Saturday, March 31, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King Solomon (Part 5)

King Solomon has made Israel one of the richest countries in the known world. The beauty of his palace and the temple of the Lord were beyond anything anyone of the time had ever seen.
God had given Solomon wisdom that had reached to the far ends of the known world. People travelled from far away just to hear his wisdom and to get answers to their questions.
But, the devil wanted to find a way to get the children of Israel to quit worshiping God. He had been watching Solomon and he knew just what he could use to make Solomon turn his back on the Lord. Once the king started worshiping idols, the devil knew the people would follow.
I Kings 3:1-  And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
I Kings 11:1-5-  But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. ​
God had told Moses to tell the Jews to only marry people who were Jews. If they started marrying people who worshipped false gods they would be tempted to worship idols with their spouses. Solomon didn't listen to God's law.
The devil knew that Solomon would be tempted to make his wives happy. He knew that these women were raised to worship idols and they would want their husband to worship with them. It took time, but the devil was very patient. When Solomon was old he no longer wanted to tell his wives "no", and so he started to worship false gods with them.
I Kings 11:6-8- And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
God has told us to be very careful with two things- who our friends are and who we marry. Why? Because both will either encourage us to do God's will in our lives, or they will turn our hearts from following the Lord!
This happened to the wisest man that ever lived! Not only did he worship false gods, but he also built temples for these idols around Jerusalem. The city that Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, had said that his name would dwell there now had many different temples and idols in it.
Do you remember God's conditional promise to Solomon? He said if Solomon would continue to serve Him that He would establish Solomon's kingdom. Solomon had seen God in a dream twice in his life- that's more contact than even David had with God. Solomon broke his end of that agreement! He turned his back on the God that had spoke with him twice!
I Kings 11:9-13- And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
God had promised David that his children would sit on the throne of Jerusalem, but now He had to punish Solomon for his sin of worshiping false gods. The Lord was going to split the nation of Israel-2 tribes would follow David's lineage, and the other 10 would crown a new king. God was going to bring this change as soon as Solomon's son took the throne.
The other punishment God sent Solomon's way was enemies. Up to this point Solomon had peace in his kingdom. But, now he was going to have trouble.
I Kings 11:14-20- And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom. For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:) That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child. And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land. And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh.
The first enemy God sent Solomon's way was his Egyptian wife's uncle. David had slaughtered this man's nation because of how they treated his men when they went to comfort the new king in his time of grief. But, General Joab had missed one. This man married Pharaoh's sister-in-law and became a mighty man in Egypt. Now, he wanted revenge for David's actions.
I Kings 11:23-25- And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus.  And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
The next enemy also had a history with David. David had slaughtered his home village after he had fled. This man set himself up as a king in Damascus and reigned over Syria.
So now, Solomon had enemies on two sides of his kingdom. But, there was one more that God was going to raise up. This one was going to take the 10 tribes from Solomon's son once Solomon died.
I Kings 11:26-31, 37- And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king. And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father.  And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.
Jeroboam had been a leader in Solomon's army. God sent a prophet to anoint him and tell him that he would be given 10 tribes to rule over. God gave him the same promise He had given Solomon- serve me and I will allow your lineage to keep ruling over my people.
When Solomon found this out he tried to kill him!
I Kings 11:40- Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
Jeroboam had to run for his life! He went to Egypt to hide from Solomon.
God always keeps His promises. Once you disobey His commands He will punish you as He has promised in the Bible. Adam and Eve couldn't escape the punishment God said they would suffer if they ate the fruit. The people in Noah's day couldn't escape the judgement God said would come if they didn't get on the ark. Pharaoh with all his power couldn't escape the 10 Plagues that God sent to curse his land and people during the time of Moses. Not even the wisest man in the world, Solomon, could use his wisdom to evade God's punishment.
God sent his judgement during the rest of Solomon's life, and carried it through even after Solomon's death.

I Kings 11:41-43- And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?  And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King Solomon (Part 4)

As ruler of the nation of Israel, Solomon had to mete out justice to those who deserved it. Before David died, he gave Solomon a list of men who needed to be judged.
I Kings 2:1,5,6,8,9- Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet. Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.  And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.
There were two men that David wanted to see judged- Joab and Shimei. Joab had killed Saul's brother, Abner when they had just reached a peace agreement. And, Shimei had cursed David and his family when they were on the run from Absalom. Solomon now was charged with their punishment.
Solomon had his own list of people who needed to be judged for their sins. The first was his half-brother Adonijah who had tried to take the throne. Solomon wanted to have mercy on him and let him live, but he just wouldn't be good. And he went so far as to bring Solomon's mother in on his plot.
I Kings 2:13-18-  And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably. He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on. And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD. And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on. And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife. And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.
Do you remember Abishag? She was the young lady who was brought in when King David was old to help him keep warm. Adonijah knew that the kingdom looked at her as one of the Queens of Israel. He was hoping to gain the hearts of the people and the throne through his marriage to her.
Bathsheba didn't understand this plot, but Solomon was a wise man. He could see the plot that Adonijah was constructing.
I Kings 2:19-22- Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand. Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay. And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife. And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.
Solomon knew that Abiathar the priest and Joab, David's General, had stood behind Adonijah. He knew that now was the time to bring a swift end to the plot that could split his new kingdom.
I Kings 2:23-27- Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life. Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day. And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died. And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted. So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
So, Solomon had Adonijah killed, and he sent Abiathar home. Abiathar deserved to die, but because he was a faithful priest to David during his reign Solomon showed him mercy and terminated his job as priest instead of killing him.
The news of these punishments travelled to Joab who knew that he must be next.
I Kings 2:28-31- Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him. And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me. And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father.
Joab ran into the temple and grabbed onto the altar. He thought that Solomon wouldn't kill him in there. But, Solomon knew that God was a God of justice and he had Joab killed for the murder and sedition he was guilty of.
Now, there was only one man left on his list that had to be judged- Shimei.
I Kings 2:36-38- And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither. For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head. And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
Solomon wasn't going to kill Shimei right away. He was going to offer him the chance to live a long life. All he had to do was move to Jerusalem and stay in the city so Solomon could keep an eye on him. And he did, for a little while.
I Kings 2:39-40- And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath. And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.
Shimei had two servants that ran away. He knew he wasn't suppose to leave the city and yet he went to the land of the Philistines to get his servants and bring them back. Do you suppose that he forgot what Solomon had said? Guess who didn't forget!
I Kings 2:41-46- And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good. Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with? The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head; And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever. So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
Now, during the time that all this was happening, stories of Solomon's judgement and wisdom were being spoken of around the known world. Tales of the beauty of the temple and the magnificence of his palace were circulating. And there was one ruler who just had to see for herself!
II Chronicles 9:1-2- 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. And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.
The Queen of Sheba had prepared gifts for Solomon. She had travelled far to get some answers to questions that she couldn't find anyone who could settle. She wanted to see if the stories were true.
II Chronicles 9:3-6- And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, 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. 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: 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.
She had heard the tales, but she didn't really believe that they could be true. The things she was told seemed too good to be reality. Surely, they were exaggerations! But, when she finally arrived to see for herself, she was amazed that they were true. In fact, she had only heard a small part of the wonders of Solomon's kingdom.
We hear about things in heaven the same way that the Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's kingdom. We thing that streets of gold and gates of pearl must be an exaggeration- no city could be that grand! But, I believe that once we get to heaven we will realize that, like the Queen, we were only told a small amount of the amazing place it really is!
II Chronicles 9:9, 12- 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. 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. 
The Queen of Sheba gave gifts to Solomon which she had brought with her, and Solomon gave her gifts in return.
We, one day, will be able to give gifts to our Lord Jesus Christ when we finally see the wonders of His kingdom. Do you know how you will have gifts to give to him?
I Corinthians 3:12-14- Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
Paul tells us that every work which we do upon the earth creates something in heaven. If our works are faith in God, reading the Bible, and winning lost souls to Christ we will get gold, silver, and precious stones. But if our works are done in selfishness, greed, or for worldly  pleasures we will get wood, hay, and stubble.

When we get to heaven all of our works will be piled in front of the Lord. He will then put them through the fire that separates the good from the bad. The gold, silver, and precious stones will be the only things left. These will be the gifts that we can give to the Lord!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King Solomon (Part 3)

Solomon is now the king over Israel. God has granted him wisdom as well as peace and riches. God has even promised Solomon long life if he will continue to serve Him.
Solomon had a commission from his father, David, to build a temple for the Lord in Jerusalem. From the time of Moses until now, the Ark of the Covenant and the priests of the Lord served  in a Tabernacle, a big tent. David wanted to build God a permanent house, but God had told him "no". Now, Solomon had been granted the privilege of building the house for the Lord.
II Chronicles 2:1- And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.
Solomon knew what the house would look like, and he also knew that he was going to need some very skilled workmen to make it just right.
II Chronicles 2:3-5,7-9- And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me. Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel. And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide. Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants, Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.
Solomon sent to a friend of his father's and asked him to help with some skilled workmen and lumber. In return, Solomon would give him food for his house and some cities.
I Kings 5:7, 10-11- And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people. So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire. And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year. 
I Kings 5:17-18- And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house. And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.
II Chronicles 3:1- Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
Do you remember when the Lord sent the destroying angel to kill people because of David's sin? David bought a threshingfloor and offered sacrifices to the Lord to appease His wrath. This threshingfloor was the location that Solomon chose to build the temple. It was located in Mount Moriah.
I Kings 6:1, 11-14- And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD. And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. So Solomon built the house, and finished it.
It took Solomon seven years to build the temple. It was a beautiful place! It had gold walls and stone floors. It had pillars with beautiful artwork weaved into curtains. There was a place for the Ark of the covenant and the wash basins. The altar was set on top of brass oxen. It was an amazing sight!
I Kings 7:51- So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD.
II Chronicles 8:16- 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.
Solomon got everything exactly how it should be. Then he gathered the people together to bring the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle to the Temple.
II Chronicles 5:2-3, 5- Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month. And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
So the priests carried the ark and the Levites brought the holy vessels. Once they got to the temple, they put it in a section called the Holiest of Holies. That's where the ark was to stay. It would be used once a year to sacrifice for the sin of the entire nation!
II Chronicles 5:10-  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
The ark contained the stone tablets with the 10 commandments on them that Moses had received from the Lord on Mt. Sinai.
I Kings 8:10-11- And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.
God wanted to show Solomon that He accepted this temple. So He filled it with a cloud. Not a cloud like you see in the sky. This was a special cloud that was full of God's glory!
Solomon was so awe struck that he raised his hands to heaven, fell on his knees, and started praising the Lord. He then asked God to hear anyone who would pray towards this temple. This is important because that meant God would hear even if you weren't able to make it to the temple.
II Chronicles 7:1-3- 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. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house. 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.
Do you think you'd be a little scared if you saw fire fall down from heaven? I would be. I bet the children of Israel were a little bit afraid, too!
I Kings 8:64-66- The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings: because the brasen altar that was before the LORD was too little to receive the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings. And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days. On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.
The people sacrificed and feasted for 2 weeks to praise the Lord.
I Kings 9:1-3- And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do, That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
Just in case Solomon wasn't certain that the cloud of glory or the fire from heaven was God's consent, God appeared to Solomon in a dream again. He told Solomon that He heard his prayer and that His name would dwell in the temple.
He then warned Solomon that if he worshiped false gods that He would punish him and the nation of Israel. He said that if they turned from serving Him and worshiped idols that He would destroy that temple and put the whole nation in captivity in a foreign land. He also promised that He would bring them back to the Promised Land if they turned from their sins, repented, and started to worship Him again.
Malachi 3:6- For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
God still wants His children to worship only Him. Jesus told the devil that when Satan wanted Him to worship at his feet.
Luke 4:8- And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Jesus also warned us about trying to love God and the world.
Matthew 6:24- No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

You can't serve two separate things. You'll love and obey one more than the other! The children of Israel hadn't yet learned this lesson.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King Solomon (Part 2)

Solomon has been made king of Israel. He has started his rule with a commission from his father, King David, to build a house to the Lord. This was a very large task. Even though David had provided the blueprints and much of the materials, Solomon was rather nervous about fulfilling his new role as leader of an entire nation. He decided to go to ask God for help.
II Chronicles 1:3- So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness.​
II Chronicles 1:6-7-  And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it. In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
After Solomon had offered an offering, God came to him in a dream and allowed him to ask any request. God was going to give Solomon whatever he asked for.
What would you ask for?
Solomon could have asked for Military might to conquer Israel's enemies. He could have requested riches more than any other ruler around. He could even have requested a long life ensuring his reign over the kingdom for many years to come.
I Kings 3:5-6,9- In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.  Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
Solomon realized that the only way he was going to be able to be a good ruler was if he had wisdom. So, that is what he asked God for.
Is that what you would've asked for?
II Chronicles 1:11-12-  And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.
God was very happy with Solomon's request. And, because Solomon asked for something that would help him to be all that God wanted of him as a ruler, God also gave him what he didn't ask for- riches and honor.
I Kings 3:10, 14- And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
It isn't hard to please the Lord. We can all do that by obeying what He tells us to do in His word.
In fact, God told Solomon that He would give him a long life if Solomon would obey God's laws. Did you know that God has promised children a long life if they obey their parents?
Ephesians 6:1-2- Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
That part "the first commandment with promise" means that it comes with a promise- then Paul tells you that the promise is a long life.
Solomon was also given this promise if he kept God's commandments.
I Kings 3:15- And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.
So Solomon went back to Jerusalem and after thanking God, he made a feast. Now, he was going to be presented with a situation that would prove to him that God had answered his request for wisdom.
I Kings 3:16-22- Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear. And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.
So, two women who lived together had each had a child. One of the babies had died, and the women were arguing over who got to keep the living child. One lady said that her baby had been taken away and the dead baby had been put in it's place, but the other lady said she was lying.
It was obvious that someone was lying, but who?
I Kings 3:24-25- And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.  And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
Solomon knew that a mother would do anything for her children. She would even give her child to someone else to protect it. If he threatened to kill the baby, he knew the real mother would do anything to save it.
I Kings 3:26-27- Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.
Solomon realized that the woman who was willing to give up the child to keep it alive was the real mother. He also realized that God had answered his request for wisdom. His entire kingdom heard of this story and they, too, knew that their king was a wise man.
I Kings 3:28- And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.
God also kept His promise to give Solomon riches and honor.
II Chronicles 1:14-15- And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.

I Kings 4:29-32, 34- And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King Solomon (Part 1)

David had grown old. He had fought many battles. He had faced many trials. But, now his life was coming to an end and he needed to select a replacement king.
I Kings 1:5-6- Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.
Even though David had told Solomon that he would be king next and that it was his job to build a temple for the Lord, we see that Absalom's brother thought that he could proclaim himself king. He knew that his father had never told him "no" about anything, and he thought his father would just shrug at his appointing himself ruler.
I Kings 1:7-10- And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants: But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.
So, Adonijah called General Joab and the priest, Abiathar. They went with him to a specific place and threw a banquet with most of his brother's to proclaim himself the next king.
He knew that Zadok the priest Nathan the prophet, David's Mighty Men, and the king's other friends would question him and so he didn't invite them. He also didn't invite Solomon.
I Kings 1:11-14- Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign? Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.
Nathan the prophet heard what Adonijah was doing. He knew that once Adonijah had established himself as the uncontested king that he would kill anyone who dared say he wasn't suppose to be the next ruler. Nathan called Solomon's mother, Bathsheba, and told her his plan to save their lives.
Nathan wanted Bathsheba to go into the king and let him know what Adonijah was doing, and ask if that was the king's wishes. Once she had finished telling the king what was going on, Nathan the prophet would come in to let the king know that what she was saying was true.
I Kings 1:15- And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.
Abishag was brought to help the king keep warm. He was so old that his body wasn't able to generate enough heat. She was young and would be looked at as part of David's family.
I Kings 1:16-18, 22-24-  And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?
So, Nathan and Bathsheba stood waiting for the king to give them an answer.
I KIngs 129-30- And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day.
The king verified that he wanted Solomon to take the throne after him. Now, normally the king would die before another one took the throne. But David was going to crown Solomon early so that if anyone wanted to hear who was the king's choice he would be around to tell them.
I Kings 1:32-35- And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:  And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.
David told his friends what they should do to make sure that all of Jerusalem knew that Solomon was crowned king. He was to be anointed outside Jerusalem. Then he was to ride the king's mule back into the city straight to the castle and sit on the throne. While he was riding through the city they would blow the trumpet and shout "God save King Solomon!"
I Kings 1:38-40- So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.
While all the people were accepting Solomon as their new king, Adonijah was just finishing his banquet.
I Kings 1:41-43- And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar? And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings. And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king.
When Joab and all the others that were with Adonijah heard this they were afraid. They all slowly left the banquet. Adonijah ran to the temple and grabbed onto the altar.  He was hoping that Solomon wouldn't kill him if he were in the temple.
I Kings 1:51-53- And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword. And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.
Solomon told Adonijah that as long as he proved he wasn't going to try to usurp the throne that he could live. So, Adonijah came and bowed before Solomon and then went home.
I Chronicles 23:1, 28:1-2a, 4-7-  So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel. And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem. Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel: And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
David called the people together. He wanted them all to know that not only had he chosen Solomon as the next king, but that God also chose Solomon as the next king. He now wanted them to build the temple for the Lord that he wanted to build so long ago.
I Chronicles 28:11-12, 19-20- Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
The Lord had shown David exactly what He wanted His house to look like, and David was passing the designs as well as the materials that he had gathered over to Solomon.
David praised the Lord for all His goodness to him. He thanked God for giving him a son to rule in his place.

 I Chronicles 29:26-28- Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Things That Won't Be In Heaven

Each person you meet has a different idea of what heaven will be like. They differ because the Bible only gives us a small glimpse into what awaits the Christian there.
Today, however, I want to look at what isn't going to be in heaven. Because for all the wonderful things that heaven will contain, there will be some things that won't be there.
First, heaven won't have bills.
John 14:2- In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Everything in heaven is bought and paid for by Jesus. Every item in heaven was crafted with care by the God who created the universe! We won't have to toil and labor to pay for what we have- the price was settled at Calvary.
Next, heaven won't have goodbye's.
Revelation 12:14- And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Death is gone. We will have eternal life! We will never have to say goodbye to our friends or our loved ones again, so long as they asked Jesus to save their souls.
Another thing heaven won't have is misunderstandings, hurtful words, or destructive actions.
Revelation 21:4, 27- And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
I Corinthians 13:12- For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
How many times are we hurt by someone saying something we took the wrong way? How often are we wounded by someone's words, whether intentional or accidental? There's no sorrow and no crying in heaven! We are going to understand exactly what people mean, and no wicked intention will be allowed there.
Sickness and aging will be a thing of the past!
I Corinthians 15:51-53- Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Aren't you tired of aches and pains? Does the idea of never being sick again thrill you? Imagine, no stiff joints, no sore throats, no wrinkles or age spots, no cancer or heart disease, no cellulite!
While there are so many other things that won't be in heaven, I'll end with this last one- no darkness or loneliness.
Revelation 21:23-25-  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
We will live there forever with everyone who asked Jesus to save them. And, Jesus will be there! We will never feel lonely again. The darkness will never isolate us.
I really can't wait to get there! How about you?