Today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 5-6:38; Acts 7:1-29; Psalm 127:1-5; Proverbs 16:28-30
David was not permitted to build a permanent Temple for God because he was too busy protecting Israel from her enemies. But now that Solomon is king and Israel is at peace, God instructs Solomon to build it (1 Kings 5:3-5).
Sometimes there are things we’d like to do for God but He does not let us for whatever reason. Maybe we want to serve in a certain way. I am facing such a dilema in my life right now. I am interested in doing something for God but it will put me in a difficult situation. I’m not sure God wants me to do it. If He says “no” then I will find something else.
Solomon does a good job of handling the relationship with Hiram, King of Tyre (1 Kings 5:6-12). Here Solomon demonstrates more wisdom by dealing honestly with a foreign king. He could have sent his army to take the cedars. But that would not have been a smart thing to do.
King Solomon needs a very large labor force from all ove Israel to build the Temple (1 Kings 5:13). Here we see why David could not build it. David needed these men to fight. He couldn’t spare 30,000 men from all over Israel to build the Temple. That would have made Israel very vulnerable to attack.
Nothing but the best was used to build the Temple (1 Kings 5:17) including stone and the cedars from what is now Lebanon. God has done tremendous things for us and deserves our absolute best.
By preparing the stones off-site the people will see the Temple arise but will not hear the sound of human labor (1 Kings 6:7) and will therefore attribute its construction to God, not to men, which how it should be. Whenever we work for God we need to do it in a way that bring the glory to Him, not to ourselves.
Sometimes when we work for God it takes a long time to accomplish what He has asked us to do. In this case it takes 7 years to build the Temple (1 Kings 6:38). God wants to use us to do great things for Him but we must endure and not give up before our work is finished.
In yesterday’s reading of Acts Stephen was accused of inviting the destruction of the Temple and of the law of Moses. Today he defends himself.
Stephen gives a brief history of the Jewish people to point out that God is not a God of one particular place but that His home is with His people who are all over the earth. He also points out that a relationship with God is based on what is inside us, not outward appearances, like the Temple.
Stephen also recalls Joseph and Moses who were also rejected by their own people just as the religious leaders had rejected Jesus. Stephen is not giving these men a history lesson. He is using history to show them how they erred in their understanding of who Jesus was.
When we talk to people about Christ our goal is to help them understand the very same thing – who Jesus was – and how important it is for their sake not to reject Him.
How precious are children! They are a gift from God and bring joy to those who have them (Psalm 127:3-4).
God hates gossip. Gossip can ruin a great friendship (Proverbs 16:28). It is always best to form our opinions about people from first-hand experience, not from what others have to say.
Proverbs 16:29 tells us we need to choose our friends carefully. We can be mislead if we are not careful. I think it is a good idea to check ourselves everyday to make sure we are going to down the path in life that God wants us to rather than following someone who is not himself following God.
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