1 Kings 3
-As Solomon’s rule is consolidated, he takes a wife from Egypt, from the Pharaoh, in an alliance of marriage. He brought her to the city of David, which is near Jerusalem, until he had finished his own house, the house of the LORD (The Temple), and the wall around Jerusalem (1 Kings 3:1). In those days there had still been no House built for the Name of the LORD and so people would sacrifice on high places, sometimes doing it in idolatry. Solomon takes part in some of the deviant practices; although, he loved the LORD and earnestly tried to walk in the steps of his father, David, in most situations. It was at Gibeon, the great high place, where Solomon was known to have sacrificed a thousand burnt offerings on that alter. It was here that he had his dream where the LORD appeared to him and ask him what he wanted the LORD to give him (1 Kings 3:2-5). Gibeon is north and west of Jerusalem in what today would be considered the West Bank. It was a Canaanite city that was spared in Joshua’s conquest against the LORD’s will, and the Amorites were known for inhabiting it (Joshua 10:12, 2 Samuel 21:2). It was eventually made a Levitical city (Joshua 21:17).
-Solomon’s dream is absolutely significant in the development of the kingdom of Israel as a nation as well as spiritually speaking. Solomon acknowledges God in the dream for His lovingkindness that He showed to his father David and His extension of that to him as king on the throne of his father. Solomon indicates in the dream how David walked in truth, righteousness, uprightness of heart before the LORD, which blessed him with God’s favor. Solomon acknowledges his dependence upon the LORD for wisdom out of sincere humility with great concern over being a good and just king of the chosen people of God. He quickly realized the responsibility he had to lean on God for his understanding and this would be a trademark of his ministry (Proverbs 3:5-6).
-Because of Solomon’s genuine and honest request for an understanding heart to judge God’s people as the king in righteousness with a heart to discern between good and evil (1 Kings 3:9), the LORD granted him his request according to his words (1 Kings 3:12). In other words, God gave Solomon the desires of his heart because they lined up with His divine will and purpose (Psalm 37:4, James 4:3-10, 1 John 5:14). Solomon did not ask for long life and riches selfishly. He did not ask for the lives of his enemies. He only wanted discernment to understand justice (1 Kings 3:11). This was absolutely pleasing in the sight of the LORD (1 Kings 3:10), and therefore God also gave him riches, honor and long life, besides this great wisdom, and He exalted him above all the other kings of the earth (1 Kings 3:12-14). As the king awoke, he came before the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem and offered burnt offerings and made peace offerings along with a feast for all his servants. Solomon was a thankful man who worshipped the LORD!
-His first test came with two harlots that had an issue over the death of a child and baby stealing. Solomon showed his God-given discernment right away in his handling of the situation as he and all gained recognition as to the truth in this civic matter. “When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice (1 Kings 3:16-28).”
-*Application* The theme of this section revolves around the idea of the administration of justice under the authority of God. God desires His servants in leadership to seek to do things the right way without selfish motivations. Just like Solomon, we have the opportunity to ask the LORD for wisdom and discernment to govern whatever He has entrusted to us with integrity. Our own wisdom is not nearly enough. We need God to guide us by His Spirit and lead us into good decisions every day. Seek the LORD (His Kingdom) and His righteousness, and all these other things of blessing will eventually be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 3:9-15