1 Kings 9
I still struggle with the concept of the Lord appearing to people and telling them to do stuff. Maybe because the Lord has never “appeared” to me. Yet I can say without hesitation and with absolute certainty He has “told” me what to do in many different forms in many situations and circumstances. Maybe this is your experience too? How awesome it must be if the Lord chooses to appear to you and instruct you “face to face”? In 1 Kings 9 we read that this is the second time the Lord appeared to Solomon. “Face to face” He makes a promise to Solomon.
4 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, 5 I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’
Solomon also finds out, as we should, that meeting with the Lord face to face also comes with great responsibility.
6 “But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 8 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 9People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.’ ”
Paul’s instructions encourage responsibility and integrity on the job. Christian employees should do their jobs as if Jesus Christ were their supervisor. And Christian employers should treat their employees fairly and with respect. Can you be trusted to do your best, even when the boss is not around? Do you work hard and with enthusiasm? Do you treat your employees as people not machines? Remember that no matter whom you work for, and no matter who works for you, the One you ultimately should want to please is your Father in heaven.
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favouritism with him.
12 “ ‘For seven months the Israelites will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. 13All the people of the land will bury them, and the day I display my glory will be a memorable day for them, declares the Sovereign Lord. 14 People will be continually employed in cleansing the land. They will spread out across the land and, along with others, they will bury any bodies that are lying on the ground. “ ‘After the seven months they will carry out a more detailed search. 15 As they go through the land, anyone who sees a human bone will leave a marker beside it until the gravediggers bury it in the Valley of Hamon Gog, 16 near a town called Hamonah. And so they will cleanse the land.’
Two themes are intertwined: God’s total victory over his enemies, and the need to cleanse the land to make it holy. This message is exciting for us: with God on our side, we are assured of ultimate victory over his foes because God will fight on our behalf.
8 You have set our iniquities before you , our secret sins in the light of your presence.
God knows all our sins as if they were spread out before him, even the secret ones. We don’t need to cover up our sins before him because we can talk openly and honestly with him. But while he knows all the terrible information about us, God still loves us and wants to forgive us. This should encourage us to come to him rather than frighten us into covering up our sin