Building the Temple

As you read about the magnificence of the Temple plans and its construction, picture its size: 90 feet long by 30 feet wide by 45 feet high. Imagine 30 yards on a football field for its length.

One of the wise moves Solomon makes is to get help from others who would “own” the project. This is a sign of true leadership: when following feels part of the leading! Solomon invites an unbelieving neighboring King, Hiram of Tyre, to be a subcontractor.

Ask the Lord to let you see the spiritual gifts of those around you so that together you can “build” the spiritual temple, a community of love and peace that praises the Lord.

1 Kings 5—6

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
Grant me wisdom in my heart. 5:7
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the fifth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Tuesdays in this season are dedicated to 1 Kings.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

Beginning Sunday, July 8th, the Firestarters from the new edition of
The Bible Through the Seasons
for families will be posted daily. 

Solomon’s Prayer

Solomon’s greatness lies in his prayer. Here, as in later chapters, he can be a model for your prayer. He had his priorities in order as he presents himself as the new king. As you read the vivid story beginning in 3:16, marvel how a shift in the ways of looking at a situation can give wisdom.

Is there something or someone that you need to look at from a fresh point of view? Pray as did Solomon and wait for the Lord to show you. God will respond because in Christ Jesus, you are a priest, a prophet, and a king. You may find it helpful to write out your prayer, waiting for the Lord to share responses through your hands.

1 Kings 3—4


This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Tuesdays are dedicated to Hebrew History and “The Writings.” For the rest of this season, we read 1 Kings.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting Firestarters from the original version of The Bible Through the Seasons. 

After David

In the first book of Kings, we trace the early history of the Jewish people after the death of David, the shepherd king, through the greatness of wise Solomon. Tragedies occur when the First Commandment is constantly broken. Despite the magnificence of the Temple that we will hear described, the “house” of God’s people is built on the sands of idolatry, arrogance, power, and pride; it eventually divides into two. Remember what Jesus said about houses divided: they “cannot stand” (Matt. 12-25).

The sacred writer’s purpose is to make this history personal to you. May this book awaken longings in you to be faithful as a member of the New Temple—the very Body of Christ alive in the Holy Spirit.

1 Kings 1—2


This is the third of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Tuesdays are dedicated to Hebrew History and “The Writings.” For the rest of this season, we read 1 Kings.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting Firestarters from the original version of The Bible Through the Seasons. 

Ending on the Downside

The Reading for Today: 1 Kings 21—22

Conspiracy to steal and murder—all evils break out when there is the kind of contempt for the Lord that Jezebel has. How terrible are the descriptions of these evils! Jezebel has violated the first commandment; how easy it becomes to violate all the others. Beauty found in the beginning of the book in the death of King David, the glory of his son Solomon and the building of the Temple, all fade into the ugliness of two kingdoms with mostly evil kings reigning on both sides.

How the Lord must have been grieved! Now you know God’s sadness in Hosea’s time as well as in our day. Grieve with the Lord until your groaning is one with the groans of the Spirit. These are the birth pangs of new life.

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the thirteenth and last week in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Tuesdays in this season are dedicated to 1 Kings.

The Still, Small Voice

The Reading for Today: 1 Kings 19—20

Action ceases; the roller coaster stops. For Elijah, a time of quiet has come, setting for the strong experience of the presence of the Lord in the “still, small voice.” Sweetly and intimately, God communicates with the prophet. Then Elijah has a close companion who is anointed with prophecy as he—Elisha.

Action picks up again in the arrogance of a pagan king, Ben-Hadad, and the punishment of Ahab for letting Ben-Hadad get away. May you feel the disgust in your heart as you read about Ahab and Jezebel’s contempt for God’s ways. Let the Spirit stir you strongly to follow the Lord. Separate yourself from those people, places, and things that tempt you to put yourself in the center again.

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the twelfth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Tuesdays in this season are dedicated to 1 Kings.

Tales of Elijah

The Reading for Today: 1 Kings 17—18

As a ride on a roller coaster, 1 Kings shifts from heights of glory to depths of depravity. The splendor of Solomon tarnishes. No sooner is the Temple completed than it is abandoned for pagan shrines. The Kingdom splits into two.

Enter Elijah. The energy shifts as we feel the presence of God in this wondrous prophet. You will read a Bible story favorite of many—Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath. When you give your all to the Lord, each day will dawn with all you need. As the woman touching Jesus’ tassel, as the widow giving her last coin, give your “last meal” to the Lord and Jesus will give you the Bread of Life.

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the eleventh of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Tuesdays in this season are dedicated to 1 Kings.

The Lord Exasperated

The Reading for Today: 1 Kings 15—16

Anger and sadness often go together. When we lose a dear one in death, the loss produces grief. However, first there is anger, especially when we view the loss as a violation of justice.

In this passage, the anger of the Lord comes after years of unfaithful kings, one after another. The grieving of the Holy Spirit becomes complete exasperation. In the verse for today, the Hebrew word for anger is cha’as: the kind of anger that wells up after being constantly provoked. It is not the reactive anger of which we are so familiar in our sinfulness.

Reflect upon anger in your life.

The Reading for Today


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the tenth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Tuesdays in this season are dedicated to 1 Kings.