1 Kings 6

We are now “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt” and Solomon is sitting on the throne.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge.  He is focused on building the temple that God instructed David to build, and who passed that torch on to his son Solomon.  This is a big project and a huge building.  It is definitely no small task.  He has thousands of men working for years.  In fact, we learn at the end of this chapter “he was seven years in building it”.  Huge project to accomplish, with few or little in terms of tools other than brute man power.

But the key words that strike me in this chapter come right in the middle of the description of the project.  Scripture is recording details around cubits and olivewood and cherubim and inner and outer rooms, and then right smack dab in the middle comes this: “Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”  God interrupts and reminds Solomon of what really matters.

He didn’t come to praise his work, or tell him the walls were leaning a bit.  He comes to focus Solomon on relationship.  He reminds Solomon that HOW we do things is more important than doing them.  God gives Solomon a promise here.  It is a classic ‘if-then’ sort of statement.  God asks Solomon to do four things:

–       “if you will walk in my statutes

–       obey my rules

–       keep all my commandments

–       walk in them”

Seems pretty basic doesn’t it.  All we need to do is know God’s Word, and let that be the way we live.  On the surface it seems simple, but underneath it is not so much.  First it requires knowing his statutes, but then it gets difficult as we have to actually obey and live that way.

But the beautiful part of the promise is the outcome.  If we do what God instructs, “then I will establish my word with you…. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel”.  The payoff to obedience is amazing.  God dwells with us.  And He will not forsake us.  He is part of us and lives with us.  What a promise!  So it comes down to obedience.  Will we live God’s way in obedience, or in our own self-centered and pride filled way?  Solomon has a huge opportunity here.  We’ll see how he does in future chapters.  For now though, “Solomon built the house and finished it”.  He carried out the task assigned to him, at the construction level.  We’ll see how he does at the heart level (unfortunately not quite as well) in the days ahead as we continue our journey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: