THE STORY chapter #13
(My home church is participating in the study of THE STORY – The Bible As One Continuing Story Of God And His People. Foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. Each week, my Thursday post focuses on our current study chapter.)
In his old age, David instructed his son Solomon to walk in obedience to the Lord. Then after David died, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream instructing him to “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon asked for a “discerning heart.” This humble request so pleased God, that He granted Solomon’s request and gave Solomon wealth and honor such that no king had ever seen before.
Solomon’s gifts from God also included wisdom and great insight. This awarded Solomon fame throughout the lands. People from all nations came to hear his proverbs, and grasp his knowledge on birds, reptiles and fish.
Solomon’s father David, under God’s direction, conquered lands for Israel. This afforded Solomon, also under God’s direction, to peacefully interact with neighbors and now concentrate on building the temple for God.
Construction took seven years. When the work was complete, Solomon summoned for David’s dedicated furnishings. Then the ark of the Lord was brought up and positioned in the Most Holy Place of the temple. All of Israel was gathered, sacrificing too numerous to count animals before the Lord. Cymbals, harps and lyres were played by finely dressed priests. Singers sang praises to the Lord.
Soon the cloud of the Lord filled the temple, the place where God would reside in Israel. Kneeling before the alter of the Lord, Solomon offered prayers to God. When he finished the prayers, he stood and blessed Israel. More sacrifices were offered to the Lord, and the dedication of the temple was complete.
After the dedication and all work on the palace was finished, God appeared to Solomon in the night and said –
“As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 1 Kings 9:4-5
Solomon tried to follow God, and accomplished many wonderful things for Israel. Sadly, just like his father, women were his downfall. He had many wives, as was the custom, and his wives turned his heart from the Lord.
So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” 1 Kings 11:11-13
THE STORY foreword by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee