Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Prosperity Does Not Equal Godliness

In yesterday's blog post, I wrote about Solomon's prophetic prayer. He prayed that, when Israel went into captivity, they would repent and God would hear and help them. Solomon was the third king of Israel and he married many foreign wives who drew his heart away from God. He ended up worshipping at the altars to the idols.

This morning, I still wondered how this mess came about. Didn't anyone complain? Didn't the priests chastise the king? Where were the Pharisee-types when the people really needed them? Where was Nathan, who confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba? Surely someone could have stood up to Solomon.

But it doesn't seem that they did. 

I wondered why not, until I read two verses that might explain the failure of the people to confront their king about his idolatry.

"And the king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the lowland." 1 Kings 10:27 nasb

"Now the weight of gold which came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold..." 2 Chronicles 9:12 nasb

Solomon brought immense prosperity to the land, but he also began their plummet into idolatry.He built shrines to the false gods of his foreign wives. He worshipped there himself.

It's easy to equate prosperity with the favor of God, but the two are not synonymous. 

666 talents of gold is equivalent (in today's measures) to 22,660 kg of gold, or 799,307.98 ounces of gold. With gold prices at $1,323 per ounce, the value of the gold that came in to Solomon each year (in 2016 dollars) was $1,057,484,457.54.

People looked at the unprecedented prosperity Solomon achieved, listened to his beautiful words, and deemed him the wisest man alive. They missed one important fact, however. 

Neither our bank account nor our words truly reflect the men or women we are. Only our actions can do that.

Solomon's actions showed that he not only flagrantly disregarded the law of God, but dishonored the Lord with his idolatry.  

No matter how wealthy or wise we are, our life won't count for much if we fill it with sin rather than righteousness.

Today, let's take a close look at our lives. When people see us, is the focus on our finances or our faithfulness, our holdings or our holiness, our words or our righteousness?

We will never please God with the gold we get. We please Him with the love we give.

Let's be sure our lifestyle reflects the faith we say we have.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39 nasb
Photo above is of a sunrise in Galilee (above the Sea of Galilee)

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: If I Had Only Known

For those doing the Hosea study, the Chapter Four lesson is now live and here's the link: Chapter Four 
#wealth #godliness #priorities