SOLOMON BETWEEN WISDOM and THE WORLD. FATHER’S DAY 2022
I Kings 3:1-15
1 Now Solomon made [a]a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall all around Jerusalem. 2 Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days. 3 And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places. 4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” 6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an [b]understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen[c] your days.” 15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
1 Kings 11:1-8
1 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— 2 from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. 8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
1. The unusual life of Solomon
a. Solomon’s life was extraordinary
a1. 4th son of David and Bathsheba
a2. Chosen as heir to the throne above at least 13 older brothers
a3. Given wisdom and wealth
a4. Loved of God and heir to promise given David
a5. Built Temple, his palace, and other buildings
a6. Married 700 princesses and had 300 concubines
b. No man has ever had a greater advantage than Sol.
a1. God gave him peace, prosperity, power, and prominence (all that man desires)
a2. Solomon could write his own story
2. A good start
a. God gave Sol. a blank check to ask whatever he wanted
a1. Instead of power, Sol. asked for wisdom
a2. Sol. wanted to rule his people well
b. God was pleased, so he gave Sol. wisdom, wealth, and dominion as well
a1. Sol. had everything he desired
a2. God gave Sol. freedom to use what he was given
c. Freedom can be used for good or bad (benefit or abuse)
a1. The greater the power, the more the responsibility
a2. Few can resist self-indulgence when in bounty
d. Must be aware of temptations in our environment
e. A single-minded focus must be kept to avoid sin
3. Bad choices lead to bad ends
a. Sol. could have used his gifts to serve God and others
a1. Unchecked power leads to indulgences
a2. Restraint usually must be imposed by others
b. Sol. was given the wisdom to restrain himself, but desire comes from our fallen nature
a1. Self-control must be imposed upon us by us
a2. Gen. 4:7 no one can master our lusts but us
c. Sol. allowed his lust to lead him (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)
a1. He lusted after many women and took them
a2. He gathered wealth at the expense of others
a3. He built great buildings for himself and collected many expensive items
a4. He gathered women to entertain him, cooks to pamper him, and soldiers to make him powerful
d. In the end, Solomon regretted the path he took
a1. God did not restrain him from his reveling
a2. His foreign wives turned his heart away from God and he built idol’s temples and worshiped there
a3. He heavily taxed his people to support his greed
a4. His enjoyment soon ended in old age and death
e. The result of Solomon’s self-indulgence was tragic
a1. God sent enemies to harass him
a2. Sol. discovered too late that all he did was worthless and unfulfilling
a3. Sol. could point to no one he truly helped and so he had neither satisfaction or eternal reward
a4. Sol. could not undo what he had done
f. Opportunity comes with responsibility:
a1. How will you use what God has given to you?
a2. Is what you do for self or God; benefit or waste?
a3. The gift of life can be spent, wasted, or invested
Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” 3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. 4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. 9 So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.