Practical Lessons from I Kings (Part 2)
Our next practical lesson from I Kings is this:

I Kings 8:27 - "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!"
God's name rested on the temple Solomon built and His presence was there symbolically by means of the cloud, but Solomon understood that Jehovah did not literally dwell in that beautiful structure. Today, Scripture tells us that God dwells in His church (i.e., the people, not the building; cf. I Cor. 3:16,17; 6:19). Thus, it could be said that although He doesn't dwell in temples made by men, He does dwell in men who are temples!

I Kings 8:39 - "Then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men)."
This was one petition Solomon made to God during his prayer of dedication for the completed temple. He knew that God was the perfect judge because He was (and is) the One who truly knows the hearts of everyone. We, as fallible mortals with limited knowledge and understanding, must be very careful when making judgments about others--particularly their motivations (cf. John 7:24; James 2:13).

I Kings 8:46 - "When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near."
Solomon knew that everyone committed sin, and so did Paul (cf. Rom. 3:23). If we are wise we will realize this, not to lower our standards of morality, but to remember that even our friends and loved ones make mistakes--they will sin at times, just like we do. So, consider it and respond accordingly with patience, love, and correction. Other than the Lord, no one is perfect.

I Kings 11:1-10:

"But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites--from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, 'You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.' Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded."
It is tragic to see such a great man on this path of destruction! Sometimes wise people do very foolish things. Young people, take note of Solomon's downfall and self-destruction (cf. I Cor. 15:33). If your mate is not a strong Christian, the likelihood of him or her turning your heart away from the Lord is significant. It is better to not marry at all than it is to marry one who will pull you into spiritual darkness. If you marry, make sure it is to one who will genuinely help you get to heaven, not impede your way.