June 16

1 Kings 10:8-9 (NIV) 8How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness."

The Queen of Sheba had heard of the wisdom of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD. We often overlook her interest in Solomon's relationship to the name of the LORD. The LORD's name is the sum of all His attributes. The LORD is all-wise, but He is also faithful, merciful, loving, just, true, holy, etc. She came to see it all in Solomon. All men are a poor reflection, but Solomon was one of the best in the world at that time.

After spending time asking questions, hearing his answers and seeing the wealth and splendor of his royal court, she burst into the praise of verse 9. Once again, we have an expression of just why it is the LORD bestows His favor. Why did God place Solomon over Israel? It was because of His eternal love for them.

Has any one ever come to visit with you because of your relation to the name of the LORD? They may have without you being aware of the real reason for their visit. If we are truly walking with the LORD, in His Spirit, the seekers will be overwhelmed too. It is not you they are overwhelmed about, but the LORD whose life is expressed through yours.

Why has God placed you where you are and doing what you do? It is because He loves the people around you and desires for you to be an example of Him in that environment.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Help me express Your wonderful character in my daily life that others might come to know You.

June 16

John 8:3-4, 7 (NIV) 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.

7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

Verses 1-11 of John 9 are not found in some of the earliest manuscripts, but it is included in one and a space was left for it in two others. Augustine suggests that it was left out of some because "they were of slight faith" and "to avoid a scandal". If we look at the text carefully, we find it was the Pharisees who were scandalous. They seem to be trying to trap Jesus in His loving attitude toward sinners. Jealous of the crowds Jesus drew, they were seeking for some way to show that He did not adhere to the Law that God had given through Moses. In doing so they broke the Law. The Law demanded both the man and the woman be dealt with. Where was the man? If they caught her in the act, they must have caught the man also. Was he in on their scheme?

When they questioned Jesus, He bent over and began to write on the ground. The Greek word used for "write" is better translated "to write against". Perhaps He was writing down the sins they had committed and were in need of mercy for. When He was pushed to act, He suggested that the one who was without sin to cast the first stone. If you are going to start judging others, make sure you are right with God and not in need of mercy yourself. Stones dropped to the ground as they left, one by one, from the oldest to the youngest.

It was not that Jesus had compromised the Law, in fact, He made it even stricter by saying that even looking on a woman with lust was an act of adultery. Then He told the woman He did not accuse her either. He was the only one there that could have thrown a stone at her or at us. Instead He offered her hope. "Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin." When forgiveness is offered, there is also the expectation of a change in lifestyle. This is not a story of compromise but of the grace and mercy we all are in need of, with the expectation of a transformed life.

Consider: We are all sinners saved by grace. That should affect the way we treat others.