May 23rd 2 Chronicles, 7
7v1-3 The glory in the Temple
1: Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2: And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD's house. 3: And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
7v4-10 Sacrifices & celebrations
4: Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD. 5: And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6: And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. 7: Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat. 8: Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt. 9: And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. 10: And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.
7v11-22 God speaks to Solomon
11: Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. 12: And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13: If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15: Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16: For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. 17: And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statues and my judgments; 18: Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. 19: But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20: Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. 21: And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? 22: And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
2 Chronicles, 8
8v1-18 Solomon’s other projects
1: And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house, 2: That the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there. 3: And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah, and prevailed against it. 4: And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store cities, which he built in Hamath. 5: Also he built Beth-horon the upper, and Beth-horon the nether, fenced cities, with walls, gates, and bars; 6: And Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had, and all the chariot cities, and the cities of the horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and throughout all the land of his dominion. 7: As for all the people that were left of the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which were not of Israel, 8: But of their children, who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel consumed not, them did Solomon make to pay tribute until this day. 9: But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and captains of his chariots and horsemen. 10: And these were the chief of king Solomon's officers, even two hundred and fifty, that bare rule over the people. 11: And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come. 12: Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch, 13: Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles. 14: And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded. 15: And they departed not from the commandment of the king unto the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures. 16: Now all the work of Solomon was prepared unto the day of the foundation of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was perfected. 17: Then went Solomon to Ezion-geber, and to Eloth, at the sea side in the land of Edom. 18: And Huram sent him by the hands of his servants ships, and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.
2 Chronicles, 9
9v1-12 The Queen of Sheba
1: And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. 2: And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not. 3: And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, 4: And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. 5: And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: 6: Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. 7: Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. 8: Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice. 9: And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon. 10: And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. 11: And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king's palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah. 12: And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants.
9v13-28 Solomon’s fame and wealth
13: Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold; 14: Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15: And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target. 16: And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold: three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 17: Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. 18: And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays: 19: And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom. 20: And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; it was not any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon. 21: For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. 22: And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 23: And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. 24: And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. 25: And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. 26: And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. 27: And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the low plains in abundance. 28: And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands.
9v29-31 Solomon’s death
29: Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 30: And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31: And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
In today’s passages we read of the glory of the Lord filling the temple that Solomon has built. And we read of the sacrifices and celebrations of Israel at the dedication of the Temple. Then we read that the Lord spoke to Solomon. Next the recorder writes of Solomon’s other building projects and of the famous visit of the Queen of Sheba. Then finally we have the wealth and fame of Solomon and of his death. Never before or since had there been a more wealthy king of Israel than Solomon and never before a more Godly man than David. All the Kings of Israel are measured against the David who was a man who had the very mind of God. From this we see that wealth and blessing are not the same as godliness. Often we think that it was Elijah that called on the Lord to send down fire from heaven but David and Solomon experienced this first. The glory of the Lord filled the house thus making the temple an unbearable place to be for men. The people were amazed and bowed before the Lord worshipping the LORD. Then Solomon offered 2,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. The organisation of the service of the Lord swung into action that David had set up and there was great worship and celebration. The altar of the Lord was unable to contain all the offerings to the Lord. The feasting went on for seven days, but on the eighth day they had a very solemn assembly because they had kept the dedication of the altar for seven days and the feast for seven days. On the 23rd day of the seventh month the people went away glad and merry in heart because of the goodness of the LORD that he had shown to David and Solomon and to all the people. Then the LORD spoke to Solomon in the night confirming his covenant with him and explaining how the people are to return to the LORD their God if he disciplines them with drought, locusts or pestilence. This famous passage is classic Old Covenant Theology. It is based on the Mosaic covenant and the provisions of the law. The Lord says If my people (Israel) who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and search after me and repent of their wicked ways – THEN l will hear from heaven and forgive them (of their backslidings) and I WILL HEAL THEIR LAND. (Now this cannot be said of any NT believer today. Firstly because this is squarely based on the blessings and curses of the Mosaic Covenant and this is a covenant of Law. Secondly, NT Believers are not under Law and most certainly not under the Mosaic Covenant. These threats of judgments and promises of blessing are based on the righteousness of those living under law. The Christian is dealt with in a totally different manner. He is living under Grace. God is forever gracious towards him because his sins and iniquities are remembered no more. They are forever forgiven and he has no land here on earth - his inheritance is heavenly where he has received already all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.) Then the Lord promised that his eyes and ears would forever be open to this temple. Then the LORD entered in a personal covenant of human responsibility with Solomon. He said IF you live righteously before me (according to the Mosaic Law) then l will establish your throne like l did with your father David. But if you forsake me then l will pluck you up out of the ground like a thistle and l will throw you out of my sight. And you will be a lesson to all men of what happens to a man who forsakes me. And this temple will be so destroyed that those who walk by will be astonished at it. They will ask why God has done this. And every man will know the answer – It is because they have forsaken the LORD their God and gone and served idols. Solomon went on to build huge buildings. He built a house for himself and he built huge cites throughout the land. Solomon supervised the Levites to bring sacrifices to the Lord in huge quantities three times a year and every day. Then Solomon took men who have knowledge of the sea to bring back huge quantise of gold. Many monarchs came to visit Solomon and the most famous was the Queen of Sheba. She came with the hardest unsolvable questions of men but Solomon easily answered all that she asked. After she had seen everything she was completely amazed saying that she had only heard half of what she had seen with her eyes. She blessed the God of Israel giving to Solomon all that she had and he gave her all that she asked for. The wealth of Solomon was fabulous beyond belief. There was so much gold that he had to think of things to make with it all. He built an ivory throne and overlaid it with gold. All of the cups in his palace were pure gold. His navy went far and wide bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks. God made him the wealthiest and wisest man on earth. All the kings of the earth came to hear his wisdom and they brought great wealth to him. All of his great acts are written in the book of Nathan the prophet and in the prophecy of Ahijah and in the visions of Iddo the prophet. Solomon reigned as did David and Saul for 40 years. He was buried in Jerusalem. When he died Rehoboam took his throne.