1 Kings 9 Religion or Relationship
After twenty years of construction, seven for the temple and thirteen for Solomon’s house; the Lord speaks to Solomon in a dream to assure him that He was pleased with what had been accomplished thus far. The Lord reminded the king the blessings that would flow to him and his household as they followed after the Lord. However there was a stern warning as to what would happen to Solomon or his sons and the nation, should they turn from the Lord. He was particularly concerned about their falling into idolatry and thereby forsaking the Lord.
Most of what Solomon used in constructing both the temple and his houses resulted in heavy taxation on the people. The taxation was part of what prompted people to entreat Rehoboam to become king years later and reduce the heavy tax burden they had.
In an attempt to appease Hiram, Solomon gave him the produce that was came from each of the cities; which Hiram quickly dismissed as being inferior to his expectations. He called them “Cabul”, meaning “good for nothing”.
Solomon attempted to raise a labor force from those who were not Jewish people to build houses in a number of different cities and a city for Pharaoh’s daughter. We read of them in verse twenty.
In the midst of his downward slide, Solomon continued to offer offerings at three of the major feasts; which didn’t really make much impact in him spiritually.
It is very easy to opt for religious activity verses a relationship with the Lord Jesus, especially in our western culture. Options are great; yet there are times they can create detours in our lives, rather than keeping us on course. Activities are easier to maintain than relationships; yet relationships, particularly with the Lord and mankind must be worked at.
Remember the reward is eternal!