April 22

Read I Kings 2:26 -- 4

In Today's Reading:

Abiathar banished from priesthood; Joab put to death; Shimei executed; Solomon's control of the kingdom becomes secure

Soon after Solomon became king, we read: Although Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, he also sacrificed and burned incense(to false gods) at the high places (I Kings 3:3). The tabernacle and the altar of burnt offerings were still located at Gibeon, about six miles northwest of Jerusalem (I Chronicles 16:37-40; 21:29). The last major event to take place at Gibeon was Solomon's great dedication service as king (II Chronicles 1:1-13; 7:8). On the night of that great sacrifice, Solomon had a remarkable dream in which he asked God for an obedient heart to judge Your people, discerning between good and evil (I Kings 3:9). God was trying to get Solomon's attention through a dream to remind him that he needed to meditate upon the Scripture, discerning between good and evil (3:9). . . . Then Solomon awoke and discovered that it had been a dream (3:15). But this remarkable dream had no lasting affect on his life

Solomon ignored God's word concerning the kings of Israel: He must not acquire large numbers of horses. . . . He must not acquire large numbers of wives. . . . Silver and gold, too, he must not acquire in very large amounts (Deuteronomy 17:16-17). He not only turned to Egypt for horses, but also married the Pharaoh's daughter (I Kings 3:1).

Solomon offered enormous sacrifices to God, built the world famous temple, and offered the longest recorded prayer in the Bible; but his disregard for God's word, his many marriages to pagan wives, and his worship at their Canaanite high places (3:3) were all acts of rebellion against God. These actions eventually led to his apostasy.

Solomon refused to follow his godly father's advice to keep your obligation to the LORDyour God . . . keep . . . His commandments (2:3). He is typical of the brilliant, multitalented people who compromise biblical principles and assume that God is pleased since they are successful and popular. But compromise is the first foothold of sin that sooner or later destroys one's spiritual usefulness and influence for Christ.

Solomon eventually confessed: I saw all the accomplishments. . . under the sun. . . . Every one is futile, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14). Later he wrote: Fear Godand obey His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Christ Revealed:

Through the wisdom which God gave Solomon (I Kings 3:12). From Him you are in Christ Jesus, who for us became wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30). Wisdom and justice will be distinguishing characteristics of the Messianic King, our Wonderful Counselor, and His reign (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. James Langevin (RI) · Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa · Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects · Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism · 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men · Prayer Suggestion: Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31).

Optional Reading: Acts 23

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:165