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Old Testament: 1 Kings 5:1-6:38
David could not and had guilt but Solomon had the Temple built.
1 Kings 5:1-18 Rocks In His Head
The first thing people wanted from Solomon’s successor after taking over the reigns of government was to lower taxes. You can see why. Solomon must’ve been raised a spoiled king’s kid. He was pretty much into himself. He spent a lot of time studying science, had 1,000 wives and concubines, and lived in luxury. Someone had to pay for this type of lifestyle. And the building of the Temple cost a fortune. Someone had to pay for all that.
King Hiram of Tyre had loved David and offered servants to help build the Temple in David’s honor. Solomon was pleased with this gift and offered to pay the servants who were experts in cutting wood. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon. They even made a covenant between them.
Not only did the Temple cost a fortune but it was necessary to conscript thousands of workers. Solomon drafted 30,000 men who had to work a month on the Temple for every two months they spent at home. Solomon also employed 70,000 transporters, 80,000 stone cutters and 3,300 foremen.
McGee points out in his commentary on Acts 7:46 that although Solomon built the Temple, it was according to David’s wishes. Yahweh had given the plans for the temple to David actually (1 Chron. 28:11-12, 19), not Solomon. Therefore, McGee believes the Temple, which is always referred to as Solomon’s Temple, should actually be called David’s Temple.
1 Kings 6:1-38 God’s Jewel
Four hundred and eighty years after Israel left Egypt the building was begun on the Temple. It was the fourth year of Solomon’s reign.
The Temple was twice as large as the Tabernacle which served the same purpose. The purpose was not to house Yahweh which could not be done. It was a meeting place between God and man. The Temple was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and forty- five feet high ( v. 2). That means the Temple was 2,700 square feet. As a comparison, The White House is 55,000 square feet. The Temple was the size of a medium large house. And that, was much bigger than the Tabernacle which was basically a simple tent. J. Vernon McGee compares the opulence of Solomon’s Temple with carnality seeing an inverse relationship between the luxuriousness of the Temple with the simplicity of the Tabernacle. He draws an analogy of the lavish programs of the mega-churches today compared to the simplicity of smaller churches. The smaller churches stay focused, he believes, on the basics like leading people to the Lord whereas the super-churches lose their attention on the ministry of the Word. “Even though the temple was small, it was like a jewel. Now a diamond is not as big as a straw stack, but it is much more valuable.”
A study of all the features of the Temple and their symbols would be well beyond the limitations of this blog. Most of the purposes of the meeting place have been covered on the section on the Tabernacle (see Going Loopy). To note one interesting feature of the Temple, Wiersbe says this about the ten stands and lavers (v. 27-39; 2 Chron. 4:6). “These were beautifully decorated metal wagons, six feet square and four and half feet high, with handles at each corner. Each stand could hold a basin that held 230 gallons of water. . . . It’s worth nothing that these very practical and useful stands were also very beautiful, which teaches us that God sees beauty in holiness and the holiness of beauty . . . ” Though God cares much about holiness, we do not hear much about it in Christian circles in these days.
New Testament: Acts 7:1-29
Steven was a member of the charter, known thereafter as the group martyr.
Acts 7:1-29 Rockin’ Their World
Steven had been accused of saying Jesus was going to tear down the Temple and destroy the Mosaic system. Although there was some truth to these accusations, they did not truthfully represent Steven’s message. The high priest asked Steven to explain himself. Steven rehearsed the history of the Jewish nation beginning with Abraham. Steven was showing the Council that the Jews had always been rebellious. Steven would have benefited greatly by taking a Dale Carnegie course but then he wouldn’t have ended up doing God’s will, would he?
Following God’s will would cost him his life. He would be the first martyr in the church age. Tune in tomorrow for that.
Psalm 127:1-5 A Wisdom Psalm By Solomon
There is nothing stirring even a mouse unless the Lord builds the house.
Psalm 127:1-5 Quivering
Psalm 127 is commonly ascribed to Solomon though he is not credited in the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT version of this poem.
Verse 1 is found on plaques at Christian bookstores and for good reason. It’s a good sentiment for a home. Little known fact: President Eisenhower was sworn in as president on George Washington’s Bible which was opened to Psalm 127.
Originally, Psalm 127 spoke about Jerusalem and the temple. Ultimately, of course, it speaks of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel when Jesus reigns in the Millennium.
The psalm was a reminder that if you don’t trust the Lord in whatever you do, for one thing you won’t please God (cf. Heb. 11:6). For another thing, your chances of success will decrease. This verse was a reminder to all the pilgrims that they needed to trust the Lord in all their endeavors. “Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established” was also written by Solomon. So was, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).
Even a watchman with his eyes open could miss something if he didn’t have the Lord’s help (v. 1d).
A person can get a lot more done with a full night’s sleep than working too hard in his own’s strength (v. 2). If you are trusting the Lord, He will make sure you get enough rest. I remember being upset at my Greek professor because he interrupted one final exam by making us take a break. I thought he was like a slave-driver all semester and now he wants me to lose my train of thought and take a break? I guess he was well intentioned and the lesson is that we have to rest at times even while being diligent in the Lord’s work.
My sister-in-law warned me to take breaks and get refreshed when I was first raising my son. She said I’d do a better job if I did. Did I listen? (No.)
OK. I have more. (It’s a short psalm so I can write more.). Charles Stanley, when I was attending his church, always spoke of how he would work hard on a sermon to the point of near exhaustion. So he had to finally take a break and get some sleep before preaching on Sunday morning. When he work up the next day, the Lord had put together the sermon he had worked so hard on, in vain. But he warned, it wasn’t good to be lazy, wait till the last moment and then sleep, hoping that God would give you the sermon the next morning (v. 2d).
I just watched a comic news program that had a feature on kids being evil. They were covering a story on a child who had called 911 because his father had run a red light. He must have been a joy to raise. Another child in Japan destroyed a lego sculpture on display that had been built on a multi-thousand dollar grant. Another special child.
In general, children are blessings from the Lord (v. 3). In OT times, they helped with farming and protection of the family from intruders (v. 4). Now they just help us navigate the internet and understand how to use various software.
Solomon likens kids to arrows in a quiver (v. 5). A quiver is a carrying case for arrows. I don’t play golf, but I think he may have meant they were like different clubs in a bag.
If they are good kids, and they will be if you raise them right according Proverbs, their parents will be proud of them in their hometown (v. 5). The gate was the entrance to town where business was transpired. People who want to diss your family would have to deal with your many kids they want to harm you.
Proverbs 16:28-30 It’s A Jungle Out There
Beware evil men who may wink or slander, you might later regret his lack of candor.
Remember the book of Proverbs is a series of teachings to teach children about the world from a father. In these three verses Solomon is warning his son against bad guys.
Bad guys 1) rile people up (v. 28a) 2) separate people who had previously been close (v. 28b) 3) lures people close to him into bad schemes they wouldn’t ordinarily get involved with (v. 29) 4) acts surreptitiously which shows when he winks or purses his lips.
Watch out for evil people. It’s a jungle out there.
Choose Life: Scripture: 2 Kings 6:11-12 NASB “House Rules”
“Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon saying, ‘Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father.’” 2 Kings 6:11-12
You might think this verse is about the Temple. But it really isn’t. It reminds me of John 14: 21, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
This verse is really about our relationship with the Lord. Of course, that is the theme of the Bible: rebellion leads to death and a relationship with the Lord leads to life. When we adhere to God’s commands especially that we love Him with all our heart, mind, and soul, then we have a good relationship with Him. Today’s verse is a promise from Yahweh to Solomon that if Israel lived like God wanted them to then they would have a good relationship with Him (see also the blog Blessing For Obedience, Cursing For Disobedience).
Yahweh was telling Solomon that a relationship with Him was much more important than a building. The same is true today. A church building doesn’t mean much unless the people in the church have a good relationship with Him.
Are you just going to church? Or are you the church to others and to God (cf. 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19)?
If you are, you will find that you have chosen life (Deut. 30:19)!
OK, here’s a really fun application. Build a copy of Solomon’s temple. You can do it in miniature if you want.
JK. That would take a really long time. However, you could check out the internet and books to see what the Temple would have looked like. It would have been magnificent. Two similar temples will be built on the same site in the future (cf. Dan. 9:24, 26-27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:1-4; Rev. 11:1; 15:5 for the Tribulation era temple and Ezek. 40-48 for the temple built in the Millennium).
Weirsbe counts as many as four temples in Old Testament history, Moses’, Solomon’s, the second temple after the captivity, and Herod’s temple during the time of Jesus (see his commentary on Ez. 40 – 48, p. 1336). You can choose to build any of these temples (ha, ha). Again, you can just research them on the internet of books. We don’t always give a lot of attention to the temples in Scripture which is why reading through the Bible is such a profitable venture.
Here is Solomon’s temple (Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Here is the Millennial temple described in Ezekiel (Bible Knowledge Commentary)
The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Rocks In His Head