Monday, November 25, 2019


The Story:  1 Kings 10:1-10, 13
Story of Queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon

The State of Israel:  prosperity, opportunity - for all classes, peace, justice, a new temple!!

The Queen's Assumption:  1 Kings 10:8 - "happy"

On one hand this = Reasonable!  Because IF are greatly blessed, then should be very Happy!!
However, (1)  Solomon (a man with unbelievable power, wealth, position, authority, etc) struggles with happiness!!
Eccles. 1:1-2, 12-14 - vanity of vanities
               (2)  within 20 years Israel will be split!! - Which = North and South (10 tribes - N, 2 tribes - S) which leads to exile to Assyria and Babylon.

Point:  Great blessings does not necessarily mean great satisfaction!!  (contentment, 'happiness')

Compare the USA?
1)  material - stuff and things - house size?  storage space?  have greater than need?

2)  Financial - poverty level (established by the Federal government in 2017 --- household income for family of 4)
= $24,600 - puts you in top 11% of income in the World!!
= $35,000 - top 5%
= $50,000 - top 1%  (worldwide)
How can that be??
Answer:  we live among such wealth that we don't see it!!

3)  health - life expectancy:  Mozambique - 39, Somalia - 48, Djbouti - 55, US - 78 1/2

4)  natural resources - (only 2 countries with more (1)  fresh water - ie: Brazil and Russia.  The US exported $140 billion in (2) agricultural products in 2018!
               (3)  2011 NPR reported 96 billion lbs. of  pre-consumer produce goes to waste annually - because it is not attractive enough for the shelves!!  

5)  natural beauty!!

6)  personal freedoms

7)  personal opportunity etc, etc.

8)  national security - our borders have never been invaded

POINT - we are greatly blessed, therefore should be very Happy!!!

U.S.A. - "Happiness"

Gallup poll - Aug. 2018 - "Satisfaction rate among Americans"  (measures satisfaction with the way things are going with country as a whole....)
Good News!!! - Satisfaction rate was up 9 points from 2017.
Bad News:  now at 36%!!!

Washington Post - March 2019 - reporting on the "World Happiness Report" - (surveys "happiness" in 156 countries!!)  (this = Personal happiness!)
USA = #19 AND has dropped in the ranking every year for the last 3 years!!

Article in Psychology Today  (Nov. 2018)
(1)  Research shows Americans spend more time, $ and energy in the pursuit of 'happiness' than ANY OTHER NATION!
(2)  Americans assume they are entitled to happiness!   (an inherent right) (not just "pursuit of happiness")
(3)  the more people see "happiness" as a goal, the less happy they are!!

Quote  (unsure of source) - "American is obsessed with Happiness - and it's making us miserable!"

Point:  Great blessing does not necessarily bring great satisfaction, contentment, Happiness!!!

WHY we're not happier (more satisfied, content) = a study within itself.

But this we know:
(2) WE (probably) SHOULD BE HAPPIER!!

Thanksgiving is a response and an action.

Giving Thanks is:
(1)  A Command - 1 Thess. 5:18 - not for all things, but in the midst of all things
Therefore, it is for our good!!!  God commanded it!!

(2)  Reasonable  (it's due Him!!)
Put #1 and #2 together = A Reasonable Command = Response to discontent, and Remedy for discontent

(3)  An action - "be thankful" vs. "give thanks"   (50:1)
Luke 17:11-19 - 10 lepers - all grateful, 1 gave thanks!!

(4)  a form of worship (ascribe worth to)  - actively give thanks - Psm. 50:23  "thank offering"
Compare to saying grace in public.

(5)  A testimony of (your) faith
a model for your children
a witness to non-believers

(6)  healthy - not a cure all, but does = factor in mental health!!! - Rom. 1:21
Healthy people give thanks!!

(7)  contagious - If the News was uplifting, imagine what a difference that would make in the attitudes in the country

Final takeaway?? - (1)  You are blessed!!
                              (2) (probably) should be happy (ier!!)
        FOR SURE  (3)  you should GIVE THANKS!!!

Closing Scriptures:  Psm. 118:1, 19-21, 28-29

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