Saturday, June 09, 2012


“As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, with a heart of integrity and in what is right, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and ordinances,  I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David: You will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.” (1 Kings 9:4-5 HCSB)

Solomon was blessed by God.  No man ever prospered to the degree he did.  In whatever measure anyone prospers, it is always God’s gift.  James 1:17 says, “Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.”

Solomon had prayed for wisdom rather than wealth and God gave him both in great measure.  He had everything he needed—and more. 

No matter how much money we have in the bank or how much acreage we own, if we are the children of God, we are richly blessed.  No child of the King of kings is a pauper; he is a prince and she a princess.  Ours is a royal family!

As we calculate Solomon’s blessings, let us count our own.

There was the PRESENCE he experienced. 

When Solomon finished building the temple of the Lord, the royal palace, and all that Solomon desired to do, the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time just as He had appeared to him at Gibeon.  The Lord said to him:I have heard your prayer and petition you have made before Me. I have consecrated this temple you have built, to put My name there forever; My eyes and My heart will be there at all times.’” (1 Kings 9:1-3)

This was the incomparable blessing!  With this we have everything, and without Him, nothing else means anything.  God blessed Solomon with a personal relationship with Himself!  He manifests Himself to the king.  He speaks to Solomon.  The Lord promises that His eyes will be on him and his kingdom, and his heart will beat for him and the temple where he worshipped.

As I read this, I thought of Paul’s description of the richness of this royal relationship described in Ephesians:

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.  For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved. We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:3-8)

Another blessing was the POSTERITY he birthed.

As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, with a heart of integrity and in what is right, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and ordinances, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David: You will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.  If you or your sons turn away from following Me and do not keep My commands-My statutes that I have set before you-and if you go and serve other gods and worship them, I will cut off Israel from the land I gave them, and I will reject the temple I have sanctified for My name. Israel will become an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples.  Though this temple is [now] exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will mock. They will say: Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?  Then they will say: Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and worshiped and served them. Because of this, the Lord brought all this ruin on them.” (1 Kings 9:4-9)

Solomon was a king—and his son would follow in his footsteps to ascend the throne—and his son after him.  Solomon would write these words in Psalm 127, “Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, children, a reward.” (v.3) This is the promise of posterity.  No man is poor who has children—and grandchildren—well, they are grand!

Now, it may be that in the providence of God, He has thus far not given you biological children.  But, that should not stop us from enjoying a posterity.  There are children needing to be adopted and brought into a Christian home.  Further, if that isn’t an option, either, you can be a spiritual father and mother, leading someone to faith in Christ and training them up in the way they should go.  Every week there are opportunities to make an impact on the lives of little ones through the church—and what a blessing it is!

But notice that this promise was conditional. If Solomon and his sons obeyed God, then blessings would result. If they turned from God, God would turn off the spigot of His favor, and replace it with judgment. Has sin stopped up the channel of blessing in your life?

A further blessing was the PROSPERITY he enjoyed.

At the end of 20 years during which Solomon had built the two houses, the Lord's temple and the royal palace—Hiram king of Tyre having supplied him with cedar and cypress logs and gold for his every wish-King Solomon gave Hiram 20 towns in the land of Galilee.  So Hiram went out from Tyre to look over the towns that Solomon had given him, but he was not pleased with them.  So he said, ‘What are these towns you've given me, my brother?’ So he called them the Land of Cabul, as they are [still called] today.   Now Hiram had sent the king 9,000 pounds of gold.” (1 Kings 9:10-14)

Solomon sure had a lot of stuff!

You may not, but you have the wealth of contentment.  You have enough and you don’t worry about it.  The fact is that the poorest of Americans have an abundance, compared to most people in history or the world today.  We have an electric stove, and don’t cook over a fire.  Most of us have air-conditioning to cool us in summer, instead of sweltering in the heat.  There are cell phones, TVs and MP3 players which would have been a marvel to those living in past ages—even Solomon would be impressed.  We have refrigeration and transportation.  I could go on and on.  We are blessed!

Conversely, there are some people with much wealth materially who are miserable for they are bankrupt of contentment.  They worry constantly about what they have and how to keep it and make more of it, so they can have more to worry about!  You can be impoverished spiritually, and what good is money then? 

Contentment is great wealth.  Paul put it this way, “But godliness with contentment is a great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.” (1 Tim.6:6-8)

Solomon was blessed with the PEOPLE he led.

This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon had imposed to build the Lord's temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.  Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He then burned it down, killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife.  Then Solomon rebuilt Gezer, Lower Beth-horon, Baalath, Tamar in the Wilderness of Judah, all the storage cities that belonged to Solomon, the chariot cities, the cavalry cities, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, or anywhere else in the land of his dominion.   As for all the peoples who remained of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were not Israelites—their descendants who remained in the land after them, those whom the Israelites were unable to completely destroy—Solomon imposed forced labor on them; [it is this way] until today.  But Solomon did not consign the Israelites to slavery; they were soldiers, his servants, his commanders, his captains, and commanders of his chariots and his cavalry.  These were the deputies who were over Solomon's work: 550 who ruled over the people doing the work.”  (1 Kings 9:15-23)

Solomon’s wealth wasn’t just in possessions, but in people.  They are the gift of God.  He could not have built his kingdom alone. Others helped him. Time and again Hiram, the king of Tyre supplied cedar, cypress, gold, and sailors to help build and pilot the fleet of trading ships. Good friends are a great asset.  No man is poor who has a friend!

Then, we observe this blessing: the PROJECTS he completed.

Pharaoh's daughter moved from the city of David to the house that Solomon had built for her; he then built the terraces. Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord, and he burned incense with them in the Lord's presence. So he completed the temple. King Solomon put together a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom.  With the fleet, Hiram sent his servants, experienced seamen, along with Solomon's servants.  They went to Ophir and acquired gold there-16 tons-and delivered it to Solomon.” (1 Kings 9:24-26)

It is unlikely that we will ever construct buildings so magnificent as Solomon did, but that should not stop us from the satisfaction of a completed project.  We are created to be creative!  That is part of the image of God in mankind.  Whether it be the joy of putting paint on a canvas and producing a “masterpiece” or painting a room to the commendation of our spouse; perhaps, it is growing some vegetables or planting a flower garden—countless projects which bring joy in their achievement.  To step back and look at a picture you have hung on the wall, and smile because it is “just right” is the blessing of God to us if we would recognize it.

In the little country church I first pastored, we had no “rich” people as the world would count them.  They had no fortune and fame.  A “good” Sunday was to take up $300 in the offering!  We lived in an old farm house, ate a lot of beans and potatoes, had no insurance nor retirement plan, drove one old car.  The one TV we had was black and white getting only a couple of channels—and they were sort of fuzzy.  Rare was the occasion when we ate out or went to a movie.  Yet we were rich!  God was so good to all of us.  We knew we were children of the King—and heaven awaited.  I might have lived in a drafty old farm house, where the roof leaked like a sieve when it rained, but I knew a mansion was reserved in glory.  We had all we needed and then some.  Most of all, we had contentment.  One of our favorite hymns we often sung at Cane River Baptist Church was entitled “A Child of the King.”  It went like this:

1.         My Father is rich in houses and lands,
            He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
            Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
            His coffers are full, He has riches untold.


I'm a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I'm a child of the King.

2.         My Father's own Son, the Savior of men,
Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them.
But now He is pleading our pardon on high,
That we may be His when He comes by and by.

3.         I once was an out-cast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, and an alien by birth;
But I've been adopted, my name's written down,
An heir of salvation, the kingdom and crown.

4.         Though poor on this earth, oh, why should I care?
             Since glorious things for me God doth prepare;
            Though trials abound, yet, still I may sing:
            All glory to God, I'm a child of the King.

Oh, to be a child of the King of kings—how wondrous!  I am blessed!

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