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castle May 19 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 1Kings 2:13- 3:15; 2Chronicles 1:1-13; 1Kings 3:16-28; Psalm 50

New Leadership

It is advantageous for new leaders to begin well. If early on they show themselves wise in their decisions and strong and resolute in their actions, it inspires confidence in their followers. If the previous administration led with success and clear purpose, then the new administration will be more inclined to follow in the same linear direction. This is wisdom and this is what brings King Solomon fame. What brings us recognition?

Before King David died he took action against his son Adonijah, who was conspiring to take his throne. As David promised, he placed his son Solomon on the throne immediately and had the people proclaim him as king, although Solomon was just a young man. Those who were following Adonijah disbanded and fled, fearing retribution for their treachery.

Immediately after David's death, Solomon still has to deal with competitions and threats to his throne. Solomon removes old enemies of his father by having them killed. We are not to harm anyone (we are not kings), but competition and threats to our leadership need to be dealt with fairly and justly.

Not only does young Solomon have a new job, but he also gets married. Solomon marries a princess from Egypt. 1Kings 3:1 indicates the marriage is a political alliance. This is an early mistake which will plague him in later years, because the alliance with Egypt is an unholy alliance (unacceptable by God). The princess was raised to worship pagan gods and could influence him to also worship her idols. We know this will be a problem in his old age after he has married a great many foreign women (1Kings 11:1-9).

We must not make unholy alliances if we want our marriage, business, other organizations or institutions to be successful. The Apostle Paul exhorts Christians,

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2Corinthians 6:14, NIV)

Nevertheless, at this stage of his life Solomon demonstrates his love for God by following the statutes of his father David, except for worshipping in the high places like their pagan neighbors (1Kings 3:3). For some unknown reason David did not bring the brazen altar, all the other articles of worship and sacrifice, and the tent of meeting to Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant. Had he done so, it might have prevented Solomon and others from going to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, instead of Jerusalem. Nevertheless, Solomon seeks the LORD and is wise from the beginning. One Jewish hymn writer states, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him [God] belongs eternal praise,” (Psalm 111:10, NIV) .

Solomon is king over all Israel. This is an enourmous responsibility. One night God appears to Solomon in a dream and tells him to ask for whatever he wishes. Realizing that he is young and inexperienced, Solomon asks for wisdom and discernment for governing Israel (1Kings 3:4-15; 2Chronicles 1:7-10). God is pleased with his request. God gives him wisdom and understanding plus what he has not asked for - riches, honor, and long life if he will obey the LORD. If God has given you responsibilities, ask Him for wisdom and understanding to help you carry them out in such a way that will please Him. He will be pleased with your unselfishness and will bless you (although not necessarily in the same way He promises Solomon).

One example of Solomon's great wisdom is recorded in 1Kings 3:16-28. Two prostitutes come before him arguing about the identity of an infant. Each woman had given birth to a child just three days apart. One of the infants had suffocated when his mother lay on him during the night, while the other one lived. The living child, who was asleep at her mother's breast, was replaced with the dead child. In the morning there was a debate about the identity of whose child had died and whose had lived. Solomon has to decide who the true mother of the infant was. After he listens to their stories and their quarrel, he proposes a sword be brought to cut the live child in two. Horrified, the true mother pleads for mercy to save the child's life and asks Solomon to give the living child to the other woman. Solomon sees the unmistakable love of a mother for her child and rightly perceives her to be the true mother. He gives the infant to her. Are you facing any difficult decisions? “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him,” (James 1:5, NIV).

Lessons to live by:

  • As a new leader, show yourself to be competent by making wise decisions. It will inspire confidence in your followers. If you are following a wise leader, unless otherwise directed, you would be wise to follow in the same linear direction.
  • We are not to harm anyone (we are not kings), but competition and threats to our leadership must be dealt with fairness and justice.
  • We must not make unholy alliances if we want our marriage, business, other organizations or institutions to be successful. (2Corinthians 6:14)
  • “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him [God] belongs eternal praise.” (Psalm 111:10,NIV)
  • If God has given you responsibilities, ask Him for wisdom and understanding to help you carry them out in such a way that will please Him. He will be pleased with your unselfishness and will bless you.
  • Are you facing any difficult decisions? Do you know God (more...) “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5, NIV)

Today’s Bible memory verse: Proverbs “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (NIV)

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