Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jun 3 2019 - 1 Kings 8:54-9:9 – Covenant and king

The dedication of the temple is completed with further extravagant bloodshed; "Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the LORD: twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the temple of the LORD" (1 Kings 8:63). Fellowship with God comes at a great price.

Solomon has prayed that the Lord, "may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other" (8:59-60). He wants blessing not only for himself, the king, but also for God's people. More than that, he prays that through them, all nations may come to know that the God of Israel is the only true God. Solomon prays that God's promise to Abraham may be fulfilled; that through him and his offspring all nations on earth may be blessed.

In 1 Kings 9 we read that in response to his prayer, God appeared to Solomon a second time. If Solomon and his descendants are faithful to God then God will bless them and establish their kingdom; "If you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever" (9:4-5). But if Solomon or the kings who follow after him disobey God, this temple and the kingdom will be destroyed. Nevertheless, God's purpose to make his own name and power known to the ends of the earth will not fail; if Israel's king is unfaithful and God visits his people in judgment, this also will act as a witness to the power and faithfulness of the God of Israel (see 9:6-9). The prosperity and future of the kingdom is dependent upon the faithfulness of the king, but above all it is grounded in the faithfulness of God.

As we continue with our readings in Kings, we shall see how the kingdom is divided and destroyed by the faithlessness of Israel's kings, David and Solomon's descendants. But a king will one day come, a descendant of David, who will walk faithfully before God, with integrity of heart and uprightness of life, and will do all that God asks of him. His kingdom and his royal throne will be established forever. Through him the promise God made to Abraham shall at last be fulfilled; in him all nations shall be blessed. Beyond human failure there is the unshakable hope that God will raise up a saviour not just for his people Israel but for the whole world.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing…

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love.

Lord Jesus, thank you that through your costly sacrifice of yourself you have reconciled us to God and brought us into fellowship with him. Thank you that in you we are truly blessed; you satisfy our daily needs. Help us to understand that this blessing is not for us alone; you have given us a ministry of reconciliation that, through us, others may be brought into fellowship with the living God. Thank you that because you remain faithful, your kingdom will not fail but will continue to increase until the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our God and of the Lamb.

Peter Misselbrook