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6th April

1 Kings 8-10; Psalm 96

Bible in a Year
6 minutes
In this article
6th April

1 Kings 8-10; Psalm 96

Bible in a Year
6 minutes


So far in 1-2 Kings we've read through the start of Solomon's reign. David was old and dying. His son Adonijah seized on this weakness and set himself up as king. In response, David declared Solomon as king, thwarting Adonijah's attempt at the throne. David encouraged Solomon to be faithful and loyal to God, but then told him to kill all of his enemies.

Solomon then killed his brother Adonijah, as well as Joab and others. He married an Egyptian woman, despite the fact that Deuteronomy 7 warns that intermarrying with other nations would lead them to worshipping, foreign gods. It was looking bad for Solomon's reign. But then Solomon asked God for wisdom to rule well, and God blessed him with wisdom and wealth. We read the first example of Solomon using this wisdom as he judged rightly between two women claiming the same baby as their own.

Then yesterday, we read as Solomon established order and structure to his kingdom. He appointed different leaders across Israel. We also read of how he became famous for his wisdom and how Israel began to flourish. Then Solomon started building the temple for God, forming a trade deal with the king of Tyre. The temple was built, along with Solomon's own house.

1 Kings 8-10

Having completed the construction of the temple, Solomon now dedicates it to God. First of all, he brings the Ark of the Covenant in. The Ark of the Covenant was the symbol of God's presence. A giant procession was assembled, and many animals sacrificed to welcome God into his new home. With the ark now in the temple, God's presence was there in a tangible way.

Solomon then reminds the people of how great God is. He brought them out of Egypt and brought them into their own land. He gave them David to be their king and promised David that his descendants would be king after him. All that meant that Solomon could be here now and construct this temple to glorify God for all that he has done.

Solomon then asks God to dwell in the temple and always remember his people. If they ever sin against God and then realise the error of their ways and turn back to God, Solomon asks God to be there for them. Solomon then turns to the people and asks them to always remember God and be faithful to him so that they may enjoy his blessings. Finally, Solomon offers a crazy amount of sacrifices to God to seal the deal and make this temple ready for God.

At this point, God shows himself to Solomon again and promises to do all that Solomon asks. In return, God asks Solomon to be faithful to him and his ways, warning Solomon what would happen if he didn't.

This rounds up the first twenty years of Solomon's reign. On the whole, it's been pretty good. God's got an impressive temple. Solomon has been a wise king, and the nation has flourished because of it.

We next get a glimpse of Solomon's foreign relations. His neighbour and friend Hiram sent Solomon 120 talents of gold. Some estimates put this at over £40,000,000 in today's money. In return, Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities, but when Hiran went to look at them, he wasn't happy with what Solomon had given him.

Next, we get the summary of how Solomon took all the remaining Canaanites in the land that the Israelites hadn’t destroyed and enslaved them. It was these people that he used to build the temple, his house, and all the infrastructure of Israel. They worked alongside the Israelites who had been conscripted temporarily.

After that, Solomon and Hiram worked together on a trade deal, building a whole fleet of ships. Later, the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon and was amazed by his wisdom so she gifts him some gold, and we find out that Solomon and Hiram's fleet of ships finally came back with a huge profit.

In one year Solomon brought in 666 talents of gold (don't worry about the 666, it's got nothing to do with the anti-christ). By our earlier estimates, that is nearly £200 million of modern money in one year. Everything is going well for Solomon.

But remember those rules for kings that we read in Deuteronomy 17. A king should not collect for themselves many horses, lots of gold, and lots of wives. Clearly Solomon has amassed for himself a lot of gold, and we're reminded of the many horses he has. On the front of it, it might look good, but we can see that this is soon going to turn bad.

Psalm 96

This psalm is not attributed to anyone, and falls into the category of praise psalm. Is part of a small collection of psalm (Psalm 93-99) that focus on God as king.

Psalm 96:1-6 - Praise God who is great than all other gods

Psalm 96:7-9 - Give God his glory and worship him

Psalm 96:10-13 - Announce God’s reign over all the earth

The psalmist starts with a call to all the earth to praise God. In these first three verses alone, we are told to sing three times, to bless, to tell, and to declare. He is a God of salvation and his glory should be told to all nations and peoples. God is Lord far above all other gods. In comparison to him, they are like worthless idols. It is God who made the heavens and the earth. All that is good and beautiful is found in him.

So the comes a call to honour God for his goodness. He is strong and glorious, so all people should come before him in worship with their offerings.

The psalmist then calls for God’s reign to be declared over all the earth. He is king and judge over all people. So let all the earth rejoice, from the heavens (sky), seas, forest, and all that is in them. The Lord is coming and he will judge and lead the earth in righteousness and faithfulness.

The focus of the psalm is God’s reign over all the earth and all peoples. All people are to find themselves in him and experience his great works.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

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