Monday, November 7, 2011

1 Kings 9 & 10 - The Pinnacle of Solomon's Reign

LINK: 1 Kings 9 & 10 (read over the next two days)

BACKGROUND 

The temple of God was completed, and Solomon had achieved "all he had desired to do" (9:1). Solomon was at the pinnacle of his reign, and the Lord appeared to him a second time (the first time was in a dream, 1 Kings 3). God gave Solomon a promise and a warning. If Solomon and his descendants continued to walk in the footsteps of David, he would be blessed and the throne of David would be inhabited forever. But if Solomon and his descendants strayed into idolatry and immorality and forsook God, they would meet with disaster. 

The remainder of 1 Kings 9 chronicles Solomon's other achievements in the midpoint of his reign when the temple and palace were complete. He gave land to King Hiram, and Hiram called it the "Land of Cabul" which means "good-for-nothing."  Although Hiram complained, he benefited greatly from his trade partnerships with Solomon (2 Chronicles 9:10, 21).

Solomon also rebuilt towns, conscripted many laborers for his building projects, built a palace for Pharaoh's daughter, presented annual offerings (Perhaps the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Harvest, and Feast of Tabernacles), and built up his navy. 

In 1 Kings 10, the visit from the Queen of Sheba (modern Yemen) and the summary of his wealth reinforced the claim that Solomon had a glorious reign that was known throughout the ancient world. 

God's promise to make Solomon the richest and wisest king of all (1 Kings 3), had been fulfilled, but the accumulation of horses and chariots (10:26) was prohibited in Deuteronomy 17:16. This foreshadows what we will see happen in 1 Kings 11; but before we do that, we will take the next month to bask in Solomon's wisdom by reading through the book of Proverbs!  Proverbs will be a great book to read as we head into the holidays.

REFLECTION

Not gonna' lie. There have been times in the past when I have been sailing along in my pilgrimage with God and got a little puffed up in the process. God has always been very faithful to put me in a place of utter dependence, making me realize that He is God, and I am not. I am so thankful when He does that! What is the point of serving Him if it becomes all about ME rather than HIM?

He is God, and I am Not! 

APPLICATION

If you may be getting a little too high for your horse (you international readers are going to have to look that one up), might I suggest praying through the "Overcoming Pride" chapter in Praying God's Word by Beth Moore. I love this chapter and try to pray through it on a regular basis!  

PRAYER

Lord make us wise, but keep us from pride that causes us to forget and not depend on You. Amen. 
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