Summary: Solomon’s commitment to the Lord positioned him for power.
The Pure Heart
Jeffery Anselmi / General
The King: The Rise and Fall of Solomon / Heart; Faithfulness / 1 Kings 3:4–15
Solomon’s commitment to the Lord positioned him for power.
• The person we are going to examine has always been fascinating to me. Here is a man born out of what began as an adulteress relationship, of which God punished David for allowing it to happen.
• Not only that, but Solomon also became one of the most powerful and wealthy people that ever existed. Solomon was a man who began life with a GREAT dedication to the Lord; then, he struggled with the meaning of life, then in his later years, he found himself drifting away from God because of many bad decisions he made.
• Today we begin a new four-week series covering Solomon's life, including his rise to kingship over Israel and his horrible demise.
• His story reminds us of God's requirement of loyalty in heart.
• While Solomon began his kingship full of God's great blessings, the king's disobedient choices eventually revealed that God is true to his word to punish those who serve idols.
• The history of Israel is filled with God's display of blessings, love, and protection, as well as his heartache, discipline, and wrath toward the rebellious people of the nation.
• Within this story, King David's son Solomon rose to power, and his life can be seen as a representation of both the blessing and the wrath of God.
• His reign established peace and protection like the nation had never seen, but in his old age, his bad decisions were the cause of his demise and fall of the kingdom.
• As we study Solomon's life over the next four weeks, I hope that we can learn something that will help us live a life that is pleasing to God!
› Big Idea of the Message: Solomon’s commitment to the Lord positioned him for power.
• Let's begin our journey in 1 Kings 3:4-9!
1 Kings 3:4–9 CSB
4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask. What should I give you?”
6 And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to your servant, my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today.
7 “LORD my God, you have now made your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. 8 Your servant is among your people you have chosen, a people too many to be numbered or counted. 9 So give your servant a receptive heart to judge your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of yours?”
I. An example of a pure heart
• Our text begins with Solomon as he worships at one of the high places at Gibeon. Gibeon was the last of the pre-temple national shrines. Gibeon was located six miles northwest of Jerusalem.
• Verse 4 tells us that Solomon had offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
• Unlike other kinds of offerings, in a burnt offering, the entire animal was burned. In this kind of offering, discussed in Lev 1:2–17.
• The whole animal is cut up and burned on the altar. Slager, D. (2008). Preface. In P. Clarke, S. Brown, L. Dorn, & D. Slager (Eds.), A Handbook on 1 & 2 Kings (Vol. 1–2, p. 108). New York: United Bible Societies.
• Most likely, verse 4 tells us that up to this point, Solomon had offered 1000 burnt offerings in Gibeon, although it could mean he did so on this one occasion; however, the logistics of that would make it difficult to do in one visit.
• On an evening after this long day of sacrifices, Solomon went to bed, and then God appeared to him in a dream!
• God used dreams and visions to communicate with people at this time, but imagine how great it would be for God to communicate with you in this manner!
• Verse five is only something we could dream of! 1 Kings 3:5.
1 Kings 3:5 CSB
5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask. What should I give you?”
• Can you imagine God telling you, ask, what should I give you?
• What would you ask for? Power, health, wealth, vanquishing of your enemies? To eat whatever you wanted with no with or health consequences?