Ofttimes back when I was teaching a Sunday School, I would have a lesson planned out for a week. Then I would be taking a shower Saturday night and God would say, "Here's what I want you to do..." And so it is this week- a week I had nothing really planned until just moments ago. However, God had a plan.
And it began with listening to a local pastor talking about Solomon, and how he became misguided after he had done everything he had promised the Lord; he became then gifted beyond his wildest imaginings and used his wealth to make $75.6 million (today's price) in gold decorations for a vacation palace. The idea- how much is too much?
I went on to my reading- and still in Psalms, I rolled into 103, 104, and 105. Without quoting heavily, let me give you an overview. 103 is a call to bless the Lord- and the first reason why to do so. First, David lists His benefits: forgiveness of your sins, healing, redeems you from the destruction of Hell, shows you His lovingkindness and tender mercies, and satisfies you with good things. Second, His righteousness- and His mercy, to offer a way out of your righteous condemnation through Christ. And third, because He is so great, so vast, beyond our comprehension- and yet keeps His covenant with us, when we are little more than dust. So 103 basically says, bless the Lord because He is GREAT- and you are not, but He still loves you.
104 is subtitled "A rehearsal of Creation." In other words, it is a call to bless the Lord for what He has made- from the great seas and their mighty monsters, the mountains, whom he set boundaries for, to the things we need to live like the waters, the grasses, the cattle. It explains that even the proud mountains and seas are limited by Him, and the mighty Lion even depends on Him for sustenance.
And 105 blesses the Lord by calling to mind how he keeps His promises, by replaying the building of Israel from Joseph to Moses and beyond. Everything we went through- everything we GO through- is a part of God's plan for keeping His promise to us- to YOU.
Summing this, Praise God because He is both Great and merciful, praise Him for His wonderful creation, and Praise Him for the promises He has NOT forgotten.
And thus humbled, return with me now to Solomon. He was a young man when God basically gave him the keys to the physical universe. And what did he do with them? He paved trees with gold rather than turn to charity. He started putting God on the back burner- the pastor brought this out by 1 Kings 9:25, pointing out that Solomon had become a "Holiday churchgoer", attending the Temple only on the three high holy days; He began gathering pagan wives, something that had been verboten for almost 500 years- and listening to them, and going to their pagan services as well. He put heavy taxation and work burdens on the people (hey, weren't you rich?), so much so that when son and successor Rehoboam refused to lighten the load, the nation split in two and fell apart- losing those $75 mil in decorations within 25 years.
Here is the application, and I'm sure you can make it at home, too. How many times when I feel "wronged" by "excessive OT" I look at these big fancy boats that we make covers for and wish I was rich enough to even rate a RIDE on one. But now, I see that at the point of envy, I should be saying, "Thank you for NOT making me that rich. I'd rather be poor and REMEMBER all the things I need to bless You for."