Hi friends and welcome to 1 Kings! 1 King's is somewhat of a weird name because it's actually going to be following the life of the third king....weird I know! Solomon is credited with writing the books of wisdom including Proverbs and the Song of Solomon books and many of the Psalms. Solomon, like his father before him, was a really talented writer and his wisdom leads him to be a "calmer" king in my opinion. I'm curious what you think. Let's read the first part together.
Scripture to Read
1 Kings 1 - 3
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What does this teach me about symbols and traditions?
- My Thoughts -
I've recently been listening to President Obama's new book as an audiobook. Say what you want about the dude, he can talk, and 30 hours of his voice in your ear is a gift. But really, I never supported Obama as president. I was mucho conservative as a teenager and in college so I've been interested in his book to hear his own reflections on his presidency. Spoiler alert: He is very critical. It's a good read so far.
Anyways, I mention this book because I was reminded of Obama when Solomon was elected. Solomon is effectively a bastards child. David wasn't really part of his life and he was the son of a scandal. Solomon being elected a king is to rise above his circumstances and show for all the other bastard children of Israel that they can accomplish dreams they never thought possible. Obama's presidency as the first black president was a similar accomplishment. He writes in his book that kids around the world, yes even foreign nations, would follow the news when he announced he was running. Inner city schools in Chicago told him that during his campaign and presidency they noticed that children tried harder in school. They had hope beyond their circumstances.
I was really moved by Solomon's first moments as king. He sets up a throne for his mother and he, the king, bows to his mother when she enters. I find that to be such an awe inspiring picture in my head. Have you ever mentored a child from a difficult situation? How have you seen them grow? Have you witnessed the gift of someone getting hope?
My own mother has done this for a number of kids she has taught at Ginn Academy in Cleveland. I'm reminded of a certain young man whom came from a troubled background. She broke through is toughness and found the vulnerable heart inside. This student began to trust her and shared his pains. She would pack an extra sandwich when going to school in case he didn't have one. Most of the times he did, but she always took it anyways. She would buy him clothes because the clothes he had were ragged. After he graduated she checked in with him again and he said he had an interview for a job. He was so excited. My mom practiced interview questions with him until he felt confident. Finally, she asked what he was planning to wear to the interview. Bashfully, he said jeans and a button down. My mom asked "T, do you have a suit?" A long pause. "No, mama Gliha." "Well it's about time we get you one." My amazing, breathtaking mother took that young man to get his first suit, not because she had the money to do it, but because the gift of giving someone hope is the greatest gift we can give.
Like Solomon, I would build a throne for my mother and bow to her every time she walks in the room. Thanks for all you've done Mama.
God, thank you for the moments you've given our spirits the gift of hope. Thank you for Jesus, the ultimate source of hope, who revealed to us the fruits of the kingdom. Help us to be like him more and more every day. Amen.