Read II Chronicles 1 -- 3
King Solomon, who eventually was responsible for the division of the Kingdom, began his reign in submission to the Lord. The Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly. . . . Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to . . . Gibeon (about six miles northwest of Jerusalem). . . . at the Tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it. In that night (while he was sleeping) God appeared to him (in a dream) (II Chronicles 1:1-7). In I Kings we have more complete details of this event. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream . . . and said: Ask what I shall give you . . . and Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream (I Kings 3:5,15).
In this dream, Solomon said to God. . . . Give me wisdom and knowledge . . . for who can judge this Your people, that is so great? (II Chronicles 1:8-12). Through this dream the Lord was revealing to Solomon that his greatest need was to pray and be obedient to His Word.
Our dreams are beyond our control, but God often uses them to reveal His will as He did with Joseph. Joseph's dreams concerning his future rule over his brothers were in the mind of God and not in the schemes of Joseph (Genesis 37:5-11). But Joseph recognized through his dreams the utmost importance of remaining faithful to the Lord. In contrast, Solomon did not let his dream stand in the way of what he wanted to do.
Following the sacrifices at Gibeon, Solomon began accumulating massive numbers of horses, chariots and horsemen (II Chronicles 1:14; 9:25; I Kings 4:26). They would impress the caravans traveling to and from Mesopotamia, Syria, and Assyria in the North; Egypt in the South; Moab in the East; and Philistia in the West.
But, God had commanded that the king shall not multiply horses to himself. . . . Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart not turn away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold (Deuteronomy 17:16-17). Solomon ignored all three of these commandments. But his most serious neglect was the fourth commandment to Israel's kings: He shall write him a copy of this Law in a book. . . . And he shall read in it all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this Law . . . to do them (17:18-19).
Solomon amassed wealth to the extent that he made silver and gold in Jerusalem as plentiful as stones (II Chronicles 1:15). He was also warned not to cause the people to return to Egypt. But his first wife was the daughter of Pharaoh. Solomon loved many foreign women (I Kings 11:1) -- idol worshipers who worshiped pagan gods.
It makes little difference whether or not we become famous, powerful or wealthy. But it is most important to recognize that God has first claim on our wisdom, and our abilities, and on our use of them. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (II Peter 1:4).
Christ Revealed: By the thousand burnt offerings of Solomon (II Chronicles 1:6). We can be thankful that the one perfect offering of Christ on the cross did away with the need for many and continual individual offerings (Rom. 6:10-11; Heb. 10:10-12,14).
Word Studies: 2:2 told out means assigned; hew means to cut stones; 2:7 cunning means skillful; skill to grave means skillful in engraving; 2:14 find out every device means skillful to execute any design.
BPM Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WJRA-AM, Decatur, AL · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Philip DePuy · Country: Iran (65 million) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Farsi and Turki · Hostile to all Christian activity · 98% Muslim; .4% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Cry and pour out your soul in prayer in time of affliction (Isaiah 26:16).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 8
Memory Verse for the Week: I Timothy 2:8