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. 

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