Jun. 21. Queen of Sheba Impressed by Solomon and His Glory

I Kin. 10:1-29; II Chron. 9:1-28

With God’s promise of wisdom, glory and great riches, it seemed that everything Solomon touched turned into additional wealth. His fame spread far and wide.

Sheba was a kingdom in the southwestern area of the Arabian Peninsula in what is now Yemen. The queen of Sheba hearing the reports of his great wisdom went to Jerusalem to test Solomon and to determine for herself if the things that she had heard were actually true. She was so impressed with his wisdom and the proficiency with which he operated, she stated, “It is a true report…However, I did not believe the words…indeed the half was not told me…” The queen also recognized that it was not just Solomon, but that the God of Israel had blessed him and his people.

Another reason for the queen’s visit was probably to strengthen commercial ties between the two kingdoms. She and Solomon exchanged gifts that probably preceded more extensive commercial trade.

Solomon’s fame continued throughout the region, especially southward into Arabia. His wealth increased through gifts from other kings and through commerce.

#chronological-bible-study

Restore absolute faith and obedience

First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:8-10 NIV)

Сказав прежде, что ‘ни жертвы, ни приношения, ни всесожжений, ни [жертвы] за грех, –которые приносятся по закону, –Ты не восхотел и не благоизволил’, потом прибавил: ‘вот, иду исполнить волю Твою, Боже’. Отменяет первое, чтобы постановить второе. По сей-то воле освящены мы единократным принесением тела Иисуса Христа. (К Евреям 10:8-10)

O LORD my God, your glory, power, strength, majesty, and renown are present among people all over the world. Stir our hearts so that we will gladly break into heartfelt praises of thanksgiving on this new day. Help us in our weakness, dear Lord. Clear our minds of any effects of false doctrines about Christ our Lord that may is part of the contemporary teaching of various false teachers. Bless your church around the world as we struggle to uphold the truth in a time when gross error seems common. Restore absolute faith and obedience to Christ as our Savior and King. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Ordered not to speak, Acts 4.18

“And they called them in and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.”

Acts 4.18

Peter and John angered the authorities for preaching Christ. They were imprisoned, but many believed. The church now numbered 5,000 men. Now they are ordered to be silent.

Society would silence the saints. Christ has ordered us to announce the Good News. We must decide. Silence is deadly—for the lost and for ourselves.

#votd #Acts #persecution

Jun. 20. Palace and Other Buildings Constructed

I Kin. 7:1-12; 9:10-28; II Chron. 8:1-18

Solomon had a master plan for the construction of many buildings during his reign as king of Israel. With the first and foremost building, the temple of God being dedicated after seven years of building, he turned his attention to building the palace complex which involved another thirteen years. It was near the temple and included the royal palace, the House of the Forest of Lebanon, Hall of Pillars, Hall of Judgment for his throne and a house for Pharaoh’s daughter whom he had married.

Those were elaborate structures built of costly and large stones, cedar pillars and paneled with cedar. Some of the stones were eighteen feet in length.

The partnership with Hiram continued to flourish with exchanges of gifts and Hiram furnishing labor for Solomon’s many projects. Israel’s king continued to prosper as he led the people in God’s paths.

Solomon accomplished many other tasks. He fortified other cities with walls, gates and bars. The inhabitants of the land who were not Israelites were used in the strenuous construction labor. Solomon’s armies and governmental assistants were taken from the Israelite population. He and his people enjoyed a period of great prosperity and progress during his reign as king.

#chronological-bible

Open stone-cold hearts

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6 ESV)

Ибо Я милости хочу, а не жертвы, и Боговедения более, нежели всесожжений. (Осия 6:6 Russian)

O LORD my God ~ thank you, dear Father, for shining the light of your love on people all over the world. Lord, open the stone-cold hearts of those who are suffering the bitter consequences of their own bad moral choices. Help people who feel tragically lost to trust and obey Christ as Lord and bask in the fullness of your grace. Accept the sincere worship we bring with hearts full of love for things that are inherently good. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

The process of Bible study

This acrostic (“TIP”) might be helpful in remembering the necessary process of studying the Bible. Much can be said about each step, but this little item attempts to provide us a brief reminder. Continue reading

#bible-study, #hermeneutics

Holy kiss, 1 Thessalonians 5.21

“Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss.”

1 Thessalonians 5.21

The normal greeting of antiquity was the kiss. Since Paul finds it necessary to stress that, among the saints, it ought to be holy, it may have been abused.

The emphasis here is not on the kiss but on it being holy. He isn’t establishing a ritual; he’s making sure that all we do is characteristic of God’s holiness.

#holiness #votd #1-Thessalonians

Jun. 19. God’s Second Appearance to Solomon

I Kin. 9:1-9; II Chron. 7:12-22

Years earlier, God had appeared to Solomon and promised great wisdom, wealth and honor. After Solomon’s fervent temple dedication prayer, God appeared to him at night and consecrated the temple. He also renewed the promise that He had made to David stating that if he and his sons continued to follow David’s example, the kingdom would forever remain with them. However, if they strayed from God’s ways, the kingdom and all that pertained to it would be taken away. His special blessings carried special conditions then and they also have special conditions during today’s Christian age. The Jews did reject God and He allowed them to be destroyed as a nation. Their only hope today is through obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

#chronological-bible-study

Be attuned to the Spirit’s ways

One blogger criticizes following a program to be the church:

Everyone loves to idealize the early church. Those were “the good old days.” Entire movements of the church, known as Restoration Movements, have attempted to cast aside all of church history and tradition  beyond what we have recorded in Scripture, in the interest of getting back to the “early church,” when it was all working. If we can just do what they did, the rationale goes, we will see what they saw.

What’s his solution?

As we move forward in reading the story of The Movement, let’s take care not to read too prescriptively, in search of  principles and such. Let us instead seek to attune ourselves to the person of the Holy Spirit and his nature, character, and ways of engaging with the human community. To be clear, the acts of the Apostles mattered. That’s just not what this story is about.

Oh, too prescriptively. Can we read it a little prescriptively? But wait, isn’t he searching for principles and offering us merely another set of them when he starts ought, “Let us instead …”? Indeed, he is! His problem is not with prescriptions, norms, or principles, but he wants us all to adopt his.

There’s the catch, isn’t it? How to be attuned to the Spirit and to his “ways of engaging with the human community”? Is it not through Scripture? Or are we to wait for some whisper in our ear from above? Or do we go pawing through church history (yours, ours, or theirs?) for those principles?

The Bible is exactly that, prescriptive. Otherwise, chunk it. Go with your hunches. Stick with your unholy-spirit induced beliefs. Find the Holy Spirit’s ways in animal entrails or emotional outbursts. Whatever tickles your fancy.

The writer throws out the baby with the bath water. The book of Acts is normative. It show us how it’s done and how it ought to be done. And why it’s done. And who makes it happen. We need the power and the prescription.

#Acts #restoration #normative

Pay closer attention, Hebrews 2.1

“Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

Hebrews 2.1

What was heard was the message spoken by the Lord and preached by the apostles, vv. 2-3. “Must” leaves no alternative. Listen closely. Otherwise, we will fall away.

This is why we emphasize serious Bible reading, study, and memorization. It means spiritual life. What is my plan to pay closer attention to God’s word?

#votd #Hebrews #Bible

Jun. 18. Temple Furnished and Dedicated

I Kin. 7:13-8:66; II Chron. 4:1-7:11; Ps. 30:1-12

Huram, a master craftsman from Tyre was responsible for the bronze work around the temple. There were two bronze pillars eighteen feet tall and about five and one-half feet in diameter with various decorations adorning them. They were set up on each side the vestibule. A bronze Sea containing about twelve thousand gallons of water was placed at the southeast corner of the temple. Many other lavers, carts and decorations of bronze were made for the temple by Huram. The Sea and lavers were used for ceremonially washings of the priests and common people. It was also necessary to wash the sacrifices.

Upon completion of the temple, the various holy furnishings of the tabernacle were moved to the newly constructed temple of the Lord. The most notable item was the ark of the covenant placed in the Most Holy Place under the wings of the cherubim. It only contained the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mt. Horeb. Apparently, the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded had been lost.

The day that the ark of the covenant was finally moved to its permanent location was joyous and full of worship to God. He was well pleased by the occasion. Just as He had acknowledged Moses’ obedience by His glory, He also honored Solomon by His glory. “…when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”

Solomon first blessed the whole assembly of Israel. He related how that his father David had desired to build the temple, but had been prevented from doing so by God. The promise that God had made to David that his son would build it had been fulfilled.

As the dedication ceremony continued, Solomon stood before the people with his hands spread toward heaven and knelt in prayer to God. As all people are subject to sin, he asked God in his prayer for restoration for Israel as they would return to Him in repentance after periods of sinful living. He prayed that the temple would always be a place that the people could pray toward for God’s forgiveness.

After finishing his prayer, Solomon arose and blessed the people again and admonished them to, “Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments as at this day.” The day’s activities concluded with the offering of peace and burnt offerings. Fire came down from heaven and consumed those offerings. Those sacrifices were followed by another fourteen days of feasts given by Solomon.

“Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house; and successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house.”

It is not certain when or by whom this psalm was written. Some have suggested that it may have been sung at the dedication of the temple of God. Its sentiments could very well have been appropriate at that time. The psalmist expressed thankfulness for God’s care during sickness and oppression. As the poem points out, recovery and victory were because of God. Likewise, construction of the temple had been delayed many years due to various reasons, but it had finally been completed, dedicated and occupied by the presence of God. Victory at last!

Hugh’s News & Views (. . . The Right Jesus?)

HOW CAN I KNOW WHEN I HAVE FOUND THE RIGHT JESUS?

I enjoy preaching about the church and believe that in the light of the astounding lack of Bible knowledge that so many people have about the church that such an emphasis is necessary. I love to preach about “The Church of the Bible” and take my hearers on a journey through the Bible to see what it says about the church. I love to preach on “How Can I Know When I Have Found the Right Church?” in which I set forth the distinguishing marks of the church that Christ established. I think in our day and time it would be hard to give too much emphasis to what God has said about the church and what He wants the church to be in all ages.

At the same time, I recognize the importance of preaching about Jesus. Just as I preach about the church of the Bible, I also need to preach about the Christ of the Bible, and do. Just as I preach on “How Can I Know When I Have Found the Right Church?” I also need to preach on “How Can I Know When I Have Found the Right Jesus?” In His discourse concerning the impending destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the Romans (which occurred in A. D. 70) Jesus warned, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). Through the centuries, many false christs (messiahs) have arisen. So, how can we know when we have found the right Jesus, the right Christ? Continue reading

#hughfulford, #jesus

Jun. 17. Preparations and Construction of God’s Temple

I Kin. 5:1-18; II Chron. 2:1-3:17; I Kin. 6:1-38

Solomon’s father, David had been a close friend with Hiram, king of Tyre and that friendship continued between the king of Tyre and Solomon. Soon after he had settled in as king of Israel, he began to make preparations to construct the temple of God that his father had been prevented from building. Since God is everywhere and cannot be contained, the temple was not to actually house Him, but was a place for the people to worship Him.

Lebanon was a land of abundant timber that could be used for building. Solomon sent a letter to Hiram proposing that he would provide grain and wine in exchange for the timber and craftsmen to oversee the work. Since Hiram needed the grain and wine, that was a win, win deal and he replied to Solomon his agreement to the proposition.

Logs were tied together as rafts and floated to Solomon where they were taken apart and moved overland to the building site. In an age of primitive mechanization, many thousands of workmen were required to prepare the timbers and stones for the temple construction.

On the second day of the second month of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign as king, the temple construction began in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah on the threshing floor site that David had purchased from Ornan. Considering that a cubit is eighteen inches, the foundation of the structure was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide and forty-five feet high with an additional fifteen-foot vestibule extending from the front.

The stones for the temple foundation were completely sized at the quarry so there would not be the metallic sounds of any hammering or chiseling at the construction site. Even as large and elaborate as the stones were, they were covered with cedar beams and boards. The walls were cedar panels and the floors were cypress. All of the wooden surfaces were overlain with gold. There were also ornate carvings of cherubim and flowers.

Immediately inside from the front vestibule was the inner sanctuary and beyond that room was the Most Holy Place. Two cherubim were placed inside the Most Holy Place. Their wing spans were fifteen feet each and they stretched across the entire room. They were also fifteen feet high. Surrounding the temple were smaller rooms built against the outside wall. After a construction time of seven years the temple of the Lord in all of its splendor was completed.

#chronological-bible-study

If possible, Romans 12.18

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.”

Romans 12.18

Paul recognized it is not possible to live peaceably with some people. Not every persecutor will convert to Christ. But we must make every effort on our part.

Christians are peacemakers, like their Lord. They go the extra mile. They know how to bite their tongue. They bless instead of curse. How am I doing in this area?

#votd #Romans #peace

Jun. 16. Attitudes of Man

Prov. 21:1-22:16

“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” That statement can also be applied to a woman living in a house with a contentious man. Life is too short to be lived in constant turmoil. Men of low character seek the easy, fast and evil methods to get their desires in this life. Their profit is only fleeting while God blesses the wise and diligent in their efforts. God looks with disdain at the proud and haughty person. He is pleased when the rich share their goods with the poor who cannot help themselves.

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches…” A person’s reputation built upon his deeds is of great influence in this world. One can build a good reputation with good deeds or a wicked reputation by committing evil deeds. A single unwise act can destroy a lifelong good reputation that no amount of wealth can restore. Solomon pointed out the relationship between sowing and reaping. That principle is dominant throughout the pages of Scripture. The wise plan ahead to prepare for the perils of life. Children who are well-trained are prepared for the life ahead. The fruits of the lazy and scornful are poverty and strife. Whatever seed that is sown will yield the same fruit in return.

#chronological-bible-study