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Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 3

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

Chapter 3

Now Solomon begins the gathering of wives of which it seemed had no end.

He made an affinity with the Pharaoh of Egypt, and he took the Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her to the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about ( 1 Kings 3:1 ).

So he took first of all the Pharaoh's daughter as his wife and later on he built her a house there in Jerusalem. But he was wanting now to build a house for the Lord, the temple in Jerusalem because,

The people sacrificed [in those days just] on the high places, because there was no house built in the name of the Lord, until those days. And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places ( 1 Kings 3:2-3 ).

Which was more or less copying after the pagans around them.

So the king went to Gibeon; and there on the high place of Gibeon: he offered a thousand burnt offerings on an altar there ( 1 Kings 3:4 ).

So he had a great sacrifice unto God. Now it must not be thought that these animals were just sacrificed and burnt. On these great offerings like this, these were peace offerings or oftentimes as a peace offering they were more or less celebrations, almost where they were just great feasts. You're going to have a gigantic barbecue, but they would offer the animals. They would sacrifice the animals to the Lord. In other words, the idea was, "Lord, we're sacrificing these animals for you. An acknowledgment that You are the giver of all of these good gifts and so forth." But then they would go ahead and roast the meat and they would all have a gigantic barbecue. Big party. And everyone would eat of it. So they were times of feasting. And it is interesting, you remember, they were called feast days because they were times of great feasting when you would come before the Lord. It was always a time of celebration and feasting because God wanted the thought of worshipping Him to be associated with joy and with happiness.

I don't know where people got the idea that worshipping God should be sad and mournful. It's tragic that the church went through a period of its history where the more somber and sober you look, the more righteous you were thought to be. So all of the ministers were seeking to affect a very serious, somber appearance. And they even developed voices with just that great, you know, kind of a mournful-like the more you could sound in a mournful tone, really the more spiritual and righteous you were. Hello, brother. And you're supposed to look real solemn and sober and all, and that's supposed to mean that you're very righteous. And if you dare crack a smile, man, you've had it. They know that you've been you know not doing your job or something, you know, because somehow they didn't relate worshipping the Lord with joy.

And yet God wants us to relate the worship of Him with joy, with thanksgiving, with party, if you please, with just great rejoicing and happiness in the serving of God, for it should be a joyful, happy experience. Fellowshipping with God should be the greatest joy that a person can experience and you should always go away from true fellowship with God with your soul lifted and your heart light and just rejoicing in the glory and the goodness of the Lord.

So Solomon offered a thousand sacrifices there, so it was a time of great feasting, and of course, you eat a lot of that lamb and you get sleepy so he went to sleep. And he had a dream. And in his dream, the Lord came to him and said, "Solomon, Ask whatever you will."

If God should say that to you, what would you ask for? This can be very revealing. It can reveal an awful lot about you. If you be truly honest in this, if God should say, "Ask Me anything you want." What would be your request? For your answer to that would reveal whether or not you are living on the flesh side or the spiritual side of your nature. If your desire would be for great riches, if your desire would be for fame or honor or glory, it means that somehow you're still suffering under the illusion that you can one day maybe find satisfaction in your flesh and in the things of the flesh. Never.

But if your answer be, "Oh God, that I just might walk with Thee, in close fellowship. Lord, that I might be the person You want me to be." Or if your answer is in the spiritual things, then that indicates also the fact that your heart is really after God and the things of God for you're desiring spiritual benefit.

So Solomon said, "Lord, here I am sitting on the throne of my father David, ruling over Your people. Such a great number and multitude that they can't be numbered. And Lord, I really don't know what I'm doing. I'm a novice at this. I don't know what a king is supposed to do. I don't know how to go in and come out before the people. Lord, there are so many important decisions that have to be made, and people are looking to me for judgment. Grant me, Lord, that I might have wisdom and understanding, that I may properly discern and judge over these people."

And it pleased the Lord and the Lord said unto him,

Because you didn't ask for riches; or for long life; or for the life of your enemies; but instead you asked for wisdom and understanding in ruling the people; I will give to you wisdom and understanding; above any who has ever come before, or who would come after you ( 1 Kings 3:11-12 ).

Now as you go down into the fourth chapter and in verse thirty, twenty-nine,

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. And he was wiser than all the men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all of the nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: he wrote a thousand and five songs. He spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, of fowl, of the creeping things, of fish. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom ( 1 Kings 4:29-34 ).

"God, give me wisdom."

And God said, "Because you've asked for wisdom, understanding, I'm going to give it to you. But I'm also going to give you that for which you did not ask, great riches and honor. And if you will walk in My commands, I'll also give you long life. Again, that's a condition. But I'm going to give you more than what you asked. I'll give you what you asked but even more."

Now the principle is stated by Christ. If you "seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; all these things will be added unto you" ( Matthew 6:33 ).

Now it is wrong for us to think that riches are either signs of spirituality or morality. Riches are amoral, really; however, riches can be a hang up. They did become a hang up for Solomon. Fame can be a hang up. It became a hang up for Solomon. The Bible says, "Set not your heart upon riches" ( Psalms 62:10 ). Or seek not to be rich. That should never be a goal or an ambition of your life. Seek not to be rich. And "they that will be rich, we are told, fall into divers temptations that drown men's souls into perdition" ( 1 Timothy 6:9 ).

The Bible also said, "If riches increase, set not your heart upon them" ( Psalms 62:10 ). Let your heart remain set upon the Lord, never upon riches, never trust in riches. Trust in the Lord.

And so God promised to him more than what he asked. And this again is just one of those indications of God's grace, giving more than what we asked. "Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" ( Ephesians 3:20 ). God's desire is to give good gifts to His children. He delights in doing so. God delights in just giving to you, even as parents who are able delight in giving to their children or to their grandchildren. It's a joy. It's a thrill. So God delights in giving to His children.

So Solomon woke up; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant, and he offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings ( 1 Kings 3:15 ),

Burnt offerings are offerings of consecration, the consecration of my life to God. The peace offerings are the offerings of communion, entering into communion and fellowship with God.

So there came two women to Solomon, they were prostitutes, they were living together. And the one said, "We both of us had children within a few days of each other. And she in the night rolled over on her child and suffocated it. And she pulled the switcharoo. She put the dead child next to me and she took my live child."

The woman said, "No, the live child is mine and the dead child is hers." And they were both affirming that the child belonged to them.

And so Solomon said, "Bring a sword. The women arguing over it, cut the live child in two and give them each half."

And the true mother of the child said, "Oh no, no, no, no, give her the child. Don't do that. Give her the child."

And the other one said, "Oh no, that's a good deal. Cut it in half and divide it."

And Solomon said, "Give the child to its mother." And all the people heard of this and they marvelled at the wisdom of Solomon in dealing with this particular issue. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-kings-3.html. 2014.
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