Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rehoboam and Jeroboam Kings I Kings 12

I Kings 12:1 "And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king."

We have already learned that the kingdom is to be divided because of Solomon's and the peoples sins. Now all Israel is gathered to make the son of Solomon king over all Israel. Something happens that changes all that.

v6 "And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?"

Here is the something that happened. Rehoboam listened to the old men but did not follow their advice. He rather followed the advice of the young men he grew up with. Bad decision.

The advice:

-from the old men: be a servant to the people and speak good words to them
-from the young men: increase the yoke of Solomon on the people and increase the discipline

v11 "And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."

It is a mistake young people make in our day. They listen to their friends and disregard the good advice of their elders. Therefore, we have a lot of troubled youth.

So in comes the exiled servant of Solomon who had been in charge of the house of Joseph. The people brought in Jeroboam who became king of the ten tribes. The people were so against the son of Solomon that they killed the tax collector he sent to them. Rehoboam had to flee back to Jerusalem and had the tribe of Judah as his kingship. He wanted to go to war against the 10 tribes but God stopped him. v24.

To avoid the people going to Jerusalem to make offerings and that they not decide to follow after the house of David. Jeroboam set up altars in Bethel and Dan.

v30 "And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

Psalm 36:1 "The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes."

Keywords: Old Old Story, Bible Study, Old Testament. Rehoboam king of Judah. Jeroboam king of the ten tribes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Solomon Forsakes the Lord, His Death

I Kings 11:1 "But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;...For it came to pass, when Solomon was old that his wives turned away his heart after other gods...v4"

The question often comes up as to why God allowed the men of the Old Testament to have many wives but the New Testament teaches us to have only one wife. Personally, I would not desire to have more than one. To me it would divide loyalty where total devotion is right. Who would want to be second fiddle and would a man want to be one of many husbands to one woman?

Biblically, I have not found where multiple marriages were blessed or praised by God. There were occasions where God still used someone to fulfill his will even though he may have been in the wrong about some things. Our hero, Solomon, is a prime example. He married many wives but they led him astray in his desire to please them.

v5 "For Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, and after MIlcom, the abomination of the Ammonites. v6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. v7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon."

v8 "And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods."

After all the blessings bestowed on Solomon by the Lord, it is no wonder that the Lord became angry with Solomon. No longer would his kingship line be kept because he did not keep his end of the bargain.

v11 "wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee and will give it to thy servant."

For David's sake, the LORD let Solomon keep the kingdom together in his lifetime but enemies were already being stirred up against him. Hadad who had fled to Egypt and Rezon of Damascus. Now the peace was broken.

v28 "And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour; and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph."

So Jeroboam is building a reputation in Israel. When the prophet Ahijah made the announcement that the kingdom would be divided, Solomon sought to kill him and so he fled to Egypt and remained there until Solomon died.

I am struck by how many people of Israel received safe haven in Egypt given the history between the two nations. After all, it was because of Israel that all the plagues came upon Egypt during Moses' time.

v43 " And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead."

Now we have to be careful to not get these two men confused: Rehoboam was the son, Jeroboam was the servant.

Proverbs 1:24-26 "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;"

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Old Story, Old Testament, Solomon. Solomon follows other gods to please his wives. Solomon dies.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Solomon is Visited by Queen of Sheba

I Kings 10:1 "And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions."

Chapter 10 is the last chapter of Solomon's glory days. In modern language, which I hesitate to use, Solomon lived a charmed life. He was the son of the greatest king Israel ever had. He had the blessings of the LORD on his life and his kingship which is the reason for everything going so well in his life. People came from all over to hear his wisdom and I guess to see the great buildings he built including the temple. The Queen of Sheba was no exception. She brought many gifts for Solomon and received many gifts in return.

In this chapter, we see the famous phrase often modified "the half has not been told".

v6-7 "And she said to the king, it was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit, I believed not the words, until I came and mine eyes had seen it, and, behold, the half was not told me; thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard."

Then it goes on to describe many of the things the queen would have seen on her visit. Some of them were:

-gold that came in one year: six hundred threescore and six talents of gold:
-spices and such: from Arabia and other countries
-shields of gold: three pound of gold each shield: 300 of them*
-targets of gold: six hundred shekels of gold each one
-throne: of ivory overlaid with gold
vessels: of gold
-1400 chariots
-1200 horsemen

*Rough estimate: 3 pounds in one shield equals 48 ounces or 48,000 dollars if gold is a thousand an ounce. times 300 for the shields Total value of shield in our time: 14,400,000 dollars.

v23 "So Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom."

All this was lost when the king forsook the LORD and when Israel turned to other gods. I believe the most important thing Solomon lost though was favor with the LORD.

Psalm 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

Keyword: Bible study, Old Old Story, Solomon, Queen of Sheba. Solomon's wealth is described upon the visit of Queen of Sheba.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Solomon's Fame I Kings 9

I Kings 9:1-2 "And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon."

At Gibeon, Solomon was granted his desire to have wisdom and understanding to care for the people. Now, we see Solomon getting another visit from the Lord and a promise if only Solomon would walk in integrity as David did.

v4 "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: v5Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever..."

There is quite a contrast between David and Solomon. David was a shepherd and a warrior. Solomon was a builder of the kingdom and of the temple and other houses.

It was after Solomon finished building that the Lord appeared to him the second time. I think, often we are too busy to hear the Lord speak to us. In one place in the New Testament, he speaks of standing still and being quiet in another. I know idleness is not good but sometimes we do need to stop and listen to what God is trying to tell us.

The rest of the chapter deals first with King Tyree being given cities for his help to Solomon but he was not pleased with them. It also talks about the navy that brought in gold and other things. There is also information about who did the work. The strangers of the land were the labor force and Israel was the men of war and supervisors.

Psalm 133:1 "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

Key word: Bible Study, Old Old Story. Solomon completes his building.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Temple Dedicated I Kings 8

I Kings 8:1 "Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel unto king Solomon in Jerusalem that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion."

This chapter has five distinct parts all related to this event.

-bringing up the ark
-Solomon's sermon
-Solomon's prayer of dedication
-Solomon's blessing
-sacrifices and rejoicing

The ark had been kept in Zion after David brought it to Jerusalem. It was placed beneath the cherubims with their wings spread over the entire ark and staves. Solomon then gives a review of how David wished to build the temple but could not but received the promise of God.

v18 "And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart. v19 Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house, but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name."

It is another lesson altogether but we should note verse 12. Often we are compassed with darkness and cannot see our way but this verse is a comfort.

v12 "Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness."

So we are not alone at these times.

Solomon then prays for the LORD to hear his prayer and take the temple as a place for the LORD's name. A place that God would look to and that Israel could pray toward.

v33 "When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because thy have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house: v34 Then hear thou in heaven and forgive the sin of thy people Israel and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers."

We see here a reference to the day when Israel would be taken away from Jerusalem and held captive. It has been spoken of before. It must have caused a dread among the people to know that day was before the nation and their children.

Look at this verse. It is a pronouncement that God has not failed at all in what he said he would do.

v56 "Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant."

Then sacrifices were made that could not be numbered and the people were sent away. It was a happy day.

v66 "On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant and for Israel his people."

Solomon acknowledged that the house of God could not contain him but only asked that it be a place for his name. There is power in His name.

Psalm 128:8 "Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth."

Keywords: Old Old Story, Old Testament, Bible Study, Solomon, Kings, Temple, Ark. The ark is brought to the temple.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Temple Details I Kings 7

I Kings 7:51 "So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David, his father had dedicated, even the silver and the gold and the vessels did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD."

There is one thing about this chapter that maybe someone can help me with. I cannot tell where the description of Solomon's houses and that of the temple start and end. I think the description of his houses ends with verse 13 but I'm not sure.

v13 "And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre."

Some particular things that I picked out were these:

-the molten sea of brass
-use of cedar
-costly hewed stones
-four items used in building: gold brass cedar stones

v48 "And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the LORD: the altar of gold, and the table of gold, where upon the shewbread was, v49 and the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side and five on the left, before the oracle with the flowers and the lamps and the tongs of gold,"

It goes on. I get the picture of coming into the temple after being on the porch and seeing the great pillars in rows with all the carvings. Then a glitter of pure gold up ahead with things getting more precious as one approaches the altar and then there is the ark with the cherubs, wings spread, over it. A sense of awe and dread then, as the God of all that is, has promised to be there.

Psalm 134 "Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD, Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion."

Keywords: Old Old Story, Old Testament, Bible Study, Solomon, Kings, Temple, Israel, Hiram of Tyre, Molten sea of brass. Solomon finishes the Temple.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Solomon Builds Temple I Kings 6

I Kings 6:11-14 "And the word of the LORD came to Solomon saying, Concerning this house which thou art in building, If thou wilt walk in my statues and execute my judgments and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father, And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel."

Solomon's temple was probably man's best effort to imitate the majesty of God's dwelling place in the heaven of heavens. The temple is not referred to as much as the tabernacle is in regard to the typology of the Christian. It was, however, a marvelous structure. God in his grace, honored the efforts of David and Solomon by shedding his grace on the place, as we will see later.

At our best though, we can only imagine the glory God is surrounded by in his dwelling. It must be something to see. I think he is pleased when we give the best we have as Solomon did here.

II Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

So, isn't it wonderful, as we study the beautiful place Solomon built, that God has chosen to instead dwell in us as Christians. You may be, but I can say, that I am neither beautiful or good to look upon. Yet the LORD is willing to dwell inside me and guide me. It's wonderful.

Indeed, as Paul said, the things we see, even the majesty of the temple, are but a shadow of what we will see when we reach heaven.

Hebrews 8:5 "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount."

I wonder if Moses got to peek into heaven and see how it really was as compared to the pattern of things built on earth.

Some facts about the temple: It was started in May and finished in November. Solomon started in the 428th year after Israel left Egypt or the passover. In his fourth year as king. And finished it in his 11th year as king. It was 90 feet by 30 feet and 45 feet high. A cubit is 18 inches. He also built porches and small rooms around it which would have made it appear larger. He took great pains with gold and brass and cedar and stones. Carvings were done and cherubs were made with wings spread. I suggest reading both chapter five and six to get a picture then flip over to II Chronicles 3 for a different narrative.

The deal was for Solomon to obey God and walk in his ways if God was to dwell in the house. There is a sad story in Ezekiel where the LORD had to leave because of idol worship.

Ezekiel 8:6 "He (see verse 2) said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again and thou shalt see greater abominations. v10 So I went in and saw and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about."

Isn't it so sad that this beautiful sanctuary built for the LORD could be turned into a playhouse for the devil. Man's heart is always toward evil and we desperately need a Savior.

Romans 1:21-22 "Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

v14 "So Solomon built the house, and finished it."

Psalms 8:3-4 "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of an, that thou visitest him? v5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels and has crowned him with glory and honour."

Keywords: Solomon's Temple, Old Old Story, Bible Study, Old Testament, Israel, Kings. Solomon built the temple.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Solomon Prepares to Build Temple I Kings 5

I Kings 5:5 "And Behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name."

It brings to mind Moses who led Israel from out of Egypt but did not get to enter the promised land. Joshua led the people across Jordan. David desired to build a house for the LORD but did not get to. He prepared but Solomon built the house.

II Chronicles 2 gives another narrative of Solomon's preparations. This verse is an example and illustrates that Solomon knew that he could not build a dwelling to contain God but could make a place to honor him:

II Chronicles 2:6 "But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?"

So we now understand the purpose for the temple. Solomon called in the experts and labor and supervisors to get the timber out of Lebanon to build with. It was a massive undertaking.

King Hiram (spelled Huram in Chronicles) agreed to provide the timber in exchange for food for his people.

v8 "And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir."

There were great numbers of people employed for this task. In Chronicles, it explains that these were the strangers in Israel.

v11 "And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year."

v13 "And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel and the levy was thirty thousand men."

This could be the first draft, perhaps not, in other places warriors were encouraged to fight at the risk of being killed if they failed to show up (Saul).

Great stones were also brought for the foundation.

v17 "And the king commanded and they brought great stones, costly stones and hewed stones to lay the foundation of the house."

So now we are ready. Great numbers of men have cut timber and floated it to Joppa where Solomon retrieved it and brought it to the temple building site. It is all laid out and ready for the next chapter.

Psalm 53:16-17 "As for me, I will all upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon will I pray and cry aloud and he shall hear my voice."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Old Story, Old Testament, Kings, Solomon. Hiram, Milton J Southerland. Solomon prepares to build the temple.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Solomon's Kingship I Kings 4

I Kings 4:29 "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. v31 For he was wiser than all men..."

Chapter 4 is a description of how Solomon's government is setup. He did not try to look at every detail but delegated tasks to individuals. The following is a sort of summary of his kingship:

-princes: Azariah, Elihoreph and Ahiah
-scribe: Jehosphaphat
-over the host: Benaiah
-priests: Zadok and Abiathar
-over the officers: Azariah
-principal officer: Zabud
-over the household: Ahishar
-tribute: Adoniram

Beside these there were twelve (12) officers over all Israel.

v7 "And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household, each man his month in a year made provision."

So there was an area of responsibility for all of Israel with those in charge reporting to Solomon. One note in verse 5 concerning Zabud who was principal officer it also says that he was the king's friend.

The scope of his kingdom was wide and he had influence with nation's around him and had peace.

v24 "For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river; and he had peace on all sides round about him. v25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely..."

v32 "And he spake three thousand proverbs and his songs were a thousand and five. v34 And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon..."

So with his throne established and peace all around Solomon is able to began building the house of the LORD. His father David was a warrior and paved the way. David also saved up some treasures. But it is Solomon who has the peace and resources to start and finish the project.

Psalm 122:1 "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."

Keywords: Old Old Story, Old Testament, Bible Study, Solomon, Temple, Jerusalem. There is peace in Israel and Judah and Solomon is ready to start work on the temple.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Solomon Prays for Wisdom I Kings 3

I Kings 3:9 "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? v10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing."

The chapter begins with Solomon marrying the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt. This seems a little strange to me since Israel was enslaved in Egypt but they were also cared for in Egypt while Joseph was alive. So, I think the purpose was to secure peace between Egypt and Israel.

v4 "And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place; a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar."

Gibeon was where Solomon had the dream in which he asked the Lord for wisdom instead of riches. It was frowned upon to sacrifice in the high places for this was where the pagans made sacrifices but the temple was not yet built. It is good to note that after Solomon received his answer to discern between good and bad that the then offered sacrifices at the tabernacle.

v15 "And Solomon awoke and behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt-offerings and offered peace-offerings, and made a feast to all his servants."

Solomon has received wisdom from the Lord. A test of that wisdom comes about when two women argue over a child. Both gave birth but one died. While the mother of the live baby slept, the other switch the babies. Now they are before Solomon, both insisting that the live child is theirs.

v25 "And the king said, Divide the living child in two and give half to the one and half to the other."

The mother who lied agreed that that was the thing to do but the real mother of the child cried for them to give the child to the other to save its life. Solomon knew now that the one who sought to save the life of the child was the real mother.

v27 "Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof."

The word spread of Solomon's wisdom and Israel heard and feared. He had the wisdom of God.

Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."

keywords: Old Old Story, Bible Study, Old Testament, Solomon. The judgement of two mothers and one baby.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I Kings 2 David's Death

I Kings 2:10 "So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. v11 And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem."

We have studied and practically experienced the life of a great man. He is a king that is not forgotten. We often think of the young man who was a shepherd. Then how he was angered when a giant defied the LORD and so he slew him with a rock. That is how Satan will get it, that is by THE Rock. He has already struck the death blow.

It might be appropriate to flip over to Chronicles and do a verse from there.

I Chronicles 29:28 "And he died in a good old age full of days, riches and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead."

Here is something David said when near the end:

I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Even thou he made mistakes, David got it right in the end. He knew that everything good came from the LORD.

David talked to Solomon before he died about a few things. One was to be a man. v2 The most important was to honour and obey the LORD and all his commandments. v3

Then there was the matter of some people who did David wrong and who did wrong things. They were also people that probably should not be around Solomon if his throne was to be established.

These were: Joab who was a murderer. Adonijah who tried to steal the throne. Abiathar a priest who went with Adonijah (if I remember right). Shimei, the Benjamite who cursed David when he was on the run from Absalom. There fate is told here.

The man who helped David while he was on the run was to be cared for with his sons. Barzillai, the old man who helped David cross the river, had sons whom David wanted to eat at the kings table.

So those things are taken care of by Solomon in this chapter and he is established. A new captain of the host emerges. His name is Benaiah.

v35 "And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar."

So the reign of Solomon has begun. Solomon means peaceful. Solomon built the temple. He was famous for his wisdom, given to him by God. He wrote most of Proverbs.

Proverbs 28:10 "Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit; but the upright shall have good things in possession."

Keywords: Old Old Stroy, Old Testament, Kings, Bible study, David, Solomon, Joab, Israel, Judah, Milton Southerland. Solomon reigns.