…Psalm 82: Division between Israel and Judah

   “What share have we in David?  We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse…

     Every man to your own tents, O Israel  Look after your own house, O David!”

-Kingdoms_of_Israel_and_Judah

ISRAEL [northern Kingdom]
JUDAH [southern kingdom]

This is one of the great “turning points” in the history of Israel.  From this point on, the southern kingdom will be known as Judah, with Jerusalem as its capital–and there will always be a descendant of David as their king. The northern kingdom, composed of the other ten tribes, will be known as Israel.

As Solomon experienced a rise to unprecedented heights of personal prosperity and security, he fell as victim to moral weakness and political conflict.  The kingdom is now under his son Rehoboam’s reign, and is following in his father’s footsteps and heading toward disaster.  He tries to set even greater burdens than his father Solomon had already put on the people of Israel, and this will cause rebellion among the people. The two kingdoms divide and the northern ten tribes will appoint a new king—Jeroboam.

In the north, Jeroboam quickly leads Israel into idolatry.  Over the next 25 years Israel will prove to be so wicked that it will produce self-proclaimed prophets.   The Levites would continue to remain faithful to God and others who remained righteous in God’s sight fled to Judah to join with them.  Because of their idolatry and wickedness, when the fall of the northern kingdom takes place it will be so great it will never recover.  There will be civil conflict between the northern and southern kingdoms as well as wars with foreign enemies.

Only two tribes of the southern kingdom, Judah and Benjamin will remain with Rehoboam.   Overtime however, Judah will also turn its face to idolatry.

1 Kings 12:1-5

1  Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king.  2  Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt (for he was yet in Egypt, where he  had fled from the presence of King Solomon).  3  Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,  4  “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”  5  Then he said to them, “Depart for three days, then return to me. I will give you my answer.” So the people departed.

1 Kings 12:16-19  Rehoboam determines to put even harder demands than His father Solomon on all of Israel

16  When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying,  “What portion do we have in David now? We now have no inheritance in the son of Jesse— To your tents, O Israel!   Now look after your own house, David!”  So Israel departed to their tents.

All but Judah Rebel    17  But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.  18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, to who was over the forced laborin Israel, and all Israel stoned him to death.  And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee back to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel [northern kingdom] has been in rebellion against the house of David [Judah] to this day.

PSALM 82   
1     God stands in the congregation of the mighty;
     He judges among the gods.
2     How long will you judge unjustly,
     And show partiality to the wicked?      Selah 
3     Defend the poor and fatherless,
     Do justice to the afflicted and the needy.
4     Deliver the poor and needy, free them from the hand of the wicked.
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5     They do not know, nor do they understand;
     They walk about in darkness, all the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6     I said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.
7     But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”
8     Arise, O God, judge the earth–
     For You shall inherit all nations

…Psalm 72:1-19: Solomon Celebrates His Blessings

To the Coming Reign of the Righteous King–Christ the Messiah

Psalm 72 is one of only two psalms written by Solomon. In it, he prays that he and his royal descendants would rule over Israel with righteousness and compassion. These traits please God, and all the people of Israel are inclined to imitate such a king. If Israel practiced such righteousness, God promised to bless her with prosperity and global fame. This would make kings and citizens of other countries aware of Israel’s God and Israel’s ways.  It is through the kings that the Lord God’s blessings are mediated to the people.

A Psalm of Solomon.
     1     Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king’s son.
     2     May he judge Your people with righteousness and your afflicted with justice.
     3     Let the mountains bring peace to the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
     4     May he vindicate the afflicted of the people,  save the children of the needy
            and crush the oppressor.
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     5     Let them fear You while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout
           all generations.
     6     May he come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
     7     In his days may the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace till the moon is no more.
     8     May he also rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
     9     Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, and his enemies lick the dust.
     10    Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; the kings of Sheba–
     11    And let all kings bow down before him, all nations serve him.
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     12     For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, the afflicted also, and him
             who has no helper.
     13     He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save.
     14     He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, and their blood will be
             precious in his sight;
     15     So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; and let them pray for
             him continually–let  them bless him all day long.
     16     May there be abundance of grain in the earth on top of the mountains–
              Its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon, and may those from the city flourish
             like vegetation of the earth.
 .
     17     May his name endure forever–may his name increase as long as the sun shines.
             And let men bless themselves by him, let all nations call him blessed.
     18     Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders.
     19     And blessed be His glorious name forever.  And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.
              Amen, and Amen.

…Psalm 49: “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!”

The End of the Wise and the Fool
  Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly–
     For what can the man do who succeeds the king?
     Only what he has already done.
Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.
The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness…
 So I said in my heart,
     “As it happens to the fool, it also happens to me,
     And why was I then more wise?”
     Then I said in my heart, “This also is vanity.”
For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever.
Ecclesiastes 2:12-16
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There is one thing Solomon did that made all of his life worthwhile.  He wrote Ecclesiastes from the  mistakes he made.   We can be assured that Solomon did return back to his faith in Lord, God of Israel.
Ecclesiastes — which means “Preacher.”  Solomon was a man who had sinned in giving way to selfishness and sensuality, who has paid the penalty of that sin in “weariness of life”, but who has through all this been under the discipline of a divine education.  He learned from it the lesson which God meant to teach him.  He points out clearly that the secret of a true life is that a man should consecrate the vigor and vitality of his youth to God.  All man’s efforts to find happiness apart from God are of no result.  The key statement of  Ecclesiastes is chapter 1 :2:
“Vanity of vanities! saith the Preacher, Vanity of vanities! all is vanity!”
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Ecclesiastes 4

Oppression, Toil, and a Man without Friends

1 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed– and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors– and they have no comforter. 2 And I declared that the dead who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive. 3 But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun. 4 And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.  5 The fool folds his hands and ruins himself. 6 Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. 7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: 8 There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”  This too is meaningless– a miserable business! 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken..

Advancement Is Meaningless

13 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning. 14 The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. 15 I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor. 16 There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
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PSALM 49
The Confidence of the Foolish
1     Hear this, all peoples; Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2     Both low and high,
     Rich and poor together.
3     My mouth shall speak wisdom,
     And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.
4     I will incline my ear to a proverb;
     I will disclose my dark saying on the harp.
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5     Why should I fear in the days of evil,
     When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
6     Those who trust in their wealth
     And boast in the multitude of their riches,
7     None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
     Nor give to God a ransom for him—
8     For the redemption of their souls is costly,
     And it shall cease forever—
9     That he should continue to live eternally,
     And not see the Pit.
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10     For he sees wise men die;
     Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish,
     And leave their wealth to others.
11   Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever,
     Their dwelling places to all generations;
     They call their lands after their own names.
12     Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain;
     He is like the beasts that perish.
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13     This is the way of those who are foolish,
     And of their posterity who approve their sayings.      Selah
14     Like sheep they are laid in the grave;
     Death shall feed on them;
    The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;
    And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave,  far from their dwelling.
15   But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,
     For He shall receive me.      Selah
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16     Do not be afraid when one becomes rich,
     When the glory of his house is increased;
17     For when he dies he shall carry nothing away;
     His glory shall not descend after him.
18     Though while he lives he blesses himself
     (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself),
19     He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. 

            20     A man who is in honor, yet does not understand– is like the beasts that perish.

 

…Psalm 89:35-52 Solomon’s Reign Ends

Solomon wrote the Proverbs at the end of his kingship.   The good thing is, he did learn from his many mistakes.  Polygamy had caused his father David no end of trouble, but Solomon took wives from heathen lands and that was deliberate disobedience towards God’s law and principles concerning the law of Israel.

20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?  21  For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths. 22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. 23  He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.

 20  My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 21  Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. 22  When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23  For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, 24  keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife.   –  Proverbs 5:20–23 and 6:20–24

What was the cause of this repeated sin?  Solomon’s heart was not right with God (11:4). God wanted “integrity of heart,” but Solomon had a divided heart—he loved the world as he tried to serve God.  The man who built the temple to the one true God of Israel should worship at heathen altars. God was angry.  He sent several disciplines to bring Solomon back into faith.  But his heart did not turn—it got worse.

The  warning message (vv. 1–13)   God threatened to take the kingdom away from Solomon—but this warning apparently had no affect.  If a person will not listen to the Word, then the Lord has to take even more drastic measures.

An invasion by Edom (vv. 14–22)     Solomon’s “kingdom of rest” is now upset by war. Solomon’s alliances with Pharaoh were not accomplishing much, because Egypt turned out to be an ally with the Edomites.

James 4 gives the spiritual explanation for this:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

Trouble from Rezon (vv. 23–25)

This band of warriors harassed Solomon’s borders for many years. The apostate king was losing ground rapidly.

Competition from Jeroboam (vv. 26–43)

Solomon had promoted Jeroboam into a good position within his kingdom because of his bravery and industry. But God chose this young man to be the king over ten tribes.  The tribe of Judah would remain out of his hand along with “little Benjamin” (12:21). When Solomon heard that he had a rival, he tried to kill him. Now Solomon was trying to kill the Lord’s newly appointed king.

The people were complaining of being under the heavy taxes and forced labor programs of Solomon (12:6–11). In fact, Adoram, who was in charge of the “public works” was stoned by the people (12:18).

Solomon’s death left his son Rehoboam to reign in his place. Had Solomon remained true to the Lord, his later years would have been filled with blessing and victory instead of chastening and defeat. He left to his son the problem of winning back the love of the people and lifting the heavy tax burdens that were a part of Solomon wealth.

~~~

 1 Kings 11:9-43

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Forbidden to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 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.”

Solomon Makes Adversaries

The Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom…  While he was in Egypt, Hadad heard that David rested with his fathers and that Joab the commander of the army was also dead. Then Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me go, that I may return to my own country.”

“What have you lacked here that you want to go back to your own country?” Pharaoh asked.

“Nothing,” Hadad replied, “but do let me go!”

And God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah.  He gathered men around him and became the leader of a band of rebels when David destroyed the forcesa of Zobah; the rebels went to Damascus, where they settled and took control.  Rezon was Israel’s adversary as long as Solomon lived, adding to the trouble caused by Hadad. So Rezon ruled in Aram and was hostile toward Israel.

Jeroboam Rebels Against Solomon

Also, Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king. He was one of Solomon’s officials, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, and his mother was a widow named Zeruah.

Here is the account of how he rebelled against the king:   Solomon had built the supporting terraces and had filled in the gap in the wall of the city of David his father. Now Jeroboam was a man of standing, and when Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the house of Joseph.

About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country, and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. Then he said to Jeroboam,

“Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:

‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes.  But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe. I will do this because they have  forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father, did.

 “ ‘But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon’s hand; I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David my servant, whom I chose and who observed my commands and statutes. I will take the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes. I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name.  However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. If you do whatever I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.’ ”

Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death… Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. Then he rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.

PSALM  89: 35-52

35     Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness,  and I will not lie to David—
36     that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun.
37     It will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.”     
         Selah
38     But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one.
39     You have renounced the covenant with your servant
and have defiled his crown in the dust.
40     You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
41     All who pass by have plundered him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42     You have exalted the right hand of his foes, You have made all his enemies rejoice.
43     You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle.
44     You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
45     You have cut short the days of his youth; You have covered him with a mantle of shame.     
          Selah
46     How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47     Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all men!
48     What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave?     
           Selah
49     O Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
50     Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
51     the taunts with which your enemies have mocked, O Lord, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
52     Praise be to the Lord forever!
           Amen and Amen.

 

…Psalm 89:5-34: Solomon’s Fame and Downfall

“This is a faithful saying… If we endure, we shall reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He still remains faithful, because cannot deny Himself.’’                2 Timothy 2: 11-13

In the early days of his reign Solomon began well. He demonstrated his loyalty to the Lord by following the practices of his father David (1 Kings 3:3). When God granted Solomon his requested wisdom, the Lord reminded him to walk after his father David’s faithfulness.

 “If you will follow my instructions by obeying me just as your father David did, then I will also grant you long life” (1Kings 3:14). “You must serve me with sincerity and integrity, do everything I command and obey my rules and regulations. Then I will allow your dynasty to rule over Israel permanently” (1Kings 9:4-5).

1 Kings 11:1-13

16But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.”

But Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned away his heart.  For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David.

Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.  So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice…

Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David.  I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away the whole kingdom. I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”

Solomon’s Heart Turns from the Lord

As time went by, Solomon became exceedingly powerful and wealthy.  1 Kings 10:24-29 tells us,    Now all the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom… and each man brought his present: articles of silver and gold, garments, armor, spices, horses, and mules, at a set rate year by  year.  And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen.  He had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.   The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar trees as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland. Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh—the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. Now a chariot that was imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse one hundred and fifty, and thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.
Also the Lord had admonished his people long ago not to intermarry with foreign women, but Solomon foolishly lusted after many such women. The predictable happened:

16b

“As Solomon became old, his wives turned his heart to their own foreign  gods and he became increasingly less devoted to the Lord, as his father David had been” (1 Kings 11:4).  Solomon indulged in their foreign religious practices (1 Kings 11:5-8).

Solomon failed to serve the Lord faithfully by not “following His instructions and obeying His rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as was written in the law of Moses.”

In his later years, on the hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for the detestable Moabite god Chemosh and for the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. He built high places for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and make sacrifices for their gods.  God appeared on a third occasion to Solomon, he rebuked him for his apostasy and declared to him that after his death, his kingdom would become divided.  It was a matter of grace that some of the kingdom would remain under the rule of Solomon’s son and heir.  But not for Solomon’s sake, but for “my servant David’s sake and for the sake of my chosen city Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:13, 31-39).

All of this should serve as a warning for today’s believers. The state of our relationship with the Lord is of crucial importance. Worldly success and pleasures as well as a lack of compliance with the Lord’s principles can all too easily cause spiritual compromise in our life.  Spiritual failure is not only damaging to us, but it can and often does have a detrimental effect on others, especially our family and friends.  All to often is the desire for money and riches… as Jesus warned,

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24).

Likewise Paul advised Timothy,

“Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others. In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life’’ (1 Tim 6:17-19)..Remembering the Covenant with David, and Sorrow for Lost Blessings

PSALM 89: 5-34
Remembering God’s Covenant with David–Sorrow for Lost Blessings
5     …And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord, 
      Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints.
6     For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
     Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord?
7   God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,
     And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.
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8     O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty like You, O Lord?
     Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
9    You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them.
10    You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one who is slain;
     You have scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.
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11    The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours, the world and all its fullness,
       You have founded them.
12     The north and the south, You have created them–
     Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name.
13     You have a mighty arm, strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand.
14    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
     Mercy and truth go before Your face.
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15     Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
     They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.
16     In Your name they rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness they are exalted.
17     For You are the glory of their strength, and in Your favor our horn is exalted.
18     For our shield belongs to the Lord, and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
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19     Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one, and said:
    “I have given help to one who is mighty;
     I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20   I have found My servant David, with My holy oil I have anointed him,
21  With whom My hand shall be established. Also My arm shall strengthen him.
22    The enemy shall not outwit him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
23     I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague those who hate him.
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24   “But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him,
     And in My name his horn shall be exalted.
25     Also I will set his hand over the sea, and his right hand over the rivers.
26     He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.’
27     Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
28     My mercy I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall stand firm with him.
29     His seed also I will make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
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30     “If his sons forsake My law and do not walk in My judgments,
31     If they break My statutes and do not keep My commandments,
32     Then I will punish their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
33     Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him,
     Nor allow My faithfulness to fail.
34     My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips…

…Psalm 97: The Lord’s Second Warning to Solomon

  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
nor sworn deceitfully.   He shall receive blessing from the Lord…   Psalm 24: 4-5

Solomon's ChairWill Solomon’s accumulating wealth, success, and prestige interfere with his God-given discernment?  Worldly success too often leads to a lessening of one’s faithfulness and relationship with God.  This will be the case in time with Solomon.  God appeared to Solomon a second time.  (1 Kings 9:1-7,  2 Chronicles 7:21 – 22)  There is a sound of warning for Solomon.  The Lord warned Solomon that if he was to continue to enjoy divine blessings, he would need to be faithful to the Lord and His righteous standards.
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.1 Kings 9:1-7   It came to pass, when Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and all that Solomon had desired to do, that the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time.  And the Lord said to him:

“I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. Now, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, keeping My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever… ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’

But if you or your sons at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight.

2 Chronicles 7:21 – 22   “And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and this house?’ Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all of this calamity on them.’ ”

This time the Lord’s words have a much harsher tone.  Failing to keep the Lords commands would not only allow Solomon and his family to suffer, but all of Israel would suffer with him. Serving and worshiping after other gods will bring ruin and disaster on both the Lord’s temple and the existence of the nation. Where there is genuine trust in the Lord and it is exercised in total commitment, “The Lord will guide the believer along life’s paths in spite of difficulties and hindrances.”   Solomon was warned to lead the people in obedient faith to the God of Israel if they were to receive the full provisions of the Davidic Covenant. 

Because of one’s man’s sin, many will suffer.  Should he do so…  God would abandon both the temple and the people among whom he had chosen to dwell.  Will Solomon use the God-given wisdom that had been given to him for the greater kingdom?  Or will the greater part of his success turn inward…

PSALM 97

A Song of Praise to the Sovereign Lord
1     The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice–
       let the multitudes along the coasts of  the land be glad!
2     Clouds and darkness surround Him, righteousness and justice
     are the foundation of His throne.
3    A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about.
4    His lightnings light the world, the earth sees and trembles.
5     The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord,
      at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
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6    The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.
7    Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, who boast of idols.
     Worship Him! All you gods.
8     Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice–
     Because of Your judgments, O Lord.
9     For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth, You are exalted far above all gods.
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10   You who love the Lord, hate evil!
     He preserves the souls of His saints, He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
11    Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
12   Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

…Psalm 99: Praise to the Lord for His Holiness

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own estimation; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This will bring healing to your body, and refreshment to your inner self.  – 
Proverbs 3:5-8

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250px-Tissot_Solomon_Dedicates_the_Temple_at_Jerusalem1 Kings 8:22-53, 54-61   Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven; and he said:

“Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.  You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father. You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day.  Therefore, Lord God of Israel, now keep what You promised  saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel–only , only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk before Me as you have walked before Me.’   And now I pray, O God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David my father.

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth?  Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You.

How much less this temple which I have built!   Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today: that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, o‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place and when You hear, forgive:

  • “When anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple,  then hear in heaven and act, and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head… justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
  • “When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and when they turn back to You and confess Your name and pray and make supplication to You in this temple,  then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers.
  • “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants.  That You may teach them the good way in which they should walk and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
  • “When there is famine in the land… pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer or whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel… when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive.  Act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.
  • “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel… but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.
  • “When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
  • “When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy far or near, yet come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive and repent, and make supplication to You,  saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickedness… and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers (the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name) then hear in heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.  Forgive Your people who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You; and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them  (for they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out of Egypt,out of the iron furnace).  That Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to You.  For You separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be Your inheritance, as You spoke by Your servant Moses, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”

Solomon Then Blesses the Assembly

And so it was, when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. Then he stood sand blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying:

 “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.  May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers.  And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.  Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”

2 Chronicles 7:12 -14

Then the Lord appeared to Solomon again  by night, and said to him:

“I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people… 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7: 16-20

I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.   As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’

… “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land, and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

PSALM 99

Praise to the Lord For His Holiness
1     The Lord reigns,   Let the peoples tremble!
     He dwells between the cherubim–let the earth be moved!
2     The Lord is great in Zion, and He is high above all the peoples.
3     Let them praise Your great and awesome name—He is holy.
4     The King’s strength also loves justice–
     You have established equity, You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5     Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool—He is holy.
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6     Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel was among
     those who called upon His name. They called upon the Lord, and He answered them.
7     He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar; they kept His testimonies and the ordinance
      He gave them.
8     You answered them, O Lord our God–
      You were to them God-Who-Forgives, though You took vengeance on their deeds.
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9     Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His holy hillfor the Lord our God is holy.

…Psalm 136: The Ark Brought into Solomon’s Temple

“And there I have set there a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which He made with our fathers, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”… “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.”   1 Kings 8: 21, 23

.2 Chronicles 5, 6,  7:1-11

The Ark Brought into Solomon’s  Temple   

The time was in the month Ethanim, in a jubilee year, a time of assembling all the people together for the feast of the tabernacles.  Solomon resolved on commencing the ceremony a few days before the feast of tabernacles, this seems the best and most appropriate of all seasons to bring up the ark from Zion and dedication of the temple.

Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, in Jerusalem, that they might bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord up from the City of David, which is Zion.  All the men of Israel assembled with the king at the feast which was in the seventh month. All the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. Then they brought up the ark, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him before the ark were sacrificing sheep and oxen…

arkThen the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles.  Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they had come out of Egypt.

And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves), the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar clothed in white linen—having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets…

Indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying:

 “For He is good!   For His mercy endures forever!”   that the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud—so that the priests could not   continue ministering because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.”

Solomon  Dedicates the Temple    6:3-7:11

Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. And he said:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His hands what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying, ‘Since the day that I brought My people out of the land of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there, nor did I choose any man to be a ruler over My people Israel. Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’

 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David,

‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well in that it was in your heart. Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.’

So the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke, and I have filled the position of my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised; and I have built the temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. And there I have put the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which He made with the children of Israel.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication  6:12-17

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands (for Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court… before all the assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and he said:

“Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father.  You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. Therefore, Lord God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, “You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk in My law as you have walked before Me.’ And now, O Lord God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David.

6: 30-31

…When each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple: then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men, that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.

6:41-42

“Now therefore,  Arise, O Lord God, to Your resting place,  You and the ark of Your strength.  Let Your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let Your saints rejoice in goodness. “O Lord God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed.  Remember the mercies of Your servant David.”

7: 1-3, 11

When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the 1temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying:

“For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.”

 Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house.

 PSALM 136

Thanksgiving to God for His Enduring Mercy
1     Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
2     Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!  For His mercy endures forever.
3     Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!  For His mercy endures forever:
4     To Him who alone does great wonders, for His mercy endures forever.
5    To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, for His mercy endures forever.
6    To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, for His mercy endures forever.
7    To Him who made great lights, for His mercy endures forever—
8    The sun to rule by day, for His mercy endures forever.
9     The moon and stars to rule by night, for His mercy endures forever.
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10   To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, for His mercy endures forever.
11   And brought out Israel from among them, for His mercy endures forever.
12   With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, for His mercy endures forever.
13    To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, for His mercy endures forever.
14     And made Israel pass through the midst of it, for His mercy endures forever.
15   But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, for His mercy endures forever.
16   To Him who led His people through the wilderness, for His mercy endures forever;
17    To Him who struck down great kings, for His mercy endures forever.
18   And slew famous kings, for His mercy endures forever—
19    Sihon king of the Amorites, for His mercy endures forever;
20    And Og king of Bashan, for His mercy endures forever—
21   And gave their land as a heritage, for His mercy endures forever.
22     A heritage to Israel His servant, for His mercy endures forever.
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23     Who remembered us in our lowly state, for His mercy endures forever;
24     And rescued us from our enemies, for His mercy endures forever.
25    Who gives food to all flesh, for His mercy endures forever.
26     Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!  For His mercy endures forever.

…Psalm 72: Solomon: Wiser Than All Men

wisdom
IS A GIFT OF GOD
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He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five.
He spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall. 
He spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom–
Came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.
1 Kings 4:31-34
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God’s faithfulness to the Davidic Covenant demanded that Solomon would have to walk in accordance with all of God’s will.

PSALM 72   A Psalm Of Solomon, A Prophesy for the Coming Messiah

1     Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king’s Son.
2     He will judge Your people with righteousness, and Your poor with justice.
3     The mountains will bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
4    He will bring justice to the poor of the people–  
     He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor.
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5    They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
6     He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
     Like showers that water the earth.
7    In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace,
      Until the moon is no more.
8   He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9     Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust.
10   The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents–
     The kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts.
11     Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him.
12     For He will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper.
13     He will spare the poor and needy, and will save the souls of the needy.
14     He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;
     And precious shall be their blood in His sight–
15   And He shall live.   And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him;
     Prayer also will be made for Him continually, and daily He shall be praised.
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16     There will be an abundance of grain in the earth, on the top of the mountains–
     Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon, and those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
17    His name shall endure forever!    His name shall continue as long as the sun.
     And men shall be blessed in Him. All nations shall call Him blessed.
18   Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Whom only does wondrous things!
19   And blessed be His glorious name forever!  And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
     Amen and Amen.
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Solomon’s Prayer
     6   Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You.  You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
     7   “Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, I am yet but a child; I do not know how to go out or come in.
     8   “Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted.
     9     “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people , to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”     [1 Kings 6-9]
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GOD’s Answer
      10    It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.
      11    God said to him, “Because you have asked this and have not asked for      yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of  your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice –
    12   behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.
     13     “I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there  will not be any among the kings like you all your days.
     14   “If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father   David walked, then I will prolong your days.”
     15  Then 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 burnt offerings and made peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.      [1 Kings 19-15]
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If Solomon would adhere to the high standard of God’s will and His Word… 
Everything will all depend on Solomon’s walk before God …
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God’s faithfulness to the Davidic Covenant demanded that Solomon would have to walk in accordance with all of God’s principles and His will for the people of Israel.
Wisdom is a gift from God.  What we do with it and the choices we make is just as important.

…Psalm 128: The Better Part of Wisdom

Wisdom is a gift from GodThe concept of wisdom is understood differently by many.  It is associated with matters of intellectual ability.  It takes a practical approach being equated with mature insight with sound judgment based upon experience.   The wisdom in the life of King Solomon led him to be declared “wealthier and wiser” than any of the kings of the earth. (1 Kings 10:27).  But it also has its limitations and dangers.

One night early in the days of his reign Solomon had a dream in which the Lord appeared to him and said, “Tell me what I should give you” (1 Kings 3:5). In Solomon’s reply he emphasized both the Lord’s faithfulness and his own inexperience, and so requested of the Lord, “Give your servant a discerning mind so he can make judicial decisions for your people and distinguish right from wrong” (1 Kings 3:9).  “A discerning mind” is literally, “a hearing heart.” The word hearing is also often associated with obeying. The clear implication is that Solomon understood that his ability to distinguish right from wrong depended on his own faithfulness to keep God’s commandments. Wisdom would them come from hearing God’s words and will within God’s precepts.

Remember King David, also had instructed his son: “Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you by following his instructions and obeying his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the Law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish” (1 Kings 2:3, 1 Chronicles 22:11-13; 28:20).   It was advice that Solomon would need to follow as king throughout his entire reign. Solomon was still yet a boy.  This instruction to Solomon had been preceded by David’s charge to his son to display true strength of character and genuine manhood: “I am about to die. Be strong and become a man” (1 Kings 2:3).

David’s challenge echoes a familiar phrase that is all throughout the Scriptures. David knew well by experience that this was the proper course of life–for only by doing so, had he been blessed with God’s protection and deliverance.

Much earlier Moses had admonished Joshua with a similar challenge.  It was imperative for Joshua to keep the law of the Lord: This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful” (Josh. 1:8).

Later the Apostle Paul would encouraged the Corinthian Christians saying, “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13).  Whether in Old Testament or New Testament, the believer was urged to so conduct himself  in his walk with God’s law and principles.  With that God’s will and God’s work became our all-consuming passion.

PSALM 128    Blessings will come to those who fear the Lord
A Song of Ascents
1     Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
     Who walks in His ways.
2     When you eat the labor of your hands,
     You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
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3     Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
     In the very heart of your house,
     Your children like olive plants all around your table.
4     Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
     Who fears the Lord.
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5     The Lord bless you out of Zion,
     And may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6   Yes, may you see your children’s children.
    Peace be upon Israel!