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26. Solomon Establishes His Throne

January 26, 2010

Text:      I Kings 2:13-4:34

Outline:      I. Solomon Removes the Disloyal      I Kings 2:13-46

                          II. Solomon Worships the Lord      I Kings 3:1-28

                         III. Solomon Establishes His Government      I Kings 4:1-28

                         IV. Solomon’s Legacy      I Kings 4:29-34

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     Adonijah goes to Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, in peace still thinking he was king for a little while before the Lord gave the kingdom to Solomon. He asks her to ask Solomon to give him Abishag for a wife. Bathsheba goes to Solomon with Adonijah’s request but Solomon immediately sees the deceit in his heart [Abishag was considered David’s wife in the eyes and minds of the people; and perhaps this is the woman Solomon loved in his Song of Solomon]. That day Solomon orders Benaiah to kill Adonijah and sends Abiathar, the priest loyal to Adonijah, out of Jerusalem back to his home in Anathoth in fulfillment of the Lord’s word concerning Eli [I Samuel 2:30-35].

     Joab, David’s former commander who also was loyal to Adonijah, fears for his life and grabs the horns of the altar at the Tabernacle. Benaiah is ordered to kill him but Joab refuses to leave the altar. Solomon grants Benaiah permission to kill him at the altar.

     Benaiah replaces Joab as the head of Israel’s army and Zadok replaces Abiathar as priest.

     Solomon sends for Shemei, who tried to remove David as king, and says he can live as long as he stays in Jerusalem where Solomon can monitor his activity. But three years later, two of his slaves leave for Philistia and Shemei goes looking for them in Gath. Solomon summons Shemei, reprimands him for disobeying his order and for doing wrong against his father David. He then orders Benaiah to kill Shemei. Now Solomon has eliminated all those who would be potentially disloyal to David and his descendents on Israel’s throne.

     Solomon makes peace with Egypt and marries Pharaoh’s daughter. People are sacrificing to the Lord in various high places because the temple has yet to be built. Even Solomon goes to Gibeon to sacrifice unto the Lord. The Lord speaks to Solomon in a dream while he is at Gibeon, asking Solomon what he would like to have. Solomon answers the Lord with a grateful and humble heart asking to be discerning between right and wrong so he can govern justly. The Lord is pleased with Solomon’s request, grants him his request and adds to it riches and honor. Solomon will be a great king as long as he follows the Lord. Solomon awakes from his dream/conversation with God, returns to Jerusalem, and worships at the Tabernacle.

     An example of Solomon’s wisdom given him by the Lord is told of two prostitutes who each had a baby boy. One died and his mother exchanged her dead son for the other’s son during the night. These two mothers were arguing over the truth before Solomon. Solomon asks for a sword to kill the remaining son and learns who the true mother is by her words of compassion and desire to see her son live even if it is not with her.

     Solomon sets up his “Cabinet” of advisors; a priest, secretaries, recorders, commanders, district officers, advisors, etc.; 11 people in total. Solomon also appoints 12 district governors responsible for supplying provisions for Solomon’s government for 1 month each year, a form of taxation. Solomon ruled in peace from the Jordan River to Philistia and down to Egypt. He accumulated great wealth and a large number of military horses.

     Solomon ruled with great wisdom and insight. He was gifted in writing poetry, composing songs, and teaching about nature. He was both smart and industrious, sharing his knowledge with others [see Ecclesiastes].

Lessons/Applications:

   1. Solomon initiates a long standing management principle: “Remove and replace those individuals who refuse to recognize you as their appointed/anointed leader and who do not share your vision for the future”. This is done in government and in industry. And it is done in our churches. But it is never to be done in the Church. There Christ is the Head, the authority appointed by the Lord God Almighty. Note that removal is not done until the new leader has confirmed a lack of loyalty and a different vision.

   2. Successful leadership is enhanced, if not assured, when one genuinely seeks the Lord through worship. God will give us unique gifts too, blessing our position in life and enabling us to glorify His Name. Never cease to genuinely worship the Lord.

   3. A qualified loyal organization is necessary if one is to be successful in implementing a vision which brings blessing to others.

   4. One’s legacy is important. It reminds people of who we are and, more importantly, whose we are. We are to be Christ-like, sharing our knowledge with others. We can do so in life and also in death. Our lives count. May they count for God, bringing glory to His Name.

     5. In one sense, each of us is to establish our own throne. But more importantly, we are to establish God’s throne, in God’s Way, according to God’s Will while on earth. We are to be wise in our knowledge of Him and love according to His Will and His Righteousness.

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