In The Word
Read: 1 Kings 3-4
Solomon’s Rule Consolidated
3 Then Solomon formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days.
3 Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.”
6 Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. 9 So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
10 It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. 13 I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. 14 If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.”
15 Then Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and made peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
Solomon Wisely Judges
16 Then two women who were harlots came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 It happened on the third day after I gave birth, that this woman also gave birth to a child, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, only the two of us in the house. 19 This woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on it. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead; but when I looked at him carefully in the morning, behold, he was not my son, whom I had borne.” 22 Then the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But the first woman said, “No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king.
23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” 27 Then the king said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
4 Now King Solomon was king over all Israel. 2 These were his officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 4 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the army; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 5 and Azariah the son of Nathan was over the deputies; and Zabud the son of Nathan, a priest, was the king’s friend; 6 and Ahishar was over the household; and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the men subject to forced labor.
7 Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who provided for the king and his household; each man had to provide for a month in the year. 8 These are their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim;9 Ben-deker in Makaz and Shaalbim and Beth-shemesh and Elonbeth-hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (Socoh was his and all the land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all the height of Dor (Taphath the daughter of Solomon was his wife); 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, inTaanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (the towns of Jair, the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead were his: the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars were his); 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also married Basemath the daughter of Solomon);16 Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin;19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only deputy who was in the land.
Solomon’s Power, Wealth and Wisdom
20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing.
21 Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.
22 Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty kors of fine flour and sixty kors of meal, 23 ten fat oxen, twenty pasture-fed oxen, a hundred sheep besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. 24 For he had dominion over everything west of the River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings west of the River; and he had peace on all sides around about him. 25 So Judah and Israel lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. 26 Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. 27 Those deputies provided for King Solomon and all who came to King Solomon’s table, each in his month; they left nothing lacking. 28 They also brought barley and straw for the horses and swift steeds to the place where it should be, each according to his charge.
29 Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. 34 Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
God approaches Solomon in a dream, and He asks him, “What do you wish I give you (3:5)?” Solomon could have asked for anything, but showing years beyond his young age, he requested wisdom to rule Israel. God was very impressed and tells him not only will he receive this wisdom, but also everything else he could want and did not request. Notice what Solomon did before God came to him with this amazing question. He offered up to God a thousand burnt offerings. This showed a heart of honor and respect toward God. Our Father responded back out of His loving-kindness. Also, notice that in Solomon’s request, he asked for something that would benefit the kingdom of God and the purpose of God for his life. This showed a heart of humility and submission to his calling.
After God lavishes him beyond his request, Solomon responds with a heart of gratefulness, joy, and faith by offering more burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. Two women soon tested him, and the entire world saw God’s wisdom manifested.
We want to be lavished by God, but do we show our love, honor, and respect to God through a heart of worship and generosity to God’s mission and kingdom? If we keep our heart on God, there is no telling what He will do in our lives…beyond what we could ever ask.