| Solomon's Splendor
In this lesson we are going to learn how to be pure and righteous. Solomon was the son of the great king David. Solomon was born to David of Bathsheba. Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah. David married Bathsheba after killing Uriah her husband. God was upset with David because he coveted another man's wife. As a consequence of David's sin God let Bathsheba's son born of David die after he was born. David was rebuked by Nathan for being adulterous. David repented. ( He wrote Psalms 51, a poem of repentance.) After that Solomon was born to David and Bathsheba. God loved Solomon. Solomon grew up to become a great king just like David. Solomon was brought up by David in God's fear. Let us see how Solomon who was God fearing became sinful and unrighteous.
1. Always teach about God.
1 Kings 2:1-4
1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.
2 "I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, show yourself a man,
3 and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go,
4 and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: 'If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'
David had a great heart. God said 'David is a man after my own heart'. He wrote a lot of poems which was circulated in Israel. These poems are in the Bible in the book of Psalms. These poems taught people about God. David in his death bed taught Solomon about God. He gave charge to Solomon and told him to be strong. David told him to be a man of God. He commanded Solomon to be obedient to the commands and laws which David had taught Solomon.
Jesus commands us in Mt 28:19,20 that we should continously teach them even after the baptism. Today we need to be taught regularly from the Bible. Apart from the Sunday message, devotionals and Bible talk we should have regular discipling times with our disciplers every week. Do you have weekly discipling times. When is your discipling time? If you do not have one make sure we fix up a time.
Teaching brings obedience and which leads to many blessings. God says we can prosper in all you do and wherever you go in vs. 3.
2. Always deal with sin.
1 Kings 2:13-25
13 Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. Bathsheba asked him, "Do you come peacefully?" He answered, "Yes, peacefully."
14 Then he added, "I have something to say to you." "You may say it," she replied.
15 "As you know," he said, "the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the LORD.
16 Now I have one request to make of you. Do not refuse me." "You may make it," she said.
17 So he continued, "Please ask King Solomon--he will not refuse you--to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife."
18 "Very well," Bathsheba replied, "I will speak to the king for you."
19 When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat down at his right hand.
20 "I have one small request to make of you," she said. "Do not refuse me." The king replied, "Make it, my mother; I will not refuse you."
21 So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah."
22 King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him--after all, he is my older brother--yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!"
23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD: "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request!
24 And now, as surely as the LORD lives--he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised--Adonijah shall be put to death today!"
25 So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died.
David and Solomon forgave Adonijah but later Adonijah came to Bathsheba with a request. The request was that he wanted David's wife Abishag, the Shunamite to be his wife. When Solomon heard this he is upset that Adonijah was asking for his father's wife. Solomon was quick to deal with the sin by putting Adonijah to death. Solomon, even though he was compassionate, when there was sin he dealt with it firmly.
Many times we personally look at sin in our personal lives and we do not deal with it firmly neither do we let other people deal with it. If sin in our lives is not dealt with in the beginning, we would have to face the consequence later on. Every sin will be punished. Not only we should deal with our sins, we should also deal with other people sins. Whenever we see sin we need to try and help them out personally if we are not able to do it take it to the notice of your leaders immediately.
Solomon was very grateful the first time, the second time he dealt with it firmly and punished the sin. We should always have grace. But we cannot sin.
3. Always ask for a great heart
1 Kings 3:4-15
4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."
6 Solomon answered, "You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
7 "Now, O 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.
8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.
9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.
11 So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice,
12 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.
13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for--both riches and honor--so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.
14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."
15 Then Solomon awoke--and he realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord's covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.
In Gibeon Solomon was offering sacrifices, the Lord appeared to Solomon in his dream. God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you". Solomon answered by praising God for giving David a faithful, righteous and upright heart. He thanked God for letting him sit on his father's throne. Solomon wanted God to give him wisdom because he was only a little child and he had to govern great number of people.
God was pleased with Solomon, gave him the discernment in administering justice and also gave him riches and honor along with it. King David had a great heart. Solomon failed to ask God for a great heart, so he was not able to discern what is right or wrong in his personal life and put it into practice.
Solomon wrote many Proverbs, Song of songs, Ecclesiastes and Lamentations which contain much wisdom which is useful for us today. Because he did not have a good heart he was not able to put those wisdom to practice. What would you ask God for today? Wealth, health, position, talents, fame etc., will pass away but a good heart will always remain, and will always keep you faithful to God. Let's ask God for a great heart above anything else.
4. Always marry a Christian
1 Kings 11:1-13
1 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh's daughter--Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.
2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, "You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.
3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.
4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.
6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.
7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.
8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.
9 The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.
10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord's command.
11 So the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.
12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen."
Solomon's downfall came when he fell in love with a foreign woman, even though the Lord had told all the Israelites not to marry them. The Bible says he had 700 wives and 300 concubines and they led them astray. In Solomon's old age they turned his heart after other gods because in V.4, it says his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord as the heart of David, his father. He built high places for foreign Gods and burnt incense. In V.9, God was angry even though he appeared to Solomon twice.
God dealt with him firmly by saying that his kingdom will be torn and given to his subordinates. But God also had grace and told him it would not happen in his life time for the sake of David. Today if we are tempted to marry somebody outside or if we are having impure thoughts and looks, we should deal with it firmly. Talk to your discipler, openly about your sin and take advice on how to get over the temptation. But if you do fall into it, God will punish you for that sin.
1 Kings 11:14
Then the LORD raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom.
1 Kings 11:26
Also, Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king. He was one of Solomon's officials, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, and his mother was a widow named Zeruah.
In I Kings 11:14, it says that God raised up adversary against Solomon. In V.26, Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the King. Let us ask God today for a pure heart which will repent every time we sin and will be faithful to God till we die.