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The parallels between the days in which Solomon lived and our own times are many, and they are striking. Here is a very old man, who is very near the end of his life. He is lying in his bed shivering, virtually oblivious to the daily affairs of his kingdom. He has a beautiful young woman to attend him, who did serve him, but who in my opinion was intended to be far more than a nurse. She was a concubine, which events will clearly substantiate. He was a man who no longer was able to function in many areas of his life. There is no indictment here, no words of condemnation, as though David were at fault for his diminished capacity.

This man, whose right to rule had earlier been challenged by Absalom, and probably others , was not eager to let go, and yet he was not really in control either. A child who had no respect for, nor fear of, his father would be more inclined to try to replace him. There was a vacuum of leadership in Israel, and Adonijah seemed to have the resolve and the resources to fill it. Nathan was aware of what Adonijah was up to and that he and those loyal to David were carefully excluded by Adonijah. Nathan warned Bathsheba that if she did not use her influence with David, she and her son would soon be in grave danger.

She urged David to do something or she and her son would become enemies of the state should Adonijah be allowed to carry out his revolt. Nathan tells David the same story, that Adonijah is seeking to seize the throne. He informs David that the celebration of his victory has already begun. Nathan asks David if these things have been approved by the king. David responds by calling once again for Bathsheba. David then summons Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada 1: He informs them that David has designated Solomon as his successor and that he had already taken the throne.

They quickly left, and Adonijah fled to lay hold of the horns of the altar. The transition from one ruler to the next is not always a smooth one. In our last presidential election Bill Clinton spent the final hours of his time in office granting pardons and signing executive orders.

Much of what was done in those last hours was partisan politics at best. Bush and his administration will spend many hours reviewing these last minute moves, and many of them will have to be reversed or revised. This is a very different kind of transition than the one described in 1 Kings 2. David called Solomon and gave him some very good advice that would enable him to begin his new administration on the right foot. Be strong and become a man!

During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet. It is difficult for me to understand why David would urge Solomon to deal with Joab, when he himself did not. One wonders if David feared Joab, as many kings and presidents fear the head of their military forces. After all, David did replace Joab once, only to have him back in power within a few days see 2 Samuel Third, David encourages Solomon to reward Barzillai, a man who remained faithful to him in his time of trouble: Just as justice needed to be meted out to those who had sinned, so those who had been faithful to David ought to be rewarded by his son, who succeeded him.

Is this pure vindictiveness, or is David convinced that Shimei will always be an adversary to one of the house of David because he is not a descendant of Saul see 2 Samuel Adonijah made it relatively easy for Solomon. Adonijah persuaded Bathsheba to request that he be given Abishag as his wife.

He had granted him mercy once, but now he sends Benaiah to execute him. Adonijah will not trouble the kingdom further. Solomon next dealt with Abiathar, the priest who had betrayed him by supporting Adonijah in his attempt to become king. David did not execute this priest, but he did banish him to his home.

Solomon appointed Zadok as priest in his place 1 Kings 2: We are reminded that this fulfilled the words of the Lord against the house of Eli 1 Kings 2: When word reached Joab that Solomon was dealing with his enemies, he fled to the altar and grasped its horns, hoping for mercy as Adonijah had received earlier from Solomon. There was reason to hope for mercy, except for those guilty of willful murder see Exodus This time, Joab was not to escape the punishment he deserved.

Solomon dispatched Benaiah, who put Joab to death before the altar. Shimei brought about his own death. Solomon ordered Shimei to build himself a house in Jerusalem, where he could keeps his eye on him. He promised Shimei that if he left Jerusalem, his life would be taken.

When Solomon learned that Shimei had left Jerusalem, he summoned him and rebuked him for violating the terms the king had set down. Solomon then instructed Benaiah to execute him. Who would have ever thought we would find God offering to give a man whatever he wished, but here it is. He brought her to the City of David until he could finish building his residence and the temple of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem.

Knowing about the warning in Deuteronomy It was only Canaanite women that the Israelites were forbidden to marry. Moses took an Ethiopian as a wife, although his siblings did not like it Numbers We might say that when Solomon took an Egyptian princess as a wife, he was beginning to move in the wrong direction. If I understand these words correctly, it is not that Solomon is offering sacrifices to the wrong god s , but rather that he is offering sacrifices to God in the wrong places. He has shed blood, so that man will be cut off from the midst of his people.

And yet, God appeared to Solomon in a dream:. Solomon would offer up a thousand burnt sacrifices on the altar there. These are hardly the words I would have expected from God. I would have expected God to rebuke Solomon for his sin and to call upon him to repent and worship Him properly. Instead, God offers Solomon anything he wishes. What an amazing thing to do! My attention is drawn to Psalm 72, a psalm either written by David to or on behalf of Solomon, or written by Solomon himself:. I am deeply grateful for the questions raised by a couple of friends in our church after I taught this lesson.

The Reign of Solomon (1 Kings ) |

Initially, I was inclined to suppose that the psalm was written by Solomon, but I have changed my mind. If it were written by Solomon, there is too much of Solomon in it. I believe it was David who wrote this of his son, in the hope that through Solomon or at least his descendant , the Davidic Covenant 2 Samuel 7 would be fulfilled by the Messiah. This means there would be a great deal of prophecy involved. Would this be surprising? Either way, while Solomon professed that he lacked wisdom, he showed great wisdom in what he requested:. You have maintained this great loyalty to this day by allowing his son to sit on his throne.

I am curious that there is no mention of the Spirit of God in the biblical accounts of the life of Solomon, and yet he is the wisest man who ever lived. The Spirit came visibly upon Saul, shortly after he was anointed to be king 1 Samuel Yet, there is no mention of the Spirit coming upon Solomon at the time of his anointing; in fact, there is no mention of the Spirit coming upon him at all. How do we explain this? Perhaps we are to learn that one need not have a spectacular experience in order to be empowered by the Spirit. Let me enumerate some of these.

Solomon then woke up and realized it was a dream. What a pleasant surprise these verses are to us after reading the first three verses of this same chapter! Solomon received his dream while he was at Gibeon where he had gone to offer sacrifices 3: I think we could all agree that offering sacrifices in the high places was foolish; offering his sacrifices before the ark was a wise move. Two prostitutes came before Solomon for him to settle their dispute.

Both women had a baby, but one of them accidentally suffocated her child in the night. Each claimed the living child as their own. There seemed to be no way of knowing the truth, but Solomon acted wisely. He asked for a sword and threatened to cut the child in half, giving half of the child to each woman. Let Solomon kill the boy. The mother of the living child cared so much for her son that she was willing to give him up, just to save his life.

Solomon knew this boy was her child and commanded that the child be given to its true mother. Fourth , we are also given an example of the wealth and glory that God promised to give Solom on 4: The borders of Israel were at their widest point. At the same time, we are told how well Solomon lived. The consumption of goods by Solomon and his royal court was immense, just as Samuel had warned years before in 1 Samuel 8: Trouble was ahead, though it was not immediately apparent.

Fifth, we see the wisdom of Solomon in his musical compositions, in his research, and in his writings:. He was famous in all the neighboring nations. He also produced manuals on biology, describing animals, birds, insects, and fish. This man was a poet, a musician, a scientist, and a writer.

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The whole nation seemed to benefit from his giftedness. No doubt, many benefited from his work in biology and botany. People came from far and wide to ask him questions and to hear him speak. Sixth, Solomon manifested great wisdom as a builder. We should recognize that while Solomon took on the task of building the temple and of dedicating it, it was really David who made all the preparations for its construction. David made the plans, David and the people of Israel provided the gold, and David had orchestrated the service of the Levites.

This we see in 1 Chronicles The dimensions of the temple were twice the size of the tabernacle, so far as its footprint was concerned, and it was certainly higher — 45 feet in height. It had much fine craftsmanship and contained a great deal of gold. It took the labor of thousands of men — , men — not to mention supervisors 5: The project took seven years to complete 6: I am somewhat puzzled by a couple of things related to the building of the temple. I have to wonder why so many foreigners were involved in this project:.

He had the skill and know-how to make all kinds of works of bronze. He reported to King Solomon and did all the work he was assigned 1 Kings 7: He burned it and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city. He gave it as a wedding present to his daughter, who had married Solomon.


He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and throughout his entire kingdom. Solomon conscripted them for his work crews, and they continue in that role to this very day. When the tabernacle was constructed, God gifted certain Israelites like Bezalel and Oholiab Exodus Why is the temple constructed by skilled craftsmen who are foreigners, whose abilities are not said to be given him by the Spirit of God?

And why does the palace Solomon builds for himself take almost twice as long to build see 7: One thing that we must note is that when the temple is finally completed, God dramatically takes possession of it:. They have remained there to this very day. It was there that the Lord made an agreement with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt. More space is devoted to the building of the temple than any other aspect of his life. Whether he received this primarily from his father, or came from his own meditation on the law, is debatable. I am inclined to think that Solomon learned most of his spiritual insights from his father.

This is not a speech that Solomon makes to the crowd that is gathered, but a petition to the God whose temple it is. Second, there is a very close link between this dedicatory prayer and the Mosaic Covenant. Solomon anticipates certain events in the future, which should prompt the people of God to turn toward the temple and pray.

Defeat by an enemy 8: Drought and famine 8: All of these things are anticipated in Deuteronomy. Third, this dedication is not only a prayer, it is about prayer. Those who could pray included both Jews and Gentiles:. This certainly helps us to understand why our Lord was so upset when some of the Jews occupied the temple court and turned it into a business plaza, rather than a place of prayer:. But you have turned it into a den of robbers! Among other things, Solomon is praising God for this temple as the fulfillment of His promises.

Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. More than anything, Solomon views the completion of the temple in terms of the covenant God made with his father David:. But I have chosen David to lead my people Israel. Fifth, there is a strong sense of expectation in this prayer of dedication that God will completely fulfill His covenant with David:.

When these words of Solomon are compared with Psalm 72, one gets the distinct feeling that Solomon hopes his reign might be the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. When you stop to think about it, Solomon and others had some basis for thinking along these lines. The descendants of Abraham are as numerous as the sand of the sea 1 Kings 4: Israel is living in the Promised Land, they dominate the surrounding nations, and they are living in great prosperity. If all these promises were fulfilled, then why not the promise God made to David, and why not through his son, Solomon?

Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! This is a point Stephen will take up many years later when he is accused of speaking against the temple Acts 7: The warning signs were already there, if anyone had eyes to see them.

“You Do Not Need Anyone To Teach You”

In the Book of Deuteronomy, God had issued warnings to the nation Israel concerning the dangers they would face once they entered the land of Canaan. He warned them about the danger of leaving the Canaanites in the land and of inter-marrying with them. They must not worship the gods of the Canaanites 7: Their victory over the Canaanites was not due to their greatness as a nation, but due to the faithfulness of God to His covenant promises 7: Then, in chapter 8, we find these words of warning:.

Israel had never experienced prosperity and success to the degree that God blessed them during the reign of Solomon. Now, the danger was that Solomon and others might suppose that he was the reason for their prosperity. It is for this reason that God appears to Solomon a second time with these words of admonition:. I have consecrated this temple you built by making it my permanent home; I will be constantly present there. Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations. They embraced other gods whom they worshiped and served. These words are a reiteration of what God had spoken to the Israelites through the prophet Samuel when the people had demanded to have a king like the nations:.

Here is the king you have chosen—the one that you asked for. Think about it, we would rather secure our own lives by building our own little kingdoms. The things that are important to us, more than anything else are our careers, our homes, our families, our comfort. Then we discover the thing we need most is the reign of God and that we can only sit back as helpless recipients while He gives it to us.

They want to see life in their own ways and approach life on their own terms. But, at the doorstep of glory stands the pleading figure of all the ages, the Lord Jesus Christ. In His hands is His kingdom, which He is handing out as a gift. It is our only hope for living with meaning. This kingdom must be communicated. Jesus spent a lot of time proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and teaching his disciples to do the same. Telling others about the kingdom of God was very important to Him. He took over from John the Baptist and began to preach Matthew 4: Jesus knew the importance of communicating the kingdom and if we want to have our hearts ignited by the same thing that ignites the heart of God, then we, too, will want to communicate the kingdom to others.

And we would want to make the kingdom of God as important in our lives as it is to Jesus. In what way do you communicate the kingdom to others? Do people around you know that you are a kingdom person? This kingdom requires commitment, obedience and preparation. Jesus tells a parable of the ten bridesmaids. They all went out with their lamps to wait for the groom. But He tells us that five of the bridesmaids were foolish and five of them were sensible. The five that were sensible were well prepared, they brought extra oil so that they would not run out.

When the groom was delayed, the foolish bridesmaids had to go out and buy some more oil because their lamps were going out and it was the middle of the night. But the sensible bridesmaids were ready and when the groom showed up, only the ones that were prepared for him, went with him. Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like this. We need to be telling others about the kingdom of God, and that requires commitment, obedience and preparation. The kingdom is reserved for those who hear and prepare and commit. The greatness of the gift calls for a life of the most strenuous vigilance, effort, and radical obedience.

Are you all out committed to the kingdom of God? Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field. Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field. And there was this man, that found this treasure and then reburied it.

Then with all joy and excitement, he went and sold everything that he had to buy that field. What an investment he made. He was willing to sell everything that he had in order to get a treasure worth more than anything else. When you entered the kingdom of God, did you view it that way? When you received Jesus into your heart and made Him Lord of your life, did you give up everything to serve Him?

You only need to do that if God is telling you to do that. Do you spend all of your time at work so that you come home totally exhausted and put all kingdom ministry work on the back burner? What do I spend most of my money on and most of my time on? Is Jesus truly the Lord of your life and are you really a kingdom person?

One of the things that the main speaker said was when her daughter came back from her first year in college, the mother asked her what she had learned. Her daughter replied that she wanted to do something to help save our world. Then the speaker went on to challenge the IV staff workers to make a decision about joining IV staff after their graduation because of the importance of what they would be doing in spreading the Gospel Message to those coming to college. The person sitting next to me, who was already an IV staff person, said that she had never heard anything like that from an Asian parent before, even from her own parents.

All of her friends, when they went home and told their parents something like that were only met with discouragement. Their parents would tell them that they were going to college so that they could get a good job, make money and live comfortably. Saving the world was nice, but you needed a job first. This man that found the hidden treasure, he had to make a decision like that.

Sermon 1 - What is the Kingdom of God and What Does It Mean to Be a Kingdom Person

Are you ready to pay the cost of what it means to be a kingdom person, because if you are, God will bless you so much, and give you more than you ever dreamed. Everything that God has done — all the things that you learned in the Bible, all the blessings that God has bestowed on his people, everything that God has blessed you with — is intended to have a global and eternal impact. But it does mean that you have to change the way you think about what is truly important. When the temple of God was built in the Old Testament, and it was offered up to God, Solomon prayed this prayer: Then all the people on earth will know Your name, to fear You as Your people Israel do and know that this temple I have built is called by Your name.

This charge made by Solomon is true for us today. When we purchased this building and moved into it as our place of worship, did we have the foreigner in mind?