1 Kings 9
-God gives Solomon some magnificent promises along with some stern warnings as this portion of the book commences. This happens after Solomon had completed what he really set out in his heart to build, so the major projects were finished (1 Kings 9:1). The LORD appeared to him a second time as He had in Gibeon (1 Kings 9:2), and comforted the king with the fact that He had heard Solomon’s prayers and supplications made before Him (1 Kings 9:3a). The LORD had consecrated the house that had been built with His Name forever, and told him that His eyes and His heart would be there perpetually (without ceasing, 1 Kings 9:3b). God went on to let the king know that as long as he would walk before the LORD his God, as his father David had done, in integrity and uprightness of heart following all of the LORD’s commands, statutes, and ordinances that He would establish his throne of the kingdom over Israel forever according to His promise (1 Kings 9:4-5). However, there is an obvious warning for his sons if they would ever turn away from the LORD their God in disobedience to follow other gods and neglect the LORD’s statutes and commandments. If this happens, God promised He would cut them off from their land (which does eventually happen for a time), and the house which was built would be cast out of His sight. Israel would become a byword among the peoples of the world and the house would become a heap of ruins astonishing and causing derision among all who pass by it as they know that God’s people had forsaken the LORD their God who brought them out of Egypt by adopting other gods and worshipping them and serving them, therefore bringing all this adversity on themselves (1 Kings 9:6-9). Thus the LORD completes His message to the king. *Application* God never does anything without warning. If He is trying to get your attention on a matter, it is best to take heed. He is simply trying to protect you from the adversity you would otherwise face if you neglect His counsel. Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
-The rest of the chapter gives some history concerning the region with other building projects and lands ceded to allies. Hiram, king of Tyre, was not pleased with the twenty cities given him in the Galilee region and called them Cabul (as good as nothing), but this did not seem to affect their friendship and alliance too much as they partnered down south with sea-faring adventures in the Red Sea and beyond (1 Kings 9:10-13, 26-28). The account of Pharaoh’s capture of Gezer killing the Canaanites who lived there and its burning for a dowry payment to Solomon for the Egyptian Princess hand in marriage is mentioned (1 Kings 9:16). As a result Solomon rebuilds Gezer (west of Jerusalem near the coast) and the lower Beth-horon (just to the east of Gezer) and Baalath (just to the west of Gezer) and Tamar in the wilderness (south of the Dead Sea area in the desert wilderness). All of these were in the land of Judah and were storage cities for chariots and horsemen. These areas extended northward up to Lebanon and in all the land under his rule (1 Kings 9:17-19). He used forced labor from the remnants of non-Jewish inhabitants of the land (Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites). The Jewish people were not used for forced labor; they were men of war, his servants, his princes, his captains, his chariot commanders, and his horsemen (1 Kings 9:20-23). There is one more tidbit of information describing Solomon’s worship practices. Three times a year he would offer burnt offerings and peace offerings before God on the alter he built to the LORD in Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:25). *Application* Administration is a vital key to success in a society. Solomon used his wisdom to coordinate and delegate out functions so that the nation could stay safe and effective as God’s chosen people. If you have administrative talents and gifts, use them for the Lord’s glory in His Church and Kingdom. He’s given you this wisdom for a purpose. Don’t neglect any of your giftings!
Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 9:7