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1 Kings 8-11


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                                             
Thru the Bible in a Year

       In this section, Solomon completes the Temple, gives a dedication speech, and then leads his people in prayer.  The prayer has an element of prophesy in it B seeming to refer to the much later exile which would occur as God=s judgment against the people=s failure to live up the promises they made on this day and on many others.  The king then blesses the people and dedicates the various parts of the new Temple.
       After this, the LORD appears to Solomon and renews His covenant with him.  Solomon=s gifts to Hiram, king of Phoenicia are summarized, as well as his other building projects.  It is also mentioned that he married a daughter of the Egyptian Pharoah, no doubt in an effort to cement an alliance.  For her he built a special palace, and there is a monument in Jerusalem to this day shaped like a pyramid which is attributed to this time.
       His fame and success having made Solomon a notorious figure in the world of his day, Solomon is now visited by the Queen of Sheba (most likely a kingdom in southern Arabia) who brings with her expensive gifts and a great curiosity regarding this monarch.  Evidently satisfied, she returns to her own realm, but not before making a lasting impression of her own.
       The next couple of chapters (10-11) are devoted to enumerating the extent of Solomon=s wealth and power.  It is stated that Solomon had 25 tons of gold in his possession (10:14), and that ivory and other precious materials were abundant.  It is also clear that Solomon amassed a great army of chariots and horses.
       Famous for wisdom and wealth, Solomon was also known for his many wives:  700 official wives, and 300 concubines.  This fact played a part in Solomon=s downfall, as the foreign wives especially led him into the worship of their gods B this after building the Temple of God!
       In response to his unfaithfulness, God announces to Solomon that his kingdom will be divided as punishment.  The king is able to hang on to his domains, but only by beating off a rebellion from Jeroboam.  He dies after a 40 year reign.

       Human beings are complicated.  We see what is right and are drawn to it; then we are distracted by what=s wrong and move away again.  The picture in the life of David and Solomon is of men committed to God, aware of His ultimate greatness and determined to honor His name.  Yet they both fail in so many ways.
       The Good News is that God does not insist on perfection.  The standard is clear; yet so are the limits of our lives in His sight.  Today, thank God for His mercy, grace and love.  Then decide to move closer to Him.  What can you do about that today?
A. Eugene Pearson 2011