Summary: The next hero is David’s son and successor: Solomon. We’ll examine what aspects that urges to embrace
Heroes of the OT
February 8, 2009
This week we are continuing to look at the heroes of the Old Testament with a guy a named Solomon. Last week we began with David and this week we continue by looking at David’s successor and son, Solomon. We’ll be using 1 Kings 3:1-15.
A beleaguered young mom went to an "Organizing Your Life" class. After hearing many organizing tips, she asked, "But how do you get your kids to help clean up? I have two young children, and it’s usually easier to just clean up myself. That way, I know where their things are, and they get put away right. But I feel frustrated about that."
Another woman in the class answered, "In our house, we use a ’Butler Box.’ Whenever something is left lying around the house where it doesn’t belong—even if it’s car keys or a wallet—it gets put into a large, wooden box that we call the Butler Box. Then, if anyone is looking for something that’s lost and finds it in the Butler Box, he can’t just grab it out. He has to do five minutes of chores around the home to get the object back."
"What a clever idea!" the first woman said. "How old were your children when you started that?"
"Children?" the second woman answered. "We don’t have any children. This is for my husband."
Solomon arranged a marriage contract with Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He married Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the City of David until he had completed building his royal palace and GOD’s Temple and the wall around Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the people were worshiping at local shrines because at that time no temple had yet been built to the Name of GOD. Solomon loved GOD and continued to live in the God-honoring ways of David his father, except that he also worshiped at the local shrines, offering sacrifices and burning incense.
Let’s stop for a moment. We see how Solomon loved God but he had a small blemish: he used local shrines for worship. Now we should conclude that even though these local shrines had been used (and maybe still were used) for the false gods of the lands, Solomon was not worshipping these gods as we will see in the following verses as God speaks to Solomon as he worships at one of these local shrines.
The problem was that the continued use of these shrines was perhaps an implicit endorsement of idol worship. At the very least, using these undermined the commands for God’s people to worship God at the tabernacle. Perhaps it even made it too convenient for people. Nevertheless, Solomon while loving God had this blemish.
The king went to Gibeon, the most prestigious of the local shrines, to worship. He sacrificed a thousand Whole-Burnt-Offerings on that altar. That night, there in Gibeon, GOD appeared to Solomon in a dream: God said, "What can I give you? Ask."
Solomon said, "You were extravagantly generous in love with David my father, and he lived faithfully in your presence, his relationships were just and his heart right. And you have persisted in this great and generous love by giving him—and this very day!—a son to sit on his throne.
"And now here I am: GOD, my God, you have made me, your servant, ruler of the kingdom in place of David my father. I’m too young for this, a mere child! I don’t know the ropes, hardly know the ’ins’ and ’outs’ of this job. And here I am, set down in the middle of the people you’ve chosen, a great people—far too many to ever count.
"Here’s what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?"
God, the Master, was delighted with Solomon’s response. And God said to him, "Because you have asked for this and haven’t grasped after a long life, or riches, or the doom of your enemies, but you have asked for the ability to lead and govern well, I’ll give you what you’ve asked for—I’m giving you a wise and mature heart. There’s never been one like you before; and there’ll be no one after. As a bonus, I’m giving you both the wealth and glory you didn’t ask for—there’s not a king anywhere who will come up to your mark. And if you stay on course, keeping your eye on the life-map and the God-signs as your father David did, I’ll also give you a long life."
Solomon woke up—what a dream! He returned to Jerusalem, took his place before the Chest of the Covenant of God, and worshiped by sacrificing Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings. Then he laid out a banquet for everyone in his service.