1 Kings 11: Jeroboam, rhymes with Rehoboam

Things that make you go hmmm…

Rereading 1 Kings 11 this morning, I realized that like David, God sent a prophet to Jeroboam to tell him he would become king of ten of the tribes of Israel (the northern ones). In fact, God made the same promise to him that he made to David and Solomon:

If you listen to what I tell you and follow my ways and do whatever I consider to be right, and if you obey my decrees and commands, as my servant David did, then I will always be with you. I will establish an enduring dynasty for you as I did for David, and I will give Israel to you.” v38

I always thought it was interesting that Jeroboam (king of the northern tribes) rhymed with Rehoboam, Solomon’s son and king of Judah. If for no other reason that it makes it easy to memorize. Who were kings when the nation of Israel split? Jeroboam and Rehoboam. Nice pneumonic there.

Unfortunately, neither -boam does a good job obeying God and so begins the end of the monarchy of Israel. It will take a long time to fall, but Solomon’s refusal to follow God with his whole heart was the beginning of the end.

What can we learn from Solomon, Rehoboam, and Jeroboam? For me, this morning, I think it’s to not squander the opportunities God gives us. Don’t spurn the blessings of obedience. What is God asking you to do today? Will you do it?

 

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1 Kings 10: The Queen of Sheba

One thing I never realized until reading Tosca Lee’s book The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen, was that historians believe Queen Balkir’s son was sired by Solomon. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, since he clearly had numerous wives and concubines, what was one more? And the romance…a dashing King, a legendary Queen…

But seriously. It is notable that she came over 1,200 miles to visit him for the purposes of making an alliance (between countries). Apparently, testing his wisdom was a way to determine whether a foreign monarch could be trusted to remain loyal and to make the correct moral and tactical considerations.

What is notable is that by visiting with Solomon, Balkir correctly recognized that it was God who provided wisdom to Solomon. As Dr. Thomas L. Constable observes, “In her visit we see Israel fulfilling its God-given purpose of bringing the Gentiles to Yahweh.” God set apart Israel as His holy people. It was by their example others were supposed to recognize that God was GOD and worship Him. Just like people are supposed to know God because of our words and actions.

Someone – I can’t remember if it was a pastor or a Christian radio DJ – put the question to his listeners, if someone were to hang around you for a day, how long would it take them to figure out you were a Christian without you telling them?

Be blessed, friends, and let God’s light shine through you in every word and deed as you go about your way today.

1 Kings 8: Massive animal slaughter

When I read accounts from the Old Testament about offerings it makes me cringe.

There before the Ark, King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed so many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count! ~1 Kings 8:5

The the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices to the LORD. Solomon offered to the LORD a peace offering of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. ~1 Kings 8:62

It seems like a waste that so many animals would be slaughtered. Today I went back to Leviticus 7 and read about peace offerings. I’m guessing these for the temple would fall under the heading of voluntary offerings.

If you bring an offering to fulfill a vow or as a voluntary offering, the meat must be eaten on the same day the sacrifice is offered, but whatever is left over may be eaten on the second day. And meat left over until the third day must be completely burned up. ~Leviticus 7:16-17

So really, the dedication of the Temple was a huge tailgate. Over the course of 14 days, all Israel gathered and had the biggest barbeque anyone could imagine in honor of the LORD. They ate some of the meat, parts of it went to the priests, the fat was burned up, the blood was spattered, and anything left over was completely burned.

A two-week national holiday where most of the food is supplied by the government sounds like the Super Bowl on steroids.

Isn’t it just like God to provide for us while we sacrifice to Him?

From now on when I read about animal sacrifices, I won’t see it as a senseless waste. Like tithing, these offerings were meant to support the priests (church) financially while also blessing the givers. A fiscal means to make God a priority in our lives. And like Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, a means to draw us closer to God.

 

1 Kings 7 – The Molten Sea

Happy Easter Monday! Last week was crazy. I clocked 30 hours Friday-Sunday because I work at a church. It was a fantastic weekend, but busy, busy. I’m happy to have today off to do things like read the Bible, do laundry, and write. 🙂

I don’t have anything insightful to say today. I read about the building and furnishing of Solomon’s temple, specifically about all the things that were cast from brass. I was specifically intrigued by The Sea, or The Molten Sea, as some call it. It was 7.5 feet tall, 15 feet across, and the cup portion was 3 inches thick. It could hold ~16,500 gallons of water. It rested on the back of 12 bronze oxen. The priests washed in it.

The thing that is puzzling me: how did the priests wash in a basin that was at least 7.5 feet tall? Did they stand on the backs of the oxen? Did they have a step stool? I’ve spent a few minutes looking at pictures but no one seems to have addressed this issue.

The other thing I found interesting was the size of some of these brass-cast pieces. In addition to the gargantuan Sea, the brass worker Huram also cast two ginormous pillars for the temple – 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference (that’s a diameter of ~6 ft if I did my math correctly). He also made the wash basins in one piece. I would have liked to have watched him do that.

Just for fun, here is a short video on the casting process if you’re interested.