Sunday 2nd June

Read Psalm 59

If you don’t have a bible at home you can find the readings on a website such as or an app such as YouVersion

If you read 1 Samuel 19:9-17 you will get the background to this Psalm.  Saul sent men to David’s home to assassinate him but he was saved by his wife Michal who put an idol shaped as a dummy in his bed and helped him escape through a window.

His description of the thugs is well done, speaking of them returning at evening ‘snarling like dogs’, spewing out words as sharp as swords, but he tells of God’s response being that of laughter – which he does about all nations who push against him (v8).  God is not frightened of bullies and can and will deal with them in his own time.  David prays for his protection, but he does not want to see his enemies killed, rather uprooted and brought down.  Let them be caught in their pride (v12).  That way he says, others will know that you rule and are Lord of all the Earth (v13).  Useful prayers when faced with bullies in the world, wherever they. These are words for us when we feel we are targets of ill behaviour from others.  Trust in God who rules over all for he will see righteousness done in the Earth.


Monday 1 Kings 6:1-38

The Temple, long planned with preparations made by King David, is started here under Solomon.  There are plenty illustrations online of its dimensions and structure all of which were followed by Solomon.  God gives a promise of not abandoning his care for the people but presses upon them the importance of following his decrees and laws (v12,13).  Having gone through the Letter to the Romans and Paul’s recurring emphasis that it is not the law but faith in the grace of God that counts, some might be inclined to think the law of God can be left in a corner now.  Nothing can be further from the truth for, although legal performance of the law is not the cause and ground of salvation it is, or needs to be seen, as the true outcome of our salvation.

The centre part of the Temple was the Holy of Holies (v19,20) which was a cube of 30ft X 30ftX30ft.  It was overlaid with gold inside and in it was the Ark of the covenant which Moses led the people across the Jordan and into the promised land all those years ago.  Inside the Ark were the tablets of the ten commandments, Aaron’s rod that budded, and a bowl of the manna, the food that sustained the people as they crossed the desert before entering the land.  Above the Ark were two cherubim with their wings stretching over the Ark.

The Temple was finished in 7 years.

Tuesday 1 Kings 7:1-51

As well as the Temple Solomon was into constructing his Palace in Jerusalem which took 13 years – whether this says something about the level of importance given to it compared with the Temple or whether it was delayed because of the Temple we don’t know but it lets us know the growth and wealth of Jerusalem under Solomon.

Hiram (or Huram) of Tyre is brought from Tyre to use his expertise in the specialised bronze work in the Temple which is detailed in the latter half of the Chapter.  Solomon was wise enough to know that he couldn’t do everything himself but recognised the skill of Hiram.  If important things need to be done God will supply the people needed, we just need to develop Solomon’s wisdom to recognise them.

Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 31 are given roles under Moses in constructing the tabernacle with the physical skills they had.  God said to Moses, “I have filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.”   Being filled with the Spirit is more than just being able to preach, pray, or evangelise, it can be having the gift of skilful ability with the hands and the mind.

Wednesday 1 Kings 8:1-21

The Temple having been built, it was time for the Ark of the Covenant of God to be brought in and placed in the Holy of Holies, the central and most important holy place in the whole Temple.  The Ark was the place where God’s presence was seen to reside in and that presence was seen in the cloud that was with the Ark since its inception and which guided the people through the wilderness and into the promised land.  Until now the Ark had resided in a tent although at this time it was on Mount Sion, David’s City, but not in the Temple which had been built but now the installation took place with all the elders and priests in a holy convocation.

Solomon praised God as he remembered all the goodness of God to his people and his father in the past.  It is a most worthwhile exercise to rehearse the blessings of God in the present and in the past before us, remembering our forebears who, whether known to us or not, could have prayed for us in years gone by.  Perhaps this reading today may spur you to do just that and give thanks.

Thursday 1 Kings 8:22-53

This is Solomon’s prayer of thanksgiving and supplication before God on the completion of the Temple and the placing of the Ark in it.  It is a marvellous prayer in which he offers God praise, reminds him of his covenant of relationship and protection for his people.  We should separate the last two things in that his covenant relationship with his people is secure and everlasting, but his protection of his people would depend on them fulfilling the covenant stipulations, “if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.”  (V25).

This is something all believing people (Old or New Testament) should take in, God is not afraid to allow harshness to descend upon his people when they depart from his ways, the idea that God will make all things pleasant for his people regardless of how they obey him is a great fallacy.  The future of the Kings of Israel and the words of the prophets against them will show this quite clearly.

Solomon’s prayer realises the latent sinfulness of the people but also God’s grace and so he prays that in the future all who turn to this place and pray for forgiveness God will hear.  Notice also v41-43 which include the prayer that God will hear the foreigner also, in other words those not belonging to the covenant people.  Horatious Bonar the Scottish hymnwriter of Kelso wrote a beautiful hymn based on this passage, the first verse of which says the following but it is well worth looking it up for all the verses.

When the wea­ry, seek­ing rest,
To Thy good­ness flee;
When the hea­vy la­den cast
All their load on Thee;
When the trou­bled, seek­ing peace,
On Thy name shall call;
When the sin­ner, seek­ing life,
At Thy feet shall fall:


Hear then in love, O Lord, the cry
In Heav’n, Thy dwell­ing place on high.

Friday 1 Kings 8:54-66

If you ever wonder what the ‘correct’ position for prayer is, don’t worry, because there are varieties of postures seen in the Bible from lying flat, to standing up, to sitting down and here to kneeling which the writer tells us Solomon did when he prayed for the people.  He turns and blesses the people who he had prayed for.  Whatever position we adopt in Church we should always remember that when the leader of worship is praying he or she is figuratively standing with their back to us the congregation because they are praying with and on behalf of us to God.  When they read or preach the Word they are facing us because laying out for us what God is saying but in praying they are praying together with us.

At any rate what Solomon is doing now is declaring to the people God’s goodness to them and declaring the desire that God would continue that goodness in many ways into the future.  He desires the obedience of the people to God’s commands so that “all the peoples of the Earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other” (v60).

This is followed by sacrifices of thanksgiving and consecration and the story teller lets us know of the great festival with many people from the North to the South of the land and on its conclusion of the thankfulness of the people as they went home “glad in heart for all the good things the Lord had done for them” (v66).  We need to go away from Church services, large or small, with similar gladness for the goodness of God.

Saturday 1 Kings 9:1-9

These verses depict a second appearance of God to Solomon which came after the completion of the temple and the royal palace.  It is a restatement of his promise to David that he would honour all that he has said but warning that if he or his descendants forsook their faithfulness to God and went after other Gods then they would lose all the things God had promised – even to the loss of the land God had promised.

What might this have to say to us who are not Jews and are not living under the Old Testament law of Moses?  First of all, we must be careful in separating ourselves from the Jews, pointing fingers at them as though our relationship with God is different; not so.  Paul in the letter to the Romans spends time showing that there was no difference between them and us as far as salvation – redemption and forgiveness – was concerned.  It was not through the law but through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose knowledge was there in the Old Testament though hidden until revealed.  What God did for the ancient people in delivering them from Egypt, giving the promised land, and providing them with a King was given in a covenant that required them to live faithfully before him.  The same is required of us who have faith in Christ.  The blessings that come can be removed though not the covenant salvation.

Paul tells the Corinthian Church about building well on the foundation of Christ and says that the construction will be tested whether it is quality of gold, silver, precious stones, or just wood, hay and stubble, “their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Cor 3:13-15).

Let’s be careful how we build on the salvation we have in Christ.