Day 119

1 KINGS 7:1 – 9:28 and JOHN 4:1–54

1 Kings 7
This chapter opens by referring to the time it took to construct the house of Solomon which was 13 years. We also see that there was time devoted in constructing a house for the daughter of Pharaoh (vs 8). This chapter goes into certain details with regard to the construction of both houses. (The house for the Lord and Solomon) One of the standout points in going through these verses is the thought of pillars. The strength of a pillar goes a long way in determining the strength of a structure. There is a resounding truth that comes forth in meditating upon this chapter and it has to do with strength and stability. We can link a pillar to a foundation; both have to be strong and secure. You can have a solid foundation however if the pillar that is built upon it is not up to standard the overall building would be in danger of collapse. This chapter puts a focus on pillars and strength.

Rev 3:12  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

The above verse is one of the promises to the overcomers in the church of Philadelphia. What a promise this is! The Lord will establish such a person with His name while also giving a new name. This is a person who has been tested and one who has weathered many storms in his or her life. As believers, we are called to overcome. All of the promises given to the 7 churches are to overcomers; they are not given to the passive and indifferent. We only have this life to allow for such a formation to be established.

In 1 Kings 7 you have the word pillar(s) mentioned a total of 18 times. The number 18 has significance and speaks of two different qualities. It speaks of being “hidden” and it speaks of “strength”. Jesus was polished and prepared for His ministry over a period of 18 years. These were hidden years as He was in the quiver of His Father (Isa 49:2). Jesus was found in the temple teaching and confounding the priests and scribes at the age of 12. The scripture then goes silent concerning His public ministry until His unveiling at the Jordan at the age of 30. It is the hidden and obscure years where the greatest work is accomplished. It is how one yields to the hand of the potter at such times that determines the success and extent of one’s ministry. How many times are such opportunities forfeited due to not having an ability to see God at work?

How do you think Moses felt after seeing his leadership call blow up before him when he slew the Egyptian (Exo 2:11-12)? He felt he was doing the right thing and yet fell out of favor with both Pharaoh and Israel who happened to be the very people he was called to champion. He went into obscurity for 40 years and yet it was the proving ground for him in which he was prepared for his designated leadership role. He yielded to God during those hidden years and served God and his father in law faithfully. This is why we see meekness as one of the dominant qualities in his life. This is also why he showed himself as faithful in leading Israel for those 40 years. The number 18 also speaks of strength. There were two primary pillars in the porch of Solomon’s temple that stood 18 cubits in height. These pillars were so prominent that they were given names. The first pillar which was on the right was named Jachin which means “he will establish”. It is God who desires to not only to place us into a ministry but also to establish us. We see this as a promise for those who would later heed the message of going into Babylonian captivity. The promise is that God would one day bring them back to their own land and plant them; plant them in such a way that no man would be able to uproot them (Jer 24:6). This is what it means to be established. The Lord likens a person who is established upon a sure foundation as one who hears what God is saying and does what he is saying (Luke 6:47-48). The pillar on the left was named Boaz which means “in him is strength”.

There are many other insights regarding the composition of the houses being built however it is the thought of pillars that stand out. God gives the promise of being pillars in the temple if we overcome. It is to those who learn to yield to God, even in times of obscurity. To those who can see God at work in any situation; this is how meekness is produced. It is God’s desire to plant and to establish us into His purposes but it cannot just be assumed. The foundations of the temple that Solomon was building unto the Lord were squared properly under the direction of the stonesquarers. The pillars were strong and positioned in a way that enabled the temple to stand strong. Though the physical building with its foundation and pillars were properly established the spiritual temple as reflected through Solomon would soon show fractures. This is what has to be avoided in the lead-up to these last days. Let the promise to the overcomer as seen in the Philadelphia church apprehend us. What a joy and privilege it would be to be an established pillar in the temple of God. This requires stability and inner strength in our lives as believers. May the qualities of Jachin and Boaz be seen in our spiritual temples.

1 Kings 8
This is one of the most glorious chapters in the whole of the Word of God. It is the dedication ceremony of the Temple of Solomon. It is one of the benchmarks set forth for the manner of glory that will be seen in the last days. Let us pay close heed to these events and the glory that is seen because the glory that is to come in our day will be far greater.

Still, one cannot help but be overwhelmed by what is seen here. This account will also be picked up when we look at 2 Chronicles 5. The key is the bringing up of the Ark out of Zion to the temple at Moriah. We see the Old Testament order of transporting the Ark as being restored due to David having passed on. He was the only king/priest among the kings. They placed the Ark within the holy of holies. It is interesting to note that the Ark at this time only contained the two tables of stone. They were minus the golden pot of manna and Aaron ’s rod that budded (vs 9).

Once the priests came out of the holy place the cloud of glory filled the temple. The account in 2 Chr 5 gives a clearer picture. It mentions 120 priests with trumpets sounding forth with one accord (2 Chr 5:12-13.) This is a similar picture to what will later be seen in the upper room at Pentecost. The 120 gathered in one accord which paved the way for the Holy Spirit to come upon them thus resulting in the birthing the early church. There was great glory evident in the upper room as well. Let’s go back to the thought of only the Law being in the Ark as it is brought into Solomon’s temple. The other two items (golden pot of manna and Aaron’s Rod) are attributes of the Holy Spirit. The pot of manna speaks of hidden truths from God’s Word. Jesus spoke concerning one of the future ministries of the Holy Spirit after his death and resurrection. The Spirit of Truth will lead people into all truth. Aarons Rod that budded speaks of resurrection life. Paul wrote to Romans that if the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead were to dwell in you He then would quicken your mortal body (Rom 8:11). This perhaps could be a reason why we do not see these items at this time. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon and worked through the early church. The Holy Spirit was at work from the beginning but there is the deeper experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit which occurred at Pentecost. The dedication of the temple of Solomon is a vivid portrayal of the glory that would descend upon the early church in the upper room. These two events even when put together will pale to the glory that will be seen in the last days. We can be sure that the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit will be prominent.

The balance of chapter 8 is an intercessory prayer that Solomon makes before the presence of the Lord. He is overwhelmed at the glory and presence of God resulting in his praising God for His faithfulness and commitment to Israel, to David and now to his kingdom. He pleads on behalf of his people that when they sin that God would be heard when confession is made unto Him. He pleads with God to be attentive to any prayer that may come about from famine or pestilence (vs 37). Solomon recognizes the moment and he seeks to instil a reverence and holy fear before God both for him and the people (vs 40). Solomon is aware that Israel will sin and he petitions God that He would be found during such times.

In verses 46-53 Solomon prays a prayer that will have fulfilment in years to come. He speaks to a time when they would be carried away to an enemy land (vs 46). He prays that if they were to repent in the land of their captivity, confess their sin and return unto God with all their heart that they would one day be restored. He prays that they would find forgiveness and to never forget that Israel is their people and inheritance going back to the time of Moses (vs 51).

All of the above happened as Israel was exiled to Babylon due to idolatry. I doubt that Solomon would have foreseen a period of 70 years for the captivity nonetheless in his intercessory prayer he touches the major points. God did restore them and they returned with a new heart and spirit (Eze 36:26). Solomon’s prayer was one of intercession while in the temple beholding the glory of God. His petition had an effect because it came to pass along the lines in how he prayed. One of the things we will see in these last days will be prayers of strong intercession. Remember how the Lord prayed in John 17 to His Father? He pleaded with His Father that there would be the same measure of unity amongst His disciples that was seen in His relationship to His Father. The fruits of His intercessory prayer for unity were realized in about 50 days. Let us not underestimate the fruits of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple. I personally feel that it speaks to the magnitude of prayer that will come forth in the revival to come.

1 Kings 9
The Lord has taken note of the prayer that Solomon had offered up from the previous chapter as he appears before him for the 2nd time at Gibeon. The first appearance is when he had the dream (1 Kings 3:4-5).  The two houses had now been constructed and Solomon is about to go forth in his reign. The Lord presents two very clear scenarios before Solomon as seen in verses 4-7. It is very similar to the charge that God gave to Moses as he prepared Israel to come under the leadership of Joshua. The Lord makes clear that if Solomon would follow the Lord with the same integrity of heart that David had he would establish the throne of his kingdom forever. This would mean keeping his laws, his statutes and judgements. The key to a long lasting reign would be the employing of the priestly qualities that Moses and David exhibited. Solomon was then warned as to the consequences of not following the Lord’s laws, judgements and ways which would result in the going after other gods. He made clear that the glory and splendour that has been seen since the dedication of the temple would all be removed and would serve as a by-word to future generations. It was a “choice” that the Lord was putting forth to Solomon. At the moment all was well. Solomon loved the Lord, the temple had been erected and the glory of the Lord was clearly evident throughout the land. Solomon expressed his love for God as seen in the Song of Songs. As he grew he harnessed and channelled the wisdom God had given in the writings of the Proverbs, a Book we very much benefit from to this day. What could go wrong? Surely, Solomon with all of his wisdom, love and fervency for God would be able to follow through and embrace the Lord’s charge in keeping His laws and commandments (vs 4-5).

This was a most critical phase in Solomon’s life. The Lord was providing him a clear-cut option of either wholly embracing the ways of God like his father David had done or choosing to suffer the consequences of disobedience. It would probably be difficult for Solomon to even imagine the possibility of going after other gods at this juncture of his reign. We can go back right to the beginning when God warned Adam as to the consequence of disobeying His command about partaking of the fruit from the forbidden tree. Adam probably never envisioned that he would turn against God due to the relationship he had with God in the garden.

Well, we know what happened! The primary lesson is clear; we have an adversary that will do whatever it takes to try and get an anointed man or woman of God to disobey God’s laws and commands. He often accomplishes this in the most subtle of ways. It is not immediate and oftentimes not blatant. He works through the process of slowly eroding and chipping away at God’s laws. Solomon wrote about the little foxes that spoil the vine in SOS 2:15. This was the approach that the enemy would take with Solomon. This is why we must pay very close attention to God’s Laws. They are for our protection; they cover us, immune us from the wiles and tactics of the wicked one. This is why we must guard against compromise which can open a door of opportunity for him to begin his work. This is what will take place with Solomon. Consider the many places in scripture where a choice is presented to God’s people.

Deu 30:19  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

1Ki 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

As Solomon begins to establish his reign he is presented the choice of either keeping the Lord’s law and commandments and experience the blessings of them or to not embrace them and begin following after other gods. It is a choice we too need to make, especially as we are nearing the end of days. There will be no middle ground platform from which to function it will either be all out for God or a contrary stream that may have the appearance of starting well but leads to compromise and destruction (Rev 22:11). Unfortunately, it is the latter option that Solomon will end up taking; a path that many seem to be opting for today as well. We need the Fear of the Lord and we need to observe and learn closely from Solomon’s tragic end.

John 4
There are several events and lessons that can be drawn from this chapter. The Lord interacts with a Samaritan woman at a well that was named after Jacob. It is an opportunity to see a quality of the Lord that we may not always appreciate. In this dialogue that takes place over a drink of water at a well named Jacob, a most profound discussion takes place. The Lord was able to discern her spiritual condition and used the human condition of “thirst” to address a core spiritual problem in this woman. We also need to note that the disciples of the Lord had gone to the city to buy meat so He is alone with her.

The human element of thirst has both a natural and spiritual connotation. The Lord makes clear that the water from the well will temporarily satisfy ones thirst but that He has water that can be provided to satisfy a thirst on an eternal basis. Naturally her curiosity was piqued which made her ask more about this water. It is here where Jesus can address the root issue in her spiritual life. He tells her to go call her husband which prompts her response in saying she has no husband. The Lord then follows up by saying “you have rightly said for you have had 5 husbands and the one you are with is not your husband”. One can only imagine how she must have felt as the Lord accurately spoke of her spiritual state. This woman was seeking to satisfy her spiritual thirst in the form of husbands and relationships. The Lord was making clear that he had something far better. Her heart was now open to receive that which Jesus was affording her.

There are many lessons that can be gleaned from the above account. First, the Lord was ministering to a Samaritan, a woman who was in sin and one who the religious would consider an outcast. Yet, this encounter opened the door for the Lord to heal and bless this woman in addition to demonstrating the truth of how one can worship God in Spirit and in Truth (Joh 4:24). How many of us today would seek to minister to such “outcasts” today? Truthfully, if we study the gospels we see the Lord reaching out to many such people resulting in great healing’s miracles and Biblical illustrations. The harvest before us in these last days shapes up to be the largest in all of church history. Who will be part of that harvest? I sense that the woman at the well represents many who will be part of such a harvest.  Who will be engaged in such a harvest? Hopefully, it will be the church taking on the example of Christ. This will require men and women who are in keen in the Spirit; men and women who can discern opportunities as well as discern issues in people’s lives. We marvel as to how the Lord was able to point out this woman’s sin and hidden needs. Do we appreciate the fact that the Lord did not openly announce her sin but did it privately? Do we appreciate that we have the same Holy Spirit working within us that Christ had within him?

It is interesting to note that the Lord goes on to speak concerning the harvest in verses 34-38. He makes clear to not see it as something in the future; it is here and it is now. He also states that His primary meat, his mission more than anything else is to do the will of his Father that sent Him. The harvest is paramount in the heart of the Father and we must catch it. As we begin to have an enlarged heart for people I believe God will begin to give insights and keys in how to unlock the doors to people souls. The woman that Jesus met at Samaria had her heart opened by a simple discussion of drinking water at a well. Imagine the possibilities that exist in our day to day existence. It must first begin with a genuine passion and love for souls. The key to this woman’s problem was in the realm of thirst. She longed for contentment and satisfaction and sought to satisfy it by illicit relationships that would never quench that inner longing. A simple thirst for a drink of water gave the Lord the key in being able to unlock her true need. It was the living water that never runs dry. This conversation at the well is recorded and still has ramifications to this very day. Lord, may we partake daily of this living water and be channels in making it available to others.