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God’s answer to Solomon. (1-9): God’s second appearance to Solomon.
God warned Solomon, now he had newly built and dedicated the temple, that he and his people might not be high- minded, but fear. After all the services we can perform, we stand upon the same terms with the Lord as before. Nothing can purchase for us liberty to sin, nor would the true believer desire such a license. He would rather be chastened of the Lord, than be allowed to go on with ease and prosperity in sin. – Mathew Henry Concise commentary.
The first occasion on which God appeared to Solomon (3:4–15) marked the beginning of his rise to greatness. This second appearance marks the end point of his upward mobility, and points ahead to disaster. – ESV Study Bible.
Any achievement can bring complaisancy, which in turn may make us move away from active spiritual life and ultimately involve in ungodly things.
Vs. 3-5…if you walk…in integrity of heart and in uprightness…if you keep My statues and My judgments, then I will…. This passage is a reaffirmation of the Davidic Covenant. But God make sure the promises are conditional. Though this appearance happened around Temple Dedication, God makes it clear that the focal point is walking upright before Him. The future of the Temple of God depends on the obedience of the king and the future generation.
Vs. 6 & 7… if you and your sons….serve other gods and worship them…I will cut off Israel…and this house… I will cast out of My sight… The next important issue is the idolatry which will lead to loss of the Promised Land., and the huge and magnificent temple will become ruins.
Vs. 7c & 8… a Proverb and a byword…. A nation that was a proverb for its wisdom will become a proverb and byword.
The presents of Solomon and Hiram. (10-14):Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities. Hiram did not like them. If Solomon would gratify him, let it be in his own element, by becoming his partner in trade, as he did (v. 27).
Solomon’s buildings, His trade. (15-28):
Here is a further account of Solomon’s greatness. He began at the right end, for he built God’s house first, and finished that before he began his own; then God blessed him, and he prospered in all his other buildings. Let piety begin, and profit follow; leave pleasure to the last. Whatever pains we take for the glory of God, and to profit others, we are likely to have the advantage. Canaan, the holy land, the glory of all lands, had no gold in it; which shows that the best produce is that which is for the present support of life, our own and others; such things did Canaan produce. Solomon got much by his merchandise, and yet has directed us to a better trade, within reach of the poorest. Wisdom is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold, ( Proverbs 3:14 ) . – Mathew Henry Commentary.
V. 25… Three times a year… These may be the three following festivals…. 1. Passover, the feast of Unleavened Bread, 2. The feast of Harvest (feast of weeks), and 3. Feast of Tabernacle.