I HAVE HEARD YOUR PRAYER
1 Kings 9
A Second Time
After Solomon had completed the temple, his house, and his other construction projects, the Lord appeared to him again. Although some years have passed, the Lord responds to Solomon's prayer of dedication during a time of tremendous prosperity. The Lord heard the king's prayer, he consecrated the temple, and he put his name there forever. The blessings promised were conditional, and the Lord reminded Solomon that he was to walk in obedience before the Lord in order to enjoy these covenant blessings. It seems that Solomon may have been in danger due to his spiritual decline. God warns that unfaithfulness will have severe consequences. If Solomon or his children disobeyed, they would be cut off from the land that God had given them, God would reject the temple, and people would see Israel as an example of unfaithfulness. The temple ruins would astonish people, and they would recognize them as the results of forsaking the Lord.
Solomon spent twenty years building the temple and the palace complex. Solomon was supplied with building materials by Hiram king of Tyre. In particular, he received a large amount of timber and at some point, Hiram had given him gold as well. As a result, Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in Galilee, but when Hiram came to inspect the territory, he was displeased. Hiram communicated his disappointment to Solomon and called the Cabul. Solomon accomplished these projects through a compulsory labor force which was used primarily for public works, the temple, palace, fortifications, and strategic places within the provinces. Solomon built in Jerusalem and other fortress cities while also building storage facilities as well. Solomon made slaves of the foreign peoples which Israel had not destroyed. No Israelite was forced to be a slave, but some were forced into temporary government service. Solomon's top administrators were five hundred fifty officers who had charge of the labor force. When Solomon finished the palace complex, he brought Pharaoh's daughter from the city of David to the house he had built for her. After the temple was complete, Solomon sacrificed on the altar he built at the temple instead of on the high places as he had before the temple was completed. Solomon built a commercial fleet of ships in a venture with the Phoenicians. Hiram sent some of his own men who were experienced to help the servants of Solomon. Solomon's kingdom was magnificent, and the infrastructure was ahead of its time.
Things To Consider:
- How does the Lord speak to us today?
- How do you know if God hears your prayer?
- Do we have obligations as Christians?
- Why does sin bring consequences?
- Why do you think Solomon gave his ally cities that would potentially displease him?
- Why did Solomon use forced labor?
- When did God warn his people about the king using forced labor?
- Why did Solomon move his wife?
- What did Solomon show his people through his worship?
- Why was a fleet of ships so valuable?