1 Kings 8:14-21 Blessing God for the Material Blessings He Gives Me
1 Kings 8:14-21 Blessing God for the Material Blessings He Gives Me is a sermon on the relationship between the blessings God gives me (which are mostly material) and how I can bless God back.
“The king turned around and blessed the entire congregation of Israel while they were standing.” (1 Kings 8:14, HCSB)
God blesses me through His promises. (1 Kings 8:14-15)
“He said: May the Lord God of Israel be praised! He spoke directly to my father David, and He has fulfilled the promise by His power. He said,” (1 Kings 8:15, HCSB)
In this case, Solomon is referring back to the promise that God gave to David. God established many promises in His covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7:11-16:
SIX PROMISES FROM GOD’S COVENANT WITH DAVID
1. God will make a house (dynasty) for David. (2 Samuel 7:11)
“ever since the day I ordered judges to be over My people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. “‘The Lord declares to you: The Lord Himself will make a house for you.” (2 Samuel 7:11, HCSB)
2. David’s descendant will arise and God will establish his kingdom. (2 Samuel 7:12)
“When your time comes and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.” (2 Samuel 7:12, HCSB)
This promise is for a person who will establish a kingdom. In this case, this has to be Jesus Christ. The reason is because David already established the Kingdom of David. Yet, God will raise up a descendant. God did that when He raised Jesus from the dead. Later, God will establish a kingdom under the rule of Jesus.
3. Solomon will build the temple, but God will establish the throne. (2 Samuel 7:13)
“He will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:13, HCSB)
Earlier, God said that He would “make” a house. Making a house is different than building a house. To make a house is to build a dynasty of family rulers. To build a house it to construct a building. God promises David that Solomon will build a temple for God. We see that happen in 1 Kings 8. Solomon has built a house for God to reside. But God established and will re-establish the throne.
4. God will train Solomon. (2 Samuel 7:14)
“I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod and with blows from others.” (2 Samuel 7:14, HCSB)
God will take the time to train Solomon. He will use physical punishment as well as violence from others to teach Solomon when he does wrong. God is prophesying the fact that Solomon will be disobedient. God will have to punish Solomon for his disobedience personally.
5. God’s love will remain. (2 Samuel 7:15)
“But My faithful love will never leave him as I removed it from Saul; I removed him from your way.” (2 Samuel 7:15, HCSB)
Yet, despite David’s and Solomon’s unfaithfulness (and our own) God will still keep loving His people.
6. David’s family and royal right to rule will remain, and God will establish the throne. (2 Samuel 7:16)
“Your house and kingdom will endure before Me forever, and your throne will be established forever.’ ”” (2 Samuel 7:16, HCSB)
A couple of things to say about this verse. God promises David that his family (also known as a house) will endure. Yes, the dynasty fell apart after the death of Solomon. Yet, the royal line continued. This is why God said that the kingdom will endure. God would preserve people who fall under the line of David until Jesus came. We see this in the genealogy or family tree accounts in Matthew 1.
Then God promises that the throne will be established forever. Right now, there is no throne of David. There is no throne in Jerusalem. God is actually promising that it will be established forever as if He has not yet established it. Perhaps David thinks that the royal house will fall. Maybe he knows that will happen. God is promising David something that will happen far in the future.
So God has shown Solomon all of this history. Solomon knows that God has fulfilled His promises to Solomon. God has prepared the way for Solomon to build the temple. There are still other promises about a descendant of David who will rule later. But for now, Solomon recognizes that without God, the temple would not have been built. God has blessed Solomon with an enormous amount of property.
It is hard to imagine sometimes that God has blessed you with property. We live in a country that takes pride in the freedom to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – including the happiness of owning a building. We live with the expectation that it is good if we own things. We buy material items and we are expected to take joy in them. This applies to people, and to churches.
God does not need my material blessings, but He wants me to proclaim His name. (1 Kings 8:16, 2 Chronicles 6:6)
Yet God is not selfish with property as we might be. In this blessing that Solomon gives to the people of Israel, Solomon is speaking on God’s behalf. Notice that God brought people out of Egypt. Yet He never asked for a temple.
““Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city to build a temple in among any of the tribes of Israel, so that My name would be there. But I have chosen David to rule My people Israel.”” (1 Kings 8:16, HCSB)
Unlike other civilizations that had a temple for the gods who helped their kings, God never sought a throne on Earth. He established a people and a place. In a parallel passage (2 Chronicles 6), God says that He chose Jerusalem for His name to be there. But this was to be established through His people.
“But I have chosen Jerusalem so that My name will be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.”” (2 Chronicles 6:6, HCSB)
The word “name” occurs in Solomon’s prayer 14 times.1 The temple was not to be a “container” for God.
“But will God indeed live on earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You, much less this temple I have built.” (1 Kings 8:27, HCSB)
It was to be a place for his Name to dwell, that is, a place where His presence and character would be evident2
In essence, God doesn’t want material blessings as much as He wants His people to proclaim His name.
“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful works among all peoples.” (Psalm 96:3, HCSB)
Yet, He chose Jerusalem to be the place where His people would start to declare God’s name among the nations. God wanted His name to spread from Jerusalem to the entire world. Jerusalem would not just be the center of God’s activity.
He did not expect people to just come to Jerusalem, to the come to the attraction. God didn’t want a place built like an amusement park where people would come to just have fun. He expected His people to spread His name. This is why when Jesus spoke to His disciples after His resurrection, He shared with them the direction the “declaration of God’s glory” would spread.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”” (Acts 1:8, HCSB)
Since the time of the Exodus, God never said for the people to build a building dedicated to Him.
Think about that. God, Who made the heavens and the Earth, Who made every person and creature on this earth, doesn’t expect His people to build temples dedicated to His name. God is not materialistic in that way.God honors me when I want to bless God with material blessings. (1 Kings 8:17-18)
Yet God honors people who want to build things in God’s name. David originally wanted to build a temple for God’s name (1 Kings 8:17-18).
“It was in the desire of my father David to build a temple for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, “Since it was your desire to build a temple for My name, you have done well to have this desire.” (1 Kings 8:17–18, HCSB)
“Our ancestors in turn received it and with Joshua brought it in when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers, until the days of David. He found favor in God’s sight and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.” (Acts 7:45–46, HCSB)
God blesses everyone who wants to bless God with material blessings. We see three ways we can bless God with material blessings.
THREE WAYS TO BLESS GOD WITH MATERIAL BLESSINGS
1. Give with the right motive. (1 Kings 8:19)
Although David desired to build the temple, the responsibility would eventually fall to his son.
“Yet you are not the one to build it; instead, your son, your own offspring, will build it for My name.”” (1 Kings 8:19, HCSB)
The temple is often referred to as Solomon’s temple. However, Solomon’s temple will be referred to as David’s temple because it was in his heart to build it.3 David had the right motive. He wanted to build a place for God on Earth. He desired to show the world the God whom David worshiped. David put God first.
““My son,” David said to Solomon, “It was in my heart to build a house for the name of Yahweh my God,” (1 Chronicles 22:7, HCSB)
David spent large amounts of money and energy to get all of the materials for the temple. He did everything he could do to provide for the temple.
2. Thank God for the material blessings He has given me. (1 Kings 8:20)
“The Lord has fulfilled what He promised. I have taken the place of my father David, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built the temple for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel.” (1 Kings 8:20, HCSB)
Now God doesn’t need a home (even Jesus didn’t have a home). Instead, the temple was built to honor God. God fulfilled His promise to David and Solomon. Solomon sat on the throne. But Solomon was not the only seed of David who would sit on the throne in this temple. Jesus will eventually sit there. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated in one of his sermons:
The house that God will build is the seed of David, the body of Christ, of his son—and this body is Christ and in Christ the church-community.4 This body of the Son of God is the new humanity created from the descendant of David according to the promise of God, through Christ Jesus and in him… To whom is this promise directed? To the seed of David—the human seed—for he will sin, hence also to Solomon—but the reign will abide forever—this is God’s reign only—hence the promise goes through Solomon (cf. 1 Kings 8:20) and the house of David on to Jesus Christ.5
Just as God didn’t need to build the temple for Himself, God doesn’t need to give you material blessings. God gives you things because He is a loving and giving God. Since God has provided for you, it is healthy to thank God for what He has given you.
3. Ultimately, I bless God with material blessings because I want to tell the world about Him. (1 Kings 8:21)
“I have provided a place there for the ark, where the Lord’s covenant is that He made with our ancestors when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.” (1 Kings 8:21, HCSB)
We bless God with material blessings because we want to tell the world about Him. What’s so great about God that we should tell others about Him? Is it because He has created us? Is it because He has saved us? Is it because He has provided eternal life? Is it because He has helped me in times of difficulty? Yes. It is all of these. But it is all of these because God is trustworthy.
When God makes a promise, he keeps it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of us. However, even though we fail in our promises, God never fails in his. He means what he says, and he will always, always, always be true to his word. He will always be true to his name. Because his name is trustworthy.
When we encounter things in life we’d like to see—temples we’d like to build—we know we can always rely on God to fulfill the promises he’s made to us. We know we can trust him with anything. It’s all in his name.6
After Solomon became king, he asked for wisdom and God gave him much more. God gave him wealth, health, and wisdom. God blessed Solomon. So Solomon wanted to bless God back. If that is true for Solomon, it should be true for you and me. We need to be ready to bless God for the property blessings He gives you.7
1 See 1 Kings 8:16–20, 29, 33, 35, 41–44 [twice in verse 43], 48
2 Thomas L. Constable, “1 Kings,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 503–504.
3 Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: Volume One: Genesis–Job (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 980.
4 Cf. the formulation “Christ existing as church-community,” which Bonhoeffer used in his dissertation Sanctorum Communio (DBWE 1) and his inaugural dissertation Act and Being (DBWE 2) and its further development in Discipleship in the chapter on “The Body of Christ,” DBWE 4:220.
5 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Theological Education at Finkenwalde: 1935–1937, ed. Victoria J. Barnett and Barbara Wojhoski, trans. Douglas W. Stott, vol. 14, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013), 884.
6 David C Cook, Blessed Be Your Name (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2013).
7 Jim Erwin, “Blessing God for the Property Blessings He Gives You,” 1 Kings 8:14-21, Lectionary Reflections Year C (2015-2016), 23 March 2016, Logos Bible Software. Found at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jimerwin/2016/05/23/blessing-god-property-blessings-gives/. Accessed on 27 March 2016.