Read I & II 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 (I Chronicles 16:37-40; 21:29). The last major event to take place at Gibeon was Solomon's great dedication service as king (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 (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. But compromise is the first foothold of sin that sooner or later destroys one's spiritual usefulness and influence for Christ.
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 wrote: Fear God, and keep His Commandments (12:13).
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 = chariots, steeds, mares; charge = responsibility.
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).
Government Official: Rep. James Langevin (RI) · Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages · Religious freedom · 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for godly discernment to know His will (Ezekiel 44:23).
Optional Reading: Acts 23
Memory Verse for the Week: John 6:44