Scripture Nugget 4.23.2016

“Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon, ‘Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, obey my ordinances, and keep all my commandments by walking in them, then I will establish my promise with you, which I made to your father David. I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.’ So Solomon built the house, and finished it.” 1 Kings 6:11-14

Let’s focus on God’s overarching intent of his statutes, ordinances and commandments that he reminds Solomon of: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) And, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbors yourself: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18) As we continue our journey into the story of God and his people reading about Solomon lets watch for how Solomon uses the gifts of wisdom and discernment that God has given him. There are some potentially troubling actions that have or are about to occur in regards the Temple Solomon builds for the worship of God. 1) Solomon conscripted 30,000 Israelites into forced labor, 2) Solomon will take almost twice the amount of time to build his own house as he does the Temple, it will be longer, wider and as high as the Temple, 3) the furnishings of his house were as ornate and expensive as those in the Temple, and 4) Solomon builds as separate house for his wife (Pharaoh’s daughter) which may indicate he is providing a place for her to worship her “god(s)”. Before I (we) turn to judge Solomon, let me always evaluate myself, am I attempting to do something good but forgetting to love God first and primarily and love all those God puts around me? Or am I hoping my good deed(s) will cover up my lack of love of God and others? As a good friend reminded yesterday, “there’s always hope as long as Jesus is here and Jesus isn’t going anywhere.” O that I would love God first and others the way Jesus loves me (all of us)