"THE GOD OF HIS WORD."
Intro. The temple has been completed in all of its glory. The nation has gathered for the dedication services, and Solomon is addressing the people.
I. SOLOMON'S ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE.
A. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel who has fulfilled the word that He spoke to my father."
1. This building stands here as a monument to the faithfulness of God to keep His word.
2. Here is the proof before your eyes. God says what He will do, and He does what He says.
3. NUM 23:19
: God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
B. Throughout the Bible we see the illustrations of how God keeps His word.
1. NUM 11:4
: The children of Israel wept, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: We have lost our appetite for all we have is this manna.
2. Moses was upset with the people and took their complaint to the Lord. He said, "Why do you hate me? What have I done to deserve this? You have put the burden of all of these people on me, I am not responsible for their being born. God, I can't take this any longer, it's too heavy for me. If this is the way you are going to treat me, then just get it over with and kill me."
3. God told Moses to tell the people to get ready, for on the next day He was going to give them so much meat, that it would last them for a full month, till they became sick of it.
4. Moses couldn't believe it, he said to the Lord, "There are six hundred thousand men; and You say You will give them enough flesh, to last a whole month? Do you want us to kill all of our flocks and herds?"
5. And the LORD said unto Moses, "Is the LORD'S power limited? You shall see now whether my word shall come to pass or not."
6. Moses had received the word of God but he had difficulty believing it because he could not figure out how God could do it.
7. That is a problem that we all often face, trying to figure the ways by which God is going to keep His promise.
8. Moses in trying to figure out how God could possibly give them a month's supply of meat. Maybe God wants us to slaughter all of our cattle and sheep. Maybe He will gather all of the fish in the sea together and cast them up on the shore. Wrong Moses, God has ways that you have not even thought about.
9. I don't need to know how God is going to do it, I just need to believe that He is going to do it.
C. Joshua testified to the people at the end of his life.
I have come to the end of my life, and I will soon be dead, and you know in your heart, that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God has spoken concerning you; all has come to pass unto you, not one thing has failed.
D. Isaiah wrote of the return of Israel from their captivity in Babylon.
Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, He that formed you. I [am] Jehovah who made all [things]; that stretched forth the heavens; that spread abroad the earth by Myself;
I frustrate liars, and make diviners mad; I turn wise [men] inside out, and make their knowledge foolishness;
I confirm the word of My servant, and perform the counsel of My messengers; I say to Jerusalem, you shall be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built, and I will build again your destroyed places:
I say of Cyrus, [He is] My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him; I will loose the loins of kings, and open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut
I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in pieces the bars of iron:
And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who calls you by your name, [am] the God of Israel.
I am God, and there is no other God, I am God and there is none like Me who declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times I spoke of things that have not yet come to pass, saying, "My counsel shall stand."
I have called an eagle (That is Cyrus) from the east, the man that will execute My counsel I have spoken [it], I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed [it], I will also do it.
1. As you look at history, God did it just as He said. Cyrus conquered Babylon and signed the decree that allowed the Israelites to return from their captivity.
2. God said it, God did it.
E. Jeremiah prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
And the Babylonians, that fight against this city, shall come and set the city on fire, and burn the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger.
1. We read in 2 Chronicles:
Zedekiah was twenty one years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
And he did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not listen to Jeremiah the prophet who spoke to him the word of Jehovah.
He hardened his heart against the LORD God of Israel.
Also all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed exceedingly, they followed after the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
And the LORD God sent to them his messengers, to warn them because he had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place:
But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and abused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Babylonians, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or even those that were stooped for age.
And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all were brought to Babylon.
And they burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces with fire, and destroyed all the beautiful vessels.
And those who were not killed, they carried away to Babylon; where they became slaves to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
Thus the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah was fulfilled, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth of Isaiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, and he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and he put it in writing, saying,
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has ordered me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Whoever is here of all His people may go up to build, and may the LORD your God be with you.
2. Again we see how the Lord fulfilled His word.
a. He said that the Babylonians would destroy them and take the survivors as slaves to Babylon, but in time He would raise up a king by the name of Cyrus who would allow them to return to their land.
3. Solomon affirmed to the people:
The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.
4. The Lord had told of its being built and of its being destroyed, and both were fulfilled.
II. HAVING SPOKEN TO THE PEOPLE, NOW SOLOMON SPEAKS TO THE LORD:
And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:
And said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like You in the heavens, nor on the earth; which keeps His covenant, and shows mercy unto His servants, who walk before Him with all their hearts:
You have kept Your word with Your servant David my father all that You have promised him; and You have fulfilled it with Your hand, as we see this day.
A. Here the Temple stands in all of its beauty and glory, this is a witness Lord of your faithfulness to keep your word.
B. Building projects can be a real trial. Today the hardest thing in building is all of the bureaucracy you must go through to get your permit.
C. But then in the construction of a large project, there are those times when it seems that nothing is happening.
1. There are those moments when you wonder if you will ever be finished with the project.
2. But the day finally comes when the last inspection has been signed off, and you are ready now to move in.
3. The project is finished, the dream is now a reality, we are finally able to use it.
4. I think of the building of the bridge across the channel so that we could drive on our property to the Logos building and not have to go out onto MacArthur Blvd. We were over four years in getting the permits. The actual building did not take that long, but I can remember the thrill when it was finally completed and we were able to drive across it. It seemed like it was forever coming.
5. Now we drive over it all of the time and take it for granted, but we waited so long for it to become a reality.
6. The Temple took seven years to complete, so that once the day finally came to dedicate it, it was no doubt an exciting day.
D. God has finally fulfilled His promise; it took seven long years. But what is seven years in God's scheme of things.
1. Look how long Abraham waited for God to keep His promise of giving him a son through Sarah.
2. You probably heard the story of the man who said to God, "God, isn't it true that a thousand years are as a day to you and a day as a thousand years?" God answered, "Yes." He said, "Isn't it also true that it is just as easy for you to give 10 million dollars as it is to give one?" God again answered, "Yes." The man then replied, "God would you give me 10 million dollars?" God replied, "Yes, just wait a minute."
3. It is always a glorious day when our vision becomes a reality. I watch the development of Murietta and see the vision slowly becoming a reality, and it is exciting to go down there and watch the continuing transformation of what was a dirty broken down wreck into a beautiful resort.
4. God is in the business of taking wrecks and making something beautiful out of them. And that is just what He is wanting to do for many of you today. Your life is a mess, your dreams have been shattered, you look at the wreck and wonder if any thing good can ever come to you.
5. God has given His word, that if you will just turn your life over to Him, He will give you beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for your mourning, and the garment of praise for your heaviness.
6. He is the God of His word and He keeps His Word, trust Him.