September 19, 2017
Scripture Reading – 2 Chronicles 1-5
We come today to a new history book in our daily reading in the Old Testament. 2 Chronicles, like 1 Chronicles, are parallel books of 1 Kings and 2 Kings. While 1 Kings and 2 Kings are written from the viewpoint of man; 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles, covering the same age as the Book of Kings, are written from God’s perspective.
1 Chronicles concluded with King David’s benediction on his life and exhortation for Israel to give allegiance to Solomon as king and support him in the greatest undertaking of his life and reign as king…building a Temple for the LORD in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 29:1-25). With understated fanfare, David, Israel’s greatest king, “died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead” (1 Chronicles 29:28).
2 Chronicles opens with Solomon sitting on his father’s throne and the power and blessing of God resting upon him (2 Chronicles 1:1). Solomon began his reign where all men should begin their day…he worshipped the LORD (1:2-6). God appeared to Solomon “and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee” (1:7).
What an incredible proposition! Solomon, ask what you will and I shall give thee! I wonder, what would you request should you have opportunity to ask for something, for anything, and it would be granted? Would you ask for riches? Possessions? Power? Popularity? Fame? The answer to that question reveals a lot about your character!
Solomon’s humble request no doubt puts us all to shame! His request was not for those things which is the pursuit of carnal, worldly-minded men. Solomon’s desire revealed a heart of deep humility.
2 Chronicles 1:10 – “Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?”
God commended Solomon for his request and promised to reward him with not only wisdom and knowledge, but also “riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like” (1:12). The closing verses of 2 Chronicles 1 reveal the vastness of Solomon’s wealth as the LORD blessed him as He had promised.
2 Chronicles 2–4 gives us the record of Solomon directing the building of the Temple as his father David had instructed him. The design, the carvings of wood and the gold that overlaid the walls and doors made the Temple Solomon built one of the great wonders of the ancient world.
With the Temple complete (5:1), Solomon directed the golden vessels assembled by his father David and the ark, representing the earthly presence of God among His people, be brought to the Temple (5:2-9). With the ark in the “holy place”, the people celebrated with singing, trumpets and cymbals praising the Lord, saying, “For He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever” (5:13).
Having reflected on the glorious beginning of Solomon’s reign and his humility before the LORD; it saddens me to recall the spiritual and moral failures that would overshadow his accomplishments, wisdom and knowledge. Of Solomon, we read:
1 Kings 11:3-4 – “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
That same truth has played out in the lives of some I have known. Too many saints go to their graves, remembered, not for their accomplishments, but for the tragedy of their moral failures.
Friend, don’t allow that to be true of you; discipline your heart, thoughts, eyes and affections. Follow Job’s example:
Job 31:1 – “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith