The wealth of Solomon, described in 1 Kings 10, as glorious as it was, it’s not really difficult to imagine. Here in the US, we have access to a similar amount of wealth. We have things, we do things that people on other countries can only dream about.
If the wealth and glory of Solomon is but a shadow of what King Jesus’ kingdom will look like, then it makes sense to desire the establishment of such a Kingdom.
Why, then, we don’t desire it? Why don’t we pursue its establishment? Why do we feast on ashes and hold to lies with our right hand?
At the end of the day, I’m convinced that the Christian life can be summarized as a battle in my heart: Should I choose ashes or His glory?
Take a look at the folly of idolatry, from God’s Word
9 (N)All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 (O)Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 (P)Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
12 (Q)The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. (R)He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 (S)He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. (T)He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an (U)abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 (V)He feeds on (W)ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not (X)a lie in my right hand?”
Isaiah 44 (emphasis added)
Now, this battle will always be here. Until He returns or calls us home, we will struggle to chose between ashes and glory. But, How could we grow in our ability to desire His Kingdom more and more? Let me give you three pieces of advice:
- Remember, as much and as often as you can, your real condition and His love for you.
- Remember and practice, as much and as often as you can, God’s grace.
- Treasure the means of grace He has provided for His people (His Word, His Sacraments, His Church)
Gracia & Paz