Faithfulness (1 Kings 5-8)
In a long section with lots of detail that can seem insignificant to our eyes potentially. I was struck by a number of little gems along the way with a theme.
In 1 Kings 5:12 it simply says; “And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as He promised him.” I love that! Solomon wisely asked God for wisdom, and God promised to give him what he asked for and more (1 Kings 3:11-13). Here is this passage the writer simply records the full circle, that God was faithful to what God had promised.
In 1 Kings 6:1 we read that; “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt…he began to build the house of the Lord.” Think about how long that is! That is older than the country I live in, it is nearly all the way back to the days of the Reformation and Martin Luther… When God brought His people out of Egypt he commanded them through Moses to not worship Him anywhere like the foreign people who worshipped their gods on any high place but that they should ‘seek the place that the Lord your God will choose’ (Deuteronomy 12:5, 12:13-14) but to build a sanctuary “that I may dwell in their midst” (Exodus 25:8). That elaborate tent, the sanctuary which moved about in the wilderness with the people of God, was always intended to become a temple a permanent place which represented God’s presence with His people, the place of worship. And yet it took 480yrs from promise to ultimate fulfilment. What a journey, what an old tent! How many people might have prematurely concluded that God was not going to have them build a temple? God does what God says – He is faithful.
Then in 1 Kings 6:12-13 God calls for Solomon to be faithful like He is faithful. God makes promises to Solomon but they are promises that contain a little word that has a BIG impact – “IF”. God says IF you are faithful and obey ‘all my commandments’ THEN I will be true to the promises I made to King David and my people Israel. God is faithful, and here He calls Solomon to be like Him, to also be faithful, promising amazing blessing to Solomon ‘if’ he is faithful.
In a little sidebar – it is concerning to say the least that after God waited 480yrs for His permanent house to be built, Solomon took 7yrs to build God’s house and in the very next verse it says that Solomon took nearly double that time to build his own house! Hmmmmm. The bible is not arbitrary, this is communicating something. It is SO important that we do not relegate God and God’s house to the sidelines making our own financial agendas more important than that of His. How are you doing on this front? Are you being faithful with bringing your whole tithe into God’s storehouse (the church) or are you more focused on your personal financial goals/desires? It’s worth asking and being provoked to think regarding this.
Lastly, in 1 Kings 8 there is a long section with the dedication of the temple and God is faithful again in vs10 by coming and filling this ‘house’ built for Him with His presence! Solomon prays honouring God as the faithful One, the faithful, covenant keeping God to all those who are faithful in walking before Him with ‘all their heart’ (vs23).
God is faithful always! He desires that we be like Him. He wants you and I to love Him and to obey Him because we love Him. May we be like Him.
God is faithful!