“Now Solomon decided to build a house for the name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself” (2 Chron. 2:1).
Men commonly say that each person must take decisions in life based on the demands of a situation regardless of what anyone thinks. They may have ramifications and still we are told to do ‘something’ in order to get something. This notion lacks rationality in that it simply makes a person wander in the unknown until something works or doesn’t. So, in order that something should work men search, make ways and eventually, bend to do wrong to achieve their initial desire. In this appears disobedience and sin against the Lord and man.
Even believers are told by believers and their leaders alike that they must take the first step of their own for the Lord to fulfill their goal. This is further from the truth, because unless a man is directed by the Lord, he cannot blissfully achieve his objective. In fact, the blessings of the Lord must accompany for an objective to be fulfilled. This insinuates a holy walk throughout the fulfilling of an objective. And because of this condition, though a man achieves something apart from the Lord, it does not stand for long or is destined to fall.
Today’s verse teaches how a believer ought to make decisions. The decisions we make must be obvious to us, because of that which we are provided. Whether it is for the Lord or for ourselves, we must be with the firm knowledge that the Lord is with us. When Solomon decided to built the temple for the Lord, he did it based on two things: The Lord’s covenant with his father concerning him and the provisions acquired to build the temple. By these two things the Lord led him to the time he must act, and he prospered. Solomon did not take any steps of his own, except trust the Lord to fittingly guide him. Even the supplies gathered were by the Lord’s zeal in His people. There was nothing done concerning the temple apart from the Lord’s direction. The temple’s design was from the Lord as well. What Solomon did was obey the Lord.
A slightly difficult aspect to understand is the absence of the Lord’s directive in the Scripture regarding Solomon’s own house. When a servant of the Lord is aptly doing His work, i.e. following His will, the Lord gives him the freedom and the choice to bless himself without reference to sin. This too is a way of God honoring His servants. So, what steps can we take from the Word so that we do not test the Lord with our ways, but rather please Him and honor ourselves by His ways?
- A glorious inside. We ought to be like the verse describes. “The King’s daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold” (45:13). It’s not our outward appearance in the form of clothing, speech and aura, but it is the inside of us that must please the Lord. Those with an outward appearance please men so they can become rich and prominent in this world. But, only to those with a glorious inside does the Lord appoint His perfect ways to yield everlasting glory like the clothing interwoven with gold. A glorious inside is the basis to receive the Lord’s ways.
- Do not be overzealous. “I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot. For who will bring him to see what will occur after him?” (3:22). We ought not to run for things that are beyond the Lord’s will for us. Solomon knew exactly what those are. The Lord gives us sufficient activities in this life to please Him, if we are willing to obey and trust Him. Even then we miss a turn here or there. So, there’s no point in becoming overzealous. We ought to assimilate the joy acquired by performing those activities. An overzealous man does not recognize the joy of the Lord and thus, makes himself useless to Him.
- Define our character. We must be able define our character before the Lord. “And said, ‘Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly” (Isa. 38:3). If we try to prove ourselves before men, we fail and are weak to take the Lord’s ways. Then we choose the way of the world expecting the Lord to fulfill our goal. People that encourage others to take the first step of their own have already failed before the Lord and cannot choose His ways for glory.