Highlights In Today's Reading:
The prophecy against Eli is fulfilled (2:26-27). Solomon carries out David's instructions concerning Joab and Shimei (2:28-46; see 2:5-9), and his kingdom is established (2:12,46). Progressively, we're shown the inability of man to rule himself.
Just after Solomon's marriage to an Egyptian princess, we read: Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only (but) he (compromised and) sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice . . . a thousand burnt offerings (3:3-4). Solomon had a remarkable dream as he slept during the night of the great sacrifice. He observed himself asking God for an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad (3:9). An understanding heart literally means "hearing in order to do."
God tried to get his attention through a dream, reminding Solomon that God alone is the Source of all wisdom and that he should meditate upon the Scriptures to discern between good and bad (3:9). The dream revealed the blessings that God would give Solomon if he would walk in My ways, to keep . . . My Commandments. . . . And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was (only) a dream (3:14-15).
Apparently Solomon's goal was to become famous and popular in the world. In doing this, he ignored the Word of God to the kings of Israel: He shall not . . . return to Egypt, to . . . multiply horses. . . . Neither shall he multiply wives to himself . . . neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold (Deut. 17:16-17). But he went to Egypt for horses, and made affinity with Pharaoh . . . and took Pharaoh's daughter (I Kin. 3:1).
Solomon offered many sacrifices to God, built the world's most magnificent and famous Temple, and offered the longest recorded prayer in the Old Testament. But his marriages to pagan wives and his worship at the Canaanite high places were acts of rebellion against God. Eventually, he went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites (11:5). Compromise, a powerful foothold of sin, often destroys our spiritual usefulness. Solomon typifies multitalented people who become too busy with personal goals.
After a lifetime of overindulgence and self-satisfaction, Solomon tells us what he has learned: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Eccl. 12:13).
Thought for Today:
No matter how promising a person may be or how many talents he may have, compromise with the world leads to spiritual failure.
Through the wisdom which God gave Solomon (I Kin. 3:12). That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (I Cor. 1:29-31).
2:44 is 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 International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Official: Rep. James Langevin (RI) • Country: Israel (6.1 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Hebrew and Arabic • Witnessing to Jews about Christ the Messiah is actively discouraged • 80.2% Jewish (mostly secular); 14.6% Muslim (largely Sunni); 2.1% Christian; 1.6% Druze; 1.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray through the Name of Jesus Christ, for it is by Him that we have access to God in prayer (Eph. 2:18).
Optional Reading: Acts 23
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:13