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As I read through the OT readings,it struck me that Solomon spent more time on his palace and his wife's than on Gods...so I looked again to see the measurements of the building...although the dimension of the hall of justice isn't mentioned,it's said he built a palace for his wife similar to that...so he did spend considerable time on that too.God called David a man after his own heart but was Solomon?David too had quite a number of wives but I don't remember him building houses or was that because he was too busy fighting wars?Solomon lived in a time of peace and while building a temple for God,his heart was beginning to turn away...in the end he does begin to turn to the gods of his wives but it seems this is the beginning of his worship....spending so much time on his palace and his wife's...could it have been her idea?
In the NT readings I kept being amazed at how the jews refused to see Jesus as the messiah even after he had done so many miracles and stunned them by his wisdom and authority.In today's reading,I see the connection...the same people who saw God part the sea later decided a cow was a better god and turned away from God....the prophet God had used was now"this fellow"to them.It says familiarity breeds contempt and honestly sometimes I wonder if by any chance there are things I do that show disrespect,contempt...or rejection to God without realising it..I pray the Holy Spirit reveals that in my life.................
About grey hair:)I proudly show mine of as a claim to my age cos so many folks still think I'm a teenager and I stopped being a teen 11 years ago:)

The readings today show the attempts of God's people to make a place,a holy place, for God to reside. While Solomon builds a magnificent Temple, buildings were the best way he knew to house the Almighty. Stephen, in Acts, shows how we relate to outward forms of worship and yet turn away from God's word to us. He reminds us that God can not be housed in a building, however magnificent. The Psalms and Proverbs remind us that our relationship to God and our very selves, therefore, become God's Temple. The church is to be God's Temple, that is, the people of God. Fear of God does not seem to mean afraid of God but in awe and respect and, yes, admiration and love of and with God. Following His ways makes us happy especially as we grow older. But, we could never do this on our own. We would more likely be like the hebrews who rejected the prophets sent to bring us back to God.
Dear Lord, Please help us to be your church, your living temple through the grace of your Son.We constantly fail to listen and fall short, our building may shine on the outside but you know of the decay within. help us to be your living church. Through Jesus Name, Amen.
PS Mike, thank you for this wonderful opportunity to study the Word with you. Your ministry is appreciated and I think it will help me to do something I have wanted to do for a long time:read through the Bible again in a structured way. I last did this as a young teen with my grandmother-many years ago. Thank you so much, and God bless you for this major effort. Judy

1 Kings 7:1-51
The first thing I noticed in today is reading, Solomon took almost twice as long to build his palace then he did to build the Temple. I know that God does not dwell manmade places or created things, yet it seems disingenuous to spend more time with his palace then a Temple he built to give glory to God. There can be a multitude of reasons why his own personal residence took longer, he may have used more workers to build the temple, and they may have put in longer hours to build it.. Just seems kind of curious in my opinion.

Acts 7:30-50
Stephen points out in his message that Israel sacrificed in the desert and they had the appearance of worshiping God; however, they were really worshiping pagan gods. We too can find ourselves sitting in church every time the door flies open, singing and worshiping God; however, our hearts are like Israel, focused on other gods. I also find it interesting that when God describes idolatry it is compared to a husband or wife committing adultery (Jer 3:8-9)/

Psalm 128:1-6

According to Proverbs understanding The Fear of the Lord requires diligent pursuit of:
a. God’s Words and accepting them once you receive them.
b. Crying out for knowledge and understanding.
c. Seeking and searching after that Word as if you are mining for Silver, God and all hidden treasures,

Then one will understand godly fear as well as gain knowledge of God
(Proverbs 2:1-5)

That being the case one cannot really explain the Fear of the Lord to anyone who has not done the above and one who hasn’t done the above cannot explain the “Fear to others.

One can also take note of Proverb 8:13,

To fear the LORD is to hate evil …
This is a clear, concise definition of what it is to fear the Lord. It is hating what God hates.
Proverbs 16:31-33
The thirty-second verse of chapter 16 contains a word that I have been exploring in the bible for about five years, self-control. If you search out Proverbs, you will see that “self-control” is the foundation or core behavior in becoming grounded in God. In fact, it takes self-control to acquire understanding in “The Fear of the Lord.”

When I read Proverbs 16:31, "Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life", I can’t help but wonder if God doesn’t grieve over our society’s obsession with physical looks today. It seems that more and more emphasis on God and His blessings is fading away and in its place the emphasis is being placed on facelifts and Botox to make one look younger, nips and tucks to change one’s body style, and the many eating disorders ranging from the desire to look like a skeleton to binge eating because one can’t consume enough to become satisfied. It amazes me how people will allow other people thousands of miles away that don’t even know or care about them dictate how they should dress. Think what this world would be like if people were as obsessed with God as they have become obsessed with themselves and how they look, and think about all the good that could be done if the money spent on cosmetic applications of all types was spent instead on missions. I’m afraid that our world is on a downward spiral that will continue until the day our Lord returns and sits on His eternal throne.

God Bless!
Pat

Verses that stood out for me today:

Acts 7:49 "‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Could you build me a temple as good as that?’
asks the Lord.
‘Could you build me such a resting place?".
Psalm 128:1 "How joyful are those who fear the Lord—
all who follow his ways!".
Psalm 128:4 "That is the Lord’s blessing
for those who fear him".
Proverbs 16:32 "Better to be patient than powerful;
better to have self-control than to conquer a city".

To fear the Lord makes me happy. When I tell people that I fear the Lord, they will respond with "I ain't fear no one!!!". But they just don't know what it's like to fear the Lord! It's not fear in being scared, I mean, we all know that. To fear the Lord makes me work harder, fear the Lord keeps me going, keeps me awake, keeps me sharp! I'm happy! So happy!!!

"Do you agree with the Psalmist that those who fear the Lord are happy? Why or why not? "
Yes I do agree with the psalmist...If you fear the Lord, you only fear him and nothing else. BUT, If you do not fear the Lord...you fear many things. So instead of fearing many things I would rather just fear my almighty and powerful Lord.
For "Those who trust in the LORD Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abide forever"
Amen!

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