O Lord, Gideon was so courageous to lead Your people into battle, and so wise to refuse lordship over them when asked. He was discerning and humble enough to say that You were the One to rule over them, not him or his son.
But he took the spoil from that victory, and used the gold to make a chest piece. It became a snare to him and his family and the Israelites who worshipped it.
Forgive me Lord when I act like that.
When I have a victory in my life, I desire to celebrate it! Show me how to celebrate humbly: how to give the rightful honor to You and not myself. Get my attention if I stray into worshipping what You have given me, instead of You, the giver.
Help me be humble like Gideon was. And like Gideon, help me point people to You instead of accepting acclaim for myself.
By the same thinking, do not let me worship or revere another person because of their success. Do not let me idolize them or give them the attention that is due You.
It is so easy to want to rub shoulders with the famous and powerful, hoping that some of their notoriety or success will transfer to me through the connection.
Remind me Lord, that my hope is in You. It is You I trust with the plan for my life. It is You who can make things happen and bring about goodness and blessing.
I trust Your timing and Your provision. And I give You the glory and thanks for all that comes my way. Amen.
Father, there are so many things Solomon saw and experienced and wrote about: wise men and fools, hard work and laziness, feasting and mourning, rich and poor, old age and youth, life and death. He ends with this: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of this matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
My whole purpose is to honor and revere You! To acknowledge who You are, and respect You for it. To do what You show me to do. And not do what You caution or command me not to do. It is not to amass wealth. It is not to leave a legacy of institutions or businesses. It is not to make scientific discoveries. It is not even to compose a masterpiece, write an inspiring book or create a memorable work of art.
The Psalmist adds his wisdom to the collection as he reminds me ‘you can’t take it with you’. Riches cannot add time to the length of my days. And none of these things can come with me past my life here on earth.
But You, Father, will be with me for eternity. It is You who will “redeem my life from the grave, and take me to be with Yourself”. You “will bring every deed into judgment…”. And Solomon says he has written down “sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to Him who sent you.” Meaning that if I abide by his counsel, knowledge, teachings and words, I will be able to give a godly account of my life here on earth.
So Father, teach me to apply this wisdom. Show me how to make decisions about my life that keep me focused on the right things and set godly priorities. Do not let me chase after meaningless things: riches to boast in, prideful reputation, positions to exalt myself. Help me remember that You are my future. And whatever blessings You bring into my life, are to be used to honor You. Let me have a true understanding of the wisdom that comes from You. Amen
Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 22:20-21
Because You can be trusted, O Lord, my heart is strong and steady. I am secure in my faith. I will stand steadfast and give You the praise You deserve!
I will shout and sing!
I will make music that honors You with all that is in me! I will sing along with praise music. Add my voice to those of others in praise and worship. And will compose new songs that tell of Your faithfulness to me!
I will stay up late to praise You Father! I will even get up early when the sun is coming up to honor You! Break out the guitars, pianos, cymbals, harps, harmonicas, drums, whatever instruments can make music that acknowledges Your love and faithfulness!
Your love is boundless! As high as I can see with my eyes or even perceive with satellites to the farthest reaches of our galaxy – Your love goes farther still! Beyond what is calculable or even imaginable! I stretch out my arms to encompass all I can measure from end to end till it wraps around the earth and begins again – that’s the way Your unending faithfulness is. You are over and above and beyond all that I can see or comprehend! I place Your name above all others. Your glory is limitless!
With just the power and strength in Your right arm, You can save me from any foe, rescue me from any enemy, deliver me from any calamity. Deliver me Lord, from the lies and deceit of the evil one. Do not let me be pulled into false philosophies, lying schemes, or political intrigues only to see the truth when it is too late and I have been corrupted. I am Yours, Lord. Defend me and bring me to Your fortified place. Free me from the weaknesses of my flesh: selfishness, laziness, lust, jealousy, pride, arrogance, and greed. Help me against all these enemies. No one can help me like You. There is none like You!
With You, I am victorious! With You, nothing is impossible! Thank You for coming to my aid. Thank You for loving me faithfully. And for being lovingly faithful. Amen
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”
Father, I see much wisdom in these words. I would also ask these two things of You. Do not let me entangle myself in telling lies. But let me be true to You, speaking the truth in love. And not just by the words I say, but in the way I allow others to perceive me. Do not let me put on airs or mislead anyone into thinking I am something I am not. And the reverse: do not let me be misled by the lies and falsehoods of others. Let me see truth. Let me understand by Your light shining, dispelling the darkness of lies and deception.
And let me live with what I need. Not in poverty and not in riches. Each of these might cause me to overlook You and focus on my circumstances. For in both directions, I have seen people take their eyes off of You. If the need is so great, it can be a temptation to sin by stealing and cursing You. And if the excess is too great, it can lead to pride, greed, and a self-sufficiency that disregards the need for You.
These are wise words Father, and they are my prayer. Amen