Wisdom and the building of the Temple of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 1
Wisdom and the building of the Temple of the Lord
2 Chronicles 1
A couple of weeks ago we began our current series- that of tracing the building of the Jerusalem Temple (as detailed in 2 Chronicles)
The importance of the Temple -which was the most important and glorious building on earth
-A place of prayer for all nations
-Housed the Ark of the Lord (symbol of God's power, presence, blessing-- indeed God presenced Himself above it)
-Centre of Worship for Israel and all the followers of God
-Became the only authorized place for sacrifice (for worship, for ones sins)
-Jesus referred to it as "His Father's house"
The account of the Temple and its building and operation, in Chronicles, begins in 1 Chronicles 21 and stretches through 2
1. As we considered in 1 Chronicles 21, the location of the Jerusalem Temple, came to be determined because of a sin that David
committed; yet by God's grace, out of David's sin came good -- the location of the Temple on Mount Moriah-- ultimately the mount
where Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins.
2. Last week Derek took us to 1 Chronicles 28-29. In that passage we see David (by the Spirit of God) passing on to Solomon the plans
for the Temple and not only that, giving his entire fortune to its building. Not only did David sacrificially give to the work but all the
people gave willingly, joyfully, sacrificially to the work-- teaching us of the importance of prioritizing the work of Christ us all doing our
part in his service
3. Today we are going to take a look at 2 Chronicles 1. In this passage Solomon goes to worship the Lord at the old worship site in
Gibeon, where the tent of meeting was- the Tent which used to house the Ark of the Lord. God, being pleased with Solomon, appeared
to Solomon by means of dream later that night and essentially gave him a "Blank cheque" saying "Ask from me whatever you want"
Solomon did not ask God for riches, for honor, for long life or for any other thing most people would be inclined to ask for. Solomon
asked for something that is most needful for us and what was absolutely essential for his reign and for the building of a house for God.
Solomon asked for WISDOM.
You and I need WISDOM. We need wisdom as it regards our daily lives (what things to pursue, how to use the money we are stewards
of, how to handle the challenges that we face in our relationships) In everything we need wisdom. We need the wisdom of Christ-
whom Solomon in his wisdom stood as a type for.
Now lets take a look at 2 Chronicles 1 together, but before we do so-- in the greater context of Solomon ultimately needing wisdom to
build the Temple of the Lord, consider these verses from Proverbs 23:3-4, "Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is
established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
Note: There are differences between the Kings account of Solomon's life and Chronicles.
For example: In this text the riches of Solomon are highlighted (for he was the richest man ever)
Though Chronicles tends to not highlight the sins of David or Solomon, Chronicles does subtly refer to them. This explains why we need
to be reading the whole Bible so we can pick up such things. For instance in v.14-17 while being told of how incredibly rich Solomon
was (which was God's blessing in his life) we quietly learn that Solomon was importing horses from Egypt and then reselling them.
While horses are great animals and his selling them was not a problem, there was two things he was doing that were not
1. He accumulated for himself many horses (one is not to trust in the size of their army but in God- Psalm 20:7)
2. He was conducting business with Egypt
How do we know this was wrong?
Deuteronomy 17:14-16 says "When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and
then say, 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,' you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your
God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your
brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses,
since the Lord has said to you, 'You shall never return that way again.'
REMINDER: Having money is fine-- how we get it and our motivations we must be careful about. We to work hard but we are not to
love money or pursue it. When we get it, we to be generous with and faithful with it as God's stewards. Also- we need to be in our
Bibles all the time that we might know how to live
1 Timothy 6:9-10 says; "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that
plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have
wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
LESSONS, PRINCIPLES, OBSERVATIONS OF THE TEXT
1. SUCCESS, BLESSING, ACCOMPLISHMENT, PEACE, every good gift comes from God
Verse 1 is an easy verse to overlook, yet there is a lot in it.
For instance the phrase "Solomon the son of David established himself in his kingdom" covers a lot of ground- and not all it pretty (see
1 Kings 1-2)
Furthermore, note this phrase "And the LORD his God was with him and made him exceedingly great"
James 1:17 says; "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not
change like shifting shadows"
Psalm 103:1-5 says; "Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his
benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and
compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
God with us- that's the Key!
APPLICATION: STICK CLOSE TO CHRIST. ALWAYS GIVE GOD THE CREDIT. RENDER UNTO GOD THE PRAISE THAT IS DUE HIS NAME.
2. WHEN SEEKING THE FACE OF GOD, WE NEED TO MIND OUR MOTIVES
In v.6 it says; "And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a
thousand burnt offerings on it."
I have no doubt that when Solomon went to Gibeon where the Tent of Meeting was (which had been in use for more than 550 years)
that his motives were pure and godly.
While I have no doubt about Solomon's motives as it regarded the 1000 animals he offered as a burnt offering, it made me think about
my and our motives as it regards our approaching the Lord. Sometimes we approach God in a deal making/manipulative fashion. I'll do
this for you in exchange for.....
We need to keep our prayers and requests of God in line with His will. We need to guard our motives when it comes to God (We can't
trick him or manipulate Him-for he knows all there is to know about us anyway)
GREAT NEWS. In Christ, God bids us approach- and we can and must. We are to come bringing a sacrifice of praise, thanks, service.
We can come at any time and God's promise is this: Draw near to me, and I will draw near to you.
3. WE NEED WISDOM
One of the most incredible things as it regards Solomon is that God gave him a proverbial blank cheque. When God said to Solomon "Ask
whatever you want of me", thats just amazing.
What's even more amazing is Solomon's answer and then God's response to it.
While he could have had anything in the world, Solomon asked God for wisdom-- wisdom to govern the people, wisdom to follow
through on the mission of building the Temple.
God granted Solomon's request and then added riches, possessions, and honor no one had ever experienced before.
As for Solomon's wisdom 1 Kings 4:29-34 says; "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of
mind like the sand on the seashore, 30 so that Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom
of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his
fame was in all the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar
that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. And
people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom."
So if we need WISDOM, what it is it, what should we know about it?
1. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
Proverbs 9:10 says; "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
Having a rightful understanding that this is God's world, we are His creation, to Him we are all accountable, before Him we must all
stand- we need to start there.
Putting God first and the centre of our lives. Being reconciled to Him, that's the wisest thing we can do.
2. Wisdom is more than just knowing the right thing to do
Solomon asked for knowledge and wisdom v.10
To have knowledge is to have information. It means to be well informed. It entails the ability to learn. So often we know the right thing
to do, but that doesn't mean we do it
3 Wisdom entails knowing the right thing to do, say, etc and DOING it
Wisdom helps to sort and weigh the information we have. Wisdom entails the ability to judge correctly that which is true and right
4. We are to seek after Wisdom
Proverbs 19:8 says; "To acquire wisdom is to love yourself; people who cherish understanding will prosper."
5. When we ask God for wisdom, we are asking for something that God wants to give us
James 1:5 says; "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given
In our prayers, we need to always be asking God for wisdom "What should I do heavenly Father" "I need your help. I need your
guidance. I need your mind. I want to know your will" "I don't know how to proceed, fill me with your Spirit"
6. Wisdom is found in God's Word
To know how to live and what to believe about anything-- we need to be in our Bibles regularly, consistently, progressively, always
Psalm 119:98-100 says; "Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my
teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.
7. When you see other followers of Christ being wise, watch them and copy them as far as they are following Jesus
8. Beware of the difference between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom
1 Corinthians 3:19 and James 3:15 talk about worldly wisdom.
James 3:13-17 says; "Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of
wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the
wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be
disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and
good fruits, impartial and sincere
The wisdom of the world does not take into account the teachings of Christ or of the Bible. The wisdom of the world is pragmatic and
goes with what "works". The wisdom of the world says "The end justifies the means". The wisdom of this world is "Me centred" and
focused on pleasure. The wisdom of this world seems and feels right and there are many cheerleaders for it. God's word and way is the
true path of wisdom
9. The wisest thing of all is this: Come to Christ that you might escape the judgment to come, have the forgiveness of your
sins, and know peace with God.
In Psalm 90:12 it says; "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Our lives are short
"Be reconciled to God" 2 Corinthians 5:20
God in His mercy, love, and grace has made a way for our sins to be forgiven and for us to escape the judgment to come. If you
haven't taken hold of His offer, do so now -for today is the day of salvation and one should not harden their hearts to God's call.
1. Solomon needed wisdom to govern Israel and to build the Lord's Temple
2. God was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom
3. God gave Solomon knowledge and wisdom
4. We need God's wisdom-- whether it be for a purchase, answering someones question, giving counsel, who to date/marry, whether to
date or marry, how to raise our children, how to get along with others, what job to take/pursue, what school to go to, etc,etc
5. God wants us to ask Him for wisdom and He's ready and willing to give it us
6. The wisest act of all- coming to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life