Not Everything’s Sugar Coated

Not Everything is Sugar Coated

What if you had everything you ever wanted, but couldn’t give a thing back!

Any husband or wife, being brutally honest, will tell you marriage isn’t easy.  In fact, it’s complicated merging of two personalities into one, of facing a life full of challenges, and blending together in-laws from Mars and Venus.  So why would a man want Seven Hundred wives?!  Not just any man could handle this amazing feat.  You can find this man in the Bible.  He was a wealthy and powerful king—no surprise there huh?  Believe it or not, he was known as the world’s wisest person!  You know him as IsCandy dropsrael’s third king—Solomon.

God told Solomon he could have anything he desired.  Solomon chose wisdom to govern the nation.  Almost immediately, Solomon’s wisdom was put to the test.  It’s too bad he lost it somewhere along the way.

Early in his reign as king, Solomon married the princess of Egypt.  It was a political marriage to form an alliance with Pharaoh.  There were more women to come—several hundred—and more waiting in line!  Solomon loved multitudes of foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter.  There were Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites to name a few.  They were from nations which the Lord told the Israelites—“You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.”  Solomon didn’t care; in the end he amassed seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines.  But not everything was sugar coated.

God’s warning proved true.  Solomon’s wives “led him astray”.  Long story made short; Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord.  Solomon had all the wisdom of God at his disposal, but failed to use it.  God raised up enemies to punish the nation for “his” sin.  It was a depressing end to a kingship that started with such great promise and unlimited possibilities.  Many believe Solomon regained his Godly wisdom then wrote Ecclesiastes.

Solomon uses 200+ verses to tell us what is useless and meaningless!  Yet only 2 verses 13 and 14 to clarify everything:

 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this are the whole, duty, of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Fulfillment comes when we live, serve, love and obey God, when we live by God’s standards, when we live with the right focus.

Looking For Something To Devour?

camo bug

Warning to all insects; tread lightly and keep all your eyes open at all times.  Even then an ambush lurks behind every leaf, or every leaf look-alike.  What’s a simple bug to do given this precarious situation?  Danger is an ever-present concern, whether you are an insect or you are a homo-sapien!  The Bible talks about predators stalking prey in the Book of First Peter.

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

You may notice minute differences in a predator disguised as a leaf and a predator in plain sight.  One predator is waiting passively for something to causally stroll by humming a tune and get tasted, while another predator is ‘prowling around’ and actively ‘looking for’…”you”!  Satan is methodically crisscrossing territory, looking for ambush sites, looking for positions of advantage, looking for those unaware, looking for the weakest,looking for someone to put on the grill and; d e v o u r!

“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

Proverbs 22:3

Did you ever really think that you had an honest-to-goodness top-drawer predator for an enemy?!  Not just any paper tiger, but an intelligent, devious, cunning, erudite, relentless, smooth-talking, personable, appetite-driven, carnivore who wants you for the main dish today and whenever he can grab you with his wiles and feed on you!  Uneasy, are you looking ahead yet?  Have you realized the devil wants your family too?  He wants your church, your community, your city, your country and anything else of value.

Satan is the great discomforter of reality.  You can remove yourself away from danger and put limits on evil.  Scripture urges “binding evil”.   James 4:7 puts if best, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.”  Even the devil had a wish to “be like the Most High”.

What’s a person to do?  Peter reminds us in chapter five that we are to be self-controlled and alert.  We are to resist him and stand firm in our faith in Christ, knowing that others are undergoing the same trials.  God will help make you strong, firm, and steadfast.  You do battle with the tools available. “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:13

Aren’t Some Things Impossible

impossibleHypodermic needle melts in the emergency room while treating burn victim!  Angioplasty enlarges left ventricle heart valve 1200 times its normal size!  Shot brings man back from the dead where he took tour of heaven with angels!  When things don’t follow the laws of gravity or reason what are we to do?  Questioning the laws of nature, as we know them, keeps us grounded right?  Miracles are meant to be talked about, not witnessed in person, right?  Thousands of years ago a man walked the earth that preformed miracles!  Education teaches us to think and reason, but aren’t some things impossible?

Smoking Syringe

Jesus led a very public life and was known for his many traits.  Jesus showed compassion, kindness, humor, wit, tears, forgiveness and intensity.  Jesus also displayed a very public ministry of performing miracles.  The gospels record thirty-five separate miracles preformed by Christ.  The gospel writers selected various miracles according to their purpose.  Apostles Matthew and John noted that Jesus did far and away more miracles than recorded.

Just exactly what kinds of miracles did Jesus perform?  Healing a lame man (John 5), delivering a synagogue demoniac (Luke 4), cleansing a leper (Matthew 8), healing a paralytic (Mark 2), healing a man with shriveled hand (Mark 3), healing a blind and mute demoniac (Luke 11), healing two blind men (Matthew 9), healing a crippled woman on the Sabbath (Luke 13), healing a man with dropsy (Luke 14), and restoring Malchus’s ear (John 18), there were many more healings including the times he raised the dead.

You know what’s coming next don’t you?  You have a question to answer.  Were these things impossible or not?  Healing people was only a part of Jesus’ ministry; these were merely additional credentials to convince the hard hearted.  Healing people is certainly contrary to natural laws, having witnesses is added amazement, having a reputable witness record the events for history is God’s way of saying “what more do you need”?

“All things are possible with God.”  Mark 10:27

Many people have said, “If I could just see a real miracle, then I could really believe in God.”  But in Matthew 38 Jesus’ response to the Pharisees applies to us.  We already have plenty of evidence, Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, and ascension, and centuries of his work in believers around the world. Instead of looking for additional evidence or miracles, accept what God has already given you and move forward.