The text for this lesson is 1 Kings 5:1–6:28.
- The temple was a magnificent structure that symbolized God’s even more magnificent dwelling with His people: Christ Jesus.
- Law: The temple was a constant reminder of God’s presence with Israel, but we often forget that God is with us.
- Gospel: In Holy Communion, Christ is with us personally in His body and blood.
- Law: We take for granted that God is with us when we avoid coming to His house.
- Gospel: Each time His Word speaks to us and His Sacraments are given to us, He forgives us for our indifference.
Solomon succeeded David as king of Israel (1 Kings 1:1–2:46) and continued the Messianic line (Matthew 1:6–7). He asked for and received a special gift of wisdom from God and Israel prospered in unprecedented ways (1 Kings 3:1–4:34). Solomon’s glory provided a point of comparison for Jesus’ teaching on God’s generous provision for His creatures, which offers Christians a life without anxiety (Matthew 6:25–34). Solomon’s proverbial wisdom set the stage for “something greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42), namely, Jesus, “whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Though Solomon’s reign was initially characterized by peace and prosperity, his personal sins later cast a dark cloud over his reign. His decadence and intermarriages with pagans brought outright idolatry into Israel and invoked God’s anger and judgment (1 Kings 11:1-43).
Discussion Points and Questions
- Where does God dwell?
- What is God’s purpose for the temple?
- Why did Solomon build the temple?
- Examine 1 Chronicles 28:1-21. In what ways do these verses demonstrate the hand of God in the building of the temple?
- God dwelled with His people in the temple as He had in the tabernacle. In what other way did God later come to dwell with His people? read John 1:1 and 1:14.
- How does God dwell with us today? How is God present today for His people?
- Some churches today are magnificent structures. Others are simple in architecture and appointments. What is more important than what a church looks like?
- How do we “remember the Sabbath”?
- We don’t always remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. We show that we don’t appreciate that God is with us when we avoid coming to His house or when we forget that God is with us. But God does not forget us. How does God remember us?
- What attitudes toward worship are suggested by Psalm 95:1-7?
- How did God work through the humans in this story to provide for His people?
For next week, read 2 Kings 5:1–14. Consider how God sometimes uses simple means to accomplish His goals.