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CHAPTER 9 (ESV)
1 As soon as Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all that Solomon desired to build, 2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 4 And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ 6 But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.’”
- This is God’s second time appearing to Solomon in his dream and delivered a different message from the first time (3:5-14). God is pleased to accept the Temple as the residence of His name forever indicating His presence with His people always (vv1-5), yet He also lays out His warnings (vv6-9).
- Once again we are reminded that God’s promise is assuring (vv1-5) while His warning is unsettling (vv6-9), and between the two, there is tension. In fact, God’s presence brings us assurance as well as unsettling. We need both in balance. Too assured, we’ll become complacent, too unsettling, we’ll become anxious. Therefore, we’ll need God’s promise to lead us forward hopefully, and God’s warnings to keep us from hopelessly losing our way.
- Have I ever experienced the assurance of God’s promises, or the unsettling of God’s warning? What was the situation? How did I respond? What lessons did I learn from that experience?
Read these verses as my prayer and petition to God.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with You. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps 139:17-18, 23-24)