Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 9:23
And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
The people of Ethiopia believe that their Queen, the Queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, became pregnant as a result of a relationship between her and King Solomon. Menelik, their son, became their first great King, and the people converted to the religion of Judaism as a result. A New Testament reading for today may be the story of the Ethiopian who was the minister of finance for another “Queen of Sheba” whose name was Candace (Acts 8:26-40). The Ethiopian treasurer, who was Jewish, had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and on his way back home God miraculously brought the Deacon Philip to witness to him of Jesus. He was reading from the Prophet Isaiah as he travelled, probably Isaiah 53, and as Philip explained God’s plan of salvation, the official believed in Jesus and was baptized. As a result, the Church of Ethiopia was born. A majority of the Jewish people in that country became Christian. It is so to this day.
What a sad turn of events in the second chapter of today’s reading. There are some things one can only learn by living long enough. Solomon’s advisors were probably in their sixties and seventies. By ignoring their advice, King Rehoboam lost the ten northern tribes, and the Kingdom was divided. War between the north and the south was narrowly avoided. How sad! Our choices have consequences! Let us choose to pray fervently as David and Solomon did. There is no record of Rehoboam praying for wisdom, as did his father. Instead of asking God for guidance, King Rehoboam asked his boyhood friends for counsel and followed their advice. The history of Israel is proof of the consequences of poor choices.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I pray for the wisdom to listen carefully to the guidance of those who pray much and who know how to hear Your answers to their prayers for wisdom. I need You every day to provide me with an understanding of Your will in all things. In Jesus’ Name I ask for Your wisdom, Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Someone has said that every movement for good or evil in the history of the world can be traced to the decision of one person. Rehoboam’s decision to listen to friends of his age rather than the elders of Israel resulted in the beginning of the disintegration of a great nation. The decisions of Philip and the Ethiopian treasurer resulted in good things.
When Crossroads ministry took on the challenge of helping the Ethiopian people during the famine of the 1980s, I had many experiences that impacted my life. One of these was standing on a street in Addis, the capital city, and hearing a young priest calling the people back to God. He said that the government had turned away from the God of their fathers to communism and atheism, and the famine was God’s judgment as a result. Whether this was true or not, God knows. However, I was tremendously impressed by the fearlessness of that young man. I do believe that God heard the prayers of the Ethiopian people, and a part of His provision was that the partners and viewers of 100 Huntley Street responded so very generously. Canada’s ambassador to Ethiopia at the time said in a speech to the Empire Club at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, “100 Huntley Street and their supporters saved the lives of at least 50,000 people from death by starvation.”
Yours for seeking diligently for God’s will in our decisions,
In Jerusalem, attached to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Here, an Ethiopian nun does bead work to support her church.