May 21

 

Read II Chronicles 1 -- 3

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Solomon's sacrifices; his dream; his accumulation of chariots and horsemen; Solomon builds the Temple

 

King Solomon began his reign in submission to the LORD his God (II Chronicles 1:1). So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to . . the Tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses . . . had made in the wilderness. . . . And Solomon . . . offered a thousand burned offerings. . . . In that night did God appear to Solomon, and said to him, Ask what I shall give you (1:3-7). In I Kings we have more complete details of this event. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give you. . . . And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream (I Kings 3:5,15). In this dream, Solomon said to God. . . . Give me now wisdom and knowledge . . . for who can judge (rule) this Your people, that is so great? (II Chronicles 1:8-12). Through this dream, the Lord was revealing to Solomon that his greatest need was to be obedient to and dependent on the Word of God.

 

Following the sacrifices at Gibeon, Solomon began accumulating massive numbers of chariots and horsemen (1:14; 9:25; see I Kings 4:26). However, God had commanded that Israel's king shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to . . . multiply horses; forasmuch as the LORD has said to you, You shall hereafter return no more that way (Deuteronomy 17:16). But Solomon did both. Not only did he multiply horses from Egypt but, even worse, he married the heathen daughter of Pharaoh (see I Kings 3:1; 11:1). He again ignored the Word of God, who had said: Neither shall he multiply (take many) wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold (Deuteronomy 17:17). Solomon ignored all three of these commandments. But his most serious neglect was his indifference toward the fourth commandment to Israel's kings: When he sits upon the throne . . . he shall write him a copy of this Law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites. . . . and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this Law (17:18-19).

 

It is pathetic to realize that Solomon never repented of these sins. Consequently, his powerful and famous kingdom was eventually destroyed. It makes little difference whether or not we become famous, powerful, or wealthy. But, it is most important for us to recognize that, since God is our Creator, He has first claim on our lives and on all our abilities for His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue (II Peter 1:3).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

By the thousand burned offerings of Solomon (II Chronicles 1:6). We can be thankful that the one perfect offering of Christ on the cross did away with the need for many and continual individual sin offerings. He died to sin once (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 10:10-12,14).

 

Word Studies:

 

2:2 told out = assigned; hew = cut; 2:7 cunning = skillful; can skill to grave = has skill to engrave; 2:14 find out every device = skillful to execute any design; 2:16 floats = rafts; 3:5 cieled = paneled; 3:10 of image work = fashioned by carving; 3:16 oracle = inner sanctuary (Holy of Holies).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by We Who Love Jesus · Government Official: Rep. Tom Feeney (FL) · Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa · Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects · Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism · 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men · Prayer Suggestion: Pray persistently; you will receive an answer (Luke 11:9-10).

 

Optional Reading: I Corinthians 8

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 3:17