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1. The Promise ( Secret Garden )

The Promise ( Secret Garden )

photoi by Alicja Rodzik, letter by me !

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3. The Promise

The Promise

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5. Secret Garden - The Promise (Remix by Unknown)

Secret Garden - The Promise (Remix by Unknown)

Art by Zach Terrell. http://society6.com/artist/zachterrell

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6. The Promise - Secret Garden (Ambient Electro) cover by Europa's Ocean

The Promise - Secret Garden (Ambient Electro) cover by Europa's Ocean

I did a cover for one of my favorite artist Secret Garden. This is an ambient electro Cover.

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7. The Promise - Secret Garden. REPLAY

The Promise - Secret Garden. REPLAY

Original Artist : Secret Garden. Replayed : kembang ilalang

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9. The Promise ( by Secret Garden cover by me )

The Promise ( by Secret Garden cover by me )

I played this song for someone, as a promise... and im sorry for some mistakes in this song, i record two instruments in my mobile ^^ . Photo by my friend Felicia Simion.

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12. NO MAN'S LAND - January 28 - Radio Mix 2016

NO MAN'S LAND - January 28 - Radio Mix 2016

NO MAN'S LAND Playlist – January 28, 2016 Tune in locally on CIUT 89.5 FM every Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm (EST) or listen live online at www.ciut.fm ARTIST – ALBUM – TRACK – LABEL 6:00pm 1. Nada – Butterfly Dawn - Earthgarden – Dragonfly Records 2. Anro - Chilly Peppers Vol. 1 – Tranquilo – Beats & Pieces 3. E.R.S. - Rebelized - Our Speciality - Independent 4. Kaleidoscope Jukebox – Of Light - Independent 5. AfroQBen – Liquid Gold - Dream The Impossible – Timewarp Records 6:30pm 6. Govinda – Amethyst Noise - Passion of the Promise - Independent 7. Plantrae – Single - Resistance is Fertile - Independent 8. Wildlight - Hers Was as Thunder (Remixes) - Live Inside a Dream (Psydell Remix) – Jumpsuit Records 9. Drumspyder – Kytheria - Midnight Prowl – Dakini Records 10. Al Jawala – Blast Your Echo Remixes - Talibanski Dub (Umberto Echo Dubmix) –Jawa Records 7:00pm 11. AtYyA - Close To Me EP - Amoebas - Independent 12. Auma – Interacting Processing - Settle And Release - Independent 13. Banco de Gaia - Ollopa: Apollo Remixed - Apollon (Kaya Project Remix) - Independent 14. Desert Dwellers – Single - Ras Mandala (Quade Remix) – Desert Trax 15. Kalya Scintilla – Shimmer EP – Tribal Generator - Independent 7:30pm 16. Tor - The Secret Garden - Heikki - Independent 17. Saqi - Quest's End - When You Hear Me Prayin' ft. KMLN & Santino Rice – Independent 18. Nako – Mind Gap - Dream Forever - Independent 19. Desert Dwellers – The Great Mystery Remixes 1 - Our Dream World (Drumspyder Remix) – Desert Trax 20. Gaudi - Bass, Sweat & Tears – Sufani – interchill 21. Shamans Dream – Prana Pulse - The Way Through - Independent

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13. Dengannya

Dengannya

backsound: The Promise-Secret Garden

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14. Deuteronomy 9-16 (Worshiping God, How to be Blessed, & Living for God and People)

Deuteronomy 9-16 (Worshiping God, How to be Blessed, & Living for God and People)

Deuteronomy 9 - The Battles Ahead and the Failures Behind A. Considering the battles ahead. 1. (1-2) The difficulty of the battles ahead. Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, “Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?” a. Go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself: God was leading Israel into something too big for them. It was a challenge they could only meet if they trusted in God. b. Cities great and fortified up to heaven: The cities they would battle against were mighty and the people they would battle against were great and tall. Yet God had called them to enter into this seemingly impossible battle. i. There was no way Israel could do this in the flesh, or on their strength. God commanded them to do something that was just beyond their ability to do in themselves. ii. Obviously, God did not inspire Israel with a false sense of confidence or hype. He wanted them to realistically know what the battle ahead would be like. iii. In the same way, Jesus never calls us with hype or false promises that would lead to false confidence. He plainly says, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24) Jesus let us know right from the beginning that following Him would require giving God everything. 2. (3) Why victory is possible with the difficult battles ahead. Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you. a. Understand today: Just as much as Israel had to understand the impossibility of the battle on their own, they also must understand the certainty of victory in the LORD. b. The LORD your God is He who goes before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them: It was a battle too big for Israel, but not too big for the LORD. Israel could know both facts: That in themselves, the job was impossible (without Me you can do nothing, John 15:5), but in God the battle could not be lost (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4;13). c. He will destroy them: God was also calling Israel to a partnership in winning the battles. He will destroy them does not contradict you shall quickly drive them out and destroy them quickly. Was God going to do it, or was Israel going to do it? Both, really - God was calling Israel to workers together with Him (2 Corinthians 6:1). d. Destroy them quickly: God did not want the Israelites to show mercy to the Canaanites. He wanted Israel to be a unique army of judgment against the Canaanites and their culture, which was so depraved that it deserved this kind of judgment. i. Archaeologist William F. Albright, in his book From the Stone Age to Christianity, describes what the primary focus of Canaanite religion was: sex. The featured idols recovered by archaeologists are hundreds of nude female forms in sexually suggestive forms, as well as male idols associated with homosexual cults (From the Stone Age to Christianity, pages 232-235). ii. “Thus the Canaanites, with their orgiastic nature-worship, their cult of fertility in the form of serpent symbols and sensuous nudity, and their gross mythology, were replaced by Israel.” (Albright, page 281). 3. (4-6) The danger of pride when the LORD gives them victory. Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, “Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land”; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you. It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people. a. Do not think in your heart: Israel’s temptation to pride did not come in something they would actually say. Long before we will say proud words we think proud thoughts in our heart. Therefore Israel must not think in their heart that it was because of their righteousness that the LORD has given them the land. i. This is a preview of salvation by grace through faith, in which we cannot think that it is our righteousness that has obtained it. Instead, it is the righteousness we have received in Jesus Christ. ii. When we receive any gift from God, we are tempted to take it and use it to glorify ourselves. Israel must not do this in regard to the gift of the Promised Land, and we must not do it in regard to any gift the LORD would give us. iii. Sayings or proverbs of the ancient world reflect man’s desire to earn his own righteousness and justification before God. “I will not have heaven for nothing” said one, and another said “Give me heaven, for Thou owe it to me.” The same idea is expressed in an old Roman Catholic teaching that dying men should pray, “LORD, join my righteousness with Christ’s righteousness” as if the two together could accomplish something. Instead, we look to the righteousness of Jesus alone. b. For you are a stiff-necked people: The idea is that Israel, like a rebellious domestic animal, would stiffen its neck against the yoke God would put upon it. They would not submit to God’s direction in their life. i. Stiff-necked “is a figurative expression for stubborn, intractable, obdurate, and hardheaded.” (Kalland) B. The stiff-necked character of Israel is demonstrated in their past failures. 1. (7) A call to remember their past rebellions. Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD. a. Remember and do not forget: God’s purpose in reminding Israel of their rebellions against Him was not to discourage them or to make them feel defeated. The purpose was so that they would recognize their own weakness and trust in Him. b. You have been rebellious against the LORD: The same idea is communicated in the New Testament at 1 Corinthians 10:12: Therefore let him who things he stands take heed lest he fall. When we remember our sinful nature, we walk in the poverty of spirit Jesus said was essential to a life of blessing (Matthew 5:3). 2. (8-21) Remembering the rebellion at Mount Horeb. Also in Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry enough with you to have destroyed you. When I went up into the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water. Then the LORD delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass, at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant. Then the LORD said to me, “Arise, go down quickly from here, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have acted corruptly; they have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them; they have made themselves a molded image.” Furthermore the LORD spoke to me, saying, “I have seen this people, and indeed they are a stiff-necked people. Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.” So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire; and the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. And I looked, and behold, you had sinned against the LORD your God; had made for yourselves a molded calf! You had turned aside quickly from the way which the LORD had commanded you. Then I took the two tablets and threw them out of my two hands and broke them before your eyes. And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you committed in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the LORD was angry with you, to destroy you. But the LORD listened to me at that time also. And the LORD was very angry with Aaron and would have destroyed him; so I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. Then I took your sin, the calf which you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it and ground it very small, until it was as fine as dust; and I threw its dust into the brook that descended from the mountain. a. Also in Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath: This recalls the events at Mount Sinai, where Israel worshipped a golden calf when Moses was gone a long time on Mount Sinai, receiving the law from the LORD (Exodus 19-32). b. Written with the finger of God: The original tablets of the law Moses received on Mount Sinai were actually written by God Himself, and contained the Ten Commandments (all the words which the LORD had spoken to you on the mount from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly, found in Exodus 20). c. I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they: God told Moses of His desire to wipe out Israel in judgment, and to start over again with a new nation, descended from Moses himself. d. The mountain burned with fire: The burning fires on Mount Sinai were physical representations of the glory of God and His holy presence. The mountain began to burn when Israel first came to Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:18). Those fires had burned for 40 straight days, and they burned at the very time Israel made a golden calf and began to worship it. e. I took the two tablets and threw them out of my two hands and broke them before your eyes: Moses broke the tablets, “Not by an unbridled passion, but in zeal for God’s honour, and by direction of God’s Spirit, to signify to the people, that the covenant between God and them contained in those tables was broken and made void, and they were now quite cast out of God’s favor, and could expect nothing from him but fiery indignation and severe justice.” (Poole) f. For I was afraid: The Hebrew word here is a rare word, translated in the Septuagint by the strong word ekphobos, which means “exceedingly frightened” or “stricken with terror.” When he saw the sin of Israel and knew the holiness of God, Moses was very afraid for the sake of the people of Israel. g. I prayed for Aaron also: Aaron’s sin, detailed in Exodus 32, was so bad, that he surely would have been destroyed by the LORD - except Moses prayed for him. This shows both the prevailing power of Moses’ prayer and the great love in the heart of Moses. h. Burned it with fire and crushed it and ground it very small: Moses burnt the idol, ground it up, and sprinkled it in the people’s drinking water for three reasons. · To show this god was nothing and could be destroyed easily · To completely obliterate this idol · To make the people pay an immediate consequence of their sin 3. (22-24) Parenthesis: remembering the rebellions at Taberah, Massah, Kibroth Hattaavah, and Kadesh Barnea. Also at Taberah and Massah and Kibroth Hattaavah you provoked the LORD to wrath. Likewise, when the LORD sent you from Kadesh Barnea, saying, “Go up and possess the land which I have given you,” then you rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and you did not believe Him nor obey His voice. You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you. a. Also at Taberah: The name Taberah means “burning,” and in Numbers 11, when the people of Israel first left Mount Sinai to head towards Kadesh Barnea and the Promised Land, they immediately complained and God sent fires of judgment against them at a place they called Taberah because of the burning fires of God’s judgment. b. And Massah: Exodus 17:7 describes the naming of a place called Massah, which means “tempted,” because there Israel provoked the LORD by doubting His loving care and concern for them in the wilderness. c. Kibroth Hattaavah: The name means “graves of craving” and was the place where Israel longed for meat instead of manna, and God gave them meat. However, it became plagued in the mouths of those with greedy and discontent hearts (described in Numbers 11). d. When the LORD sent you from Kadesh Barnea: Moses briefly remembered the rebellion at Kadesh Barnea, where Israel doubted God’s love for them and refused to enter the Promised Land by faith - rebelling against the LORD (Numbers 13-14). e. You did not believe Him nor obey His voice: Israel’s disobedience to God began with their unbelief. They did not believe God loved them and was mighty enough to bring them into the Promised Land. 4. (25-29) Moses’ prayer of intercession for Israel when they rebelled at Mount Horeb. Thus I prostrated myself before the LORD; forty days and forty nights I kept prostrating myself, because the LORD had said He would destroy you. Therefore I prayed to the LORD, and said: “O Lord GOD, do not destroy Your people and Your inheritance whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look on the stubbornness of this people, or on their wickedness or their sin, lest the land from which You brought us should say, ‘Because the LORD was not able to bring them to the land which He promised them, and because He hated them, He has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.’ Yet they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your mighty power and by Your outstretched arm.” a. Therefore I prayed to the LORD: This great prayer of intercession from Moses is described more fully in Exodus 32. Moses asked for mercy upon Israel because of God’s past faithfulness to them (whom You have redeemed). b. Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: Moses asked for mercy upon Israel because of God’s past faithfulness to the patriarchs. c. Lest the land from which You brought us should say, “Because the LORD was not able”: Moses asked for mercy upon Israel because of concern for the glory of God’s own name and His reputation among the nations. d. Your people . . . Your inheritance . . . You brought out . . . Your mighty power . . . Your outstretched arm: Moses asked for mercy upon Israel because they were God’s people. i. We can seek the mercy and power of God through prayer by praying with the same heart and by pleading the same reasons before the LORD. Prayer on solid reasons like these is far more effective than merely casting wishes up towards heaven. · Because of God’s past faithfulness to us · Because of His past faithfulness to our forefathers · Because of His own glory and reputation among the nations · Because we are His people ii. Keeping these things in mind is also a way to refine our prayers. When we pray only for the things consistent with God’s glory, we have our hearts set on the right things. Deuteronomy 10 - Recovering after a Fall A. God’s plan of recovery for Israel after the rebellion at Mount Sinai. 1. (1-5) Israel had to get back to the Word of God, so God commanded the giving of the new tablets of the law. At that time the LORD said to me, “Hew for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to Me on the mountain and make yourself an ark of wood. And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke; and you shall put them in the ark.” So I made an ark of acacia wood, hewed two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain, having the two tablets in my hand. And He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which the LORD had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me. Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, just as the LORD commanded me. a. Hew for yourself two tablets of stone like the first: Moses broke the tablets of the law, not only out of anger, but also as a powerful visual representation of Israel’s breaking of the law of God. Now God commanded that the law be restored by bringing forth two new tablets of the law. b. He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing: God wanted His written word to be the starting point for Israel’s right walk with Him. Therefore He restored the tablets, even writing on the second tablets with His own hand. i. This is a powerful picture of the inspiration of God’s word; though God did not literally write the Scriptures with His own hand, He did perfectly guide the minds and hands of the writers, so that the Scriptures are “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16), that is, given by the inspiration of God. c. And put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are: Getting right with God after a time of rebellion must always begin and center on God’s word. In the days of Josiah, King of Judah, repentance and revival came to the people of God when they focused on God’s word again (2 Kings 22:8-23:25). 2. (6-9) In order to deal with Israel’s sin problem, God established an enduring priesthood. (Now the children of Israel journeyed from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah, where Aaron died, and where he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his stead. From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of rivers of water. At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day. Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, just as the LORD your God promised him.) a. Where Aaron died, and where he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his stead: This parenthesis speaking about the priesthood demonstrated the need for priestly sacrifice and intercession in getting right with God after a time of rebellion. Israel needed the sacrifice, intercession, and blessing that the Levites would bring to the nation. i. The need for a priesthood shouted to Israel: “You can’t do it on your own. You need to come to God through a mediator, who will atone for your sin, pray for you, and bless you. If you refuse your priestly mediator, and trust in your own ability to do these things, you will perish.” b. To stand before the LORD to minister to Him and to bless in His name: Getting right with God after a time of rebellion must always have a focus on the priestly ministry of Jesus on our behalf. This work of Jesus is shown in His atonement for our sin at the cross, on His intercession for us in heaven, and on the blessing that He brings to us from heaven. 3. (10-11) Israel need to move on towards the Promised Land, so God gave Moses the command to go forth. As at the first time, I stayed in the mountain forty days and forty nights; the LORD also heard me at that time, and the LORD chose not to destroy you. Then the LORD said to me, “Arise, begin your journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” a. Arise, begin your journey: Israel’s rebellion at Mount Sinai with the golden calf was significant; it was no small matter. Yet God was not done with them. After they came back to His word and came through His priesthood, it was time to move on. God had a place to take them and they had to get about the business of getting there. b. That they may go in and possess the land: Getting right with God after a time of rebellion must always come to a place of progress again. It does no good to come back to the word, come through God’s priesthood in Jesus, and then remain stuck in the same place. God wants us to move on with Him, and when we are walking right with God again, we will go in and possess the land. B. What God requires of Israel. 1. (12-13) What the LORD requires of His people. And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? a. Fear the LORD your God: God requires from us a reverential honor towards Him; not a fear that would make us shrink back, but a heart that so honors God that we would be hesitant to offend Him. b. To walk in all His ways: God requires us to live our lives after the pattern He has set for us; to walk on His road not on our own. c. To love Him: God requires us to love Him. This means the love He expects isn’t a love that just happens, but it is a love that comes from a decision to set our affection upon Him. d. To serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul: God requires us to serve Him, to see all that we do as service unto Him, and to do all that we do as if doing it unto Him. e. To keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes: God requires us to not only know His word, but to keep it - in the sense of possessing it in ourselves, and in the sense of protecting it. f. For your good: every command of God is given for our good. They are never given so He can exercise His power, or so He can feel important. Every command He makes is with our best interest in mind, even if we cannot sense it or understand it. 2. (14-15) Why God requires this from Israel. Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. a. The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them: God requires this conduct from His people because they are His special possession. Though heaven and earth belong to God, He set His focus and attention on Israel beginning with their fathers. b. You above all peoples, as it is this day: Being chosen - having the special attention of God focused upon you - is a place of great privilege, but also a place of great responsibility. Israel had a special responsibility to obedience. 3. (16) What it takes to fulfill what God requires. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. a. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart: All males among Israel had to be circumcised eight days after they were born. But this minor surgery was merely a symbol for the real work of cutting away the flesh God that desired; the work of taking our hearts inclined after the flesh and giving us hearts inclined after the spirit. b. And be stiff-necked no longer: This theme would be repeated later in the prophets. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your hearts (Jeremiah 4:4). To fulfill God’s law, it takes more than being given a command - it takes an inner transformation, a transformation that only God can bring. i. God command them to do something that only He could do in them to show them the need to have the inner transformation, and to compel them to seek Him for this inner work. ii. Israel is said to have uncircumcised hearts in Leviticus 26:41, Jeremiah 9:26, and Ezekiel 44:7 and 9. 4. (17-22) A call to obedience, reverence, and compassion. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude. a. The LORD your God is God of gods and LORD of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome: The basis of this brief section of commands is set in the character of God. b. The great God, mighty and awesome: When God requires us to show justice (no partiality nor takes a bribe), compassion (loves the stranger), and reverence (take oaths in His name), it is because these virtues answer to aspects in God’s own character. c. Who has done for you these great and awesome things: The obedience God calls us to is always set in the context of what He did for us. Our service and obedience unto the LORD is based on what He has done for us, and is to be the grateful response to His goodness. If there is a lack in obedience and reverence, there is almost always a lack of appreciation for what the LORD has done. d. He is your praise: This is true in two senses. First, He is the object of our praise; second, He is also the One who makes us praiseworthy. Any wisdom, beauty, or skill we show is not to our praise - but He is your praise. Deuteronomy 11 - Rewards for Obedience and the Choice A. How to be blessed. 1. (1-7) Remember the ways God has already blessed. Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always. Know today that I do not speak with your children, who have not known and who have not seen the chastening of the LORD your God, His greatness and His mighty hand and His outstretched arm; His signs and His acts which He did in the midst of Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to all his land; what He did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and their chariots: how He made the waters of the Red Sea overflow them as they pursued you, and how the LORD has destroyed them to this day; what He did for you in the wilderness until you came to this place; and what He did to Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben: how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, their households, their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the midst of all Israel; but your eyes have seen every great act of the LORD which He did. a. Therefore you shall love the LORD your God: God commanded Israel to love Him. Love is not a matter left entirely up to our impulse or our feelings. We choose to love the LORD or not. i. Additionally, this reminds us of what the LORD really wants from us - our love. We could give Him a hundred other things, but none of it really matters unless we give Him our love. As Jesus said to the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:4: Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. If we lose love, we lose all. b. And keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments: Love for God never goes against His word. Some people think their so-called love for Jesus allows them to disregard His commands, but this isn’t real love at all. i. As Jesus said in John 14:15: If you love Me, keep My commandments. Real love for Jesus always translates into obedience. c. Know today that I do not speak with your children, who have not known and who have not seen: Moses addressed the generation which saw the works of God among Israel, both in blessing and chastening. He spoke to the generation that should know and remember. d. Dathan and Abiram: These were the two key associates - perhaps the instigators - in the rebellion of Korah (Numbers 16), where God vindicated His servant Moses and leader over Israel, when Korah, Dathan, and Abiram challenged Moses’ leadership. e. Which He did . . . what He did . . . how He made . . . how the LORD destroyed them . . . what He did for you . . . what He did . . . every great act of the LORD which He did: Moses called Israel to remember what God did in their history. i. Most of history - both official and personal - is simply concerned with what man has done. But God wants us to look at history and see what He did. We learn far more, and are far more benefited, by looking at what God has done, rather than looking at what man has done. 2. (8-15) Blessings in the new land. Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD swore to give your fathers, to them and their descendants, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year. “And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.” a. Therefore you shall keep every commandment: Remembering what God did in history should lead Israel to greater obedience, and enable them to take the Promised Land. b. A land flowing with milk and honey: The sacrifices in obedience were well worth it for Israel. They had the promise of a land which was far superior to Egypt, which did not need to be artificially irrigated, but was watered by rains which God would send upon the obedient nation. i. In calling Egypt a place where they watered by foot, it refers to the system of artificial irrigation, using foot-driven pumps to lift water from the Nile to nearby fields. Canaan was so rich it did not need this kind of irrigation. c. If you earnestly obey My commandments: God simply promised to provide for Israel if chose to obey Him and put Him first. As Jesus said: seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33). i. The promise of the blessing of rain was important, because one of the attractive of the Canaanite gods was Baal - the god who was said to control the weather and rain. Perhaps the Israelites would be tempted to think, “well, we are in Canaan, and if we want rain, we should worship the Canaanite god of rain.” But the LORD makes it clear that if they would worship and obey Him, He would supply abundant rain. d. The early raid and the latter rain: The early rain fell in October and November, and was important to help soften the ground for plowing and preparing the soil for the seed. The latter rain fell about April, and helped the crops come to final harvest. e. A land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year: God declared His special care for the land of Israel, both then and now. 3. (16-17) The danger of blessing: Turning from God in times of prosperity. Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you. a. Lest your heart be deceived: God had to warn Israel against the deceptions of prosperity. The person who turns from God in prosperity is simply deceived. They believe they are somehow responsible for the blessings received, and become proud and self-reliant. b. He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain: Just such a judgment came upon Israel in the days of Ahab, the wicked king over Israel in the time Elijah was a prophet (1 Kings 17:1). i. The constant need for rain kept Israel in constant dependence on the LORD. It is good for us to have things that keep us in constant dependence on the LORD. We should never despise those things and long for the day when we will no longer need to depend on God as much. 4. (18-21) Blessing is gained by keeping the Word of God always before you. Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth. a. Lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul: God called Israel to not only read the Word of God and to know the Word of God, but to treasure it. In the same way, we should love God’s word and miss it when we are separated from the Word of God. We should call it to mind with longing, having laid it up in our heart and soul. b. Speaking of them: God’s Word was to be the topic of their conversation. We can fairly measure our love for God’s word by how much we will talk about it with others. God doesn’t want us to have a secret love relationship with His word. B. The Choice. 1. (22-25) The promise of blessing. For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do; to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him; then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you. a. To love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him: All the commandments are summarized in these three phrases. Each of these speaks of more than a bare, compelled obedience; they speak of a real relationship of love between God and His people, with obedience flowing naturally from that relationship. b. The LORD will drive out . . . and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations: God promised to fight the battles for an obedient Israel. Many desire God to fight their battles, but have little interest in obeying Him - or cultivating the deep relationship of love which obedience grows from. c. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads: God repeated this promise to Joshua, just when Israel was about to cross over the Jordan River into Canaan (Joshua 1:3). d. No man shall be able to stand against you: When Israel walked in love with the LORD and was obedient to Him, they were unbeatable. No man could defeat them. Greater was God who was with them than he who was in the world! (1 John 4:4) 2. (26-28) The choice: Blessing or cursing? Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. a. Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: The three great elements to the Old Covenant were the law, the sacrifice, and the choice. Israel had a choice - to obey and be blessed, or to disobey and be cursed. It was a cause and effect relationship with God. i. It is important to recognize that we, in Jesus Christ, do not have an Old Covenant relationship with God. We expect to be blessed, not because of our obedience, but because of our position in Jesus. The curse we deserved was laid upon Him (Galatians 3:10-14). Though there may be an inherent curse of consequences in our disobedience or even in the correcting hand of God, under the New Covenant, He does not punish us or curse us - because all that we deserved, past, present, and future, was poured out upon Jesus. b. I set before you today: It was up to Israel. If they wanted to be blessed, then they should walk in obedience (as they were in the days of David and Solomon), but if they disobeyed, they would be cursed (as they were in most of the days of the later kings) i. A choice was required. There was no neutral ground. God wouldn’t just “leave them alone.” It would either be blessing or cursing. c. To go after other gods which you have not known: Inherent in Israel’s disobedience was idolatry. Whenever we walk in disobedience, we exalt ourselves against God - and declaring that our rules, our standards, our desires, are all more important than His. This is idolatry in its most base - and common - form. 3. (29-32) Making the choice known unto the people. Now it shall be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the terebinth trees of Moreh? For you will cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it. And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today. a. You shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal: The recitation of the blessings on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal will be detailed in later chapters. Yet it is plain that God wanted the word to get to the entire nation, because the entire nation was part of this covenant with Him. b. Mount Gerizim . . . Mount Ebal: The name Gerizim is supposed to be associated with fruitful harvests, and the name Ebal is supposed to be associated with barrenness. Deuteronomy 12 - The Worship God Commands A. The place of worship. 1. (1-4) The command to destroy Canaanite places of worship. These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. a. You shall utterly destroy all the places: Before anyone can worship God, there must be some places where he will no longer worship. There must be a destruction of the places where the ungodly worship. i. The practice in the ancient world, which was always short on buildings, was to take a nice building such as a temple previously used to worship a prior god, and simply make it a place to worship one’s own god. The LORD God wanted none of that in His own worship. He commanded that the places of pagan worship be completely destroyed, and that they shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. ii. This is where the worship of many is corrupted. It isn’t that they worship too little; they worship too much. They worship the LORD, and the things of the world. God doesn’t want such worship. It is an abomination to Him. iii. Many could really begin to worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24), if they would only “destroy” in their hearts their pagan places of worship. Because they give their hearts to so many other things, there is little to give to the LORD. b. On the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree: Since much of the pagan worship of the Canaanites was a sexualized worship of fertility and nature, their shrines and temples were often in beautiful outdoor settings. God didn’t want Israel to adopt this approach of worshipping the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). 2. (5-9) The command to worship at God’s appointed place. But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the LORD your God has blessed you. You shall not at all do as we are doing here today; every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you. a. And there you shall go: Worship was not left to the opinion or whim of the individual Israelite. They had to worship God at His prescribed place, and among other worshippers of God. Worship is not a “do as you please” or a “Lone Ranger” activity. b. You shall seek the place: It may not be easy to find the place where God wants you to worship, but it is out there. There is a place where He wants you to worship. He has not called you to follow Him in isolation. c. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices: The place of worship was to be a place of atonement, confession (which was made when hands were laid on the head of the sacrificial victim), and cleansing. d. There you shall take . . . your tithes: The place of worship was to be a place of giving. Of course, there were other places where an Israelite could give and be generous, but giving had to begin at the place of worship God has appointed. i. Some have thought that because Deuteronomy 12:6 mentions your tithes, that this is an additional tithe which was commanded of Israel, on top of the tithe commanded in Numbers 18. Some even call this the “festival tithe.” But in context, this passage is only speaking of where to bring the tithe, not commanding an additional one to be brought. e. There you shall eat before the LORD your God: The place of worship is to be a place of joyful fellowship with God and others. f. Not at all as we are doing here today - every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes: Before Israel crossed over the Jordan, during the wilderness wanderings, each Israelite pretty much conducted their own worship as they pleased. But God was not really pleased with this; worship was not a matter left up to whatever pleased the individual. Real worship is concerned with what pleases God. i. Much of what is called worship in today’s church really isn’t worship. It is self-focused, man-focused, and personal-experience-focused instead of being God focused. Much of today’s worship is measured by how I feel instead of being measured by how God was honored and worshipped. ii. “Singing should be congregational, but it should never be performed for the credit of the congregation. ‘Such remarkable singing! The place is quite renowned for its musical performances!’ This is a poor achievement. Our singing should be such that God hears it with pleasure - singing in which there is not so much art as heart, not so much of musical sound as of spiritual emotion.” (Spurgeon) 3. (10-14) The joy of real worship in God’s appointed place. But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, then there will be the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the LORD. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you. Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see; but in the place which the LORD chooses, in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you. a. There will be the place . . . the place which the LORD chooses: A particular place is important to worship. The man who tells himself, “I can worship God just as well out on the golf course” is a man doing whatever is right in his own eyes. It is fine for him to worship God out on the golf course; but there must also be a specific place where he comes to worship with God’s people. i. This goes against the trend of our times. Studies find that among baby-boomers, 70% say that you should attend worship services not out of a sense of duty, but only if it “meets your needs.” 80% say you can be a good Christian without attending church. b. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God: Worship at God’s appointed place must be marked with joy. It is a good thing to come and honor our God, and should be done with pleasure and joy. i. “All Christian duties should be done joyfully; but especially the work of praising the Lord. I have been in congregations where the tune was dolorous to the very last degree; where the time was so dreadfully slow that one wondered whether they would ever be able to sing through the 119 Psalm; whether, to use Watt’s expression, eternity would not be too short from them to get through it; and altogether, the spirit of the people has seemed to be so damp, so heavy, so dead, that we might have supposed that they were met to prepare their minds for a hanging rather than for blessing the ever-gracious God.” (Charles Spurgeon, Praise Thy God, O Zion) ii. “We ought not to worship God in a half-hearted sort of way; as if it were now our duty to bless God, but we felt it to be a weary business, and we would get it through as quickly as we could, and have done with it; and the sooner the better. No, no; ‘All that is within me, bless his holy name.’ Come, my heart, wake up, and summon all the powers which wait upon thee! Mechanical worship is easy, but worthless. Come rouse yourself, my brother! Rouse thyself, O my own soul!” (Spurgeon) c. And you shall rejoice: The emphasis on shall shows that rejoicing is commanded. It is also commanded in the New Testament; Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16); Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4). If you can’t rejoice out of feeling like it, then rejoice out of being commanded. i. “No one duty is more pressed in both the Testaments, than this of rejoicing in the Lord always, but specially in his immediate services.” (Trapp) B. The practice of worship. 1. (15-28) Things permitted and prohibited in regard to butchering animals, sacrificing animals, and respecting the sanctity of blood. However, you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates, whatever your heart desires, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, of the gazelle and the deer alike. Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it on the earth like water. You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or your new wine or your oil, of the firstborn of your herd or your flock, of any of your offerings which you vow, of your freewill offerings, or of the heave offering of your hand. But you must eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God chooses, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all to which you put your hands. Take heed to yourself that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land. When the LORD your God enlarges your border as He has promised you, and you say, “Let me eat meat,” because you long to eat meat, you may eat as much meat as your heart desires. If the place where the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter from your herd and from your flock which the LORD has given you, just as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your gates as much as your heart desires. Just as the gazelle and the deer are eaten, so you may eat them; the unclean and the clean alike may eat them. Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life; you may not eat the life with the meat. You shall not eat it; you shall pour it on the earth like water. You shall not eat it, that it may go well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD. Only the holy things which you have, and your vowed offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the LORD chooses. And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the meat and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, and you shall eat the meat. Observe and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God. a. You may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates: In the ancient world, almost every time an animal was butchered it was sacrificed to a god. Here, the LORD made it clear that not every slaughtered animal was considered a sacrifice to Him. b. You may not eat within your gates the tithe . . . the firstlings of your herd . . . your freewill offerings, or of the heave offerings: This shows that animals which were offered in sacrifice, even if the offerer was to eat a portion, could only be killed at God’s appointed place of worship. c. Only be sure that you do not eat the blood: Since the blood was the picture of life in any animal or man (for the blood is the life), God would not allow Israel to eat meat that had not been properly bled. Instead, it was to be given to God by pouring it out on the earth. 2. (29-32) The worship of God must be pure. When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, “How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.” You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. a. That you do not inquire after their gods: Israel was commanded to guard itself against a sinful curiosity (How did these nations serve their gods?). There is an old proverb that says curiosity killed the cat, but ungodly curiosity has also killed many spiritual lives. b. You shall not worship the LORD your God that way: God would not accept just any offering of worship. He had to be worshipped in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24) c. They burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods: This referred to the practice of Molech worship, where Canaanites offered up their children by placing them alive on a burning hot metal statue of Molech, while drum beats drowned out the screams of the tortured infants. i. Israel had a tragic history of following after this horrible god Molech. · At the least, Solomon sanctioned the worship of Molech, building a temple to this idol (1 Kings 11:7). · King Ahaz of Judah gave his own son to Molech (2 Kings 16:3). · One of the great crimes of the northern tribes of Israel was their worship of Molech, leading to the Assyrian captivity (2 Kings 17:17). · King Manasseh of Judah gave his son to Molech (2 Kings 21:6). · Up to the days of King Josiah of Judah, Molech worship continued, because he destroyed a place of worship to that idol (2 Kings 23:10). d. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it: The standard for worship was reflected in God’s Word - not in human preference or opinion. Deuteronomy 13 - Keeping the Worship of God Pure A. Protecting against those who would entice Israel to serve other gods. 1. (1-3) Protecting against the deceiver who comes with miraculous signs. If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods”; which you have not known; “and let us serve them,” you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. a. A dreamer of dreams: Dreams can be from God (as in Numbers 12:6, or in Genesis 37:5-11), or they can be false prophesies (as in Jeremiah 23:25-26). We must be careful to not put too much stock in dreams, and instead allow God to bring confirmation to any dream we believe brings a message from Him. It would be very unusual for God speak alone through a dream, without other confirmation. b. And the sign or the wonder comes to pass: Moses warned the people that there may arise from among them prophets or workers of signs who could also produce a sign or a wonder. i. Deuteronomy 18:22 tells what to do with a prophet who speaks a word and it does not come to pass. But this passage tells what to do with a prophet who speaks a word and it comes to pass, but they then speak against what God has already revealed in His word. c. And the sign or the wonder comes to pass: This sobering fact is ignored by many Christians in our age which neglects discernment. The fact is that signs and wonders can never be the evidence of truth or God’s hand. i. Those who are immediately convinced at the sight of supernatural power or reality are in danger of great deception. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 reminds us that the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders. ii. This is why Jesus said and these signs will follow those who believe (Mark 16:17). Signs are to follow believers, instead of believers following signs. d. You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams: Godly discernment will always carefully examine the message of a spiritual leader, instead of the spiritual experiences which may surround him or her. e. The LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart: This explains one of God’s reasons in allowing such deceivers to exist among His people - to allow the hearts of His people to be tested and proven, to see if they really love the God of truth, or are merely seeking a spiritual sign or experience. i. “And particularly there are many signs, yea, such as men may think to be wonders, which may be wrought by evil spirits, God so permitting it for divers wise and just reasons, not only for the trial of the good, as it here follows, but also for the punishment of ungodly men, who would not receive Divine truths, though attested by many evident and unquestionable miracles, and therefore are most justly exposed to these temptations to believe lies.” (Poole) 2. (4-5) The penalty for the deceiver who comes with miraculous signs. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst. a. You shall walk after the LORD: Israel was first instructed to not let a deceiver succeed in leading them astray. No matter how attractive the deception, they were to keep focused on a faithful walk with God according to His truth. b. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death: Ancient Israel was a unique situation, where the civil government was also directly appointed by God and charged with maintaining spiritual order as well as civil order. Therefore, such heresy and deception was a capital crime - punishable by execution. i. For many centuries, when the church held political power, it often exercised this penalty also. Heretics were often given over to the civil government for execution. Trapp writes in the mid seventeenth century, “This power is still in the Christian magistrate, to inflict capital punishment on gross heretics.” ii. While we admire their priorities (they judged it much more serious for a heretic to kill men’s eternal souls than to kill their temporal bodies), they were ignorant of an important principle of Jesus’ kingdom in contrast to the ancient kingdom of Israel: Jesus declared that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), while the kingdom of Israel was very much of this world. Never before or since has God appointed such a kingdom as Israel to be His nation in this world as He appointed ancient Israel, so it would be wrong for us to execute heretics today. iii. Still, the church as a community and Christians as individuals should reject and refuse to support such heretics among them. They should use discernment to set aside those who promote themselves as miracle working men and women of anointing and faith, yet who teach heresy in essential doctrines. 3. (6-11) The penalty for a relative who would lead an Israelite to worship other gods. If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you. a. Brother . . . your son or daughter . . . the wife . . . your friend: If any of these close human relationships would lead one to the worship of other gods, they were not only to be rejected (you shall not consent to him or listen to him), they were to be executed (you shall surely kill him). i. In fact, the relative should be one of the main witnesses against the guilty party: your hand shall be first against him to put him to death. This was the “casting of the first stone,” the initiation of execution by one of the witnesses to the capital crime. ii. This also demonstrates that God never puts highest priority on family relationships; if a family member forsakes the LORD, we are never to follow them away from the LORD. Jesus always comes first, as He said in Matthew 10:37: He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. b. Secretly entices you: This demonstrates how seriously God regards leading someone else into idolatry. Even if a sympathetic person entices you, and even if they do it in private, enticement to idolatry is not to be tolerated. i. This brings to mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:6: But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Anyone who leads one of God’s people astray is greatly offending the heart of God. c. So all Israel shall hear and fear: Many modern researchers and pundits say that capital punishment is no deterrent to crime. God says it is a deterrent (properly practiced, of course). B. Protecting the nation as a whole against those who would lead them into idolatry. 1. (12-14a) How to deal with reports of a city given over to idolatry. If you hear someone in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell in, saying, “Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’“ which you have not known; then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. a. Then you shall inquire: If reports arose regarding an Israelite city given over to idolatry, there was first to be a careful investigation. b. Search out, and ask diligently: This guarded against a harsh judgment; perhaps there were a few idolaters in the city whom needed to be punished, but perhaps the city was not given over to idolatry. God commanded a careful investigation. 2. (14b-18) The penalty for a city given over to idolatry. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you, you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword; utterly destroying it, all that is in it and its livestock, with the edge of the sword. And you shall gather all its plunder into the middle of the street, and completely burn with fire the city and all its plunder, for the LORD your God. It shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again. So none of the accursed things shall remain in your hand, that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, have compassion on you and multiply you, just as He swore to your fathers, because you have listened to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD your God. a. Such an abomination: The word abomination here refers to a gross, offensive idolatry. Later in Daniel and in the New Testament, the word is used in the phrase abomination of desolation, which refers to the ultimate idolatry of the Antichrist - the establishing of an idolatrous image of himself in the most holy place (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). i. “The term abominable thing is used in the Old Testament for something that is totally displeasing to God and denotes something impure, unclean, and totally devoid of holiness.” (Thompson) b. You shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword; utterly destroying it: If the investigation finds that the city is indeed given over to idolatry, it is then to be treated as a Canaanite city. They were to utterly destroy the city, including its property. The property was to be given to the LORD by destroying it, a form of “sacred destruction.” i. This made certain that no one could profit materially by declaring a city given over to idolatry. If this provision were not in the Law of Moses one could imagine a city being plundered under this pretense. ii. “The very same punishment which was inflicted upon the cities of the cursed Canaanites, to whom having made themselves equal in sin, it is but fit and just that God should equal them in punishment.” (Poole) c. It shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again: The destroyed town was to be left as a heap forever. The word heap is literally tell, and the word tell is used in Arabic for any ruined sight. Throughout Israel today, one w

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16. 2 Chronicles 1-9 (Solomon Seeks God; The Temple is Built; Solomon's Prayer/Wisdom)

2 Chronicles 1-9 (Solomon Seeks God; The Temple is Built; Solomon's Prayer/Wisdom)

2 Chronicles 1 - Solomon Seeks God A. Solomon meets God at Gibeon. 1. (1-4) Solomon brings the leaders of Israel to the tabernacle at Gibeon. Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly. 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. 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. 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. a. Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him: Solomon made a great start to his reign as king, and God blessed it. He had been left with almost every possible advantage by his father David and his kingdom was strong. b. Then Solomon . . . went to the high place that was at Gibeon: Solomon made these special sacrifices at Gibeon because the tabernacle of meeting with God was there. Though the ark of the covenant had been brought to Jerusalem (the place David had prepared for it), the tabernacle itself stayed at Gibeon. i. Morgan on the phrase, tabernacle of meeting: “That is, it was the place where the people met with God. That is always the idea; not the meeting of the people with each other, but their meeting with God.” ii. We can track the progress of tabernacle and the ark of the covenant in the Promised Land: · Joshua brought both the ark and the tabernacle to Shiloh (Joshua 18) · In the days of Eli the ark was captured and the tabernacle wrecked (1 Samuel 4, Psalm 78:60-64, Jeremiah 7:12 and 26:9) · The ark came back to Kiriath-Jearim (1 Samuel 7:1-2) · Saul restored the tabernacle at Nob (1 Samuel 21) · Saul moved the tabernacle to Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39-40) · David brought the ark to Jerusalem and built a temporary tent for it (2 Samuel 6:17, 2 Chronicles 1:4) iii. There are several reasons to explain why David did not bring the tabernacle from Gibeon to Jerusalem. · He may have believed if the tabernacle was there the people would be satisfied with that and they would lose the passion and vision for the temple God wanted built. · It may be that the tabernacle was only moved when it was absolutely necessary - as when disaster came upon it at Shiloh or Nob. · David simply focused on building the temple, not continuing the tabernacle. 2. (5-6) Solomon and the assembly seek God together. 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. 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. a. Now the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: This was the same altar made in the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land (Exodus 36:1-2). This altar was at least 500 years old and had received many sacrifices over Israel’s long history since the Exodus. b. Solomon and the assembly sought Him there: Solomon and the people of God sought the LORD at the place of atoning sacrifice. This was the Old Testament equivalent to “coming to the cross” in seeking God. i. This was an important event marking the “ceremonial” beginning of Solomon’s reign. Solomon wanted to demonstrate from the beginning that he would seek God and lead the kingdom to do so. c. And offered a thousand burnt offerings: This almost grotesque amount of sacrifice demonstrated both Solomon’s great wealth and his heart to use it to glorify God. 3. (7-10) Solomon’s request. On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 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. 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?” a. God appeared to Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5 tells us that this remarkable visitation from God happened in a dream. This was one of the more significant dreams in the Bible. i. “It is interesting to note that notwithstanding the fact that the ark was not there, God met with Solomon and communed with him.” (Morgan) Here God made it clear that His presence was not to be superstitiously restricted to an association with the ark of the covenant. b. Ask! What shall I give you? This was an amazing promise. God seemed to offer Solomon whatever he wanted. This wasn’t only because Solomon sacrificed 1,000 animals. It was because his heart was surrendered to God, and God wanted to work something in Solomon through this offer and his response. i. The natural reaction to reading this promise of God to Solomon is to wish we had such a promise. We do have them. · Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7) · If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7) · Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14) ii. “The problem for many Christians, then, is not whether they will receive anything when they ask, but whether they will ask at all.” (Selman) c. You have shown great mercy: Before responding to God’s offer and asking for something, Solomon remembered God’s faithfulness to both David and now to Solomon himself. d. Now give me wisdom and knowledge: Solomon asked for more than great knowledge; he wanted wisdom, and according to 1 Kings 3, he wanted it in his heart, not merely in his head. e. That I may go out and come in before this people: This was a Hebrew expression that meant, “That I may fulfill my duties before this people.” Solomon asked for the knowledge and wisdom necessary to be a good king. i. “Such words referred originally to military leadership (1 Chronicles 11:2; cf. 1 Samuel 18:13) but are here broadened into representing good governmental administratorship in general.” (Payne) B. God answers Solomon’s request. 1. (11-12) Solomon receives wisdom and more from God. 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; 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.” a. Because this was in your heart: God was pleased by what Solomon asked for, in that he knew his great need for knowledge and wisdom. God was also pleased by what Solomon did not ask for, in that he did not ask for riches or fame or power for himself. i. Solomon’s request was not bad. We are specifically told in 1 Kings 3:10 that the speech pleased the LORD. Yet we can also ask if this was the best Solomon could ask for. “Was this the highest gift that he could have asked or received? Surely the deep longings of his father for communion with God were yet better.” (Maclaren) ii. Solomon did his job well - as well or better than anyone. Yet as his falling away in the end showed (1 Kings 11:1-11) there was something lacking in his spiritual life. “There is no sign in his biography that he ever had the deep inward devotion of his father. After the poet-psalmist came the prosaic and keen-sighted shrewd man of affairs.” (Maclaren) b. Wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor: God not only answered Solomon’s prayer, he answered it beyond all expectation. Solomon did not ask for riches and wealth and honor, but God gave him those also. i. “God’s answer was a beautiful instance of the overflowing love and grace of the divine heart. All the things Solomon set aside for the sake of wisdom were also given to him.” (Morgan) ii. Appearing in his dream, God answered Solomon’s prayer and made him wise, powerful, rich, and influential. His reign was glorious for Israel. At the same time, his end was tragic. We can fairly say that Solomon wasted these gifts God gave him. Though he accomplished much, he could have done much more - and his heart was led away from God in the end (1 Kings 11:4-11). ii. “Instead of being the wisest of men, did he not become more brutish than any man? Did he not even lose the knowledge of his Creator, and worship the abominations of the Moabites, Zidonians, and [so forth]? And was not such idolatry a proof of the grossest stupidity? How few proofs does his life give that the gracious purpose of God was fulfilled in him! He received much; but he would have received much more, had he been faithful to the grace given. No character in the sacred writings disappoints us more than the character of Solomon.” (Clarke, commenting in 1 Kings) 2. (13-17) The great wealth of King Solomon. So Solomon came to Jerusalem from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the tabernacle of meeting, and reigned over Israel. 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. 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. And Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. 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. a. So Solomon came to Jerusalem . . . and reigned over Israel: Solomon actually reigned – or began his reign – in the great wisdom God gave him at Gibeon. A famous example of this wisdom is found in 1 Kings 3:16-28, where he wisely judged between two mothers who each claimed the same baby as their own. b. And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: The famous stables of Solomon show what a vast cavalry he assembled for Israel. Unfortunately, it also shows that Solomon did not take God’s word as seriously as he should. In Deuteronomy 17:16, God spoke specifically to the future kings of Israel: But he shall not multiply horses for himself. c. The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones: When we think of Solomon’s great wealth, we also consider that he originally did not set his heart upon riches. He deliberately asked for wisdom to lead the people of God instead of riches or fame. God promised to also give Solomon riches and fame, and God fulfilled His promise. i. We also consider that Solomon gave an eloquent testimony to the vanity of riches as the preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He powerfully showed that there was no ultimate satisfaction through materialism. We don’t have to be as rich as Solomon to learn the same lesson. ii. Certainly, Solomon presided over a prosperous and wealthy kingdom. Yet the Chronicler is also warning us here. He assumes that we know of the instructions for future kings of Israel in Deuteronomy 17:14-20. He assumes we know verse 17 of that passage, which says: nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. God blessed Solomon with great riches, but Solomon allowed that blessing to turn into a danger because he disobediently multiplied silver and gold for himself. iii. “There was nothing wrong in all this, but it created a very subtle peril. Prosperity is always a more insidious danger to men of faith than adversity.” (Morgan) d. Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh: At the end of this great description of Solomon’s wealth and splendor, we have the sound of this dark note. This was in direct disobedience to Deuteronomy 17:16, which said to the Kings of Israel: But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, “You shall not return that way again.” i. Keveh (also known as Cilicia) was “in what is now southern Turkey, at the east end of the Mediterranean, was a prime ancient supplier of horses.” (Payne) e. Thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria: This may explain why Solomon broke such an obvious commandment. Perhaps the importation of horses from Egypt began as trading as an agent on behalf of other kings. From this, perhaps Solomon could say, “I’m importing horses from Egypt but I am not doing it for myself. I’m not breaking God’s command.” Many examples of gross disobedience begin as clever rationalizations. i. It is hard to know in what order Solomon’s compromise was expressed. Yet it is possible to say that this disobedience to this seemingly small command began the downfall of Solomon. · First, in disobedience he multiplied horses for the service of his kingdom and he obtains them from the Egyptians (1 Kings 4:26, 10:28-29). · Then, because of these connections with Egypt he married Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 3:1). · Then, because he started by marrying an Egyptian he married many other foreign women (1 Kings 11:1-4). · Then, because of the presence of the foreign wives he built temples to their gods for their use (1 Kings 11:7-8). · Then, because of the presence of these temples he began to worship these other gods himself (1 Kings 11:4-5). 2 Chronicles 2 - Supplies and Workers for the Temple A. An overview of the work of building the temple. 1. (1) Solomon’s determination to build the temple. Then Solomon determined to build a temple for the name of the LORD, and a royal house for himself. a. Then Solomon determined to build a temple: His determination was fitting because of all that his father David did to prepare for the building and because of the charge David gave him to do the work. i. We might think that the greatest thing about Solomon was his wisdom, his riches, his proverbs or his writings. Clearly for the Chronicler the most important thing about Solomon was the temple he built. This was most important because it was most relevant to a community of returning exiles who struggled to build a new temple and to make a place for Israel among the nations again. ii. “Chronicles’ record of Solomon’s achievements moves straight away to the construction of the temple. Several important items in the account of his reign in Kings are left out as a result, such as his wisdom in action, administration, educational reforms, and some building activities (e.g. 1 Kings 3:16-4:34; 7:1-12). These were not unimportant, but, for Chronicles, they were all subsidiary to the temple.” (Selman) b. And a royal house for himself: Solomon’s great building works did not end with temple. He also built a spectacular palace (1 Kings 7:1-12) and more. 2. (2) The magnitude of the work Solomon selected seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them. a. Seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone: This seems to describe the number of Canaanite slave laborers that Solomon used. i. Ginzberg relates some of the legends surrounding the building of the temple. “During the seven years it took to build the Temple, not a single workman died who was employed about it, nor even did a single one fall sick. And as the workmen were sound and robust from first to last, so the perfection of their tools remained unimpaired until the building stood complete. Thus the work suffered no sort of interruption.” (Ginzberg) b. And three thousand six hundred to oversee them: This was the middle management team administrating the work of building the temple. i. “The number of thirty-six hundred foremen differs from 1 Kings 5:16 (3,300), but the LXX of Kings is quite insecure here, and Chronicles may preserve the better reading.” (Selman) B. Solomon’s correspondence with Hiram king of Tyre. 1. (3-6) Solomon describes the work to Hiram. 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. 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. And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. 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? a. Solomon sent to Hiram king of Tyre, saying: As you have dealt with David my father: Solomon appealed to Hiram based on his prior good relationship with his father David. This shows us that David did not regard every neighbor nation as an enemy. David wisely built alliances and friendships with neighbor nations, and the benefit of this also came to Solomon. i. “Hiram is an abbreviation of Ahiram which means ‘Brother of Ram,’ or ‘My brother is exalted,’ or ‘Brother of the lofty one.’ . . . Archaeologists have discovered a royal sarcophagus in Byblos of Tyre dated about 1200 B.C. inscribed with the king’s name, ‘Ahiram.’ Apparently it belonged to the man in this passage.” (Dilday, commentary on 1 Kings) b. Then Solomon sent to Hiram: “According to Josephus, copies of such a letter along with Hiram’s reply were preserved in both Hebrew and Tyrian archives and were extant in his day (Antiquities, 8.2.8).” (Dilday) c. I am building a temple for the name of the LORD my God: Of course, Solomon did not build a temple for a name but for a living God. This is a good example of avoiding direct mention of the name of God in Hebrew writing and speaking. They did this out of reverence to God. i. Solomon also used this phrase because he wanted to explain that he didn’t think the temple would be the house of God in the way pagans thought. This is especially shown in his words, who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? By the standards of the paganism of his day, Solomon’s conception of God was both Biblical and high. ii. “He never conceived it as a place to which God would be confined. He did expect, and he received, manifestations of the Presence of God in that house. Its chief value was that it afforded man a place in which he should offer incense; that is, the symbol of adoration, praise, worship, to God.” (Morgan) iii. God is, “good without quality, great without quantity, everlasting without time, present everywhere without place, containing all without extent . . . he is within all things, and contained of nothing: without all things, and sustained of nothing.” (Trapp) 2. (7-10) Solomon’s request to Hiram. 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. 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, to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the temple which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful. 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. a. Therefore send me at once a man skillful to work in gold and silver: Solomon wanted the temple to be the best it could be, so he used Gentile labor when it was better. This means that Solomon was willing to build this great temple to God with “Gentile” wood and using “Gentile” labor. This was a temple to the God of Israel, but it was not only for Israel. i. “The leading craftsmen for the Tent, Bezalel and his assistant Oholiab, were both similarly skilled in a range of abilities (cf. Exodus 31:1-6; 35:30-36:2).” (Selman) ii. “Despite a growing number of ‘skilled craftsmen’ in Israel, their techniques remained inferior to those of their northern neighbors, as is demonstrated archaeologically by less finely cut building stones and by the lower level of Israelite culture in general.” (Payne) b. To prepare timber for me in abundance: The cedar trees of Lebanon were legendary for their excellent timber. This means Solomon wanted to build the temple out of the best materials possible. i. “The Sidonians were noted as timber craftsmen in the ancient world, a fact substantiated on the famous Palmero Stone. Its inscription from 2200 B.C. tells us about timber-carrying ships that sailed from Byblos to Egypt about four hundred years previously. The skill of the Sidonians was expressed in their ability to pick the most suitable trees, know the right time to cut them, fell them with care, and then properly treat the logs.” (Dilday) 3. (11-16) Hiram’s response to Solomon. 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. 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! And now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman (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. Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants. 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. a. Then Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing: “We find . . . that kings could write and read in what were called the by the proud and insolent Greeks and Romans barbarous nations. Nearly two thousand years after this we find a king on the British throne who could not sign his own name.” (Clarke) b. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel: We can’t say if Hiram was a saved man, but he certainly respected the God of Israel. This was no doubt due to David’s godly influence on Hiram. c. I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman: King Hiram answered Solomon’s request for a skillful man (2 Chronicles 2:7). Huram had a Jewish mother and a Gentile father. d. The wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants: Hiram agreed to work for the arrangement suggested by Solomon, though he could have asked for more (1 Kings 5:6). i. This shows us that Hiram did expect to be paid. His service and the service of His people were not a gift or a sacrifice. “There are a good many people who get mixed up with religious work, and talk as if it were very near their hearts, who have as sharp an eye to their own advantage as he had. The man who serves God because he gets paid for it, does not serve Him.” (Maclaren) 4. (17-18) The laborers who built the temple. 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. 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. a. All the aliens who were in the land of Israel: This specifically tells us where the seventy thousand man labor force described here and in 1 Chronicles 2:2 came from. i. “The temple, then, did not become a house of prayer for all nations by accident. The nations even played a part in its construction!” (Selman) 2 Chronicles 3 - The Building of the Temple A. Where and when the temple construction began. 1. (1) The location of the temple. 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. a. Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah: This place had been previously identified as the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Here it is specifically located as Mount Moriah. This was the same hill where Abraham offered Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and the same set of hills where Jesus would later die on the cross (Genesis 22:14). i. “Where Isaac, as a type of Christ, bore the wood, obeyed his father, and should have been sacrificed. Calvary, where our Saviour suffered, was either a part of this mount, or very near unto it.” (Trapp) b. Began to build the house of the LORD: This was when the actual construction began. All David’s prior plans and preparations anticipated the actual beginning of the work. One can plan and prepare endlessly and never begin to build, but Solomon began to build the house of the LORD. 2. (2) When the construction began. And he began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign. a. On the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign: This was probably in the year 967 B.C. Connecting this with 1 Kings 6:1, this marking point shows just how long Israel lived in the Promised Land without a temple. The tabernacle served the nation well for more than 400 years. The prompting to build them temple was more at the direction and will of God than out of absolute necessity. b. In the fourth year of his reign: This doesn’t mean that Solomon delayed his obedience for four years. He probably started to organize the work right away. There is some evidence that it took three years to prepare timber from Lebanon for use in building. If Solomon began the construction of the temple in the fourth year of his reign, he probably started organizing the construction in the very first year of his reign. B. A Description of the temple. 1. (3-7) The building in general. 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. 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. The larger room he paneled with cypress which he overlaid with fine gold, and he carved palm trees and chainwork on it. And he decorated the house with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was gold from Parvaim. He also overlaid the house; the beams and doorposts, its walls and doors; with gold; and he carved cherubim on the walls. a. For building the house of God: This chapter will describe the building of the temple and its associated areas. There are four main structures described. · The temple proper (the foundation which Solomon laid), divided into two rooms (the holy place and the most holy place). · The vestibule or entrance hall on the east side of the temple proper (the vestibule that was in front of the sanctuary). It was thirty feet (10 meters) wide and fifteen feet (5 meters) deep, and the same height as the temple proper. “Its height measurement should read twenty cubits high (NIV, REB, NEB), as against a literal translation of MT, ‘and its height 120’.” (Selman) · The three-storied side chambers (described in 1 Kings 6:5) which surrounded the temple proper on the north, south, and west sides. · A large courtyard surrounding the whole structure (the inner court mentioned in 1 Kings 6:36). b. He decorated the house with precious stones for beauty: This is one description among many that give us an idea of how beautiful the temple was and how Solomon spared no expense in making it beautiful. i. “The reference to ‘precious stones’ may suggest mosaics, inlaid in the floor.” (Payne) c. He carved cherubim on the walls: This was after the pattern of the tabernacle, which had woven designs of cherubim on the inner covering. Therefore when one entered the temple they saw cherubim all around - as one would see in heaven (Psalm 80:1, Isaiah 37:16, and Ezekiel 10:3). These angelic beings worship God perpetually in heaven. i. One might saw that we don’t worship angels but we do worship with them. 2. (8-14) The Most Holy Place. 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. The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold; and he overlaid the upper area with gold. In the Most Holy Place he made two cherubim, fashioned by carving, and overlaid them with gold. 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; 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. The wings of these cherubim spanned twenty cubits overall. They stood on their feet, and they faced inward. And he made the veil of blue, purple, crimson, and fine linen, and wove cherubim into it. a. And he made the Most Holy Place: Special attention was given to the Holy of Holies or Most Holy place. It was a 30-foot (10 meter) cube, completely overlaid with gold. It also had two large sculptures of cherubim (15-foot or 5 meters in height), which were overlaid with gold. b. He overlaid it with six hundred talents of fine gold: There was gold everywhere in the temple, but especially in the Most Holy Place. The walls were covered with gold (1 Kings 6:20-22), the floor was covered with gold (1 Kings 6:30) and gold was hammered into the carvings on the doors (1 Kings 6:32). i. There was gold everywhere on the inside of the temple. “Such was Christ’s inside (Colossians 2:9); in his outside was no such desirable beauty (Isaiah 53:2); so the Church’s glory is inward (Psalm 44:13), in the hidden man of the heart (1 Peter 3:4).” (Trapp) c. Two cherubim, fashioned by carving, and overlaid them with gold: These two large sculptures inside the Most Holy Place faced the entrance to this inner room, so as soon as the High Priest entered he saw these giant guardians of the presence of God facing him. i. “If it were image work – cherubims were made like boys – yet this is no plea for Popish images; since they are flatly forbidden; and God made the law for us, not for himself.” (Trapp) d. And he made the veil: This was the important barrier separating the holy place from the Most Holy Place. Only one man once a year could go behind the veil and enter the Most Holy Place. i. “To most Israelites, therefore, the temple was an unseen world. God had drawn near to them, but the way to him was hedged around with many restrictions.” (Selman) ii. Spiritually speaking, in dying for our sins Jesus with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). iii. In the temple, this veil was torn from top to bottom at the death of Jesus (Matthew 27:51), showing that through His death, there is no longer a barrier to the Most Holy place. iv. Now the Most Holy Place is open to us: brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh (Hebrews 10:19-20). The torn veil of Matthew 27:51 also symbolizes the broken body of Jesus, through which we have access to the Most Holy Place. 3. (15-17) The pillars of the temple. 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. 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. 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. a. In front of the temple two pillars thirty-five cubits high: 1 Kings 7:15 tells us that these pillars were actually made of bronze. They were two very impressive adornments to the front of the temple. b. He called the name of the one on the right hand Jachin, and the name of the one on the left Boaz: These two pillars were so impressive that they were actually given names. Jachin means He shall establish and Boaz means in strength. i. Every time someone came to the house of the LORD in the days of Solomon they said, “Look! There is ‘He Shall Establish.’ And there is ‘In Him Is Strength.’“ It set them in the right frame of mind to worship the LORD. When the crowds gathered at the morning and evening sacrifice to worship the LORD, the Levites led the people standing in front of the temple with these two great, bronze pillars behind them. It was always before them: He Shall Establish and In Him Is Strength. ii. One could say that the house of God itself was Jachin and Boaz. That temple was established by God, and built by the strength of God. Every time they looked at that temple, they knew that God liked to establish and strengthen things. iii. The house of God was a place where people experienced what the pillars were all about. At that house, people were established in their relationship with God. At that house, people were given strength from the LORD. From this building, it should go out to the whole community: “Come here and get established. Come here and receive the strength of God.” 2 Chronicles 4 - Furnishings for the Temple and Its Court A. The furnishings of the temple. 1. (1) The bronze altar. Moreover he made a bronze altar: twenty cubits was its length, twenty cubits its width, and ten cubits its height. a. He made a bronze altar: The idea behind the Hebrew word for altar is essentially, “killing-place.” This was the place of sacrifice, the center for worship and service for the priests and the people. i. “Just as in the tabernacle, the altar was the first main object to be met as one entered the sanctuary court. It demonstrates that God may be approached only through sacrifices.” (Payne) ii. We also have an altar: We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat (Hebrews 13:10). Our altar - our “killing-place” - is the cross, where Jesus died for our sins and we follow by dying unto self and living for Jesus. b. Twenty cubits: Essentially, this altar was large (about 30 feet or 10 meters square) and about twice as large as the altar originally built for the tabernacle (Exodus 27:1-2). c. Ten cubits its height: The altar was raised significantly. The altar was set up high, “That all the people might see the burnt-offerings, and be imminded of their sins and of their Saviour; for the ceremonial law was their gospel.” (Trapp) 2. (2-6) The washing basins for the temple. Then he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference. And under it was the likeness of oxen encircling it all around, ten to a cubit, all the way around the Sea. The oxen were cast in two rows, when it was cast. It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their back parts pointed inward. It was a handbreadth thick; and its brim was shaped like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It contained three thousand baths. He also made ten lavers, and put five on the right side and five on the left, to wash in them; such things as they offered for the burnt offering they would wash in them, but the Sea was for the priests to wash in. a. Then he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other: The huge laver was more than 15 feet (5 meters) across, and was used for the ceremonial washings connected with the priests themselves. i. “Priests who did not wash to make themselves clean would die (Exodus 30:20).” (Selman) i. “It was used by priests for cleansing their hands and feet and perhaps also to supply water to the standing basins for the rinsing of offerings (2 Chronicles 4:10).” Poole believes that perhaps water came out of the bulls that formed the foundation of the Sea. b. It stood on twelve oxen: This large pool of water was set upon sculptured oxen. “Prefiguring, say some, the twelve apostles, who carried the water of life all the world over.” (Trapp) i. It contained three thousand baths: “In 1 Kings 7:26, it is said to hold only two thousand baths. Since this book was written after the Babylonian captivity, it is very possible that reference is here made to the Babylonian bath, which might have been less than the Jewish.” (Clarke) c. He also made ten lavers: These additional basins were used for washing and cleaning the animal parts in the rituals of sacrifice. 3. (7) The lampstands, tables, and bowls. And he made ten lampstands of gold according to their design, and set them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left. He also made ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left. And he made one hundred bowls of gold. a. And he made ten lampstands . . . He also made ten tables: The work of the temple required lampstands for light and tables to hold the showbread, the bread that represented the continual fellowship of Israel with God. Notably, the old tabernacle had one lampstand and one table. The temple fittingly displayed a greater light and a greater dynamic of fellowship. b. And he made one hundred bowls of gold: “The ‘sprinkling bowls’ were not particularly associated with the tables by seem rather to have been used for collecting the blood of sacrifices, which was then sprinkled about the altar in the temple services of atonement.” (Payne) 4. (9-10) The court of the temple. Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court and doors for the court; and he overlaid these doors with bronze. He set the Sea on the right side, toward the southeast. a. He made the court of the priests: This was also known as the inner court, the court of the temple open only to the priests. b. And the great court: This was the outer court, the place in the temple precincts open to the assembly of Israel as a whole. i. “Yet this very division into two courts (2 Kings 23:12) gave concrete expression to the fact that under the older testament there had not yet been achieved that universal priesthood of the believers that would come about through Jesus Christ. In him all the people of God have direct access to the Father.” (Payne) B. The work of Huram from Tyre. 1. (11-17) Huram’s furnishings for the temple. Then Huram made the pots and the shovels and the bowls. So Huram finished doing the work that he was to do for King Solomon for the house of God: the two pillars and the bowl-shaped capitals that were on top of the two pillars; the two networks covering the two bowl-shaped capitals which were on top of the pillars; four hundred pomegranates for the two networks (two rows of pomegranates for each network, to cover the two bowl-shaped capitals that were on the pillars); he also made carts and the lavers on the carts; one Sea and twelve oxen under it; also the pots, the shovels, the forks; and all their articles Huram his master craftsman made of burnished bronze for King Solomon for the house of the LORD. In the plain of Jordan the king had them cast in clay molds, between Succoth and Zeredah. a. Then Huram made: Huram was half Israeli and half Gentile, and he was the best craftsman around. Solomon hired him to do all his work - that is, the fine artistic work of the temple. b. The pots and the shovels and the bowls: These articles were of special note for the Chronicler, because these were some of the only articles that were recovered and used from the first temple period into the days of the Chronicler. i. “The emphasis on the temple vessels, as well as the association between Tent and temple, underlines the continuity represented by the temple. The return of the temple vessels to the second temple was one of the chief signs that post-exilic Israel remained a worshipping community of covenant people (cf. Ezra 1:7-11; 6:5; 8:24-34).” (Selman) 2. (18-22) Summary of the furnishings for the temple. And Solomon had all these articles made in such great abundance that the weight of the bronze was not determined. Thus Solomon had all the furnishings made for the house of God: the altar of gold and the tables on which was the showbread; the lampstands with their lamps of pure gold, to burn in the prescribed manner in front of the inner sanctuary, with the flowers and the lamps and the wick-trimmers of gold, of purest gold; the trimmers, the bowls, the ladles, and the censers of pure gold. As for the entry of the sanctuary, its inner doors to the Most Holy Place, and the doors of the main hall of the temple, were gold. a. Such great abundance that the weight of the bronze was not determined: “The weight could not be found out. This was as it should be. There was no attempt to keep an accurate account of what was given to the service of God. Even Solomon’s left had did not know what his right hand did. There is a tendency in all of us to keep a strict account of what we give to God . . . but the loftiest form of devotion overleaps such calculation.” (Meyer) b. With the flowers and the lamps: “The symbolism of flora and fauna in the temple may either indicate God’s sovereignty over the created order to be another allusion to the harmony of all created things in God’s presence as in the Garden of Eden.” (Selman) 2 Chronicles 5 - The Ark is brought to the Temple A. The finished temple. 1. (1) Completion of the work. So all the work that Solomon had done for the house of the LORD was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and all the furnishings. And he put them in the treasuries of the house of God. a. All the work that Solomon had done for the house of the LORD was finished: This was the great achievement of Solomon’s life. He began this ambitious project shortly after he came to the throne, and now it was finished, certainly much to his satisfaction. b. Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: This reminds us of just how much David did for the temple. He even designed, made, and dedicated some the furnishings of the temple. 2. (2-5) The furniture of the temple is brought in before the assembled nation. Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, in Jerusalem, that they might bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD up from the City of David, which is Zion. Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with the king at the feast, which was in the seventh month. So all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. Then they brought up the ark, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. a. Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes: The official installation of the ark of the covenant into the temple was an extremely important occasion. Solomon wanted representatives of the entire kingdom to have a part in this memorable event. b. The priests and the Levites brought them up: This properly respected the pattern designated by the Mosaic Law. Solomon wanted representatives of the entire kingdom to witness the event, but not at the expense of disobedience to God’s command. 3. (6-10) The ark comes into the Most Holy Place of the temple. Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him before the ark, were sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. And the poles extended so that the ends of the poles of the ark could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they had come out of Egypt. a. Sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude: Solomon went “over-the-top” in his effort to honor and praise God on this great day. b. Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD: The temple wasn’t “open” until the ark of the covenant was set in the most holy place. The ark was the most important item in the temple. c. Under the wings of the cherubim: The interior of the temple was richly decorated with the designs of cherubim, which surround the throne of God in heaven. This design of the temple was after the pattern of the tabernacle, which had woven designs of cherubim on the inner covering. i. “The statement that ‘they are still there today’ must have been quoted by Ezra from his sources (2 Chronicles 9:2), particularly from 1 Kings (8:8), out of those portions that were written before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The ark had been gone for over a century by Ezra’s day.” (Payne) d. Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb: At an earlier point in Israel’s history there were three items in the ark of the covenant. Earlier, inside the ark were the golden pot that had the manna (Exodus 16:33), Aaron’s rod that budded (Numbers 17:6-11), and the tablets of the covenant (Exodus 25:16). We don’t know what happened to the golden pot of manna and Aaron’s rod, but they were not in the ark when Solomon set it in the most holy place. e. When the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt: The reminder of the deliverance from Egypt is significant, because there is a sense in which this - some 500 years after the Exodus - is the culmination of the deliverance from Egypt. Out of Egypt and into the wilderness Israel, out of necessity, lived in tents - and the dwelling of God was a tent. Now since Solomon built the temple, the dwelling of God among Israel was a building, a place of permanence and security. B. The glory of God fills the temple. 1. (11-12) The praise of the Levites at the installation of the ark of the covenant. And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions), and the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets; a. For all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions: Normally the priests and Levites worked at the temple according to a strict schedule. Yet on this day, all the priests and Levites were on duty before the LORD. b. And the Levites who were the singers: It was right that on this day praise be focused to the LORD, and not to Solomon or David. In reality, this was the LORD’s house, not David’s or Solomon’s. 2. (13-14) The cloud of God’s glory fills the temple. Indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever," that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God. a. That the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud: This was the cloud of glory, seen often in the Old and New Testaments, sometimes called the cloud of Shekinah glory. It is hard to define the glory of God; we could call it the radiant outshining of His character and presence. Here it is manifested in a cloud. · This is the cloud that stood by Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21-22). · This is the cloud of glory that God spoke to Israel from (Exodus 16:10). · This is the cloud from which God met with Moses and others (Exodus 19:9, 24:15-18, Numbers 11:25, 12:5, 16:42). · This is the cloud that stood by the door of the Tabernacle (Exodus 33:9-10). · This is the cloud from which God appeared to the High Priest in the Holy Place inside the veil (Leviticus 16:2). · This is the cloud of Ezekiel’s vision, filling the temple of God with the brightness of His glory (Ezekiel 10:4). · This is the cloud of glory that overshadowed Mary when she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). · This is the cloud present at the transfiguration of Jesus (Luke 9:34-35). · This is the cloud of glory that received Jesus into heaven at His ascension (Acts 1:9). · This is the cloud that will display the glory of Jesus Christ when He returns in triumph to this earth (Luke 21:27, Revelation 1:7). i. It is worthy of note that this great outpouring of the glory of God came in the context of intense and dedicated praise. God pours out His glory when His people praise Him. “We can never expect to have God in this house, or in our own houses, or in our own hearts, until we begin to praise him. Unless as a people we unanimously, with one heart, though with many tongues, extol the King of kings, farewell to the hope that he will give us his presence in the future.” (Spurgeon) ii. “There is an order in this work which we do well to consider. Work performed according to the divine order, offered in sacrifice and praise, is acceptable to God. Such work He receives by possessing it with His own presence and glory.” (Morgan) b. So that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud: The extreme presence of the glory of God made normal service impossible. The sense of the presence of God was so intense that the priests felt it was impossible to continue in the building. i. “As soon as the temple is opened for business, all the carefully planned ceremonies and services have to be suspended because God takes over the entire building for himself. The temple is to be for God’s glory, not for that of human beings.” (Selman) ii. Jesus Himself was greater than the cloud that filled the temple and when He came it was fitting for the priests’ temple service to stop. “This showed that the Levitical ministry should cease when the Lord Christ came.” (Trapp) iii. “The glory of God had filled the house, and the priests were set aside. Where God is, man is forgotten. You will think little of the minister save for his work’s sake – you will talk the less of the man when you shall see the Master.” (Spurgeon) 2 Chronicles 6 - Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication A. Solomon blesses God. 1. (1-2) Acknowledgement of God’s presence in the cloud. Then Solomon spoke: "The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud. I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever." a. The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud: The cloud of God’s glory has a long association with His presence. b. I have surely built You an exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever: Solomon rightly sensed that the presence of the cloud meant that God dwelt in the temple in a special way. As long as this did not slip into a superstitious misunderstanding, it was good to recognize a special place to come and meet with God. i. “Though only Jesus is God incarnate, the temple was a clear sign that God in all his being was committed to living among his people.” (Selman) 2. (3-9) Solomon blesses the people and blesses God. Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. And he said: "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His hands what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying, ‘Since the day that I brought My people out of the land of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there, nor did I choose any man to be a ruler over My people Israel. Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there; and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, 'Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well in that it was in your heart. Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.'” a. Who has fulfilled with His hands what He spoke with His mouth to my father David: Solomon recognized that the temple was the fulfillment of God’s plan, not David’s or Solomon’s. David and Solomon were human instruments, but the work was God’s. i. “The mention of God’s hands (lit. ‘fulfilled with his hands’) really means that God’s actions have confirmed his words – it is as if God’s unseen hands were active in the all the human hands who contributed to the construction work (cf. 1 Chronicles 29:16).” (Selman) b. Out of the land of Egypt: Solomon presses the remembrance of the Exodus. Though it happened 500 years before, it was just as important and real for Israel as the day it happened. c. Nevertheless you shall not build the temple: Though Solomon built the temple and not David, we are reminded of the extensive preparations David made for the temple. David prepared for the temple in every way he could short of actually building it, and he was happy for the credit and honor for building to go to his son Solomon. i. “It confirms that David’s disqualification was not due to sin, but because the concept of God’s rest must be regarded as the unique and final stage in building the temple.” (Selman) 3. (10-11) Solomon presents the finished temple unto God. "So the LORD has fulfilled His word which He spoke, and I have filled the position of my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised; and I have built the temple for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And there I have put the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD which He made with the children of Israel." a. I have filled the position of my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised: Solomon recognized that his succession of David on the throne of Israel was a significant thing. He was the first king to follow his father as a hereditary monarch. b. There I have put the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD: The chief glory of the temple was that it was the resting place for the ark of the covenant, a representation of God’s covenantal presence with His people. B. Solomon’s prayer. 1. (12-14) Humility before and praise unto God. Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands (for Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and he stood on it, knelt down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven); and he said: "LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. a. Stood before the altar of the LORD: Solomon did not dedicate the temple from within the temple. It would be inappropriate for him to do so, because he was a king and not a priest. The holy place and most holy place were only for chosen descendants of the High Priest. b. And spread out his hands: This was the most common posture of prayer in the Old Testament. Many modern people close their eyes, bow their head, and fold their hands as they pray, but the Old Testament tradition was to spread out the hands toward heaven in a gesture of surrender, openness, and ready reception. i. “It is worthy of remark concerning this prayer that it is as full and comprehensive as if it were meant to be the summary of all future prayers offered in the temple.” (Spurgeon) ii. “One is struck, moreover, with the fact that the language is far from new, and is full of quotations from the Pentateuch, some of which are almost word for word, while the sense of the whole may be found in those memorable passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.” (Spurgeon) c. There is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You: Solomon recognized that God was completely unique. The pretended gods of the nations could not compare to Him in any way. 2. (15-17) Solomon recognizes God as the maker and keeper of promises. "You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. Therefore, LORD God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, 'You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk in My law as you have walked before Me.' And now, O LORD God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David.” a. You have kept what You promised: Solomon first thanked and praised God for His past fulfillment of promises. b. Now keep what You promised Your servant David . . . let Your word come true: Solomon called upon God to keep the promises that He made. This is the great secret to power in prayer - to take God’s promises to heart in faith, and then boldly and reverently call upon Him to fulfill the promises. i. “God sent the promise on purpose to be used. If I see a Bank of England note, it is a promise for a certain amount of money, and I take it and use it. But oh I my friend, do try and use God’s promises; nothing pleases God better than to see his promises put in circulation; he loves to see his children bring them up to him, and say, ‘LORD, do as thou hast said.’ And let me tell you that it glorifies God to use his promises.” (Spurgeon) ii. This kind of prayer lays hold of God’s promise. Just because God promises does not mean that we possess. Through believing prayer like this, God promises and we appropriate. If we don’t appropriate in faith, God’s promise is left unclaimed. 3. (18-21) Solomon asks God to dwell in this place and honor those who seek Him here. "But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O LORD my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You: that Your eyes may be open toward this temple day and night, toward the place where You said You would put Your name, that You may hear the prayer which Your servant prays toward this place. And may You hear the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive.” a. How much less this temple which I have built! We are glad that Solomon said this. From prior statements his statement in 2 Chronicles 6:1-2 we might have thought that Solomon drifted towards a superstitious idea that God actually lived in the temple to the exclusion of other places. It was important to recognize that though God had a special presence in the temple, He was far too great to be restricted to the temple. b. May You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place: Solomon asked God to incline His ear towards the king and the people when they prayed from the temple. For this reason, many observant Jews still pray facing the direction of the site of the temple in Jerusalem. c. When You hear, forgive: Solomon knew that the most important thing Israel needed was forgiveness. This was the greatest answer to prayer Israel could expect from God. 4. (22-23) Hear when Your people take an oath at the temple. "If anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple, then hear from heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, bringing retribution on the wicked by bringing his way on his own head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.” a. And comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple: The temple grounds were used as a place to verify and authorize oaths. When a dispute came down to one word against another, Solomon asked that the temple would be a place to properly swear by. b. Hear in heaven, and act, and judge Your servants: Solomon asked the God who can see what man can’t - who knows the hidden heart of man - and to enforce from heaven the oaths made at the temple. i. The old Puritan commentator John Trapp could not resist mentioning a fulfillment of this principle in his own day: “Anne Averies, who, forswearing herself, A.D. 1575, February 11, at a shop of Wood Street in London, praying God she might sink where she stood if she had not paid for the wares she took, fell down presently speechless, and with horrible stink died.” 5. (24-25) Hear when Your people are defeated. "Or if Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and return and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to them and their fathers.” a. If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy: Many times in their history, Israel suffered defeat and could only cry out to God. It was even worse when the defeat was because they had sinned against the LORD Himself. b. Return and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this temple, then hear from heaven: Solomon asked God to hear the prayers of a defeated, yet humble and penitent Israel. God answered this prayer of Solomon, and He forgave and restored His defeated people when they came in humble repentance. 6. (26-31) Hear in times of plague and famine. "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritanc

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17. [The Great British Garden Party] - The Promise Land

[The Great British Garden Party] - The Promise Land

This week we look at the story of the promise land and the fall of Jericho. Natasha shares the word this week.

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