Friday, 3rd September
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
According to the previous chapter, we come to know that Solomon brought the Ark of God to the Temple of God 20 years after Solomon started building the Temple. Solomon had been doing what he thought he should do as a king. He was observing David and preparing for what he wanted to do when he became king. The first thing Solomon did when he became king was to marry the daughter of Pharaoh because he was afraid of Egypt. Then he built walls around the city to protect himself. He also used the first few years to gather the people he trusted to become his officials. In the first four years, Solomon was using his own knowledge and wisdom to do the things he thought are important to do.
Solomon used 7 years to build the Temple of God, and 13 years to build his and his wife’s palace. After these 20 years, even though people came and praised the glory of the Temple, but somehow Solomon knew something was not right. The Temple was built by foreigners, it was glorious and splendid from the outside but empty on the inside. We know Solomon asked God for wisdom, because he wanted to be able to judge the people. He knew even though at the time there was no enemy from outside, but there were a lot of things regarding people he had to deal with. When we are at work, we might be very successful, but when we face issues of men, the problems will emerge. We might be very good at talking about what we can do, but fail when facing the issues of people.
When Solomon realised he needed the wisdom to deal with people’s problems, he asked God for it. And when God gave him wisdom, then he started the building of the Temple of God. After he build the Temple, he then started building palace for himself and for the daughter of Pharaoh. After building everything, Solomon finally remembered the Ark of God and he decided to dedicate the Temple to God.
Section One V1-11 Humble and Let God Come
Solomon brought up the Ark of God from Zion during the Feast of Tabernacles. It was a festival to commemorate Israelites living in the tents in the wilderness. And Solomon chose this day to dedicate the Temple of God, God’s dwelling place. After 20 years, Solomon returned and repented from doing things in his own ways. No matter how glorious the Temple was, without God’s dwelling, it would only be a building. 20 years there was no dwelling of God in the Temple, people praised Solomon’s wisdom, but it was only the outward behaviour.
When we are willing to humble before God, to return and His presence will be with us. When His glory comes, nobody can do anything anymore, but to stand and be filled with the Spirit of God. We must stop doing what we think is important, because when God’s glory comes, He will do the Work, not us.
Section Two V12-21 Humble and Admit God’s Establishment
Solomon talked to the whole Israel that it was God’s promise for David. It was God, who established the Temple, for the sake of David. Finally after 20 years Solomon learnt this lesson, he humbled in front of the people and admitted it was all God’s doing because of David. 436 years after the Israelites entered into the Promised Land, David had the heart to build the Temple of God. God was pleased with David but he didn’t want him to do the work. Humility means to follow God’s instructions, not doing what we think we should do. God didn’t let David build the Temple and David humbled himself and passed down this job to his son Solomon. 20 years after the building of the Temple, Solomon humbled himself and uplifted his father David.
Section Three V22-53 Humble and Admit the House of Prayer is Crying out for Mercy
Solomon knew God didn’t have to live in a physical building, but the Temple of God created a place where men encounter with God. God has chosen a place for us to commit and to have encounters with Him. Therefore we should not be like a pot, which will never grow up and is always being moved around. Instead we should be like a tree, planted in the soil, never be moved and never be shaken. We come to church not just to look for a place of comfort, but to believe that when God leads us to a church, He wants us to take roots, be buried like seeds, and grow into a forest.
Solomon finally returned 24 years after he became the king, and God’s presence was with him. Solomon talked to God as well as to the Israelites that even though we fell, when we turn back, God will give us a second chance. God has mercy, grace, and compassion. We must know the importance to be in the Presence of God, do not let it go!
When we are willing to humble and pray for ourselves, our family, our church, our nation, and God will surely listen! Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow but we know God’s promise will never change, as long as we are willing to raise our hands in front of the Temple of God. God knows our hearts and will respond to our prayers.
Section Four V54-66 Humble and Respond to God by Action
Let our hearts be loyal to God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments. Solomon totally humbled himself before God, he was willing to surrender and make offering to God. Solomon made a great offering willingly because he wanted to show his response by action. When we take the action of faith, to surrender totally before God, then God’s favours will come to us.
The fruits we are bearing show our hearts, what fruits do we bring to people? Not fear or burdened but joy and thankfulness. God is a good God, He is full of mercy and grace. Let God give us this faith to be willing to stay in His presence and live for Him all our lives!
Worship: All of My Days https://youtu.be/WU29vMFH1Vw
Prayer & Pursuit
Dear Lord, we want to seek You, to dwell in You all of our days. Lord we are Your beloved children and You are the God, who keeps Your covenant and promises for us. Lord, we come before You, to humble ourselves and admit our sinful nature. Listen to us oh Lord, get rid of our past mistakes and heal us. Let us receive this unchanging love from You. Bless us and bless this land, God defend New Zealand, let our nation experience Your glory again. Amen.
V6-11 一个无论多宏伟的地方，若没有神同在，它就只是一个建筑物。“约柜里唯有两块石版，……除此以外，并无别物”（V9）- 其它的东西其实不重要，最重要的是神跟以色列所立的约。 当我们愿意谦卑让神进场，除他以外，并无别物，才能经历神荣耀的同在。我们的身体是神的殿，我们是否能被神的云彩充满，还是一直在做自己的事情？当神的荣光进来的时候，连祭司都无法做事了！让我们不要只是埋头做自己觉得重要的事，因为在神荣耀的同在中，他会亲自为我们动工。
三、谦卑承认是祷告的殿 是呼求怜悯的 8:22-53
V27 所罗门有从天上来的智慧，所以他知道天上还有天，在地上所建的殿其实是不够神居住的，但在地上所建的殿是神与人会面的地方。在神为我们拣选与他相会的地方，我们不要成为一个盆栽被人搬来搬去 – 盆栽永远长不大，只能留在屋子里被人观看，我们要成长为像千年巨木一样，不惧怕外面的狂风暴雨，甚至被人刻一下也没关系。我们来到教会不是选择一个我们自己觉得舒服的地方，而是愿意选择埋在这里，生根发芽，长成千年巨木，最后彼此成为不畏风吹雨打的森林。
V58-61 “所以你们当向耶和华我们的神存诚实的心，遵行他的律例，谨守他的诫命，至终如今日一样”- 所罗门在说这句话的时候，完全降服在神的主权之下。