Solomon was very very wise and very very rich. That much is made clear in chapters 8 and 9. We read of an almost utopian society where everything is clad with gold, the king is wealthy, the people are wealthy, but even more importantly God has kept his promise to Solomon. Perhaps these chapters are more about God keeping his promises than the impressiveness of Solomon himself. Remember that it was God who made Solomon in chapter 1. We see another promise kept in chapter 10:15, “for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the LORD might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahjah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” This promise is recorded in 1 Kings 11:29-39. God keeps his promises and yet the people are held responsible for their actions. In chapter 10 we clearly read of Rehoboam, Solomon’s Son, acting unwisely where his father always acted wisely. This unwise action results in the division of the kingdoms, to the north Jeroboam reigns over the northern kingdom Israel, and to the south Rehoboam reigns over Judah. We read in these chapters both mankind being held responsible for their sin, and at the same time God’s sovereign plan unfolding.
Reflect: Do you find it difficult to hold together God’s sovereign plan and the responsibility of mankind for their sin? If God is good, why would he allow the division of his kingdom? What is his purpose? As you consider Christ who was broken so that we might be healed, how might the Gospel story inform why in God’s sovereign plan he allows the kingdom’s to divide? What is it about being broken and restored that it so important? What does this look like in your life?
Connect- 1 Kings 11: 29 And at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had dressed himself in a new garment, and the two of them were alone in the open country. 30 Then Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 And he said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and will give you ten tribes 32 (but he shall have one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), 33 because they have[a] forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and they have not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my rules, as David his father did. 34 Nevertheless, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of David my servant whom I chose, who kept my commandments and my statutes. 35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand and will give it to you, ten tribes. 36 Yet to his son I will give one tribe, that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name. 37 And I will take you, and you shall reign over all that your soul desires, and you shall be king over Israel. 38 And if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 And I will afflict the offspring of David because of this, but not forever.’”
- Rev. Joseph Bianco
II Chronicles 5-7
Picture this glorious moment, the moment that the glory of the Lord fills the temple. This was a marvelous sign to the people of Israel, that God is with them. God is with his people. The confidence, the security, the hopefulness, the mercy that this would invoke for Israel is hard to comprehend. Perhaps you’ve heard a joke at a Steelers game about whose side God is on, but imagine if God were really on your side. How might this change your life? How might this change your way of thinking? In II Chronicles 6:18 we hear Solomon say, “But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!” Solomon got it, the magnitude of what was happening, but do we understand this today? Do we comprehend that that same glory that dwelt in the temple dwells in the temple of the body of Christ, his church? That same Spirit of fire landed on the disciples in Acts 2, and continues to carry his people throughout the ages. How much more. How much more does God dwell with his people now? How much more ought our union with Jesus affect our lives today? And yet, Solomon knows this people will sin. In chapter 7, we read several intercessions, giving God’s people assurance that if they pray, God will forgive them. There is a verse that is repeated twice in these chapters, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Remaining faithful to God is believing that God is good, and that his steadfast love endures forever. We will be like those who abandon the Lord when we begin to doubt his goodness, his steadfastness. Pestilence, plague, difficulty, and sin will come, but our God will remain forever.
Reflect: Do you believe that you are closer today to the Lord than the Israelites? Do you believe that we have a degree of intimacy with God through Christ that king Solomon couldn’t imagine? If you believe this, how does it change the way you live? How does it change the way you work, love your spouse, or engage in society? Take some time in prayer to both confess your shortcomings and to give thanks that you have a God who is good, whose steadfast love endures forever.
Connect- In Acts 2 we read about another time that God comes to dwell with his people. That day he gave to them his very Spirit, which continues to dwell in his people today. This Holy Spirit ought to guide every aspect of the Christians life.
Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
-Rev Joseph Bianco
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.