Solomon man of Wisdom & Folly

Solomon

Wednesday 11/04/20 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message – Solomon man of Wisdom & Folly


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2Chron. 8:1-18, “(1) At the end of 20 years during which Solomon had built the LORD’s temple and his own palace–  (2)  Solomon having rebuilt the cities Hiram gave him and having settled the Israelites there–  (3)  Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and seized it.  

(4)  He built Tadmor in the wilderness along with all the storage cities that he built in Hamath.  

(5)  He built Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon–fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars–  (6)  Baalath, all the storage cities that belonged to Solomon, all the chariot cities, the cavalry cities, and everything Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, or anywhere else in the land of his dominion.  

(7)  As for all the peoples who remained of the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were not from Israel–  (8)  their descendants who remained in the land after them, those whom the Israelites had not completely destroyed–Solomon imposed forced labor on them; it is this way today.  

(9)  But Solomon did not consign the Israelites to be slaves for his work; they were soldiers, commanders of his captains, and commanders of his chariots and his cavalry.  

(10)  These were King Solomon’s deputies: 250 who ruled over the people.  (11)  Solomon brought the daughter of Pharaoh from the city of David to the house he had built for her, for he said, “My wife must not live in the house of David king of Israel because the places to which the ark of the LORD has come are holy.”  

(12)  At that time Solomon offered burnt offerings to the LORD on the LORD’s altar he had made in front of the vestibule  (13)  following the daily requirement for offerings according to the commandment of Moses for Sabbaths, New Moons, and the three annual appointed festivals: 

  • the Festival of Unleavened Bread
  • the Festival of Weeks
  • and the Festival of Booths.  

(14)  According to the ordinances of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests over their service, of the Levites over their responsibilities to offer praise and to minister before the priests following the daily requirement, and of the gatekeepers by their divisions with respect to each gate, for this had been the command of David, the man of God.  (15)  They did not turn aside from the king’s command regarding the priests and the Levites concerning any matter or concerning the treasuries.  

(16)  All of Solomon’s work was carried out from the day the foundation was laid for the LORD’s temple until it was finished. So the LORD’s temple was completed.  

(17)  At that time Solomon went to Ezion-geber and to Eloth on the seashore in the land of Edom.  (18)  So through his servants, Hiram sent him ships with crews of experienced seamen. They went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir, took from there 17 tons of gold, and delivered it to King Solomon.”

1Kings 9:10-28, “(10) At the end of 20 years during which Solomon had built the two houses, the LORD’s temple and the royal palace–  (11)  Hiram king of Tyre having supplied him with cedar and cypress logs and gold for his every wish–King Solomon gave Hiram 20 towns in the land of Galilee.  (12)  So Hiram went out from Tyre to look over the towns that Solomon had given him, but he was not pleased with them.  (13)  So he said, “What are these towns you’ve given me, my brother?” 

So he called them the Land of Cabul [binding], as they are still called today.  

(14)  Now Hiram had sent the king 9,000 pounds of gold.  (15)  This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon had imposed to build the LORD’s temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.  

(16)  Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He then burned it down, killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife.  

(17)  Then Solomon rebuilt Gezer, Lower Beth-horon,  (18)  Baalath, Tamar in the Wilderness of Judah,  (19)  all the storage cities that belonged to Solomon, the chariot cities, the cavalry cities, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, or anywhere else in the land of his dominion.  

(20)  As for all the peoples who remained of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were not Israelites–  (21)  their descendants who remained in the land after them, those whom the Israelites were unable to annihilate–Solomon imposed forced labor on them; it is this way until today.  

(22)  But Solomon did not consign the Israelites to slavery; they were soldiers, his servants, his commanders, his captains, and commanders of his chariots and his cavalry.  

(23)  These were the deputies who were over Solomon’s work: 550 who ruled over the people doing the work.  

(24)  Pharaoh’s daughter moved from the city of David to the house that Solomon had built for her; he then built the terraces.  (25)  Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the LORD, and he burned incense with them in the LORD’s presence. So he completed the temple.  (26)  King Solomon put together a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom.  (27)  With the fleet, Hiram sent his servants, experienced seamen, along with Solomon’s servants.  

(28)  They went to Ophir and acquired gold there–16 tons–and delivered it to Solomon.”

Now let’s deal with the apparent disagreement in these two texts.

A helpful concept to remember when one is dealing with alleged discrepancies is the idea that a simple difference is not necessarily a contradiction. 

Just because two texts differ in the way they relate the facts does not necessarily mean that there exists no possible reconciliation of the texts. 

Let’s look at the first example which regards the number of workers.

1Kings 9:23, “These were the deputies who were over Solomon’s work: 550 who ruled over the people doing the work.”

2Chron. 8:10, “These were King Solomon’s deputies: 250 who ruled over the people.”

The profoundly respected Old Testament commentators, Keil and Delitzsch, offered a rather clear and straight-forward solution. I might mention that this solution takes advantage of something I’ve been stressing in regarding properly studying God’s word since we started this trek thru the Bible. Keil and Delitzsh simply take a book-wide view of all that has been said regarding this labor force in Israel and when they did, the problem corrected itself. 

You may remember that earlier in our comparative study between 2Chron. and 1Kings there was another apparent discrepancy of precisely 300 people as well. In 1Kings 5:16 and 2Chron. 2:2 when an account of the entire labor force of porters, stonecutters and such they record the same difference in number. 1Kings had 3,300 and 2Chron. 3,600. Here when a sub-division of those workers are being accounted for, 1Kings has 550 while 2Chron. has 250 – that is the same 300 difference in both accounts only they are flip-flopped. If this was simply an error in copying or something similar, the numbers would have rectified themselves in this later account OR would have remained with the same account being 300 more than the other. Instead we have a flipping of those numbers. This suggests a solution!

So what is the reason for this difference?   

In 1 Kings 9:23 it mentions 550 chief officers of Solomon, if these are added to the number of stonecutters and such listed in 1Kings 5:16 that would raise the total number of supervisors to 3,850. 

In like manner 2 Chronicles 8:10 mentions 250 chief officers of Solomon, if these are added to the number of stonecutters and such mentioned in 2 Chron. 2:18 of 3,600 we arrive at the same number of 3,850. 

So why were they recorded differently?

The difference does not lie within the numbers themselves; rather, the two authors simply classified the officers according to different standards. 

One might have been dividing the supervisors according to their nationality as in Chronicles which might account for the fact that in Chron. It mentions the workers as being from among the foreigners who lived in the Promised land. The account in Kings however, may have recorded the number by their authority making use of a different Hebrew word radah which means to have dominion over, as it appears to be in Kings. If you remember, when we covered those passages the question arose about the use of foreigners in the work. We noticed at the time that it was only in 2Chron. that there was any mention of the nationality of the stonecutters and such. 

So we see that any hint of contradiction can be cleared away quite easily, and it is once again evident that a simple difference is not necessarily a contradiction.

So with this in mind let’s look at this second apparent contradiction of the weight and measurement of gold.

1Kings has it recorded as 17 tons and 2Chron. as 16 tons.

This too is not terribly difficult to account for and any of at least four possible ways – though which is true cannot at present be known for sure.

  • 16 & 17 are nice little numbers to work with, but the measurement in Hebrew would have appeared different. The Babylonian talent was 66lbs. 9 ounces and was the measurement Israel adopted in their early days as in 1 Kings. Later in Israel’s history they revised their calculation of a talent which may have been the talent conversion used in 2Chron. Which would have yielded a slightly differ ent number. Still later in Israel’s history was the introduction of the “heavy common talent” which was 129lbs. 14oz. I think you can see the difficulty here. This may simply be a matter of translation rather than an actual copying error.

However, let me press this point home a little further. The measurement used in 2Chron. was very likely of a talent being measured at 75lbs. 4oz. It is said in one 1Kings that it was 420 talents and in 2Chron. was 430. When we do the math, that would make the actual weight in 1Kings 15.834 tons rather than 16 and in 2Chron. it would actually be 16.211 tons. When we look at the actual difference it is only .377 of a ton. The point being that we know for sure the biblical translators rounded UP in both cases making the difference APPEAR even larger than it actually was. If typical mathematical rules had been followed they would both have recorded 16 tons. 15.8 would be rounded UP to 16 and 16.2 would have been rounded DOWN to 16. Had they done this, we would not be having this discussion!

To add to this is the possibility that such rounding up or down had already taken place in the original writings. 

  • That having been said – it may have been a simple copying error but that is extremely unlikely. Since the text agrees SO near to perfection on all other points and we have SO many copies of the text, it seems highly unlikely that all would have been mistranslated.
  • Another possibility is that 1Kings records the amount of gold which actually made it into the Kings treasury. Since there was a labor force involved, it is possible that out of the 17tons, 1 ton was dispersed among all the workers as pay for their labor, and 2Chron. did not make that distinction.
  • Finally, you have the issue of generalizations. We know that such is a possibility since we see an attitude of not being overly concerned about exact measurements when Solomon didn’t even bother determining the among of iron Israel had because it was simply too much to bother counting according to his own words. So I doubt very much that they measured the amount down to the smallest ounce as we would. This was most likely to be taken as a rather close approximation.

In any case, neither of these are anything to get your feathers ruffled over.

Solomon’s Wisdom & Wealth

1Kings 10:1-29, “(1) The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s fame connected with the name of the LORD and came to test him with difficult questions.  (2)  She came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels bearing spices, gold in great abundance, and precious stones. She came to Solomon and spoke to him about everything that was on her mind.  (3)  So Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for the king to explain to her.  (4)  When the queen of Sheba observed all of Solomon’s wisdom, the palace he had built,  (5)  the food at his table, his servants’ residence, his attendants’ service and their attire, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he offered at the LORD’s temple, it took her breath away.  (6)  She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your words and about your wisdom is true.  (7)  But I didn’t believe the reports until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, I was not even told half. Your wisdom and prosperity far exceed the report I heard.  (8)  How happy are your men. How happy are these servants of yours, who always stand in your presence hearing your wisdom.  (9)  May the LORD your God be praised! He delighted in you and put you on the throne of Israel, because of the LORD’s eternal love for Israel. He has made you king to carry out justice and righteousness.”  (10)  Then she gave the king four and a half tons of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again did such a quantity of spices arrive as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.  (11)  In addition, Hiram’s fleet that carried gold from Ophir brought from Ophir a large quantity of almug wood and precious stones.  (12)  The king made the almug wood into steps for the LORD’s temple and the king’s palace and into harps and lyres for the singers. Never before had such almug wood come, and the like has not been seen again even to this very day.  (13)  King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba her every desire–whatever she asked–besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she, along with her servants, returned to her own country.”

“(14)  The weight of gold that came to Solomon annually was 25 tons,  (15)  besides what came from merchants, traders’ merchandise, and all the Arabian kings and governors of the land.  (16)  King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold; 15 pounds of gold went into each shield.  (17)  He made 300 small shields of hammered gold; about four pounds of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.  (18)  The king also made a large ivory throne and overlaid it with fine gold.  (19)  The throne had six steps; there was a rounded top at the back of the throne, armrests on either side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests.  (20)  Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps, one at each end. Nothing like it had ever been made in any other kingdom.  (21)  All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were gold, and all the utensils of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. There was no silver, since it was considered as nothing in Solomon’s time,  (22)  for the king had ships of Tarshish at sea with Hiram’s fleet, and once every three years the ships of Tarshish would arrive bearing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.  (23)  King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the world in riches and in wisdom.  (24)  The whole world wanted an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart.  (25)  Every man would bring his annual tribute: items of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, and horses and mules.  (26)  Solomon accumulated 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen and stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.  (27)  The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar as abundant as sycamore in the Judean foothills.  (28)  Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and Kue. The king’s traders bought them from Kue at the going price.  (29)  A chariot was imported from Egypt for 15 pounds of silver, and a horse for about four pounds. In the same way, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Aram through their agents.”

2Chron. 9:1-28, “(1) The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, so she came to test Solomon with difficult questions at Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels bearing spices, gold in abundance, and precious stones. She came to Solomon and spoke with him about everything that was on her mind.  (2)  So Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for Solomon to explain to her.  (3)  When the queen of Sheba observed Solomon’s wisdom, the palace he had built,  (4)  the food at his table, his servants’ residence, his attendants’ service and their attire, his cupbearers and their attire, and the burnt offerings he offered at the LORD’s temple, it took her breath away.  (5)  She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your words and about your wisdom is true.  (6)  But I didn’t believe their reports until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, I was not even told half of your great wisdom! You far exceed the report I heard.  (7)  How happy are your men. How happy are these servants of yours, who always stand in your presence hearing your wisdom.  (8)  May the LORD your God be praised! He delighted in you and put you on his throne as king for the LORD your God. Because Your God loved Israel enough to establish them forever, He has set you over them as king to carry out justice and righteousness.”  (9)  Then she gave the king four and a half tons of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones. There never were such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.  (10)  In addition, Hiram’s servants and Solomon’s servants who brought gold from Ophir also brought algum wood and precious stones.  (11)  The king made the algum wood into walkways for the LORD’s temple and for the king’s palace and into harps and lyres for the singers. Never before had anything like them been seen in the land of Judah.  (12)  King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba her every desire, whatever she asked–far more than she had brought the king. Then she, along with her servants, returned to her own country.”

“(13)  The weight of gold that came to Solomon annually was 25 tons,  (14)  besides what was brought by the merchants and traders. All the Arabian kings and governors of the land also brought gold and silver to Solomon.  (15)  King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold; 15 pounds of hammered gold went into each shield.  (16)  He made 300 small shields of hammered gold; about eight pounds of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.  (17)  The king also made a large ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold.  (18)  The throne had six steps; there was a footstool covered in gold for the throne, armrests on either side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests.  (19)  Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps, one at each end. Nothing like it had ever been made in any other kingdom.  (20)  All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were gold, and all the utensils of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. There was no silver, since it was considered as nothing in Solomon’s time,  (21)  for the king’s ships kept going to Tarshish with Hiram’s servants, and once every three years the ships of Tarshish would arrive bearing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.  (22)  King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the world in riches and wisdom.  (23)  All the kings of the world wanted an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.  (24)  Each of them would bring his own gift–items of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, and horses and mules–as an annual tribute.  (25)  Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. He stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.  (26)  He ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far as the border of Egypt.  (27)  The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar as abundant as sycamore in the Judean foothills.  (28)  They were bringing horses for Solomon from Egypt and from all the countries.”

Solomon’s heart turns from the Lord

1Kings 11:1-43, “(1) King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women  (2)  from the nations that the LORD had told the Israelites about, “Do not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn you away from Me to their gods.” 

Solomon was deeply attached to these women and loved them.  (3)  He had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 concubines, and they turned his heart away from the LORD.  

(4)  When Solomon was old, his wives seduced him to follow other gods. His heart was not completely with the LORD his God, as his father David’s heart had been.  

(5)  Solomon followed Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites.  

(6)  Solomon did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, and unlike his father David, he did not completely follow the LORD.  

(7)  At that time, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable idol of Moab, and for Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites on the hill across from Jerusalem.  

(8)  He did the same for all his foreign wives, who were burning incense and offering sacrifices to their gods.  

(9)  The LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.  

(10)  He had commanded him about this, so that he would not follow other gods, but Solomon did not do what the LORD had commanded.  (11)  Then the LORD said to Solomon, “Since you have done this and did not keep My covenant and My statutes, which I commanded you, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.  (12)  However, I will not do it during your lifetime because of your father David; I will tear it out of your son’s hand.  (13)  Yet, I will not tear the entire kingdom away from him. I will give one tribe to your son because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem that I chose.”  

(14)  So the LORD raised up Hadad the Edomite as an enemy against Solomon. He was of the royal family in Edom.  

(15)  Earlier, when David was in Edom, Joab, the commander of the army, had gone to bury the dead and had struck down every male in Edom.  (16)  For Joab and all Israel had remained there six months, until he had killed every male in Edom.  

(17)  Hadad fled to Egypt, along with some Edomites from his father’s servants. At the time Hadad was a small boy.  (18)  Hadad and his men set out from Midian and went to Paran. They took men with them from Paran and went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house, ordered that he be given food, and gave him land.  

(19)  Pharaoh liked Hadad so much that he gave him a wife, the sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes.  (20)  Tahpenes’ sister gave birth to Hadad’s son Genubath. Tahpenes herself weaned him in Pharaoh’s palace, and Genubath lived there along with Pharaoh’s sons.  

(21)  When Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his fathers and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me leave, so I can go to my own country.”  

(22)  But Pharaoh asked him, “What do you lack here with me for you to want to go back to your own country?” 

“Nothing,” he replied, “but please let me leave.”  

(23)  God raised up Rezon son of Eliada as an enemy against Solomon. 

Rezon had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah  (24)  and gathered men to himself. He became captain of a raiding party when David killed the Zobaites. 

He went to Damascus, lived there, and became king in Damascus.  

(25)  Rezon was Israel’s enemy throughout Solomon’s reign, adding to the trouble Hadad had caused. 

He ruled over Aram, but he loathed Israel.  

(26)  Now Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam son of Nebat, was an Ephraimite from Zeredah. His widowed mother’s name was Zeruah. Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon,  (27)  and this is the reason he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the supporting terraces and repaired the opening in the wall of the city of his father David.  

(28)  Now the man Jeroboam was capable, and Solomon noticed the young man because he was getting things done. So he appointed him over the entire labor force of the house of Joseph.  

(29)  During that time, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met Jeroboam on the road as Jeroboam came out of Jerusalem. 

Now Ahijah had wrapped himself with a new cloak, and the two of them were alone in the open field.  (30)  Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he had on, tore it into 12 pieces,  (31)  and said to Jeroboam, 

“Take 10 pieces for yourself, for this is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand. I will give you 10 tribes,  (32)  but one tribe will remain his because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem, the city I chose out of all the tribes of Israel.  (33)  For they have abandoned Me; they have bowed the knee to Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, to Chemosh, the god of Moab, and to Milcom, . They have not walked in My ways to do right in My eyes and to carry out My statutes and My judgments as his father David did.  (34)  “‘However, I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand but will let him be ruler all the days of his life because of My servant David, whom I chose and who kept My commandments and My statutes.  (35)  I will take 10 tribes of the kingdom from his son’s hand and give them to you.  (36)  I will give one tribe to his son, so that My servant David will always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city I chose for Myself to put My name there.  (37)  I will appoint you, and you will reign as king over all you want, and you will be king over Israel.  (38)  “‘After that, if you obey all I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight in order to keep My statutes and My commandments as My servant David did, I will be with you. I will build you a lasting dynasty just as I built for David, and I will give you Israel.  (39)  I will humble David’s descendants, because of their unfaithfulness, but not forever.'”  

(40)  Therefore, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, where he remained until Solomon’s death.”

Solomon’s Death

“(41)  The rest of the events of Solomon’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and his wisdom, are written about in the Book of Solomon’s Events.  (42)  The length of Solomon’s reign in Jerusalem over all Israel totaled 40 years.  (43)  Solomon rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam became king in his place.”

2Chron. 9:29-31, “(29) The remaining events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are written about in the Events of Nathan the Prophet, the Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and the Visions of Iddo the Seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat.  

(30)  Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel for 40 years.  (31)  Solomon rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam became king in his place.”

The Dangers of excessive wealth

Even though Solomon’s main problem was NOT a love of money, this seemed like a good place to interject some things the scriptures teach in regard to money.

Psalm 52:1-9, “(1) For the choir director. A Davidic Maskil. When Doeg the Edomite went and reported to Saul, telling him, “David went to Ahimelech’s house.” Why brag about evil, you hero! God’s faithful love is constant.  (2)  Like a sharpened razor, your tongue devises destruction, working treachery.  (3)  You love evil instead of good, lying instead of speaking truthfully. Selah  (4)  You love any words that destroy, you treacherous tongue!  (5)  This is why God will bring you down forever. He will take you, ripping you out of your tent; He will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah  (6)  The righteous will look on with awe and will ridicule him:  (7)  “Here is the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, taking refuge in his destructive behavior.”  (8)  But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever.  (9)  I will praise You forever for what You have done. In the presence of Your faithful people, I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good.”

Prov. 11:27-31, “(27) The one who searches for what is good finds favor, but if someone looks for trouble, it will come to him.  (28)  Anyone trusting in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.  (29)  The one who brings ruin on his household will inherit the wind, and a fool will be a slave to someone whose heart is wise.  (30)  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, but violence takes lives.  (31)  If the righteous will be repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and sinful.”

Luke 8:14 “As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit.”

“…you cannot serve God and material wealth…”

James 2:1-10,  “(1) My brothers, hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ without showing favoritism.  (2)  For suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring, dressed in fine clothes, and a poor man dressed in dirty clothes also comes in.  (3)  If you look with favor on the man wearing the fine clothes so that you say, “Sit here in a good place,” and yet you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or, “Sit here on the floor by my footstool,”  (4)  haven’t you discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?  (5)  Listen, my dear brothers: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him?  (6)  Yet you dishonored that poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?  (7)  Don’t they blaspheme the noble name that you bear?  (8)  If you really carry out the royal law prescribed in Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.  (9)  But if you show favoritism, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.  (10)  For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.”

James 5:1-8,  “(1) Come now, you rich people! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you.  (2)  Your wealth is ruined: your clothes are moth-eaten;  (3)  your silver and gold are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You stored up treasure in the last days!  (4)  Look! The pay that you withheld from the workers who reaped your fields cries out, and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.  (5)  You have lived luxuriously on the land and have indulged yourselves. You have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.  (6)  You have condemned–you have murdered–the righteous man; he does not resist you.  (7)  Therefore, brothers, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.  (8)  You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.”

Psa. 62:8-12,  “(8) Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge. Selah  (9)  Men are only a vapor; exalted men, an illusion. On a balance scale, they go up; together they weigh less than a vapor.  (10)  Place no trust in oppression, or false hope in robbery. If wealth increases, pay no attention to it.  (11)  God has spoken once; I have heard this twice: strength belongs to God,  (12)  and faithful love belongs to You, LORD. For You repay each according to his works.”

Blessings!

 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!