Main point summary
God gives Solomon (and us) a simple choice: Obey me or suffer the consequences.
Main Point: God gives us a simple choice: Obey me or suffer the consequences. Do you feel overwhelmed by choices? We all think we deserve choices but can we have too many choices? In this passage, God visits Solomon at the critical point in Solomon's life when he had completed his initial God-blessed building goals. The verb “build”, “Banah” in Hebrew, appears 9 times in chapter 9 . A safe building has a strong foundation. God promises His presence as the strong foundation for Solomon and his family. God knew that Solomon was at risk of making bad choices. Paraphrasing the apologist Ravi Zacharias, the question we need to ask about every choice is: Will this choice lead me closer to God or farther away or is it a neutral choice? Our lives are built on choices which are guided by our worldview or “foundation” for viewing the world. In verse 3 , God says that he heard Solomon and that his eyes and heart would be at the temple - in other words, I am here to be your foundation. Why choose the words “eyes and heart”? One of my spiritual mentors who passed away last year, Chuck Missler, said: “God cannot take his eyes off us because he loves us too much.” I think that there is an unstated question between verses 3 and 4 that God has for Solomon: Where will your eyes and heart be? God is seeking reciprocal love that empowers obedience. As Jesus said in John 14:23: “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” Verses 4-5 are a conditional statement: If you live a Davidic-like life of wholeness of heart, then your sons will rule Israel forever. Verses 6-7 bring the bad results of adopting a worldview that excludes God. In addition, the temple (symbolically, everything Solomon had built) will be destroyed due to disobedience. When the temple is no longer God’s sanctuary , then the land will no longer be a sanctuary for the people. We, as Christ’s disciples, are a sanctuary to others only as long as God dwells in us. God’s chosen people will be mocked as a laughing-stock by the idolaters who are wise enough to see that Israel blew it by making bad choices. In the broad context of God’s goal for His people, the situation could be summarized as a logical syllogism: If you are obedient , Israel will be the best place to live. If Israel is the best place to live, others will be drawn to God. Therefore, if you are obedient, others will be drawn to God. As a loving Father, God gives Solomon a simple choice: Obey me or suffer the consequences. We are free to choose to have our choices limited by God . The irony about choices: Often the people with the fewest choices - the poor, the handicapped, the mentally limited - are the people who have the most joy-filled lives. On the other hand, Solomon, both the wisest and richest man of his era, ended up with no joy, saying: “Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). We submit to God’s limitations of our choices for our own protection and that protection leads to joy, as Jesus said in.… John 15:5-11, … abide in me …and your joy will be complete. Godly choices lead to eternal joy. What will be the basis for your choices? Who will be your foundation?
Main point summary
The Lord told Solomon: Obedience maintains the Lord in the temple and the people in the land; disobedience destroys the temple and kicks out the people.
1 Kings 9:1-9
j As soon as Solomon had finished
building the house of the Lord
k and the king’s house
and l all that Solomon desired to build,
m the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time,
as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.
And the Lord said to him,
“I have heard your prayer
and your plea,
which you have made before me.
I have consecrated this house
that you have built,
n by putting my name there forever.
o My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.
And as for you, if you will p walk before me,
q as David your father walked,
with integrity of heart and uprightness,
doing according to all
that I have commanded you,
and keeping my statutes and my rules,
r then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever,
as I promised David your father, saying,
‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
s But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children,
and do not keep my commandments and my statutes
that I have set before you,
but go and serve other gods
and worship them,
t then I will cut off Israel from the land
that I have given them,
u and the house
that I have consecrated for my name
I will cast out of my sight,
v and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
And this house will become a heap of ruins. 1
Everyone passing by it will be astonished
and will hiss,
and they will say,
w ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land
and to this house?’
Then they will say,
‘Because x they abandoned the Lord their God
who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt
and laid hold on other gods
and worshiped them
and served them.
Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.’”