1 Kings 9 … Consider His Focal Point

Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do, that the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon, (9:1-2).

Seven years to complete the building of the temple; a magnanimous construction of costly stones, the finest of wood, pure gold and unsurpassed craftsmanship. It must have been beyond astounding to behold.

And yet, when God appears to Solomon, no assessment is given regarding the splendor or expense. No attention is turned to the tens of thousands of workers involved or the years of labor needed to accomplish such an architectural feat.

Rather than offering a commendation for the works of Solomon, the beauty of the temple and the copious amount of lavish materials involved, the LORD turns Solomon’s attention to what is most important, to what is unseen with the human eye yet fully known by Almighty God.

And to align Solomon’s heart with His own, God discloses what is, and has always been His Focal Point, the integrity and uprightness of heart.

 Consider His Focal Point

The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel,’” (9:3-5).

The temple was truly glorious as God’s dwelling place on earth. But how can a physical structure hold His Presence? Solomon understood this.

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27).

But by His amazing grace, He placed His Name upon the temple as the physical place set apart for His people to experience the blessing of His Presence.

And there would be sacrifice required, but here, His Focal Point directs Solomon to guard well his own heart in order to receive the blessing He promised.

“As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness,” (9:4).

His Focal point was not on congratulating Solomon for his service and job well done, but landed on His loving word of caution. In order to gain a better understanding of the intent of the original language, I visited Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:

Heart: “3824. לֵבָב lēḇāḇ: A masculine noun meaning heart, mind, inner person. The primary usage of this word describes the entire disposition of the inner person that God can discern.”
Integrity: “8537. תֹּם tōm: A masculine noun meaning completeness, integrity.”
Uprightness: “3476. ישֶׁר yōšer: A masculine noun meaning straightness or uprightness, equity.”

  • His Focal Point is on the heart of man: …it always has been.
    • “…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7).
  • His Focal Point is on every bit of the heart: the entire person, not compartmentalized sections.
    • “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
  • His Focal Point is on integrity: a heart completely His.
    • “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His,” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
  • His Focal Point is on uprightness: a heart straightened in faith and commitment to His will.
    • Trust in the Lord with all your heart
      And do not lean on your own understanding.
      In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He will make your paths straight,
      (Proverbs 3:5-6).

How do we respond to His Focal Point?

Let us submit to Him in faith as we ask in humility, that He would make His Focal Point our focal point…

  • …that we would love Him with every bit of who we are, in obedience and worship.
    • If you love Me, you will keep My commandments,” (John 14:15).
    • Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).
  • …that we would yield our hearts to Him, as those completed in Christ; trusting Him to perfect us until He comes again.
    • For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus, (Philippians 1:6).
    • and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (Colossians 2:10).
  • …that we would continue straight, unwavering in His righteousness and our commitment to trust His wisdom and His will.
    • O Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes;
      Make Your way straight before me,
      (Psalm 25:8).
    • But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy, (James 3:17).
  • … and that we would remember and believe, His Focal Point is always for our good, that He may grow and establish us in all His good promises.
    • As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel,’” (9:4-5).
    • And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son… (Romans 8:28-29).

Let’s Grow Together!

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