must not take many wives for himself we're going to see that problem later like 1000 because they will turn his heart away from the lord that's the point and he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver so much that it's worthless and gold for himself like 25 tons or 666 talents every year when he sits on the throne as king he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the levitical priests he must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives that way he will learn to fear the lord god by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees this regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he his above his fellow citizens it will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way and it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in israel it is a mixed blessing that he received perhaps a test did you notice it says he's to be in the word how much every day all the time because it will prevent him from thinking he's better than his fellow citizens maybe we should take a cue perhaps being in the word all the time would prevent us from thinking that we're better than our fellow citizens out there in the world that we're supposed to be getting the good news too we can't let the world turn us away from the word it's about keeping jesus at the center and not letting our christianity become corrupted by the world bottom line we must look to the true king for our example and those who are true disciples of him like james his brother also paul gives us some good writings and we'll close here on this thought from the word of god as paul writes to timothy he talks about wealth first timothy 6 says some hard stuff that we'll talk about at bible study but he says flee from those things flee run away from wealth you and i should just be content with food and clothing we're good but he knows as churches do today we rely on benefactors to help us get the gospel out so they're important too he writes this first timothy 6 17 teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money which is so unreliable their trust should be in god who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment tell them to use their money to do good they should be rich in good works and generous to those in need always being ready to share with others by doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life with whatever we've been blessed with we must be generous with it humble about it in our blessings we must walk in humility and remember who they came from and give glory at all times to the giver let me pray lord i thank you for this church it is the people in it i pray that you move them by the power of your holy spirit into a wild generosity that we see in your word that they would be kind and generous displaying the fruits of the spirit wherever they go love joy peace patience kindness goodness self control fill us with your spirit lord empower us greatly to do your work to be vehicles of your love and the good news i ask this in jesus name amen