Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing and what you have been called to do? Are you completing the work God has given you to do? Are you denying your calling or making excuses for why you couldn’t or shouldn’t? Are you ready for Him to show up and speak to you about it? What do you think His message will be if you have been denying it? excusing it? vs. doing it? completing it? Imagine getting to hear “well done my good and faithful servant” vs “you will be ________ or you will be nothing”. Having had the occasion to hear “you will be president or you will be nothing“, I have realized that when God calls you to it (even when you think you aren’t ready or qualified) He will qualify you, He will equip you, He will give you the wisdom and discernment you need to complete and accomplish the work He has called you to do if you will trust Him and lean on Him through it all.
Today’s reading speaks to when Solomon finished building what God has called him to build…Let’s see what God had to say to him…
Promise and Warning
1Now it came to pass, when Solomon had finished building the House of Adonai, the royal palace and all that Solomon was pleased to do, 2that Adonai appeared to Solomon a second time, just as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3Adonai said to him: “I have heard your prayer and your petition that you made before Me. I have consecrated this House, which you have built, to put My Name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there every day. 4“As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked—in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing all I commanded you, keeping My statutes and My ordinances— 5then I will establish the throne of your kingship over Israel forever, as I promised your father David saying: ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ 6“But if you or your sons will indeed turn away from following Me—not keeping My mitzvot and My statutes that I set before you—and go and serve other gods and worship them, 7then will I cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and this House which I have consecrated for My Name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8This House, now so exalted—everyone passing by it will gasp in shock and hiss, saying: ‘Why has Adonai done thus to this land and to this House?’ 9They will be told: ‘Because they forsook Adonai their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, worshipped them and served them, therefore Adonai has brought all this evil on them.’”
Solomon’s Economic Achievements
10Now at the end of 20 years during which Solomon had built the two houses—Adonai’s House and the royal palace— 11since King Hiram of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar and cypress logs and with gold for all his desire—in return King Solomon gave Hiram 20 cities in the land of Galilee. 12So Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities that Solomon had given him, but he was not pleased with them. 13He said, “What are these cities that you’ve given me, my brother?” So they have been called the land of Kabul to this day. 14(Hiram had also sent to the king 120 talents of gold.) 15Now this was the purpose of the forced labor that King Solomon had imposed to build Adonai’s House, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. 16Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, captured Gezer, burned it with fire, killed the Canaanites who dwelt in the city, and given it as a dowry for his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17So Solomon rebuilt Gezer, lower Beth-horon, 18Baalath and Tadmor in the wilderness in the land, 19as well as all the storage cities, chariot cities and cavalry cities and that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 20As for all the people that were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of the children of Israel, 21even their children who remained in the land after them whom the children of Israel were not able to destroy utterly, on them Solomon imposed forced labor until this day. 22But Solomon did not make slaves of the children of Israel, for they were the men of war, his servants, his officials, his captains, his charioteers and his horsemen. 23These were the chief officers who were over Solomon’s work, 550 who supervised the people who did the work. 24As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter came up out of the city of David to her house built for her, he built the Millo. 25Now three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar that he built for Adonai, burning incense with them on the altar that was before Adonai. When he finished the House, 26King Solomon also built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Sea of Reeds in the land of Edom. 27Hiram sent his servants with the fleet—sailors who knew the sea—along with Solomon’s servants. 28So they went to Ophir and took from there 420 talents of gold, and brought it to King Solomon.
–from 1 Kings 9 (TLV)
Never think that stuff will be enough to make it ok, make it safe, make it possible! We need to put God first! He will provide a peace that goes beyond understanding! He will be your rock and your fortress! Through Him all things are possible! We still have to do our part, but our part shouldn’t make us think we are ok without God! We shouldn’t be fooled into believing that we are ok outside of God’s will! Some have had that happen because the pendulum swung and they thought they could do it alone and that they were the reason for everything they had and so didn’t need God! Don’t fall into that lie or trap!
Solomon’s Exploits Throughout the Land
1It came to pass at the end of 20 years, during which Solomon built the House of Adonai and his own palace, 2that he built the cities which Huram had given to him and settled Bnei-Yisrael there. 3Then Solomon marched against Hamath-zobah and overpowered it. 4He built up Tadmor in the wilderness and all the store cities that he built in Hamath. 5He also built upper Beth-horon and lower Bet-horon as fortified cities with walls, gates and bars, 6as well as Baalath and all his store cities, and cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen—every thing that Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem and in Lebanon and in all the land that he ruled. 7All the people that were left of the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8that is, those of their descendants that were left after them in the land, whom Bnei-Yisrael did not destroy—these Solomon conscripted for forced labor, as it is to this day. 9But Solomon did not make slaves of Bnei-Yisrael for his work. Rather, they were his soldiers, his chief officers and commanders of his chariots and horsemen. 10These were the chief officers of King Solomon, 250 who ruled over the people. 11Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not dwell in the palace of King David of Israel, because the places where the Ark of Adonai has entered are holy.” 12At that time, Solomon offered burnt offerings to Adonai on the altar of Adonai which he had built before the porch, 13according to the daily requirement for offerings commanded by Moses for Shabbatot, for New Moons and for the moadim three times a year—at the Feast of Matzot, at the Feast of Shavuot and at the Feast of Sukkot. 14Following the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the kohanim for their avodah and the Levites for their duties—to praise and minister alongside the kohanim according to the daily assignment—and the gatekeepers by their divisions at every gate, because this is what David the man of God had commanded. 15They did not depart from the king’s commandment to the kohanim and Levites in any matter, including the treasuries. 16Thus all Solomon’s work was carried out from the day of the foundation of the House of Adonai until it was finished. So the House of Adonai was completed. 17Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and to Elat on the coast of the land of Edom. 18And Huram sent him ships commanded by his servants and servants that knew the sea. They went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir and obtained from there 450 talents of gold and brought them to King Solomon.
–from 2 Chronicles 8 (TLV)
So let’s trust in God, even when we don’t see it! Let’s believe His Word as our rock and our source of truth! Let’s move forward loving God and loving people so that the world will see it and glorify our Father in heaven! We need to have faith to be able to please God! So in order for us to be ready, we need to have faith in Him! Consider these people and consider how we can live to make a difference to the world around us…Faith is the key…
The Faithful See from Afar
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of realities not seen. 2For by it the elders received commendation. 3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen did not come from anything visible. 4By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain. Through faith he was commended as righteous when God approved of his gifts. And through faith he still speaks, although he is dead. 5By faith Enoch was taken so as not to see death, and he was not found because God took him. For before he was taken, he was commended as pleasing to God. 6Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. 7By faith Noah, when warned about events not yet seen, in holy fear prepared an ark for the safety of his household. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he migrated to the land of promise as if it were foreign, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob—fellow heirs of the same promise. 10For he was waiting for the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive when she was barren and past the age, since she considered the One who had made the promise to be faithful. 12So from one—and him as good as dead—were fathered offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and as uncountable as the sand on the seashore. 13These all died in faith without receiving the things promised—but they saw them and welcomed them from afar, and they confessed that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth. 14For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If indeed they had been thinking about where they had come from, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they yearn for a better land—that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. 17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. Yes, he who had received the promises was offering up his one and only son— 18the one about whom it was said, “Through Isaac offspring shall be named for you.” 19He reasoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead—and in a sense, he did receive him back from there. 20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come. 21By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he bowed in worship while leaning on the top of his staff. 22By faith Joseph, when his end was near, made mention of the exodus of Bnei-Yisrael and gave instructions about his bones. 23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was an extraordinary child and they were not afraid of the king’s decree. 24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25Instead he chose to suffer mistreatment along with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. 26He considered the disgrace of Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt—because he was looking ahead to the reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger—for he persevered as if seeing the One who is invisible. 28By faith he kept the Passover and the smearing of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them. 29By faith they passed through the Red Sea as if on dry ground. When the Egyptians tried it, they were swallowed up. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were circled for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she welcomed the spies with shalom. 32And what more shall I say? For time would fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets. 33By faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, and made foreign armies flee. 35Women received their dead raised back to life; and others were tortured, after not accepting release, so they might obtain a better resurrection. 36Others experienced the trial of mocking and scourging—yes, and even chains and prison. 37They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were murdered with the sword. They went around in sheepskins and goatskins; they were destitute, afflicted, mistreated. 38The world was not worthy of them! They wandered around in deserts and mountains, caves and holes in the ground. 39And all these, though commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised— 40because God had provided something better for us, so that only with us would they reach perfection.
–from Hebrews 11 (TLV)
Will you believe for yourself? Will you believe enough for someone else? Will your faith keep you solid? Will your faith make a difference to those around you? Believe! Fear Not, Just Believe! Allow the fruit of the spirit to be visible to the world around you so that they may glorify your Father in heaven in Jesus’ name!
A Centurion’s Faith at Capernaum
1When Yeshua finished all His drash in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2Now a certain centurion had a valued slave, who was ill and about to die. 3When he heard about Yeshua, he sent Jewish elders to Him, asking Him to come and save his slave. 4When they came to Yeshua, they begged Him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy for You to grant this, 5for he loves our people and even built our synagogue.” 6Now Yeshua started to go with them; and when He wasn’t far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to Him, “Master, do not trouble Yourself, for I’m not worthy for You to come under my roof. 7That is why I didn’t consider myself worthy to come to You. But say the word and let my servant be healed. 8For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 9Now when Yeshua heard this, He was amazed at him. Turning to the crowd following Him, He said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” 10When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
An Amazing Report Spreads throughout all Judea
11The next day Yeshua traveled to a town called Nain, and coming along with Him were His disciples and a large crowd. 12Just as He came near the town gate, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, a widow. A considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her and said, “Don’t cry.” 14Then He came up and touched the coffin, and the pallbearers came to a standstill. He said, “Young man! I tell you, get up!” 15The dead man sat up and began speaking, and Yeshua gave him to his mother. 16Fear took hold of them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has appeared among us, and God has visited His people.” 17This report concerning Him spread throughout all Judea and the surrounding region.
John Seeks Confirmation from Prison
18John’s disciples reported to him about all these things. Calling two of his disciples, 19John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the One who is to come, or should we look for another?” 20When they appeared before Him, the men said, “John the Immerser sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the One who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” 21At this very hour He was healing many of diseases, sicknesses, and evil spirits; and He granted sight to many who were blind. 22And answering, He said to them, “Go report to John what you saw and heard: the blind see, the lame walk, those with tza’arat are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them. 23Blessed is he who is not led to stumble because of Me.” 24And after John’s messengers left, He began to speak about John to the crowds. “What did you go out to the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25No? So what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine garments? Look, those who wear finery and live in luxury are in the palaces of kings! 26Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, even more than a prophet. 27This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way before You.’ 28I say to you, there is no one greater than John among those born of women; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29And when all the people heard, even the tax collectors, they affirmed God’s justice, because they had been immersed with John’s immersion. 30But the Pharisees and Torah lawyers, not having been immersed by John, declared God’s purpose invalid for themselves. 31“So then, to what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to each other, saying, ‘We played the flute for you, and you didn’t dance. We sang a dirge, and you didn’t weep.’ 33“For John the Immerser has come not eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34The Son of Man has come eating and drinking. and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
An Unwelcome Woman Finds Favor
36Now one of the Pharisees was asking Yeshua if He would eat with him. Upon entering the Pharisee’s home, He reclined at the table. 37And behold, a woman in the town who was a sinner, when she discovered that Yeshua was reclining at the Pharisee’s home, brought an alabaster jar of perfume. 38As she stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to drench His feet with tears and kept wiping them with her head of hair. Then she was kissing His feet and anointing them with perfume. 39Now when the Pharisee who invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this were a prophet, He would know what sort of woman is touching Him—that she’s a sinner.” 40And answering, Yeshua said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he said, “Say it, Teacher!” 41“A moneylender had two debtors. One owed him five hundred denarii, but the other fifty. 42When neither could repay him, he canceled both debts. So which of them will love him more?” 43Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Yeshua said. 44Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you didn’t give Me water for My feet. But she has drenched My feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You didn’t greet Me with a kiss; but from the time she entered, she has not stopped kissing My feet. 46You didn’t anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with perfume. 47For this reason I tell you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven—for she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little. 48He then said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” 49But those who were reclining at table with Him began to say to one another, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in shalom.”
–from Luke 7 (TLV)