Week 21

A QUICK LOOK BACK
David has passed the torch to his son Solomon and prepares to fade away. He may have made some serious mistakes as a father in the past, but this time David is taking no chances. Not only has he prepared all the resources Solomon will need to build the Temple of God, he has taught Solomon how to be king as well.

THE ROAD AHEAD
Perhaps the last words Solomon heard from David were these, recorded in 1 Chronicles 22: “May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged!” Good words. Solomon must not have forgotten them. After Solomon becomes king, God offers to grant him one wish, anything his heart desired. Solomon’s wish? Wisdom. Solomon’s rule is known as a golden age of peace, wealth, culture, arts, learning, and security for Israel.
Not only will we read of Solomon’s great wisdom and success as a ruler, we will read his words of wisdom as well. Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings and common sense that are just as true today as in Solomon’s day. Feel free to pick a few out and learn them by heart. My favorite is Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This a good reminder that we need the fellowship of other believers to keep us strong!
“Song of Solomon” is an unusual book by any standard. It is a collection of erotic poetry, celebrating the love and marriage of a husband and wife. The husband appears to be King Solomon. If you are already starting to blush at the idea of an entire book of the Bible dedicated to love and sex, remember that God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. Sex shared between husband and wife is a gift from God to be enjoyed gratefully. Healthy, mutually nurturing sexual experiences within the covenant of marriage can be holy experiences as well. Let us not forget that God is the inventor of the human race and thus the inventor of our sexuality as well. Like all other gifts from God, this one can also be abused to great suffering. As you read “Song of Solomon” notice that this is not the stuff of glossy magazines and adults only video stores. It is sincere and loving without a single twinge of exploitation or abuse. Our society could use a lesson or two about the proper healthy use of sex. I think the ancients were as wise as Solomon for including it, even if the language of flirtation has changed quite a bit over the past few thousand years!

Keep reading! I’ll see you in the Bible!

WEEK 21 Reading Schedule:
May 21 1 Kings 1-2; Psalms 37; 71; 94 Solomon Anointed King
May 22 Psalms 119:1-88 Psalm: Reliance on God’s Law
May 23 1 Kings 3-4; 2 Chronicles 1; Psalms 72 Solomon Requests Wisdom
May 24 Psalms 119:89-176 Psalms: God’s Word Guides Us
May 25 Song of Solomon 1-4 Love Song of Holy Marriage and Sexuality
May 26 Song of Solomon 5-8 Love Song of Holy Marriage and Sexuality
May 27 Proverbs 1-3 Wisdom in Action