Three very interesting portions of Scripture for our consideration this morning. I am struck by a phrase that is used in 1 Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9. These are words from the Queen of Sheba about what she sees in King Solomon’s Kingdom, 8 Blessed be the Lord your God! He delighted in you and put you on his throne as king for the Lord your God. Because your God loved Israel enough to establish them forever, he has set you over them as king to carry out justice and righteousness.” (2 Chronicles 9:8 [Christian Standard Bible]).
(By the way while I was reading this passage I was listening to a classical station and they were playing The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel. Click on this link and listen to it while reading the rest of this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KLee4Kgr_E&t=6s)
This concluding remark by the Queen of Sheba had to do with what she saw as a by product of Solomon’s wealth and wisdom. He had to have been the richest person in the world at that time. One scholar’s calculations put his wealth in today’s terms at about 100 billion dollars. He humbled himself and asked for wisdom and God gave him both wisdom and wealth. As a result the Queen of Sheba states, “he (God) has set you (Solomon) over them as king to carry out justice and righteousness.” When wisdom and wealth are used in a right manner the people are happy and contentment, justice and righteiousness prevail.
Yet as we read on in 1 Kings we see Solomon drifting from his commitment to God. Along with that came a degrading of that justice and righteousness and Solomon started worshiping other gods. And in the end his heir lost the bulk of the kingdom. I wonder what the world would be like today if each of Solomons heirs governed like he started. The world would be an entirely different place and perhaps justice and righteousness would prevail.
So the Apostle Paul paints a dire picture of a person who persues wealth for wealth’s sake. He writes to his protege Timothy the following: 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8 If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:6-10 [CSB]).
Money used or desired in the wrong ways only leads to grief and heartaches. I’ve known of many who have wandered away from the faith and have found themselves in these situations.
So what about us. I believe we need to focus on verse 6 above. If we focus on godly living and being content with that no matter what our economic standing is, we will find great contentment.
Father God, pursuing a relationship with You is where we find our greatest contentment. I pray that we would all be doing that as we grow in You. In Jesus strong name we pray, Amen!