David wanted to build a temple for God. Feeling convicted that the place of worship was a tent next to a palace, he believed God deserved grander quarters. However, God told David that it was not something for him to do, but rather his son, Solomon. Under Solomons reign, a temple would be built for the worship of God. The king knew that God’s presence could not be contained in a building made by man but that it represented the people’s opportunity to pray and God would hear them in Heaven. As Solomon would point out, this is the blessed opportunity for every person that seeks God.
Read 1 Kings 8:1-9:9
Thankfully, we do not need to go to a specific place or face toward a certain direction to pray. Prayer is not about the position of our body but the position of our heart. Christ has made this possible. As the Hebrew writer penned, ““Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus alone is sufficient to meet our needs. God has given us this hope through His Son. May we take every opportunity for prayer seriously and boldly.
King David’s dying request to Solomon was that he would be a wise king, fear God, and cleanse his house from those who shed innocent blood. We read about how Solomon tried to do this wisely to ensure that no mischief befell his kingdom. As you read this passage, it is vital to understand the cleansing we need from deeply seated sin in our hearts will not come through our attempts. Instead, we need the intervention of the Holy Spirit to bring about this cleansing of our soul.
Read 1 Kings 2:1-3:28
Solomon’s life is typically summarized as a life pursuit after wisdom. We see that Solomon asked for wisdom and God blessed him with this and promised a blessed life if he used this wisdom to follow after the Lord. What is wisdom and why is it far more precious than any material substance (Proverbs 2:4-5; 3:13; 4:5, 7; 8:11)?
As the preacher king (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2), Solomon taught, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Pro. 1:7) and “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Pro. 9:10). We are told that “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens” (Pro. 3:19). We are also told by James to seek the “wisdom that is from above” (James 3:13-18).
Wisdom by translation means “skill” or “prudence.” In short, wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. How many people do you know that have much in the categories technical skill (knowledge and finely tuned capabilities) but continue to make poor decisions? This happens because they lack true wisdom or only have worldly wisdom. A deficiency of Wisdom from above impacts moral and ethical decision making and behaviors. In the book of James, wisdom from above is described as, “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:17-18). With God as our standard, acts of wisdom reflect all that is called good.
May we seek wisdom from above and not of the earth.