And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. — 1 Kings 9:4-5
As Christians, we must do what God has commanded us, and keep His statutes and judgments. Sometimes we may find this to be a challenge! At times we may need to seek His grace to do what we know He wants us to do. However, if we make the effort, He will unfailingly be with us to help, guide, and encourage us along the way.
Several years ago the Lord put it on my heart that He wanted our family to move from Denver, Colorado, to Portland, Oregon. My continual prayer to the Lord was that I wanted to stay in the center of His will. Life was extremely busy, because I needed to work two jobs and balance my time with two young teenagers. Although I tried not to worry about the details, I was unsure how we were ever going to make the trip and accomplish the move that God had directed.
One day a friend from work told me that her husband, who owned and operated a moving company, would move us. WOW! The price was amazingly low, not to mention that his company loaded and unloaded the truck! God let me see that because I wanted to follow His leading, He would work out the details, and He did it in a marvelous way.
God promised Solomon an established kingdom if he would serve the Lord with his whole heart, as his father David had served Him. God laid down the conditions: the key to Solomon’s success was his obedience.
God lays down conditions for us, too, and obedience to Him is one aspect of life that we can control. We cannot control the circumstances that come into our lives. We cannot control what other people do or how they treat us. However, we certainly can choose to obey God.
Whatever challenges we face, God promises us His help each day if we are walking in obedience to Him. He will enable us to follow His plan if we will step out in faith and do what He asks. Someday, the rewards of obedience will be ours — because God promised!
God’s second appearance to Solomon assured him that his prayers would be answered. However, the Lord also gave a warning. His words were similar to those spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy 28:36-37 and 29:24.
Verses 9 through 28 of this chapter summarize the building of the Temple. Solomon spent seven years on this project, and thirteen years constructing his own house, which was twice the size of the Temple.
The 120 talents of gold sent by Hiram, King of Tyre, weighed about four-and-a-half tons. Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities either as a gift or as collateral for the gold. However Hiram did not like these particular cities and called them Cabul, which means “as nothing” or “displeasing.” Eventually, it appears that the cities were returned to Solomon (2 Chronicles 8:2).
Solomon was a builder. The fortress cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer contained horses, chariots, food stores, and weaponry. Millo (verse 15) means “to fill” and was a portion of the Jerusalem wall that needed strengthening. Solomon had a seaport at Ezion-geber, which was at the Red Sea’s northern tip. By hiring Hiram’s experienced sailors, Solomon was able to form a navy. Archaeological digging here has revealed remains from copper mines and sophisticated smelting.
Israel’s three yearly feasts were the Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Solomon led the people of Israel by example when he brought sacrifices and incense to the Temple for the priests to offer.
Incense is a sweet-smelling substance that was burned as an offering to God on the altar in the Tabernacle and the Temple. Its purpose was to honor God, and it symbolized the prayers of the Hebrew people, which were considered a pleasant aroma ascending to God. The incense used in Israel’s worship was made according to a special formula, and was not to be duplicated for any other purpose.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The reign of Solomon
F. The splendor of Solomon
1. The warning to Solomon of apostasy (9:1-9)
2. The compensation of Hiram (9:10-14)
3. The building projects of Solomon (9:15-25)
4. The assembling of a navy (9:26-28)
Each day we have the opportunity to follow God’s directions. We will need His strength and grace to succeed. He has promised to help us if we ask.