Our reading today is a short read today so I want you to read it very carefully. How do these 2 chapters differ? Remember the Chronicles author, Ezra, was a priest (and a pretty conservative one) so his concentration is going to be the duties of the priests, the sacrifices, the feasts…really he is always going to be Temple centered.
Solomon’s splendor was the Temple…after that it kind of goes downhill. I know we keep rereading this but it is so important:
14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.
In today’s read we get the big “IF”…”Then” statement:
“But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you[and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 8 This temple will become a heap of rubble.
Son of a Nutcracker! You know I am shaking my head (I was going to write SMH but my husband isn’t as cool as I am and would not know it meant that).
Solomon was a King of Peace and through his willingness to work with his neighbors AND marry their daughters he enlarged the Kingdom while he reined. Even in today’s scriptures, Solomon knows this is wrong because she can’t even live near the Ark because her pagan rituals would be too close to the Presence of the Lord. SMH!!
Umm but remember he was supposed to read his
Bible, I mean the Laws daily so that he would follow God’s words carefully. If he had, he may have seen this:
7 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.[ Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
So when you read today you can see he really was ignoring God on a lot of things! (feel free to ask yourself if you are a Solomon)