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Chinese12/2/2005English
經文:列王紀上九至十章
鑰節:「所羅門王的財寶與智慧勝過天下的列王。」(10:23)
提要

        獻殿禮拜過後,上帝再次向所羅門顯現──可能像第一次在基遍一樣,在夢中顯現。這次,上帝向所羅門保證,他的禱告(8:23~53)已蒙垂聽,上帝會居住在他所建的聖殿堙A上帝的眼和心也會在那堳宣生═l民的祈禱。上帝也向所羅門重新確認大衛之約。如果大衛的子孫存誠實正直的心行在上帝面前,上帝就會建立大衛的王朝。上帝也警告所羅門,如果以色列人轉去事奉別神,會有怎樣可怕的結果:(1)他們會從上帝所賜的地上被剪除;(2)聖殿會被毀滅。可悲的是,在以色列後來的歷史中,這兩件事都發生了。

        所羅門所以能建造這麼多宮殿,實歸功於他龐大的以色列督工和迦南奴工。所羅門的國度擴展極快,財富也不斷增加。所羅門是商業貿易上的天才。透過和平的方式,他自己成為在列國中居首的國王,以色列也成為當時已知世界中最富有、最有權力的國家,正如上帝對所羅門的應許(10:23;3:12~13)。在世上,耶路撒冷是最壯觀的城市,聖殿和所羅門的宮殿也是最美麗的建築。

        在推羅王希蘭的協助下,所羅門派遣了一支海軍航向地中海和紅海北端的以旬迦別。所羅門控制所有海、陸貿易的途徑,也獨佔車輛、馬匹的買賣。他的聲名遠播,每一位統治者都想來見他,聽他的智慧話,並參觀他的宏偉建築──那是舉世最具吸引力的觀光重點。

        有名的示巴女王就是其中一位受好奇心驅使前來的訪客。示巴可能位於阿拉伯半島西南邊(今葉門境內)。示巴女王從所羅所見、所聽的著實令她稱奇。沒有一個問題能難得倒所羅門。他智慧的表現處處可見,最後示巴女王只能讚嘆:「我所聽說的還不及眼見的一半」。當女王看見所羅門所擁有的一切,她知道那是因為以色列之上帝的祝福。那一切都是用來向全世界見證,以色列的上帝真是活神。女王表現出她對上帝的信心,她說:「因為祂(耶和華)永遠愛以色列,所以立你作王,使你秉公行義。」(10:9)

        所羅門的財富和榮耀令人難以置信(太6:29)。他的寶座是有史以來最華麗的(10:18~20)。他使銀子「在耶路撒冷多如石頭」(10:27)。聖殿令人摒息,其中的儀式和祭物令人炫目,然而耶穌提到自己時說:「在這埵酗@人比殿更大」(太12:6)。耶穌也提到承認所羅門之上帝的示巴女王。祂說示巴女王有一天要起來定那些曾見過、聽過耶穌,卻不承認耶穌「比所羅門更大」的人的罪(太12:42)。

禱告

        主啊,示巴女王藉著所羅門而相信您,願我們的見證也能使人信您。我們沒有所羅門那樣的榮華富貴,但求您使飢渴慕義的靈魂看見基督在我們心堛甄袨I。願「比所羅門更大」的那位能透過我們發光。奉主的名求,阿們。

English

Scriptures:Read 1 Kings 9&10
Key Verse:"So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom."(1 Kings 10:23)
Overview

        After the dedication service, the Lord once again revealed Himself to Solomon, probably in a dream as He had the first time at Gibeon (3:5). This time God confirmed to him that his prayer (8:23-53) had been heard and that He would indeed inhabit the Temple, and His eyes and heart would be there to hear the prayers of His people (9:3; 8:29). God also reconfirmed the Davidic Covenant with Solomon. He would establish David's dynasty if he and his sons after him would walk before Him with integrity and righteousness. Then Solomon was given a twofold warning of what the terrible consequences would be if Israel served other gods: (1) they would be "cut off" from the land God had given them; and (2) the Temple would be destroyed (9:7). Sadly, later in Israel's history, these very things happened.

        With Solomon's large work force of Israelites and his Canaanite slaves, he was able to build all he desired. The kingdom greatly expanded and grew quickly in wealth. Solomon was a genius in commerce and trade. Through peaceful means, he became the leading and most wise king, and Israel became the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the then-known world, just as the Lord had promised Solomon (10:23; 3:12-13). Jerusalem was the most magnificent city and the Temple and Solomon's palace were the most beautiful buildings on the face of the earth.

        With the aid of king Hiram of Tyre, Solomon launched a navy on the Mediterranean, as well as at Ezion Geber on the north end of the Red Sea (modern-day Eilat). Solomon had control of all the trade routes on the sea, as well as on the land. He also controlled the monopoly on horses and chariots (10:28-29). His fame spread far and wide, so that every ruler wanted to come and hear his wisdom and see his magnificent buildings — the greatest tourist attraction in the world.

        One of those who came out of curiousity was the famous queen of Sheba. Sheba was probably located in southwestern Arabia (modern-day Yemen). She was truly amazed by what she saw and heard from Solomon. There was no question he could not answer. The fruit of his wisdom was clearly evident everywhere, and she exclaimed, "the half was not told me" (10:7). When she saw all that Solomon had, the queen knew it was because he was blessed by the Lord God of Israel. This all served as a witness to the whole world that there was indeed a living God in Israel. The queen showed faith in God when she said: "Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness" (10:9).

        Solomon's wealth and splendour was beyond belief (Matthew 6:29). His throne was the most magnificent ever made (10:18-20). He made silver "as common in Jerusalem as stones" (10:27). The Temple was awesome; the ceremonial practices and the sacrifices were significant and glorious, yet Jesus said, referring to Himself, "there is One greater than the temple" (Matthew 12:6). Jesus also spoke of the queen of Sheba, who recognized Solomon's greatness from God. He said she would stand at the judgment to condemn those who saw and heard Him (Jesus) and yet did not recognize that "indeed a greater than Solomon is here" (Matthew 12:42).

Prayer

        Lord, we pray that as the Queen of Sheba came to believe in You through Solomon, may we bring people to believe in You too. We don't have the outward splendour of Solomon, but by Your grace grant that the riches of Christ in our hearts and minds will be seen by searching souls. Grant that the One who was "Greater than Solomon" may shine brightly through us. In His name. Amen.


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