412.) 1 Kings 7

November 30, 2010

King Solomon supervises the construction of his temple.

1 Kings 7

(New International Version, ©2010)

Solomon Builds His Palace

1 It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.

Seven years for the temple.  But 13 years for his own place.

2 He built the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon a hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high (that is, about 150 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high), with four rows of cedar columns supporting trimmed cedar beams. 3 It was roofed with cedar above the beams that rested on the columns—forty-five beams, fifteen to a row. 4 Its windows were placed high in sets of three, facing each other. 5 All the doorways had rectangular frames; they were in the front part in sets of three, facing each other.

House of the Forest of Lebanon

6 He made a colonnade fifty cubits long and thirty wide (that is, about 75 feet long and 45 feet wide). In front of it was a portico, and in front of that were pillars and an overhanging roof.

7 He built the throne hall, the Hall of Justice, where he was to judge, and he covered it with cedar from floor to ceiling. 8 And the palace in which he was to live, set farther back, was similar in design. Solomon also made a palace like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.

9 All these structures, from the outside to the great courtyard and from foundation to eaves, were made of blocks of high-grade stone cut to size and smoothed on their inner and outer faces. 10 The foundations were laid with large stones of good quality, some measuring ten cubits (about 15 feet) and some eight (about 12 feet). 11 Above were high-grade stones, cut to size, and cedar beams. 12 The great courtyard was surrounded by a wall of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams, as was the inner courtyard of the temple of the LORD with its portico.

The Temple’s Furnishings

13 King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, 14 whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.

two bronze pillars . . .

15 He cast two bronze pillars, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference (that is, about 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference). 16 He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars; each capital was five cubits (that is, about 7 1/2 feet) high. 17 A network of interwoven chains adorned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. 18 He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. 19 The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies, four cubits (that is, about 6 feet) high. 20 On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around. 21 He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin (Jakin probably means he establishes) and the one to the north Boaz (Boaz probably means in him is strength). 22 The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed.

the Sea and a movable stand . . .

23 He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits (that is, about 45 feet)to measure around it. 24 Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.

25 The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. 26 It was a handbreadth (that is, about 3 inches) in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths (that is, about 12,000 gallons).

27 He also made ten movable stands of bronze; each was four cubits long, four wide and three high (that is, about 6 feet long and wide and about 4 1/2 feet high). 28 This is how the stands were made: They had side panels attached to uprights. 29 On the panels between the uprights were lions, bulls and cherubim—and on the uprights as well. Above and below the lions and bulls were wreaths of hammered work. 30 Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles, and each had a basin resting on four supports, cast with wreaths on each side. 31 On the inside of the stand there was an opening that had a circular frame one cubit deep (that is, about 18 inches). This opening was round, and with its basework it measured a cubit and a half (that is, about 2 1/4 feet). Around its opening there was engraving. The panels of the stands were square, not round. 32 The four wheels were under the panels, and the axles of the wheels were attached to the stand. The diameter of each wheel was a cubit and a half. 33 The wheels were made like chariot wheels; the axles, rims, spokes and hubs were all of cast metal.

34 Each stand had four handles, one on each corner, projecting from the stand. 35 At the top of the stand there was a circular band half a cubit (about 9 inches) deep. The supports and panels were attached to the top of the stand. 36 He engraved cherubim, lions and palm trees on the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, in every available space, with wreaths all around. 37 This is the way he made the ten stands. They were all cast in the same molds and were identical in size and shape.

38 He then made ten bronze basins, each holding forty baths (that is, about 240 gallons) and measuring four cubits across, one basin to go on each of the ten stands. 39 He placed five of the stands on the south side of the temple and five on the north. He placed the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner of the temple. 40 He also made the pots and shovels and sprinkling bowls.

(I know you can’t read the words, but the cut-away does help give a general idea.)

So Huram finished all the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of the LORD:

41 the two pillars;

the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;

the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;

42 the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars);

43 the ten stands with their ten basins;

44 the Sea and the twelve bulls under it;

45 the pots, shovels and sprinkling bowls.

All these objects that Huram made for King Solomon for the temple of the LORD were of burnished bronze. 46 The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Sukkoth and Zarethan. 47 Solomon left all these things unweighed, because there were so many; the weight of the bronze was not determined.

48 Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in the LORD’s temple:

2 Chronicles 1:15 (New Living Translation)

The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.


the golden altar;

the golden table on which was the bread of the Presence;

49 the lampstands of pure gold (five on the right and five on the left, in front of the inner sanctuary);

the gold floral work and lamps and tongs;

50 the pure gold basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers;

and the gold sockets for the doors of the innermost room, the Most Holy Place, and also for the doors of the main hall of the temple.

51 When all the work King Solomon had done for the temple of the LORD was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated—the silver and gold and the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of the LORD’s temple.



The text of  “How lovely is your dwelling place” comes from Psalm 84.


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
House of the Forest of Lebanon.  http://www.specialtyinterests.net/solomons_forest_color2.jpg
Solomon supervising.    http://www.retrooutlet.com/prodimages/0204.jpg
two bronze pillars.   http://www.bible-architecture.info/Reconstruction_Sols_Temple_Bible_Museum_Amsterdam.jpg
the Sea.    http://davidjlarsen.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/solomon_temple-bronze-sea1.jpg
cut-away of Solomon’s temple.  http://i1.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/590/draft_lens14644111module128708901photo_1288014267solomons_temple.jpg
silver and gold.   http://www.coinnews.net/wp-content/images/2008/2008-Britannia-Silver-and-Gold-Collector-Coins.jpg


411.) 1 Kings 6

November 29, 2010

Of course, no one exactly what the Temple looked like. Here is one idea.

1 Kings 6

(New International Version, ©2010)

Solomon Builds the Temple

1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel,

Israelite time line, in round figures:  40 years wandering in the wilderness, 400 years under the judges, 40 years of ruling for each of the kings of the United Kingdom (Saul, David, and Solomon).

in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 28:11-12 (New Living Translation)

Then David gave Solomon the plans for the Temple and its surroundings, including the entry room, the storerooms, the upstairs rooms, the inner rooms, and the inner sanctuary—which was the place of atonement.  David also gave Solomon all the plans he had in mind for the courtyards of the Lord’s Temple, the outside rooms, the treasuries, and the rooms for the gifts dedicated to the Lord.

2 The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high (a cubit is considered to be about 18- 20 inches, so the temple was about 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high).

For purposes of comparison:  Many of my readers may have been in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  That “temple” is 694 feet long, 451 feet wide (at transepts), and 151 feet high.

3 The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits (that is, about 30 feet), and projected ten cubits (that is about 15 feet) from the front of the temple. 4 He made narrow windows high up in the temple walls. 5 Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary he built a structure around the building, in which there were side rooms. 6 The lowest floor was five cubits (that is, seven and a half feet) wide, the middle floor six cubits (that is, nine feet) and the third floor seven (that is, 11 feet). He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.

The Temple is very similar in layout and design to the Tabernacle, but twice as large.

7 In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.

A quiet building site!

8 The entrance to the lowest floor was on the south side of the temple; a stairway led up to the middle level and from there to the third. 9 So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks. 10 And he built the side rooms all along the temple. The height of each was five cubits, and they were attached to the temple by beams of cedar.

11 The word of the LORD came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

14 So Solomon built the temple and completed it. 15 He lined its interior walls with cedar boards, paneling them from the floor of the temple to the ceiling, and covered the floor of the temple with planks of juniper. 16 He partitioned off twenty cubits at the rear of the temple with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to form within the temple an inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. 17 The main hall in front of this room was forty cubits (that is, about 60 feet) long. 18 The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was to be seen.

a cut-away view of the interior of Solomon’s temple

19 He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there. 20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar. 21 Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold. 22 So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.

Gold everywhere!  It covered the walls, the floor, the carvings . . .

23 For the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim out of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits—ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip. 25 The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape. 26 The height of each cherub was ten cubits. 27 He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. 28 He overlaid the cherubim with gold.

These cherubim in the Most Holy Place were about 15 feet high with wings that stretched 15 feet from tip to tip!  They were magnificent, other-worldly creatures, representing the greatness of God!  Hardly the innocuous, pudgy little “cherubs” so commonly seen today.

29 On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers. 30 He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.

One idea for the interior of the temple, looking up into the Most Holy Place. The curtain would usually have been closed.

31 For the entrance to the inner sanctuary he made doors out of olive wood that were one fifth of the width of the sanctuary. 32 And on the two olive-wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with hammered gold. 33 In the same way, for the entrance to the main hall he made doorframes out of olive wood that were one fourth of the width of the hall. 34 He also made two doors out of juniper wood, each having two leaves that turned in sockets. 35 He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.

carved with cherubim, palm trees, and flowers and overlaid with gold

36 And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.

37 The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. 38 In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.



The temple that Solomon built and the Church are two very different things.  The temple was a physical structure, but the Church is the Body of Christ, many believers united in our Head, Jesus.  The following presentation of “The Church’s One Foundation” does a lot to show what we mean when we say that WE are the Church.  Brian Moss sings.


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Solomon’s Temple.    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_r9BBDS_kJug/TNRZ84qwEpI/AAAAAAAABZI/OyP8PZ9kMmk/s1600/templesolomon.jpg
St. Peter’s.     http://www.lizardboys.com/st_peters_basilica_1.jpg
floor plan of Solomon’s temple.   http://homepages.luc.edu/~avande1/jerusalem/views/solomonsTemplePlan.jpg
cut-away image of the interior of Solomon’s temple.    http://www.thelivingmoon.com/42stargate/04images/Solomon/Solomons_Cherubim.jpg
gold.    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/12/bestproducts/image/gold.jpg
cherubs.  http://www.dobhran.com/jigsaw/cherubs.jpg
interior of the temple.   http://www.bible-architecture.info/Jerusalem.htm
walls carved and overlaid with gold.   http://www.mishkanministries.org/images/templewallpanel1.jpg

410.) 1 Kings 5

November 26, 2010

1 Kings 5 (New International Version)

Preparations for Building the Temple

1 When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David. 2 Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:

3 “You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet. 4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. 5 I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’

Solomon declares his intention to “build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God.”

Psalm 138:1-2 (English Standard Version)

I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.



“Blessed be the name of the Lord”  by Matt Redman.


6 “So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians.”

Throughout antiquity, the cedars of Lebanon were prized above all other trees.  Their fine wood was strong, straight, and wonderfully scented.  It was the first choice for any temple or palace, and top value in trade was paid for it.


7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was greatly pleased and said, “Praise be to the LORD today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.”

8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon:

“I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and juniper logs. 9 My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea, and I will float them as rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food for my royal household.”

10 In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and juniper logs he wanted, 11 and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors (that is, 3,600 tons) of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths (that is, 120,000 gallons) of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year. 12 The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

the star of David at peace with the cedars of Lebanon

13 King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel—thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, 16 as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workers. 17 At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. 18 The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Blessed be the Name.    http://www.outloudvinyl.com/images/vinyl/C014_BlessedbeII.jpg
cedars of Lebanon.    http://www.habeeb.com/lebanon.photos.79.html
Israel-Lebanon peace.  http://rlv.zcache.com/israel_lebanon_peace_tshirt-p235229464153959956tdt4_210.jpg

409.) 1 Kings 4

November 25, 2010

President Ronald Reagan and his cabinet, 1981. I use this picture solely as an example of a leader and his team; I intend no political endorsement.

1 Kings 4 (New International Version)

Solomon’s Officials and Governors

1 So King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 2 And these were his chief officials:

This long list shows that Solomon understood the value of strong people under him; he was a leader of leaders.  He achieved greatness in part because he had the right persons on each job, people who were skilled and competent.  We have all seen various organizations and ministries in which the leader brings in weak people to work for him because they are no threat to him.  Such leaders make themselves, and their organizations, weaker!  Ah, but Solomon was wiser.

Azariah son of Zadok—the priest;

3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha—secretaries;

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud—recorder;

4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada—commander in chief;

Zadok and Abiathar—priests;

5 Azariah son of Nathan—in charge of the district governors;

Zabud son of Nathan—a priest and adviser to the king;

6 Ahishar—palace administrator;

Adoniram son of Abda—in charge of forced labor.

7 Solomon had twelve district governors over all Israel, who supplied provisions for the king and the royal household. Each one had to provide supplies for one month in the year. 8 These are their names:

Ben-Hur—in the hill country of Ephraim;

9 Ben-Deker—in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh and Elon Bethhanan;

10 Ben-Hesed—in Arubboth (Sokoh and all the land of Hepher were his);

11 Ben-Abinadab—in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon);

12 Baana son of Ahilud—in Taanach and Megiddo, and in all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across to Jokmeam;

13 Ben-Geber—in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead were his, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities with bronze gate bars);

14 Ahinadab son of Iddo—in Mahanaim;

15 Ahimaaz—in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon);

16 Baana son of Hushai—in Asher and in Aloth;

17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah—in Issachar;

18 Shimei son of Ela—in Benjamin;

19 Geber son of Uri—in Gilead (the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and the country of Og king of Bashan). He was the only governor over the district.

Solomon’s Daily Provisions

20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore;

Genesis 22:17 (English Standard Version)

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.


they ate, they drank and they were happy. 21 And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon’s subjects all his life.

map of the kingdom of Solomon

22 Solomon’s daily provisions were thirty cors (that is, five and a half tons) of the finest flour and sixty cors (that is, eleven tons) of meal, 23 ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. 24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. 25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.

All that food!  Every day was Thanksgiving!

26 Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.

27 The district governors, each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king’s table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. 28 They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.

Solomon’s Wisdom

29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.


Islam holds Solomon in very high regard for his wisdom.  The Qur’an states that Solomon ruled not only people, but also hosts of Jinn (genies of Arabic folklore); that he was allowed to see some of the hidden glory in the world that was not accessible to most other human beings; and — that he was able to understand the language of the birds and ants.  Which made it easy for me to choose the song for the day!



Louis Armstrong and “Talk with the Animals.”

If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it,
Chattin’ with a chimp in chimpanzee,
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting with a cheetah,
What a neat achievement it would be!

If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages,
Maybe Take an animal degree,
We’d study elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle,
Alligator, guinea pig, and flea!

We would converse in polar bear and python,
And we would curse in fluent kangaroo,
If people ask us, “can you speak rhinoceros?”
We’d say “of courserous! Can’t you?”

If we conferred with our furry friends, man to animal,
Think of all the things wew could discuss.
If we could walk with the animals, talk with the animals,
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals,
And they could talk to us!

If I consult with the quadrupeds
Think what fun we’d have,
asking for the crocodiles for tea!
Or maybe lunch with three lions, walruses and sea lions
What a lovely place the world would be!

If I spoke slang to orangutans
The advantages any fool on earth could plainly see!
Discussing Eastern art and dramas
With intellectual llamas
That’s a big step forward, you’ll agree!

We’d learn to speak in antelope and turtle
And our Pekinese would be extremely good
If we were asked to sing in hippopotamus
We’d say whynotamous? and would!

If we could walk with the animals
Talk with the animals
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals
And they could  talk to us!


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
the Reagan cabinet.   http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:761px-1981_US_Cabinet.jpg
Abraham looking at the stars.    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ciM9uvBdJ30/TK1GKeMcqjI/AAAAAAAAJ8s/Xpy2-ijwA6o/s1600/abraham-stars.jpg
map of Solomon’s kingdom.  http://www.ccg.org/_domain/abrahams-legacy.org/images/solomon-kingdom-map.gif
mosque in Malaysia.   http://iscnyonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Malaysia_Mosques_02.gif

408.) 1 Kings 3

November 24, 2010

“Dream of Solomon” by Luca Giordano, 1693 (Museo del Prado, Madrid)

1 Kings 3 (New International Version)

Solomon Asks for Wisdom

1 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter.

This political alliance will lead to Solomon’s spiritual downfall.

1 Kings 11:1-4 (New Living Translation)

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites.  The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, ‘You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.’ Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway.  He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.

In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been.


He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem.

The walls you can see today around Jerusalem’s Old City were built by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent during the years 1536-1541. The length of the wall is around 2.8 miles and it encloses an area of about a third of a square mile.


2 The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD. 3 Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.

Such a huge number indicates Solomon’s wealth as well as his desire to honor the Lord.

5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

“Christ Healing the Blind Bartimaeus” by Carl Bloch

Mark 10:49-51 (New Living Translation)

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”  Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.


6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

7 “Now, LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

–with the exception of Christ!

Luke 11:31 (New Living Translation)

“The queen of Sheba will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—.


13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.

He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.

A Wise Ruling

“The judgment of Solomon” by Isabella Colette

16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”

22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”

But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.

23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”

24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”

But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.


Proverbs 29:14 (English Standard Version)

If a king faithfully judges the poor,
his throne will be established forever.



How blessed we are to have Jesus as our wise ruler on the throne!   “Before the Throne of God Above” sung by the group Selah.

Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is “Love,”
He ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is writen on His heart;
I know that while in heav’n He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
my sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
to look on him and pardon me.
to look on him and pardon me.

Behold him there! the risen Lamb,
my perfect, spotless Righteousness,
the great unchangeable I AM,
the King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
with Christ, my Savior and my God
with Christ, my Savior and my God


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Giordano.    http://www.wga.hu/art/g/giordano/dream_s.jpg
bride and groom.   http://library.thinkquest.org/06aug/00844/images/Bride_Groom.jpg
Jerusalem city walls.    http://blog.thefoundationstone.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Jerusalem_city_wall.jpg
Bloch.    http://www.biblical-art.com/artwork.asp?id_artwork=32856&showmode=Full
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.    http://www.destination360.com/south-america/brazil/images/st/christ-the-redeemer.jpg
Colette.    http://www.artbible.net/1T/1ki0316_Solomon_judgement/pages/20%20COLETTE%20ISABELLA%20LE%20JUGEMENT%20DE%20SALOMON.htm

407.) 1 Kings 2

November 23, 2010

1 Kings 2 (New International Version)

David’s Charge to Solomon

1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.

2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go 4 and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

Matthew 6:33 (Amplified Bible)

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.


5 “Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. 6 Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.

7 “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom.

8 “And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD: ‘I will not put you to death by the sword.’ 9 But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.”

Does it seem a little shady to you — that David technically keeps his vow not to kill Shemei, then orders his son to do it?  Or that after years of loyal if not totally obedient service to David, Joab is put on the “To Kill” list?  Clearly, David sees these matters, as well as the kindness to be shown to the sons of Barzillai, as important matters of justice.

10 Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.

King David’s Tomb in Jerusalem

11 He had reigned forty years over Israel—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.



The end of an era, the death of a hero, the story already a legend.

Music from a stirring death today:  The Epilogue of Les Miserables.  Composed in 1980 by French composer Jean-Michel Schonberg, Les Mis is the longest-running musical in history, now in its 26th year in London.  Based on a novel by Victor Hugo, the story follows Jean Valjean as he struggles for redemption. Colm Wilkinson sings Valjean.


Solomon’s Throne Established

13 Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. Bathsheba asked him, “Do you come peacefully?”

He answered, “Yes, peacefully.” 14 Then he added, “I have something to say to you.”

“You may say it,” she replied.

15 “As you know,” he said, “the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the LORD. 16 Now I have one request to make of you. Do not refuse me.”

“You may make it,” she said.

17 So he continued, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”

With David’s death, Abishag is now a “concubine widow.”  But according to custom, the harem goes to the next king.  Adonijah is using her to try to establish a claim on the throne.

18 “Very well,” Bathsheba replied, “I will speak to the king for you.”

19 When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

20 “I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “Do not refuse me.”

The king replied, “Make it, my mother; I will not refuse you.”

21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah.”

22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him—after all, he is my older brother—yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!”

Which is to say, give the throne to all who had not supported David in his choice of Solomon as king.

23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD: “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request! 24 And now, as surely as the LORD lives—he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised—Adonijah shall be put to death today!” 25 So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died.

One down . . .

26 To Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign LORD before my father David and shared all my father’s hardships.” 27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood of the LORD, fulfilling the word the LORD had spoken at Shiloh about the house of Eli.

Another one out of the way . . .

28 When the news reached Joab, who had conspired with Adonijah though not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the LORD and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the LORD and was beside the altar. Then Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, “Go, strike him down!”

30 So Benaiah entered the tent of the LORD and said to Joab, “The king says, ‘Come out!’”

But he answered, “No, I will die here.”

Benaiah reported to the king, “This is how Joab answered me.”

31 Then the king commanded Benaiah, “Do as he says. Strike him down and bury him, and so clear me and my whole family of the guilt of the innocent blood that Joab shed. 32 The LORD will repay him for the blood he shed, because without my father David knowing it he attacked two men and killed them with the sword. Both of them—Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army—were better men and more upright than he. 33 May the guilt of their blood rest on the head of Joab and his descendants forever. But on David and his descendants, his house and his throne, may there be the LORD’s peace forever.”

34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck down Joab and killed him, and he was buried at his home out in the country.

Claiming refuge at the altar meant protection to the innocent.  Joab was guilty of treacherously killing Abner and Amasa (not to mention Absalom).  Solomon has the law on his side in this decision:  But if a man acts with premeditation against his neighbor, to kill him by treachery, you shall take him from My altar, that he may die (Exodus 21:14).

One more down . . .

35 The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab’s position and replaced Abiathar with Zadok the priest.

36 Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, but do not go anywhere else. 37 The day you leave and cross the Kidron Valley, you can be sure you will die; your blood will be on your own head.”

38 Shimei answered the king, “What you say is good. Your servant will do as my lord the king has said.” And Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time.

39 But three years later, two of Shimei’s slaves ran off to Achish son of Maakah, king of Gath, and Shimei was told, “Your slaves are in Gath.” 40 At this, he saddled his donkey and went to Achish at Gath in search of his slaves. So Shimei went away and brought the slaves back from Gath.

41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, 42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the LORD and warn you, ‘On the day you leave to go anywhere else, you can be sure you will die’? At that time you said to me, ‘What you say is good. I will obey.’ 43 Why then did you not keep your oath to the LORD and obey the command I gave you?”

44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the LORD will repay you for your wrongdoing. 45 But King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will remain secure before the LORD forever.”

46 Then the king gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down and he died.

And yet another one down . . .

The kingdom was now established in Solomon’s hands.


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
King Solomon’s chess game.   http://markmeynell.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/1kings1-2-chess3.png?w=365&h=207
Matthew 6:33.  http://www.temenos.org/downloads/wallpaper/matt633.jpg
King David’s Tomb.    http://www.jerusalempedia.com/images/Tomb_of_David%20%28350%20x%20523%29.jpg
one candle.  http://www.workingaussiesource.com/images/diary%20images/candle.jpg
two candles.     http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2264/2155967132_a40428343e.jpg
three candles.    http://www.freefoto.com/images/90/20/90_20_14—Three-Advent-Candles_web.jpg?&k=Three+Advent+Candles
four candles.    https://my.qoop.com/store/Jonty-Joyce-2641083786000120/Four-candles-in-the-dark-by-Jonty-Joyce-91610743764577.xlarge.jpg,421,340,crop

406.) 1 Kings 1

November 22, 2010

King Solomon!

1 Kings 1 (New International Version)

Adonijah Sets Himself Up as King

1 When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. 2 So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.”

As medical treatments go, not as bad as leeches . . .

Strange as this may sound to us, it was proper because it was a recognized medical treatment in the ancient world, mentioned by the ancient Greek doctor Galen. When Josephus describes this in his Antiquities of the Jews, he says that this was a medical treatment and he calls the “servants” in 1 Kings 1:2 “physicians.”

–David Guzik

3 Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.

She-of-the-unfortunate-name becomes, no doubt, David’s concubine and part of his household.

5 Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.”

2 Samuel 3:2-5 describes the sons of David and lists Adonijah as the fourth son.  We know that two of the three sons older than Adonijah are dead (Amnon and Absalom), and it seems that the other older son (Chileab) either also died or was unfit to rule because he is never mentioned after 2 Samuel 3:3.  As the oldest living son of David, Adonijah would likely be considered the heir to the throne.

So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. 6 (His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)

A son too handsome for his own good . . . and again David’s failings as a father reap sad consequences.

Proverbs 29:17 (English Standard Version)

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.


7 Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah.

Why?  Joab (David’s chief general) and Abiathar (the high priest of Israel) both supported Adonijah, without any record of them asking the King David or, more importantly, asking the Lord.

9 Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.

— and some very important people are not invited!

11 Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David knows nothing about it? 12 Now then, let me advise you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon.

. . . because a new king often kills all his rivals.

13 Go in to King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, did you not swear to me your servant: “Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 While you are still there talking to the king, I will come in and add my word to what you have said.”

David will get a one-two punch . . .

15 So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him. 16 Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king.

“What is it you want?” the king asked.

17 She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the LORD your God: ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’ 18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it. 19 He has sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep, and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant. 20 My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.”

22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 23 And the king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.

24 Nathan said, “Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne? 25 Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him and saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite. 27 Is this something my lord the king has done without letting his servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”

David Makes Solomon King

28 Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.

29 The king then took an oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 30 I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”

As feeble as David is physically, he is strong in this situation, and takes definitive action immediately.  He will abdicate his throne and place Solomon upon it.

31 Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”

32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, 33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.”

Prophet, priest, and king all working together.  What a great idea!

36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so declare it. 37 As the LORD was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!”

38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon mount King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.

These were the days before armored Cadillacs for heads of state in parades!


41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, “What’s the meaning of all the noise in the city?”

42 Even as he was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news.”

43 “Not at all!” Jonathan answered. “Our lord King David has made Solomon king. 44 The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king’s mule, 45 and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That’s the noise you hear. 46 Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. 47 Also, the royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon’s name more famous than yours and his throne greater than yours!’ And the king bowed in worship on his bed 48 and said, ‘Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today.’”

49 At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed.

Oops — the party abruptly ends!

50 But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar.

The altar was a place of sanctuary and safety against vengeance.

51 Then Solomon was told, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’”

52 Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” 53 Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.”

Virtually his first act:  Solomon  shows mercy.



“Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” was written in England in 1834.  It was played at the wedding of the future Queen Elizabeth in 1947.  So this hymn has a doubly royal heritage!


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
King Solomon.     http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_YgpHa1oeHME/ScO4zskrUQI/AAAAAAAAAWo/Q3iOewh6kHY/s400/king+solomon.jpg
leeches.    http://blog.newsok.com/ofinterest/files/2009/10/leech.jpg
discipline your son . . .   http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Zxgxl_-Wl0Q/S8cEwy8rL2I/AAAAAAAAA6g/v1AB1IBKfg0/s800/enforce%20house%20discipline%2001.jpg
It’s a party.    http://www.diyinvitationsensation.com/images/party_clipart.jpg
ka-pow.    http://www.comicsreporter.com/images/uploads/kapow.jpg
Prophet, priest, and king.     http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_OjmXe5ANutw/SxFgRsLcFHI/AAAAAAAAAgE/D2KRwccvqaU/s1600/prophet+priest+king.jpg
Presidential Cadillac.     http://www.armyrecognition.com/images/stories/news/2009/january/Cadillac_armoured_car_presidential_limousine_President_United_States_Barack_Obama_001.jpg

405.) 1 John 5

November 19, 2010

Another John!  John Wesley (1703-1791) was a pietist, preacher, and pioneer of Methodism who is known not only for his organizational skills, but also for his ability to convict believers of their need to live a sanctified Christian life.

1 John 5 (New Living Translation)

Faith in the Son of God

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.

When I was small I used to think that, if I wanted very much to do a thing, that thing was probably wrong.  And if I didn’t want to do it, it was probably right.

That is not quite fair to God, for “his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3), not heavy and burdensome.

–Amy Carmichael


4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

6 And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. 7 So we have these three witnesses—8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. 9 Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. 10 All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.

11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

Genesis 2:7 tells us that when God had formed the first man from the dust of the earth, he breathed into him the breath of life, and the man lived.

The psalmist says, “For with you is the fountain of life” (Psalm 36:9).

John says of Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

Peter, in speaking to the Jews of Jerusalem in the temple says, “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead” (Acts 3:15).

Jesus himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life . . . and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).

To his enemies, Jesus said, “You refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:40).

God is the source of life.  The alternative to communion with him is death.

–Dennis F. Kinlaw



13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

16 If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life.

from My Utmost for His Highest,
by Oswald Chambers


If we are not heedful of the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites.  We see where other folks are failing, and we turn our discernment into the gibe of criticism instead of into intercession on their behalf.  The revelation is made to us not through the acuteness of our minds, but by the direct penetration of the Spirit of God, and if we are not heedful of the source of the revelation, we will become criticizing centres and forget that God says — ‘. . . he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.”  Take care lest you play the hypocrite by spending all your time trying to get others right before you worship God yourself.

One of the subtlest burdens God ever puts on us as saints is this burden of discernment concerning other souls.  He reveals things in order that we may take the burden of these souls before Him and form the mind of Christ about them, and as we intercede on His line, God says He will give us “life for them that sin not unto death.”  It is not that we bring God into touch with our minds, but that we rouse ourselves until God is able to convey His mind to us about the one for whom we intercede.

Is Jesus Christ seeing the travail of his soul in us?  He cannot unless we are so identified with Himself that we are roused up to get His view about the people for whom we pray.  May we learn to intercede so whole-heartedly that Jesus Christ will be abundantly satisfied with us as intercessors.


But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.

18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God.  And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.

John 17:3

This is eternal life, to know thee, the only true God,
and him whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ.


21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

The End of 1 John



John Wesley’s brother, Charles, was a prolific hymn writer.  One of my favorites from the Wesley collection is sung here by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir — “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.”


I hope you have enjoyed this week and the Scriptures that point over and over again to the LOVE of God that is so graciously given to us and that we can cheerfully share with others. If you have been particularly touched by anything from 1 John, please share it with us.  Just hit Reply/Comment below!  And next week we are back in the thick of the Old Testament, picking up with 1 Kings and the death of King David.


New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
John Wesley.    http://www.speakerscornertrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/John-Wesley2.jpg
little girl pouting.    http://gailbhyatt.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/pouting-little-girl-istock_000006840535xsmall5.jpg
First man Adam and Perfect man Christ.    http://heavenlytours.us/images/creating_adam.jpg
praying hands.     http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_brH7VFZzQR4/TA2wZ24cesI/AAAAAAAAAQo/yCRFe5AOgOk/s1600/praying_hands.jpg
Jesus and eternal life; artwork by Richard Judson Zolan.    http://art-canyon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/eternal-life.jpg

404.) 1 John 4

November 18, 2010

Another John! John Milton (1608-1674) is generally regarded as one of the greatest thinkers and writers in the world.  By his mid-twenties he had read everything published in English, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, and Italian!  His most famous work is “Paradise Lost,” an epic poem with this assigned purpose:  to “justify the ways of God to man.”  It was composed when Milton was blind.

1 John 4 (New Living Translation)

Discerning False Prophets

1 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.

4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

He that has light within his own clear breast
May sit in the centre, and enjoy bright day:
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun;
Himself his own dungeon.

–John Milton


Loving One Another

7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

“God is love.”  This little sentence brought St. John more sweetness, even in the time he was writing it, than the whole world can bring.  God is often styled holy, righteous, wise; but not holiness, righteousness, or wisdom in the abstract, as he is said to be love; intimating that this is his darling, his reigning attribute, the attribute that sheds an amiable glory on all his other perfections.

–John Wesley


9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.



“The Love of God”  by The Isaacs, a country and bluegrass gospel music group .  Lyrics follow.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.


Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.


God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

Love regulated by the other person’s response is no love at all.

–Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus


New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
John Milton.    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ZFyE7Abbqq8/S6t6BcfxAvI/AAAAAAAAGco/910fu_GaGjE/s1600/john-milton.jpg
lemonade stand.    http://www.hrcoc.com/htm/desk/images/1john4_11.jpg
God is love.    http://churchfun.com/images/wp/God-is-love.jpg
God loves you this much.    http://www.gracebaptistsperry.org/images/God%27s%20Love.jpg

403.) 1 John 3

November 17, 2010

Another John! Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) called the Second Vatican Council which brought sweeping reformation to the Catholic church — changes that, among other things, placed a stronger emphasis on ecumenism and fidelity to the Gospel.

1 John 3 (New Living Translation)

1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!



“(We Are) The Children of God”  by Steven Curtis Chapman.


But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

4 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. 5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.

8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

Love One Another

11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

–John Wesley


12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?


I have looked into your eyes with my eyes. I have put my heart near your heart.

–Pope John XXIII, calling his listeners to show Christ-like mercy


18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

from Echoings from the Bible in Literature,
by J. Ruth Stenerson

“I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved.  I am not sure that you are of the same kind.  But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave.  This is the world of light and speech, and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.”

–George Eliot, “Letter to Mrs. Burnes-Jones,” May 11, 1875

Have you noticed how often truths are found in what seem to be almost opposite statements—in dichotomies?  “That artificial rose is so beautiful it almost looks real,” we say, and then are surprised to hear someone else say, “The rose on that bush is so beautiful it almost looks artificial.”  There is validity in both statements.

We sometimes pose the same kind of paradox in relation to aspects of our Christian faith.  “Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear what you way,” says one, only to hear another say in turn, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,” as someone else says, “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ . . .  you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

There is one side of another paradox that says “our love should be not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.”  But George Eliot provides the “on the other hand” as she write, “I like . . . to be told that I am loved . . . and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.”  As in the instances above, both sides of the paradox have something to tell us.

Most of us find few things so repulsive as the sentimental gush of insincere avowals of affection.  I quite going to a dress shop I really liked because of a syrupy clerk who always addressed me as “Honey.”  But many of us offend more seriously by our reluctance to speak our love to those who need to hear that they are loved.  It would be interesting to know how many of our acquaintances we know have never heard anyone say to them “I love you.”  I think we would be shocked to know how large the number would be.  Many of those people would be shocked into shyness if before the day is done we broke out of our inhibitions and said, “You know, I really love you.”  How difficult that kind of loving openness is to us!

Yet how empty those words would be if they were not accompanied by acts which reinforce them.  We would not long believe those words.  But why can we not give both the words and the actions?  We don’t need to worry about running out of the supply of love.  “You yourselves have been taught by God how you should love one another,” Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers.  “Do even more.”  Have we already been loving in word and deed?  There is Paul’s daily assignment for us in the school of life:  DO EVEN MORE.


19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.


New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Pope John.    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_xXturM7oixg/TLIg_Cs-lFI/AAAAAAAAHJk/XalinimeO98/s1600/john+xxiii.jpg
Do the right thing.     http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_–YjWiyF8eE/THW5l4lOPVI/AAAAAAAAHJY/teUyourncQ4/s1600/do+the+right+thing.gif
Good Samaritan.    http://www.arthistoryclub.com/art_history/upload/f/f6/Samaritan.jpg
I love you with leaf.    http://pixdaus.com/pics/12110675011ng696V.jpg