The Church = Where Ordinary People Find Extraordinary Hope

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 8:31-40.  Let’s go!  

1 Kings 8:38-39 (NIV) 
38 and when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel–each one aware of the afflictions of his own heart, and spreading out his hands toward this temple– 
39 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place…

On verses 31-40:  Here Solomon prays that when people in Israel encounter various problems — whether it’s having wronged a neighbour (v31), being defeated by an enemy (v33), suffering from famine (v35) or some other form of disaster or disease (v37) — they will find hope, healing, and help whenever they prayed to God “in this temple” (v31, 33) or even “toward this temple” (v35, 39).  He prays that in each of these cases God would “hear from heaven” (v32, 34, 36, 39, and repeated three more times from verses 41 to 53) and respond with His help and forgiveness.  

Step Into Your Destiny as a Priest in God’s Kingdom

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 8:22-30.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 8:22 (NIV) 
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 

On verses 22-30:  Here we see King Solomon leading the entire assembly of Israelites in prayer at the dedication service for the newly constructed temple.  This was Solomon’s most glorious moment where he steps into his role not only as a ruler but as a spiritual leader and priest for the people he is leading.  Just like David wore the linen ephod as a priest would and danced before God with all his might (2 Samuel 6:14), here Solomon is taking on the equivalent of a priestly role, praying on behalf of the nation.

God’s Preferred Real Estate

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 8:12-21. Let’s go!

1 Kings 8:16 (NIV) 
16 ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built for my Name to be there, but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’ 

On verses 12-21:  After a cloud of God’s presence has miraculously filled the temple (v11), Solomon tells God that this temple is for Him to dwell in (v12-13).  He then blesses the entire assembly of Israelites (v14) and tells them about how God faithfully fulfilled the promises He made to Solomon’s father David (v15).  Then in verse 16, Solomon quotes God as saying: 

“Since the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.” (v16) 

Longing for More of God’s Powerful Presence

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 8:1-11.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 8:1-5 (NIV) 
1 Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. 
2 All the men of Israel came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month. 
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, 
4 and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the Tent of Meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up, 
5 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted. 

Seek God’s Kingdom First and Everything Else You Need and More Will Be Added

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 7:1-51.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 7:1 (NIV) 
1 It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace. 

On verses 1-12:  Whereas it took Solomon 7 years to complete the construction of the temple, it took him 13 years to complete the construction of his own palace.  What does that tell us?  One theory is that at this time in Solomon’s life, the kingdom of God was more important than his own kingdom.  So when it came to deciding which should take priority — God’s temple or Solomon’s palace — Solomon chose to work first on God’s temple. The fact that the building of Solomon’s own palace is sandwiched in between two long passages about Solomon work on the temple further supports the theory that for Solomon, his first priority was the house of God.  As a result, the house of God was blessed, and Solomon’s own house was blessed.

How God Wants His House to Be Built

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 6:1-38.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 6:7 (NIV) 
7 In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built. 

On verses 1-10:  In verses 1 through 10 Solomon gets busy building the temple. Interestingly, according to verse 7, Solomon went to great lengths to make sure that the sound of construction tools could be not heard at the temple site.  He did this by moulding, shaping and dressing all the building blocks for the temple off-site.  Then he would bring them to the temple site where they could be quietly placed and displayed for everyone to see.   To casual onlookers, it might seem like the temple quietly sprung up overnight, since they did not hear many construction sounds, when in fact much of the hard work had been done off-site.

God Wants to Build His Church Through You

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 5:1-18.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 5:3-5 (NIV) 
3 “You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet. 
4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. 
5 I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’ 

On verses 1-5:  In these verses King Solomon communicates with King Hiram of Tyre, a long time ally of his father David.  King Solomon discloses to King Hiram his ambition to build a temple where people can worship the Lord.  Solomon notes that this was also his father David’s desire, but David was not able to build the temple because he was always fighting the enemies surrounding him.

How to Be Amazed at What God Does In and Through Your Life

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 4:20-34. Let’s go!

On verses 20-34:  Previously in 1 Kings 3:4-15, Solomon asked the Lord for a wise and discerning heart so that he could govern the nation of Israel for God’s glory.  In response to Solomon’s request, God promised that He would not only give Solomon a wise and discerning heart, but also unparalleled riches and honor “so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings” (v13).

The rest of 1 Kings 3 and all of 1 Kings 4 show God fulfilling His promises to Solomon.  1 Kings 4:20-28 speak of the great prosperity that Solomon and his people enjoyed.  Verses 29 to 34 speak of the unparalleled “wisdom and very great insight, and breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore” (v.29) that God gave Solomon.

It Takes a Team to Run a Kingdom

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 4:1-19.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-19:  Here we see that King Solomon “ruled over all Israel” (v1) by delegating different parts of the kingdom to various people, whom he trusted to help him govern the kingdom well (v2-19).  What can we learn from this?

1.  When the project is too large for any one person to handle, a wise leader will delegate different responsibilities to trustworthy individuals.  As a kingdom grows, it takes not just one individual but a strong and excellent team to lead it.  What is one area of your life where it would be more effective to delegate, outsource or at least seek advice rather than you trying to figure it all out by yourself?  

When In Doubt, Bring Out Your Sword

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 3:16-28.  Let’s go!

On verses 16-28:  As proof that God had answered Solomon’s prayer for a wise and discerning heart, here we see Solomon displaying superior wisdom in dealing with a difficult situation where two prostitutes argue over who is the true mother of a new born baby boy.  Since neither side would budge, Solomon asks for a sword and orders that the child be cut in two.  One of the women cannot bear to see the baby boy cut in two and asks the king to give the baby to the other woman.  King Solomon rules that the surrendering woman is the real mother.

What can we learn from this?  When Solomon did not know which side to listen to, he asks for a sword.  Similarly, when you face a question where you’re not sure what the answer is, ask for a sword; that is, look to the Word of God.  Over and over the Bible is likened to a sword.  Paul calls the Word of God the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18).