Day 148

2 CHRONICLES 1:1 – 3:17 and ACTS 5:1–42

2 Chr 1
Solomon began his reign in strong fashion. The land was at Rest, the people were behind him in his efforts and most importantly God was magnifying him abundantly. In the second year of his reign he brought the congregation and priests and officers to the high place at Gibeon where the Tabernacle of Moses was situated. He offered the sacrifices that were designated of old by Moses. The difference was that the Ark was no longer part of Moses Tabernacle. It was removed by the corrupt priests Hophni and Phineas while it was positioned at Shiloh (1 Sam 4). The Ark would never enter Moses Tabernacle again. David was given the privilege of being both a king and priest which was not allowed in the Old Testament order from the time of Moses. A king was to come from Judah and the priest had to come forth from Levi. David was a man born out of time due to his exceptional heart for God. His life was exemplary which allowed God to use David as a type of “Christ” when Jesus Himself would later come forth as the Son of the Man. He is also a type of the king and priest that we are called to be as seen in the Book of Revelation (Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6). Now that David has passed on, the Old Testament order of king and priest would resume up till the time of Christ.

In verses 7-12 we have the account where God appeared to Solomon and gave him the opportunity to ask for anything that was on his heart. This account was covered in 1 Kings 3:5-6. Solomon was wise to ask for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. These are three of the 7 spirits of the Lord as represented by the Holy Place Candlestick Anointing (Isa 11:2-3). These are also three attributes of God that were given to Daniel and his three friends when they were serving in Babylon (Dan 1:17, 20). Daniel and his friends were preserved because they made an intentional decision to separate from the worldly delights of the kings table (Dan 1:8). They also spent time in prayer and fasting before God over a period of 10 days.

Solomon had a very good start to his reign and he was favoured and blessed by God for asking for wisdom but he did not pay the kind of price that Daniel and his friends did. Instead of separating from the world and its ways he indulged in them (Eccl 2:1-3). He took in many wives which in the end turned his heart towards their gods (1 Kings 11:3). Wisdom and knowledge will be essential for these last days (Isa 33:6) however we must live lives pleasing to God. It is hard to believe that the man (Solomon) we see in 2 Chronicles is the same man seen later in life in Ecclesiastes. It gives evidence to what can happen to even the most anointed of men if one’s relationship with God is not maintained. The man who exhibited the greatest wisdom and knowledge in the world was not immune from worldly folly.

After his time at Gibeon Solomon returned to Jerusalem where he increased his abundance in chariots and horses. Shall I say once again that this is one of the violations of the Law of Kings from Deu 17:16? God’s laws and commandments should be meaningful to Solomon, David and others. It should be meaningful to us as well. We will see the fruits of these indiscretions shortly.

2 Chr 2
In verses 1-10 we have the account of Solomon’s wanting to build a house for the name of the Lord. He took advantage of the relationship that his father had with Hiram, king of Tyre. This same event is gone into more detail in 1 Kings 5; it is there where King Hiram congratulates Solomon for his coming to the throne.  Solomon requests from the king a man who is able to work with gold, silver, brass and iron. He also requests for cedar trees which Lebanon were known for. The Bible indicates that Solomon tasked a total of 153, 600 men for the work (vs 2). Solomon would give workers to Huram to assist in the work and to learn from their expertise.

King Hiram responds kindly to Solomon in verses 10-16. He compliments Solomon on being a wise son of David; he adds that it is because of God’s love that he has been placed in the authority of the throne. The king also appointed the man who could do the precise work, a man with expertise in gold, silver and brass to do the detailed work required. He can be likened to Bezaleel who had the anointing and gifting to construct Moses Tabernacle. What a beautiful beginning we see to the reign and establishing of Solomon’s kingdom. The favor and cooperation of the King of Lebanon is heartening as the work for the house is undertaken. The exchange of goods for labour is secured and the work begins (vs 15-16).

This is one of the beautiful truths concerning Rest. God brings all things into place. That which Solomon looks to do regarding the building of the house for the Lord was something that first began in the heart of David, his father. God was pleased that David had this in mind but He had to inform David that his seed would carry out the vision of a house for the Lord. Solomon was acquainted and in alignment with God’s heart concerning this matter. It was the Lord that opened the heart of vessels like the King of Tyre to accommodate what needed to be done. This is a wonderful anointing that will be seen in many saints in these last days. People like Ezra, Nehemiah and others are types of what will be seen. These were men whose lives pleased God. They understood and knew the heart of God resulting in God allowing them to have favor with heathen kings (Ezr 7:6, 21, Neh 2:4). There is a price to pay for such an anointing. Solomon had similar favor with King Hiram but much of it came as a result of the relationship his father had earlier established with him. David paid a price that sadly Solomon could not fully appreciate and duplicate.

2 Chr 3
Solomon now begins the work of building the house unto the Lord. The place is at Mt. Moriah which has great significance. It is where the Lord appeared unto David at the threshing floor of Araunah (Ornan) the Jebusite. It is the place where Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen 22:5). It is also one of the summits in a range of hills known as Zion.

In verses 3-17 the details of the construction of the house are given. We see similar details given in 1 Kings 6. In our commentary from 1 Kings 7 we made mention of the two pillars in the front of the temple. They have names; one being Jachin and the other Boaz. These two pillars are mentioned in 2 Chr 3:17. In the commentary from the 1 Kings 7 reference mention was made to one of the promises to the church of Revelation. The church of Philadelphia has the following promise:

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 world today is going through great shakings with greater ones to come. How firm is our foundation? Will our works and our churches be able to stand against the testing winds of adversity? The name Jachin means “he will establish”. The name Boaz means “in Him is strength”.  What kind of spiritual house are we building for God? What is the condition of our individual temples? The Apostle Paul makes the statement that we are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor 3:16, 2 Cor 6:16).

In these last days there will be a literal temple that will be erected in Jerusalem (Rev 11). The glory that fell upon Solomon’s temple will be exceeded in the days to come. Do we have a vision for Zion, the dwelling place that the Lord chose for His resting place? Are we willing to have the qualifications of Zion worked out in or lives so that we might have access to His presence (Psa 15, 24)? Are we willing to allow God to “establish” and to strengthen us so that we might stand in that day? Are we willing to allow God to get a hold of us so as to give us a new name and authority? We all long for the glory of God; Solomon had it but he lost it. We long for such glory but we need to live out the reality of the two pillars and what they represent. May the qualities of Jachin and Boaz be worked out within each of us.

Acts 5
This is a chapter where we see a vivid picture of the Fear of the Lord. It begins with a husband and wife named Ananias and Saphira. They sold a possession and they had kept back part of the purchase price. It must have been something they had agreed to give unto the church work but later determined to keep part of what was committed for themselves. They made a good show of charity by laying an amount at the feet of the apostles. Peter, having discernment took issue with Ananias and rebuked him by asking how Satan was able to fill his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? It is a similar scenario seen with Judas in John 13:2. Satan was able to plant the seeds of betrayal within his heart. We discovered that Judas was a thief already but he was able to veil it effectively in the midst of his brethren. Peter is not the same man that he was back at the time of the upper room. He is now filled with the Holy Ghost and has an ability to discern the heart and intent of a man unlike before. The Bible also makes this statement concerning how one can come to a level of discernment:

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Have you noticed Peter’s ability to administer the Word with his bold preaching messages over the previous few chapters? The Holy Spirit has given him an ability to not only boldly rehearse and proclaim scripture but to also have a read on men’s hearts. It appears that Ananias and his wife had a heart that may have been conditioned and prone to deceit, just like Judas. It is a sobering reminder of how circumspect we need to be especially while in the midst of a mighty move of God. The Holy Spirit of God is not to be mocked or trivialized. Ananias, upon hearing these words from Peter immediately gave up the ghost and died. The same event happened with his wife a few hours later (vs 7-10). Peter asked her the question about the amount and it’s clear that both husband and wife conspired together. The same fate awaited her as she too gave up the ghost and died (vs 10).

We need to take note of verse 11 because we find that great fear came upon the church at large as a result of this incident. There had been great excitement at the spreading of the gospel message, the souls being saved and the miracles taking place. It was somewhat easy to get carried away with all of the blessings and expansions with the thrust of the early church. This brought reality back home that God is a holy God and not to be trifled with. We saw something similar when the children of Israel lightly regarded Ai after their great victory at Jericho (Josh 7). The sin of one man plagued and affected the entire camp. The Fear of the Lord is one of the 7 spirits of God that is evidenced by the candlestick in the Holy Place. The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. David says that the Fear of the Lord is clean and enduring forever (Psa 19:9). The Fear of the Lord allows us to be sensitive to the Lord; to have an awareness of the things that either pleases or displeases Him. It is an anointing that will help keep us in proper alignment with God’s ways.

The reputation of what God was doing was quickly spreading to other regions whereby people who were sick and infirmed would be brought before the apostles. The growth of the church continued as well. The question now is how much longer could this continue before the enemies of the church would begin to act?

The priests and Sadducees tried to put them in prison but the angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and sent them forth to speak in the temple the Words of the Gospel (vs 18-20). It must have been a glorious experience to be able to speak boldly, see healings, be put into prison only to be released by an angel and sent back to teach. The priests took them again privately, without force due to swells of people gathered to hear them and spoke saying that they were not to speak the things of the Lord. Peter, John and the others responded that they would rather obey God than men and went into speaking as to how they (Pharisees and Sadducees) slew the God of their fathers by hanging Him on a tree (vs 28-30).

The priests were very much cut to the heart and could not take much more of their speaking. Like they did with the Lord, they now sought ways to be able to kill them. There was a man by the name of Gamaliel who rose up and spoke some common sense which the priests for the time being were able to agree to. He referred to some other man by the name of Theudas who rose up and had a similar following for a time before the people scattered from him. If this work is of God they would not prevail. It was more or less a stop-gap, face saving alternative for the priests because they knew not what to do for the present time. The disciples however continued on with their preaching and teaching. They also were delighted that they could be counted worthy to suffer in Christ’s name. Many of these men walked with Christ and would be familiar with the tactics and attacks of the enemies of the gospel. Though they may not have understood it at the time there had to be admiration for Christ in all that He went through. Now, only a few days after his ascension they too are going through many of the same ordeals. What a transformation in the lives of Peter and the others as a result of Pentecost. Lord, we need another Pentecost!