2 Chronicles 8: Foreshadowing

Solomon, the wisest king ever, was still a fool.

Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her. He said, “My wife must not live in King David’s palace, for the Ark of the LORD has been there, and it is holy ground.” v11

Solomon knew God’s prohibition against marrying foreign wives, yet he did it anyway. And not just once. Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).

Solomon’s downfall is chronicled in 1 Kings 11. In his old age, he worshiped Ashtoreth (goddess) and Molech (fond of child sacrifice). And, predictably, God became very angry with Solomon.

So now the LORD said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. But for the sake of your father, David, I will not do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son. And even so, I will not take away the entire kingdom; I will let him be king of one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, my chosen city.” ~1 Kings 11:9-13

This is a powerful warning, is it not? Even the wisest of us can fall into sin. He tiptoed in with his first wife, then went all-in with 999 more. He built them places to worship their gods, before eventually worshipping them himself, just as God predicted would happen in Deuteronomy 7:3-4.

David wasn’t sinless. He was an adulterer and murderer. The difference between David and Solomon was their hearts. David was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) and he was quick to repent when he realized he was wrong. There is no indication that Solomon ever repented. Foolish king.

But we are all foolish. I wonder where I am tiptoeing into sin? Or whether I’m all-in somewhere and don’t realize it? My prayer is that the LORD show me these areas and help me repent. I don’t want to follow the path of Solomon. I want to be like David and have a heart for God.

Blessings on your day.

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1 Chronicles 28-29: Parting Words

And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The LORD has chosen you to build a Temple and his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work. ~ 1 Chronicles 28:9-10

David’s parting advice to his son and the next king is fitting for us as well, don’t you think?

Learn to know God intimately. God wants a relationship with us. He doesn’t want a bunch of obligated rule followers.

Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. Didn’t Jesus tell us that the first and greatest commandment was to love the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, and soul?

God sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. He knows if we are doing things with the right motivation. It doesn’t matter what we do if we’re doing it for the wrong reason. This makes me think of Cain and Abel. Why was one offering accepted and the other not? Could it be that God saw the hearts behind the offering?

If you seek him, you will find him. I don’t know about you, but this brings me comfort. There are times I feel far from God, but I know that if I seek him, he will be there. Always.

But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. A dire warning indeed. We have a choice: live forever with God in eternity or be separated from God forever and consigned to hell with Satan and his demons.

It’s like when you give your kids options to get them to do what you want them to do. You can do this (good choice) or you can do this (bad choice with bad consequences). You can stop watching TV and go clean your room or you can ignore me and lose TV privileges for a week. You decide.

The problem with our culture today is that we think God is one of those wishy-washy parents that don’t really mean what they say. The ones that make a threat but never follow up on it. In essence, we treat God like he’s a pushover. He’s not. We should not mistake supernatural patience with indecision. God does what he says he will do.

So take this seriously. The LORD has chosen you to build a Temple and his sanctuary. In Solomon’s day, it was a magnificent building. David and the other leaders gave more than 92 million tons of gold, silver, and bronze. I can’t imagine what it must have looked like. Wow. I’d love to travel back in time and see Solomon’s Temple!

Today, God has called us to build his Temple and sanctuary as well–the church. Jesus told his disciples to go to the far corners of the earth preaching the Gospel, telling everyone about him, and making disciples as they went. That is our job as well. Share the Good News.

David’s parting advice on how to do it? Be strong, and do the work.

But that’s what’s hard, isn’t it? We make excuses for not being able to do the work. Being busy with other things. Because it’s inconvenient. Because we worry what other people might think about us. Because we don’t want to come across as “that Christian.”

It’s amazing that once you open up and start speaking with people about Jesus in a natural non-agenda-driven not-in-your-face way that it gets easier and easier. This goes back to the beginning. If you know God intimately, your love for him will ooze out of you naturally. (“What did you do this weekend?” “Went to church on Sunday.”) If people know and like you, they’ll care about what you care about. Even people who are opposed to Christianity will tolerate your beliefs if they respect you. And who knows, you might just plant a seed.

So be strong, and do the work.