Tuesday after the Seventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 1-3 (NKJV)
1:1 Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly.
2 And Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses. 3 Then Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for the tabernacle of meeting with God was there, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. 4 But David had brought up the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim to the place David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. 5 Now the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD; Solomon and the assembly sought Him there. 6 And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
7 On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
8 And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, O LORD God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 10 Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”
11 And God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king—12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”
13 So Solomon came to Jerusalem from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the tabernacle of meeting, and reigned over Israel.
14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15 Also the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland. 16 And Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. 17 They also acquired and imported from Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred and fifty; thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.
2:1 Then Solomon determined to build a temple for the name of the LORD, and a royal house for himself. 2 Solomon selected seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them.
3 Then Solomon sent to Hiram king of Tyre, saying:
As you have dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build himself a house to dwell in, so deal with me. 4 Behold, I am building a temple for the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to Him, to burn before Him sweet incense, for the continual showbread, for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and on the set feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.
5 And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. 6 But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him?
7 Therefore send me at once a man skillful to work in gold and silver, in bronze and iron, in purple and crimson and blue, who has skill to engrave with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided.
8 Also send me cedar and cypress and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants have skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and indeed my servants will be with your servants, 9 to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the temple which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful. 10 And indeed I will give to your servants, the woodsmen who cut timber, twenty thousand kors of ground wheat, twenty thousand kors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
11 Then Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon:
Because the LORD loves His people, He has made you king over them.
12 Hiram also said:
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, for He has given King David a wise son, endowed with prudence and understanding, who will build a temple for the LORD and a royal house for himself!
13 And now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman 14 (the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre), skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple and blue, fine linen and crimson, and to make any engraving and to accomplish any plan which may be given to him, with your skillful men and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.
15 Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants. 16 And we will cut wood from Lebanon, as much as you need; we will bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa, and you will carry it up to Jerusalem. 17 Then Solomon numbered all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, after the census in which David his father had numbered them; and there were found to be one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred. 18 And he made seventy thousand of them bearers of burdens, eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountain, and three thousand six hundred overseers to make the people work.
3:1 Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 And he began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.
3 This is the foundation which Solomon laid for building the house of God:
The length was sixty cubits (by cubits according to the former measure) and the width twenty cubits. 4 And the vestibule that was in front of the sanctuary was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the height was one hundred and twenty.
He overlaid the inside with pure gold. 5 The larger room he paneled with cypress which he overlaid with fine gold, and he carved palm trees and chainwork on it.
6 And he decorated the house with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was gold from Parvaim. 7 He also overlaid the house—the beams and doorposts, its walls and doors—with gold; and he carved cherubim on the walls.
8 And he made the Most Holy Place. Its length was according to the width of the house, twenty cubits, and its width twenty cubits. He overlaid it with six hundred talents of fine gold. 9 The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold; and he overlaid the upper area with gold.
10 In the Most Holy Place he made two cherubim, fashioned by carving, and overlaid them with gold. 11 The wings of the cherubim were twenty cubits in overall length: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, touching the wall of the room, and the other wing was five cubits, touching the wing of the other cherub; 12 one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, touching the wall of the room, and the other wing also was five cubits, touching the wing of the other cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubim spanned twenty cubits overall. They stood on their feet, and they faced inward.
14 And he made the veil of blue, purple, crimson, and fine linen, and wove cherubim into it.
15 Also he made in front of the temple two pillars thirty-five cubits high, and the capital that was on the top of each of them was five cubits. 16 He made wreaths of chainwork, as in the inner sanctuary, and put them on top of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the wreaths of chainwork. 17 Then he set up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand and the other on the left; he called the name of the one on the right hand Jachin, and the name of the one on the left Boaz.
The Lord invites Solomon to pray, “Ask! What shall I give you?” (1:7). This is an open-ended invitation from the Lord Who is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). Solomon asks for wisdom and knowledge. This is a good prayer. What makes it a good prayer is that he desires wisdom and knowledge so that he can faithfully discharge the duties of his vocations and complete his God-given tasks for the benefit of his people. He sees the task before him and says, “Who can judge this great people of yours?” (1:10). The new king sees his tasks and realizes that by his own strength, power, and will, he is inadequate to rule God’s people for their good. To truly rule them for their benefit he’ll need divine wisdom and understanding.
What was true for Solomon is true for us as well. As we read yesterday, everyone has several vocations, or holy callings from God. These are given to us, not for our own benefit (though we should enjoy them), but for the benefit of our neighbor. Christ then commands us to pray to God the Father for everything we need in this life. If God the Father gave Solomon wisdom and knowledge to fulfill his vocations, “how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit creates and nourishes your faith so that you trust God’s mercy. The Spirit bears His fruit in your life, all of which summarized in the word “love,” both for God and neighbor.
Heavenly Father, graciously give us Thy Holy Spirit that we may love Thee with our whole heart and gladly serve our neighbor in the vocations Thou hast given us. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.