- Solomon Placed In Charge
- Great Wisdom
- Huram of Tyre
- Relating to Today
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The most important event in Israel, is the building of the temple. Chronicles focuses on this heavily, with most of 1 Chronicles discussing David's preparation and the first 7 chapters of 2 Chronicles discussing Solomon actually building the temple.
Solomon Placed In Charge
2 Chronicles begins with Solomon taking over David's throne. Solomon continues to generate wealth for the Temple by initiating trade with Egypt and neighboring nations. This acquires great wealth for Israel and with it, he purchases chariots and horses, which were sure to strengthen Israel's army. God promised that Solomon would have a peaceful reign, but some of that could be because he purchased so many chariots. Neighboring countries would then know he was too powerful to be attacked. Likely God told Solomon to make these purchases, though there is also a chance that Solomon did not trust God's promise of peace and bought them just in case.
We are blessed with the story of Solomon asking God for wisdom, which is also given in 1 Kings 4. God told Solomon he could ask for anything he wanted, and Solomon requested wisdom! How many of us can say we would ask the for the same if put in this situation.
Matthew 21:22 tells us anything we ask of in prayer will be given to us, provided we come to prayer in faith. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes what I pray for is entirely selfish: good health for myself, help graduating from graduate school, etc. The conversation between Solomon and God reminds us that we should pray for wisdom. God has already promised us an abundant life (John 10:10), so why do ask for such things. What we truly need is the wisdom to discern right from wrong, righteous from unrighteous. God was so pleased that this is what Solomon asked for that he gave Solomon riches and honor in addition to wisdom. When we ask for the right things, everything else follows.
Huram of Tyre
Solomon makes a deal with Huram, the king of Tyre. King Huram sends wood and even employs some of his own men to do the work of cutting the wood at Solomon's request. When we are doing God's Will and ask nicely, things fall into place.
King Huram also sends a craftsman, also named Huram to help build things for the Temple. This Huram, though from Tyre, was born of an Israelite father and has ties to Dan. Whether someone was considered an Israelite or not is often discussed as a matter of parentage, but those who converted to the God's law were also considered part of the Israelites. Thus, the fact that Huram's father was an Israelite, and depending on Huram's customs and attitudes, he may have been seen as Israelite.
Solomon began building the Temple on the second day of the second month during his 4th year in power. Considering the fact that he had the wood shipped from Tyre, which would have taken much longer back then than it would today, this is a pretty quick start to carrying out God's instructions. 2 Chronicles 3 gives us the dimensions of the Temple and is basically a blueprint. We are given intricate details about the gold used to overlay the walls, posts, and beams, as well as, the design of cherubims in the Temple. It was a masterpiece of great splendor. Solomon was determined that nothing but the finest was for God. We should remember that in our every day life. We may not be able to afford gold, but when we give to God, we should give the best that's in our ability to give.
2 Chronicles 4 recounts the items Solomon had made for the Temple and the craftsmanship of Huram, who came from Tyre to create these things. Solomon had an abundance of tables, lavars, basins, and candlesticks made to adorn the house and to be used in praising God. He was not stingy nor did he skimp on materials when it came to God. That's a major theme in the description of the Temple.
Relating to Today
In the New Testament we are told that our bodies are the Temple of God. They are just as intricately designed and valuable. We should be sure to treat them well and take care of them. Solomon took great care to create the Temple and we should be sure to take great care in maintaining our personal temples.
Once Solomon gets everything in the Temple, he prepares for the dedication of the ark. During this time, the Ark of the Covenant was brought from the city of David (Zion) and put inside the Temple. Consequently, this is the last time the Ark of the Covenant is seen in the text.
The dedication of the Temple takes place during a feast in the seventh month; this feast is likely the Feast of Tabernacles, which would have required all the men of Israel to come to the Temple anyway. This ensured a large crowd for the dedication. At the dedication, the Levites which David assigned to musicianship praise God with music and song. There is a grand showing of people and praise. As the people praise God, He enters the Temple and appears as a cloud.
Solomon addresses the crowd with a brief synopsis of how he came to be the one to build the Temple; this includes a reminder that God foretold the coming of the Temple. Following the address, Solomon submits to prayer. This prayer is done publicly, proving that public prayer is acceptable. As with most prayers, He starts by praising God, invokes the covenant, then asks that God hear the prayers of Israel. Solomon's prayer is long and covers many scenarios. One such case is that of foreigners or strangers who seek out God. Solomon prays that they too will be heard.
God confirms that He has heard Solomon's prayer by consuming the burnt offering at the Temple with fire from Heaven. His glory fills the Temple and the priests are unable to enter. When the people of Israel see this, they humble themselves before God.
In gratitude, Solomon offers burnt sacrifices to God and they keep the feast for 7 days. On the 8th day they have a solemn assembly and the next day Solomon allows everyone to go home. On that final day, everyone is happy that God has blessed Israel and her kings. We are told that this day is the 23rd of 7th month, which means the feasts started on the 15th day, confirming this feast as the Feast of Tabernacles.
That night, God comes to Solomon and answers Solomon's prayer. He promises to hear Israel's pleas and establish Solomon as king, under the provision that they keep the law. If at any time they were to break the law and go astray, He would "pluck them up by the roots" from the land (which is exactly what eventually happened).
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