How blessed are your men! How blessed are these servants of yours who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom!
I. THE MATERIAL CREATION. What wholly unanticipated wonders have been disclosed by the advance of human science! The men of remote generations had not the faintest notion of the powers we have discovered to reside in the material universe. And what still undiscovered forces await our inquiry and investigation as we patiently plod on in the paths of knowledge! Surely one-half hath not been told us or imagined by us.
II. OUR HUMAN EXPERIENCE. We have our expectation concerning the life that is before us; but it is very little like the reality, as experience will prove. Many things we may picture to ourselves which will find no fulfilment; but many other things there are, of which we have no discernment, that will find their place on the page of our biography. Of these some are unexpected sorrows - losses, disappointments, separations, struggles - of which we can form no idea; others are unanticipated blessings-comforts, relationships, joys, triumphs - exceeding and excelling our hopes. We do not anticipate, for good or evil, one-half of the bright or dark reality.
III. THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD. "Eye had not seen, nor ear heard, nor had it entered into man's heart to conceive" one-half of "what God had prepared for them that love him." No man could or did imagine that such wealth of grace and goodness as that which the gospel of Christ contains would be brought to us by the Anointed of God, would be purchased for us by a Saviour's sacrifice, would be pressed upon us by a heavenly Father's urgent and persistent love.
IV. THE GLORY WHICH IS TO BE REVEALED. In that "land of great distances' we are one day to traverse, in that home of love in which we are soon to dwell, what unimaginable good is in reserve! What joy and what glory; what rest and what activity; what realization and what hope; what knowledge of God and what pursuit of that knowledge; what royalty and what service; what purity and what progress; what unanticipated and inconceivable blessedness to satisfy but not satiate the soul! - C.
And Solomon slept with his fathers.
1. Why is this? For it was not so with David, his father, whose last days, and almost last thoughts, last prayers and exhortations, are fully detailed.
2. Nothing on the first sight, in popular judgment, appears more excellent and full of hope than that petition of Solomon when, just called to the throne, he asked of God wisdom and knowledge, "that I may go out and come in before this people." God granted him his request. His reign proved to be one of unexampled splendour. Prosperity almost to overflow poured in upon the nation. But as the monarch's glory increased, his personal character declined. He sank morally and religiously. He became tyrannical and despotic, and grievously oppressed his subjects. Then intense sensuality set in. So deeply did he fall that his name has been connected with the practice of the magical arts and sorceries denounced in the law of Moses.
3. How shall we account for this? Was it that from the first his heart was not set upon God, but upon self? that when he asked at first for wisdom to rule God's people, he only thought of the honour he would gain thereby? Or is it that we here witness in an individual the corrupting influences of a civilisation not merely luxurious, but high and cultivated, when it discards the faith in God?
4. Whichever it be, by both alternatives we are warned that wisdom, even high, intellectual, and varied, is not godliness, and cannot take its place; that where it is unsanctified, a worm lies at its root.
5. It is a solemn thought that the temple, the culminating point of Solomon's glory, was the harbinger, and in a degree the cause, of the decline of his nation. The exactions and the oppressive burdens its extravagant cost entailed upon the people alienated them, made the monarchy hateful, and prepared the nation for revolt:
6. Twice since has the same thing been witnessed. The sale of indulgences to help the building of St. Peter's led to the disruption of a large part of Christendom. So also the gorgeous palace of the French monarch, the memorial of his boundless luxury and consequent oppression, was the prelude of that great convulsion from which the nation has never recovered. Such is the logic of mere human splendour and luxury.
7. What was the end of this renowned monarch? What was the final stamp set upon his character? Scripture is silent on the point, and Christendom has always been divided in regard to it. Those who have thought and hoped the best of him have rested their hopes chiefly on the tenor of the Book of Ecclesiastes. But no tone of repentance pervades this solemn writing; no utterance of contrition or even personal remorse; not one such anguished cry for forgiveness as pervades several of David's psalms; no humiliation appears in it, not even such as Ahab's; no confession, even such as Saul's. Solomon appears to pass away and, "make no sign,"
(Archdeacon Grant, D. C. L.).
PeopleAhijah, David, Huram, Iddo, Jeroboam, Nathan, Nebat, Nehemiah, Ophir, Rehoboam, Solomon, Tarshish
PlacesArabia, Egypt, Euphrates River, House of the Forest of Lebanon, Jerusalem, Ophir, Sheba, Shephelah, Tarshish
TopicsBlessed, Continually, Happiness, Happy, Hearing, O, Officials, Servants, Stand, Standing, Wisdom, Wives
Outline1. The queen of sheba admires the wisdom of Solomon
13. Solomon's revenue in gold
15. His targets and shields
17. The throne of ivory
20. His vessels
23. His presents
25. His chariots and horse
26. His tributes
29. His reign and death
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Chronicles 9:1-9
LibraryThe Great Gain of Godliness
'And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon. 26. And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27. And those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon's table, every man in his month: they lacked nothing. 28. Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where the officers were, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
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