Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Wisdom from on high
July 26, 2020

Wisdom from on high

July 26, 2020

1 Kings 3:5-12

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

Background

3:6–9. Solomon recognized that God’s kindness to David was due to his father’s faithfulness to God which manifested itself in righteous actions and upright attitudes of heart. The king also acknowledged his own immaturity and need for God’s wisdom. Solomon was about 20 years old when he took the throne.

In calling himself a child, he was admitting his inexperience (cf. 1 Chron. 22:5; 29:1). Solomon was concerned that he would be able to function effectively as the vice-regent of Yahweh. His responsibility as the leader and judge of God’s people weighed heavily on him. So he requested a discerning heart (lit., “a hearing heart“) tuned to the voice of God so he could lead Israel as God would want the nation to be led. He acknowledged his dependence on God by referring to himself as God’s servant (1 Kings 3:7–8).

3:10–14. Solomon placed the good of God’s people above his personal peace or prosperity and above any desire to become a powerful and popular king. His values were in the right place from God’s perspective. Therefore God promised to give him what he requested. He would possess a wise … heart (v. 12) and be able to discern and render fair judgments (v. 11). Since Solomon sought what was most important God also promised to give him what was of secondary importance, riches and honor, to further enable him to govern God’s people effectively. Solomon was to be the richest and most honored king of his day. If Solomon remained faithful to pursue the will of God, obeying the Law of Moses, God promised he would also live a long life.[1]

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Point 1 

Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

Notes from Point 2

Point 3

Notes from Point 3

Summary

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  1. Thomas L. Constable, “1 Kings,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 494–495.

 

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