King Solomon and Job were both very wealthy men. Solomon was worth 7 Trillion Dollars! We can learn from both of them.
Solomon Sought God
1 Kings 9:2, “The Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, in the same way he had appeared to him at Gibeon.” New English Translation
The first time Solomon was in a high place, and the second time was in Jerusalem. Both times, God spoke to him in a dream.
Solomon Fortified Cities
2 Chronicles 8:5, “He…fortified cities with walls and barred gates.” NET
1 Kings 9:15, “…the work crews King Solomon conscripted to build…the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.” NET
We saw the 6-sectioned gates that King Solomon built at Tel Megiddo. It was a sunny spring day until we reached the top, (see “The Heat of Summer”). There were soldiers stationed in each section making it difficult to break through the gates.
Solomon Conducted Research
Ecclesiastes 2:3, “I thought deeply about the effects of indulging myself with wine (all the while my mind was guiding me with wisdom) and the effects of behaving foolishly, so that I might discover what is profitable for people to do on earth during the few days of their lives.” NET
Ecclesiastes 2:9, “So I was far wealthier than all my predecessors in Jerusalem, yet I maintained my objectivity.” NET
He did not choose the amassing of riches as his goal. He found achievements and possessions “ultimately profitless – like chasing the wind,” v. 11.
Ecclesiastes 11:1, “Send your grain overseas, for after many days you will get a return.” NET
The King James Version Bible says, “Cast your bread upon the waters…” I envisioned a person baking a loaf of bread and throwing the pieces into the water. Many had used this verse in fundraising, and I still felt like you were throwing the money away.
The New International Version Bible says, “Ship your grain overseas…” That makes it clear the grain has a purpose. You may be shipping it to sell or to help in a famine. It’s deliberate. Even in giving, I’m responsible to know that my funds are “feeding the children.”
- He found the benefits of wisdom were ultimately meaningless because both the wise man and the fool die and are forgotten, Ecclesiastes 2:15-16.
- It is futile for a man to do his work with wisdom, knowledge, and skill because he must hand over the fruit of his labor as an inheritance to someone who did not work for it, Ecclesiastes 2:21.
- The best thing is to eat, drink, and find enjoyment in your work, Ecclesiastes 2:24.
- There is nothing better than to be happy and to enjoy yourself, Ecclesiastes 3:12.
- When you are excessively righteous or excessively wise, you will be disappointed, Ecclesiastes 7:16.
- Sharpen the ax head to exert less effort and be successful, Ecclesiastes 10:10.
The Second Wealthy Man – Job
“The quest for wisdom involves pain… Pain thereby becomes a challenge for wisdom and for our concept of God’s behavior. …not every theological claim made by Job and his friends is necessarily endorsed by this book. …God charged the three friends with speaking inaccurately about Him.
…when faced with the problem of theodicy, (explaining the presence of evil in the world in light of God’s wisdom and justice), silence, rather than human reasoning, may be a more virtuous alternative.
…Job is a demanding literary work that tends to presuppose that its readers are already well acquainted with…Proverbs and Psalms. …Even Jesus was not spared affliction and the theodicy problem. This was made clear when He cried out on the cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).”New English Translation Introduction to the book of Job
Job 5:17, “Therefore, blessed is the man whom God corrects, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” NET
Correction can be simple. Example: A line of soldiers facing forward and one facing to the right. The drill sergeant will correct him by turning him forward. Then they can all march together.
Correction is harder if you are turned backward and God wants you to go forward. Repentance is simply turning around. In the case of the soldiers, the one going the wrong way will get run into over and over.
When I feel like everything is running into me – I should repent and be corrected. I turn around!
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