Summary: The story of Solomon reveals that even the wisest man ever to live was flawed and weak. 1 Kings 3:7-13
Solomon, Even the Wise are Weak
We’re in the middle of a 20-week series of Old Testament stories. So far we’ve studied several of the Old Testament Heroes … people like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, and Joshua and some of the judges like Sampson and Ehud. Story after story shows how God gave grace and mercy to flawed men and women. Even the greatest Bible Heroes were flawed people.
The same is true for the man we’re going to talk about today. King Solomon was the wisest King on earth, but he had a besetting weakness. And in the end, Solomon’s weakness was his downfall. His sins had serious consequences … for him personally, and for the entire nation of Israel.
In our Bible study last week we talked about how your sins will always find you out. One question asked us to think of a time in childhood when we discovered that sin has consequences. One of our study members told a funny story… that involved an outhouse. (picture of outhouse) (A couple of weeks ago, Ronnie told an outhouse story, so I figure if he can, I can!)
Now, I won’t reveal the name of the man who told this story. But he said that way back … when he was a boy on his dad’s farm … he decided to try to smoke behind his dad’s back. They didn’t have real cigarettes … but he discovered he could roll coffee in a leaf and smoke it … and he really felt like he was getting by with something.
One day, he was in the Outhouse and lit up one of his coffee cigarettes. He was puffing away. Then he looked out through the chinks in the outhouse wall … and saw his dad coming to use the outhouse himself.
(Now, the next part of the story is the part that shows how your sins will find you out. But to get the point, you have to know that back then they used pages from the Sears and Roebuck catalog instead of toilet paper.)
So … back to the story … when he saw dad coming, he panicked. He tossed that lit cigarette down the hole … which was full of catalog paper … And the next thing he knew … (picture of outhouse on fire)
Well, that young boy learned that sins do have consequences! But I want to be sure you know that Keith McFarlain is NOT a smoker! (Whoops… I told his name.)
Every Bible Story illustrates both the grace of God AND the consequences of sin. Even King David … a man after God’s own heart … committed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba. His sin had terrible consequence when the child born to David and Bathsheba died.
But then God did what God always does. He brought good out of evil. HE gave mercy and grace. David and Bathsheba had other children … and one of their sons became the next King of Israel. His name was Solomon.
The people that lived during the reign of King Solomon were lucky! They lived through the golden-days of the Kingdom of Israel. During the 40 years that Solomon was on the throne, Israel became the shining star of the world. It was like God’s upper story and the lower story came together for a few brief years. People came from all over the world to see the beautiful Temple and to hear Solomon’s world-famous wisdom!
1. Solomon’s Wisdom
I Kings 3:3 tells that early in Solomon’s reign, the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Solomon answered, “Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. … So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.”
God was pleased with this request I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. I Kings 3:7-13
Solomon started out so great! His humility allowed God to lift him up and give him all the blessings God wanted to give. I Kings Chapter 3 goes on to give an example of Solomon’s wisdom in judging a court case with two women and a baby. This story is so famous that most of you have probably heard it … if not, be sure to read about it as soon as you can. (But not yet, I’m still preaching)