Read 1 Kings 2:26
In Today's Reading:
Abiathar banished from priesthood l Joab put to death l Shimei executed l Solomon's control of the kingdom becomes secure l He amasses horses, wives, and wealth, and becomes famous.
Verses for Today:
Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter. . . . And Solomon loved the Lord . . . only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places (1 Kings 3:1).
Soon after Solomon became king, we read that: Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he (compromised and) sacrificed and [burned] incense in high places (1 Kings 3:3). The Tabernacle and the Altar of Burnt Offering were still located at Gibeon, about six miles northwest of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:37-40; 21:29). The last major event to take place at Gibeon was Solomon's great dedication service as king, where he made a thousand burnt offerings to the Lord and celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles (2 Chronicles 1:1-13; 7:8).
On the night of this great sacrifice, Solomon had a remarkable dream in which he asked God for an understanding heart . . . that I may discern between good and bad (1 Kings 3:9). Through this dream, God attempted to get Solomon's attention that he needed to meditate upon the Scripture if he were to discern between good and [evil] (3:7-9). And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream (3:14-15). But this dream had no apparent effect on his life.
Solomon ignored God's Word concerning the responsibilities of the kings of Israel: He shall not multiply horses . . . Neither shall he multiply 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 also took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David (1 Kings 3:1).
Solomon offered 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 marriages to pagan wives, and his worship at the Canaanite high places were acts of rebellion against God (3:3). These actions eventually led him to go after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites (11:5). Milcom is considered to be Molech, to whom children were sacrificially burned alive. These sins prepared the way for the division of the kingdom upon Solomon's death (11:7-13; compare Deuteronomy 12:1-4).
Solomon ignored his father's advice to keep the charge of the Lord . . . and His Commandments (1 Kings 2:3). He is typical of the brilliant, multitalented people who compromise biblical principles to gain material advantages. Some believe they can run with the wrong crowd or have a drink now and then, and still not lose out with the Lord since they are strong enough to "handle it." But compromise is the first foothold of sin that sooner or later leads to others, and ultimately destroys one's spiritual usefulness and influence for Christ.
Near the end of his life, Solomon confessed: I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 1:14). He then admitted: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Through the wisdom which God gave Solomon (1 Kings 3:12). We are in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made [to] us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). Wisdom and justice will be distinguishing characteristics of the Messianic King and His reign (Isaiah 9:6-7).
2:44 privy to = which you are aware; 3:1 made affinity = made an alliance; 3:19 overlaid it = lay on him; 3:26 bowels yearned = yearned with compassion; 4:6 tribute = forced labor; 4:28 dromedaries = camels; swift steeds, mares; charge = responsibility.
Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Burundi (6 million) in east-central Africa · Major languages: Kirundi and French · Losing religious freedom · 51% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 11% Protestant; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Seek God as more important than food to satisfy your hunger (Proverbs 3:13-18).
Optional Reading: Acts 23
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:165