Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: 1 Kings 10:23–11:4 Appended
The glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. —1 Kings 8:11
Every year when May rolls around in Michigan, I want to stop the clock. I rejoice when death is defeated by fragile sprouts that refuse to be confined by hardened clay and brittle branches. Over a few weeks, the naked landscape transforms into fully clothed trees adorned by bright, fragrant flowers. I can’t get enough of the sights, sounds, and scents of springtime. I want time to stop moving.
Also in May, I come to 1 Kings in my Bible reading schedule. When I get to chapter 10, I have the same feeling: I want the story to stop. The nation of Israel has bloomed. Solomon has become king and has built a magnificent dwelling place for God, who moved in with a blaze of glory (8:11). Finally united under a righteous king, they are at peace. I love happy endings!
But the story doesn’t end there. It continues: “But King Solomon loved many foreign women” (11:1), and “his wives turned his heart after other gods” (v.4).
Just as the seasons of the year continue, so do the cycles of life—birth and death, success and failure, sin and confession. Although we have no power to stop the clock while we’re enjoying good times, we can rest in God’s promise that eventually all bad times will end (Rev. 21:4). —Julie Ackerman Link
Father, our days are filled with pleasures and struggles.
We would like for life just to have the joys, but we know
that’s not realistic in this sinful world. Help us to wait
patiently for You to bring us Home. Amen.
In good times and bad, God never changes.
1 Kings 10:23-11:4
23 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24 The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 25 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
26 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses,[a] which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue[b]—the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. 29 They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty.[c] They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.
1 Kings 11
1 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
1 Kings 10:26 Or charioteers
1 Kings 10:28 Probably Cilicia
1 Kings 10:29 That is, about 3 3/4 pounds or about 1.7 kilograms
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.