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Chronological:  1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chronicles 2-3

DAILY DEVOTION

 FOR

 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

SCRIPTURE:  Chronological:  1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chronicles 2-3

BY: Jeremy Witt

If you were following along with the chronological plan, you will see that I am skipping passages from Song of Solomon and Proverbs.  Feel free to read those, but I will not be focusing upon those unless they are directly tied to the Kings/Chronicles passages.

Some folks have the vision and big picture, some folks can put a plan into place, and some folks see all the details to finish the plan.  David had the dream and began to get the supplies, and it was up to Solomon to make sure that the plan for building the Temple was started and completed.  One of the details was getting all the supplies and we see how Solomon did that.
 
Hiram was the king of Tyre, and he had been allied with David while he was king.  Solomon continued this alliance under his reign.  Hiram was not a follower of the LORD, and the people of Tyre worshipped many gods.  Despite this, the alliance was necessary to get the best materials for the Temple.  In the previous chapters, we read about Solomon asking the LORD for wisdom, and by continuing this alliance, Solomon was able to begin construction for the Temple.  The cedars of Lebanon were the best in the ancient Near East region, and Solomon made sure that the LORD’s Temple would be the best he could build.  1 Kings 5 and 2 Chronicles 2 are very similar in content.  We see in the Chronicles passage that Solomon not only got materials but got expert craftsmen to help in the building.  King Hiram was wise enough to send a craftsman who was part Jewish (2 Chronicles 2:14). 
 
In 2 Chronicles 3 the construction begins.  1 Kings 6:1 gives us an interesting detail of 480 years have passed since the Israelites left Egypt.  If we go back to Exodus 26 and the details of the tabernacle, the Temple was exactly the same except doubled in length and width.  This is referring to the sanctuary proper, not with all the additional structures surrounding it.  In modern lengths, it would be approximately 90-100 long and 30-35 feet wide


The location mentions in 3:1 tells us that it was built on Mount Moriah.  The portable tent or Tabernacle was at Gibeon.  The Temple was built on a special place for the people of Israel.  It was here that God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac as found in Genesis 22:1-18.  David purchased this land in 2 Samuel 24:15-25.  This is the place that the LORD told David to build an altar and David bought it from the man Araunah the Jebusite (Jebusites lived in Jerusalem before David conquered it)  Araunah offered to give it to David for free, but David refused and said in 1 Chronicles 21:24-25, “I insist on paying it for the full price.  I will not take what is yours and give it to the LORD.  I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” 
 
In 1 Kings 5:13-14 Solomon drafted three times the number of men necessary to build the Temple.  Why is the big question?  He did this so that they would not have to be gone from their homes for as long.  Solomon worked the details out so that they worked in shifts.  This showed the men that the king cared for them and their families.  Solomon knew that the men needed to be home to lead their families and worked out the details so that they could.
 
The Temple was ornate and beautiful to all who saw it.  It was built for the LORD and Solomon used the best materials and best craftsmen to get the job done well.  They honored the LORD in the big picture and even in the details.  The rocks were cut in the quarry so that no hammering sound would be heard at the Temple site 1 Kings 6:7.    The value that was being placed on the Temple demonstrated the people’s awe, fear, worship, and reverence for the LORD.  The Temple represented that the LORD’s presence was there.  In total, it took 7 years to be built (1 Kings 6:38)
 
I wonder if and how we demonstrate this to the LORD.  I wonder how detailed we are in seeking the LORD, listening to Him, following His instructions, and faithful we are to honor Him.  This is something for us all to think about. 

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Chronological: 1 Kings 3-4; 2 Chronicles 1; Psalm 72

DAILY DEVOTION

 FOR

 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

 
SCRIPTURE:  1 Kings 3-4; 2 Chronicles 1; Psalm 72


BY: Jeremy Witt

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/chronological.html

Today as we read, Solomon is king, and the kingdom is under his control.  In all three of our readings, we see Solomon reaching out to God, asking for help, and seeking His direction.  Solomon starts off well, and God blesses that.  However, as we continue to read Solomon will become distracted with things, because in just a few small ways at first, Solomon slips and eventually we will see at the end of his reign that he loses focus and God is no longer the priority.  If we are not careful, we can fall prey to this same temptation.  We see the start of Solomon’s downfall in 1 Kings 3.  He marries Pharoah’s daughter.  This was commonplace to secure peace during those days, however, by marrying her, Solomon brought in a woman who did not worship the LORD God.  It was one decision that would lead him to turn away from the LORD. 

 

We have a teachable moment that we need to discuss.   When a Christ-follower begins a dating/marriage relationship with a person who is not of our faith, it is quite dangerous.  What happens is the beliefs of the non-Christian will build roads to ideas, philosophies, and/or practices that go ahead of God and His Word.  These things may not seem big at first, and it is easy for us to minimize these differences at first, but when the differences manifest themselves, they are larger than anticipated.  This can be true for differences between denominations of Christ-followers as well.  There is a reason that Scripture tells us “not to be unequally yoked” in 2 Corinthians 6:14.  Differences between friends are quite different between differences with a spouse.  The life of Solomon who had multiple wives displays this principle quite openly. 

 

I should point out verses 2-3.  At first, it does not seem to be big at all, but the issue is that the people of Israel were sacrificing offerings at local places and not at the Tabernacle under the direction of the priests.  Here is how this was wrong.   People were offering sacrifices to God which is good.  However, they were not following God’s directions for sacrifices under the direction of those who God anointed for worship and for sacrifices which is wrong or sinful.  The people lowered their standards.  Solomon did this too.  Even at the beginning of his reign, he joined in rather than strictly following God’s instructions.  Application:  anything that we do to lower God’s standards or doing them our own way is just as sinful.  We must be careful not to follow the ways of our neighbors but follow the way of the LORD>


Despite Solomon’s mistake, God showed great mercy and grace to the young king.  Do you see how God does this in verse 5 and following?  The LORD gave Solomon to ask anything of Him.  Have you ever thought about what you might ask of the LORD if given the chance?  Solomon chose wisely and God blessed that choice.  Notice verse 15.  Where did Solomon make sacrifices after this encounter with the LORD? 

 

We read of Solomon’s wisdom in a very difficult situation in verses 16-28.  That wisdom that the LORD gave helped shape the kingdom for decades and beyond as we read Chapter 4.  God blessed despite some early mistakes of Solomon just as God blesses us with our mistakes.  That is a truly amazing thing to remember.  If I were God, I do not think I would be so merciful and gracious.  God’s ways are higher than our ways and show how loving and gracious the LORD God is despite our many mistakes.   

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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