1 Kings 9
God spoke to Solomon a second time after the temple and the palace were completed and renewed His promise to maintain the kingdom of Israel on the condition that the Israelites not abandon him. Throughout the Old Testament, many of God’s covenants with His people were contingent on them remaining His people. This isn’t a quid pro quo relationship, but a statement of fact regarding a relationship with God. Being in fellowship with God results in the blessings His presence provides; abandoning His presence deprives us of those blessings.
Not all, or even the most important, blessings of God are tangible things like a throne or a kingdom, but those concrete blessings illustrate the intangible riches and power of being a child of the King. In the New Testament, Jesus repeats the same concept when He tells the disciples in John 14:14, “Ask anything in my name, and I will do it.” Like in the Old Testament, the contingency is in Jesus’ name, in His will, or according to God’s purpose. We can only ask in this manner if we have a relationship that allows us a glimpse of His will and His purpose.
In the Old Testament, followers of God failed to maintain that relationship. They constantly turned back to spiritual slavery, to idolatry, to sinful behaviors that utterly rejected God’s place as sovereign. They did this time and time again because they lacked the ability to walk faithfully according to His statutes. The Old Testament is filled with the stories of those who desired to follow God, like Solomon, yet failed in a variety of ways. Their stories are the rising action of the gospel story! They bring us to the darkest moment of mankind’s story — the realization that we are helpless and hopeless to save ourselves.
They explain the need for a savior to pay the penalty we couldn’t pay, and the Holy Spirit to enable us to live the life we couldn’t otherwise live.