Many people are smart enough to make a good living, but not wise enough to make a good life. And certainly not a good life before God. A believer's life will have a series of adjustments, an unending series of adjustments through life. We'll look to honor God. Solomon doesn't do that with the wisdom he gets.
Specifically, how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick with his study called Solomon's Mixed Qualities in 1 Kings Chapter 3. Remember, he's dreaming. That's why it was a mature prayer. In your dreams, he says, I do not know how to go out or come in. In other words, he did not know how to conduct himself in the office of a king.
Daunting even for a matured man. Verse 8, and your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Well, the kingdom is probably numbered about 4 million people at this time. I know that because I read it on a census report.
No. Well, we did in 2 Samuel when we numbered the troops and you just said, well, they're married and kids and you just estimate it's probably about 4 million people at this time in Israel. So, verse 9, therefore give your servant an understanding heart to judge your people that I may discern between good and evil.
For who is able to judge this great people of yours? So, he's humbled enough to ask and literally, you know, in the proper use of the word, he's saying to God, asking God for a hearing heart, is the Hebrew. That's a sensitive heart that he would be in touch with the people. He knew it was not enough to be wise. He needed feelings also.
He needed to have a connection with God's people. Proverbs 4.23, keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life. And when the Jews talk about the heart, as did the Greeks, it was the whole of the person. It was your, you know, your emotions, your thoughts and your will that made up the heart.
Unless you were a cardiologist, of course, then it was the heart. But, you know, in my life, in your life, I'm sure you'd rather plant good seeds than weeds and this is what he is asking. He prayed for wisdom. David influenced him.
We talked about this in chapter 2. David, you know, I charge you, you know, be strong. Stick to the word of God. In dealing with these people that I'm telling you you have to take care of, be wise.
You're wise. And so I think David stirred that up in Solomon. And Solomon's receiving it, certainly humbled at this point in his life, in saying, I don't feel very wise, which is a wise statement. First Chronicles 22, verse 12. The good thing about the Bible, you say something that you need to move from, just get a verse to quote. First Chronicles 22, verse 12.
Only may Yahweh give you wisdom and understanding and give you charge concerning Israel that you may keep the law of Yahweh your God. Those are David's words to Solomon. So when David dies, Solomon has already been primed to understand that wisdom is something he's got to have as a king.
It cannot be just this prodigal king wasting away as many kings would become after him. It was by hard work that he benefited from his education. Remember, he was a smart guy. Not only was he wise, that was the gift, but his intelligence was a product of his education.
Hard work. It would be unrealistic to think that he just got imparted knowledge to him. So when he knew about when the Queen of Sheba comes and he talks to her about everything, you know, insects and just everything, it's because he worked hard. He's not a stupid man. And God used this. I mean, to write Ecclesiastes, sometimes you've got to reread some of those verses.
And he seems to have it just flow from him, but it still wasn't enough. He says to judge your people. He wanted wisdom, the sensitive heart, to judge the people, God's people.
The ability to make right decisions. Many people are smart enough to make a good living, but not wise enough to make a good life. And certainly not a good life before God.
A believer's life will have a series of adjustments, an unending series of adjustments through life, but those adjustments hopefully will look to honor God. And Solomon doesn't do that with the wisdom he gets because, again, he felt at some point he was better coming up with solutions than trusting the Lord. Have any of you young men felt that you could just sort of carve your future without God? That you could just get by because, what, you're smart?
Well, if you thought that way, you're proving you weren't too smart. It's that dependency on God that doesn't make you a weakling. It causes you to get to a place where you identify what your strong points are and you develop them in Christ. If I were really good at mathematics, and I would recognize, okay, God's given me this.
Now I have to look for a forum to use it, to develop it. And wherever that place lands me is my field of ministry, my personal field of ministry. I mean, I have my public ministry in the church, I have private ministry of people that come in touch with my life.
This is the ideal, and it takes a lot. For me, when I became a steelworker, I knew God gave me, he made me like Joseph, and I had this super power. I could hover. Okay, really I couldn't, but I recognized that God gave this to me. And I'm telling you one of my victories, I'm not telling you my defeats. So don't think I'm up here saying, you know, look, I'm special, I did it the right way, I got this one right.
We won't talk about the others. And it's true for all of us. To be able to discern the good from the evil because God has told us, but that's not enough, I need God to narrow it down certain events so that I can clearly see through the fog. I need God to do that. And proclaiming that does not mean that you're somehow a loser because you have to depend on God.
It makes you the winner. It's what David did. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He's the one that leads me and provides for me.
I really won't have need for much, really for anything essential. The time would come when Solomon, knowing good from evil, will allow the evil. The life of Solomon should scare us all.
Every single believer should be saved. But these blessings, these benefits did not guarantee that he would serve courageously. And God can give me things, it doesn't guarantee I'm going to use them the right way.
And so that should make me, of course, get more head in the game. He says this great people of yours. That Hebrew word for great could be translated difficult, a lot, much people, or heavy. This is the proper translation here. He's saying this is a complex thing.
These people are not easy, there are a lot of them, and I need help. Verse 10, so I'll pause there on that statement. So if we ask God for help, and we get the help, will we do what we're supposed to do with it, or are we going to mess it up like Solomon? Solomon gets the help and falls on his face too many places.
But there's good things about him, we'll come to that. Verse 10, the speech pleased Yahweh that Solomon had asked this thing. You, of course, it was a selfless request. You go back to Genesis chapter 44, and there Joseph, his brothers are before him, and Joseph says, I'm keeping Benjamin, you guys can drop dead, essentially. And Judah, the brother Judah, stands up and he lays out this selfless speech for Benjamin's freedom on behalf of his father Jacob. He says, look, take me, but my dad won't survive the loss of Benjamin.
Just take me. It was so selfless that Joseph, it broke his heart. And that's what caused Joseph to say, it's me, surprise! And they, what? Anyway, what a bizarre situation. But Joseph had to make sure those guys weren't the same men that they were when they sold him.
And he put them, talk about vetting someone, he did it. Anyway, it was that selfless mindset in Judah that won the day. Verse 11, then God said to him, because you have asked this thing and have not asked long life for yourself nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice.
Well, seek you first the kingdom of God and these things shall be added to you. That's what we're going to get here because that's what Solomon is doing. He's saying, I need the heart to lead your great people. And God was pleased with this.
And the ancient kings, like the Aliarchs today, are known for lavishing themselves with gold and everything else they can get and eliminating their enemies. But God delights in this ruler who's not greedy for self-enrichment. Eight times in this dream, the word ask shows up.
Five of them in verse 11 alone. God is just dialoguing, tell me what you want. James would come along and say, you ask and don't receive because when you ask, you ask for the wrong things. And that causes us to put some concentration into our prayers to just not, you know, blurt things out because we want them to think them through a little bit.
And that does, I've found that that helps. Anyway, neither life nor wealth nor revenge, those weren't the things that he valued. It was to be able to be a good king. Verse 12, behold, God's still speaking, I have done according to your words, see I have given you a wise and understanding heart. So that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
This is remarkable, of course. He wrote two psalms, at least we have two of his psalms. Three books of the Bible come from Solomon. Three thousand proverbs, a thousand and five songs, but only one made the hit list. It's a song of Solomon.
Which really is, again, I believe more of a play than anything else. But in his forty-year reign, those accomplishments are remarkable. Try to write one proverb that will last, that people will say, yeah, I like that one, I'm going to use it. And you read the proverbs of Solomon and you say, why didn't I think of that?
They're so, you know, down to earth. And then your second thought is, why didn't Solomon do these things? Anyway, verse 13, and I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.
Echoed in chapter four, we'll come back to this when we get to chapter four. But again, verse 13 is Matthew 623, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and these things shall be added. Well, there we see it with Solomon, verse 14. So if you walk in my ways and keep my statutes, my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days. And there's the fine print.
If, it's a condition, not a possibility, this is the condition. If you walk, as David walked with me, what did David do so special that God is always pointing out David? He never tolerated false gods, not even a little bit. And that's where Solomon's going to fail. How much greater would Solomon have been had he adhered to God in that way? Verse 15, then Solomon awoke and indeed it had been a dream and he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings and made a feast for all his servants.
What an exciting morning. He wakes up and says, I was sleeping and I was dreaming but I was talking to God. I was not dreaming about talking to God, I was talking to God in my dream. And of course, the subsequent history proves that, because he was all that God had given him. But he goes straight to the sanctuary. He wakes up that morning and says, I got to get to church.
And he goes straight to the sanctuary, the tent where the ark of the covenant is. He alerts everybody, we're going to have this gala to the Lord, this celebration to God. And so he offered more sacrifices to Yahweh in addition to the burnt offerings that he offered in Gibeon. He added peace offerings, which is significant because the peace offering is gratitude and you got to eat the meat. With the burnt offerings, you didn't need any of it.
It just was a whole burnt offering, consumed except, as I mentioned, for the skin. But the peace offerings, you gave God a portion and the rest, the greater part, belonged to the people. And he has it for his servants.
And how to win friends and influence people without Carnegie's book. Anyway, verse 16. So now we're going to see the wisdom of Solomon. This is a big hit for everybody.
You read it enough, it's kind of boring after, no it's not. Verse 16. Now two women who were harlots came to the king and stood before him. Now of course this is not following chronological sequence, but despite their low social standing, they still have access to this king. And he is a great king, even at this point.
And he's still young, likely. Only one of these two women have any decency whatsoever. Well, in fact, she's going to be selfless. She's capable of love.
The other one is capable of hatred. And it comes out, verse 17. And one woman said, Oh my lord, that's Adonai, my master, not Yahweh, this woman and I dwell in the same house, and I gave birth while she was in the house. Then it happened the third day, verse 18, after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth, and we were together. No one was with us in the house except the two of us in the house. Well, the significance of the third day mentioned here, it means that they were ceremonially unclean. They were isolated from the rest of the population. It also means that the boys, both mothers had a boy, still had, one had five days to go, the other one has eight days before they are circumcised.
And that will contribute to their identification, but that hasn't happened because they're in isolation. Verse 19, and this woman's son died in the night because she lay on him. Well, the woman that rolled on her child, she would prove to be a thief, a liar, an undisturbed murderer at heart, in addition to her heartless, impenitent spirit. She is a mess.
One of the most evil people in the Bible, just in this short section, verse 20. So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your maidservant slept and laid him in her bosom and laid her dead child in my bosom. It's pretty morbid. Now, she is probably exhausted. That's why she's sleeping. I don't know why women who just have babies are actually tired. I mean, the hard work is done. I'm kidding.
I do not want my truck vandalized. She's exhausted and probably the only thing that's going to wake her up is the cry of her child, which evidently does not take place. I was watching a documentary on a marine that survived the battle in the South Pacific and his wife said, when it was time to wake him up, he was like the only survivor of his unit.
They had heavy combat. He said, when I wanted to wake him up, I would just whisper in his ear and he would respond right away. The story is that's how they woke him up on the battlefield and when they were in their trenches, it's time to change watch. The guy would just whisper to you, get up, and it just carried over.
My point is you can sleep and be sensitive to some things and just shut down to other things and this is likely the case here. Verse 21, when I arose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead, but when I examined him in the morning, indeed he was not my son whom I had borne. Man, what went through her head at that moment? Verse 22, then the other woman said, no, but the living one is my son and the dead one is your son. And the first woman said, no, but the dead one is your son and the living one is my son. Thus they spoke before the king.
Solomon is going like this, aye, aye, aye. Well, she had three days to acquaint herself with her child, her son, likely the belly button. You know, she probably asked him, that's his belly button. I don't know what else.
I mean, it's not like you've got a beard and what other distinguishing, a little tattoo on the side. Anyway, okay, enough of that. We have to get this done. So anyway, she's able to deduce that she's been had. Verse 23, and the king said, the one says this is my son who lives and your son is the dead one and the other says, no, but your son is the dead one and my son is the living one. He said, I want to get this right, this conundrum before I begin to deal with it.
I want to make sure this is what's happening. Verse 24, then the king said, bring me a sword. So they brought a sword before the king. Now, they're not handing him the sword.
He has people to do this for him. Verse 25, and the king said, you wouldn't have to say divided if he had the sword, right? And the king said, divide the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other. Well, this is why he asked for a heart that was sensitive, right?
So you come up with these solutions. It's hard to read this story. Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, verse 26, for she yearned with compassion for her son and she said, oh my lord, give her the living child and by no means kill him.
But the other said, let him be neither mine nor yours but divide him, cut him in two. You see, this is one of the evil people. She's worse than Saul if you ask me.
Is anybody going to ask? Yes, he's worse than Saul. Anyway, the heart of the mother, regardless of how life bushwhacked and bruised her, she still has the capacity to love. There was more to her than just being a harlot, a sinner. There was more to her than her sin.
It was love. It covers a multitude of sin. Not so much with the other one. He says here in verse 26, but the other said, let him be neither mine nor yours but divide him.
Again, hard to read. The capacity for evil in mankind is astounding. Abortionists think that the wicked woman refusing the option of adoption and in favor for murder somehow has that right. I think anyone who favors abortion should be banned from celebrating Mother's Day or Father's Day. Oops, sorry, you can't.
Nope, you're out. We cringe at this story. Verse 27, so the king answered and said, give the first woman the living child and by no means kill him. She is the mother of that selfless love ready to sacrifice for the well-being of the one that is loved. That defines love. She cherished the child. She only had him a few days. She loved the child. She had this respect for life. The other one again. Apparently not at all, verse 28.
And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered and they feared the king for they saw that the wisdom of God was with him or in him to administer justice. Well, I've got some questions. Did these two ladies go back to the same home? I'm not going back to that. I mean, I'm going to sleep out on the street before he goes with this person again. This is, talk about an evil neighbor.
That's the one. What about the poor neighborhood, the people that had to put up with him? What was she like at the market?
Murderous heart. Yeah, she was a perjurer. What did Solomon do with her? Did he just, I mean, she should have been charged with something more than just, okay, you don't get the child.
Now go home and have a nice day. But that's left out of the story. But what is not left out is our ability to think about these things. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross-Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.
We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 1 Kings has had a lasting imprint on your life. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series or share it with someone you know, please visit crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com, and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. Our time with you today is about up, but we hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God. Join us again as Pastor Rick covers more in the book of 1 Kings on Cross-Reference Radio.
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