Highlights In Today's Reading:
Solomon is now King of Israel. Abiathar is banished from the priesthood. Joab is put to death. Shimei is killed for breaking an oath. Solomon marries Pharaoh's daughter. Solomon begins his reign — a warning to all of us.
The dedicatory service of Solomon's coronation was held at Gibeon, the location of the Tabernacle and the Altar of the Burnt Offering, where daily sacrifices were offered to the Lord (I Chronicles 16:37-40; 21:29). A startling defect is evident as we read that Solomon loved the Lord . . . only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places (3:3). It is disappointing that it does not say he loved the Lord with all his heart as required in Deuteronomy 6:5 or as David his father did. Surely, Solomon knew God's Word to Saul: To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (I Samuel 15:22).
Coupled with this violation was his association with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and acceptance of his daughter as his wife. This was the first association between Israel and Egypt since the time of the Exodus about 480 years earlier. This once-despised and oppressed people of slavery was now being looked upon in Egypt with prestige. This opened the door to accept daughters from many kings which led to building temples of worship to their gods. The enormous number of horses he bought from Pharaoh was another violation of God's Law (Deuteronomy 17:16-17). Undoubtedly, these compromises were thought to be a clever political move to increase Solomon's fame and importance among the nations of the world.
Solomon is given credit for his marvelous prayer of humility and asking for wisdom. It was actually in a dream that he said: I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in (I Kings 3:7). God recorded that the entire encounter was only a dream (3:5,15). God's purpose for this dream was to remind Solomon that He is the source of all wisdom and, without Him, man is but a little child who needs help in order to discern between good and bad (3:7-9). This "dream" is recorded to remind us that this important need still exists today.
This dream revealed the abundant mercy and grace that God would give Solomon or anyone else who chooses to live to love the Lord with all his heart and keeps His commandments (see 3:5-15). Sadly, his dream didn't create in Solomon a real desire to be faithful to God. Eventually he turned away from the Lord because his desire to please himself and his foreign wives became greater than his desire to please God. His heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice . . . but he kept not that which the Lord commanded (11:9-10).
Jesus said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself (Luke 10:27).
Thought for Today:
Too often people claim to be Christians because it will benefit them in some manner, but a real relationship with Christ begins as Jesus said: Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me (Matthew 15:8).
Through the wisdom which God gave Solomon (I Kings 3:12). We are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30; 2:16).
2:44 privy to =knowingly did; 3:1 made affinity =made an alliance by marriage; 3:19 overlaid it =lay on him; 3:26 bowels yearned =motherly compassion; 4:6 tribute =forced labor; 4:28 dromedaries =young camels, swift steeds; charge =responsibility.
Pray for The Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mr & Mrs Edward Mantych • Staff: Mike Moore • Government Official: Rep. James Langevin (RI) • Country: Malawi (10 million) in southeastern Africa • Major languages: English and Chichewa • Religious freedom • 34% Protestant; 23% Roman Catholic; 16% Muslim; 16% animist; 4% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to show you what to do, and then be willing to do it (Acts 9:6).
Optional Reading: Acts 23
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:22