Daily Encouragement

June 11 – The Ark enters the Temple

June 11
1 Kings 8:1-66
Acts 7:51-8:13
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 17:1


I Kings 8:23 – Mercy upon His servants. Such a great treasure to be thankful for.

I Kings 8:33 – Turn and confess – repeated in I Kings 8:35.

I Kings 8:41 – In case you hadn’t figured it out, this verse is talking about most of us.

Acts 7:51 – Not exactly a seeker-sensitive invitation.

Acts 7:56 – Normally Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God (Matthew 26:64). This is the only time Jesus is recorded standing at the right hand, perhaps ready to welcome His faithful servant home.

Psalm 129:4 – Near the center of this verse is an eternal truth – The LORD is righteous.

Proverbs 17:1 – Wise words. Peace over shows of worship.

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Daily Encouragement

June 10 – But Solomon….

June 10
1 Kings 7:1-51
Acts 7:30-50
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 16:31-33

1 Kings 7:1 – 1 Kings 6:38 says Solomon spent seven years building the temple, but we contrast that with how long he spent building his house. The temple was 60x20x30 cubits, (I Kings 6:2), while Solomon’s was 100x50x30 cubits, approximately 4x the cubic volume.


1 Kings 7:42 – Why does God give all these details? Remember Exodus 28:2 and Exodus 28:40? For glory and for beauty. God designs beautiful things for us to enjoy and appreciate.

Acts 7:32 – Stephen reiterates the message Peter preached in Acts 3:22 – “him shall ye hear.” This is the key messianic prophecy of the early New Testament age – Deuteronomy 18:15 and Deuteronomy 18:18 is the source.

Acts 7:39 – “would not obey” – when a great theme message of the Bible is obedience.

Acts 7:41 – Aaron claimed he cast the gold into the fire and “there came out this calf (Exodus 32:24), but Exodus 32:4 states he fashioned it with a graving tool, and made the molten calf. Here Stephen reiterates the disobedience of his people.

Acts 7:45 – Jesus and Joshua are the same name, just transliterated from Greek to Hebrew to English.

Acts 7:49 – Why the mention of the temple? Because the charge was of destroying the temple (Acts 6:14). Stephen shows that the Old Testament allowed the temple but did not command a temple.

Psalm 128:1 – Next time I’m going to keep track of how many times we’re reminded to obey the Lord, walk in His ways, etc.

Proverbs 16:33 – The control of the Virginia House of Representatives in 2017 was settled by a coin toss. Read about how people are delegating to “chance” today in USA Today, but remember that even “chance” is of the Lord.

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Daily Encouragement

June 9 – Solomon’s Temple!

June 9
1 Kings 5:1-6:38
Acts 7:1-29
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 16:28-30

1 Kings 5:7 – How great is it that your father’s friends will bless the LORD that your father’s legacy is continued!

1 Kings 6:1 – This is the anchor dating passage for the Old Testament. 480 years from the Exodus to the Construction of the Temple. That connects 1446 (date of Exodus) to 966 BC.

1 Kings 6:7 – Amazing – a massive construction project but no sound of jackhammers, axes, or iron tools, while it was under construction.

1 Kings 6:12 – What does the LORD say is the one condition to Solomon? Obedience (have we heard this before?)

1 Kings 6:38 – How is that for an impressive project? Tens of thousands of people working for seven years!

Acts 7:2 – Stephen, a man willing to wait on tables – was able to preach, reciting Hebrew history. We see here Genesis and early Exodus history summarized into 28 verses. The Torah is very relevant to the New Testament.

Psalm 127:1 – Great reminder of Proverbs 19:21, James 4:13-16, and Luke 12:16-21.

Psalm 127:3 – Children are a blessing – and are important to society. Washington Post:

The United States is in the midst of what some worry is a baby crisis. The number of women giving birth has been declining for years and just hit a historic low. If the trend continues — and experts disagree on whether it will — the country could face economic and cultural turmoil.

Proverbs 16:28 – Are you a uniter or a divider?

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Daily Encouragement

June 8 – When the Lord brought back the captives….

June 8
1 Kings 3:3-4:34
Acts 6:1-15
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 16:26-27

1 Kings 3:9 – May we pray for wisdom as well. Too often people pray for health, wealth, and prosperity, when God wants to give us all that – but first wisdom. And if we don’t walk in God’s ways – we’re not getting the fringe benefits. (1 Kings 3:14)

1 Kings 4:21 – Solomon’s reign seems impressive but – as Samuel warned in I Samuel 8:14-15 – he will take your fields, vineyards, olive groves, grain, vintage, and more! While prosperity is fun, it is also expensive (1 Kings 12:4).

1 Kings 4:25 – This verse is the first use of George Washington’s favorite phrase “every man under his vine and under his fig tree.” Professor Daniel Dreisbach has written extensively on this.

A preliminary survey of Washington’s papers reveals that he quoted this phrase on nearly four dozen occasions during the last half of his life. Most, but not all, references were made in private missives, anticipating a retirement to Mount Vernon, his beloved home on the south bank of the Potomac River. Washington, it should be noted, was not alone among his contemporaries in his attraction to this Hebrew blessing.4 Even Martha Washington borrowed the phrase in her correspondence.5

1 Kings 4:26 – Solomon is violating Deuteronomy 17:16.

Acts 6:10 – Stephen’s job description was to “serve tables” (Acts 6:2), but he spake with wisdom and the Spirit. They charged him (Acts 6:14) with the same charge they attacked Jesus with (Mark 14:58).

Psalm 126:1-3 – From Vice President Mike Pence:

It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget… when three Americans stepped onto the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews and gave me a signed personal note with Psalm 126 on the back.

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion… The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

To these men of faith and courage – God bless you and welcome home!

Psalm126:6 – Spurgeon has a great outline:

  • A sojourning: “He that now goeth on his way.”
  • A sorrowing: “weeping.”
  • A sowing: “and beareth forth good seed.”

In the regress there are three opposites unto these.

  • Returning: “He shall doubtless come again.”
  • Rejoicing: “with joy.”
  • Reaping: “and bring his sheaves with him.” –John Hume.

Proverbs 16:26 – From Barnes:

He that laboreth – literally, as in the margin, i. e., “The desire of the laborer labors for him” (or, helps him in his work), “for his mouth urges him on.” Hunger of some kind is the spring of all hearty labor. Without that the man would sit down and take his ease. So also, unless there is a hunger in the soul, craving to be fed, there can be no true labor after righteousness and wisdom (compare Matthew 5:6).

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Daily Encouragement

June 7 – Adonijah’s not so humble request

June 7
1 Kings 2:1-3:2
Acts 5:1-42
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 16:25

1 Kings 2:3 – King David give his most important advice to Solomon. Be a man (1 Kings 2:2). But most importantly – obey the LORD thy God. David’s charge to Solomon here uses language from Psalm 119. Ways (6x in Ps119), Statutes (22x in Ps119), Commandments (22x in Ps119), Judgments (22x in Ps119), Testimonies (23x in Ps119), Law (25x in Ps119). 120 times in Psalm 119 he uses the 6 words to refer to the requirements of God. Why?

That thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest. Prosperity is the dominant desire of America for the last hundred plus years. One of the more interesting characters is Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich (1937), one of the 10 best selling self-help books of all time. We need to follow the LORD and we can prosper – without having to buy any other books!

1 Kings 2:5 – Joab, a man that has stood out in the passages. David has not forgotten his deeds unto Abner and Amasa. Because Joab was loyal to David, David must deal tactfully with Joab, so David lets Solomon tend to the problem. We see David has a good memory of his friends (Barzillai) and his enemies (Shimei).

1 Kings 2:17 – Such a simple request – that cost him his life (1 Kings 2:25). Because Adonijah was the consort of the great King David.

1 Kings 2:39-40 – While not exactly applicable, the principle of Deuteronomy 23:15 applies.

1 Kings 3:1 – Leviticus 18:3 warned against the doings of the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 17:16 warned about causing the people to return to Egypt.

Acts 5:5 – God has the power to bring the dead to life, and to take the living to death. Not all signs (Acts 5:12) were positive situations for rejoicing.

Acts 5:21 – John on the Isle of Patmos records the last words of Jesus to us: I have set before thee an open door. The door was opened so that they could go, stand and preach!

Acts 5:33 – The same God who broke up Adonijah’s war party with intense fear, allowed Gamaliel to be the tool to spare His servants and to further their ministry.

Acts 5:42 – From Earl Martin:

Psalm 125:1 – The promise of I Kings 2:3 has just been expanded to all that trust in the LORD. This promise applies to you – IF you trust and obey!

Proverbs 16:25 – Does God want you to follow your heart? No, He just wants you to follow Him!

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Daily Encouragement

June 6 – The First Political Campaign Parades!

June 6
1 Kings 1:1-53
Acts 4:1-37
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 16:24

We are now in 1 Kings! 14 books of the Bible done! Great job staying faithful to God’s Word!

I Kings 1:4 – Interesting comparison to Esther. In I Kings 1:2 the suggestion is almost identical “Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin” to Esther 2:2 “Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king.” Abishag was “very fair” (1 Samuel 1:2), while Esther was “fair and beautiful”

1 Kings 1:5 – Note the similarity between this verse and Absalom in 2 Samuel 15:1. Lest you think this is an outdated tradition, be sure to go to your local 4th of July Parade! From 6 Quick Parade Tips for Political Candidates:

Have a huge group of supporters. This is especially important in smaller races, and in smaller towns where a big, loud group really stands out. It doesn’t take many people to look ‘big,’ but I recommend at least 20.

1 Kings 1:7 – Joab was also instrumental in bringing back Absalom (2 Samuel 14:22-23).

1 Kings 1:41 – For some reason Joab is sticking out to me as I read. Interesting that he is caught unprepared. Joshua also heard an unexpected noise of what he thought was war (Exodus 32:17).

1 Kings 1:49 – Instead of another war for the kingdom, God blessed Solomon by putting fear into the hearts of his opponents, neutralizing his opposition.

Acts 4:12 – No other name but the name of Jesus, No other name but the name of the LORD, No other name but the name of Jesus, Is worthy of glory, is worthy of honor, and worthy of power and all praise!

Acts 4:24 – Some may say Creation isn’t an important issue. But if God didn’t make the heaven, and earth, and sea and all that in them is – God has no authority to dictate to them. But the Creator has the authority, and has given power to speak His Word with boldness! (Acts 4:31).

Psalm 124:8 – Speaking of the Creator, who has the power to help us?

Proverbs 16:24 – Make some honey today!

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Daily Encouragement

June 5 – The Location for the Temple

June 5
2 Samuel 23:24-24:25
Acts 3:1-26
Psalm 123:1-4
Proverbs 16:21-23

2 Samuel 23:24 – Our Bible reading plan jumps back in for the list of David’s Mighty Men. We may not all be Davids, but we can be loyal soldiers!

2 Samuel 23:39 – Uriah the Hittite…. the one that David had slain.

2 Samuel 24:1 – What was the big deal with the census? From GotQuestions:

In Exodus 30:12 God told Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.” It was up to God to command a census, and if David counted he should only do it at God’s command, receiving a ransom to “atone” for the counting. This is why God was angry again with Israel and is also why David was “conscience-stricken” after he counted Israel. David knew it was wrong and begged God to take away the guilt of his sin (2 Samuel 24:10).

Was this from Satan or from God? From AiG:

All temptation is permitted by God, but not caused by GodWhen evil spirits tempt us, they do so by permission (Job 1:122:6Luke 22:31)Satan therefore provoked David to number the people, and God allowed him to do soGod allows those things which serve to advance His holy and perfect will.

2 Samuel 24:3 – The loyal Joab who was ethically challenged realized that this was a bad idea. If your “Yes-Men” say “Wait a minute”… maybe they have a point….

2 Samuel 24:24 – What is special about the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite? In 2 Samuel 5 David captures the Jebusite city, but a threshing floor is fairly common. Until 2 Chronicles 3:1 when Solomon builds the house of the LORD on the threshing floor. From Spurgeon:

The threshing-floor of Ornan boasted no magnificence of size, or beauty of constructionThere was just the rock, and I suppose a composition spread upon it of hard clay or cement, that the feet of the oxen might all the better tread out the grainThat was all it was, yet when the Temple with all its glory crowned the place, God was never more conspicuously present than on that bare, ungarnished threshing-floor“Meet God in a barn!” one saysWhy not? Does that astonish youGod met Adam in a garden, Abraham under a tree, and Noah in an ark.

Acts 3:6 – And we’re back in the temple, about a thousand years after our Old Testament reading. Peter had no silver or gold, but what have we read in Psalms and Proverbs is better than silver and gold?

Acts 3:12 – Once you have a crowd – Preach! I was with a young evangelist in training and a crowd had unexpectedly gathered around him at a local park.  He asked me what to do – I said Preach!

Acts 3:19 – The message is reiterated from yesterday – Repent, be converted, but now we hear the message from the Mount of Olives – Jesus is coming!

Acts 3:22 – We read in the Torah about the coming of the Prophet – now Peter is saying this is the Prophet!

Psalm 123:2 – Yes Jesus is our friend and our elder brother, but He is our Master!

Psalm 123:4 – The Psalmist is repenting of sins of the heart here. Pride at not being at ease, pride at not being proud (yes, that is an ironic sense of pride).

Proverbs 16:22 – Echoing Deuteronomy 30:19!

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Daily Encouragement

June 4 – Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

June 4
2 Samuel 22:1-23:23
Acts 2:1-47
Psalm 122:1-9
Proverbs 16:19-20

2 Samuel 22:4 – Does this verse sound familiar? Actually this whole chapter is very similar to Psalm 18! Psalm 18:3 says “call upon”, while 2 Samuel 22:4 says “call on.” But let’s enjoy the song based on this verse and 2 Samuel 22:47.

Note the structure of this proto-Psalm:

  • Attributes of the LORD (v.2-3)
  • Deliverance of the LORD (v.4-7)
  • Awesome power of the LORD (v.8-16)
  • Deliverance of the LORD (v. 17-20)
  • Characteristics of a follower of the LORD (v.21-28)
  • Enabling power of the LORD (v.29-46)
  • Conclusion: Praise the LORD! (v.47-51)

2 Samuel 23:3-4 – The classic choral work “The Last Words of David” features this verse. From Diane Bish:

2 Samuel 23:5 – “Although my house be not so with God” – what a great reminder that God’s mercies are greater than our failures!

2 Samuel 23:16 – David inspired not just loyalty but love from his men.

Acts 2:21 – The culmination is not the prophecies, the visions, the dreams, the wonders, the signs, the darkened sun, the blood moon, but that whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved! The message is not kept within the bounds of the Israelite kingdom – it is spread to the uttermost ends of the earth!

Acts 2:38 – Peter is preaching from Joel and David leading to the call to Repent! What is Peter saying about baptism? It is the result of remission of sins, not the antecedent. From GotQuestions:

One example of how this preposition is used in other Scriptures is seen in Matthew 12:41 where the word eis communicates the “result” of an action. In this case it is said that the people of Nineveh “repented at the preaching of Jonah” (the word translated “at” is the same Greek word eis). Clearly, the meaning of this passage is that they repented “because of’” or “as the result of” Jonah’s preaching. In the same way, it would be possible that Acts 2:38 is indeed communicating the fact that they were to be baptized “as the result of” or “because” they already had believed and in doing so had already received forgiveness of their sins (John 1:12John 3:14-18John 5:24John 11:25-26Acts 10:43Acts 13:39Acts 16:31Acts 26:18Romans 10:9Ephesians 1:12-14). This interpretation of the passage is also consistent with the message recorded in Peter’s next two sermons to unbelievers where he associates the forgiveness of sins with the act of repentance and faith in Christ without even mentioning baptism (Acts 3:17-26Acts 4:8-12).

Psalm 122:1 – The choral work based on this verse was the processional march of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Psalm 122:6 – Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!


Proverbs 16:20 – How can you find happiness?

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Daily Encouragement

June 3 – The sons dying for their father’s sins

June 3
2 Samuel 20:14-21:22
Acts 1:1-26
Psalm 121:1-8
Proverbs 16:18

2 Samuel 20:15 – Abel of Beth-maachah is located on the present day border of Israel and Lebanon, about four miles from where the Tel Dan Stele was found. Sheba fled to the farthest northern reach of the kingdom.

2 Samuel 20:21 – While Israel was forbidden from multiplying chariots, in the geographically dangerous spot that is the cross-section of Assyria, Egypt, Philistines, and who knows who else coming between Europe, Asia, and Africa; in the agriculturally precarious position of being greatly dependent on the rainful, God did allow them to have walled cities (Leviticus 25:29, Joshua 19:35-38, 2 Chronicles 11:5-12). During the Divided Kingdom, Jezebel would be thrown down off the wall (2 Kings 9:33).

2 Samuel 21:1 – Many commentators say that this event did not directly follow the preceding chapter. Benson:

The things related here, and chap. 24., are, by the best interpreters, conceived to have been done long before Absalom’s rebellion. And this opinion is not without sufficient grounds. For, first, this particle, then, is here explained, in the days, that is, during the reign of David: which general words seem to be added as an intimation that these things were not done next after the foregoing passages, for then the sacred writer would have said, after these things, as it is in many other places. Secondly, Here are divers particulars which cannot, with probability, be ascribed to the last years of David’s reign: such as, that Saul’s sin against the Gibeonites should so long remain unpunished; that David should not remove the bones of Saul and Jonathan to their proper place till that time;

It is interesting that it took 3 years for David to recognize a supernatural cause of the famine. We see from many other places that famine was sent as a judgment (Nave’s Topical Index).

By the way – remember the Gibeonites from Joshua 9:15? This was roughly 400 years ago yet God still was allowing the consequences of a rash vow from 400 years ago cause famine.

David was hoping for a lesser sentence than that proscribed under the previous Noahic Dispensation of Government (Genesis 9:6) that demanded bloodshed, and the current Mosaic Dispensation of Law (Leviticus 24:17) that demanded bloodshed. God had previously stated that sin was punished to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:6-7, Deuteronomy 5:9, Numbers 14:18, Leviticus 26:39). But how do we reconcile that with Deuteronomy 24:16 that says children shall not be put to death because of their fathers?John Piper says that “The sins of the fathers are punished in the children through becoming the sins of the children.” But why did God bless Israel (2 Samuel 21:14), for giving seven sons to be slain for a foolish oath taken 400 years ago? From Stand to Reason:

Now what does the history of Israel demonstrate?  It demonstrates that when God deals with Israel, He deals with them as a nation.  When the fathers, the ones in control, the adults are bad, everybody gets the punishment.

The mother who abuses her body with cocaine may give birth to a “crack baby,” who will suffer their entire life for the sin of the mother. Sons may suffer like Saul’s sons did. Grandchildren and Great-grandchildren may experience the hurt from an ancestor’s sin. The whole world is suffering from Adam’s sin. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound! (Romans 5:20).

It took seven sons to die to assuage (not propitiate) the wrath of God for the sins of one man. (Saul did not die for this sin even though he should have, he died for the witch’s sin that he took upon himself). Because these seven sons were sinners. Yet one thousand years later, one sinless Son would die to propitiate the wrath of God for the sins of the whole world!

2 Samuel 21:21 – We read about Jonathan’s  subtil brother Jonadab (2 Samuel 13:3, 2 Samuel 13:32), now we have an honorable nephew of David carrying on the family legacy of slaying giants!

Acts 1:8 – From Earl Martin

Acts 1:22 – In addition to the twelve apostles, there were at least two other witnesses from the Baptism of John unto the Ascension of Christ who were constant companions. Yes indeed there are “many infallible proofs” of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Psalm 121:1-8 – The song “My Help” is based virtually word for word from this Psalm.

Proverbs 16:18 – One of the most misquoted verses of the Bible. Pride does not go before the fall… Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

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June 2 – The Return of the King

June 2
2 Samuel 19:11-20:13
John 21:1-25
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 16:16-17

2 Samuel 19:13 – David invites Absalom’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Amasa, to join him.  David was interested in a speedy reconciliation, not a vindictive punishment, similar to Abraham Lincoln’s vision for a post-Civil War America.

2 Samuel 19:15 – Gilgal – Where Joshua built the monument (Joshua 4:20), where the angel of the LORD started in Judges 2:1, where Samuel had a circuit stop (1 Samuel 7:16), where Saul was made King (1 Samuel 11:14), where Elisha and Elijah worked (2 Kings 2:1, 4:38).

2 Samuel 19:23 – David exercised the glory of Proverbs 19:11 to spare Shimei, “split the baby” between Ziba and Mephibosheth, and reward his true friends (Barzillai). David would not forget Barzillai’s kindness (1 Kings 2:7), and Barzillai is even recorded in the post-exilic records (Ezra 2:61, Nehemiah 7:63).

2 Samuel 19:37 – Barzillai wanted the king to bless Chimham instead. The king agreed (2 Samuel 19:38), and brought Chimham with him (2 Samuel 19:40).  From Easton’s Bible Dictionary:

pining, probably the youngest son of Barzillai the Gileadite ( 2 Samuel 19:37-40 ). The “habitation of Chimham” ( Jeremiah 41:17 ) was probably an inn or khan, which is the proper meaning of the Hebrew geruth , rendered “habitation”, established in later times in his possession at Bethlehem, which David gave to him as a reward for his loyalty in accompanying him to Jerusalem after the defeat of Absalom ( 1 Kings 2:7 ). It has been supposed that, considering the stationary character of Eastern institutions, it was in the stable of this inn or caravanserai that our Saviour was born ( Luke 2:7 ).

2 Samuel 20:5 – Was David worried that Amasa was disloyal? From Gill’s

whether this was owing to the remissness of Amasa, or the unwillingness of the people to serve under him, who had been Absalom’s general in the late rebellion, or not having time sufficient allowed him, is not certain.

Either way, Amasa met a bloody end (2 Samuel 20:12).

John 21:3 – From Pulpit Commentary:

According to some writers, Peter felt a presentiment of the coming of his Lord under scenes identical with those of his first call (Luke 5:1-11). According to others, Peter exhibited some of the heart-sickness of deferred hope. On either supposition we see a new illustration of, and testimony to, the character of the man who was so conspicuous an initiator.

John 21:17-19 – Peter who so boldly said he would die for the LORD (Matthew 26:35, Mark 14:31, John 13:37), but denied the LORD three times (John 18:17, 25, 26), is now distraught as Jesus questions his love. But Jesus says I have a plan for you: “feed my sheep… follow me.” And someday, Peter who wanted to die for his LORD, would die, glorifying the Lord.

John 21:25 – From Earl Martin:


Psalm 120:1 – A great promise! “In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.”

Proverbs 16:16 – Television ads are filled with people hawking gold and silver. Usually they can afford their marketing budget because they sell it at a 50% markup (yes, if you buy gold at a 50% markup, that means that even if gold jumps 50%, you have now officially broke even). Solomon, 3,000 years ago, realized that demand for gold and silver was just as obsessive as it was today. But better than gold is wisdom. Better than silver is understanding.  Interesting that Solomon’s father David uses the same analogy – Psalm 119:127 – commandments of God are better than gold, and the law of God is better than thousands of gold and silver (Psalm 119:72).

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