June 7, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Kings 7:1-51

So Solomon builds the Temple. No big deal, right? WRONG. This is one of the most monumental moments in all of scripture! We build houses for ourselves, but he got to build one for God. It’s everything David had prepared for. It’s what Moses longed for. Pretty much from here on out, this little piece of real estate is a focal point in Biblical history. And after that, Solomon gets to build his “little cabin in the woods”. Ok… the famed palace of Solomon was pretty sweet.

Here are a few thoughts I had after studying this string of chapters and soaking in its significance:

1) We stand on the shoulders of giants. While Solomon and his crew did the building of the Temple and his palace, they wouldn’t have caught this vision if it weren’t for David. David wouldn’t have understood the significance if it weren’t for Jesse, Samuel, and Saul. The list precedes them… all the way back to Adam. We MUST learn from those that have gone before us.

2) We can’t do it alone. These tasks were far too big and time consuming for Solomon to tackle on his own. He needed the priests, Levites, and the countless laborers to get the job done. There were probably people who knew how to do things better and more efficiently, so there was no room for pride. Rarely will we accomplishing great things for the Kingdom on our own. God’s plan is the Church for a reason. We’re on a team. We’ll win as a team.

3) God wants things done His way. Solomon would have been removed from this task if he tried to take things into his own hands. The Lord would have raised up another in his place. Solomon would have missed out on such incredible blessings. Instead, he was careful to do it the way God wanted it done.

“Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the Lord was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of the Lord.” (1 Kings 7:51, ESV)

4) The Lord must come first, even before our “needs”. I like that we read in chapter 6 that God’s house was built first. Only then did Solomon get his kingly palace that we read about today. We can learn from this >> Colossians teaches us that in all things, Christ must be preeminent, or have first place.

What did you learn from today’s reading or this cool string of chapters?

Honor Jesus, CPC!

Posted by: Todd Thomas


June 6, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Kings 6:1-38

But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,

“’Heaven is my throne,

and the earth is my footstool.

What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,

or what is the place of my rest?

Did not my hand make all these things?” (Acts 7:47-50)

The passage listed above is an excerpt from Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7 right before they stoned him to death. Why would Stephen reference the building of the temple in this way? I think that Stephen was thinking back to what the purpose of the Temple was and not the beauty of its structure.

As we read in the passage today we see the intricate detail and beauty of the temple. It was the dwelling place of The Lord so, of course, it was going to be the best. But the temple itself was not what was important. In verses 12-14, we see that God’s concern was that the people of Israel obey his commands and keep his statutes. In other words worship him with their lives. Why did God want Israel to obey him? Because he wanted to dwell among them and have a relationship with his children.

Even in the Old Testament days, God always desired a relationship with his people and deserved their worship. The temple was beautiful and it was important that Solomon do a good job. However, Solomon could never build anything for The Lord that would impress him because nothing that Solomon did was done without God giving it to him in the first place. God desires our worship not our works.

In our passage today we see that Solomon built the temple and God saw it as good. Not because of how it looked but the heart that Solomon had in building it. Unfortunately as you read further you will see how Solomon loses sight of God’s instruction in verses 12-14 and goes astray. So do most of the kings that follow him. Due to their lack of worship God eventually casts Israel out of the Promised Land into Exile.

Many of us start well in our Christian walk and desire that intimate relationship with God daily. But somewhere along the line we forget, like Solomon did, the very purpose for all of our religious acts. Let us all take the warning from Stephen today and remember that God desires our worship not our works.

Posted by: Chad Wiles

June 5, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Kings 5:1-18

Fulfilling my Purpose

Each one of us was created by God to fulfill a purpose – a part of building God’s kingdom.  God planned this before we were even born.

But even before I [Apostle Paul] was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.  Galatians 1:15-16a

A big part of Solomon’s purpose, was to build the Temple – a project started by his father David – one he was unable to complete.  Solomon was up for the task because God equipped him for it.

God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. – Anonymous

This quote gives me comfort – God is the one who calls and equips!  All I have to do is be available and obedient!  What God calls us to do is God-sized and we always go through a “Crisis of Belief” (Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God).  If we adjust, and obey – we can experience God in ways we’ve only dreamed about.

Solomon was confident in the call of God.  Solomon utilized resources and others around him to accomplish the purpose God made him for.  As a result, a beautiful temple was built to honor the true and living God.

What did God make you for?  Are you fulfilling your purpose?  Maybe you don’t know what it is – seek God and find out.  Then get about the business of doing it.  In that you will find the maximum joy in life.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

June 4, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Kings 4:1-34

The last two CPC jumpstart devotions and passages of Scripture from 1 Kings have focused on King Solomon’s wisdom and today’s passage is no different. Today’s scripture starts off with the names and positions of King Solomon’s officials (1 Kings 4:1-19) and then ends with details of the abundant fruit that was coming from King Solomon’s God-given wisdom (1 Kings 4:20-34). Fruit such as happiness (v. 20), honor (v. 21), provision (vs. 22-24), peace with other countries (v. 24), safety (v. 25), security and protection (vs. 26-28), wisdom beyond measure that produced 3,000 proverbs and over 1,000 songs (vs. 29-32), great knowledge of nature and animals (v. 33), and recognition from people of all nations (v. 34).

After reading the last two devotions and today’s, it can be easy to walk away being quite impressed by King Solomon and his wisdom. I mean, just reread the above paragraph and tell me of any ruler, king or president who was able to accomplish all of the above (this is where the diehard republicans foolishly defend Ronald Reagan and the diehard democrats foolishly argue for Bill Clinton in our jumpstart comments section 😉 ). You can’t… but Jesus can. As wise and great as Solomon was, He was just a foreshadow of the wisdom and greatness of Jesus Christ and I’m going to let Philip Graham Ryken explain how:

“What was Jesus teaching when he said, “Something greater than Solomon is here” (Luke 11:31)? In saying this, Jesus was assuming that his hearers were familiar with the biblical background of Solomon’s life and at the same time affirming the glories of Solomon’s kingdom. The comparison Jesus makes is premised on Solomon’s greatness.

This is indicated in the immediate context by the reference Jesus makes to the Queen of Sheba, who traveled a great distance to test Solomon’s vaunted wisdom for herself. It is also confirmed elsewhere in the Gospels, such as the reference Jesus makes to “Solomon in all his glory” in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:29). Jesus believed that there was something great about Solomon, and so did his hearers.

Jesus also believed—rightly, and not immodestly—that he was greater than Solomon. He does not specify in what ways he is greater than Solomon, however, which invites us to draw some of our own conclusions. Jesus is greater in the mere fact of his deity; whereas Solomon was only human, Jesus is also divine. Jesus is greater in his superior wisdom, which is infinite in its knowledge of the truth. Jesus is greater in his vast wealth; as the Lord of heaven and earth, he owns everything. Jesus is greater in the extent of his kingdom, which spans the entire universe.

And so on: these are only the most obvious examples.

Put simply, Jesus is greater than Solomon in every way. By making this comparison, Jesus was inviting his hearers to acknowledge his supreme and kingly majesty. If the Queen of Sheba acknowledged Solomon as a superior sovereign, how much more we should give Jesus the honor of our praise and the loyalty of our obedience.1

Posted by: Erik Koliser