Dr. Dave Burnette
1 Kings 9 - A God-Less Nation
1 Kings 9
1And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do, 2That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. 3And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. 4And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: 5Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. 6But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: 7Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: 8And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house? 9And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil. 10And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD, and the king's house, 11(Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not. 13And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day. 14And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold. 15And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer. 16For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife. 17And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether, 18And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land, 19And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 20And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel, 21Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day. 22But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen. 23These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon's work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought in the work. 24But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo. 25And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the LORD, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before the LORD. So he finished the house. 26And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom. 27And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. 28And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.
Today's Scripture Meaning
God's answer to Solomon. (1-9) The presents of Solomon and Hiram. (10-14) Solomon's buildings, His trade. (15-28) Verses 1-9: God warned Solomon, now he had newly built and dedicated the temple, that he and his people might not be high-minded, but fear. After all the services we can perform, we stand upon the same terms with the Lord as before. Nothing can purchase for us liberty to sin, nor would the true believer desire such a licence. He would rather be chastened of the Lord, than be allowed to go on with ease and prosperity in sin. Verses 10-14: Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities. Hiram did not like them. If Solomon would gratify him, let it be in his own element, by becoming his partner in trade, as he did. See how the providence of God suits this earth to the various tempers of men, and the dispositions of men to the earth, and all for the good of mankind in general. Verses 15-28: Here is a further account of Solomon's greatness. He began at the right end, for he built God's house first, and finished that before he began his own; then God blessed him, and he prospered in all his other buildings. Let piety begin, and profit follow; leave pleasure to the last. Whatever pains we take for the glory of God, and to profit others, we are likely to have the advantage. Canaan, the holy land, the glory of all lands, had no gold in it; which shows that the best produce is that which is for the present support of life, our own and others; such things did Canaan produce. Solomon got much by his merchandise, and yet has directed us to a better trade, within reach of the poorest. Wisdom is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold, (Pr 3:14).
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 1 Kings with Chapter 9. In our text today we see God's warning to Solomon that he is to follow the Lord's Statutes. That he would establish Israel forever and if Solomon served other god's then he would cut them off from the land He gave them. In making application we see the same true today. God has blessed us with land, houses, family, and community. If we follow God's laws and His Word then he will bless us but if we follow other gods and reject His Word then God will remove his hand of blessing and we will suffer the result of our own doings. Today we are seeing this come to pass as the U.S.A. has rejected the Word of the Lord embracing abortion, homosexuality, and corrupt business practices which is causing the hand of God to be removed from this land. A financial downfall, storms of huge economic impact, and violent crimes are a result of a nation turning from God unto itself. How about you? Do you see how our nation is turning from God and as a result suffering the results of a God-less nation? Let us learn from our text today and the warning that God gave to Solomon - to follow God and be blessed of God - or to turn from God to become a God-less nation.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.