The Reading: 1 Kings 4:29-5:6
“I purpose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God” (1 Kings 5:5)
Solomon, the son of King David, was known for his wisdom. He wrote many proverbs and made practical decisions. There is the well known story of deciding who was the real mother of the baby by threatening to cut it in half; it worked! (1 Kings 3:16-28)! Someone who was extremely impressed by his wisdom and wealth was the Queen of Sheba. But Solomon’s most abiding legacy to Israel was the Temple he built.
David his father had wanted to build it, but was not the right man to do so – his hands were stained with blood. But the time and the situation was now right for Solomon to do so. We may note how times and seasons lie with God. Our plans have to wait for his timing. We may not be the right person to do it. We need to seek what God is actually calling us to do. As Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6).
Although God now gave Solomon permission and the commission to build the Temple, it still needed Solomon to say “I purpose …” (1 Kings 5:5). Nothing will get done, whatever vision we have, unless our will transforms our dreams into actions. As James wrote, “Let us be doers of the word, and not hearers only …” (James 1:22).
Note also Solomon’s motivation. This Temple was to be built for the glory of God, not to establish his own greatness or to impress his neighbours. Unless we are filled with a desire to please God and to glorify him, we will never find sufficient motivation to build ‘houses’ for him. Solomon (in this early part of his life) was a man who spent much time in thought, mediation and prayer. This is how right motivation and enthusiasm is found.
Forgive me Lord when I have idled away my dreams. Galvanise my by your Spirit to start today to put into practice your calling(s) to me. Amen.
1 How long did the Temple take to build?
1 Kings 6:38
2 Is God’s presence limited to the Temple?
1 Kings 5:5, 8:27-30