Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
When God appeared to Solomon shortly after he ascended the throne of His father David he said, “Ask me anything you want.” Solomon could have asked for many things such as the early death of his enemies, long life or riches. Instead, recognizing his own limitations to meet the responsibilities associated with the high office he had received as successor of David, king of Israel, he asked only discernment to govern God’s people and to be able to distinguish between good and evil. This request was pleasing to God and it was granted, but God granted the other things that Solomon could have asked but did not. So he gave him a wise and discerning heart and also gave him riches and splendor like no other man had ever had. The word of God tells us that “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.”
Solomon’s request was made with lots of wisdom and understanding and God provided with abundance in everything that Solomon already had. The same happens today with the children of God. The Lord Jesus left us to seek first the kingdom of God and all other things (food, drink and clothing, etc.) would be added. Let’s not ask, God therefore the things that he already has prepared for his children. Let us pray for wisdom to seek and extend the kingdom of God and let us not worry about tomorrow. When God sees that our heart is willing to obey him and follow his direction, he will give us everything necessary to carry out the task entrusted to us. God will give us something far more valuable than gold and precious stones. To God alone be the glory!
 Kings 4:29-30
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but people are tested by their praise.
Recently we discussed a proverb similar to the one we are discussing today which says that man’s heart is proven by God. Today’s proverb takes a look at one aspect of this test which is humility. We could define humility as the ability to receive praise without being influenced by it. Our sinful nature is full of pride and therefore, when we are subjected to praise; our vanity takes control of our lives making us walk the wrong paths which takes us away from God’s purpose for us. The enemy knows this ─it was because of his unbridled pride that he lost his privileged position as guardian cherub─ and he uses praise, or rather, hypocritical flattery to entice our hearts. Even when Satan tempted the Lord Jesus in the desert he used this strategy, using flattery as a weapon based on the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. If the enemy is so bold as to use this weapon against him who truly deserves all the praise, how much more he will use it against us whom we have nothing to be praised for, since all we are, all we have or all we do we owe it to God our Creator and Lord.
Let us be careful, then, when someone comes to us with praise and adulation that our heart does not fail the test and that we do not stumble and fall. Praise is not always offered with sincerity and instead it can become a dangerous trap aimed at pleasing our natural need for recognition. Thank God that gives us the ability to discern the purpose of the praise we receive. To God alone be the glory!
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart.
Gold and silver have been highly prized metals since the dawn of history. Their beauty and malleability have made them the favorite metals all over the world and one can hardly find a culture where these two metals are not appreciated. From a chemical standpoint, these two metals are pure, i.e. they are not combined with other chemical substances and they do not react easily with other elements to form compounds. For this reason, they support very well the attack of acids or strong alkalis and that is why they are known as noble metals. Also for this reason they can be found in nature in pure form or as elements ─as for example the rich silver mines in Zacatecas─ unlike other metals such as iron, copper or aluminum which must be extracted from an ore. However, in their natural form some impurities may be present that can only be removed by melting the metal. When the metal is subjected to high temperatures the unwanted material can be separated in the form of slag which floats on the molten metal and can be easily removed.
This long explanation is necessary because the heart of man is very similar to these two noble metals. Almost everything that can be said of gold and silver also applies to the human heart. God subjected the hearts of men to high pressures and temperatures by trials in order to eliminate the slag that makes them unclean. That is why Moses urged the people of Israel after they left Egypt with these words: “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” Also, the psalmist King David said: “Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” Let us understand, then, that when we are confronted with trials and we feel the fury of the fire on our lives, our heart is being examined and purified so it becomes closer to the heart of God. To God alone be the glory!
Long may he live!
May gold from Sheba be given him.
May people ever pray for him
and bless him all day long.
Ever since the government of the nations has been the responsibility of man, things have been managed by means of violence or threats of violence. The only thing maintaining the peace, in many cases, is the latent possibility of conflict that makes people ─brothers or not─ refrain from going to war in order to avoid the high financial and human costs involved. The resulting peace is always unstable and the relationships between people or, rather, between their governments will always be full of suspicion, fear and distrust. How different will things be when our Lord Jesus Christ returns to claim his throne as King of kings and Lord of lords! That day, all nations of the earth shall humble under his majesty and authority. Nothing will be accomplished through violence because everybody will live in harmony under the supreme command of the just and loving Creator. Praise and worship will be the order of the day and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Let us look forward to that glorious day when our beloved Savior will return for his church and later descend from heaven, accompanied by his righteous army; to rule with justice and fairness to all nations. Let’s keep this hope alive so we can await with patience the return of the great King. He reigns! To God alone be the glory!
Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Here we have a biblical principle that we will never cease to repeat. Riches are not the foundation of happiness, but wisdom certainly is. This is something that few people know, in fact, almost no one knows it. If people knew this principle their goal in life would not be to become millionaires. If you ask most people what they wish they had, the most common response you will get is that they would like to have tons of money so they do not have to work at all. Because of this mindset, most people wander around and never get financially ahead mostly because their goal is unrealistic. Once again, wisdom is the foundation for happiness. I’m talking about true wisdom, that which comes from above, that which descends from heaven and brings us closer to God, teaching us obedience and respect. Worldly wisdom is mere knowledge, apparent common sense and empty rationality; so fickle and insecure that it has led modern society into postmodernism and its ambiguities.
The world has tried to reach wisdom through philosophy and some philosophers are regarded by the world as great sages. However, their views eventually go out of fashion and the authority of their teachings is soon replaced in the popular taste by new philosophical positions as uncertain as their predecessors. Philosophy can only reveal a very shallow understanding of wisdom; therefore, it is a useless path. True wisdom can only come from God and yet, very few philosophers believe in him and fewer still are looking for him.
As children of God we are indeed privileged because we have access to true wisdom from the Father and also because we have his word, which is very effective in bringing us to true knowledge and perfect wisdom. To God alone be the glory!