Friday, September 12, 2008

Living on Leftovers

Even after my husband and I were married a few years, he was still reluctant to tell me that he absolutely hated leftovers. I, on the other hand, loved them because it kept me from cooking everyday. Finally, he told me that he didn't like Used Food!

I thought the term "used food" was quite unique and I got the message but . . . . he still got leftovers every once in a while. :) Now, (I guess out of desperation), he seems to really like them.

I am taking my Young Adult Sunday School class through a month-long study on the life of Solomon (I Kings 1 - 11). As I was reading and preparing for the life application that will come at the end of our video, one thing about Solomon's life began to stand out to me: Solomon mostly lived on spiritual leftovers.

Yes, he was God's choice as King to follow David. He asked for wisdom to know how to lead the nation of Israel and that pleased God. He built the temple for God's presence to permanently dwell among them and God was pleased. He used this wisdom to advance the kingdom. He made some good political moves for trade and peace -- good in man's eyes. Some of his political decisions led to the desecration of the nation of Israel. One of several things he did was to take pagan wives in order to have peace and good relations with other nations. Bad spiritual move. (He had 700 wives and 300 concubines.)

God told Solomon that in order for the nation of Israel to be blessed, Solomon must follow God's decrees as his father David had done. God warned Solomon over and over and over of what would happen if he failed to follow these instructions. As Solomon aged, he became more lax in obedience to God's decrees for Israel. God was not pleased.

Here's where the spiritual leftovers come in. As I was reading, I noticed that many, many times God kept Solomon from punishment because of God's love for David! Solomon was living off of his fathers blessings! After Solomon's death, his children suffered because of his disobedience. The nation of Israel revolted and divided and eventually was taken into captivity because their king failed to follow God's instructions.

Leftover blessings. Here's the problem. Solomon was not receiving blessings from his own obedience. He was living off of the overflow of the abundance of blessings from David's love, obedience and dedication to God. Just like leftover food, once it's gone, there's nothing else to eat unless we get in the kitchen and cook up another meal.

Blessings from God. I can't feast on the blessings that my parents gave me as a spiritual inheritance forever. I must receive for myself by walking in obedience on a daily basis. My children and grandchildren will inherit from us, but they, too, will have to "cook up some blessings" for themselves.

Like David , we must pass the example of rightousness to those who follow us. "Lord, give me a heart like your beloved servant David."


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