1 Kings 10-11 & 2 Chronicles 9
Growing Throughout the Year
Solomon addresses the people of Israel, reminding them of how they got to where they are in regards to the building of God’s temple. Then he offers a prayer of dedication of the temple.
In his prayer, Solomon knows that as great as the temple is, it isn’t great enough for God. Yet he asks God to hear what is brought before Him in this house.
40 “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
41 “Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation,
may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.
42 Lord God, do not reject your anointed one.
Remember the great love promised to David your servant.”
God doesn’t have to hear us. He doesn’t have to love us. Yet he established a covenant with David that continued through the generations, that when it came to Jesus, was opened to everyone. We should be so thankful to God for that!
God responded to Solomon’s prayer with fire and His glory filling the house. And later, He appeared to Solomon. One of my favorite verses is in this next section –
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
I know this was directed to the people of Israel, but I’d like to think it can apply to us too. Our land is so broken today. I live in Minnesota. These past few weeks we have been dealing with a huge mess of brokenness. A police officer killed a man during an arrest. Peaceful protests gave opportunists the chance to start violent riots with buildings being burned down, stores looted, people being sexually assaulted, kids going without food because the services that normally provide them with food are unable to operate amidst this, and much more. And all I can think is how much our land needs to be healed. And that is just in my little state. I know there are problems all across our country, and our world. If all of God’s people turned to Him and prayed, could our land be healed?
My comfort in this time is knowing that our land will be ultimately healed. Jesus will return and the earth will be made new. But until then, I do believe it is the job of God’s people to pray and to turn to Him and away from wickedness.
We’ll end today and this week with Psalm 136.
Give thanks to the LORD for He is good, His love endures forever.
If I counted correctly, that phrase “His love endures forever” is repeated 26 times in this psalm.
Thanks Marcia for putting this reading plan together. What a timely reminder. Whatever is happening in the world today, God’s love endures forever.
Come lord Jesus come.
Today’s beautiful and timely Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Chronicles+6-7%2C+Psalm+136&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be Psalm 134 and 146-150 as we continue seeking God, and growing our Christian faith while learning to love Him and others better and better on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan. Now is a great time to start following along. Print your own plan (red link above) and subscribe to the daily devotion emails at https://seekgrowlove.com/
Once the temple was finished, they brought in the ark of the covenant. It was brought into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the Holy of Holies. When the priests (who had sanctified themselves) had come out, and the group praised the LORD, His glory filled the temple and the priests couldn’t perform their service because of His great glory.
That concept of how great the glory of the LORD is hard to comprehend for me. On one of our Zoom calls for the youth group recently, we watched a video on holiness. There were some interesting points in it, and a good analogy on how to better understand God’s holiness and why we can’t be too close (watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9vn5UvsHvM). We cannot get too close to God because we are impure, and He is perfect. People had to purify themselves to come into the temple. And for the Holy of Holies, or Most Holy Place, separated by a veil, the purified high priest could only enter once per year on the Day of Atonement when the whole nation asked God for forgiveness of their sins.
The good news for us is that we live in a time after Jesus interceded. When he died, that veil was torn, and we can now come to God instead of the high priest, and we can come without having to go through those same purifying rituals. I forget sometimes what a blessing that is. Because of Jesus being our mediator, we can go to God and receive forgiveness from our sins by request, not through sacrificial offerings. We have never had to live in a time where it was different, but can you imagine it? Thinking of this helps to remind me of how amazing Jesus’ sacrifice was.
If you haven’t already, you can stop reading in 1 Kings 8 at verse 12 and pick up there tomorrow to read a similar account in 2 Chronicles.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+8%2C+2+Chronicles+5&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be 2 Chronicles 6-7 and Psalm136 as we continue on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan
After the temple was built, Solomon built his palace. When I read through this, my first thought was that he had his priorities right in building God’s house first, but why did he spend more time building his palace? It doesn’t directly say, but I can guess from what is missing, that there wasn’t the eager readiness of someone to provide all the materials and laborers for this. Another reason the commentaries say is because there wasn’t the same sense of urgency in completing the task. The one for God – utmost importance, need to get this done! The one for Solomon, they get it done, but the timing isn’t as important. So that brought my thinking again to priorities as with Proverbs. Do I put God’s work first? Do I approach it with a great sense of urgency? I wish I could say yes, but I don’t think that is often the case. I need to make sure that how I am choosing to spend my time is lining up with what I say my priorities are.
Then we are back to temple (or if you are reading the 2 Chronicles account, you never left that). It is talking about the furnishings – again, if it is hard for you to visualize, look up a picture! It makes reading it easier.
This description is again so specific but speaks to the intricacies of what was being done to prepare the temple of God. This had to take so much preparation, and then the work that went into all the details was intense too. This wasn’t being done halfway. They really were trying to build, to the best of their human abilities, something to truly glorify God.
When we do something for God, do we put our full effort into it? Or do we just get it done? When we aren’t excited about something, I think sometimes we just aim to get the task done. And it may need to be done. But I don’t think that brings joy to God the way it would if we gave it our all. God may still be glorified through our work, but for me at least, I don’t feel the same. If I didn’t put my full effort in, I can tell, even if others can’t. I want to please God in what I do, and I think He is most pleased when I am putting in 100% effort.
So put your full effort into what you are doing today! See what kind of difference it makes for you.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+7%2C+2+Chronicles+4&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be 1 Kings 8 and 2 Chronicles 5 as we continue on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan