Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in 2 Chronicles 1-13 : Solomon's Story|
Chs. 8 & 9
Chapter: 2 Chron 8
Passage: 2 Chron 8:1-11
A. Find Out:
1. What had Solomon done for how long in his reign so far? v.1
2. What did he then proceed to do? v.2-6
3. What did he do with the occupants of the land? v.7,8
4. What did he do with the Israelites? v.9,10
5. Who did he move where? v.11a
6. Why? v.11b
1. What do you think is significant in the activity of v.2-6?
2. How did he differentiate between peoples in v.7-10?
3. What is disturbing about v.11?
In these verses we see Solomon establishing his kingdom. He does this first by re-establishing villages and towns in the land that presumably had been broken down by enemies in the past. He also built new cities for a variety of purposes. In rebuilding these towns and cities he not only rebuilt the buildings but strengthened the walls of the cities for protection. In such ways he was bringing a new security to the land which would have made the people feel good about him.
At the same time (possibly to achieve the former task) he established a slave labour task force and a strong army. In this way he established both the economic base for the land and provided security for it. In passing we note that Israelites were never used as slave labour, only those remnants from other nations who had refused to leave the land.
We then come across a mention of an Egyptian wife that he had (see also 1 Kings 3:1) and who previously had lived in Jerusalem but was now moved to a new palace. Somehow Solomon is aware that this foreign wife conflicts with the holy activities of Jerusalem . Chronicles focuses more on the practical events and we're left to 1 Kings to tell us about Solomon's spiritual downfall (1 Kings 11:1-6). You cannot mix foreign idolatry and worship of the one true God,
1. The fruit of God's wisdom.
2. Rejection of God's wisdom.
Chapter: 2 Chron 8
Passage: 2 Chron 8:12-18
A. Find Out:
1. What did Solomon do, where? v.12
2. When did he do it? v.13
3. Who did he establish? v.14
4. When did this happen? v.16
5. Where did he go and who did he meet with? v.17,18a
6. What was the end product? v.18b
1. How did Solomon establish a correct spirituality?
2. What do you think was the point of this being recorded?
3. What do verses 17 & 18 then tell us?
The first half of the chapter, we saw, told us how Solomon was establishing the land and making it more secure. Verses 12 to 16 then tell us how Solomon established the spirituality of all the activity surrounding the building of the temple and making it secure. This he did in two ways.
First he established there in the centre of the building works an altar of sacrifice and there he ensured were presented all the sacrifices that Moses had laid down in the Law (v.12,13). Sacrifices were presented to God for two main reasons: to re-establish a broken relationship by sin, and to express something of the restored relationship. Simply put they were a visible and tangible expression or sign of their devotion to God. In the midst of their activity, Solomon ensured that this happened.
Second, he established priests and Levites as prescribed by David his father, to oversee the activity at the altar and to establish the daily praise to God through music. In this way he established a working relationship with the Lord in the midst of the building work. When the work was complete he was then able to travel and to trade and that is what we see in verses 17 and 18. Hiram was a Gentile king who had helped provide materials for the temple. He also provides ships and men for trade. He is a means of opening up further blessing.
1. Devotion & Activity.
2. World relationships
Chapter: 2 Chron 9
Passage: 2 Chron 9:1-9
A. Find Out:
1. Who came to Jerusalem to do what? v.1
2. What response did she get? v.2
3. What did she see and what did she feel? v.3,4
4. What did she say about it all? v.5-7
5. What did she say about the Lord? v.8
6. What gifts did she leave with Solomon? v.9
1. What had brought the Queen to Jerusalem ?
2. How would you summarise what she found?
3. What does all this say about Solomon and the Lord?
When the world comes beating on your door to see what is going on, you know something good is happening! The word has gone out about what is taking place in Israel under Solomon and this Queen comes on a royal visit to investigate for herself. She comes bearing great gifts, possibly to display her own wealth?
It wasn't only the wealth she wanted to see, it was also Solomon's wisdom, so she gives him a good grilling and tests him to the utmost. Solomon comes through with flying colours. He has no problem with anything she asks. She hears and she wonders. Then she looks around and sees the incredible affluence, the incredible provision and she is overwhelmed! She can hardly believe her eyes.
In her tribute to Solomon she rightly gives glory to the Lord for she recognises that all this is beyond the natural, this is the gift of God. Observe her words, because of the love of your God (v.8). She recognises something that others miss. All of this is an expression of the love of God. How did it all come about? God chose Solomon and blessed him with wisdom above any other man on the earth. That wisdom AND God's blessing brought about great material prosperity for this people. God designed this world, the material world, for our blessing, and so He blesses Solomon in abundance.
1. True wisdom.
2. The fruit of wisdom.
Chapter: 2 Chron 9
Passage: 2 Chron 9:10-22
A. Find Out:
1. What was brought to Israel & used for what? v.10,11
2. What did Solomon give the Queen of Sheba? v.12
3. What did Solomon receive & what did he make? v.13-16
4. What else did he make? v.17-19
5. What else did he do with the gold? v.20
6. How was he supplied and how was he known? v.21,22
1. Where did all Solomon's riches come from?
2. What must it have been like in Israel at that time?
3. What is the overall picture conveyed?
This chapter conveys the most staggering prosperity of any king recoded in Israel . The end verse we've read for today declares it all: King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than ALL the other kings of the earth, i.e. he's the richest man in the world!
Where did it all come from? Abroad? Who brought it? His own men and those who served him in the alliance with King Hiram of Tyre ( 8:18 , 9:10 ,21). Whether the gold and other materials was taken as tribute from other nations, simply taken, or taken in trade is not revealed, but the fact is that vast wealth poured into the country during Solomon's reign. Whatever else this shows, it shows his incredible international influence; this wasn't just something internal to the nation.
The result of all this, it seems, it that wherever you turned near Solomon you came across gold gold decorative shields, a gold throne, and gold utensils. Whether the ordinary people would have gained benefit is unclear, but at least vast numbers of them would have been employed by him and so had work.
The picture conveyed is of incredible wealth. Where did it all come from? From the result of the wisdom given to Solomon by God. Is God against riches? No, just against unrighteousness. Riches gained by righteous means are just part of God's blessing.
1. Riches as a blessing?
2. God's station in life for us?
Chapter: 2 Chron 9
Passage: 2 Chron 9:22-31
A. Find Out:
1. What was happening to Solomon? v.23
2. And so what did they bring? v.24
3. How far did he rule? v.26
4. What did he have in abundance? v.25,27
5. How long did he reign? v.30
6. Who succeeded him? v.31
1. Why, from these verses, was Solomon getting richer and richer?
2. What impression would you have coming into Israel ?
The writer in Chronicles simply gives us the historical facts, not the spiritual causes behind the facts. To see why things happened as they did we'll need to go in the next study to 1 Kings. For now though, the picture that we are given is simply of an incredibly affluent king.
The reason for his affluence is made quite clear: kings all over the earth hear of his wisdom and come and avail themselves of it and, of course, when they come they bring great gifts. The result is that Solomon grows richer and richer. So what was the cause of this great wisdom? It was God; He had gifted Solomon in that way. The tragedy, we'll see in the next study, is that Solomon became complacent and even disobedient.
The case of Solomon almost seems to be a materialistic case history where it is as if God says, See, it doesn't matter how materially prosperous I make you, Sin will still break through. The person who wants to solve all the world's problems by making each person wealthy is naïve. The basis of the world's problems is Sin. Solomon shows us this. He was given incredible WISDOM from God, and then incredible RICHES but neither stopped him being seduced into idolatry and foolishness.
Solomon is a classic case that reminds us that we need the salvation of God through His Son, Jesus Christ; we need the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit, for material prosperity will not make us good people!
1. Proper foundations
2. Our primary need.
A. Find Out:
NB. To appreciate the aboves, we need to read the record of 1 Kings 11
1. What had Solomon done? v.1
2. What had the Lord warned? v.2
3. Yet what had happened? v.3-6
4. How had Solomon compounded this? v.7,8
5. What was the Lord's reaction? v.9,10
6. What did He say would happen? v.11-13
1. In your own words, what was Solomon's failure?
2. What was the Lord's decree about the future?
Chronicles shows Solomon whiter than white but the writer in Kings speaks out the spiritual realities concerning the end of his reign. What is amazing about this is that this man was credited with being the wisest man in all the world yet he fell.
What was the fall he ended up with many foreign wives, all of whom worshipped their own pagan gods, and to appease or please them Solomon allowed, then supported, and then wholly joined in their false worship. Solomon, the wisest man in the whole world, had fully gone down the path of deception and untruth that the Lord has warned against.
How did such a thing come about? We're not told, but temptations come in small lots usually. First there would be one foreign wife, then another, then another and so on. Sin creeps up on us until it totally pervades.
God's judgement on this is amazing. Instead of completely wiping out Solomon and the nation, He makes room for future possible good to come. He's going to take the nation out of Solomon's family they can't be trusted but he will yet leave them and one other tribe, perhaps just to see if they can get it right. Perhaps this is a strategy of containment and possibility. This is why the story continues as it does!
2. Creeping sin.
RECAP - "Splendour & Failure" - 2 Chronicles 8 & 9
In this third group of 6 studies we have seen :
- Solomon's building work (8:1-6)
- Solomon's work force (8:7-10)
- Solomon's palace for Pharaoh's daughter (8:11)
- Solomon's sacrifices & the work completed (8:12-18)
- The Queen of Sheba 's state visit (9:1-12)
- Solomon's immense wealth (9:13 -28)
- Solomon's death (9:29 -31)
- Solomon's failure (1 Kings 11:1-13)
We are confronted in these two chapters with the staggering wealth that Solomon has at this time. We might ask, why is such a record given in the Scriptures? What is the point? The point, surely, must be to see the incredible result of God-given wisdom, for that is what has brought about all this splendour. To make the point even more strongly we are told about the visit of the Queen of Sheba who is overwhelmed by what she sees.
Within the Chronicles record so far, there has been no indication of Solomon's spiritual fall, which is the reason for the events that will follow. For that we had to turn to the record in 1 Kings. The tragedy of Solomon is that here is a man who is blessed by God almost beyond any other man before or after, but Sin still works in him and brings spiritual decline. How tragic!
1. God's wisdom brings material blessing with it.
2. Material blessing is not enough to counter Sin..
Thank the Lord for the degree of material blessing you know. Ask Him to keep you from complacency in affluence. Ask Him to constantly draw your heart to Him.
PART 4 : "The Nation Divided"
In this next final Part we will see the division that came about as a result of God removing His blessing from the land. Will the following leaders have learnt anything from the Lord? Not much!