Scripture: 1 Kings 4:22 Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty cors of choice flour, and sixty cors of meal, 23 ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, one hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl. 24 For he had dominion over all the region west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kings west of the Euphrates; and he had peace on all sides. 25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all of them under their vines and fig trees. 26 Solomon also had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 Those officials supplied provisions for King Solomon and for all who came to King Solomon’s table, each one in his month; they let nothing be lacking. 28 They also brought to the required place barley and straw for the horses and swift steeds, each according to his charge.
Observation: The image presented here is one of immense material abundance, which was understood as a sign of God’s favor. In the Old Testament there is a clear connection between one’s faithfulness to God and one’s material situation. The “righteous” lived in abundance as reward for their faithfulness. Those in poverty were believed to be sinners. There are Christians who continue to affirm this connection even today.
Application: What a contrast between Solomon an earthly king and Jesus the king of kings. Jesus was many things, but wealthy was not one of them. Nor were his disciples. Nor were the apostles who ministered after Jesus ascended to heaven. As believers, our reward is not necessarily received in this mortal life. In fact, the bible tells us that following Jesus will often be difficult. We may even be persecuted for our beliefs. If you hear someone teaching that God has a definite plan to make you wealthy, you’re not hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, spare us from the proclamation of the false gospel of prosperity – which appeals to people living in a consumer culture like ours. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.