Each society has proverbs, pithy statements that may or may not contain some general truth. Some are more useful than others. “All that glitters is not gold” and “two wrongs don’t make a right” seem particularly useful in today’s society. One of the more popular proverbs is “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” But is that true?
God gave man life, breathing into him at creation. All belong to him, and he will judge all. No one can assume that right. God knows what each one deserves.
The story took place during the covenant of Moses, in the Old Testament (read 2 Kings 5). But it contains some permanent principles. These principles can help us understand how to relate to God today, even under the covenant of Jesus Christ.
On a trip to the mountains of Nepal we followed a local bus for several miles. On the back of the bus was printed their slogan, “We make travel fun.” Really? What is so much fun about riding on extremely narrow, rough, crooked roads in high mountains where in order to pass traffic one must literally hang out over steep drops? It is not unusual to see below the burnt out ruins of vehicles that did not safely negotiate those conditions.
The people of Israel desired to have both God and Baal. Elijah brought them to a point of decision. They must choose. The Lord would not allow them not to choose.
Our earth resides in the Goldilocks Zone, the region that is just right for life. This habitable zone is neither too far from, nor too close to, the sun. The earth is neither too big nor too small. The atmosphere contains just the right mixture of ingredients. The ratio of water to land is just right. It is undeniable that out of numberless possibilities, our planet has the perfect conditions for life.
God’s glory would remain in his house through many difficult days. But a time came when no repentance was forthcoming, and a cleansing needed to occur. The last resort, a carrying away of the people into captivity, had already begun. Soon the house would be toppled by foreign invaders.
This acrostic wisdom psalm acknowledges the greatness of God’s good deeds, as well as his precepts, v. 7, which should be “faithfully and properly carried out” v. 8b NET. Redemption is in his covenant. All this makes his name inspire deepest respect by those who study and treasure his works, v. 2b.
What motivated the merchant was his love for the pearl. What motivates the child of God is a love for God to serve him in his church. For the faithful Christian, the church is the only place that is important in this life. All of the Christian’s thoughts and desires are for one thing and one thing only: serving God, dedicating everything to God, loving God is the pearl of great price.
The book of Esther and the lives of the people mentioned therein illustrate some powerful biblical principles.