Something New Under the Sun: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living - 13. KING FOR A DAY
13. King for a Day
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be king for a day? Suppose that for just one day you had unlimited wealth, unlimited power, and could do anything you wanted. You could ask for a jet and fly anywhere in the world. Or you could go on a shopping spree in Beverly Hills and never run out of money. Or you could buy a new home-or two or three-and still have enough to buy one hundred homes tomorrow.
Solomon had all that-and not just for one day but every day. If he saw it, he bought it. If he wanted it, he took it. If he thought he would enjoy it, he tried it. His investigation of the pleasures of life took him in every direction and brought him great delight. Put simply: He enjoyed being the king and the richest man on earth.
This leads to an interesting observation. Some people can be rich in the will of God. I think that God sometimes blesses men and women with an abundance of wealth as a kind of test. While poverty certainly poses its own set of problems, so does wealth. The apostle Paul reminds us that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10, italics added). Money itself is morally neutral. The same dollar that buys pornography may also be used to support a missionary in Thailand. It can fuel greed or it can feed a hungry child. Money has no moral value except as we use it for good or for evil. Since that is true, it follows that every dime we spend represents a moral choice.
Christianity is a giving religion. It starts with God who gave His Son-the “indescribable gift” of 2 Corinthians 9:15. It is “indescribable” because of its extent. For if I were to go to the bank and withdraw all my money and give it away, and if I were to sell my car and give the money to the poor, and if I were to give everything I had and then gave myself as someone’s slave ... I wouldn’t have given as much as God did when He gave His only begotten Son.
God can never owe me anything. I can never outgive Him. When I come to the end of my philanthropy and begin to pat myself on the back for being such a wonderful person, God bids me to look to the Cross and see the bleeding Son of God. Then I realize I know nothing of what real giving is.
Spirit of God, I thank You that I have all that I need and more besides. Help me to become a generous giver. Amen.
SHINING THE LIGHT
* If you had Solomon’s power, what pleasure would you choose for yourself today?
* The Westminster Confession says that man was created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. What does “enjoying God forever” mean to you? What keeps you from enjoying God more than you do?
MORE LIGHT FROM GOD’S WORD
Read Genesis 1:31; Psalm 63:1-5; and 1 Timothy 4:4.
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