1 Kings 5:1–6:38
Where God guides, God provides, and that means everything and everyone we need, to do all, that God calls us to do. Enter Hiram, King of Tyre. This man loved David, so when David passed away, he sent his condolences to Solomon. Solomon wrote back, letting King Hiram know that the dream of his father was to build a Temple to the LORD. Since Tyre was known for it’s trees and the Sidonians were known for their lumber skills, Solomon asked him if the two nations could enter into a treaty – and they did – food for wood.
Pastor Chuck Smith, “They floated these big logs down the Mediterranean Sea to Joppa, which was the only seaport on the coast of Israel then. From Joppa, they carried these huge timbers forty-miles to Jerusalem. Quite a monumental task.”
Solomon was now utilizing that God-given wisdom to build a glorious temple for the name of the LORD.
1 Kings 5:12 (NKJV) “So the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty together.”
This was not going to be some rinky dink thing, this would require a labor force of 30,000 men who would travel to Lebanon, 10,000 at a time, one-month-on, two-months-off was the rotation for 7 years. Solomon also had 70,000 who carried burdens (common laborers), 80,000 who quarried stones, and 3,600 who organized those workers and led the way as supervisors.
In the construction of the Temple, Solomon took into consideration the Tabernacle and added to it such amazing beauty. One commentator said the amount of gold used to build the Temple was 75,000 pounds! Of course we know that God doesn’t dwell in houses made with man’s hands, but David’s heart was in a good place, as well as Solomon’s. He wanted it to be a facility where God’s people could come together and congregate in the name of the LORD. While they were there, David and Solomon (who designed it) wanted everyone to be reminded (wherever they looked) of the glory of God.
It was all symbolic, the gold, the bronze, the silver, the flowers, the cherubim, the palm trees, and the colors, but the challenge over the years is to never lose sight of the pure and original intention. There’s more to this than meets the eye!
1 Kings 6:11–12 (NKJV) “Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying: 12 “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David.”
Warren Wiersbe said, “God gave David the design for the temple (1 Chronciles 28:11–19), and David and the people provided most of the materials (1 Chronciles 29). A gentile king, Hiram, supplied the timber, and a Canaanite work force (1 Kings 9:20–22) assisted the Jewish workers. It was a cooperative effort supervised by King Solomon. God is building His “holy temple” today (Ephesians 2:19–22), and He uses the service of all kinds of people. Are you helping to build His church? They built with gold, silver, and costly stones (1 Chronicles 28:14–29:9), the same materials God wants in His church (1 Corinthians 3:10–23; see also Prov. 2:1–9; 3:13–15; 8:10–11). Every detail was spelled out, and Solomon saw to it that the design was followed perfectly.”
In Acts chapter 7 we have Stephen addressing the Jewish council, the Sanhedrin, it would be their equivalent of our Supreme Court, but he doesn’t defend himself – amazingly it’s not a defense – it’s more of an indictment of Israel. His words are rich with Jewish history, but the main thrust of his message is the fact that the Jewish people had a pattern of rejecting their deliverers, and because of that, they rejected the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Sandy Adams said this about Stephen’s speech, “He retraces Jewish history demonstrating how God was always up to something new, yet each fresh initiative was met with Jewish resistance. Call his sermon a panoramic view of a people’s stubbornness.”
Just as the Jewish leaders were envious of Jesus (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10) they had also been envious of Joseph (Acts 7:9).
“O Lord, please rid us any and all traces of envy, it’s such an ugly and hideous sin – the resentment of benefits and blessings upon others.”
I love those five words we read about Joseph in Acts 7:9, “But God was with him.” We read that repeatedly about Joseph in his “life-story.” It doesn’t mean that Joseph was spared all the suffering, it just meant that God would sustain him through it all, and give great purpose to the pain – that’s what happens when you have the Creator as your constant companion.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve patriarchs, Joseph, Moses – Stephen knew his history in detail, even offering new information that we might not find in the Old Testament as the Holy Spirit inspired him. It’s through Stephen, we confirm the testimony of the Jewish historian, Josephus.
Acts 7:22 (NKJV) “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.
But the Jews rejected Moses (the first time), Joseph (the first time), and they rejected Jesus (the first time).
We discover through Stephen that it came into Moses’ heart to visit the Jews, to help them somehow (Acts 7:23). I wonder what would have happened if they yielded to his intervention? When they asked Moses “who made you a ruler and a judge over us?” Moses could have answered, “God.”
I’m not sure about the details on all of this, maybe it wasn’t God’s timing, maybe Moses stepped out in the flesh, maybe he wasn’t ready, but either way, Stephen is pointing out that the Jews had a history of rejecting their deliverers.
Doesn’t it break your heart to see the way that the vast majority of the world has rejected their deliverer – Jesus Christ?
This Psalm of Ascents was written by Solomon. The first verse is one of my favorites, as well as verses 3-5.
Psalm 127:1 (NKJV) “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
I’ve always applied it to the church, but it is applicable to so much more. We can build, we can birth, we can labor with the greatest care and skill, but if God’s not in it, that “house” will fall (Matthew 7:24-27). The same is true with guarding the city or guarding the family, unless the Lord protects us, we’re sitting ducks. Jesus put it this way:
John 15:5 (NKJV) “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
This Psalm encourages me to do things God’s way and to trust Him. I’ll build, and I’ll watch, but I will also pray and I will trust the Lord.
Part of that “house” is our families. We see in this Psalm that children are a blessing not a burden. Children are a reward from God. Children are like “arrows” we send out into the world as warriors for the Almighty. “Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them…” Did you catch that word “happy?” It expresses the fact that children bring happiness – and although I can’t speak for every family, it’s almost as if Solomon is revealing, the more the merrier.
I’m not saying you have to have 18 children. I just hope our perspective as God’s people is Biblical, that children are a blessing from God.
V. 28 – Oh the damage that gossip, slander, and backbiting does. This verse categorizes the wicked “whisperer” as a perverse man (or woman).
V. 29-30 – Can you picture a con-man, winking as he walks and talks a certain way, enticing his neighbor in the wrong direction, with violence in his heart.
That “neighbor” might become an accomplice to a crime or even a victim of a crime. May God give us wisdom and discernment to stay away, to not be enticed.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.