April 16, 2007
I Kings 10-11
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- And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.
- And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
- And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.
- And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,
- And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
- And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
- Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.
- Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
- Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.
- And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
- And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.
- And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.
- And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.
- Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,
- Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.
- And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.
- And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
- Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
- The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.
- And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.
- And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
- For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
- So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.
- And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
- And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
- And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
- And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.
- And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
- And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.
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- But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
- Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
- And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
- For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
- For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
- And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
- Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
- And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
- And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
- And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
- Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
- Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
- Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
- And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.
- For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom;
- (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:)
- That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child.
- And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land.
- And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
- And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh.
- And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.
- Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.
- And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah:
- And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus.
- And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
- And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.
- And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father.
- And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
- And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
- And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
- And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
- (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)
- Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.
- Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
- But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
- And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
- And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.
- And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.
- And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
- Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
- And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
- And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
- And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
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Thought for the day:
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Solomon was a great king. He made the correct choice when God offered him whatever he wanted, and God blessed him for it. He built the Temple, and followed God's blueprint in accomplishing it. God kept His part of the deal as well. He blessed Solomon with military victories and great wealth. In
I Kings chapter ten the Queen of Sheba went to visit Solomon, and came away with the conclusion that the great stories that she had heard concerning his wisdom and prosperity did not begin to scratch the surface of the true glory that was found in Solomon's kingdom. Truly, Solomon had the potential to be one of the greatest monarchs, and greatest spiritual leaders, in history.
However, Solomon made some crucial mistakes. God gave instruction in
Deuteronomy 17:16-17 that when the Jews decided that they wanted a king one would be anointed, but that king was not to "multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." Three restrictions were given to the king: don't have a lot of horses (and certainly don't go to Egypt for them); don't marry lots of wives, for they will turn your heart away from the Lord; and don't keep chasing after money.
The known world was falling at Solomon's feet.
I Kings 10:23-24 states,
" So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart."
All God asked of him was to follow those three commands. Solomon refused to do it.
Verses 25 and
"And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year...
And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones."
Clearly he was multiplying gold and silver. He had shields and bucklers made of gold. His ivory throne was covered in the finest gold. Money, and the things that it could buy, was becoming too important to him. In addition,
verse 28 states that Solomon had horses brought up from Egypt, again in violation of the Lord's directive. His love of the finer things was beginning to overwhelm his love for the Lord.
His greatest error, however, was the fact that he married many women, particularly those from pagan lands and religions. This, too, was a violation of God's commands, but Solomon's sensuality led him to do what he pleased at this point. Note the opening verses of
"But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love."
Solomon now loves himself, and his wives, more than God. And what God said would happen in Deuteronomy did happen: his wives turned his heart away from Jehovah. He not only stopped following the Lord, he started following the heathen idols of the women he chose to wed.
Verse 8 tells us why he did it,
"And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods." The end result was that God was angered, and He took the kingdom away from Solomon's son. For the rest of Solomon's reign adversaries came up against the land, and, unfortunately, we have no record of any great deeds that he accomplished in his latter years that compare to that which he accomplished when he was younger and committed to the Lord.
What are the lessons here? First, always do what God says. Second, if God allows you to prosper materially, don't use that prosperity as an excuse to forsake him. Third, don't ever choose the material over the spiritual. Fourth, those that you choose to love will have a great influence over your relationship with God. Chose wisely. Finally, a great start doesn't guarantee a great finish. Stay strong for the Lord right up until the end.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery