Solomon Starts the Temple

2 Chronicles 1-3 and Psalm 78

The first 9 chapters of 2nd Chronicles are all about Solomon and mostly about building the temple, its furnishings, etc.

It’s most interesting that the place where the temple is built shares common heritage with Abraham, Moses and now David and the line of kings to follow, all on Mount Moriah. In this place, Abraham took Isaac and passed the incredible test back in Genesis 22. Later, Moses created the tent of meeting, a place to hear directly from God in Exodus 33. Now, after all these years, the temple for Israel will be built in this location. Today, this location is a sacred place for Muslims, the Dome of the Rock (see image here). What is it about this piece of real estate?

But before the construction begins, God appears to Solomon and asks him the infamous question, what do you want?

Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 2 Chronicles 1:8-10

We know from the census that Israel at this point includes millions of people and they are surrounded by kingdoms of godless cultures that will, in time, threaten and wage war against them. Wisdom is the most important commodity. It’s such a great reminder to begin with wise counsel. Surely everything else will fall into place if we can be wise!

Chapter 2 marks the official beginning of the temple. The one part that always causes me pain is the conscription service with with people are subjected to. For the next seven years, thousands of workers labor to build the temple. Solomon’s wisdom is seen as a shrewd businessman in dealings with suppliers of goods and services.

King Hiram of Tyre is pleased to fill the orders from Solomon and seems happy enough to provide expert craftsmen to assist in the construction project. Honestly, I wonder about his sincerity:

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son, endowed with intelligence and discernment, who will build a temple for the Lord and a palace for himself.”
2 Chronicles 2:12

No doubt he is impressed, but does he accept God is the one true God?

Chapter 3 reminds us that the temple was built where the Lord appeared to David as a result of his sin in directing a census. Here, David had to buy the property from a Jebusite to properly build an altar to worship the Lord.

The details about the temple are included here as in 1 Kings 6 discussed in Construction of the Temple and Palace.

So far things are going well for Solomon. Everyone seems to be focused on the building project, so the unity built by David continues into Solomon’s reign. The same strength is found today when we are able to cast a vision that is compelling and creates energy in groups of people that jump on board to see the concept become reality. Lord, help me watch carefully as the story unfolds. Help me to learn from your mighty servants, both good and bad.


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