OPPORTUNITY

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RESPONSE

Solomon recognized an opportunity in the presence of the Lord manifested by the smoke filling the temple.  

Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.  But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.  And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood.  2 Chronicles 6:1-3

Solomon acknowledges God’s presence by this prayer.  He knows that he has an audience with God and he uses this to advantage now.

And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying,  Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:  But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.  Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.  But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:  Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name.  The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.  And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel.  2 Chronicles 6:4-11

Solomon acknowledges the faithfulness of God in having fulfilled his promises to David and his son Solomon.  He offers an example for the people now.

And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:  For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold of five cubits long, and five cubits broad,  and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven.  2 Chronicles 6:12-13

Solomon has mounted a platform that lets the people see him kneeling in submission to the most high God.  He is elevated in their view to elevate the importance of submission and prayer.  My wife’s grandparents regularly prayed together with the family as an example that we can live by.  True leaders provide an example of humility before the God who can deliver us from our own weaknesses.  Solomon begins his prayer.

And said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts:  Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.  Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me.  Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.  But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!  Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee:  That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.  Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.  If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house;  Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.  And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house;  Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers.  When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;  Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.  If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be:  Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house:  Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)  That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.  Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house;  Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.  If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name;  Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.  If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;  Yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly;  If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name:  Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.  Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.  Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.  O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.  2 Chronicles 6:14-42

Solomon recognizes the faithfulness of God and the weakness of man, including Israel.  He prepares the way by making petition in advance for all contingencies.  Actually the nature of man assures that failure is our future, so this is the wisdom of Solomon to prepare for the destiny of all flesh.  He recognizes the value of repentance and the need for protection from the unrepentant.  But he goes further by preparing the way for the rest of the world.  The strangers, the aliens who are not of Israel are offered a way to salvation in this prayer.  Solomon has recognized the nature of God’s original plan to save the lost world through the example of a small chosen nation.  He also knows that the failure of Israel will be repaired when they recognize their weakness without God.  David demonstrated the power of repentance and Solomon honors the revelation of this hope to all men.

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FAITHFUL MANIFESTATION

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THE MEETING

A work of art can testify of its builder’s faith, but God can speak and testify for himself.  The king and the leaders of Israel built the temple, and delivered the furnishings according to the plan. 

Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.  Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.  Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.  And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.  And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.  2 Chronicles 5:1-5

With all the furnishings in place the assembly was ready to begin the observation of sacrifices.  This was a special offering.

Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.  And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:  For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.  And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day.  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.  2 Chronicles 5:6-10

Abundant offerings led to the arrival of the ark.  Now the congregation is seeing the temple and its furnishings in all their glory.  The ark staves are removed, so it will remain here and not travel as in the exodus.  Some artifacts were no longer in the ark, but the law tables were still there.  Now the musicians add to the worship of God in his temple.

And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:  Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)  It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;  So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.  2 Chronicles 5:11-14

When Israel was faithful to perform their worship, God was faithful to make his presence known.  We experience this awareness in our hearts when we experience a truly anointed worship service and message today.  We don’t need a cloud when we hear answers to the things we have been struggling with all week.  We know that God still answers when we look back on a lifetime of deliverance.  God is still faithful today, and many can testify of his many mercies.

ARTISANS OF PERFECTION

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FINITE DETAIL

Solomon’s temple delivered artistry in details that made an impression beyond the mere dimensional size of the building.  This gathered the best artistS of their day into a single expression of faith.

Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.  Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.  And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.  It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.  And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.  2 Chronicles 4:1-5

One artisan is operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit for an inspired work of beauty.  Solomon went on the make other temples for the gods of his many wives, but this one stood out as its inspiration was real.

He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.  And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.  He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold.  Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass.  And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.  2 Chronicles 4:6-10

European churches later became glorious cathedrals, which often stand nearly empty today.  A church has to be more than just a fabulous building.  Scripture points to the church as being the body of many people.  Since a stone building cannot contain God, why would one make such a huge effort to build a house for him?  Huram is working with many art forms to make the furnishings of God’s house; casting, beating, and forming brass, gold and find woods. 

And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basons. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;  To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;  And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.  He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;  One sea, and twelve oxen under it.  2 Chronicles 4:11-15

Some builders have found a personal relationship with a God who answers prayer.  They are justifiably excited and motivated to share their discovery with their world.  Everyone who has a calling to create or teach should be inspired to share if they know that God cares about our unworthy world.  Today the church expresses this joy with passion in buildings and many other art forms.  Music, art, and media communications are the cathedrals of our generation.

The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon for the house of the LORD of bright brass.  In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.  Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.  And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set;  Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;  And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;  And the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.  2 Chronicles 4:16-22

Johannes Gutenberg discovered gold in the words of the bible, which he wanted to share with many others.  To deliver these words to the world he invented the printing press.  That technology has been used to do both good and evil since then.  Today we see the same thing in the internet.  We use every tool of art and technology to communicate the most important message of all time; this gospel of Jesus.

As this bible study is published on WordPress, there are tools that reveal where readers come from, and what they search for that brings them to this posting.  Readers have come from all over the world.  By publishing a lot of scripture and a little commentary I can deliver his words more than my own.  His sheep know his voice, and his words are the bread of life.  We can all point to him and let readers discover him as a living God who answers.

If you can read this posting, you may also be able to reach others with the living word.  Your friends on Facebook and other sites may be open to your own bible discovery.  You too can publish to a lost world.  God has placed some gift in you for his kingdom.  Who knows what beauty may be formed by the changed lives of people who you alone may be able to reach?

Vessels that serve God are not all gold or brass.  Some are flesh that once was lost, but now they are found by the one who is worthy among us.

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS

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GROUNDBREAKING

Construction of the temple gets underway now that the vision and the materials are all in place.  The workforce gets the plan dimensions, and the outline of the building takes shape.

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.  And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.  Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.  And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.  2 Chronicles 3:1-4

I have been a mechanical designer and a carpenter.  It is rewarding to see a vision being fleshed out.  Engineers communicate the plan to workers who assemble one piece at a time for even the biggest projects.  This project did not hold back on any lavish ornamentation or materials.

And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.  And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.  He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.  And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.  And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.  2 Chronicles 3:5-9

The cherubims alone are elaborate sculpture work.  Their description in scripture reveals a beast with four wings and four heads with eyes and wheels all around.  This is no cute fat little baby from medieval European fantasies.  And they are no small images either.

And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.  And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.  And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.  The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.  And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.  Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.  And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.  And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.  2 Chronicles 3:10-17

I am completing the remodeling of a travel trailer for my home and office.  Woodworking and finishing is a rewarding project.  The used trailer offered nice window treatments, wallpaper, borders, and cabinets.  I made an effort to make the new woodwork match the original stain colors and finish.  My skills do not match what went into the temple of Solomon.  My materials are on a much smaller budget.  But I did see signs that God still provides our needs.

Finding a used trailer saved me a lot of money.  Any needed parts are readily available in several RV repair shops in Apache Junction Arizona.  I bought a used table say for $25 that made fine clean cuts on hardwoods and plastic.  Rugs from my old apartment fit perfectly, and match the colors.  Inexpensive plastic garage cabinets offer light weight durable storage space.  I have room left in the cabinets after moving my belongings in. 

God may provide money for your needs, or he may reveal the right product at a garage sale.  You may already have what you need when you take time to pray and think about the problem.  Live in your present space and consider the needs as you wait on God for guidance.  Sometimes the answer just falls in your lap, but it’s no coincidence.  I would still rather work a bit towards the right goal than to have an easy time reaching an undesirable end.

ALIEN INVASION

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FOUNDATION FAITH

Solomon began his reign as king focused on hearing from god.  He was not out to promote his own goals, and considered the great responsibility of leading a nation that was chosen by God.

And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.  Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.  So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness.  But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.  Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.  2 Chronicles 1:1-5

David and his great men had built a foundation of faith and stockpiled the materials that Solomon would need.  They also laid a foundation of faith that Solomon could turn to when he was on his own.  Solomon was a willing student, and he applied his lesso

And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.  In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.  And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.  Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.  Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?  2 Chronicles 1:6-10

 

When Solomon goes before the altar in prayer, God answers him.  God still answers prayer today and we can ask for opportunities to serve him.  Solomon seeks the wisdom to be a good leader, and thus to serve God.  This is a direction that God can use.

 

And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:  Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.  Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.  And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.  And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.  And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price.  And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means. 2 Chronicles 1:11-17

 

Solomon didn’t ask for wealth, but it came with the blessing of God.  A pure heart is more valuable than all the good business plans in this world.  Pay your dues to the tithe of God and to the taxes of man because God sees what is done under the table.

 

And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.  And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.  And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.  Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.  And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.  But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?  2 Chronicles 2:1-6

 

Solomon acknowledges the faithful friendship of the King of Tyre.  He also acknowledges that this temple is only a symbol, a place to symbolize the glory of God.

 

Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.  Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,  Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.  And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.  2 Chronicles 2:7-10

Solomon goes on to detail payment for the skilled workers that he is requesting for his project.  King Hiram (Huram) answers favorably.

Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.  Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.  And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father’s,  The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men,  and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.  Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:  And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.  And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.  And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.  2 Chronicles 2:11-8

How much wood could the wood cutters cut if the wood cutters could munch much  barley, oil, wheat, and wine?  I feel a song coming on…a really lame song!  There were probably some good songs though, as this project will bring joy to Israel.  Solomon again numbers the aliens who are available to work.  I wonder if they had to sneak across the border to get these jobs?  I tend to believe they didn’t need to worry about a green card for this job. 

PREPARE TO LAUNCH

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FAITH TO BOLDLY GO

I am experiencing many changes in my life now.  I have been a caregiver until my father passed away.  This came during a period of underemployment, but I used the time to patent a unique aircraft design.  I am to embark on a change of address and career directions.  Solomon witnessed a similar change as his father neared the end of his reign.

Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God.  Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.  Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house.  Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:  The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?  1 Chronicles 29:1-5

Isn’t this what parents strive to do for their children? I could only provide bare survival for my family, but we saw God’s provision by faith.  My father provided a good inheritance that I hope I can also provide for my children.  He also delivered some basic life skills that I still employ daily.  Part of our ancestors lives on for generations because of their basic common sense. 

Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,  And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.  And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.  Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.  1 Chronicles 29:6-9

My father was remembered by his family and many friends.  David’s men were willing to recognize the service of David by their own giving.  They also acknowledged the faithfulness of God which was David’s reward.

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.  Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.  Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.  But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.  For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.  O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.  I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.  O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:  And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.  1 Chronicles 29:10-19

David was satisfied to see his people honor God, his mission was accomplished.  No other father can give an eternal inheritance, so David sought to give glory to that heavenly father.  Mortal fathers are only here for a season, like the grass that dies and blows away.

And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.  And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:  And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.  Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.  And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.  And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.  1 Chronicles 29:20-25

The Lord was the source of Solomon’s prosperity, even long after his father’s gifts had been consumed.  He would make some mistakes, as his father had, but God was faithful to him to the end.  I will not have my father to rescue me in the future, but I have a provider who will deliver me.

I will be traveling for work and I have confidence that God will provide a way that is right for me.  You can follow my career and life moods on another blog at http://exospace.wordpress.com/  and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/110821682303324/

FAITH PATTERNS

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ORGANIZATION APPLIED

As a designer I witnessed ideas being transformed into new cars, trucks, and aircraft.  A design must have an organized workforce, and a plan of fabrication and assembly.  God gave David an idea, and he gave Solomon the plan to see the dream built.  The workforce was chosen and organized, and materials were delivered to the job site. 

And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.  Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:  But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.  Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:  1 Chronicles 28:1-4

David was the inventor and inspiration, but his son was delegated to build the temple.  Solomon was left with the charge to serve God or to be forsaken if he turned aside from his calling.

And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.  And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.  Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.  Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.  And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.  Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.  1 Chronicles 28:5-10

David had the pattern, much as we made blueprints for the industry of our century.  Materials were specified and delivered for every detail of the construction. 

Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,  And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:  Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.  He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:  Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.  And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:  Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver:  And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.  1 Chronicles 28:11-18

As David had been the organizer and founder of this venture, Solomon was to be the manager for the execution of the work.  In his service there were skilled tradesmen at his command.

All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.  And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.  And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment. 1 Chronicles 28:19-21

All the detail of these chronicles reveals the contributions of a great workforce.  In our time a song speaks of “Taking care of business”.  It is important to remember that God also wants us to take care of people.  He has named and honored the workers in great detail in these books.  Solomon was also charged to run his business in a godly manner.  He would forget this for a season of serving gods of his many wives.  In the end he regained his focus, but nearly missed his salvation.  We pray that the captains of industry and government will remember these responsibilities in our time as well.

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