The Mines of King Solomon (part 18)

"The only thing I wanted to do was sin. I thought bad words and I wanted to say them ... "Bill Hybels was ready and upset. The famous Christian leader had two delayed flights on his trip from Chicago to Los Angeles and sat on the departure ramp of the airport for six hours on a full-filled plane and then his connecting flight was canceled. He finally got on the plane and collapsed into his seat. His carry-on was on his lap because there was no room in the cabin and under the seats. Just as the plane began to move slowly, he noticed a woman hurrying to the door and falling down the corridor. She was carrying several bags that flew everywhere, but that was her least problem. What aggravated her situation was the fact that one eye was "literally swollen" and it seemed that she could not read the seat numbers with the other eye. The flight attendants were not in sight. While he was still foaming with rage and pitying himself, Hybel's god whispered in his ear, "Bill, I know, this was not one of the good days for you. You missed flights and waited, stood in lines and you hated it. But now you have the chance to make the day better by getting up and showing kindness to this desperate woman. I'm not going to force you to do it, but I think you'll be happy to be surprised if you do. "

Part of me wanted to say, "Certainly not! I just do not feel like it. "But another voice said," Maybe my feelings have nothing to do with it. Maybe I should just do it. "So he got up, walked down the corridor and asked the lady if he could help her find her place. When he found out that she spoke only broken English, he took her bags, which had fallen to the floor, led her to her seat, stowed her luggage, took her jacket off and made sure that she was wearing a seatbelt. Then he went back to his seat.

"May I be a little mystical for a moment?" He writes. "When I sat back in my seat, a wave of warmth and bliss came over me. The frustration and tension that kept me busy all day began to disappear. I felt my dusty soul washed through by a warm summer rain. For the first time in 18 hours, I felt good. "Proverbs 11,25 (EBF) is true:" He who likes to be well, gets rich, and who (other) soaks, is also soaked himself. "

King Solomon borrowed these words from a picture of agriculture and literally means that the one who waters should also be watered himself. He thought this was perhaps a typical practice of farmers when he wrote these words. During the rainy season, when the rivers cross, some peasants, whose fields are near a river bank, drain the water into large reservoirs. Then, during the drought, the selfless farmer helps his neighbors, who have no water reservoir. He then carefully opens the locks and leads the life-giving water to the fields of the neighbors. When another period of drought comes, the selfless farmer has little or no water for himself. The neighboring peasants, who in the meantime have built a reservoir, would repay his friendliness by supplying his fields with water.

It's not about giving something to get something

It's not about donating 100 Euro for God to return the same amount or higher. This proverb does not explain what the generous receive (not necessarily financially or materially), but they experience something much deeper than physical happiness. Salomon says, "He who pleases, is abundantly filled." The Hebrew word for "satiety / gain / well-being" does not mean an increase in money or goods, but means prosperity in the mind, in the knowledge and in the feelings.

In 1. Kings we read the story of the prophet Elijah and a widow. Elijah hides from the evil king Ahab and God instructs him to go to the city of Zarpat. "I offered a widow there to look after you," God tells him. When Elia arrives in the city, he discovers a widow who collects firewood and asks her for water and bread. She answers: "As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in the pot, and a little oil in the pitcher. And behold, I have picked up a log of wood or two and go home and will prepare for me and my son, that we may eat - and die. "(1., KING 17,912).

Maybe life has become too difficult for the widow and she has given up. It was physically impossible for her to feed two people, let alone three, with what little she had.

But the text continues:
"Elijah said to her: Do not be afraid! Go and do it as you said. But first bring me something baked and bring it out to me; But you and your son should also bake something afterwards. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel: The flour in the pot shall not be consumed, and the jar of oil shall be nothing short of the day on which the LORD will rain on the earth. She went and did as Elijah had said. And he and she and her son ate day after day. The flour in the pot was not consumed, and the jar of oil lacked the word of the LORD that he had spoken through Elijah. "(1., 17,13-16) Morning and evening, day in and day out, the widow found flour in her pot and oil in her jug. Proverbs 11,17 says "Kindness nourishes your soul." (New Life, The Bible). Not only her "soul" was nourished, but her whole life. She gave of her little and her little was multiplied.

If we have not yet understood the lesson, a few verses later:
"One is profuse and has more and more; another barren, where he should not, and yet poorer "(Spr 11,24). Our Lord Jesus knew this when he said, "Give, it will be given to you. A full, depressed, shaken and overflowing measure will be put into your lap; because just with the measure, with which you measure, you will be measured again. "(Lk 6,38) Read also times at 2. Kor 9,6-15!

Have limits

It's not about always doing good deeds. We have to combine our generosity with our judgment. We can not respond to every need. Proverbs 3,27 here instructs us: "Do not refuse to do good to the needy if your hand can do it". This implies that some people do not deserve our help. Maybe because they are lazy and unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. They use help and generosity. Set boundaries and refuse help.

With what talents and gifts did God bless you? Do you have a little more money than others? What spiritual gifts do you have? Hospitality? Encouragement? Why do not we refresh someone with our wealth? Do not be a reservoir that stays filled to the brim. We are blessed to be a blessing (1, Petr 3,9). Ask God to show you how to faithfully pass on his goodness and refresh others. Is there anyone that you can show generosity, kindness, and compassion this week? Perhaps through prayer, action, words of encouragement, or by leading someone closer to Jesus. Maybe by email, text message, call, letter or visit.

Be like the laborers on the riverbed and let the blessing flow of the grace of God and His goodness soak in you and pass it on. Generous giving blesses other people and makes us part of God's kingdom here on earth. When you unite with God in a flow of love, joy and peace will flow in your life. Those who refresh others will be refreshed themselves. In other words, God has spooned it in, I spoon it out, God has the biggest spoon.

by Gordon Green

pdfThe Mines of King Solomon (part 18)