2 Chronicles 8

2 Chronicles 8
by Pastor David Groendyk

Obedient trust leads to blessing. That is one of the big themes of this chapter. In the ESV Bible, this chapter is entitled “Solomon’s Accomplishments,” but it could also be entitled “God’s Blessings” or “God Fulfills His Promises.” Broadly speaking, what we have here is Solomon finishing the work of God that was assigned to him and then having his dominion extended and kingdom blessed. City names and lists of people groups and festivals might confuse us a little, but consider all the different ways we see Solomon’s kingdom grow and experience blessing:

• Verse 2: Solomon rebuilt desolate cities. First Kings 9:12 tells us that Solomon had originally given these cities to Hiram, but that Solomon may have been pulling a fast one on Hiram by giving him bad land. So—apparently—Hiram gave them back. (Talk about first-world problems!) However, the Chronicler puts a different spin on the situation. One commentator suggests this is a foreshadowing for the exiles (400 years later) that they will return to their now-desolate cities again and have the opportunity to rebuild them one day (see Ezek. 36:33).
• Verses 3–6: Solomon built many, many cities. He built “store cities” which held storehouses for grain, wine, and oil; “fortified cities” which were military strongholds and watchtowers; cities designated to hold the chariots and horses and riders.
• Verses 7–10: Solomon subjugated the enemies that were living in their land.
• Verse 11: Solomon makes the decision to keep his Egyptian wife out of the temple. Now, again, this is an act that 1 Kings actually criticizes Solomon for, that is, marrying a foreign woman and thus making an alliance with Egypt (1 Kgs. 11:1–8), but in this instance he is convicted about keeping the temple of God holy and free from foreigners who worship idols; Solomon is keeping an idol-worshiper out of the temple and is zealous to keep the worship of Yahweh pure.
• Verses 12–15: Solomon was also zealous in keeping the regular sacrifices and feasts and festivals. He was leading the way as an example and model for his people in daily, weekly, and annual worship of God in the way God wanted to be worshiped. Moreover, it is repeated three times in verses 13–14 that Solomon’s actions were in line with what Moses and David instructed. That’s high praise!
• Verses 17–18: Solomon is blessed with ships and gold from Hiram and other far-away nations and lands.
It is difficult for our modern eyes and ears to comprehend this, but this chapter is strewn with blessings from God unto Solomon, all because he accomplished and completed the work that the Lord had assigned to him (v. 16). He has been blessed himself and has caused the people in his charge to be blessed also.

One commentator points out one lesson we can take away from Solomon’s example. He (along with Moses and David, also mentioned in this chapter) was preoccupied with the worship and service of God. Are we also preoccupied with the worship and service of God like they were? It takes proactive thinking, intentionality, and careful attention to make sure we are glorifying God with all of our lives. As another writer puts it, “Let us not assume that we are living for God’s glory.” Let us rather make the effort to consciously think about putting God’s glory first in every decision and moment of our days.