June 4-June 10
Israel’s third king is Solomon, David’s son. Before David passes away, he gives his son important advice: “...keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in His ways...that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.” (1 Kings 2:3)
After having his reign established, Solomon prays that God would make him wise. God grants this prayer. Solomon was renowned as the wisest man alive. He is the author of the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon -- three of the five Wisdom Books in the Old Testament. He was also one of the wealthiest people to have ever lived. His time as king coincides with Israel’s greatest period of wealth, safety, and prosperity. He oversees the building of the first temple in Jerusalem, where God’s presence dwells among His people.
The overarching theme of Solomon’s life is manifested in his failure to heed David’s advice -- to walk in the Lord’s ways. Before entering the Promised Land, the Lord commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with the Canaanite people (Deuteronomy 7:3). Solomon did not obey this command. In fact, we are told that he “loved many foreign women.” Instead of clinging to the Lord, Solomon’s heart “clung to these [women] in love.” (1 Kings 11:1, 2) In turn, he does not lead the Israelites to worship the Lord alone, but sets up high places, or altars, to the false gods of his non-Israelite wives. A heart that clings to something other than God finds itself ensnared in sin. That is certainly true of Solomon’s life, but is also a reality for all of humanity. The end of Solomon’s reign marks the end of the united kingdom of Israel and the beginning of the nation’s downward spiral toward exile.
OLD TESTAMENT VISUALIZED
THE TEMPLE, DESCRIBED IN 1 KINGS 6
1 Kings 8:1-11, 52-66
Worship, Thanksgiving, & Joy + Fellowship of Believers
Our passage today details Solomon’s worshipful response to the temple’s completion. All of Israel congregates in Jerusalem to join the celebration. Thus, we focus on these rich family ingredients -- Worship, Thanksgiving & Joy and Fellowship of Believers. Solomon worships the Lord, who alone is God, and who has kept His covenant of love. He praises God that none of His promises have failed. He even prays that God would turn their hearts toward Him, realizing their weaknesses. The Israelites’ celebration continues for 14 days! There are so many sacrifices, they cannot be contained in one area. As we worship together, we acknowledge God’s love and power, as well as our inadequacies. He is God and we are not. Knowing this, we can fall before Him who makes us holy through His Son, Jesus. May our worship as a family and with our church family be uncontainable with joy, overflowing and glorifying to Him.
- What did Solomon build for God? For what purpose?
- What did Solomon do after the temple was completed?
- What was God’s response to their worship? Hint: 1 Kings 8:10-11.
- How big is God? Where is He? Does He live in a building?
- God’s presence is uncontainable. The sacrifices of Solomon were so large in number that they could not be contained (see verses 62-64). How can we show our uncontainable praise to God?
Activity 1: Family Worship
In preparation, think of worship songs that your family could sing. Watch the worship video (listed below) together and talk about some of the amazing things God has made. Then, worship and pray. Added twist: after the video, go outside for worship and prayer under the stars. Go to Youtube and enter “Indescribable - Encounter Worship (Chris Tomlin) (Lyrics) HD.”
Activity 2: Balloon Praise
Write things you are thankful for on inflated balloons with permanent marker. Play music and bat balloons around. When music stops, shout thanks to God ending with a big AMEN!
Small Group Discussion
- What principle is there to follow?
- Where do you find your value?
- Do you feel as though God has specifically called you to something?
- In examining your own life, is there an area of your heart that clings to something other than God?