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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary
1 Kings 9



Verse 4


‘If thou wilt walk before Me.’

1 Kings 9:4

I. Special privileges and blessings conferred upon us make our responsibility greater.—Twice God appeared to Solomon in a vision, granting him honours and favours. He accepted the king’s work in building the Temple and answered his prayer for the hallowing of the house. He gave Solomon great wealth, power, and wisdom. All these made Solomon’s duty more sacred. When much is given to a man, much also shall be required. Solomon’s sin in departing from God was the greater because of his privileges. Whatever God gives to us is a sacred trust. The more He gives the graver is our responsibility. We have many privileges in our Christian land—what are we doing with them? Are we faithful?

II. All God’s promises are conditional.—Solomon must walk before God in integrity of heart and in uprightness, and must do all God’s commandments if he would continue to enjoy the honours and blessings which he had received. If he departed from God, the many promises made concerning him and to him would be forfeited. God has promised us many good things, but all are conditional upon our own faithfulness and obedience. If we are true to God He will bless us, and as long as we remain true He will continue to bless us. If we are false to Him we shall miss all the good that He had ready to bestow upon us.

III. The world is always the enemy of righteousness.—In Solomon’s time the world was idolatrous. All the other nations had gods of wood and stone—some material form which they could touch and see. It was the fashion then to worship idols. The spirit of the world is the same to-day. It does not worship idols, however, but it inclines to other forms of departure from God which are no less serious. Whether it be to worship a piece of stone, or to worship self in some form makes very little difference. We need to remember always the consequences of any leaving of God. Israel would be cut off, the hallowed Temple would be cast out of God’s sight, His people should be the byword among all nations always. Leaving God brings sorrow and turns blessings to curses.

IV. The great lesson is faithfulness to God.—Why should we forsake God? He is our best friend. He has loved us with a love that is infinite in its tenderness, and has stopped at no cost in redeeming us. If we are true to Him, all blessing and good are assured to us. If we are unfaithful to Him, sorrow and loss will ensue.


(1) ‘The abiding of God’s presence in the Temple would be dependent upon Solomon’s faithfulness. This suggests to us how much one man’s life may have to do with the abiding or the departure of God’s blessing from a place.’

(2) ‘These were very solemn warnings which were given to Solomon. When we remember that even in spite of all the warnings given to him he did turn away from the Lord, we need to learn that only God Himself can keep us from falling. We need to watch, lest we also drift away from Christ.’

(3) ‘The condition and the consequences are inseparably connected. No one can fulfil the condition of verse 6 and have the promise of verse 5. Balaam seemed to wish for this when he said, “Let me die the death of the righteous.” When one was asked whether he would be among the Puritans or the Cavaliers, he replied, “He would rather live with the worldling, hut die with the Puritan.” But it cannot be done. The future and the present are connected, as harvest is connected with seed time. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”’


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Kings 9:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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