I Kings 8-9
Here we see the high moment of Solomon’s reign. After all of those years of procuring the materials and artisans, building the house of the Lord, and fashioning all of the furnishings of bronze and gold, the ark is moved to be set in its place under the cherubim in the holy of holies.
And God shows up! He is pleased with Solomon as he establishes this house, and Solomon is pleased with God. The glory of God fills the house like a tangible presence – a cloud, and the priests could not even stand because of that glory. (8:11)
Solomon’s prayer is touching. “There is no God like Thee in heaven above or on earth beneath, who art keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Thy servants who walk before Thee with all their heart.”(8:27). Thus begins Solomon’s long prayer with supplications to God for forgiveness to remain with the Israelites as long as they stay repentant.
After this celebration, many sacrifices, and feasting before the Lord for many days, the Jews return to their homes “joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had shown to David His servant and to Israel His people.”(8:66)
When the Lord appears to Solomon a second time, He reminds him of the need for faithfulness. If Solomon will continue in faithfulness to God, he will not lack an heir to sit on the throne. However, if he turns away from God, then the throne will be removed.”(9:1-9)
Why is our Father so determined to keep our hearts pure before Him? He is determined because He is the only source of life for us. Since his fall, Satan has tried to fabricate other gods and have men worship them – demonic gods, which bring only death. Then men over the ages have lifted themselves in pride and created other “gods,” with the same results – death.
There is only one true God – the Creator of the universe, and only this true God has life to offer. He is full of love and wisdom – everything good that can be obtained. He alone should be worshipped.
“Every good and perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, nor shifting shadow.”(James 1:18)
He is the only One I want to worship!
Jesus reveals some of the end times events, and He gives us a charge.
“and you will be hated by all on account of My Name, yet not a hair on your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.”(17-19)
Just as the Lord spoke to Solomon, He is speaking to us “stay faithful, endure, don’t waiver in your beliefs.”
Most of us haven’t had to give our lives for the gospel, and we usually don’t feel hated because of His Name. Yet there is rising up an attitude of mocking toward those who really believe Him.
In many parts of the world, persecution is indeed real for Christians. In some places, ministers and believers are being beaten, jailed, and even killed because of their beliefs.
In other parts of the world, people are not being killed, but they are being mocked for their beliefs. Truth is being twisted and contorted so that many don’t even know what to believe.
We are called to stay faithful to the end. We can’t let other men, who don’t believe, be the ones to determine our beliefs. We may be mocked, but that doesn’t matter. We know that God’s Word is true – regardless of what others say.
“By our endurance, we will gain our lives.” I am determined to endure!