Apr 24, 2022. I Kings 4:20-34

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BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE. I Kings 4:20-34. 4/24/22. #11

20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing. 21 So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. 22 Now Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal, 23 ten fatted oxen, twenty oxen from the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl. 24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the River from Tiphsah even to Gaza, namely over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace on every side all around him. 25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. 26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 And these governors, each man in his month, provided food for King Solomon and for all who came to King Solomon’s table. There was no lack in their supply. 28 They also brought barley and straw to the proper place, for the horses and steeds, each man according to his charge. 29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. 30 Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. 33 Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. 34 And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

1. God fulfills his promise

                a. Not only did Solomon receive great wisdom, but he also received riches and honor

                b. Both Solomon and his people greatly prospered

                                a1. The land was fruitful and secure

                                a2. Solomon’s fame spread throughout the East

                c. Solomon’s household expanded to the point of consuming large amounts of food

                                a1. 90 kors (cors) of grain each day (1 kor = 60 gallons so 5,400 gallons of grain/day)

                                a2. 30 oxen, 100 sheep, and much wild game

                                a3. Each tribe took turns supplying a month’s supply for the palace

                d. 40,000 stalls for chariot horses + 12,000 horsemen

                e. The abundance continued

2. Wisdom beyond the lot of man

                a. Kings came from all over the East to hear Solomon expound on nature, the weather, the earth, the sea, the cosmos, trees, gems, philosophy, etc.

                b. Solomon excelled over all the famous wise men of his age

                                a1. He wrote 3,000 proverbs and over 1,000 songs

                                a2. No man received more fame, honor, and wealth

                                a3. Solomon understood all things under the sun

3. Drowning in Abundance

                a. There is a danger of prosperity

                                a1. Things came easy for Solomon

                                a2. Never had anyone been so blessed

                                a3. Prosperity is a greater danger to most men than persecution or poverty is

                b. Prosperity is dangerous on multiple levels

                                a1. II Corinthians 12 we begin to think of ourselves as special and gifted

                                a2. Belief that prosperity had been earned and deserved

                                a3. People praise and flatter the prosperous and powerful man to gain favor with him

                                                b1. Tendency to believe the flattery

                                                b2. Greatness is viewed as an earned position rather than a gift from God

                                                      (I Corinthians. 4:7)

                c. Very few people can handle celebrity status

                                a1. God tested Solomon’s faithfulness by bounty just as he tested Job’s faithfulness by trials

                                a2. Solomon started well, but soon he wanted more

                d. Ecclesiastes 2 Solomon decided to see how much wealth he could accumulate, how many grand palaces he could build, how much he could expand his household, and how much glory he could obtain

                e. Solomon began to live a dualistic lifestyle

                                a1. He honored the Lord in public through prayers, offerings, and the Temple

                                a2. He honored himself through foreign wives who turned his heart, high taxes to fund

                                      his opulent lifestyle, and displays of wonder and glory

                f. Solomon’s heart slowly turned away from the Lord

                                a1. This did not happen all at once

                                a2. A man will either be consumed by God and His glory or by self and self-glory, for he cannot successfully do both

                g. Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1 too late Solomon learned that serving the

                    Lord avoids the vanity of serving oneself