It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On the Other Hand, a reflection on 1 Kings 3:5-12

God came to Solomon through a dream and asked him what he wanted. Solomon said, "You've made me king over these people. Make me worthy to be their king. Give me an understanding mind, the ability to discern between good and evil." God was pleased with the request and granted it.

In the Gospel passage, Jesus says that just as fishermen sort out the fish from their nets, at the end of the age, the angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous.

I'm supposing this ability to sort is the basis for the choice of this passage as the parallel to the Gospel this week.

But, Solomon was not always wise. He married a lot--and to some inappropriate women. He spent so much money that he had to levy heavy taxes and proscribe labor. His bad decisions underlay the breakup of his kingdom after his death. How wise was Solomon?

I'm still trying to connect the Kings passage and the one from Matthew. Try this: the kingdom is of great value, but it has some bad fish. Eventually, God will sort it out.

I'll keep trying.

My rather jaded outlook on Solomon today was affected by my reading James Kugel's How to Read the Bible


robert d smith said...

I, too, was struggling with a way to connect the two. I suppose it is due to hindsight, but I have issue with Solomon here -- I cannot see him asking for wisdom to rule as being altruistic. I keep seeing him asking for a way to consolidate his power, and not using it for the benefit of his people.

I do like your point though, the kingdom is great, but ...

Sue Whitt said...

Have you read "Come Out, My People!" by Wes Howard-Brook? He doesn't have a very high opinion of Solomon either.