1 Kings 2:26 “Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!””
I learnt a precious lesson from Solomon’s handling of the two woman who claimed to be the true mother of a child. The scenario was simple, yet so instructive. Two mothers each had a child of their own. One child died. The mother of the dead child stole the living child and took him for herself. Both woman claimed to be the true mother of the living child. The case was brought before Solomon for judgement. He asked for a sword to cut the living child into two so that he could be shared by the two mothers. The true mother immediately asked for the child to be spared and given to the other woman. What a way to determine the truth of a matter!
When Christians come into conflict, it is natural that they will want their point of view to be heard. Some may even go all out to ensure that their “rights” are protected and they win their arguments. Solomon shows us that those with genuine love will deny themselves. Those who truly have a heart of love will give up their rights so as to minimise collateral damage. They will believe that our sovereign God sees & knows all. He will manage their vindication. They need not take it into their own hands. The more one fights for his own vindication, the more it shows one’s lack of faith and potential guilt.
Wasn’t this practised by our Lord Jesus? He gave up all His rights, was humbled and humiliated to be on earth to save His people. 1 Pet 2:21-24 “Who committed no sin, Nor was there any deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.”
The devil will tempt us to take things into our own hands. That represents the way of the world in any conflict. But in God’s kingdom, He is the king. He knows our hearts. Self denial is painful. But we must submit & have faith in Him who judges righteously. Seek Him!
1 Kings 18:15 – Then Elijah said, “ As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely present myself to him today.” (NKJV)
Elijah said “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand….”. He was conscious that the LORD was God. He was convinced that God is alive. He was very conscious that he was living in the presence of God.
The Apostle Paul told the people of Athens in Acts 17:28 “..In him we live and move and have our being..” God is present wherever we are, even though we may not be conscious of it. But Elijah was keenly aware that he was living in God’s presence. His priority was that God should be pleased. He knew that his every action was seen by God. And if his enemies threatened him, his God would also be aware of his situation. As this resulted in Elijah being fearless of his enemies. He said “..I will surely present myself to him (the evil King Ahab) today. What will Ahab do to him? Elijah was not concerned. He knew that the presence of God will guarantee protection and the fulfillment of His will.
Are you conscious of God’s presence with you every moment of the day? Our sinful mind makes this impossible because we are constantly preoccupied with what pleases us instead of God. But Jesus has reconciled us to God. He has made constant communion with Him possible. Through repentance and faith, we can be aware of God’s presence. What sweet comfort that can bring us. Seek Him today for He says in Zech 1:3 “…return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you…”.
Questions for meditation:
1) What is the main cause of me not being conscious of the presence of God in my life? What am I doing about it?
2) What is the pre-occupation of my mind most of the time? Are the thoughts appropriate?
3) What can I do so that I have a greater consciousness of God’s presence with me?
What you can pray for:
Lord, help me be ever conscious of your presence with me & let this create a fear in me that will help me shun sin.
1 Kings 1:2-4 2. Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman, a virgin, be sought for our lord the king, and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him; and let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm.” 3. So they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4. The young woman was very lovely; and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king did not know her. (NKJV)
Abishag cared for David, served him & layed at his bosom. What a great temptation so conveniently presented to David – a young virgin, lovely and in such close proximity to him. But the bible clearly indicated that David had no sexual relationship with her. Is it because David was too frail to be aroused? This is possible since David had to be cared for. But the verse also appears emphatic to state that “..the King did not know her.” It is also possible that David had become wiser from the sins committed in his youth. The tragedy of his sin of adultery with Bathsheba in 2 Sam 11 probably lingered in his mind. He remembered how he attempted to cover his sin by plotting the death of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah. He remembered how God chastised him in 2 Sam 12 by taking the life of his son born from that adulterous relationship. And so he steered clear from the same sin. Have we learnt from the chastisements God brought upon us to keep us walking in His ways? Have we become wiser from the many traps of sin that we had previously fallen into?
Let there be no ambiguity that God had designed sex for enjoyment within marriage. When God’s will in this matter is compromised, there will always be undesirable consequences. Unhappiness came into Abraham’s household the moment he had a relationship with Hagar. Solomon had an unhappy period towards the end of his life. David’s life was never the same again when he compromised in that moment of weakness with Bathsheba.
Many people make excuses that sexual temptations in this era of the Internet are more pronounced & intense. In a sense, the are not wrong. Such temptations are more “accessible” compared to days of old. But let us also remember the words of Solomon – that “there is nothing new under the sun..”. Grave sexual sins were already rampant in the days of Sodom & Gomorrah. Satan would always want us to think that we are “short-changed”, having a raw deal & therefore deserving more leniency. Let us be reminded that this is exactly how he tempted Eve in the garden of Eden – “did God really say you shall not…”. In every era & age, there are many who stood firm in the face of temptation because they found more pleasure in the presence of God than the deceiving pleasure of sin. May God make us wise & strengthen us so that we can overcome.
Questions for meditation:
1) What have I done to awaken my affection for Christ?
2) What can my fellowship do to help each other avoid temptations?
What you can pray for:
1) that I may overcome the deceiving pleasures promised by sin by having a greater & sustaining delight in God…