Day 95 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue First Kings and Psalms.
1 Kings 4 & 5 – The gift of Solomon’s wisdom continued to grow and flourish. In 1 Kings 3, Solomon’s wisdom governed the kingdom, even at the lowest levels. By the end of 1 Kings 4, the fame of Solomon’s wisdom had spread throughout the nations. Solomon displayed great wisdom in the early years of his kingship, and as a result, “Judah and Israel . . . were happy” and “lived in peace”.
Now, in chapter 5, the wisdom of Solomon was to be employed in the building of God’s house, the famed temple of Yahweh, the place where God would cause His name to dwell. It almost seems as if there would be no end to what God was doing through His servant Solomon.
As Believers, we might be tempted to read accounts of this type and despair by comparison. How could we ever measure up to the type of service Solomon performed for the kingdom of God? Our own service seems so small and insignificant by comparison. But our Lord never desired us to be like Solomon. In fact, we will soon read that even Solomon, when his dependence on God waned, could not bear the magnitude of kingly service without crumbling under its weight and falling into sin.
Though Solomon was a son of David, more importantly he pointed beyond himself to another son of David, a Son even greater than himself (Romans 1:3). Like Solomon, this King Jesus would surpass all with regard to wisdom (Luke 2:52; 1 Cor. 1:30). Like Solomon, King Jesus would serve God’s people (Matthew 20:28). Like Solomon, King Jesus would build God’s kingdom and make known His name (John 17:26). But this King would also become the temple of God and provide everlasting rest for all of God’s people (Matthew 11:28; Revelation 21:22).
King Jesus would not be crushed under the weight of His service, but rather He would be crushed under the weight of our sin (Isaiah 53:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). We may be impressed for a moment by what Solomon did for the kingdom of God, but it certainly pales in comparison to what David’s Greater Son has accomplished.
How does this truth remind you of the greatness of our eternal King (Jesus) and lead you to worship Him?
1 Kings 6 & 7 – It took seven years and tremendous amounts of wealth and resources to complete the temple building project. Throughout the Temple we are reminded of the original sanctuary, the Garden of Eden, “with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.”
The summary of temple construction presented in these chapter staggers the imagination. In the midst of this account, we might wonder if all of that time, effort, and expense was really worth it.
But consider the reason for all of this effort and expense. The Lord had determined to dwell in the midst of His people, and this temple was to be the house of that presence, the central place from which God would make His name known to all the nations. But we also read that the continuation of God’s presence was contingent upon the obedience of the king.
As people living thousands of years after the events recorded in these chapters, we understand that Solomon, and all of the kings who followed him, did not fully obey the Lord or keep His statutes and ordinances. For this reason, the Lord’s presence abandoned the temple, and it was eventually destroyed (2 Kings 25).
We now live within a new covenant, but the same principles apply. God still desires to dwell among His people, and His presence is still contingent upon the obedience of the king. In the new covenant, however, the obedience of the king is no longer in question. It is a reality (Romans 5:19; Hebrews 5:7–9).
The promised presence of God is therefore perfectly secure for each and every Believer. Our obedience to Jesus flows out of our rest in Jesus, the One who obeyed on our behalf. True obedience, then, is the loving response—not the necessary prerequisite—to God’s abundant favor.
How does know that Jesus fulfills on the requirements before God the Father give you rest today?
Psalm 95 – God’s grace as “the rock of our salvation” provokes the Believer to joyful and humble worship. The first sign of joyful worship is singing, which expresses the full range of human emotion, especially love (Ephesians 5:19–21; Colossians 3:16).
Humble prayer also characterizes godly worship. Kneeling (Ps. 95:6) is a common posture for prayer in the Bible because it is a physical expression of humility before someone great, especially one greater than demons, creation, and all people. The believer bows to God out of a heart overflowing with gratefulness for who God is and what He has done (Ephesians 3:14).
At the same time, God will not be presumed upon by our adopting any practice that becomes superficial or superstitious. The psalmist reminds the worshipers of the “test” at Massah, when the Israelites grumbled that they had no water. Commenting on this passage, the writer of Hebrews interprets “today” to mean whenever someone hears the call to repentance (the changing of one’s mind) and “rest” as referring to eternal salvation through Jesus (Hebrews 3:7–15; 4:3–7).
The opposite of repentance (turning from sin to God) is going “astray”. Straying begins with discontentment and ends in direct disobedience. Straying sinners do the opposite of what they know God commands. In contrast, joyful obedience results from worshiping God as the great King, Maker, and Shepherd. And it will be the remembrance of His abundant kindness that will melt ungrateful hearts (Romans 2:4)—kindness that finds supreme expression in the sending of His own Son in the fullness of time.
How does this Psalm remind you that Jesus is greater than all things and all people?
How does that lead you to worship and follow Him?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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