First Kings 5 Commentary
Envoys will come from Egypt; Cush will submit herself to God. Psalms 68 verse 31. This is David’s prayer. He was looking ahead to a time descriptive of events in this chapter. These are great times for the nation. We have diplomatic ties with key nations. Israel is existing as an equal among the powerful of the known world.
Verse 4 highlights an important concept we picked up in the Torah: rest, which was the keyword behind the many Sabbaths that the LORD commanded Israel to observe. Solomon observes that the LORD has given Israel rest. It is from this point of rest that Solomon wants to now build the LORD a house to dwell in.
During their many travels, in the Book of Numbers, the people of God dwelt in tents. The LORD’s house was equally a tent. Now that the LORD’S people have settled and are building permanent houses for themselves, they want to construct a permanent structure for God’s name. This is important. The LORD lives with people in their original dwellings. The LORD pitches a tent right next to yours. The LORD lives under the same conditions as your level determines. This is a powerful pointer to the one we have called Emmanuel. He lives with each one of us in our environments.
We hear of Adoniram who was in charge of forced labor. Now, this is disturbing. Is Israel the new Egypt, enslaving others? Many people don’t hate corruption; they hate the fact that it’s not them doing it. Is Solomon guilty of this kind of wicked mindset? Regardless, we already have the LORD’s word regarding such issues from the Torah. For now, we simply watch this space.
Note that part of this forced labor is working on the construction of the temple. The saint is warned to watch his steps. It is possible to commit sin in the process of doing right.