Shall we turn now in our Bibles to I Kings, chapter four. We used to say, concerning our children, when they were small, and were eating, and drooling a lot. We used to say, “They can get juice out of anything!”. I hope that, that holds true tonight in our study of I Kings. The stuff that we are going to be covering isn’t really that exciting. I just hope that we can get juice out of it for you tonight. Something that uh, will speak to our hearts, as we just look now to the Holy Spirit, and His inspiration in the teaching of the word. Jesus said, “But the Holy Spirit, or the Comforter”, which is the Holy Spirit, “whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things”.
And we pray that tonight the Holy Spirit might indeed inspire the word of God to our hearts, and we might find inspiration in these issues that, many of them are just, you know, facts and figures as far as the size of the new temple and all. And dimensions, and unless you’re an architect, or a carpenter, or something, they’re not gonna really probably say much to you.
In fact, it’s sort of hard for you to visualize, the twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high, and twenty cubits long or, ninety cubits long, or whatever. And uh, so I think that some of you who have architectural capacities, really ought to take and draw us what the thing would look like. Go over the thing, study it, and then draw what the building might have looked like. That would help us. You know, it’s just hard to just glean from a bunch of cubits, just what the thing does really look like. But, uh, let’s, let’s dive in. I hope that when we’re through, you won’t say, “He can dive in deeper, stay down longer, and come up drier than anybody I’ve ever seen!”.
So Solomon was king over all Israel (4:1).
After Solomon, there was no king over all of Israel. Solomon’s son Rehoboam, made some foolish mistakes when he took over the throne. Immediately the kingdom was divided, and from then on, you had a king over the northern kingdom, and a king over the southern kingdom of Judah. Judah and Israel were divided into the northern and southern kingdoms. David, at the beginning of his reign, did not reign over all of Israel. The first seven years, David only reigned over Judah. Then, all of Israel was united, and for thirty three years, David reigned over all of Israel. But it can only be said of David, and Solomon, that they reigned over all of Israel. We then have a listing of the princes that shared with Solomon in the responsibilities. This is more or less his cabinet, uh that he has chosen. Men who served with him, in ruling over the country.
The princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest, And Elihoreph and Ahiah, [Who were the scribes. These men were the, you might call, Secretaries of State.] Jehoshaphat was the recorder. [He was the one that recorded the history of the nation.] Benaiah [As we’ve already met, and discovered that he,] was head over the armies. [Over the military.] Zadok and Abiathar were the priests (4:2-4):
Now it is interesting that in the last chapter, we find that Abiathar was sort of banished from being high priest. He was sent home. This means that it’s a reference before the banishment, or possibly, he was forgiven by Solomon, and he came back, and again with Zadok, shared in the ministry of the high priesthood.
Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was principal officer, [And I like that.] and the king’s friend (4:5):
Just a real neat position to be in. The king’s friend. I like to think of myself as the king’s friend. The friend of Jesus. Jesus said, “Henceforth I call you not servants, but I call you friends. Because a servant doesn’t really know what the master is doing”. To be called to be a friend of Jesus, is just an exciting thing. The bible speaks about, “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”. Referring to our relationship with Jesus Christ. That neat kind of a relationship, yes He’s my Lord, yes He’s my Savior, but He’s also my closest, and dearest friend. King’s friend.
And Ahishar who was over the household: and Adoniram who was over the tribute. [Or the taxes. He was the treasurer, or the secretary of the treasury.] Solomon had twelve officers who were over all of Israel (4:6-7),
We’re not going to labor their names, nor are we going to labor the territories that they were ruling, or serving over. These men were probably as governors over the territories. The territories did not completely coincide with the tribes of Israel. But the area, both sides of the Jordan river, were more or less, divided into twelve sections, and one of these men over each section. So it gives you the names of the men, and the territory that they oversaw. That will carry you clear on out to verse twenty. So, if you like names, and like to get into that. That’s, if that’s your cup of tea, welcome, you can handle that later.
Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, [Now, that is a phrase that is commonly used. “As many as the sand of the sea.” Now that doesn’t literally mean that there were ten to the twenty fifth power. Which is the estimate of the numbers of the sand in the sea. I don’t know who figured that out, but uh, that’s a lot of grains of sand. Ten to the twenty fifth power. But it is a phrase that is used to just say, so many you can’t count. So it’s just, a tremendous amount. You just really can’t number them. It’s a phrase to just express, innumerable. Just more than you want to try and count. It was a time of prosperity, indicated by the fact that they were,] eating and they were drinking, and every one was [just] happy (4:20).
Every one was just happy. It was a glorious time of history, under Solomon’s reign. The nation of Israel came to the apex of its glory, and honor, and power, and wealth, under the reign of Solomon. David had set the foundation, Solomon moved in and built upon it, a very powerful, and glorious kingdom. And so…
Solomon reigned over all of the kingdoms from the river [That would be the Nile river,] unto the land of the Philistines. [The whole Negev.] unto the border of Egypt: and they brought presents, and served Solomon all of the days of his life. And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, [A measure, is ten bushels. So you have three hundred bushels of fine flour. Someone has estimated that, that’s enough to make about twenty thousand loaves of bread, a day! So, he had the bakers pretty busy. Of course he had thousands upon thousands of servants, that ate at his table. Thus it took a lot to maintain. Of course, we’ve found out haven’t we, how expensive government is?! It takes an awful lot to support government. Sometimes I wonder if we can afford it. Come to think of it, we probably can’t. They’re going greater into the hole every year, so that means you can’t afford it. I mean the government that you’re getting is more expensive than what we are presently affording. But we are gonna let our grandkids pay for it. You know, if you tried to do what the government does, they’d throw you in jail. You know, if you owed that many billions, trillions of dollars, and you went out and borrowed more, they’d say, “Wait a minute!”. You know, be criminal for you.] sixty measures of meal, [Which would be six hundred bushels. And then,] Ten fat oxen, [Which would of course be your prime beef.] twenty oxen out of the pastures, [You take a, uh, the beef right out of the field, and their called commercial grade. Of course, I personally like the commercial grade, you don’t get so much fat with it, and it makes really much better hamburger. But they had the twenty commercial grade beef, daily. Again, you know, start multiplying this by three hundred and sixty five, and so that means that they had three thousand, six hundred, and fifty prime beef a year. Three thousand head. Of course, some seven thousand head of commercial grade beef.] a hundred sheep, [And that gets staggering. Thirty six thousand. Or thirty six thousand, you know, plus.] beside the harts, the roebucks, the fallowdeer, and the fatted fowl. [Which are thought to be geese.] For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all of the kings on this side of the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him (4:23-24).
He reigned and ruled in wealth, in prosperity. But he also ruled in a kingdom of peace. A great time to be living. Solomon’s reign becomes an interesting type of the reign of Jesus Christ, in the kingdom age. For when Jesus comes to establish God’s kingdom upon the earth, and He lives and reigns over the earth for a thousand years, and we live and reign with Him, it is going to be a time of great prosperity. Many of the characteristics that you see here in Solomon’s reign, are only foreshadowing the reign of Jesus Christ. His will be a reign of peace. “There will be peace like a river. And they will beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks. They’ll study war no more.” Be a time of prosperity, a time of joy, a time of blessing, as Jesus reigns over the whole earth.
And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man neath his vine and fig tree, [They shall live in peace, and not be afraid. You’ll not have to be afraid of someone trying to rip you off. Someone breaking into your house. It’ll be a time of righteousness. Jesus shall rule and reign in righteousness, over the earth. He will rule with a rod of iron. A righteous rule, and a righteous reign. Here, the same figure that is used so often, or at least twice, and it describes the reign of Christ, and the kingdom age. “Every man neath his vine, and under his fig tree.”] from Dan even to Beersheba, all of the days of Solomon. Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses [Some believe that, that’s a error by the copyist. That it should be four thousand stalls for the horses. “Stalls of the horses”,] for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen (4:25-26).
If you had forty thousand horses, you should have more horsemen, is what they say. So they believe that, that, and three per horse, I mean, three horses per horseman, would be more like the chariot. Where they usually had two, with a back up.
Those officers provided the victuals for king Solomon, and for all that came to king Solomon’s table, every man in his month: and they lacked nothing (4:27).
Another sign of the prosperity, and the blessing of the kingdom age. There’s no lack for anything. Solomon’s wealth, and Solomon’s fame spread all over the world, at that time. Even the queen of Sheba came to see if it was true, what she had heard about the wealth and the glory of Solomon’s kingdom. When she visited Solomon, and saw the way they set the table, the provisions, and how everything was taken care of, she said, “When they told me about it, I couldn’t believe it, but they didn’t tell me half of the story. It’s greater than what even they said”. She was totally amazed how everything was set out and administered in such a tremendous way.
There was barley and straw for the horses and the camels and they brought unto the place where the officers were, every man according to the area that he had charge over. And God gave to Solomon wisdom [You remember last week, God said to Solomon, “Ask what you will. What would you like me to give to you Solomon?”, and Solomon said, “Lord, I just would like wisdom to govern over this, so great a people. Your people. Lord, give me the wisdom. I really don’t know how to go out and come in. I’m a babe in the woods. It’s really bigger than I am, so Lord, you give me wisdom”. And the Lord said, “Good Solomon, good request, because you’ve asked wisdom, not riches, or the lives of your enemies. I not only will give you wisdom, but I’ll give you riches, and I’ll subdue your enemies, and all”. So, God gave to Solomon wisdom.] and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore (4:28-29).
So he, he, he just was a great man. Given wisdom by God, given a largeness of heart.
And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all of the children of the east country, and all of the wisdom of Egypt. [Now Egypt of course was famous for its wisdom. In architecture, in mathematics, in the magical arts, and all of these things. Solomon’s wisdom exceeded that of the Egyptians.] For he was wiser than all men (4:30-31);
And these men that are listed here are probably men that were noted historically. You know, they were the Einsteins, and so forth, of their days. The uh, men that had been noted in history, as men of tremendous brilliance, and yet, it declares that his wisdom excelled all of them. And his fame was spread all around.
He spoke three thousand proverbs: [Now we have a book of Proverbs, in which there is less than a hundred proverbs. So the book of Proverbs is less than one third of all of the proverbs, which this fellow spoke. I’ve been working for about twenty five years on a book of proverbs, of my own. I have four so far. So I’m a long way from publication at this point! But, to devise three thousand proverbs! That really is quite an undertaking, and again, an indication of the brilliance of this man! Three thousand proverbs, and then also,] he wrote a thousand and five songs (4:32).
A thousand and five songs! Now we have probably three of them in the book of Psalms. The hundred and twenty seventh Psalm is a song of Solomon, and it is thought also, the hundred and twenty eighth is a song of Solomon. The seventy seventh Psalm, is also attributed to Solomon. So, of the hundred and five songs that he wrote, we have probably three, in the book of Psalms, which means that somewhere out there, there’s a thousand and two songs, that are not being sung at the present time. They’ve been lost. Now he wrote, or…
He spoke of trees, from the cedars that were in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springs out of the wall: [It’s a little bush that you find growing out of the rock walls, over there in Israel. The little hyssop bush. But this guy could talk all about the trees, the conifers, and the types of seed, and how they are developed. The rings of age, I mean he just knew about these things, and could talk about these things. He taught on these things.] he spoke also of the various animals, and fowls, of the creeping things, and fishes. [The guy was an orthonologist, he was a biologist, he was just a brilliant man.] And there came of all the people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom (4:33-34).
So, it was sort of, almost, well, I was going to say proverbial, but the fact that he wrote so many proverbs. It was just something that everybody knew about.
Now Hiram the king of Tyre [Tyre was of course, in the southern coast of Lebanon.] and Hiram was a friend of David, the father of Solomon. And he sent his servants unto Solomon, for he had heard that Solomon had been anointed king in the place of his father: and Hiram was ever a lover of David (5:1).
So, he developed the first fan club, and I have joined it. I also, am a lover of David. Now Hiram sent congratulations really, by his servants unto Solomon, when he heard that he was anointed king, in the place of his father.
And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, You know that how David my father could not build a house unto the name of the Lord his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet (5:2-3).
“My dad wanted to build a house for God.” God would not allow him to do it, because of all of his wars.
But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, so that there is neither an adversary [nor any problems] there’s no evil occurrence. And, behold, I purpose to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in your place, he will build a house unto my name (5:4-5).
So the first thing that Solomon wants to do is fulfill this unfinished dream of his father David. David’s heart was to build a house. David was not allowed because of his bloody hands, through warfare, to build a house unto God. But, David drew the plans, and David gathered much of the gold and the brass, and the silver that was to be used in the building of the house. When we get into the next chapter, and it describes a bit, the house, its dimensions, and so forth. The various materials that were used, and overlaid with gold and all.
It is estimated, and this is staggering, it is estimated, that the gold that it took, to cover all of the boards, and to the walls and the cherubim, and so forth, in the house that he build, or in the temple that was built by Solomon, it was estimated that it took seventy five thousand pounds of gold! Thirty seven and a half tons of gold! Which on today’s market, would cost you a little over a billion dollars. Tremendous! So he announces his intention, to build this house unto the name of Jehovah. So, he says…
Therefore command that your men cut me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and I will send my servants to be with your servants: and I will pay you wages for your servants: [“I’ll pay their wages.”] according to all that you shall appoint: [In other words, “You just tell me what the going wage is for your laborers, up there in the mountains”.] for you know that there is none among us who are as skillful in logging in the hewing of the timbers, like the Sidonians. [“We just don’t have those kind of skills. You guys have been up there, and lumberjacks for a long time, and you guys know how to handle the wood. So we don’t have anyone that skilled, so we ask you to send your men in. We will pay their wages. We’ll send our servants to be with them.”] So it came to pass, that when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and he said, Blessed be Jehovah this day, which has given unto David a wise son over these great people (5:6-7).
So he was thanking God for the blessings of God upon the people, in giving to them, giving to David, a wise son to take over the throne.
So Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the thing which you have asked me to do: and I will do all that you desire concerning the timbers of cedar, concerning the timbers of fir, And my servants will bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in rafts unto the place that you shall appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and you shall receive them: and you shall accomplish my desire in giving food for my household (5:8-9).
“It’s a deal! We’ll bring these big logs down to the sea, we’ll tie them together in rafts, and then we’ll float them down the Mediterranean, to whatever place you tell us.” It happened to be, that they brought them to Joppa, which was the only seaport in the coast of Israel in those days. From Joppa then, then they carried these huge timbers forty miles, from Joppa to Jerusalem, for the building of the temple. Quite a monumental task in itself! David, I mean Solomon, then paid the wages.
So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees, and fir trees according to his desire. And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food [Now a measure again, is ten bushels. So, you have two hundred thousand of bushels of wheat, a year, for the servants.] for the household, and twenty measures (5:10-11).
Here, a liquid measure was about eighty five gallons. So you have some sixteen hundred plus gallons, of pure oil. Olive oil. Of course, you ladies know that there is a difference between olive oil. There is the pure olive oil, there is the virgin olive oil, and then there’s the pure, virgin olive oil. You know that there’s a difference in the olive oils. The pure olive, in this case, is that which would today be classified as the pure, virgin olive oil. It’s the green olives that are hit with a rock and the oil is pressed out while they’re still green. It’s a lighter oil. It’s always considered a finer oil.
The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and the two made a league [or a treaty] between them. And king Solomon raised a [Tax, out of all, or I mean, at this, not a tax, a,] levy of men [Which was a, he drafted men.] thirty thousand men were called up. And he sent them to Lebanon , ten thousand a month by courses: [So they were in Lebanon a month working, and then they’d come home for two months, then they’d go back to Lebanon for a month, and home for two months. Sort of like firemen, you know they work a day, and they’re off three. Then they work a day, or two days, and are off seven. It was, Is that right Ken? So they’re, they would work actually four months then out of the year, doing the work, but it was tough work while they were there, and of course they were away from home. “And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by the courses”,] a month they were in Lebanon, two months at home: and Adoniram [We met him earlier, in the last chapter.] was over these men. Solomon had [six, or] seventy thousand men that bare burdens, [Just common laborers, to help carry these logs, and just common laborers.] and eighty thousand who were hewers in the mountains (5:12-15);
Now, you know, uh they didn’t have big saw mills. They had to cut these timbers, and then they had to saw them by hand, so it took eighty thousand men, in the cutting of these logs, into the planks, and all.
Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work, three thousand three hundred, which ruled over the people (5:16).
So there were three thousand three hundred foremen. So I mean, this guy was able to put together a pretty healthy work crew. Again, the provisions for these men. Taking care of their food, and everything else, all of the ancillary jobs that were involved. It’s actually staggering.
Solomon’s builder’s and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared the timber and the stones to build the house (5:18).
Now it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, [So they were dating, at that time, their calendar, from the time they came out of Egypt. Of course, we date our calendar now, from the birth of Christ. But in those days, to date a thing, they would date from some specific point of their history. Their coming out of Egypt was really the birth of the nation. So four hundred and eighty years, after the nation was birthed.] in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign in the month of Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build this [temple, or,] house of the Lord. And the house which king Solomon built for the Lord, the length of it was threescore cubits, [A cubit is about uh, eighteen inches, so you have ninety feet long. And, as you look at the dimensions of the temple, that he built, you’ll find that it’s just about twice the size of the ark of the covenant that was built. As far as the length and all, it’s just about twice the size, all the way around, of the ark of the covenant.] the height of it was forty five feet, the width of it was thirty feet (6:1-2).
Then it describes the porches that were around it. This is where we need a architect, to draw it up for us, to give you the idea of what it looked like. These porches were probably two-thirds of the way up, and came off of the main building, which stood forty five feet high, ninety feet long, thirty feet wide. Of course, the Holy of Holies within it, was a cube of um, what is it twenty cubits or something in here, that we’ll get. The, above where the porch came off, they had narrow little windows, for light within the temple. There of course, was no light within the Holy of Holies, that was as in the tabernacle lit by the Shekinah of God. He built these little chambers or rooms around the temple, and the oracle. The oracle here is the Holy of Holies. The place where God would speak to them. So it describes these various little chambers, and rooms, and all around it.
The house when it was building, was built of stone was made ready before it was brought there: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building (6:7).
These people were tremendous stone masons. It was set out in a very brilliant way. They designed the size of each stone, and at the quarries, away from the site, they did all of the chiseling, all of the carving of the stones, and then they would number the stones and send them to the builders, who were putting the stones together. They were so perfectly carved, so perfectly chiseled, so flat that they were interlocking, that they did not need to use any mortar.
So at the very site of the building itself, there was no sound of hammer, of tools of any sort, iron or whatever. You didn’t hear the striking of the iron tools, and all. They, because the thing was all fit to interlock together, and to be put up uh, as a, uh, one would put up a prefab kind of a building. The work was all done in the factory, and then all that they did was assemble it, when it came to the building site.
Today in Jerusalem, between the Damascus gate and the Herod gate, you can go into Solomon’s quarries. The place where much of the stone was quarried for this temple. You can see there in Solomon’s quarries, this vast cavern that uh, they got the stones. The stones lay in layers, so that, uh they’re already pretty smooth, top and bottom, and they just would cut out the sides. Of course, they’d do it by drilling holes, put wood dowels in, and then pour water on them, and as the wood would swell, it would crack these rocks. Then of course, they would finish up with the hammers and chisels, making them perfectly straight. These walls, uh, these rocks were cut so exacting, that you can’t put a knife blade between them. Where the rock lays on rock, you can’t insert a knife blade. They’re just that exacting in the carving of them. There are, even today, stones there in the temple mount area, that go back to the stones that were quarried by Solomon’s men. You can see them around the temple mount area, if you know where to look.
Now, the Moslems are doing their best to hide all traces of anything that would indicate that the temple mount ever did belong to the Jews. They’re trying to erase any kind of relationship that the Jews might feel towards the temple mount, and even covering some of the beautiful, beautiful pavement stones that were made, uh laid there by Herod. They’re covering them with these ugly little stones, but the idea is to hide any evidence that the Jews ever did possess the temple mount. Anything that does seem to trace back to the Jewish period, they try to destroy, or they get rid of. They have, it’s an archeological tragedy what they have done on the temple mount. Just destroying history, and destroying so many of the marvelous uh, artifacts that dated back, many of them to Solomon’s time. Most of them to Herod’s time.
But, if you know where to look, and what you’re looking at, you can actually see some of the rocks that they don’t know, go back to Solomon’s time. When we are there, we usually take the group to some of these stones that are there on the path. We try to, uh, while I usually sit on it, people take pictures, so they can get the pictures of the stone that was once a part of Solomon’s temple. We try and do it in such a way, that they don’t know what we’re doing, otherwise, the next time we would go, that would be gone.
So, it’s uh, interesting, when they were building the temple, according to the story, the history, a stone came from the quarry, and the builders who were erecting the building, couldn’t figure out where it went. It wasn’t marked, and so they just figured the quarries made a mistake, because it just didn’t fit in that part of the building. So they just sort of tossed the thing aside.
Now the temple was seven years in building, so in time the shrubbery and all, grew over the thing. And they came to the completion of the temple, and the chief cornerstone was missing. According to the quarry, they sent the message, “We’re ready to finish the thing. We need the chief cornerstone”. And the message came back, “It’s already been sent”. Gave the dates and everything else. They said, “Well we don’t have it”. They said, “Well, it’s there”. So, finally some fellow discovered over in the bush, this stone that the builders had set aside, not realizing that it was the chief cornerstone.
So, in the prophecy, Psalm one hundred eighteen, concerning Jesus Christ, that deals with that particular incident. It said, “The chief cornerstone which was set of not by the builders, the same, or the, but the stone that was set of not by the builders, the same has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s work. It is marvelous in our eyes”. And, in the new testament, Peter picks that up and says, “That was a reference to Jesus Christ”. He is the chief cornerstone that was set of not by the Jews, by the builders. They didn’t recognize Him. They cast Him aside. But God has ordained that He should be the Chief Cornerstone. Of course we know, “The day is coming when they will recognize, and they will look upon Him, whom they have pierced, and they will wail over Him, as a mother wails for her only son who is dead”.
So, talks about the quarrying of the stone, putting it together without any tools of iron, while the thing was being built, being heard around the house.
The door for the middle chamber was on the right side of the house: and they went up winding stairs (6:8).
So there was a winding stairway. And if you go to Jerusalem today, you can go under the Damascus gate, and into the guard house. In the guard house there’s an interesting winding stair, that takes you up to the top of the present day Damascus gate. Fascinating, to go up this winding stairway, which was used by the guards in Jesus’ day! As they guarded the gate of Damascus. But, it gives you an idea of the winding stairways, and how they built them in just sort of a square area. Probably eight feet, and how that they just wind on up, and around. It gives you the idea, there in the Damascus gate. You can see it today.
Then they built the chambers, and all and it describes all of these.
And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, [Verse eleven, now verse twelve.] Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, and if you will execute my judgements, [Now again, we mention that the judgements of God, were God’s declaring what kind of judgement should be made in particular situations, and circumstances. The judgements did not deal with the ordinary people. They dealt with leadership. You that are in the position of authority and leadership, when you have a case where, this happens, and this happens, this is what you are to do. This is the judgement that is to be executed. So God says, “If you will keep my judgement”. You see, God is a God of justice, and one of the times of Israel’s weakness. When Israel fell, before their enemies, God declared one of the reasons for their fall, was their failure to execute His judgements. They were letting people get by with crimes, without any kind of punishment. They had developed a plea-bargaining situation. “Judgement is not”, the Lord said, “forthcoming”. Because of that, there came a weakness within the nation. A moral and spiritual weakness, because people were getting by with evil things. It created that weakness that brought the fall of the nation. I worry today, when I see so many times people getting by in the court system, with evil things. Judgement is not forthcoming. But the Lord said, “If you will walk in my statutes, if you will execute my judgements,] and keep all of my commandments to walk in them; then I will perform my word with you, which I spoke to David your father (6:11-12):
“You keep my word Solomon, and I will keep my word. I’ll keep my promises. But you have to keep my word.” And the same is true for us today. If you keep God’s word, God will keep His word. God will be faithful to His promises unto us. And God said…
I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel (6:13);
Later on in Chronicles, we read concerning Asa, after he came back from the victory over the Ethiopians, and the Nubians, the Lord said unto him, “The Lord is with you, while you will be with Him. And if you seek Him, He will be found of you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you”. Forsake the ways of the Lord, God will forsake you. Keep the ways of the Lord, God will keep you. “The Lord is with you, while you’ll be with Him.” If you seek the Lord, you can find Him. “I’ll dwell”, the Lord said, “among the children of Israel”. God’s presence among His people, is always a glorious, desired thing.
So Solomon built the house, [It says.] and finished it (6:14).
Now it goes on to describe some of these boards of cedar, for the, that they covered over the stones. They sort of built it with stones, and then they covered over the stones with these boards of cedars. On these boards there was beautiful carvings of uh, different cherubim, and pomegranates, and flowers, and all. Then they overlaid all of that with gold. So the whole thing must have been magnificent to look at! Just looking at this beautiful gold, with the carvings of the various things upon it. Of course, these two cherubim that were inside of the Holy of Holies, and the whole thing is described here.
The oracle [Verse nineteen. The Holy of Holies.] he prepared in the house, to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord. And the oracle was twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in breadth, twenty cubits in height [Or, thirty feet, cubed. It is interesting, the Holy of Holies, in the tabernacle’s cube, fifteen feet. This is cubed, thirty feet, which you remember, we are told in Hebrews, these things were all a pattern of heavenly things. The heavenly city itself, is a cube! What is it, some twelve hundred furlongs, the scripture says? This cube of heaven. It’s as tall, as wide, as thick.] and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so he covered the altar that was of cedar, with gold. Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: he made a partition of the chains of gold before the Holy of Holies; and overlaid it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all of the house: also the whole altar that was by the Holy of Holies he overlaid with gold. And within the Holy of Holies he made two cherubims out of olive wood, [And then,] each one were fifteen feet high, they had wings that were seven and a half feet each (6:20-24).
So you had a fifteen foot wingspan on the cherubim.
And they were so placed that their wings touched each other, and touched the walls (6:27).
So here were these two cherubim, carved out of olive wood, with these huge wings going out, touching each other, and stretching from wall to wall, within the Holy of Holies.
And he overlaid those with gold (6:28).
So the thing must have been fabulous to look at. But the only thing was, that only the priests saw it. You see, when you read the dimensions of the temple, you think, “Oh man! That’s small! Only ninety feet long, you know, and it seems awfully small”. Well they didn’t meet, the people didn’t meet in it, like we gather and meet here in the church. They would gather in the courtyard outside. Only the priests would go into the temple. Only the priests were there worshiping within the temple itself, and only the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies, within the temple. The temple wasn’t a place for the people to congregate before the Lord. That they did outside in the temple area, around the temple. But the priests would go in. It was just the place for them to go in, offering the sacrifices, and doing the service of God, within the temple. And so he describes the doors that went into the Holy of Holies…
They also were mad out of olive wood: and the lintels and the side posts [Verse thirty one.] The two doors were of olive wood: he carved upon them the carvings of cherubim, palm trees, open flowers, and then he overlaid them with gold (6:31),
So you had these beautiful gold overlaid doors. Man! would they be fabulous today, with all of these carvings upon them! And it goes on and describes for you the fancy gold ornamentation of the temple that he built. As I said, the estimated amount of gold to do all of this work, was seventy five thousand pounds.
So, we come to chapter seven, which we will take next week, as we get into Solomon’s own house, which he took thirteen years to build. He built the Lord’s house in seven years. Then he built his own palace, taking thirteen years. Solomon’s not too much different from most people, is he? “Far more concerned in the house that I live, than the house where I come to meet the Lord.”
Father, we thank You again, for the privilege of gathering together, studying Your word. Lord we pray that as we deal with some of these issues, that you will deal with the issues in our own lives. And Father, that we might do our best for You. Whatever we do in word, or deed, we do all to the glory of God. Father, we thank You for the glory of Your kingdom. For that glory that we shall share with you when You come to receive us unto Yourself. That glory that is promised to us, throughout eternity. Keep now, Lord, our hearts, faithful and true to Your word. May we walk in Your ways, may we keep Your commandments. Lord, may we be faithful and obedient unto You, that You might, O Lord, keep your word to us, and that we might see, O God, the fulfillment of the promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
May the Lord be with you now, and watch over you during the week. May He fill you with the knowledge of His grace and love. And may you experience more and more, the power of the presence of God, working in Your life, and working through Your life, as You reach out to touch others, for Jesus’ sake. So, may the Lord make it a beautiful week for you, as You live and walk in fellowship with Him.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7104