Bible Readings for October 6th
In 1 Kings 9, Yahweh accepts Solomon’s prayer from 1 Kings 8, saying, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time” (1 Kgs. 9:3). Yahweh does put his name in the temple, but importantly, Yahweh also provides explicit terms for this arrangement—terms that would affect the rest of human history.
First, Yahweh reiterates to Solomon the terms of the covenant he had made with Solomon’s father David. So, Yahweh says, “And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statues and rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever” (1 Kgs. 9:4–5). The establishment of the throne of David’s offspring after Solomon depended on the obedience of David’s descendants.
Second, Yahweh also clarifies that even the temple’s ongoing use as the dwelling place of Yahweh on earth depends on the perpetual obedience of Solomon and the rest of David’s descendants. So, if Solomon or his children turn aside from Yahweh, then Yahweh will raze the temple to the ground: “And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’” (1 Kgs. 9:8).
And in fact, David’s descendants do fall away from Yahweh—including Solomon himself, as we will see in 1 Kings 11. Within one generation, Solomon’s son Rehoboam would see both Israel split into two kingdoms (1 Kgs. 12) and the temple ransacked by the Egyptians, who steal all the costly treasures Solomon had built (1 Kgs. 14:26). All of this, however, is merely a precursor to the day when both kingdoms would go into exile and the Babylonians would destroy the temple altogether (2 Kgs. 25:9) to fulfill the word Yahweh had spoken to his people when he warned them against disobedience.
It is critical to note, then, that when Jesus came to be the new temple, he did not merely reunite Israel—and, he went beyond reconciling the nation of Israel with the Gentiles into a single body (Eph. 2:14–16). Ultimately, the temple of Jesus’ body had to be destroyed at the cross for the disobedience of God’s people and then, on the third day, that temple had to be raised up (John 2:19). Not a word that Yahweh had spoken would fall to the ground, but it was precisely through destroying his temple that Yahweh would atone for the sins of all his people, reconciling them to himself forever in peace and righteousness.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.