For myself, this post was insightful especially in regards to something we all fall into, and that is 'Presumption'. I pray you will be blessed as I was. I know he will welcome you anytime as you come by for a visit. Be blessed...
I’m reading through 1 Kings as part of my morning bible devotion, study and meditation and I have just finished the reign of Solomon (chapter 11). The interesting thing to me is that God told Solomon to,
“Ask what you wish me to give you.”1
To which Solomon replied:
“…So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil…”2
I remind myself that God is never caught off guard or surprised by the things that occur in His creation but this is written in such a way that I’m surprised at what Solomon asked for because of how God responds:
“…I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart…And I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor…”3
I thought about that and wondered how I would have replied to God if I were told to; Ask what you wish me to give you. The thought of having anything I want is both overwhelming and daunting. There had to be some degree of wisdom in Solomon’s consciousness to ask God for discernment and not material wealth. It would be hard to put aside thoughts of What would benefit me most? over How can I best serve others?
So I have much admiration for Solomon because he exhibited a wisdom that humbles me because I have seen my own greed and desire for self up close and personal.
This led me to the realization that I’ve often presumed to know what God wants for me and off I go running with my presumption. I’m fortunate that God didn’t look upon me as a modern day Korah, whom you remember, challenged the authority of Moses and the priesthood of Aaron. Korah presumed this and defiantly said to Moses,
“…You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”4
The real problem here is that Korah viewed God as one views a peer;he didn’t see Moses as an extension of God’s authority and leadership. As a result, he didn’t understand that it was God he challenged, not Moses. I believe this is what God referred to in Psalm 50:21,
“These things you have done, and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you…”5
It’s like in my mind, because God doesn’t discourage my thoughts and actions, my view of Him is that He’s not the authority in my life. Much like the child who says,
“You’re not the boss of me!”
I look at God as I would look at any other man; I’ll let Him be my equal but no more. That’s pretty presumptuous of me; don’t you think?
"...and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah, with their possessions."6
The idea of being swallowed up by the earth isn't very appealing.
Right about now you should be wondering, What do Korah and the book of Numbers have to do with 1 Kings? I presumed that with all that wisdom Solomon was given by God, along with the acknowledgement that he had not asked for any personal gain, that Solomon would be on a path that was mistake-free.
As John McClane would say, Bzzzzzzzzzzz…Sorry Hans, wrong guess!
Solomon was an idolater, he worshipped other gods. How could he possibly make that kind of error in judgment? A man whose wisdom exceeded everyone’s yet he followed after pagan gods. Did life get to a point where Solomon just put his on autopilot and looked to do things to occupy his time? I don’t know but something went wrong in his life; really, really wrong.
Perhaps it was his love of women but it’s hard for me to imagine being bored with seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. The bible says Solomon got old and his wives turned his heart to other gods; to the point where he no longer was committed to God.Solomon was given a pattern for living, the life of his father David;but he substituted another pattern for his father’s and became a worshipper of foreign gods.
Solomon made a presumption that what he did was acceptable by God.
I have a pattern for living too, the life of Jesus Christ. The danger for me is to presume that when God is silent, I look on Him as if he were just another man and I go substituting something else in place of the life of Christ.
Big presumption….big wrong presumption!
I want to keep framed in my mind that there is no cruise control setting in my walk with Christ. It is a daily effort on my part to consciously recognize the temptations that would lead me astray and into a lifestyle that disrespects and dishonors God.
It’s easy to make a presumption; it’s a lot harder to be right about something I presume.
“The Lord knows the thoughts of man, That they are a mere breath.”7
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man.”8
“Their inner thought is, that their houses are forever…”9
“When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight. Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end.”10
“I considered my ways, and turned my feet to Thy testimonies.”11
I despise my thoughts that presume and dishonor You. I choose to seek You with my whole heart. Holy Spirit, lead me along the path of what is right, just, faithful and true. Oh God, You are not a man, there is none like You in the heavens or on the earth. You are sovereign and supreme and my life is in Your hands. Have Your way and do with me as what seems right in Your eyes. Thank You for the covenant of grace through my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.