Verses 11–14

Here is, I. The word God sent to Solomon, when he was engaged in building the temple. God let him know that he took notice of what he was doing, the house he was now building, 1 Kgs. 6:12. None employ themselves for God without having his eye upon them. “I know thy works, thy good works.” He assured him that if he would proceed and persevere in obedience to the divine law, and keep in the way of duty and the true worship of God, the divine loving-kindness should be drawn out both to himself (I will perform my word with thee) and to his kingdom: “Israel shall be ever owned as my people; I will dwell among them, and not forsake them.” This word God sent him probably by a prophet, 1. That by the promise he might be encouraged and comforted in his work. Perhaps sometimes the great care, expense, and fatigue of it, made him ready to wish he had never begun it; but this would help him through the difficulties of it, that the promised establishment of his family and kingdom would abundantly recompense all his pains. An eye to the promise will carry us cheerfully through our work; and those who wish well to the public will think nothing too much that they can do to secure and perpetuate to it the tokens of God’s presence. 2. That, by the condition annexed, he might be awakened to consider that though he built the temple ever so strong the glory of it would soon depart, unless he and his people continued to walk in God’s statutes. God plainly let him know that all this charge which he and his people were at, in erecting this temple, would neither excuse them from obedience to the law of God nor shelter them from his judgments in case of disobedience. Keeping God’s commandments is better, and more pleasing to him, than building churches.

II. The work Solomon did for God: So he built the house (1 Kgs. 6:14), so animated by the message God had sent him, so admonished not to expect that God should own his building unless he were obedient to his laws: “Lord, I proceed upon these terms, being firmly resolved to walk in thy statutes.” The strictness of God’s government will never drive a good man from his service, but quicken him in it. Solomon built and finished, he went on with the work, and God went along with him till it was completed. It is spoken both to God’s praise and his: he grew not weary of the work, met not with any obstructions (as Ezra 4:24), did not out-build his property, nor do it by halves, but, having begun to build, was both able and willing to finish; for he was a wise builder.