The Court

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“It is pure Joy to read, think, listen, muse and become a part of the audience in God’s Court House, by studying the wonderful biblical stories and accounts of History that paints pictures of how God Thinks, right before your eyes; even as most are blind to His Artistry, Majesty, Message, and Wit!”  ~  Jon Barnes

House

In my house, there is honesty, integrity, loyalty, faith, good work, and logic with God’s word, ways, lessons, and studies.  Following the path and stories of old will guide you into the future with God into Heaven, as a true worshiper of Spirit and Truth in God’s love.  His Holy Courthouse will portray justice and review real evidence that exposes and opposed the devil and his evil ways.  You will also be exposed when you are doing wrong.

Oppose

Do not oppose the exposure of your wicked behavior before God. Repent and reapply your faith in action with love, fear, respect, and improvement.  Your silly arguments are worthless in the court of law with God, who already knows all things.  Use the Spirit of God, your connection to Him, and His Holy Word to encourage your faith, fate, and future in Christ. Oppose your pride.

Defend

You have to know knowledge or personal defense that would bring justice to the Court of The Almighty because you cannot defend your sin, thoughts, ideas, or behavior.  We are all guilty and the connection to the Blood of Christ, with our true repented state and status, allows us access, acceptance, and actual hope in Heaven.  Our faith, work, and faithfulness is an honest process that will test and strengthen our spiritual connection and defense in the Day of Judgement.
Today’s Question
What foolish mess will you bring to the Court of Christ in your defense, since your whole life has been full of wicked deception, evil, and contempt?

Enjoy The Reading

Job 20 

Zophar’s Second Response to Job

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
“I must reply
    because I am greatly disturbed.
I’ve had to endure your insults,
    but now my spirit prompts me to reply.
“Don’t you realize that from the beginning of time,
    ever since people were first placed on the earth,
the triumph of the wicked has been short lived
    and the joy of the godless has been only temporary?
Though the pride of the godless reaches to the heavens
    and their heads touch the clouds,
yet they will vanish forever,
    thrown away like their own dung.
Those who knew them will ask,
    ‘Where are they?’
They will fade like a dream and not be found.
    They will vanish like a vision in the night.
Those who once saw them will see them no more.
    Their families will never see them again.
10 Their children will beg from the poor,
    for they must give back their stolen riches.
11 Though they are young,
    their bones will lie in the dust.
12 “They enjoyed the sweet taste of wickedness,
    letting it melt under their tongue.
13 They savored it,
    holding it long in their mouths.
14 But suddenly the food in their bellies turns sour,
    a poisonous venom in their stomach.
15 They will vomit the wealth they swallowed.
    God won’t let them keep it down.
16 They will suck the poison of cobras.
    The viper will kill them.
17 They will never again enjoy streams of olive oil
    or rivers of milk and honey.
18 They will give back everything they worked for.
    Their wealth will bring them no joy.
19 For they oppressed the poor and left them destitute.
    They foreclosed on their homes.
20 They were always greedy and never satisfied.
    Nothing remains of all the things they dreamed about.
21 Nothing is left after they finish gorging themselves.
    Therefore, their prosperity will not endure.
22 “In the midst of plenty, they will run into trouble
    and be overcome by misery.
23 May God give them a bellyful of trouble.
    May God rain down his anger upon them.
24 When they try to escape an iron weapon,
    a bronze-tipped arrow will pierce them.
25 The arrow is pulled from their back,
    and the arrowhead glistens with blood.[a]
The terrors of death are upon them.
26     Their treasures will be thrown into deepest darkness.
A wildfire will devour their goods,
    consuming all they have left.
27 The heavens will reveal their guilt,
    and the earth will testify against them.
28 A flood will sweep away their house.
    God’s anger will descend on them in torrents.
29 This is the reward that God gives the wicked.
    It is the inheritance decreed by God.”
Love,
Jonathan

Context

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“People say things that are true but out of context to prove or bully a fake point that is not real and the untruth of their assertions are riddled with the contempt of lying lips, false prophets, fake motives, and their false profits.” ~  Jon Barnes

Statements

Truthful statements in the mouth of a liar hold no value since their motives are used for ill-gotten gain, ignorance, and corruption. But God uses the stupidity of evil and their story to show the full scope of His Glory.  We can clearly see The Good based on evil facts and stories of old and our understanding is turned into Godly wisdom from the scriptures of History.

Scriptures

The devil knows that he and all the evil people are going to hell and he continues to play with the minds of fake Christians, who are evil pretending to be good.  The wicked are on the same team.  They memorize scriptures but attach fake meanings to them in their hearts, minds, and actions. As we all grow together, God will separate the few true believes from the many fake hypocritical ones.

Understanding

God gives us understanding by allowing us to see, hear, read, and experience the trial and closing arguments of both sides in the open court of the Bible.  As Supreme Judge, God knows the Truth and Fate of all parties, from the beginning of time and forever.  It is in this context we all play our parts, make our beds, and lying in them.
Today’s Question
Are you lying in bed, lying to God, in the Supreme Court of His Universe and how do you plan to escape from The Wrath of God?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Job 19 

Job’s Sixth Speech: A Response to Bildad

19 Then Job spoke again:
“How long will you torture me?
    How long will you try to crush me with your words?
You have already insulted me ten times.
    You should be ashamed of treating me so badly.
Even if I have sinned,
    that is my concern, not yours.
You think you’re better than I am,
    using my humiliation as evidence of my sin.
But it is God who has wronged me,
    capturing me in his net.[a]
“I cry out, ‘Help!’ but no one answers me.
    I protest, but there is no justice.
God has blocked my way so I cannot move.
    He has plunged my path into darkness.
He has stripped me of my honor
    and removed the crown from my head.
10 He has demolished me on every side, and I am finished.
    He has uprooted my hope like a fallen tree.
11 His fury burns against me;
    he counts me as an enemy.
12 His troops advance.
    They build up roads to attack me.
    They camp all around my tent.
13 “My relatives stay far away,
    and my friends have turned against me.
14 My family is gone,
    and my close friends have forgotten me.
15 My servants and maids consider me a stranger.
    I am like a foreigner to them.
16 When I call my servant, he doesn’t come;
    I have to plead with him!
17 My breath is repulsive to my wife.
    I am rejected by my own family.
18 Even young children despise me.
    When I stand to speak, they turn their backs on me.
19 My close friends detest me.
    Those I loved have turned against me.
20 I have been reduced to skin and bones
    and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth.
21 “Have mercy on me, my friends, have mercy,
    for the hand of God has struck me.
22 Must you also persecute me, like God does?
    Haven’t you chewed me up enough?
23 “Oh, that my words could be recorded.
    Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument,
24 carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead,
    engraved forever in the rock.
25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and he will stand upon the earth at last.
26 And after my body has decayed,
    yet in my body I will see God![b]
27 I will see him for myself.
    Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.
    I am overwhelmed at the thought!
28 “How dare you go on persecuting me,
    saying, ‘It’s his own fault’?
29 You should fear punishment yourselves,
    for your attitude deserves punishment.
    Then you will know that there is indeed a judgment.”
 
Love,
 
Jonathan

Stand Against

no-person-3091208_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Who can stand against God, His Ways, Stories, History, and Future; NONE!!!???!!!  ~ Jon Barnes

Wit

Notice the wit God uses in all of His Stories in the Bible to teach lessons, values, secrets, and commandments to His Children.  Obedient children, know, learn, and grow in grace with God and their faith is the foundation of their being.

Will

The devil has no power against God, because God is the source of All Power and nothing happens without His Knowledge or Approval.  Within this amazing universal balance, Good and evil occur as part of the story, choices, and power given from God.

Wisdom

As a result, wisdom is forged out of experience in life, love, spirit, and scriptures provided by God.  His solutions manual to His Universe is complete, accurate, and most helpful for the Christian who loves God.  The devil is a loser who must play his lost role in the battle, that is not really a battle at all in the sight of God, His Power, and Might.
Today’s Question
Do you really believe that nothing can stand against God?
 
Enjoy The Reading

Job 10 

10 “I loathe my very life;
    therefore I will give free rein to my complaint
    and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
I say to God: Do not declare me guilty,
    but tell me what charges you have against me.
Does it please you to oppress me,
    to spurn the work of your hands,
    while you smile on the plans of the wicked?
Do you have eyes of flesh?
    Do you see as a mortal sees?
Are your days like those of a mortal
    or your years like those of a strong man,
that you must search out my faults
    and probe after my sin—
though you know that I am not guilty
    and that no one can rescue me from your hand?
“Your hands shaped me and made me.
    Will you now turn and destroy me?
Remember that you molded me like clay.
    Will you now turn me to dust again?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
    and curdle me like cheese,
11 clothe me with skin and flesh
    and knit me together with bones and sinews?
12 You gave me life and showed me kindness,
    and in your providence watched over my spirit.
13 “But this is what you concealed in your heart,
    and I know that this was in your mind:
14 If I sinned, you would be watching me
    and would not let my offense go unpunished.
15 If I am guilty—woe to me!
    Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,
for I am full of shame
    and drowned in[a] my affliction.
16 If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion
    and again display your awesome power against me.
17 You bring new witnesses against me
    and increase your anger toward me;
    your forces come against me wave upon wave.
18 “Why then did you bring me out of the womb?
    I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
19 If only I had never come into being,
    or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
20 Are not my few days almost over?
    Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy
21 before I go to the place of no return,
    to the land of gloom and utter darkness,
22 to the land of deepest night,
    of utter darkness and disorder,
    where even the light is like darkness.”
 
Love,
 
Jonathan

Following Directions

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Following directions is a mindset and skilled trait that takes disciple, courage, faith, honesty, and obedience to God first and then to others.” ~  Jon Barnes

Charged

You are charged with following the directions and guideline that God has set.  Do not put your directions, ideas, and wisdom before or ahead of God’s Purpose and Plans.  Disobedience comes in many forms and ways of self-destruction. Do not hide, live, or dwell among the evil, but be clear and honest in your directions and actions you take for God’s Glory and Honor.

Changed

Become changed and transformed in the fresh approach God has for your life.  Yesterday is gone and today is new.  Kindly leave yesterday behind and move forward with a better attitude, approach, and work ethic.  Self-improvement is a good thing, so take charge of your own personal changes.

Channel

The good energy that you channel will go a long way as you deflect negative energy from draining your productivity.  Positively charged thoughts and actions will destroy the negative plans from evil people before they can develop their simple plots.  Your victory in Jesus is in how well you follow God’s directions and plans for your life.
Today’s Question
Can you be quiet enough to listen and follow directions?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Nehemiah 1

These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

Nehemiah’s Concern for Jerusalem

In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign,[a] I was at the fortress of Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said,
“O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth,[b] I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’
10 “The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. 11 O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me.[c] Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”
In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.
Love,
Jonathan

Gorgeous

family-2611748_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The movement and actions of loving people are a gorgeous sight and should be commended, modeled, and lauded all around the world.” ~ Jon Barnes

Great

As I engage, talk, meet and play music for people all around the world, I love looking at the great big smiles on their faces, full of love, hope, and charity.  Evil does not run our country and borders. We do.  Bad governments, banks, and corporate business may seem like they are in control but they are not.  You are the one who determines how much to live, love, help, save, and share.  Or you can lie, cheat, steal, and act a fool with your neighbors and other crooked people.

Thanks

Many thanks to those who are doing a great job being human, full of love, hope, help, and commitment to God and His ways.  Doing good can be expensive and meticulous but it is so worth it, as you look at the true love people give back to you.  I feel so blessed to have met so many loving people in my life and I Thank God for The Spirit of Love. I prefer not to buy into the spirit of hate and confusion because I don’t understand something.

Special

You are considered special when you make other people feel welcomed and special with your work, words, and deed. Being kind is a mandate, not an option when you walk with God.  Like your job and your position in God, even when it hurts.  A good smile will stab 1,000 devils in the heart spiritually because God is the one who fights our battles.  Stay beautiful and encouraged.
Today’s Question
Did the devil steal your joy or will you start smiling at how much God has Blessed You?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Chronicles 7 

The Dedication of the Temple

When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it.When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying,
“He is good!
    His faithful love endures forever!”
Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And so the king and all the people dedicated the Temple of God. The priests took their assigned positions, and so did the Levites who were singing, “His faithful love endures forever!” They accompanied the singing with music from the instruments King David had made for praising the Lord. Across from the Levites, the priests blew the trumpets, while all Israel stood.
Solomon then consecrated the central area of the courtyard in front of the Lord’s Temple. He offered burnt offerings and the fat of peace offerings there, because the bronze altar he had built could not hold all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and sacrificial fat.
For the next seven days Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters.[a] A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. On the eighth day they had a closing ceremony, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the Festival of Shelters for seven days. 10 Then at the end of the celebration,[b] Solomon sent the people home. They were all joyful and glad because the Lord had been so good to David and to Solomon and to his people Israel.

The Lord’s Response to Solomon

11 So Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do in the construction of the Temple and the palace. 12 Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said,
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices.13 At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. 14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. 16 For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
17 “As for you, if you faithfully follow me as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, 18 then I will establish the throne of your dynasty. For I made this covenant with your father, David, when I said, ‘One of your descendants will always rule over Israel.’
19 “But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the decrees and commands I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 20 then I will uproot the people from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make it an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 21 And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’
22 “And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why he has brought all these disasters on them.’”
Love,
Jonathan

The Playground

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“There are many ways to play on the playground, but one rule still applies; You must play with God’s Rules and commandments.” ~ Jon Barnes

Flexibility

God’s rules of love are laced with commandments, grace, mercy, kindness, meekness, long-suffering, humility, goodness, patience, and the likes so that a wide variety of good things can occur by faith. However, this is not a legalistic loop hole for foolishness and disobedience.  Respectfully, God’s Plans will happen whether you like it or not and we all must remain flexible to allow God to Move and Work in and through us. Become flexible enough to get out of your own way so that others may grow and play on the playground too.

Selfishness

Don’t hog up the swing set on the playground.  Have fun, but get out of the way so that other children can play and learn from God too. You can still swing again, but this time, be kind and push, while someone else takes a turn. Sharing is the work of your faith in your daily walk with The Lord.  Don’t gossip to hurt others, but share God’s stories of Love in your life about yourself.  Talking about yourself and how God moves in your life is called ministering. However, you have nothing to share when your power is used to shut the playground down. Don’t become a bully.

Filibuster

The act of shutting down the government or God’s playground is very similar because evil people don’t want to work, pay, help, compromise, or operate in honesty or integrity. Evil thinkers will do what they want to get their way and push their agendas onto the next person. Furthermore, their agenda will flow in the opposite direction of God’s plan. Jesus will use the waisted energy of the foolish to push all the good people on the playground into working smarter and harder for the Kingdom.  This is why the good and the evil will grow together and God will separate them during the great judgment. 
Today’s Question
Which group do you belong to on the playground, based on your relationship with God?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 12 

The Northern Tribes Revolt

12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king.When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt,[a] for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.”
Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?”
The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers.“What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”
10 The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered. 13 But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14 and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”
15 So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of the Lord, for it fulfilled the Lord’s message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.
16 When all Israel realized that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded,
“Down with the dynasty of David!
    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Back to your homes, O Israel!
    Look out for your own house, O David!”
So the people of Israel returned home. 17 But Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18 King Rehoboam sent Adoniram,[b] who was in charge of forced labor, to restore order, but the people of Israel stoned him to death. When this news reached King Rehoboam, he quickly jumped into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19 And to this day the northern tribes of Israel have refused to be ruled by a descendant of David.
20 When the people of Israel learned of Jeroboam’s return from Egypt, they called an assembly and made him king over all Israel. So only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the family of David.

Shemaiah’s Prophecy

21 When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he mobilized the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—180,000 select troops—to fight against the men of Israel and to restore the kingdom to himself.
22 But God said to Shemaiah, the man of God, 23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the people of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives, the Israelites. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So they obeyed the message of the Lord and went home, as the Lord had commanded.

Jeroboam Makes Gold Calves

25 Jeroboam then built up the city of Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and it became his capital. Later he went and built up the town of Peniel.[c]
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. 27 When these people go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple of the Lord, they will again give their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and make him their king instead.”
28 So on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people,[d] “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!”
29 He placed these calf idols in Bethel and in Dan—at either end of his kingdom.30 But this became a great sin, for the people worshiped the idols, traveling as far north as Dan to worship the one there.
31 Jeroboam also erected buildings at the pagan shrines and ordained priests from the common people—those who were not from the priestly tribe of Levi. 32 And Jeroboam instituted a religious festival in Bethel, held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month,[e] in imitation of the annual Festival of Shelters in Judah. There at Bethel he himself offered sacrifices to the calves he had made, and he appointed priests for the pagan shrines he had made. 33 So on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a day that he himself had designated, Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar at Bethel. He instituted a religious festival for Israel, and he went up to the altar to burn incense.
Love,
Jonathan

Sharing

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“It is hard to care, give, and share when you have nothing to show for your hard work and efforts.” ~ Jon Barnes

Nothing

I get nothing when I’m lazy, so I push myself to do the work God has for me to do each day and I reap what I sow. It is just that simple. Do the process and the work that is required and God will bless you, if you don’t faint and give up. You will be always be tested and it is not always easy, but the rewards are a lot of fun and full of joy.

Happens

Nothing happens by itself. God is the author and finisher of our faith so buy the book, go by the book, and enjoy the study of biblical contentment. Good things begin to happen by your work with your faith in God.  Stop eating your seeds and plant them in fertile ground.  Water, weed and protect your investment in God. Your love for God is all you need, so let Him guide you on your journey.

Godliness

The Goodness of God opens doors you just cannot see coming. This is how God shares His plans for you.  If the door is closed, it is for a reason. We are ants and too small to see anything above our heads. Yet, God still provides for us and gives us opportunities to improve, help, grow, learn, and share the Lord’s Prayer to all who will listen, hear and do. Be thankful that you were called to share the goodness of Jesus in your humble lifestyle of faith and good works. 
Today’s Question
Is your lifestyle worth sharing with other people or are you still at step one?
Enjoy The Reading

Visit of the Queen of Sheba

10 When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord,[a] she came to test him with hard questions. She arrived in Jerusalem with a large group of attendants and a great caravan of camels loaded with spices, large quantities of gold, and precious jewels. When she met with Solomon, she talked with him about everything she had on her mind. Solomon had answers for all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba realized how very wise Solomon was, and when she saw the palace he had built, she was overwhelmed. She was also amazed at the food on his tables, the organization of his officials and their splendid clothing, the cup-bearers, and the burnt offerings Solomon made at the Temple of the Lord.
She exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements[b] and wisdom is true! I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told. How happy your people[c]must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom! Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”
10 Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds[d] of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (In addition, Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir, and they also brought rich cargoes of red sandalwood[e] and precious jewels. 12 The king used the sandalwood to make railings for the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and to construct lyres and harps for the musicians. Never before or since has there been such a supply of sandalwood.)
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she asked for, besides all the customary gifts he had so generously given. Then she and all her attendants returned to their own land.

Solomon’s Wealth and Splendor

14 Each year Solomon received about 25 tons[f] of gold. 15 This did not include the additional revenue he received from merchants and traders, all the kings of Arabia, and the governors of the land.
16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, each weighing more than fifteen pounds.[g] 17 He also made 300 smaller shields of hammered gold, each weighing nearly four pounds.[h] The king placed these shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 Then the king made a huge throne, decorated with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. 19 The throne had six steps and a rounded back. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, and the figure of a lion stood on each side of the throne.20 There were also twelve other lions, one standing on each end of the six steps. No other throne in all the world could be compared with it!
21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day!
22 The king had a fleet of trading ships of Tarshish that sailed with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the ships returned, loaded with gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.[i]
23 So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth.24 People from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him. 25 Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
26 Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses.[j] He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.[k] 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt[l] and from Cilicia[m]; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. 29 At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver,[n] and horses for 150 pieces of silver.[o] They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.
Love,
Jonathan