TODAY’S READING: II CHRONICLES 1-4
Solomon’s sacrifices; God’s appearance to Solomon in a dream; Solomon’s choice of wisdom & knowledge; Solomon’s accumulation of chariots, horses, horsemen, silver and gold; Solomon builds the Temple; the Temple furnishings.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
As we begin the Book of II Chronicles today, keep in mind that this Book spans 427 years. To help us get that in perspective, it would be the equivalent of chronicling the high points of history from the year 1577 to 2004! Quite a long period of time! The period covers 19 kings – 10 of which were bad, 7 of which were good, and 2 that were good but became bad (i.e. Solomon and Joash). As is always the case, as go the leaders, so go the people, until finally the nation has so apostacized that they are carried off into captivity. The Book does end, however, with a ray of hope.
As chapter one begins, the reign of Solomon is established, and he sets a priority on worship (1:6). God appears to Solomon in a dream (1:7 c.f. I Kings 3:5), and says, “Ask what I shall give thee.” In other words, “Ask me for anything you want, and it’s as good as yours!” Solomon asks for something that brought great pleasure to the Lord. Understanding the enormity of the task of leading the people, he asks for the wisdom and knowledge to rule them properly. Because he wasn’t selfish in asking for “riches, wealth, or honour,” God said, “I will give thee riches, and wealth and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like” (1:12). We might call this, however, the curse of God’s blessing. Because God had already made clear that the kings of Israel were not to multiply to themselves silver and gold; not to do business with Egypt to multiply horses, or for any other reason, and not to multiply wives !
(Deut. 17:16-17). Verses 14-17 of II Chronicles 1 reveals that he violated those first three commands, and I Kings 3:1 reveals that he violated the fourth by going down to make an “affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter,” and made her his wife. All of those things were tragic (as we will soon see), but don’t fail to see why it happened. He violated all four of those commands, because he violated a fifth command concerning Israel’s kings in Deuteronomy 17. He was to write a copy of the law for himself! He was to make his own handwritten copy of the entire Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Had he not neglected the Word of God, he would have known that God had forbidden him to involve himself in the very things he was doing at the outset of his reign! May we learn a lesson from the life of Solomon: never neglect the Word of God! As the old saying goes, “This Book will keep you from sin; and sin will keep you from t!
As chapter 2 begins, Solomon determines to build the Lord’s house, along with a minor little added priority as well. He also determines that he is going to have a house built for himself. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but in light of David’s strong words to Solomon about how “MAGNIFICAL” (I’m still totally taken by that word!) the Lord’s house was to be in comparison to anything else in existence (I Chron. 22:5), it seems quite unusual that it took almost twice as long to build Solomon’s house as it did the Lord’s house (7 years compared to 13 years – See I Kings 6:38 and I Kings 7:1); and if you compare the size of Solomon’s house (I Kings 7:1-12),with the size of the Lord’s house (I Chron. 3), Solomon’s house is almost exactly twice as big as God’s “MAGNIFICAL” house. Wouldn’t you love to have heard Solomon’s rationalization and justification on that one?! Never underestimate the tremendous ability we have as humans to justify and rationalize just about !
anything and everything WE want to do. God help us!
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
By the THOUSAND BURNT OFFERINGS OF SOLOMON – II Chron. 1:6 (Through Christ’s one offering of sin, He removed the need for the many and continual individual offerings required in the Law – Heb. 10:10-12, 14; Rom. 6:10)