I Kings 3

The wisdom of God is laid up for those who have the spirit of a child (Luke 10:21) (v. 8-9).
A knowledge of our own limitations is very essential to true success,
if we have learned that the power of the omnipotent God is at our disposal.

1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.

2 Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days.

3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.

4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

5 ¶ In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.

8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

16 ¶ Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.

17 And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.

18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.

19 And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it.

20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.

21 And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.

22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.

23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.

24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.

25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.

26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.

27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.

28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.

1 Kings 3:1-15 – ​The Young King’s Wise Choice

   The chapter opens doubtfully. The affinity with Pharaoh, and the two onlys of I Kings 3:2-3 are not promising. See Deuteronomy 12:13-14. Yet there were hopeful features in Solomon’s love for God, and the devotion and obedience by which it was proved. It remained, however, to be seen, which of these influences was to triumph in the outworking of his character. That is always the most urgent, question in life. With too many the early dew and morning cloud pass away, leaving no trace, Hosea 6:4.
   There is an inner wisdom which is of the heart rather than of the head, and which God’s Spirit bestows on those who love Him. Having this, we possess the key to all things in heaven and on earth. See I Corinthians 2:5, etc. When a man seeks first the Kingdom, all else is added, Matthew 6:33. Only the man who delights in God can be trusted with the gratification of his heart’s desires, Psalm 37:4.
   Live deep in God. Do not be dazzled or fascinated by outward things. Be concerned to know God’s will and become the organ of His purpose. He will add to you all else that is needful for the fulfillment of your life-course.

1 Kings 3:13—I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked.

   The understanding heart was Solomon’s supreme request, and it was given him before the morning light had broken over Jerusalem. But God did exceeding abundantly beyond what he asked or thought. Riches and honor, victory and long life, were thrown in as part of the Divine gift; as paper and string are given by the tradesmen with the goods we purchase. It seems as though our Lord’s words were anticipated (Matthew 6:33), “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
   Put first things first. One of the most important lessons of life is to discern the relative value of the objects within our reach. The child will take the handful of glass beads, and leave the heap of diamonds in the rough. It is the terrible mistake of men that, perplexed by earth’s cross lights, they put evil for good and good for evil; they make earth rather than heaven their centre; time rather than eternity their measurement.
   Seek God and all things in Him. Things without God cannot satisfy the craving of the soul. To know God, and to be known by Him, is to possess all things. All that is lovely, strong, or right, in any human being was in the Creator before it entered the creature; having God, you possess all things in Him.
   Be more careful of what you are than what you have. A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things that he possesseth; but in his purity, truth, tenderness, and the properties of his soul. The fruit of the Spirit must ever be manifest in the life of the believer “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23).

1 Kings 3:16-28 – ​A Discerning Judgment

   The incident gave convincing proof of the gift of wisdom. This is the most esteemed endowment of an Eastern potentate, who is called upon to arbitrate in cases that defy the labored processes of law and precedent. How could so difficult a case be decided? There were no witnesses on either side. But Solomon appealed to the instincts of a mother’s love. The proposal to divide the child at once revealed the mother, who would rather expose herself to a life of anguish than see her child suffer or its life extinguished.
   Bishop Hall, commenting on this incident, says, “Truth demands entireness; falsehood is satisfied with less. Satan, who has no right to the heart, is content with a piece of it; God, who made the heart, will have either all or none.”
   But surely there is a still deeper lesson. When we truly belong to Christ, sharing His nature and having fellowship in His Kingdom, we shall live in quick sympathy with everything that touches His honor. The child of God instinctively winces whenever his Father’s character is challenged, or a foul suggestion is made to his own soul. This is evidence of sonship.