1 Kings 9:4
And as for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, with a heart of integrity and uprightness, doing all I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and ordinances,
Imperativeness of LawJ. B. Morgan.1 Kings 9:4
The Law of ObedienceN. D. Hillis, D. D.1 Kings 9:4
The Power of a Sainted ParentF. Y. Leggatt.1 Kings 9:4
The Reviewed CovenantJ. Waite 1 Kings 9:1-9
Essential Points in PrayerSpurgeon, Charles Haddon1 Kings 9:2-9
Prayer PenetratesSignal.1 Kings 9:2-9

This Divine manifestation was probably similar in form to that with which Solomon was favoured at the beginning of his reign, of which it is said, "In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night "(1 Kings 3:50). We have no means of judging as to the precise time of this occurrence; but the close connection of thought between what God here says to Solomon and the prayer at the dedication (seen most clearly in 2 Chronicles 7:14, 15) leads us to suppose that it took place immediately after that event. It illustrates:


(1) in the answering of the prayer - "I have heard thy prayer," etc. The vision was itself an instant and very gracious Divine response. All true prayer is heard. No pure breath of supplication, the incense of the heart, ever ascends to Heaven in yam. God does not disappoint the hopes and longings He has Himself awakened. As the vapours that rise from land and sea sooner or later return again, distilling in the silent dew, descending in fruitful showers upon the earth - not one fluid particle is lost - so every cry of filial faith that goes up to the great Father of all comes back in due time in some form of heavenly benediction. And more, the answer is often far larger and richer than our expectations. He "doeth exceeding abundantly," etc. (Ephesians 3:20). Solomon had prayed "That thine eyes may be open towards this house." God answers, "Mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually." The very heart of God dwells where His suppliant people are. This anthropopathic mode of speech is a gracious Divine accommodation to our human wants and weaknesses. God condescends to us that we may the better rise to Him. It is the necessarily imperfect yet most welcome expression of a sublime reality that we could not otherwise know. God has a tender "heart" towards us as well as an observant "eye." And wherever we seek Him with all our hearts there His heart responds to the throbbing of ours - a sympathetic personal Presence, meeting our approach, pitying our necessities, giving love for love. Note, too, the constancy of this grace - "forever." "perpetually." "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Wherever He records His name there He "dwells." When He blesses, when He gives or forgives, it is "forever." If the grace is cancelled, if the benediction is withdrawn, the fault is ours, not His. "Though we believe not, yet He abideth faithful; He cannot deny Himself" (2 Timothy 2:18).

(2) In the repetition of the promise, "If thou wilt walk before me," etc. (vers. 4, 5). The promise is reiterated as a sacred and inviolable engagement which God on His part will never break. "The sure mercies of David." All Divine promises are sure. We have but to place ourselves in the line of their fulfilment and all is well with us. They are steadfast as the ordinances of heaven and earth. Natural laws are God's promises in the material realm. Obedience to them is the sure path to physical well being. Are His counsels in the moral and spiritual sphere likely to be less steadfast and reliable? Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the promises of His grace can never fail. "They stand fast forever and ever and are done in truth and uprightness" (Psalm 111:8).

II. THE INFIDELITY OF MAN AND THE FATAL CONSEQUENCES THAT FOLLOW IT. "But if ye shall at all turn from following me," etc. Here is a solemn note of warning, the presage of that guilty apostasy by which the Jewish people became in after years the most signal example to men and nations of the waywardness of human nature and the retributive justice of God. We are reminded that the faithfulness of God has a dark as well as a bright side to it. As the cloud that guided the march of the Israelites out of Egypt was light to them, but a source of blinding confusion and miserable discomfiture to their adversaries, so this and every other attribute of God bears a different aspect towards us according to the relation in which we stand to it, the side on which we place ourselves. Be true to Him, and every perfection of His being is a joy to you, a guide, a glory, a defence; forsake Him, and they become at once ministers of vengeance. Even His love, in its infinite rectitude and purity, dooms you to the penalty from which there can be no escape. Whether in the physical or the spiritual realms, one feature of the very beneficence of God's laws is that they must avenge themselves. Learn here

(1) that all human loss and misery spring from forsaking God. "If ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children," then shall all these woes come upon you. All sin is a departure from the living God. "My people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me," etc. (Jeremiah 2:13). Adam cast off his allegiance to God when He listened to the voice of the tempter. Idolatry in its deepest root has this meaning (see Romans 1:21-28). Every sinful life is a more or less intentional and deliberate renunciation of God, and its natural results are shame, and degradation, and death. The course of the prodigal in Christ's parable is a picture of the hopeless destitution of every soul that forsakes its home in God. "They that are far from thee shall perish" (Psalm 73:27).

(2) That according to the height of privilege so is the depth of the condemnation when that privilege is abused. The very height of the "hallowed house" shall make the ruin the more conspicuous and the more terrible. There is no heavier judgment that God pronounces upon men than when He says, "I will curse thy blessings." The best things are capable of the worst abuse. And when the highest sanctities of life are violated they become the worst grounds of reproach and sources of bitterness. The greater the elevation, the deeper and more dreadful the fall. "Thou Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven," etc. (Luke 10:15).

(3) That one inevitable penalty of trangression is contempt and scorn. "Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people." "He that passeth by shall be astonished and shall hiss." "When the salt has lost its savour it is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men" (Matthew 5:13). The wicked may be in honour now, but the time is coming when they "shall awake to shame and everlasting contempt." - W.

If thou writ walk before Me, as David thy father walked.
General Grant, while president, caused the injury of a woman by his fast driving. He invited a police officer to enter his buggy, and drove with him to the police station, where he paid a fine of twenty dollars for "fast and reckless driving." President M'Kinley once had to reprove his driver for crossing a chalk-line which marked the limit of space allowed to carriages. He leaned his head out of the window, apologised to the policeman in charge, and ordered his driver to obey the rule at once. Obedience comes hard when we think that for some reason we ought to be exceptions to the rules that govern others.

(J. B. Morgan.)

After the news of his father's death, Thomas Carlyle set himself to describe with pride his peasant parent. A living picture he gives: the large head, grey ever since he could remember; the strong face, full of earnestness; the clear eyes, through which honesty streamed — his dear, good father! Only a common farmer, though. Digging and ditching were part of his work. He drove the plough through the furrow. But, writes Thomas, "his son also is part of his work. An inspiring example I owe him. The pale face stiffened into death will certainly impel me. I seem to myself the second volume of my father." The dead spirit of the Ecclefechan farmer lived in the brilliant writer of books. The instructions of his father soaked into his very flesh and bone. He, being dead, yet shaped his life. O blessed office of parenthood!

(F. Y. Leggatt.)

To that law of truth that firmly fixes foundations for cathedrals, Ruskin adds the law of obedience. In springing his wall the architect must plumb the stones of obedience to the law of gravity. In springing his arch he must brace it, obeying the laws of resistance. In lifting his tower he must relate it to the temple, obeying the law of proportion and symmetry; and he who disobeys one fundamental law will find great nature puking his towers down over his head. For no architect builds as he pleases, but only as nature pleases, through laws of gravity, and stone and steel. In the kingdom of the soul also obedience is strength and life, and disobedience is weakness and death. In the last analysis liberty is a phantom, a dream, a mere figment of the brain. Society's greatest peril of to-day is the demagogues who teach, and the ignorant classes who believe that there is such a thing as liberty. The planets have no liberty; they follow their sun. The seas know no liberty; they follow the moon in tidal waves. When the river refuses to keep within its banks, it becomes a curse and a destruction. It is the stream that is restrained by its banks that turns mill wheels for men. The clouds, too, have their beauty in that they are led forth in ranks and columns generaled by the night winds. And in proportion as things pass from littleness towards largeness they go toward obedience to law.

(N. D. Hillis, D. D.)

Amorites, Canaanites, David, Geber, Gibeon, Hiram, Hittites, Hivite, Hivites, Israelites, Jebusites, Ophir, Perizzites, Pharaoh, Solomon, Tamar
Baalath, Beth-horon, Brook of Egypt, Cabul, Edom, Egypt, Eloth, Ezion-geber, Galilee, Gezer, Gibeon, Hazor, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Megiddo, Millo, Ophir, Red Sea, Tamar, Tyre
Command, Commanded, David, Decisions, Decrees, Heart, Integrity, Judgments, Keeping, Laws, Observe, Orders, Ordinances, Simplicity, Statutes, Uprightly, Uprightness, Walk, Walked, Wilt
1. God's covenant in a vision with Solomon
10. The mutual presents of Solomon and Hiran
15. In Solomon's works the Gentiles were his bondmen, the Israelites servants
24. Pharaoh's daughter removes to her house
25. Solomon's yearly solemn sacrifices
26. His navy fetches gold from Ophir

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 9:4

     5017   heart, renewal
     5666   children, needs

1 Kings 9:4-5

     5366   king
     5370   kingship, human
     8275   honesty

1 Kings 9:4-9

     1351   covenant, with David
     8404   commands, in OT

Promises and Threatenings
'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. 2. That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as He had appeared unto him at Gibeon. 3. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put My name there for ever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

There was a double Gadara. One at the shore of the Mediterranean sea: that was first called Gezer, 1 Kings 9:15. In Josephus, "Simon destroyed the city Gazara, and Joppe, and Jamnia."--And in the Book of the Maccabees, "And he fortified Joppe, which is on the sea, and Gazara, which is on the borders of Azotus." At length, according to the idiom of the Syrian dialect, Zain passed into Daleth; and instead of Gazara, it was called Gadara. Hence Strabo, after the mention of Jamnia, saith, "and there
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Whether Solicitude Belongs to Prudence?
Objection 1: It would seem that solicitude does not belong to prudence. For solicitude implies disquiet, wherefore Isidore says (Etym. x) that "a solicitous man is a restless man." Now motion belongs chiefly to the appetitive power: wherefore solicitude does also. But prudence is not in the appetitive power, but in the reason, as stated above [2746](A[1]). Therefore solicitude does not belong to prudence. Objection 2: Further, the certainty of truth seems opposed to solicitude, wherefore it is related
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Prophecy Pertains to Knowledge?
Objection 1: It would seem that prophecy does not pertain to knowledge. For it is written (Ecclus. 48:14) that after death the body of Eliseus prophesied, and further on (Ecclus. 49:18) it is said of Joseph that "his bones were visited, and after death they prophesied." Now no knowledge remains in the body or in the bones after death. Therefore prophecy does not pertain to knowledge. Objection 2: Further, it is written (1 Cor. 14:3): "He that prophesieth, speaketh to men unto edification." Now speech
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Lawful to Give and Receive Money for Spiritual Actions?
Objection 1: It seems that it is lawful to give and receive money for spiritual actions. The use of prophecy is a spiritual action. But something used to be given of old for the use of prophecy, as appears from 1 Kings 9:7,8, and 3 Kings 14:3. Therefore it would seem that it is lawful to give and receive money for a spiritual action. Objection 2: Further, prayer, preaching, divine praise, are most spiritual actions. Now money is given to holy persons in order to obtain the assistance of their prayers,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Seven Seas According to the Talmudists, and the Four Rivers Compassing the Land.
"Seven seas (say they) and four rivers compass the land of Israel. I. The Great Sea, or the Mediterranean. II. The sea of Tiberias. III. The sea of Sodom. IV. The lake of Samocho... The three first named among the seven are sufficiently known, and there is no doubt of the fourth:--only the three names of it are not to be passed by. IV. 1. The Sibbichaean. The word seems to be derived from a bush. 2. ... 3. ... V. Perhaps the sandy sea. Which fits very well to the lake of Sirbon, joining the commentary
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

How to Split a Kingdom
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 2. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt); 3. That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 4. Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Greater Prophets.
1. We have already seen (Chap. 15, Nos. 11 and 12) that from Moses to Samuel the appearances of prophets were infrequent; that with Samuel and the prophetical school established by him there began a new era, in which the prophets were recognized as a distinct order of men in the Theocracy; and that the age of written prophecy did not begin till about the reign of Uzziah, some three centuries after Samuel. The Jewish division of the latter prophets--prophets in the more restricted sense of the
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

Beginning at Jerusalem
The whole verse runs thus: "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." The words were spoken by Christ, after he rose from the dead, and they are here rehearsed after an historical manner, but do contain in them a formal commission, with a special clause therein. The commission is, as you see, for the preaching of the gospel, and is very distinctly inserted in the holy record by Matthew and Mark. "Go teach all nations,"
John Bunyan—Jerusalem Sinner Saved

The Coast of the Asphaltites, the Essenes. En-Gedi.
"On the western shore" (of the Asphaltites) "dwell the Essenes; whom persons, guilty of any crimes, fly from on every side. A nation it is that lives alone, and of all other nations in the whole world, most to be admired; they are without any woman; all lust banished, &c. Below these, was the town Engadda, the next to Jerusalem for fruitfulness, and groves of palm-trees, now another burying-place. From thence stands Massada, a castle in a rock, and this castle not far from the Asphaltites." Solinus,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

In Galilee at the Time of Our Lord
"If any one wishes to be rich, let him go north; if he wants to be wise, let him come south." Such was the saying, by which Rabbinical pride distinguished between the material wealth of Galilee and the supremacy in traditional lore claimed for the academies of Judaea proper. Alas, it was not long before Judaea lost even this doubtful distinction, and its colleges wandered northwards, ending at last by the Lake of Gennesaret, and in that very city of Tiberias which at one time had been reputed unclean!
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Jerusalem Sinner Saved;
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The remarkable change which we have noticed in the views of Jewish authorities, from contempt to almost affectation of manual labour, could certainly not have been arbitrary. But as we fail to discover here any religious motive, we can only account for it on the score of altered political and social circumstances. So long as the people were, at least nominally, independent, and in possession of their own land, constant engagement in a trade would probably mark an inferior social stage, and imply
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

A Holy Life the Beauty of Christianity: Or, an Exhortation to Christians to be Holy. By John Bunyan.
Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.'--[Psalm 93:5] London, by B. W., for Benj. Alsop, at the Angel and Bible, in the Poultrey. 1684. THE EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. This is the most searching treatise that has ever fallen under our notice. It is an invaluable guide to those sincere Christians, who, under a sense of the infinite importance of the salvation of an immortal soul, and of the deceitfulness of their hearts, sigh and cry, "O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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