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30. Solomon’s Life as King

January 26, 2010

Text:      I Kings 9:10-11:43

Harmony Text:      II Chronicles 8:1-9:31

Outline:      I. Building      I Kings 9:10-24

                          II. Worshipping      I Kings 9:25

                         III. Trading      I Kings 9:26-28

                         IV. Sharing      I Kings 10:1-13

                         V. Accumulating Wealth and Wives      I Kings 10:14-11:6

                        VI. Tolerating      I Kings 11:7-8

                        VII. Disciplined by God      I Kings 11:9-40

                        VIII. Dead      I Kings 11:41-43

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     The first half of Solomon’s reign was taken up with building the Temple, its’ furnishings, and his palace. In addition to food, Solomon gave Hiram 20 towns in Galilee for his help in supplying building materials. Hiram visited these cities and was very disappointed in their worth. Solomon did other building projects too such as the walls of Jerusalem and Hazor and a variety of building projects in Megiddo, Gezar, Beth Horon, Baalath, and Tadmor. He built store cities and facilities for his chariots and horses throughout the kingdom. To do all this, he conscripted all the “Canaanites” for his labor force. He reserved the Israelites for his army of fighting men. Overall, 550 men were required to supervise his building projects.

     Solomon always participated in worship during the three major festivals; the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

     Solomon built ships, hired sailors from Hiram, and developed a merchant marine, trading with other nations.

     The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon to see if he is “real” and learns that the information she has heard is less than half of the whole truth. She and Solomon exchange gifts and she leaves praising Israel’s God because Solomon was just and righteous. In other words, Solomon’s wealth was gained through honest means and not through deceit, lies, or oppression.

     Solomon’s trade brings much wealth in gold from which he makes shields for displaying in his palace. His throne was of gold and ivory. All his eating , drinking, and household items were of gold. Silver was considered “cheap”. His accumulation of wealth and possessions as a result of his wisdom far exceeded the nations around him. Solomon also loved many women, mostly non-Israelites. He had 700 wives of royal birth [given him, not courted by him] and 300 concubines. Unfortunately, this led him astray and he was no longer fully committed to the Lord. Solomon built altars of idolatry for the foreigners among them and for his many wives. This action would cause the decline of Israel and lead Israel into idolatry and exile later on.

     God became angry with Solomon for not following Him as did David and tells him his kingdom will disintegrate at the hands of his son leaving his descendants with only one tribe to rule, Judah. God removes peace from Israel and raises up adversaries against Solomon; Hadad the Edomite, Razor is Aram, and Jeroboam of Ephraim who was in charge of Solomon’s labor force in Ephraim and Manasseh. Jeroboam is forced to flee to Egypt when Solomon tried to kill him.

     Solomon dies after reigning for 40 years and is succeeded by his son, Rehoboam.

Lessons/Applications:

   1. Providing for the needs of others is rewarding to us, to those who receive, and to the Lord. We are to use our abilities and gifts to help others in the Name of the Lord.

   2. Wherever we are in life, do not forsake the worship of the Lord. Communications with Him is required to stay connected and to know His Will.

   3. Do not hesitate to share your wealth, share your wisdom, and to share your faith in the Lord God Almighty, thus glorifying His Name.

   4. God’s gift of wisdom brings forth blessings in many forms. But be very careful so that these blessings do not take our eyes off and our hearts away from the Lord. The Lord is the giver of all things. We are to use them wisely.

   5. Respecting others who do not believe in or worship the Lord God Almighty does not mean we should support or tolerate in any way the worship of false gods. We must remain true to the Lord in all that we say and do, always.

   6. We are to take inventory of our lives. If we have taken our eyes off the Lord and are disobeying His statutes and find that life is not as good as it once was, perhaps God has His hand of discipline on us. If this is happening we must repent, confess our sin, humble ourselves before Him, and recommit our hearts to follow the Lord for the reminder of our days.

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