Feb 2013

Solomon Begins Wisely

Sermon audio:

Act 3 | From a People to a Kingdom

This sermon on “Solomon Begins Wisely” from The Drama of Redemption was preached by Rayshawn Graves at Redemption Hill Church on Sunday, February 17, 2013.

Sermon Text:
1 Kings 1:1-22:53; Proverbs 1:1-31:31

Sermon Reflection Guide

The Drama of Redemption:
The Establishment of Solomon’s Kingdom
1 Kings 1­4

The Goal:

  • Our goal is to continue to follow the story of God’s redemptive plan throughout the Bible, particularly in 1 Kings
  • To see how God remains faithful to His covenant even though the flaws and plots of sinful people

The Structure:

  • The Reign of Solomon, The Greatness of Solomon, The One Greater than Solomon
  • Read and talk through the entire passage to get the overall story
  • See how the story applies to us

2 Sam 7:12­17 ­ this is about Solomon (1 Chron 22:9­10)

The first thing that we encounter in 1 Kings is drama, particularly family drama….

1.The Reign of Solomon

1 Kings begins with the end of David’s rule as King over Israel and transitions to Solomon’s rulership over Israel. David is around seventy years old and Solomon is close to forty. David is also approaching the end of his life. As he is approaching death, he finds it hard to get warm so a virgin assistant is brought in to attend to David.

This transition isn’t without its problems. Adonijah, Solomon’s older brother attempts to set himself up as king over Israel without the approval of David or God. Adonijah sides with Joab, David’s former general, and Abiathar, a priest. Together, these men conspire to make Adonijah king and rule over Israel. Adonijah throws a celebration to announce his rulership which includes sacrificing sheep, oxen, and cattle in front of all his brothers and other royal officials. Adonijah doesn’t invite David, Nathan the prophet, Bathsheba, or Solomon to his celebration.

Nathan the prophet finds out about this attempt by Adonijah and approaches David with the help of Bathsheba to confirm what both David and the Lord had said about David’s successor. (2 Sam 7:12) David quickly realizes and says in 1 Kings 1:29 “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’, even so I will do this day.
David tells Zadok the priest, Beneniah, and Nathan the prophet to take Solomon, place him on the king’s mule and ride him down to Gihon and then anoint Solomon king over Israel. Solomon was followed by all the people who were singing and playing their instruments so loud that the earth was said to split because of their noise (1:40) Adonijah and his guests hear the noise of this celebration as they are feasting and find out that David has anointed Solomon as king.

After finding out that King David is in favor of Solomon’s appointment and and realizing that Solomon isnt just playing pretend either, Adonijah’s guests split and Adonijah takes cover in fear of Solomon.

The Obedience of Solomon

David, at the time of his death gives Solomon a charge and an exhortation. David tells Solomon to “Be strong, show yourself a man and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in His ways and keeping His statutes, his commandments, his rules…that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn…(2:1­4)

This command is repetitive seen in Deut. and Joshua (Josh 1:6­9, 18) keep God’s Word! Listen to it! Obey it!

If Solomon must obey the word of the Lord in order to rule a kingdom, how much more should we obey!

David reminds Solomon of the covenant which the Lord made with David concerning his legacy in always having a King on the throne of Israel as long as he and his sons remained faithful.

Lastly, David tells Solomon to bring judgment on his enemies and those who set themselves against David: Joab and Shimei. He also says that loyalty should be shown to the sons of Barzillai because of the loyalty they showed when David fled from Absalom

The Justice of Solomon

The establishment of Solomon’s kingdom is bookmarked in between 2:12 and 2:46
One by one Solomon brings judgment upon his father’s and his enemies. Adonijah makes a foolish request that subtly goes after the throne. Joab and Abithar are guilty by association with Adonijah ­ they have 
their own agendas for the kingdom. Shimei is extended mercy with conditions, yet he presumes upon Solomon’s grace and ends up dead.

This rooting out of David’s and Solomon’s enemies and Solomon’s swift and ruthless execution of justice establishes the precedent for his reign.

Application: Solomon, the Son of David, brought judgment on his enemies according to the will of his father. Jesus, the Son of David, will bring judgment on His enemies according to the will of His Father (1 John 3:8; John 3:36;5:22­29 )

On which side of the King’s justice do we find ourselves on? Is it possible that you have set yourself (appointed yourself) as king over and above Jesus like Adonijah?

Are we presuming upon the grace and the kindness which has been offered to us by our King as Shimei did? “Eh, God will forgive me….” “Its not that serious…” “He doesn’t really mean what He said…”

This is at the core of the gospel message: A true God­appointed King is coming to establish His reign. You and I have appointed ourselves and have therefore placed ourselves in His way. This King offers us mercy, grace, and peace on His terms. Abandon your own makeshift pretend kingdoms and accept the King’s grace.

“Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All rebels, insurgents, dissidents, and protesters against the King! Hear the royal decree! A great day of reckoning is coming, a day of justice and vengeance. But now hear this, all inhabitants of the King’s realm! Amnesty is herewith published by the mercy of your Sovereign. A price has been paid. All debts may be forgiven. All rebellion absolved. All dishonor pardoned. None is excluded from this offer. Lay down the weapons of rebellion, kneel in submission, receive the royal amnesty as a gift of imperial love, swear fealty to your sovereign, and rise a free and happy subject of your King.”­ John Piper

2.The Greatness of Solomon

Today, I want to convince you of Solomon’s greatness…I know you know how the story goes with Solomon and you probably aren’t giving him much credit in your minds because you know his end (which we will come to shortly), but let’s imagine that we don’t know about that yet. Let’s put ourselves in the multitude of people who were rejoicing at his triumphal procession. Those who observed his staunch stand against evil and rebellion. He’s a winner. He’s God’s chosen and the people’s king.

  • He’s a king of peace (1 Chron 22:9)
  • He’s a king of righteousness (1 Kings 3:3)
  • He’s a king who loves the Lord and is devoted to the Lord (1 Kings 3:3)
  • He is a humble king ( 1 Kings 3:7)
  • He’s a powerful king (1 Kings 3:1)
  • He is a wealthy king (1 Kings 4:22)
  • He’s a intellectually brilliant king (1 Kings 4:29­34)

Solomon’s greatness is marked by his Wisdom and his Wealth The Wisdom of Solomon (1 Kings 3:1­28)

Solomon is described in the Bible as the wisest man to have ever lived. 1 Kings 4:29 states that he possessed wisdom and understanding beyond measure . His breadth of mind was like the sand on the seashore! His wisdom surpassed entire nations of peoples. His wisdom surpassed the wisest of the wise during Solomon’s day. Solomon’s wisdom was from God. 1 Kings 4:32 states that Solomon spoke 3,000 Proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs are all attributed to Solomon’s authorship. He was wise about matters of daily life, nature, romance, money, manhood, womanhood, everything!

What is wisdom?

Wisdom is skill in the art of godly living. Wisdom is having the understanding to choose the right or godly choice of action. Discernment.

“Wisdom: Wisdom is not simply ability to make right decisions or intelligence to know all the right things. Wisdom begins with the choice of learning to trust God; God in turn makes provision for peace and prosperity. Wisdom is a choice to follow God with the knowledge that good choices will be made because of that choice.” ­ August H. Konkel

Solomon goes to Gibeon to sacrifice at the tabernacle there. God then appears to Solomon in a vision that night and says to Solomon, “Ask what I shall give you.” (v.5) Observe God’s grace: He is generous, He pursues Solomon and offers him anything.

Solomon’s wisdom God­centered (1­15) : Solomon’s wisdom is from God and begins with God. Proverbs explains the beginning of wisdom as the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10)

  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction
  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
  • Solomon appealed to who God is: faithful to His covenant, steadfast in love
  • Solomon knew that He was appointed by the Lord to be King
  • Solomon knew that he was totally unable to rule as king without God’s direction
  • Solomon knew that these were God’s people, not his, and therefore he needed to be able to properly discern what is good.

Solomon’s wisdom is practical (16­29): it isn’t simply information or head knowledge for Solomon’s own end. It is understanding given for the purposes of glorifying God and serving God’s people.
In addition to the fear of the Lord, Proverbs also addresses how the application of God’s word and right instruction will make one wiser and successful in every area of life

Proverbs also discusses those who lack or reject wisdom and reap many consequences. Solomon’s wisdom is for the discernment and judgment of practical matters in the life of God’s people. (v 16­28) Solomon not only has the understanding of what to do, but he has the guts to do it.

Application: Wisdom is present in the life of Solomon and it is present in the Bible because God is concerned with the practical matters of our lives. God is concerned with how we apply His truth into our everyday experiences. Wisdom is for our joy (Prov 3:13 ­ ‘Blessed is the one who finds wisdom…”
Do you need wisdom?

  • Are we humble enough to recognize our need for wisdom?
  • You may have a lot of information and know how about anything and everything, but is 
there application of God’s Word in your life?
  • James 1:5 :If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all 
without reproach, and it will be given him.
  • Wisdom probably won’t come to you like it did to Solomon, in a dream. But we 
have something better…we can ask God with confidence and He will give it to us 
  • You probably don’t govern a kingdom, but wisdom is available for our 
relationships, our marriages, our parenting, our careers, our souls. (Prov 3:5) 
The Wealth of Solomon 1 Kings 4:20­28
  • In response to Solomon’s request for wisdom, God blessed Solomon with “riches and honor” (3:13)

This is explained in detail in 4:20-­28
The people were as many as the sands of the sea (Abraham’s covenant) They were eating, drinking and happy, (20)
They ruled over all other kingdoms (21)
They were at peace (24)
They lived in safety (25)
They let nothing be lacking (v 27)

silver and gold were as common as stone (2 Chron 1:15)

“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice” (Proverbs 29:2)
Israel is experiencing a King and a Kingdom like never before. Prosperity, peace, a good economy, good military, wise leadership. Solomon is a king to be admired: he is great! he is wise! he is powerful and wealthy ! He is sinful….As great as he is, he is still in need of grace even on his best days. As majestic as he is, he is still only a shadow of the true King.

The Not­So­Greatness of Solomon

As great as Solomon is, there are some glimpses of his sinfulness in this passage.

1 Kings 3:1: Solomon marries Pharoah’s daughter, forming an alliance with Egypt. > Deut. 17:14­17 “When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose…Only he must not not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.”

Because of this marriage to Pharoah’s daughter, Solomon was slowly beginning to show a divided heart between God and his own pursuits.

God intended that Israel have nothing to do with Egypt and this alliance is a breach of God’s law. Amidst all the wisdom and the prosperity there are signs that Solomon’s heart began to take a second glance at “wanting to be like everyone else”….

Application: Like Solomon, our hearts are always prone to slowly wander after our own desires and our own pursuits over God’s.

What are those things for you? They may seem harmless or beneficial in your own eyes….but what does God say about them?

3.The One Greater than Solomon

Matthew 12:42 ­ “The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

In what ways is Jesus greater than Solomon?

A Greater Kingdom

Jesus reign is characterized by perfect obedience to His Father. Jesus obeyed His Father perfectly, fulfilling the law of God and keeping all of His precepts not just for Himself, but also for His people the perfect execution of justice

Matt 25:31­33 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations and He will separate people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.”

Matt 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what He has done.”

A Greater Wisdom

Jesus is greater than Solomon because of His Wisdom

  • Solomon was given wisdom and became wise
 | Christ IS the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24)
  • Solomon could speak wisdom to His people
 | Christ became wisdom for His people (1:30)
  • Solomon’s wisdom was finite and limited
 | In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(Col 2:3)

A Greater Wealth

Jesus is greater than Solomon because he possesses greater wealth.

  • Solomon’s wealth was earthly and was therefore temporary ­ none of it exists today
  • Christ possesses the fullness of the Godhead (Col 1:19)
  • In Christ, we have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places 
(Eph 1:3)
  • Jesus who was rich, became poor, so that we might be rich (2 Cor