1 Kings 9:1–10:29
After the dedication of the Temple, God appeared to Solomon again, with a positive promise, and word of warning. The word “IF” is epic.
God said IF you and your sons walk before Me as your father David walked in integrity (David wasn’t perfect but he WAS a believer in the LORD) blessings would follow.
IF you or your sons turn from following Me and begin to follow other gods:
1 Kings 9:7 (NKJV) “then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
God couldn’t have made it any clearer. Then why do we so often disobey? We choose to go our own wayward way? So foolish. We will see that even Solomon himself will eventually serve other “gods.”
It doesn’t happen overnight – he simply drifts away. As we read of Solomon’s riches, accomplishments, and accolades we can almost see his apostasy woven in.
In the meantime, we read of Solomon’s labor force, forced to build and build and build Solomon’s kingdom. We read of Solomon’s extravagant and exotic wealth, unparalleled in his era (picture the pockets of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk combined) (1 Kings 10:23).
We also read of Solomon’s wisdom. And it seems to me that Solomon was not only wise in what to do in sticky situations, he was also extremely intelligent, gifted by God to know almost everything about everything. The Queen of Sheba had heard of him and came to test him. She was completely overwhelmed:
1 Kings 10:6–7 (NKJV) “Then she said to the king: ‘It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. 7 However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard.’”
The Queen of Sheba acknowledged the LORD and gave Him the glory in blessing Solomon to be a blessing to Israel (1 Kings 10:9), but it seems that Solomon, unlike his father David, lost sight of the fact that God was the one who did all this.
Solomon went on to multiply gold, and horses, and chariots, and wives for himself, things God specifically forbade the kings of Israel to do (Deuteronomy 17:16-17). Solomon gave glory and attention to his own throne (made of ivory and covered with gold) it was lifted high (six steps up) but he neglected the glory of God’s throne, it wasn’t as high in his heart as it used to be.
We read in 1 Kings 10:24 that all the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear the wisdom God put in his heart. I can’t help but think of the words of Jesus at this point – for Solomon was not the wisest man to ever walk the face of the earth – Jesus was (the God-Man):
Matthew 12:42 (NKJV) “The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.”
I’m blessed with the wisdom of Solomon in his heyday, when He was walking with God he wrote the book of Proverbs. But there’s no comparison to the words of Jesus found in the New Testament, and in one sense, the entire Bible. May all the earth seek His presence and hear the wisdom from His heart.
You’ll notice in the New Testament that one of the first questions (issues) after a person was saved and became a Christian, was whether or not that person was filled with the Spirit (see also Acts 19:2).
Sandy Adams comments, “There is more to the Christian life than salvation. Salvation is merely the tip of the iceberg.”
I hope you thoroughly understand this, if not, please message me and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you understand this important truth about the Holy Spirit.
1. Prior to salvation the Holy Spirit is WITH us, convicting us and showing us our need for Jesus (John 14:17; John 15:26; John 16:8).
2. At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live IN us, and we become the Temple of God (John 14:17; 1 Corinthian 6:19).
3. Subsequent to salvation (although sometimes it’s simultaneous) the Holy Spirit makes Himself available to come UPON us (John 14:17; 20:22; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8) in order to empower us. Can you see the different prepositions? With, In, and Upon?
Has the Holy Spirit come upon you? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? (see Ephesians 5:18). Pray, and ask God for the initial baptism of the Holy Spirit, and then ask for a fresh filling daily (Luke 11:11-13).
(For further study on this work of the Holy Spirit, by Pastor Chuck Smith – https://subsplash.com/twft/lb/mi/+8hwkzby)
When Simon the Sorcerer saw the falling of the Holy Spirit upon the people, he offered the Apostles money to buy this ability. Maybe he thought it was some sort of magic trick, or spiritual spell. Prior to the Gospel in Samaria, Simon was the attraction, the shot-caller, but not any more. Although Simon seemed to believe in Christ and was baptized, he still had major issues. Peter rebuked him severely. Peter was able to see that Simon’s heart was poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity. At this point I’m blessed to see that Simon humbled himself and asked for prayer. Only God knows if he was sincere, but many times in the Bible we see pride kick in when someone is rebuked, and those cases didn’t end well.
In the middle of a great work in Samaria Philip is called out by an angel to Gaza (which is desert). One might wonder why. Why would God call Philip from a thriving work he had been used to start and serve in, to the desert? We can’t always see in advance the reasons for our advancements, our job is simply to follow the Lord wherever and whenever He leads.
First the angel spoke to Philip. Then the Spirit spoke to Philip to minister to a man from Ethiopia who just happened to be reading Isaiah 53:7-8 (Acts 8:26, 29). Philip overtakes the chariot, is invited up to explain, and I love what we read:
Acts 8:35 (NKJV) “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.”
The Ethiopian believed, saw some water, and asked, “What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36)
Acts 8:37 (NKJV) “Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
The man is saved and baptized because he believes with all his heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He takes the Gospel to Ethiopia, and Philip is caught up and carried away to Azotus, preaching Christ wherever he went, as he traveled to Caeserea.
Have you ever been in a “deep dark place” emotionally, maybe even spiritually? Maybe you’ve blown it (we all have) and you’re praying for God to help, to move on your behalf, to answer prayer, to forgive.
This is what we see in this Psalm.
The Psalmist cries from “out of the depths.” (Psalm 130:1)
He knows if God keeps track and holds on to all his sins, he’s dust (Psalm 130:3), but thankfully God’s not like that (He’s not like us).
Psalm 130:4 (NKJV) “But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”
I like that verse because usually we connect the fear of God with punishment for sins, but here it’s connected to the forgiveness of sins. Here the fear of God is an awe of God. Thank You Lord – that You would forgive me.
So, he waits for God to move. He waits for God to fulfill the promise of His Word. He waits in faith and fervency, more than those who watch for the morning. Let’s say it’s night, it’s dark. When was the last time you doubted that the sun would rise? We don’t doubt that – we know, it’s just a matter of time. With this mentality the Psalmist knew (and we should too) that the sun will rise, that God will move on our behalf.
And He has – God has redeemed us from all our iniquities (Psalm 130:8) and as a beautiful bonus, all the details of our lives. Thank You Lord!
V. 2 – This is what can happen in the farm, or family business. The son doesn’t always take over or get the promotion, not if he’s a shameful son, and not if that servant is a faithful and hard worker.
So let’s work hard and not function with any family favoritism.
V. 3 – Such a tough verse – stating a tough truth that the only way to get to that point of great purification, is to be tested and tried by fire – or as Peter calls them in 1 Peter 4:12, “fiery trials.”
That heat is so hot, life gets so hard, fiery trials are never in any way ever easy, sometimes devastating, just ask Job. But God sees and God knows:
Job 23:10 (NKJV) But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
The Lord will test our hearts, which means to reveal and refine. He wants our hearts to be like His (Acts 13:22) (gold).
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.