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God Knew what Solomon Needed

October 30, 2011

For most of King David’s life he desired to build a temple for God but God had other plans. David had too much blood on his hands to build God’s Temple (1 Chronicles 22:8). God wanted His house to be built in the context of peace and rest, not in the midst of struggle.[1]God used David to establish a long period of peace for Israel in which his son, Solomon, would rule. The absence of war and strife allowed Solomon the ability to concentrate on building God’s temple.  He did this by giving Solomon rest, peace, and quiet.

Photo taken by Flickr user Lawrence OP

Behold a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days.” 1 Chronicles 22:9 (NASB)

The Hebrew word for “rest” denotes a presence of security. It is also used where peace, quiet, and trust are present. It’s hard to rest when we are afraid or worried about circumstances in our lives. God knew this. He knew that Solomon would need to devote all of his attention to the details of the construction. If there were external wars or turmoil in Israel, his attention would be divided so God gave “peace and quiet to Israel in his days”.

The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom”. Two-thirds of the occurrences of shalom in the Old Testament describe a state of fulfillment that is the result of God’s presence. It is the result of God’s activities. Any peace that we establish will be short-lived. God’s peace is characterized as a state of wholeness and unity. It involves relationships that are harmonious.[2] It isn’t just a cease-fire. There is real community.

What is needed to make us men and women of rest characterized by a spirit of peace?

First, we must have a profound conviction that God is working. We aren’t shaken when life’s storms come because we know that there is a strong and experienced hand at the helm.  Second, we must surrender entirely to His will. God’s will is certain to mean the destruction of our fleshly desires and plans. We must yield to Him if we desire to live a life of peace and rest. Third, we must realize that we are not required to originate or initiate any great plans to further God’s work. He already has the plan. He is already working to further His glory and His kingdom. We just have to be prepared to join the work when prompted.[3]

Finally, what was true for Solomon is true for those building God’s church today. We must pray for the pastoral staff, their families, and the congregants of our churches. God has work for us to do. We need God’s peace and rest so that our attention is not diverted from building His church. Men and women of rest are the builders of the most lasting “structures”. [4]

[1] Guzik, Dave; Commentary on 1 Chronicles, 2006

[2] Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament– page 931, 1980

[3] Meyer, F.B.; Our Daily Homily on 1 Chronicles (April 8, 1847 – March 28, 1929)

[4] Henry, Matthew; Commentary on 1 Chronicles, 1706

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