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Scriptures:Read 1 Kings 3 &4
Key Verse:"And all Israel... feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of Cod was in him to administer justice."(1 Kings 3:28)

        Solomon began his reign in the manner of his father by loving, obeying, and honouring God. In devotion and worship, he went to sacrifice unto the Lord in Gibeon, called the great high place, because the Tabernacle of the Lord, which housed the bronze altar, was there at that time (cf. 2 Chronicles 1:3-6). It had formerly been in Shiloh but was moved sometime after the battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:3, 10). The Ark of the Covenant, however, was housed in the tent that David erected in Jerusalem (3:15; 2 Samuel 6:17).

        That night, after sacrificing to the Lord, Solomon had a supernatural dream. He knew that the children of Israel were a difficult people and too numerous to govern in his own strength. He showed his humility by saying, "I am a little child" (3:7), although he was probably around twenty years old. He felt inexperienced and ill-equipped to handle the great kingdom God had given him. Many of the people God called for a great purpose were humble and felt unworthy, and it is through these types of people that the glory of God can be clearly seen, if they remain humble (e.g. Moses, Exodus 3:11; during Saul's early reign, 1 Samuel 9:21; 15:17; Jeremiah 1:6). Since God had called Solomon, God would also equip him.

        The Lord was pleased when Solomon asked for wisdom. His request, literally translated from the Hebrew, was for a "hearing heart" (3:9). This implies a heart that hears from God and is led by Him to listen, comprehend, and discern the judgments he was required to make as a king. This kind of wisdom Solomon desired is something all believers should ask of God. It includes knowledge of God's will and spiritual understanding to walk worthy of the Lord, please Him, and grow in the knowledge of Him (see Colosians 1:9-11; James 1:5-6). God was pleased to bless Solomon with not only wisdom, but also with unsurpassed wealth and honour, and if he remained faithful to the Lord as David had, God would give him a long life (see Matthew 6:33).

        The first time we read of Solomon's wisdom being put into practice was in his brilliant settlement of the dispute between the two harlots who claimed the same baby. The news of the way in which Solomon had resolved this problem spread throughout all the land, causing the people to highly respect him. They recognized Solomon as being God's chosen king, because it was clear that God had given him wisdom to administer justice (key verse, 3:28).

        Solomon's wisdom was also evident in the practical administration of the government, as we see in chapter four. Some of the officials who served under David were retained by Solomon (comp. 2 Samuel 20:23-26), but since he had expanded the kingdom, Solomon needed others to help him and was wise in the delegation of work. There were eleven high ranking officials who worked closely with him (4:1-6) and twelve governors, one per region, who were each responsible for supplying the vast amount of food (taxation) required for the royal court for one month out of every year. This highly organized governmental system was very efficient and gave Solomon firm control over all his kingdom.

        Solomon also had dominion over all the surrounding nations which were his vassals and paid him tribute, thus enriching Israel tremendously. He ruled from the River Euphrates to the border of Egypt (4:21), thus fulfilling God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:18. It was the golden age of Israel — a time of power, prosperity, and peace. The tribes of Judah and Israel were unified and content under Solomon's wise administration (4:25). God had truly answered Solomon's noble request for wisdom and blessed Israel under his rule.


        Lord give us hearts and minds that listen to You, comprehend what You are saying, and do as You desire. We praise You for Your blessings!

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