- What was the root fault in Jeroboam’s character, and how did God in his mercy seek to show him the folly of the course he was pursuing?
- What punishment fell on ‘the man of God … out of Judah’ and why?
Cf. 20:36, and contrast our Lord’s firmness in Matt. 16:22, 23.
- Study the character of the two kings, Rehoboam and Jeroboam.
To what factors would you attribute the division of the kingdom?
- What four action of Jeroboam are spoken of in verse 25-32, and what was their purpose?
Clever as they were politically and according to human judgment, wherein lay their fatal error?
See verse 30; 13:33, 34; 2 Kgs. 17:21.
- Solomon was outwardly at the height of his power, wealth and fame (See 10:14-29).
But what was going on within his heart in respects:
(a) of his affection, and
(b) of his relation to God (see 11:1-8)?
Read Prov. 4: 23-27. What was God’s chief charge against him?
- How does the account of the events of 11:14-40 bring out God’s overruling hand?
Cf. Dan. 4:34, 35; Ps. 135:5, 6.
What effect should this truth have on a believing heart?
Cf. Acts 4:23-30.
- Comparing 9:3 carefully with 8:29, in what two respects did God exceed Solomon’s request? Observe also the close relation between God’s promise and his commands, and between his fulfillment of his promise and man’s obedience. Cf. John 14:14, 15, 21; 15:7; 1 John 3:22.
What do we see in today’s passage of the fulfillment to Solomon of God’s promise in 3:12, 13?
- In what ways is the Queen of Sheba an example to us?
Consider the purpose of her visit, the difficulties of it, and her reward.
- Verse 14-21. What promise is spoken of here as having been fulfilled?
Are there experiences in your life of which you can say ‘God… with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised with his own mouth’ (verse 15)?
Observe how, in verses 22-53, thanksgiving for the fulfillment of the promise stimulated further prayer. What seven particular petitions did Solomon make, and on what grounds did he base his prayer?
- Verses 54-61. In this ‘blessing’ how did Solomon sum up Israel’s story’s?
What two petitions did he offer, and to what ends, and what charge did he give the people? Consider how applicable his words are to ourselves.
- Verse 12.’Dark cloud’: there was no light in the most holy place, to symbolize the inscrutable mystery of the divine nature.
The ark symbolized his presence in the midst of his people.
- Verse 16. ‘My Name’: a phrase used frequently in this chapter as signifying God in the fullness of his self-revelation.
- Verse 51. ‘Iron-smelting furnace’: i.e., one in which iron is smelted.
- Verse 65. ‘Seven days and seven days more’ i.e., seven for the dedication of the altar, and seven for the feast, as explained in 2 Chr. 7:8, 9.
Today’s portion describes:
(a) the making of the brass (or bronze) furnishings and implements for the temple court, 7:13-47;
(b) the golden furniture and utensils for the house itself, 7:48-50. Many of the details are difficult to grasp, but it is possible to distinguish the two great pillars, with their ornamental capitals, the great basin resting on twelve oxen, and the ten carriage with wheels, richy ornament, and carrying lavers; and also within the house the house the golden altar of incense, the table of the bread of t he Presence (‘shewbread’ AV), and ten candlesticks or lamp-stands.
There was also a bronze alter in the temple court, which is mentioned later (see 8:64).
- What can we learn concerning our own service for Christ from the spirit and aim that animated Solomon (cf. 2 Cor. 9:7; Rom. 12:11), and form the fact that he pursued the task through seven years until it was finished (Cf. Acts 14:26; 20:24; 2 Tim. 4:7; Luke 14:28, 29)?
- Finally, when all was prepared, the ark was brought in to the place reserved for it under the wings of the cherubim in the most holy place. Is the Lord Christ thus enthrones in you, his temple? Cf. Eph. 3:16, 17. In what ways is his indwelling manifested in your life?
Try to form a mental picture of the house of the Lord’. What was its length, its breadth, its height?
What was the size of the porch, and what of the most holy place, here called ‘the inner sanctuary’ or ‘the oracle’ (AV)?
Notice, too, the side rooms, and arranged in three storeys round the sides and back of the house. These would take away from the narrow appearance of the building, and provide space for storage, etc. It may help you to draw a sketch, keeping to scale (a Cubit was about eighteen inches). Draw in also the five buildings in the outer court (7:1-12).
- Of what material were the walls made, with what were they lined on the inner side, and how adorned? Observe also the care expended on the design and workmanship of the two sets of doors. What can we learn from these things? Cf. 1 Chr. 22:5, 14-16; 1 Cor. 3:12-15.
Note. 7:2. ‘The Palace of the Forest of Lebanon’s: so called because of the number of Pillars made from the cedars of Lebanon. It was a Hall of Assembly.