Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Answers to Our Hardest Questions

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Wednesday, June 12, 2013:  I Kings 9:1-10:29

Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions.  I Kings 10:1 (NKJV)

Life has gotten very complicated.  Whether it is on a personal level, or family, church, and nation, it seems hard questions and huge challenges face us that demand answers.  We need God’s wisdom!

Many years ago, the great Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer wrote these words: 

There are four things which I think are absolutely necessary if we as Christians are going to meet the need of our age and the overwhelming pressure we are increasingly facing.  They are two contents and two realities:
            The First Content:  Sound Doctrine
            The Second Content:  Honest Answers to Honest Questions
            The First Reality:  True Spirituality
            The Second Reality:  The Beauty of Human Relationships

Each of these deserves and demands our prayerful and thoughtful pursuit, but I want to hone in on the two contents, and particularly “honest answers to honest questions.”

The Queen of Sheba had heard a rumor.  She had heard that somewhere in her world, someone might have answers.  She traveled the 1600 miles from her home in Ethiopia to Jerusalem in her hunger for honest answers to hard questions.  The Queen of Sheba represents the world around us today that tests us with challenges that seem to defy solution.

One of the most quoted verses in the Bible is the words of Jesus in John 8:32:  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  As Christians we not only pursue the truth, WE HAVE THE TRUTH!  Our faith and our life rest on the truth of the Word of God.  Therefore we must fill our minds and hearts with the content of what God says in Scripture. 

But, that is not enough.  Not only must we KNOW the truth, we must also PRACTICE the truth.  Dr. Schaeffer explains, “If Christianity is truth as the Bible claims, it must touch every aspect of life.”  God addresses and answers every aspect of the human condition.  Dr. Abraham Kuyper, in 1880, made the famous declaration: "there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry 'Mine'".

When the world arrived at Jerusalem (in the person of the Queen of Sheba), Scripture says that she “spoke with him about all that was in her heart” (I Kings 10:2).  These are not just scholastic, theoretical questions.  They are far more.  They are heart issues. 

Solomon met her in two ways:  he spoke truth and he showed a demonstration.  We read, Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her” (I Kings. 10:3).  But then, the Bible says that she “saw all the wisdom of Solomon” (I Kings 10:4).  She saw the way his house was ordered.  She saw the practical demonstration of how to live and how to prosper.  As a result, it took her breath away (I Kings 10:5). 

Solomon’s greatest achievement was the building of the Temple.  It was the first permanent structure built for the worship of the God of Israel.  Much could be said about the symbolism of this Temple, but, in brief, it represents God’s activity on earth.  It doesn’t CONTAIN God, but it is the base for Him touching mankind.

Ephesians 3:10 describes the mission of the church today:  “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.”  The Church is like Solomon.  The Church is to show the world the wisdom of God.  Perhaps the greatest battle of our times is not Republican vs. Democrat or rich vs. poor or East vs. West.  It is a battle over TRUTH.  Is there such a thing as absolute truth and who has it?

I could end by making a long list of the issues that press upon us today.  All you need do is read the newspaper or watch the evening news.  Whether it be the definition of marriage or the nature of human life, whether it be the survival of the family or the rescue of our environment, GOD’S WISDOM CAN SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS. 

May God raise up voices and demonstrations in our day that will shine a light of redemption and blessing into a world deeply in need.  The result will be wonderful.  It will be as the Queen of Sheba described:  Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! (I Kings 10:8)

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