2 Chronicles 8:1-6
And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house,…
David had done excellent work for his country by uniting all the tribes of Israel in a strong band of attachment to himself, and thus to one another; also in defeating and subjecting the neighbouring powers, and thus giving peace and tranquillity to the nation. Solomon, coming after him, seconded and sustained him, not by acting on the same lines, but by "a new departure." We very often show the truest regard to those who have been before us by illustrating their spirit in a very different method from that which they adopted. Solomon, like the wise man he was, set about building. He "built the house of the Lord and his own house" (ver. 1), taking time and building well. He then built cities, which were either strongholds or emporiums, serving useful purposes in war or in peace. He seems to have accomplished much by so doing.
I. WHAT SOLOMON ACHIEVED BY BUILDING.
1. He increased the security of his dominions. Those "fenced cities, with walls, gates, and bars," must have added considerably to the defensive power of Israel.
2. He took effectual means for the enrichment of the country. The "store cities ' would do much to promote communication and trade with other states, would increase his imports and exports.
3. He immortalized himself. He caused his name to be associated with many places that for long centuries remembered him as their founder, and with one city (Tadmar) that will never be forgotten.
4. He made a deep mark on the future. Some of these cities have absolutely perished; the ruins of one of them still remain. It is impossible to say how much his enterprise had to do, but it certainly had much, with the brilliance, the power, and the political and moral influence of Palmyra. The effects of this building went far beyond the satisfaction of the desire of his heart (ver. 6); they reached to remote centuries, and told upon people that were afar off.
II. WHAT IS OPEN TO US TO ACCOMPLISH.
1. The structure it is possible we may raise. This may be a house in the sense of a family (see 2 Samuel 7:11); or it may be a house in the sense of a business establishment; or it may be a church, wherein God shall be worshipped and his Son exalted for many generations; or it may be a society which shall receive and sustain many hundreds of human hearts. One thing there is we may all he building, and are indeed all bound to build with utmost care - a human character; a character which shall be fair in its proportions, rich in its equipments, and strong in its defence against all assault.
2. The moral and spiritual materials with which, or of which, we should build. These are uprightness, truth, patience, courage, persistency.
3. The spirit in which we should work. This is the spirit of obedience, of resignation, of devotedness; so that we are not seeking our own personal aggrandizement, but the honour of our Divine Lord. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house,