I Kings 8-10
We are in the Nation Stream today and will attend the dedication of the Temple by King Solomon. What a treat! We are reading from the New American Standard Bible this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord, today is yet another reminder of the glory and wonders you are preparing for us. Thank you and Amen.
8 – It is fascinating in this reading pattern that we are doing together that yesterday we read about Bezalel making the Ark of the Covenant. And today it is being brought into the finished Temple (not the Tabernacle/[tent] that was carried throughout Sinai. The two stone tablets inside the Ark and the Ark itself were made well over 500 years prior and today, in our reading, they are finally in place! Imagine the “it’s done!” sentiment that swept over the people after all these centuries. Well they probably felt this way because God felt this way. The Cloud, signified God’s Presence, and The Glory of God filled the house as soon as the Ark was in place. I don’t know who else feels this way, but it sure would have been exhilarating to be there!
Solomon’s address to the people is historical! The ceremony that followed was regal – perhaps excessive, but it was for God (with a definite ‘touch of Solomon’) so let’s do it in a big way! This initial dedication is not going to happen again. Solomon’s prayer included remembering David, seeking God’s blessing, prayers and rituals of worship, dealing with sins, enemies and their related interaction, famine and pestilence, foreigners, and battles. The blessing Solomon gave to the people was marvelous – it would have been good if Solomon had followed his own advice all his life. but So it goes. At any rate, the 14 day celebration was ‘one for the books!’
9 – This chapter is a continuation of ch. 4. Note that ch’s 5-8 are a hiatus to describe the Temple, then 9 continues where 4 left off. God opens with a promise for following Him and a warning against turning from Him. It applied to Solomon AND his sons, btw. They all must follow God in perpetuity.
The activity is impressive as Solomon and Hiram interchange and trade and gift eachother.. Solomon built cities, and rebuilt others. He commissioned a staggering amount of workers. Solomon built a navy fleet of ships that sailed the Mediterranean, and others that sailed from the gulf to the south traversling into Arabia, India, and Africa. In the last verse, did you perceive the size of the gold shipment loaded for Solomon from Ophir? It was 31,000+ lbs. of gold. My math could be wrong, but in today’s rates, that is $665million. It was a gift and it was simply loaded and taken to Solomon. Holy Smoke, these folks are living a dream. AND, it was only part of what was brought to Solomon for that one year. The gifts kept coming annually
10 – The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon and it too was an encounter fit for the history books; the real history books for that matter. She marveled at his world, his acquisitions, his staff, his wisdom, knowledge, and insight. 10:5b is interesting, “…and there was no more spirit in her. ” [all her curiosities and questions were answered] She was truly overwhelmed at what she saw. She had heard of Solomon’s Kingdom, but amid all the telling, she had only heard “the half of it.” She leaves him a gift of precious gems, spices that ranked as the best in the world, and 4+1/2 tons of gold (imagine that! and it was all brought by camel from Central Africa). The chapters final phrase/phase ends with a tally of the splendor, riches, glory of Solomon’s Kingdom. The immensity is almost too much to take in. If anyone is wondering, the horses that came from “Kue”… Kue is in AsiaMinor near where Apostle Paul was from in Tarsus; Remember “Saul of Tarsus”? One very famous preacher shared his studies revealing that Solomon had more wealth as a single individual than the country of Canada has among it’s 35+ million people. It’s hard to perceive such wealth all attached to one man. y’ever wonder what he’s going to do with it all, or if he’s even going to keep it?