Do you have things that are useful, fancy, or convenient, but which you are hesitant to use? I admit that I get nervous when my wife puts out the good china (from our wedding) to eat from. As clumsy as I am, I worry that I’ll break them or something. I’ve also saved snacks that I wanted to enjoy at the right time, until they grew stale (and perhaps inedible). Savings can be the same way: while I appreciate that there are wise reasons to save up for anticipated future needs, I ask myself if there are other places where I could invest in God’s kingdom (and obtain an even better return).
The past couple of articles have taken a look at Solomon’s request to God for wisdom (in order to lead God’s people), when God invited him to make a request. We find in 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 that God gave Solomon wisdom, and much, much more. What did Solomon do next, though?
Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting. And he reigned over Israel.
2 Chronicles 1:13 NIV
Note that Solomon didn’t just receive God’s blessing and sit on it. Solomon went to Jerusalem (the seat of his reign as king), and “he reigned over Israel”. He had asked for wisdom to lead the people, and after receiving God’s blessing, Solomon went out and stepped into his role.
In the same way, when we receive God’s blessings, whether freedom in Christ, gifts and opportunities that He has provided us, or just the blessings of living in a world that He created, these aren’t for us to just sit around and enjoy for ourselves.
Of course there are blessings that followers of Jesus enjoy themselves, like peace, purpose, joy, and hope. And, sometimes God gives His followers other gifts like money, nice things, good relationships, and significant influence. However, if we stockpile all of these things for ourselves, we aren’t getting the full value out of what God has given us to manage (i.e., all that He asks us to be good stewards of).
Instead, when we are blessed by these things, we should return thanks and give glory to God for them. Then, we should often use those things for the good of others.
Can you imagine how Solomon’s story might have turned out if he took this divinely-supplied wisdom and became a billionaire as a consultant or advisor to other rich people? If he just set up shop and used what God had given him for himself, that would be selfish. If Solomon hoarded his knowledge without using it to also lead the Israelite people wisely (as well as sharing this wisdom with others – including us – in writings like the Proverbs), he would really have wasted this gift.
In the same way, we should be using what God has given us…in the way that He wants us to. Compared to Solomon, that may look different for you and for me (since I’m pretty sure that neither of us are rulers over the kingdom of Israel), but blessings are given so that we can share them and glorify God through them, not just for our own comfort, leisure, and entertainment.
Be thankful for what you have, and don’t miss out on the joy of sharing it with those who will glorify God for His provisions through you.
From Sunday School lesson prepared for July 4, 2021
- The Lookout, July 4, 2021 © 2021 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.