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Solomon and the Temple of God
David's dying charge to Solomon his son was, "He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds, as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain" (2 Sam. 23:3-4). "Keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments and His testimonies, as it is written in Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you go, that the Lord may keep His promise to me (1kings 2:3-4)
Had Solomon followed the instructions of his father, his reign would have been a righteous one as in psalms 72.
David knew that in order for his son to fulfill the trust with which God was pleased to honor him with, he was not only to be a warrior, a statesman and a sovereign entity but a man of moral principles, a teacher of righteousness and an example of fidelity.
David earnestly entreated Solomon to be noble and manly, showing mercy and loving kindness to his subjects and in all his dealings with the nations of the earth. He admonished him to honor and glorify the name of the Lord, so Israel may enjoy the manifestation of the beauty of His holiness.
Solomon longed for quickness of mind, largeness of heart and tenderness of spirit. He desired wisdom and understanding for the accomplishment of the work God had given him to do. He journeyed with all his advisors to the location in the wilderness of Gibeon, where the tabernacle of the congregation was built by Moses. There he offered one thousand burnt offerings on the brazen altar.
The night thereafter, God appeared unto him in a dream and said, "Ask what I shall give you". In his answer, the young and inexperienced ruler gave utterance to his feeling of helplessness and desire for aid, "You have shown of your servant David my father, great mercy, according as he walked before you in truth, righteousness and uprightness in heart and, you have kept for him this great kindness and have given him a son to sit on the throne as it is today. And now O Lord my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out and come in; and your servant is in the midst of your people that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I might discern between good and evil, for who is able to judge such great a people"(1Kings 3;5-9).
This speech pleased the Lord and because it was sincere, God told Solomon "You have not asked for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of your enemies, neither did you ask for long life but for wisdom and knowledge, that you may judge my people. Behold I have done according to your word: I have given you an understanding heart, so there shall be none like you, before you, neither after shall anyone arise like unto you. And I also have given you that which you have not asked; both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the Kings like unto you in your days. And if you walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days.
. He realized without divine guidance heSolomon was never so rich, wise or truly great as when he confessed to God his weakness and declared his insufficiency, not knowing how to pilot God's people would have been handicapped and helpless in fulfilling the responsibilities rested on him.
This prayer by Solomon should be a lesson to those selected for positions of trust. The higher the position a man occupies, greater are the responsibilities he has to bear, wider the influence he has to exert and greater would be his need of dependence on God.
Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and made 1005 songs. He spoke about the importance and benefits of acquiring wisdom, knowledge and understanding. He declared, "Happy is the man that finds wisdom and the man that gets understanding, for the merchandise is better than that of silver and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies and, all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are that of pleasantness and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her and happy is every one that retains her (Proverbs 3:13-18).
He carried out the long cherished plan of his father David, by erecting the temple unto the Lord. He got assistance from Hiram, King of Tyre, who lent him great craftsmen and workers, who were skilled in working gold, silver, brass, iron, stone and timber. The temple was built without the usage of hammer, axe or any tool of iron.
The fittings were beautiful, they were perfected according to the pattern committed by David to his son. The vessels which included the altar of incense, the table of show bread, the candle sticks and lamps were of gold.
The Holy temple was of surpassing beauty and unrivaled splendor. It was garnished with precious stones, surrounded by spacious courts and magnificent approaches lined with carved cedars and burnished gold. It had broidered hangings and rich furnishings.
It took 7 years for its completion and, according to David it was the temple of God and not of man. It was built on a consecrated spot, where Abraham had revealed his faithfulness to God, by offering to sacrifice his son of promise at the command of God (Gen 22:1-18). There, God renewed with Abraham his covenant blessings, which included the glorious messianic promise of deliverance to the human race, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Later in history, after David committed a sinful act against God, it was this identical piece of land that was bought from Araunah the Jebusite, on which he offered burnt and peace offerings unto God, in repentance. This appeased God who stayed the hand of the avenging angel and Israel was saved from a great pestilence, after the death of about 70,000 men (2 Samuel 24:25).
Seven months after completion, the holy temple was dedicated to God. People came from every part of the kingdom to assemble in Jerusalem for the feast of the Tabernacle. It was a time of rejoicing. The sacred ark finally found its resting place in the temple, along with the holy vessels from the sanctuary of Gibeon. The singers and trumpeters with their cymbals, trumpets and instruments of music, made a loud noise of praises and thanksgiving unto the Lord, singing "His mercy endures forever". The temple was consumled with smoke that the priests couldn't stand in Jehovah's presence to minister unto Him, because His glory filled the place. Realizing the significance of this smoke, Solomon declared, "The Lord hath said He would dwell in the thick darkness" (2 Sam. 8:12).
Solomon blessed the congregation, then made mention, that it was his father who had the desire to build the temple. However, The Lord told him, his son would fulfill this heart-felt desire, which was then accomplished. He then blessed the Lord and offered a dedicatory prayer unto Him. The Lord appeared unto Solomon again in response, by affirming that he had heard his prayer. He added that He would establish Solomon's house and the kingdom of Israel, only if he and his people would remain faithful to His commandments (1 Kings 9:4-9).
June Morton, a retired Bookkeeper, who enjoy sharing inspirational thoughts with others
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