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26 May 2011

Solomon Was a Bullfrog

I don't know what "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" means, but since it was used in a now-classic song, I think I can hijack the phrase, act like I know what it means, and use it here. But I digress.

Solomon wrote this in Proverbs 2:3-5 (NASB): "For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God."

Good stuff. If you want discernment, then you need to have to have understading, as well. Often I'll ask God to give me knowledge so that I can have the wisdom to know what to do with it.

I thought about the fact that this was written by a guy who wound up having hundreds of concubines (a Biblical word for permanent ladies of the evening) later in life, and he eventually drifted away from the Lord. It's noteworthy that this wasn't just written by Solomon; it was given to him by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16). It was "God-breathed," as one translation puts it.

Now, if I were in God's place, I'd probably have avoided speaking through a guy that I knew would wind up like Solomon did. And I probably would have given David a miss, too, given the fact that he had an affair that led to murder. Moses killed a man out of rage before God used him in a historically huge way. Paul had a violent history, Peter swore that he never knew Christ, and Matthew the Apostle probably constantly swindled people out of money before he met Christ.

Apply, lather, rinse, and repeat.

Wouldn't it have made sense -- I mean, if God really wanted His Word to be taken seriously -- for Him to have chosen only men and women of spotless, impeccable reputation to deliver it? I mean, surely there were some Billy Graham-types in those days, like Enoch, who never wrote Scripture, or maybe Noah. (But Noah wound up getting really drunk at one point, and the story gets worse from there...)

But the fact is that God chose people who were flawed, many times even more flawed than those around them, to deliver His eternal Words. This gives me great hope!

When these men had a right relationship with God, He spoke to them and through them. Of course I'm not suggesting that God is going to use me to write some new Scripture, but I can see that regardless of what I've done in the past (or even what I might do in the future), I have the opportunity to hear God speak. I have the opportunity for Him to use me to be His hands and feet. I have the opportunity to speak His words to someone who needs to hear them.

Don't get caught up in wishing that you had been a better person, or maybe that you'd been "sold out to God" earlier in life. Be grateful that God is willing to start fresh with you -- to speak to you and even to use your life -- right where you are at the moment you surrender to Him.


Bill Fowler said...

"Be grateful that God is willing to start fresh with you..."

Maybe the greatest pain point in the God-Us relationship is how wonderfully adept God is at forgiving and then encouraging the sinner into His service and how horrible we are at it.

I know a woman who was forced to relinquish her position as group leader for a couples Bible study because she'd been divorced. Who better to speak to the value and fragility of marriage more than a devoted Christian woman one who had seen one fracture?

Do we not bring in actual prisoners into our middle schools once a year to scare the crap out of them? Why? Because the words are sincere and meaningful from those who have walked the crooked path.

God choose Abraham, Moses, Noah, David, etc... for the same reason. Who best to witness to the sinner than the sinner?

Great stuff, Dean. Thanks.

Dean Lusk said...

"Who best to witness to the sinner than the sinner?"

Good word -- I agree. I think this is one of the reasons it's dangerous for us to try to put ourselves on a spiritual pedestal. Even if people don't wind up thinking we're terribly pretentious, they'll never bother to try to talk to us.

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