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I love when the queen of Sheba says to Solomon, "How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!" Every time we open our Bible we stand in the presence of the King of Kings and hear His wisdom!

1 Kings 9:3

3 The LORD said to him:

“I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

This is another 'God's formula': God like to co-work with man. Solomon made the prayer (on yesterday's reading), God responded to Solomon and told the latter that He had heard the prayer. God promised that His eyes and His heart would always be there (the Temple). So, never underestimate what our mouths have spoken. In James, James warned us not to say words of blessings and curses from the same mouth; meaning that we should control our tongues so that what we speak are blessings instead of cursings or doing both at the same mouth. Be alert and mindful of what we speak. And our prayers are powerful because they are directed to the Creator of this Universe, and He listens.

One more thing that I noted: God said that He had consecrated the Temple. Solomon completed the ceremonial sacrifices and it was God who consecrated the Temple. He reigns.

1 Kings 9:11-14

11 King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and juniper and gold he wanted. 12 But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 13 “What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?” he asked. And he called them the Land of Kabul, a name they have to this day. 14 Now Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.

Solomon committed a mistake. He gave away God's Promised Land to a Gentile King Hiram. Hiram was more righteous than Solomon in this situation. Also a reflection to modern middle east politics: should the Israelites give away the Promised Land in order to keep peace? When God had promised Abraham to give the Promised Land to Abraham's descendants, God meant it. Should we, therefore, give away the Land to other people for whatever reason? (An analogy: your father gives you a birthday gift and you give away the present to someone else. What would you expect your father will feel?)

Acts 8:20-21

20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.

Mike has explained clearly in his blog that faith cannot be bought. This is important to remember this rule. Just a supplement: Luke 20:21-25. The teacher and elders tried to trap Jesus by asking Him if they should pay tax to Caesar. Jesus's answer was powerful: Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. Don't give Caesar's portion to God for God abhors it.

Acts 8:28b

This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.

The eunuch was another example of a faithful gentile being saved. He went to Jerusalem to worship God. On his return journey, he was reading Bible!

I live in a big city (Hong Kong). It is not uncommon to see in MTR (equivalent to Tube or Subway in the UK and the States) that people are reading bible (either in a book format or in IPad format). Part of the reasons of doing so might be because we are too busy in the office or at home. But mostly, this reflects their hearts towards God: they try to use the travelling time to read bible and be close to God.

Another sharing: In 1 Kings 10:1-13, the Bible author described
the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon. Thanks to Mike's map in his blog that pictured Sheba, Ethiopia and Ophir, the African region in Biblical time. Would the eunuch of Ethiopia in Acts' time who knew God because of the work and trade back in Solomon's time?

Psalm 130:3-4

3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

Psalm 130 is a very beautiful Psalm. As Mike has commented, we should meditate on every verse of this Psalm. I am particularly touched by verse 3 & 4. Who can stand before God? We serve not because we are righteous. It is because God forgives us.

Proverbs 17:3

3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart.

Would the eunuch in Acts 8 was saved because the LORD was pleased with his faithful heart?

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