Basically God lays out the contract, a renewal of the contract Moses brought in the book of Deuteronomy.
"Solomon, if you and your people serve me faithfully, I'll look after you and make your nation great and you'll always have a descendant on the throne.
"But Sol, if you and your people fail me, and go after idols, and follow your own will instead of mine, this big 'ol Temple won't mean a hill of beans. It'll be an astonishing ruin, a spectacle, a marvel of horror for all to see. Because it's not about the building; it's about the heart."
We were thinking how it must've been for God to lay this out, knowing full well that the second scenario - disobedience and failure - was going to happen.
How hard must it have been for God (just thinking on a human level here, bear with me) to let Solomon have free will, even as He's laying out these conditions. Or even to not add in rejoiners like: "If you and your people fail me - and you will!"
No, God laid it out as if it was fully up to Solomon and the people. And it was. It's the old predestination vs. free will argument. There is no vs. It really does work both ways. We have complete freedom to do whatever; God knows exactly what will happen because He is outside of time, and able to organise whatever He wants.
So I was thinking ... how come we say it's hard to let go and let God?
- He's perfect
- He knows everything
- He does everything well
- We're imperfect
- We don't know much at all (compared to knowing everything, that is!)
- We don't do much that well (compared to utter perfection)