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: Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burned incense in high places (I Kings 3:3). The Tabernacle and the Altar of Burned Offering were still located at Gibeon, about six miles northwest of Jerusalem (see I Chronicles 16:37-40; 21:29). The last major event to take place at Gibeon was Solomon's great dedication service as king (see II Chronicles 1:1-13). On the night of that great sacrifice, Solomon had a remarkable dream in which he asked God for an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad (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 so he could discern between good and bad. Then, Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream (3:15). But this remarkable dream had no lasting affect on his life, for he became increasingly self-centered.

 

Solomon ignored God's Word concerning the kings of Israel: He shall not multiply horses to himself. . . . Neither shall he multiply (take many) wives to himself . . . neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold (Deuteronomy 17:16-17). He not only turned to Egypt for horses, but he also took Pharaoh's daughter as a wife (I Kings 3:1).

 

Solomon offered enormous sacrifices to God, built the world famous Temple in Jerusalem, 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 (see 11:4-11).

 

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

 

Solomon eventually confessed: I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit (chasing after the wind) (Ecclesiastes 1:14). But, with advancing age, he later concluded that the most essential purpose in life was to fear God, and keep His Commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

 

Word Studies:

 

2:44 privy to = know; 3:1 made affinity = made an alliance; 3:19 overlaid it = lay on him; 3:26 bowels yearned = motherly compassion; 4:6 tribute = forced labor; 4:28 dromedaries = young camels; charge = responsibility.

 

Christ Revealed:

 

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).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BP Staff: George Kopchak · Government Official: Rep. James Langevin (RI) · Country: Tanzania (31 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: Swahili and English · Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy · 33% Muslim; 19% Roman Catholic; 19% animist; 15% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Can you say you are ready for the Lord's coming (Malachi 3:2)?

 

Optional Reading: Acts 23

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:17