Jul 10, 2022. I Kings 8:22-40

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TEMPLE MERCY. I Kings 8:22-40. 7/10/2022. #21.

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven; 23 and he said: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. 24 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. 25 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 before Me as you have walked before Me.’ 26 And now I pray, O God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David my father. 27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! 28 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 today: 29 that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. 30 And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive. 31 “When anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple, 32 then hear in heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness. 33 “When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and when they turn back to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication to You in this temple, 34 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers. 35 “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, 36 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 inheritance. 37 “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; 38 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), 40 that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.

1. Perspective

                a. Solomon acknowledges the limitations of the Temple

                                a1. The God of the universe can’t be confined to a building or location (not contained by multiple universes)

                                a2. God, and not the temple, is key to Israel’s wellbeing

                                a3. The temple exists due to God’s covenant

                b. The temple will be God’s “dwelling place” (point of contact between God and Israel as long as the people obey the covenant)

                                a1. God’s covenant with Abraham = eternal

                                a2. David will have a descendent to sit on the throne until all is fulfilled

                                a3. God’s blessing upon Israel is contingent upon their obedience (Deuteronomy 28)

2. Prayer of forgiveness

                a. Only a small portion of this prayer of dedication deals with dedicating the temple

                b. Solomon spends most of his time on a key purpose of the temple

                                a1. Not focused on the worship of God (a prime consideration for holiness)

                                a2. Centers on God forgiving Israel when they sin (key focus of offerings in Leviticus)

                c. Solomon recognizes how sinful Israel is

                                a1. Not “if” we sin, but “when” we sin

                                a2. The history of Israel was full of rebellion

                d. Solomon acknowledges that God will send disease, blights, famine, pestilence, enemies, and plagues when Israel rebels and refuses to repent

                                a1. There is no logic to sin against God, but men do so anyway

                                a2. Even when severely punished men often rebel and stubbornly refuse to repent

                e. Notice that the supplication to God that Solomon has in mind is the plea for forgiveness

                                a1. When God’s people plead for mercy, Solomon asks that God will forgive them

                                a2. This prayer begins the tradition of praying toward the temple

                                                b1. No such concept about tabernacle

                                                b2. Daniel 5 Daniel prayed toward Jeremiah

                                a3. God was said to dwell between cherubim

                d. Solomon makes 2 pleas

                                a1. If someone swears an oath before God, may the petitioner be heard

                                a2. Judge the evil person and sustain the righteous (must include himself)

3. Repentance

                a. Sol. admits that Israel is going to rebel

                                a1. Often, they will not repent

                                a2. God will judge them with plagues, famine, and invaders

                b. Sol. pleads that God will forgive them when they turn back to God

                                a1. Notice that Sol. knows that Israel will not turn back until they are severely punished

                                a2. The fear of the Lord is illusive for selfish people

                c. Even though forced repentance is not freewill repentance, Sol. pleads for forgiveness, even when the repentance is coerced

                d. Sin nature means that few truly righteous exist                 e. Only God’s mercy prevents total destruction

Jul 3, 2022. I Timothy 5:9-16

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WIDOWS INDEED. I Timothy 5:9-16. 07/03/2022. #15.

9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, 10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. 11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, 12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some have already turned aside after Satan. 16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

1. In light of other passages

                a. Often Paul or other writers will state a general principle in absolute terms

                                a1. Jesus did not mean that anything ask for, you will get (Matthew 18), for often we want selfish things (James 4)

                                a2. Proverbs 22:6 does not mean that every well-trained child will be godly

                b. Proverbs, parables, and illustrations are generally true, but not universally true (a diligent man doesn’t always become rich, the godly often suffer from hunger, the prodigal does not always return,…)

                c. Interpretation depends on many principles:

                                a. Compare with other passages

                                b. Context, grammar, and setting

                                c. Careful translation work is necessary

                                d. Seeming contradictions are actually different aspects of defining truth

2. The widow on the roll

                a. A widow who can be supported by church:

                                a1. Mature (60+)

                                a2. Faithful (wife of one husband, faithful in ministering to others, holy, helpful, and hospitable)

                                a3. No family members to support her

                b. Widows who are not to be enrolled for aid:

                                a1. The ungodly

                                a2. Younger widows

3. The young widows and the church

                a. Young widows will tend to want to remarry, not wanting to just be helpers in church

                                a1. I Corinthians 7 this is not universally true, since Paul argued for single servants (note Anna’s service in Temple)

                                a2. Younger more active women will tend to be idle, busybodies, gossips, desiring to marry, and wanderers

                b. “Wanton against the Lord” = refers to breaking their pledge to serve Lord only

                                a1. Not necessarily, leaving the faith

                                a2. Restless, with divided interests

                c. Not all widows are gossips or busybodies, but Paul had seen enough to know trend

                d. “Turning after Satan” = not losing faith, but tempted to become fleshly and worldly

                e. Paul concludes that the church must not become a welfare organization

                f. Paul’s point = temptation of idle youth is stronger than most pledges (I John 2:15-25)

                g. Matthew 26:41 our spirit is willing to commit to the Lord, but the spirit is very weak

Key Verse:  1 John 2:15-2515 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.

Jul 3, 2022. I Kings 8:14-21

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BLESSED BEGINNING. I Kings 8:14-21. 07/03/2022. #20.

14 Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 15 And he said: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David, and with His hand has fulfilled it, saying, 16 ‘Since the day that I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there; but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’ 17 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.’ 20 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 a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 21 And there I have made a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which He made with our fathers, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

1. Dedication speech

                a. Solomon gives an accurate summary of the history leading up to the dedication of the temple

                                a1. In typical Jewish fashion, Solomon goes back in history & brings events forward to the present time of the speaker (Acts 7; 22)

                                a2. God brought Israel out of Egypt (this is the starting point of Israel as a nation)

                                                b1. God receives credit for Exodus

                                                b2. God had a singular purpose in making Israel: His people

                b. Several pertinent points in the summary

                                a1. For centuries God had not directed Israel to build a Temple in any city

                                a2. God chose David of Judah as king

                                a3. David desired to build the temple for the Lord, but God did not allow it

                                a4. God promised David that his son would build the temple for God’s name

                                a5. Solomon had fulfilled God’s promise to David on this Day of Dedication

                                a6. The Ark of the Covenant now has a permanent home in Jerusalem

                c. God accomplished his will for his purpose to use Israel to exalt his holy name

2. Hint of self-exaltation

                a. Solomon used the pronoun “I” three times to refer to his accomplishment of God’s promise

                                a1. I filled the position of my father David

                                a2. I built the temple for the name…

                                a3. I made a place for the ark…

                b. Solomon could have meant that God used him to accomplish his will

                                a1. There is a contrast between Moses’s statement, “shall we bring water out of this rock for you” and both Joseph & Daniel declaring that only God could interpret dreams

                                a2. Several points God alone has power: Elijah could not bring down fire from heaven on his own; Paul could not heal on his own; God raises up & brings down (Exodus 4)…

                c. By not publically giving God credit for the building of the temple, Solomon demonstrates a character flaw

                                a1. I Kings 11 Solomon “loved” many women (lusted

                                       after pretty young virgins) – contrast this

                                       to Job refusing to look on a maiden-Job 31:1

                                a2. Ecclesiastes 2 – I denied myself nothing I desired

                d. Ego can be very subtle

                                a1. Sol. emphasis the glory of the temple over

                                      the glory of the God of the temple

                                a2. Deuteronomy 8 God gives the power to achieve

                                a3. I Corinthians 4:7 we have nothing to boast about

                                a4. I Corinthians 10:31 all things done for glory of God

                                a5. II Corinthians 12 Paul given a thorn to humble him

                e. Signs of pride:

                                a1. Glorying in accomplishments (Nebuchadnezzar)

                                a2. Coveting another’s place (Uzziah)

                                a3. Overuse of “I” (pharaoh)

                                a4. Seeking to take credit (Herod)

                                a5. Abuse of power (Jezebel, Saul)

                                a6. Abuse of gifts (Samson; I Corinthians 12-13)

                                a7. Desire to be honored (Haman, Cain)

                f. Solomon may have thought that his motives were pure

                g. Pride, jealousy, & envy can be unrecognized in self

Jun 26, 2022. I Timothy 5:1-8

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CHRISTIAN COURTESY and CARE. I Timothy 5:1-8. 06/26/2022. #13.

1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. 3 Honor widows who are really widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1. Restraint and respect

                a. Christian courtesy and manners were standard teachings, even in public schools decades ago

                                a1. The Judeo Christian influence produced both a strong work ethic and a clear understanding of right and wrong

                                a2. Society accepted a Bible-based ethics, even when many violated those ethics

                b. Paul lays out a framework for personal behavior

                                a1. Show deference toward an older man, even when correcting him

                                a2. Treat elderly as fathers and mothers

                                a3. Treat the younger as brothers and sisters

                                                b1. Young ladies should feel safe

                                                b2. Young men should not feel threatened

                c. Even when rebuking an older man for doing something wrong, he should be exhorted with respect and deference rather than  scolded

                d. Courtesy and respect is God’s idea

2. Family care

                a. Family members should take care of other family members who are in need

                                a1. The church (or in modern times, the state) should not be responsible for

                                      an impoverished widow or ill person

                                a2. Family members are to step in and take care of needy people

                b. Often, multi-generations would live in one house in the Near East, as aging parents and grandparents are taken care of by children

                c. As parents took care of children, there comes

                    a time when children are to take care of parents

                                a1. There is a biblical obligation to take care of members of our own families

                                a2. MK. 7:5-16 Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not taking care of their parents

                d. In a welfare state, there are provisions to take care of the elderly and needy, but the responsibility for what is not provided falls on the family

                e. We are judged by how we honor our obligations to our family members (often quite difficult)

3. The church and widows

                a. There were many widows in ancient world, since older men usually married young women

                b. Had the church tried to take care of all of them, there would be no funds for the gospel ministry

                c. Paul stated that the church should not be obligated to take care of widows unless there was no other way to support the widow

                d. The church was to aid only godly elderly widows

                                a1. The church is not to help freeloaders, panhandlers, and deadbeats

                                a2. Those with legitimate confirmed needs that can’t be met otherwise may be aided

                e. Stewardship = not to enable irresponsibility

Key Verse: Mark 7:5-165 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” 9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” 14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Jun 26, 2022. I Kings 8:1-12

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FROM TENT TO TEMPLE. I Kings 8:1-12. 06/26/2022. #19.

1 Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David, which is Zion. 2 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month. 3 So all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 4 Then they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. 6 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. 7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 8 The poles extended so that the ends of the poles 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. 9 Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 12 Then Solomon spoke: “The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud.

1. End of an era

                a. For over 450 years worship Jewish worship centered on the tabernacle

                                a1. The tabernacle was carried from place to place as the Israelites moved through the Wilderness

                                a2. In Israel the tab. had been in Shiloh, Mount Gibeon, and Mt. Zion in Jerusalem 

                b. 430 yrs. between Abraham and Moses; 490 years between Moses and Solomon; 370 years between Solomon and the exile (destruction of Temple); 483 years between rebuilt Temple and the Cross

                c. When Solomon dedicated the Temple (957 BC), the ministry of the Tabernacle ended forever

                                a1. Permanent dwelling in Jerusalem

                                a2. Had the Jews obeyed God, the Jews would have stayed in the land and the Temple would have remained in Jer.

2. Transfer to the Temple

                a. The Tabernacle was located on Mount Zion

                                a1. Called “The City of David”, this was where David had his palace

                                a2. The Temple was on Mt. Moriah (where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac)

                b. 4 hills of Jerusalem: Zion, Moriah, Ariel, and Ophel

                                a1. 3 hills outside walls of Jer.: Mount Scopius, Mount Olivet, and Mount of Corruption

                                a2. Golgotha (bald head or skull) was a lesser hill outside the Western Gate

                c. The transfer of all the furnishings and vessels from the Tabernacle to Temple happen in the month of Ethniel (Tishri; Sept./Oct.) around the time of both Yom Kippur and Feast of the Tabernacle

                                a1. Accompanied by countless sacrifices

                                a2. Much fanfare and celebration

                                a3. The tabernacle was retired

                d. The Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies under the winged cherubim

                                a1. The tablets of The Ten Commandments were in the Ark

                                a2. No mention of what happened to Aaron’s almond branch that budded or the pot of manna in the ark

                e. Somehow the poles that carried the ark could be seen from the holy place

3. Glory fills the Temple

                a. God indicates that he is pleased with the Temple

                                a1. God will dwell among his people

                                a2. God will receive worship from the repentant and the faithful

                                a3. God sanctifies the activity of the Temple

                b. The glory was so overwhelming that the priests could not see to continue their work

                c. Had Israel continued to obey, God’s glory would have remained with his people

                                a1. Ezekiel 10, Ezekiel saw God’s glory depart

                                a2. Israel never experienced God’s full glory

                d. God’s blessing and glory is experienced only as we fully yield to him

                                a1. Revelation 3:20 God is willing to fully bless us

                                a2. Psalm 66:18 God does not fellowship with sin

                e. Dedication of the Temple was only an event if the people did not fully embrace what it meant

Jun 19, 2022. Father’s Day, I Kings 3:1-15

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I Kings 3:1-15

1 Now Solomon made [a]a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall all around Jerusalem. 2 Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days. 3 And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places. 4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” 6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an [b]understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen[c] your days.” 15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

1 Kings 11:1-8

1 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— 2 from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. 8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

1. The unusual life of Solomon

                a. Solomon’s life was extraordinary

                                a1. 4th son of David and Bathsheba

                                a2. Chosen as heir to the throne above at least 13 older brothers

                                a3. Given wisdom and wealth

                                a4. Loved of God and heir to promise given David

                                a5. Built Temple, his palace, and other buildings

                                a6. Married 700 princesses and had 300 concubines

                b. No man has ever had a greater advantage than Sol.

                                a1. God gave him peace, prosperity, power, and prominence (all that man desires)

                                a2. Solomon could write his own story

2. A good start

                a. God gave Sol. a blank check to ask whatever he wanted

                                a1. Instead of power, Sol. asked for wisdom

                                a2. Sol. wanted to rule his people well

                b. God was pleased, so he gave Sol. wisdom, wealth, and dominion as well

                                a1. Sol. had everything he desired

                                a2. God gave Sol. freedom to use what he was given

                c. Freedom can be used for good or bad (benefit or abuse)

                                a1. The greater the power, the more the responsibility

                                a2. Few can resist self-indulgence when in bounty

                d. Must be aware of temptations in our environment

                e. A single-minded focus must be kept to avoid sin

3. Bad choices lead to bad ends

                a. Sol. could have used his gifts to serve God and others

                                a1. Unchecked power leads to indulgences

                                a2. Restraint usually must be imposed by others

                b. Sol. was given the wisdom to restrain himself, but desire comes from our fallen nature

                                a1. Self-control must be imposed upon us by us

                                a2. Gen. 4:7 no one can master our lusts but us

                c. Sol. allowed his lust to lead him (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)

                                a1. He lusted after many women and took them

                                a2. He gathered wealth at the expense of others

                                a3. He built great buildings for himself and collected many expensive items

                                a4. He gathered women to entertain him, cooks to pamper him, and soldiers to make him powerful

                d. In the end, Solomon regretted the path he took

                                a1. God did not restrain him from his reveling

                                a2. His foreign wives turned his heart away from God and he built idol’s temples and worshiped there

                                a3. He heavily taxed his people to support his greed

                                a4. His enjoyment soon ended in old age and death

                e. The result of Solomon’s self-indulgence was tragic

                                a1. God sent enemies to harass him

                                a2. Sol. discovered too late that all he did was worthless and unfulfilling

                                a3. Sol. could point to no one he truly helped and so he had neither satisfaction or eternal reward

                                a4. Sol. could not undo what he had done

                f. Opportunity comes with responsibility:

                                a1. How will you use what God has given to you?

                                a2. Is what you do for self or God; benefit or waste?

                                a3. The gift of life can be spent, wasted, or invested

Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” 3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. 4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. 9 So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.

I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.


Jun 19, 2022. I Kings 7:23-51

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SANCTIFIED FURNISHINGS. I Kings 7:23-51. 06/19/2022. #189.

23 And 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.

51 So all the work that King 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 the furnishings. He put them in the treasuries of the house of the Lord.

1. The Temple Sea

                a. Huram made a great basin for use in the temple

                b. The basin was large

                                a1. Made of bronze 3” thick (a handbreadth)

                                a2. 7.5’ high; 9.5’ in diameter

                                a3. 300 ornamental buds (app. 1.8” ea.) decorated the rim

                                a4. Sitting on 12 oxen (3 each facing N,E,W,S)

                                a5. Held 12,000 gallons of water (1 bath ≈ 5.8 gal.; fill a pool 14 x 28 x 4)

                c. Sea was on right side of the inner court

2. Carts and lavers

                a. 10 carts or stands

                                a1. All of bronze

                                a2. 6 x 6 x 4.5

                                a3. Decorated with oxen, lions, & cherubim

                b. 27” bronze wheels attached to 4 supports

                c. Round top 9” high with lions, cherubim, & palm trees around the rim

                d. 10 bronze lavers (basins)

                                a1. 240 gallons each (app. 3 bathtubs full)

                                a2. Could be heated with firepans

                e. Made bronze shovels, bowls, lavers, tongs, firepans and other utensils

                f. The bronze was so much that Solomon did not bother to try to count it all

3. The finished job

                a. Several observations of the temple furnishings:

                                a1. Made to God’s specifications

                                a2. Skilled craftsmen produced each item

                                a3. Every detail was meticulously made

                                a4. All items had a practical use

                                a5. All items were aesthetically pleasing

                                a6. Everything needed for work or of the temple was made

                                a7. Both the material & craftsmanship were of high quality

                b. All the items in the Temple served to contribute to one purpose: sacrifice for sins of Israel

                                a1. The durable material was meant to last for centuries of usage

                                a2. The sacrifices never atoned for sin

                c. God needed only 3 entities to finish the sacrifice for sin: His Son, nails, & a cross

                                a1. Christ’s sacrifice put an end to the need for altars, lavers, The Sea, shovels, tongs, firepans, animals, & bowls

                                a2. The cost & work simply to cover sin was enormous & ongoing

                                a3. The cost to remove sin was far higher than to cover sin, but God paid the entire cost

                d. There now is no altar, Bronze Sea, lavers, shovels, firepans, or sacrificial animals

                                a1. None is needed

                                a2. God in Christ has eliminated all temple work (it is finished!)

                e. Adam went from fellowshipping with God to being alienated from him to needing to sacrifice often

                                a1. Under Mosaic Covenant = elaborate sacrifices

                                a2. Under Christ all sacrifices are over

                f. No longer need for altars, priests, lavers, & offerings

Jun 5, 2022. I Timothy 4:1-16

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HIDE HARDENED HERALD. I Timothy 4:12-16. 06/05/2022. #12.

12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

1. Right at any age

                a. One of Timothy’s doubts was his age

                                a1. As Jesus was accused of being too young to teach truth (Jn. 8:57), so Timothy was told the same

                                a2. Timothy was probably about 40 yr. old

                b. One was not considered to have any wisdom to share until at least 50 years’ old

                c. Several people in Bible were deemed too young

                                a1. Job 32 Elihu refused to speak until he heard the wisdom of his elders (he was disappointed in Job and his 3 neighbors)

                                a2. Jeremiah 1 Jeremiah stated he was too young to speak to Judah for the Lord

                                a3. David was the youngest brother out in the field with the sheep (considered “but a youth” going up against Goliath)

                d. Paul tells Timothy not to let anyone disrespect his youth (lit., “to think down upon”, belittle)

                                a1. People = discounting Timothy’s message because he was young

                                a2. Paul stated that Timothy needed to boldly proclaim Word, even in the face of ridicule and doubters

                e. Truth is truth no matter who proclaims it

                                a1. Timothy was not to allow anyone to silence him in proclaiming the truth

                                a2. Timothy was to live truth and teach it

2. The calling

                a. Paul reminds Timothy that he was called by God to full time ministry

                                a1. Not a selection by man or inheritance

                                a2. God appointed Timothy to preach and teach

                b. Elders confirmed Timothy’s call with lay on of hands

                                a1. There was no granting power with hands

                                a2. Shows that they recognized the call

                c. By prophesy (the Spirit indicating his choice)

                d. Timothy was to ignore the naysayers and continue to preach (most pastors have detractors)

3. Keeping faithful

                a. Paul tells Timothy to concentrate on his calling:

                                a1. Reading the Word of God

                                a2. Being exhorted by Word and exhorting

                                a3. Study doctrine

                                a4. Develop and use the gift given by God

                                a5. Meditate on Word and obey (Psalm 1)

                b. Paul tells Timothy to focus on his studies and calling continually (don’t get distracted from it)

                                a1. The progress in Timothy spiritual walk will be seen by everyone (Luke 2)

                                a2. Diligence brings spiritual growth

                c. The stakes are high: save self and others

                                a1. Timothy could not “save” anyone

                                a2. By sound teaching and living, Timothy will deliver self and others he instructs

                                      from life sin

                d. Good mentoring leads people to Christ and life

Key Verse: Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

3 He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so,

But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Jun 5, 2022. I Kings 7:13-22

PILLARS OF GOD. I Kings 7:13-22. 06/05/2022. #17

13 Now King Solomon sent and brought Huram from Tyre. 14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a bronze worker; he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill in working with all kinds of bronze work. So he came to King Solomon and did all his work. 15 And he cast two pillars of bronze, each one eighteen cubits high, and a line of twelve cubits measured the circumference of each. 16 Then he made two capitals of cast bronze, to set on the tops of the pillars. The height of one capital was five cubits, and the height of the other capital was five cubits. 17 He made a lattice network, with wreaths of chain work, for the capitals which were on top of the pillars: seven chains for one capital and seven for the other capital. 18 So he made the pillars, and two rows of pomegranates above the network all around to cover the capitals that were on top; and thus he did for the other capital. 19 The capitals which were on top of the pillars in the hall were in the shape of lilies, four cubits. 20 The capitals on the two pillars also had pomegranates above, by the convex surface which was next to the network; and there were two hundred such pomegranates in rows on each of the capitals all around. 21 Then he set up the pillars by the vestibule of the temple; he set up the pillar on the right and called its name Jachin, and he set up the pillar on the left and called its name Boaz. 22 The tops of the pillars were in the shape of lilies. So the work of the pillars was finished.

1. Huram the metallurgist

                a. Solomon hired a metallurgist from Tyre

                                a1. Huram had an Israeli mom and Phoenician dad

                                a2. Even though God commanded to marry within one’s tribe, mixed marriages occurred

                b. Huram (“noble born”) = father a metallurgist

                                a1. Known for his great craftsmanship

                                a2. Sol. sought out the best to do his work

                c. Notice that even though the covenant was with the Jews, God allowed Gentiles to participate in work

                                a1. God’s temple, though mainly for the Jews, was open to all who believed

                                a2. No indication what Huram’s religion was

2. 2 impressive pillars

                a. Huram cast 2 large bronze pillars for the entrance of the temple (bronze = copper + tin; brass = copper + zinc)

                b. Pillars were enormous (27 x 5.7)

                c. The capitals on top of the pillars were 7.5 tall

                                a1. Capitals were made in likeness of lilies

                                a2. Capitals were decorated in the likeness of pomegranates

3.  Symbolism

                a. Sol. gave names to the 2 pillars: Jachin and Boaz

                                a1. Jachin = it is established

                                a2. Boaz = he gives strength

                b. The symbolism is obvious

                                a1. God established the covenant with Israel

                                a2. God gives strength to his people

                c. One either could see the grand pillars and marvel at the them, or meditate on what the pillars meant

                d. Many symbols in the temple

                                a1. Holy of Holies = throne room of God

                                a2. Ark of the Covenant = where God meets his people to give them grace

                                a3. Showbread = God provides for his people

                                a4. Incense = God hears his people’s prayers

                                a5. Altar = sacrifice for sin

                                a6. Laver = God washes away sin

                e. When the symbol becomes sacred within itself, one worships and idol and not God

                f. Christian symbols are the same

                                a1. Not to reverence the symbol, but the Lord

                                a2. Communion elements are a reminder of the Lord in his sacrifice for us, not holy in their own rights (not worship bread + wine)

                                a3. Baptismal water is not sacred, but the commitment to serve the Lord is

                                a4. We do not worship the Bible, but the Bible instructs us how to serve and worship God

                                a5. The cross is a symbol, but not to be worshiped

                g. If people came to the temple to admire the architecture and gold, they missed the point (Mt. 24)

                                a1. 1 Cor. 3:17 the temple of the Lord could not save anyone (just an object)

                                a2. Rom. 1 by transferring true worship and faith from God to an object, one is an idolater

                h. Symbols are aids (communion, baptism, Bible), but are neither objects of adoration nor givers of grace

                i. Jachin and Boaz were impressive, but manmade

May 29, 2022. I Timothy 4:6-11

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STAYING ON POINT. I Timothy 4:6-11. 05/29/2022. #11.

6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.

1. The sum of ministry

                a. Paul summarized his instruction to Timothy with four points:

                                a1. Focus on sound doctrine

                                a2. Avoid fables, speculation, and myths

                                a3. Live a godly life

                                a4. You will suffer for the cause of Christ

                b. Staying true is hard to do

                                a1. There is a tendency to drift in beliefs, practice, zeal, and focus

                                a2. Revelation 2 the Ephesian church had left their first love (Jesus Christ)

                c. God doctrine must be continually studied, taught, and practiced

                                a1. Not study for knowledge alone

                                a2. Study for belief, witness, and protection against error (many temptations)

2. The rumor mill

                a. 4 ways to incorporate error into our lives:

                                a1. Heeding stories, rumors, anecdotes, gossip, myths, and hearsay

                                a2. Speculation – inventing answers when you have no evidence or when answers are not available

                                a3. Tradition – being a part of a group that have developed a system they hold to be true that may be full of error

                                a4. Peer pressure – yielding to what those around you believe

                b. Often told stories are viewed as truth

                                a1. If the story starts out as false, it does not improve with age or repeated telling

                                a2. Many times a commentary author will speculate on a matter and others repeat it as true (for example, the William Barclay commentary)

                c. Stay away from “just-so stories”

                                a1. Stay with what can be verified

                                a2. If an idea puts Bible teaching in doubt, it is wrong

3. Faith gym

                a. Paul states that bodily exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is far more valuable

                                a1. II Timothy 2:14-19, constant study, prayer, seeking the Lord, reaffirming beliefs, and guarding against error = ongoing activity

                                a2. Both the body and spirit was always being attended to so one won’t fall away

                b. Paul states that if we live a godly life and teach the truth, we will suffer for it

                                a1. The ungodly recoil at godly lives

                                a2. Since men love darkness, light is hated

                c. 3 admonitions concerning godly living:

                                a1. Continue to grow in Christ

                                a2. Unbelievers will reproach your faith

                                a3. God will strengthen us in our witness (fortifies belief, testimony, and in trials)

                d. These are not suggestions, but commands (not how we feel or want, but what we are called to)

Key verse: II Timothy 2:14-1914 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to [a]strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and [b]idle babblings, for they will [c]increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of [d]Christ depart from iniquity.”