The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22.
Many envied the popularity and abundant glory of Solomon, thinking that of all men he must be the most happy. But amid all that glory of artificial display the man envied is the one to be most pitied. His countenance is dark with despair. All the splendor about him is but to him mockery of the distress and anguish of his thoughts as he reviews his misspent life in seeking for happiness through indulgence and selfish gratification of every desire.
In the midst of prosperity lurks danger. Throughout the ages, riches and honor have ever been attended with peril to humility and spirituality. It is not the empty cup that we have difficulty in carrying; it is the cup full to the brim that must be carefully balanced. Affliction and adversity may cause sorrow, but it is prosperity that is most dangerous to spiritual life. Unless the human subject is in constant submission to the will of God, unless he is sanctified by the truth, prosperity will surely arouse the natural inclination to presumption.
In the valley of humiliation, where men depend on God to teach them and to guide their every step, there is comparative safety. But the men who stand, as it were, on a lofty pinnacle, and who, because of their position, are supposed to possess great wisdom—these are in gravest peril. Unless such men make God their dependence, they will surely fall.
Whenever pride and ambition are indulged, the life is marred, for pride, feeling no need, closes the heart against the infinite blessings of Heaven. He who makes self-glorification his aim will find himself destitute of the grace of God, through whose efficiency the truest riches and the most satisfying joys are won. But he who gives all and does all for Christ will know the fulfillment of the promise, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.”
All the sins and excesses of Solomon can be traced to his great mistake in ceasing to rely upon God for wisdom, and to walk in humility before Him.
Conflict and Courage p. 194
—–We need wisdom and guidance. L
My great-grandfather smoked big, fat cigars. All my mother’s life she remembered those stifling, smelly things even though she was still a little girl when he died. She did not like to be around him. When they visited him, he would take them for a drive to see the sights around Chicago. Even though they did not have a car, and normally would be excited to go on a drive, they dreaded it. As he drove, he puffed away on his cigar. He insisted on keeping the car windows tightly closed which filled the car with smoke. Not being used to it, it made my mother feel sick to her stomach and gave her a headache.
My grandfather, who was sitting in the back seat with his girls, began to roll down the window a tiny bit at a time to let out some of that nauseating smoke. By the time he would get the window open an inch or two, my great-grandfather would make him close it again. Over and over my grandfather tried to roll down the window very slowly so as not to be noticed, but every time, he would hear a stern “Edwin!”
Just as that cigar’s smoke surrounded my great-grandfather and became a strong memory of him for my mother, so we have an “atmosphere” that surrounds us. All that we do, our attitudes, our words, and all that we think have an influence on those around us. We may have a heavenly influence or we may have an evil one. It is our choice.
Solomon wrote, “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.” “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Prov 15:23,26,25:11 Isaiah tells us of his experience, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isa 50:4
We are to be a witness with more than just words. Jesus admonishes us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:16 Dorcas was a person who witnessed by her works. “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed, and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.” Acts 9:36-42
Dorcas’ life spoke volumes to those around her. By her kind deeds, she spread a blessing to all she came in contact with. Even though great trial and even death came upon her, it was for the saving of many who knew her. Indeed, God did not allow her to be removed from them. He worked through Peter to raise her up that by the influence of a godly life, she might continue to help those in need. So “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10
May Jesus’ love shine through us to all around us. May all that we do be done “heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, Knowing that of the Lord shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for serve the Lord Christ. ” Col 3:23-25 May our thoughts, words, and whatsoever we do bring glory to the One Who loves us so.