kjv@2Chronicles:2:1@ And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:2@ And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:3@ And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:4@ Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:5@ And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:6@ But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?
kjv@2Chronicles:2:7@ Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:8@ Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,
kjv@2Chronicles:2:9@ Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:10@ And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:11@ Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:12@ Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:13@ And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's,
kjv@2Chronicles:2:14@ The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:15@ Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:
kjv@2Chronicles:2:16@ And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:17@ And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.
kjv@2Chronicles:2:18@ And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.
Perhaps this goes to show the deep roots of our sins. Even though we see the great fast and prayer, even though we see God speak through a Levite to the king, even though we see a tremendous victory at God's hand, our heart is still not yet prepared, there are still high places of idolatrous worship.
This is not to say that incurable disease is caused in this manner or reason in all cases. It was true in this particular case because we are told that it was so. How often this happens we do not know, we are not told. This is a very important time in Judah given what he had done to the remaining descendants of David, what he had encouraged Judah to sin in, and by his own idolatrous practices and alliances.
Do you remember back in the days of Samuel that God had warned united Israel what it would be like for them under the monarchy that they were desiring to switch to? But, they wanted to be like all the other nations? Well here you go. Sounds like a bad nightmare by now doesn't it? Two generations from a good king in Judah and a victorious moment of remembrance of Solomon's temple dedication promise and they are right back into the deep darkness.
This is one of the few times we see the strong influence of a high priest on the king and the nation. So often we are left asking where are the Levites? Where are the priests? Well, here one is in Jehoiada. Remember that this is Judah. Israel has for long expelled the Levites and the influences of the mosaic covenant priests.
Idolatry seems rather foolish when it is put this way. Perhaps the decision isn't so much what the new god represents to them but, what the old God has become to them in their rebellion, a constant reproof.
It is easy for us to see by this narrative how the mind of a not so good king digs a destructive whole deeper and deeper for itself. It is not so easy to see this tendency play out in our own lives. We are not under the same pressures and responsibilities that drive such stark consequences, but, we do do these things none the less. We see these forces working in other people's lives and when it is fully explained to us as God sees it, but, not readily by our own introspection.
As we saw just recently a priest influencing a king for good, now we see a prophet. The text does not say how they may have meet or what if any relationship they might have had, but the two are noted mutually here.
I find it interesting that in all the things he could have lifted his heart to do that he lifted his heart to do that which only the high priest could do, enter the holiest to burn incense. He was seeking to worship, I suppose, in a way that he was not permitted, assuming a role that was not his. We do not know other than his pride what prompted him to do this nor for whom he was doing this for.
Apparently for fear of what had happened to his father being stricken for a high heart. Notice as well that there is something similar with other people, perhaps entering the temple in ways not permitted. Are the two related?
We are seeing a descent run of good kings in Judah for now. You will notice that even though they are good, doing right in the eye of the Lord, they are also exposed as having peculiar defects. It is noted that they are being influenced by either a good priest or a good prophet which say much about their leadership style (the strength of keeping poor influence out and good influence in). The text also hints to the weakness of either lift their own heart too high in their public worship or else avoiding public worship altogether without standing against the corruption of others in the temple. Both are weakness of high order for a king even if they are otherwise doing right.
It is interesting here that especially with Israel that God would be using the self same source of Judah's sin (Israel's false religion) as the subjecting hammer over Judah. It should be clear to Judah how God feels about their idolatry.
The tables turn quickly under a wicked king. Judah gets spanked hard. You'll notice though how quickly the tables turned, how rapidly that that high places and idols almost seemed to be in place, how eager others were to follow along. It seems so much harder and politically time consuming to establish good than it does evil.
How cool would it be to be like a great grand child two or three generations from this and see that the men of your family are actually mentioned in the Book of Chronicles as actually doing something marvelous for the Lord. There for you and everyone else to read about. Problem is that two generations or so seems to be the length of most of these revivals, those generations may not even be aware that there is such a book.
The thing about having an actual physical temple is that it often stands as a barometer of the people of the nation spiritually. The condition of the temple reflects the condition of men's hearts. Figuratively, it takes one drunken night to tear it apart and defile it, yet it takes eight intense days and the political will several years later just to bring it back to where it was.
In the OT atonement was not only made for the individual but for the nation. Now that the body of Christ has outgrown the nation we must consider that His atonement is not only for the individual, not just the nation of Israel, but the entire body of Christ as one. This is how we later will see a bride of Christ dressed white as snow. The critics of the bride and the stay at home believers should be made aware of this fact.
King David to this day not only has political and judicial effect on men, but, perhaps more importantly has spiritual effect influencing even the forms and means of corporate worship. That friend is lasting and powerful!
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