Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. 1 Kings 10:9.
A Greater than Solomon was the designer of the temple; the wisdom and glory of God stood there revealed. Those who were unacquainted with this fact naturally admired and praised Solomon as the architect and builder; but the king disclaimed any honor for its conception or erection.
Thus it was when the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon. Hearing of his wisdom and of the magnificent temple he had built, she determined “to prove him with hard questions” and to see for herself his famous works. Attended by a retinue of servants, and with camels bearing “spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones,” she made the long journey to Jerusalem. “And when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.” She talked with him of the mysteries of nature; and Solomon taught her of the God of nature, the great Creator, who dwells in the highest heaven and rules over all. “Solomon told her all her questions: there was not anything hid from the king, which he told her not.”
“When the Queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, … there was no more spirit in her.” “It was a true report,” she acknowledged, “which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it:” “and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.” …
By the time of the close of her visit the queen had been so fully taught by Solomon as to the source of his wisdom and prosperity that she was constrained, not to extol the human agent, but to exclaim, “Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore made He thee king, to do judgment and justice.” This is the impression that God designed should be made upon all peoples.
Conflict and Courage p. 199
—–Please pray that Robert B can be found. He has been missing since 12/27. MT
For some reason, animals instinctively trusted Geneva, my mother. Dogs, that were usually mean, would come over to my mother and let her pet them. Often, she would not know that the dog was normally vicious until the amazed owner would tell her. Even wild animals considered her a friend. For example, before I was born and until I was seven or eight, she had tamed a squirrel so that when she would call, he would come running down the tree by our side porch and come right up to her to get a nut that she had put between her teeth. He was always very careful not to hurt her when he took it. Then he would sit right there and eat it.
One day, however, when I was about six, we were walking to a pet store that was about a half mile to the east north east of my grandparents’ house. We often went to that pet store as my mother had a friend who worked there. Suddenly a large boxer came out of nowhere and attacked my mother and bit her. She was shocked! I was terrified! The dog’s owner came running over to grab the dog off from my mother, apologized profusely, and assured her that the dog had had all of its shots. Shakily, my mother walked the rest of the way to the pet store. There they let her sit down for awhile and tended to the bite. From that moment, I never trusted strange dogs.
Just as my mother was attacked while she was innocently walking along the street, so are we often innocently attacked by something that is far more painful than a dog bite. Paul says, “If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Gal 5:15 How gossip hurts! How gossip consumes! It ruins reputations. It devastates lives. James tells us, “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind, But the tongue can no man tame, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father, and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. James 3:2-10
How easily we can wound a friend by betraying their trust, by a careless word spoken to another, by keeping silent when we should have spoken in their behalf. That little “slip of the tongue” can grow and become twisted in the repeating until our friend has been devoured. Even if we go to our friend and confess our hasty words, never again can the friendship be so close, so trusting, so sweet. Well has Solomon said, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear? Prov 18:8, 14 The scars of a ruined reputation cannot be erased. Gossip wounds our very being and those scars of the betrayed trust remain long after the words have been forgotten. There is always a doubt in the thoughts of those who have believed and spread the gossip kindled by our thoughtlessness.
Let us determine never to repeat gossip, but to pray for both the gossiper and the one who is being talked about. Let us, when we find ourselves the center of gossip, rely upon the One Who “healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Ps 147:3 Let us daily pray as did David , “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Ps 19:14