Through the Bible Day by Day
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,
A SEARCHING WORD TO THE WISE
God’s second revelation of Himself to Solomon had a double object. In the first place, it assured the king that his prayer was heard and that the new building was accepted. It is always thus. When we yield ourselves to God, desiring to be His alone, He enters on possession, hallowing, infilling, and guaranteeing our security. In the second place, God laid down the conditions on which both king and people might be assured of permanent prosperity. We must be whole-hearted, not in the miles but in the steps of our daily walk. Obedience to the inner voice is essential. The child of God distinguishes his Father’s voice from every other sound and call, because it is definite and unvarying.
It was a pity that, after such loyal cooperation, Hiram was disappointed with his recompense. Happy are they who, as they work for God, look for no reward from their fellows, because they are the servants of a Master whose generous gifts do not need to be eked out by additions from any other quarter. Do right, because it is right, and not because you are looking for any gift or reward from human hands.
BREAKING THREE COMMANDMENTS
1Ki_21:1-29; 1Ki_1:1-53; 1Ki_2:1-46; 1Ki_3:1-28; 1Ki_4:1-34; 1Ki_5:1-18; 1Ki_6:1-38; 1Ki_7:1-51; 1Ki_8:1-66; 1Ki_9:1-28; 1Ki_10:1-29; 1Ki_11:1-43; 1Ki_12:1-33; 1Ki_13:1-34; 1Ki_14:1-31; 1Ki_15:1-34; 1Ki_16:1-34
From a worldly point of view Naboth might have done a good stroke of business by selling his estate to. Ahab. A royal price and assured favor might have been his-but he had a conscience! Above the persuasive tones of the monarch’s offer sounded the voice of God: “The land shall not be sold for ever, for the land is mine.” See Lev_25:23; Num_36:7; Eze_46:18.
Ahab knew perfectly well that Jezebel could not give him the property of another except by foul means, but he took pains not to inquire. Though the direct orders for Naboth’s death did not come from him, yet, by his silence, he was an accomplice and an accessory; and divine justice penetrates all such specious excuses. God holds us responsible for wrongs which we do not arrest, though we have the power. The crime was blacker because of the pretext of religion, as suggested by a fast. See also 2Ki_9:26. The blood of murdered innocence cries to God, and his requital, though delayed, is inevitable. See Rev_6:9-10.
And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.
PROSPERITY AND WEALTH
Solomon was a great builder and employed vast numbers of Canaanites, the old inhabitants of the land, as forced laborers. They performed the drudgery, while the Israelites filled the more honorable and lucrative posts. See Isa_60:10. There are Amorites and Perizzites in our lives. Let us not be mastered by them, but compel them to subserve our own growth in grace.
Millo was the key to the fortifications of Jerusalem; Hazor and Megiddo, Baalath and Tadmor guarded the northern frontier. On the extreme south, the navies visited distant realms, and returned laden with gold. Such were Israel’s midsummer days. But as, in the latter days of summer, there is the faint odor of decay in the air, and we know that the autumn comes apace, so beneath all this splendor and imperial glory, as we turn to the earlier chapters of Ecclesiastes, we learn that decadence was at its heart.