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Friday, May 16 2014

1 Kings 3: Solomon's Gift Of Wisdom

"Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment"

The Ark of The Covenant, which housed the Ten Commandments that the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) gave to all of humanity, was itself housed in a Tabernacle, a tent, for about two centuries - through the time of Moses (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses), Joshua (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Joshua), the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges) and into the time of Samuel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel).

The Tabernacle (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Tabernacle) was a Christian place of organized worship and obedience to the LORD - a point of prophetic observances (see Leviticus: The Prophecies Of Christianity). When The Ark and the Tabernacle were parted in the time of Eli (see The Parting of The Ark and The Tabernacle and 1 Samuel 2: The Prophecy Of The House Of Eli), that focus toward the LORD was disrupted - even when David had the Ark brought to Jerusalem, so "the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days." The construction of that building, while David's idea and request (see 2 Samuel 6: The Ark Of The LORD In The City Of David and 2 Samuel 24: Why Did King David Purchase The Temple Mount?), was commanded by the LORD to be built by Solomon, who had the gift of natural wisdom right from his youth. But notice how wisdom, of any kind, can be misdirected when it has no purpose and direction: "Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places." Solomon overcame that youthful deviation, but grossly fell back into it in his old age.

"3:1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into 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. 3:2 Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days. 3:3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.

3:4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar." (1 Kings 3:1-4 KJV)

Solomon's natural wisdom helped him to begin to see the Truth of the LORD, not merely some selfish, egotistical "truth" of man. For that, and for the sake of the responsibility that he was given, the LORD gave Solomon spiritual wisdom, by the Holy Spirit - something that was not unique to Solomon (e.g. see Bezaleel: Filled With The Spirit Of God). As we will read (and as any true Christian can experience), it enabled Solomon to more easily "see through" the motives and schemes of mere carnal thinking.

Solomon

"3:5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

3:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

3:7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 3:8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

3:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 3:11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 3:12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 3:13 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. 3:14 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. 3:15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants." (1 Kings 3:5-15 KJV)

There is a way of dividing something perfectly in half by two people in which both people are satisfied. The method is to have one of the people (it doesn't matter which one) do the dividing, and then have the other person make the first choice of the divided parts. It guarantees that the two shares will be equal because the person doing the dividing knows that they will receive a lesser part - if they themselves made one by dividing the pieces unequally.

Solomon used that same "see through" method in the famous incident with the two harlots. The choice that he gave to the two mothers in threatening to divide the living child forced human nature to reveal which of the women was the mother of the living child. So "Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment." They "feared" Solomon because they knew that it was very difficult to deceive him.

"3:16 Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. 3:17 And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. 3:18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.

3:19 And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it. 3:20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. 3:21 And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.

3:22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son.

And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.

3:23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.

3:24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. 3:25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.

3:26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it.

But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.

3:27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.

3:28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment." (1 Kings 3:16-28 KJV)

Fact Finder: How and when did God-given natural wisdom of man become corrupted?
See Genesis 3: The Sin Of The Garden and How Did Adam And Eve Sin Differently?


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This Day In History, May 16

360 BC: Agesilaus, king of Sparta (399-360 BC), died at age 84. He commanded the Spartan army through most of the period of Spartan supremacy in Greece (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).

218: The Accession of Elagabalus, the 25th Roman emperor (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

1137: (day of month approximate) Adela, the daughter of William I ("William the Conqueror"), sister of Henry I, died at age 75. Adela was the mother of King Stephen, who inherited the English throne through her lineage.

America 1204: Baldwin IX, the Count of Flanders, was crowned the first Emperor of the Latin Empire.

1527: Florence re-established itself as a republic after the Florentines drove out the Medici.

1532: Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire, landed with his troops on what is today the northern coast of Peru.

1568: Mary, Queen of Scots, fled to England after her defeat at Langsides, Glasgow.

1620: William Adams died at age 56. The English navigator and merchant adventurer is regarded by some historians as "the first Englishman in Japan."

1770: Marie Antoinette, at age 14, married 15 year old future King Louis XVI of France.

1879: The Treaty of Gandamak between Russia and England established the Afghan state.

1932: Japan's Premier Tsuyoshi Inukai was assassinated in Tokyo.

1941: The Parliament of Iceland ended a treaty with Denmark and proclaimed independence.

1943: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), British Lancaster bombers destroyed the Mohne and the Eder dams in Germany's industrial Ruhr basin using specially-developed "bouncing" bombs that skipped across the water like a thrown stone in order to strike the target from the side (as modern-day missiles can do).

1943: During the Second World War, the "Warsaw Uprising" in Poland ended. Thousands of Jews were killed in a fierce 4-week battle against the Nazi Waffen-SS (one of Adolf Hitler's "special forces" units; see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1961: Maj. Gen. Park Chung-hee staged a military coup in South Korea. He ruled until he was assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979.

1969: The Soviet space probe Venera 5 landed on Venus.

1980: 60 people were killed from an eruption of Mt. St. Helens in a remote area Washington State. Scientists estimated that the force of the eruption was 2500 times more powerful than the U.S. atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.

1988: The Soviet Army began leaving Afghanistan. The military "superpower" had occupied the country for eight and a half years, but left without being able to defeat the Afghan homeland defenders.

1991: Queen Elizabeth II addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress, becoming the first British monarch to do so.

1995: Japanese police arrested doomsday cult leader Shako Asahar in connection with the nerve-gas attack that killed 12 on Tokyo's subways two months earlier.


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