Week 24: Solomon’s Reign
Weekly memory verse:
2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
“All People That on Earth Do Dwell” (free download)
How did Christ satisfy God’s just wrath for sin?
Christ suffered the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross.
Day 116: Solomon Prays for Wisdom
Reading: 2 Chronicles 1:1–17; Proverbs 14
2 Chronicles 1, Verse 3. Gibeon. The tabernacle was still in Gibeon, while the ark was in Jerusalem.
In fulfillment of promises made to David, Solomon begins his reign and follows his father’s example of allegiance to the Lord and his Law. Solomon leads the nation in the worship of Yahweh and shows humility in asking for wisdom from the Lord rather than wealth. God rewards Solomon by granting him a great kingdom.
- On what basis did Solomon make his request to the Lord?
- What is wisdom?
- What is foolishness?
Day 117: Solomon Builds the Temple
Reading: 2 Chronicles 3:1–5:14
Chapter 3, Verse 2. Second month. It took 7 years, 6 months to complete the temple.
Chapter 4, Verse 2. Sea. This is the bronze laver, used for ritual cleansing (Exod 30:17–21).
Chapter 5, Verse 2. Ark. The ark was in a temporary tent that David had constructed in Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:17).
Solomon’s first act as king was to initiate the building of the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, a project that took seven years to complete. Careful attention was given to all the instructions God had given for the construction of the tabernacle. The temple was simply a larger, more elaborate, and permanent version of the tabernacle that God had prescribed for his worship.
- Why did Solomon give such careful attention to how God wanted the temple constructed?
- What did the veil signify?
- Why were sacrifices necessary?
Day 118: The Temple Dedication
Reading: 2 Chronicles 6:1–7:22
Verse 8. Feast. The dedication of the temple corresponded with the Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles.
Verse 14. If my people. This is a promise given specifically to Israel, assuring them that if they follow the Law of God, he will bless them, but if they disobey, he will punish them. This does not nullify the Davidic covenant, however.
Solomon leads the people in a prayer of dedication for the temple and offers the appropriate sacrifices. God responds with approval, and the people celebrate with a great feast. This dedication ceremony pictures true worship: the people draw near to the presence of God through sacrifices of atonement that he has prescribed, he accepts them on that basis, and they commune with him in his presence.
- What were some of the main themes of Solomon’s prayer of dedication?
- How did God demonstrate his approval?
- Did God’s promise to punish the nation if they disobeyed him nullify the Davidic Covenant?
Day 119: Solomon’s Reign
Reading: 1 Kings 10–11; Proverbs 15
1 Kings 10, Verse 1. Sheba. Sheba was located about 1,200 miles southwest of Jerusalem in Arabia.
Chapter 11, Verse 1. Foreign women. Solomon followed the traditional practice of kings in marrying daughters of foreign kings in order to establish peace with other natives. While this was politically savvy, it was in direct disobedience to the Law of God.
Verse 11. Covenant. This refers to the Mosaic Covenant, which was a conditional covenant unlike the unconditional Davidic Covenant.
Verse 38. A sure house. God promised to Jeroboam the same he had promised to David, if he obeyed God’s Law.
Because both David and Solomon followed after the Lord, God blessed Solomon’s reign, expanding the nation and giving him peace and unity. However, Solomon’s marriage to many foreign wives caused him to forsake God later in his life, causing the nation to eventually forsake God and follow after idols.
- Why did God bless Solomon and the nation of Israel under his reign?
- Why was it wrong for Solomon to marry pagan wives?
- What does Solomon’s sin later in his life reveal about wisdom?
Day 120: The Kingdom Divides
Reading: 1 Kings 12:1–13:10, 33–34
Chapter 12, Verse 15. By the Lord. In fulfillment of what he had promised to both Solomon and Jeroboam, God sovereignly ordained Rehoboam’s foolishness. However, Rehoboam was nevertheless responsible for his own foolish choices.
Verse 16. David. This expression of rebellion by the ten northern tribes was the same as Sheba’s failed rebellion in 2 Samuel 20.
Verse 21. Tribe of Benjamin. Benjamin’s tribe divided in loyalty, with some of the northern towns joining the northern tribes, and some of the southern towns joining Judah.
Verse 27. Sacrifices. God had promised Jeroboam that if he followed the Law, God would bless him and give him a great kingdom. However, to obey the Law would mean that his people would be required to offer sacrifices in Jerusalem at the temple, which was in the southern kingdom. Jeroboam therefore made a politically savvy decision rather than trust and obey the Lord.
Verse 28. Calves of gold. Jeroboam did not intend to lead the people to worship false gods; rather, he was establishing a new way to worship Yahweh. The word translated “gods” in the text is the Hebrew term Elohim, which often referred to Yahweh. There are striking parallels between Jeroboam’s act here and the golden calf of Exodus 32.
As punishment for Solomon’s sin, God ordained the division of the kingdom, using both Rehoboam’s and Jeroboam’s foolishness to accomplish his punishment of the nation. While God promised Jeroboam that he would bless him if he obeyed the Law, Jeroboam chose to establish his own system of Yahweh worship, which led the people into eventual idolatry and destruction.
- Why was Rehoboam responsible for his sin even though it was part of God’s sovereign plan to punish the nation?
- Would God have blessed Jeroboam if he had allowed the people to offer sacrifices in Jerusalem?
- Why is it wrong to worship God in ways that he has not prescribed?