You younger Christians, I am talking to you, and I hope you're getting that, that the love of learning, you have to love to learn. And if you're going to learn and gain knowledge, hopefully it will deepen your walk with God. We had hoped for more from Solomon. We had hoped that this wisdom, coupled with the knowledge and these other virtues, that he would have this profound walk with God.
And we got the opposite. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher, Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of 1 Kings.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, here's Pastor Rick with part two of his message called Organization and Temple Preparation in 1 Kings chapter 4. Solomon's provisions for one day was 30 cores of fine flour, 60 cores of meal, 10 fatted oxen. Well, let's pause there before we do verse 23, back to verse 22.
A core is a normal load for a donkey. So, a full donkey, 30 full donkeys of fine flour each day was consumed by Solomon. And that's what those overseers were making sure was being funneled into the kingdom from the people. As Samuel had warned, verse 23, 10 fatted oxen, 20 oxen from the pastures, and 100 sheep, besides deer gazelles, roebucks, that would be seers and roebucks, and fatted fowl. For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the river from Tifsah even to Gaza, namely over all the kings on this side of the river, and he had peace on every side all around him. Verse 25, and Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree from Dan to as far as Bathsheba, all the days of Solomon. So, wealth and supplies pouring in, caravans constantly coming into Jerusalem just to support the king and the staff and the military, which was huge by this point. The days of the nation's greatest material prosperity at this point. It took two kings to get them here, David and Solomon.
Saul contributed nothing to this. And Solomon would reign for 40 years, 40 years of this. Verse 26, Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots and 12,000 horsemen.
Well, a lot of the commentators, whenever they get to big numbers and sometimes even miracles, they look to walk it back, and I think that's a mistake. I don't doubt the accuracy of this number at all, 40,000 stalls, and here's what I'll base it off of. At the start of the Civil War, the northern states had over three and a half million horses. The guy counting them was hoarse by the time he was done.
100,000? Anyway, the Confederate states had 1.7 million horses, and yeah, somebody keeping records of these things, probably tax-related. Anyway, in July of 1861, the two armies were nearly equal in strength with less than 200,000 soldiers.
At the peak of their troop strength in 1863, Union soldiers outnumbered Confederate soldiers by a ratio of two to one. The size of the Union forces in January of 1863 was over 600,000. So you have 600,000 troops on active duty and over three million horses. Well, David's standing army was almost 300,000. With the militia, it was over a million and a half.
So he's got a larger amount of troops. I don't have any problem. The 40,000 stalls for horses compared to the millions in the days of the Civil War, I don't see any problem with that. So that's my take on it to those commentators. Some of them are okay, but let's just have them in mind. Sometimes you buy a commentary, and when you read a verse, the commentator gives you four other views than he will give you his view, and I detest that. I'm not interested. I bought the book with your name. I want to hear what you have to say. If I wanted that guy's opinion, I'd go get his book. So there's this war that's going on all the time in some of these commentaries. The more intellectual they feel, the more they have to debate another scholar, and I try not to bring that into the pulpit like I'm doing right now, but that's where that comes from. It kind of grates on you sometimes to say, that guy, he's wrong. He's wrong, and I'm going to tell everybody. So anyway, coming back to this, and in the early days, it used to really bug me. I'm not reading that guy anymore. I disagree with him, and I've grown up a little bit since then, and now I just, I don't agree with him, and I'm better than him.
All right, back to reality. Verse 28, well, 27, and these governors, each man in his month provided food for King Solomon and for all who came to King Solomon's table. There was no lack in their supply, and the Queen of Sheba will find that out.
This had to have just been amazing, and we know it was, because God blessed this man with wealth and wisdom. The conquered nations, they knew this was tribute to the king. They were subjects, and they would not have had too much of a problem. They would like to have not paid, but what are they going to do?
They would accept it. The Jews from the tribes, however, they resented this, and that comes out in chapter 12 when they go to Rehoboam and say, hey, you need to lessen the burden on us with these taxes, you're killing us, and that caused the split. The revolt, verse 28, they also brought barley and straw to the proper place for the horses, the steeds, each man according to his charge.
Well, they've got to feed them. And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding and largeness of heart like the sand of the seashore. So here's the spiritual feature that, you know, we tend, I do at least, I get excited about. The Cores on Donkeys and stuff like that, you know, I know it's part of it, but it's just, you know, it doesn't excite me when reading. Extraordinary insight the man had, because it was a gift from God to him.
There was nothing in him that could have gotten the man to the level of insight that he did reach, where it says, exceeding the, well, that's when God gave Solomon wisdom, then God said, it says, and exceedingly great understanding, empathy. He could pay attention to someone and not be looking to, you know, sometimes when we talk where we want the other person to just finish so we can go. You know, can you just finish saying what you're saying? Okay, I can't wait anymore. I'm going to have to interrupt you.
And, you know, we have to check that. It's rude. But we're all susceptible to it. Well, here, when he has this great understanding, he's empathetic. He can feel what the other person's going through. He's listening. He's hearing them out. Some people, you know, when they talk, I think this is more so with the women than the men.
They're formulating their thoughts while they're talking, whereas the man has pretty much formulated his in his head, and so he says it. And this causes, it's good to know that. You be more patient with each other when you recognize that.
If it works for you, let me know how you did it. But anyway, I do believe that very much. And the largeness of heart, he genuinely cared. That's why he was empathetic. It was genuine care with this man, and God gave this to him. So God did not just say, no, you only need wisdom. He says, no, you're going to need wisdom and you're going to, it's like everything else in life. You know, I got a rowboat.
Yeah, we're going to need oars. You know, other things that go with it. Largeness of heart. When these qualities are lacking in somebody, are they not noticeable?
When someone is not wise, when someone is not empathetic, does not understand other people's pain, is not, is insincere. Well, Solomon did not have that. And I think, again, when the queen of Sheba comes, she's blown away by this. When she's talking to him, he's actually listening. And when you go to Solomon's court and you say, this is my problem, he's listening, as we saw in chapter 3.
Like the sand on the seashore, that's an inexhaustible and abundant amount. God never hijacked Solomon's will, though. He gave him the gifts, but he did not say, now that you have the gifts, you're going to do what I tell you to do.
He leaves it to the man. And, of course, Solomon fails. He succeeds in the eyes of the world, or shallow faith, but there's no depth, and we're going to come back to that. Verse 30, so Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. That would include Babylon, which wasn't really that much right now. Verse 31, at the time that Solomon lived. For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezerite, and his fame was in all the surrounding regions.
Well, Ethan the Ezerite is credited with Psalm 89. And Solomon, that's just in passing, but Solomon's gift made him famous and superior as far as thought goes. I don't know, they rate chess masters.
They have a rating system. I think the top chess master in the world, grandmasters at 28-something, whatever that means, Solomon would have been off the chart, as a reference point. So, going back to verse 32, he spoke 3,000 proverbs.
Well, not all at once. And his songs were 1,005. So he wrote Psalm 72 and Psalm 127. Of course, proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Most of the 3,000 proverbs are gone.
We have not even 600 of them preserved, and not all of those are directly attributed to him. But it is hard to write one proverb. Just try to come up with a fresh proverb. Verse 33, also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon, even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall. He spoke of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. So this knowledge is not imparted.
That's hard work. That's studying those things. He makes mention of that in his writings, that he considered these things. The part that is divine is that God gave him the wisdom to value the knowledge he was getting and to apply himself. So he could have said, well, God has made me wise, but he's too lazy to study. So he would still have insight, but he just wouldn't know about a lot of things. Well, Solomon had the whole package.
I mean, the Queen of Sheba tries to give him riddles and trick him, you know, and she could not. So, hard work. Wisdom excited the quest for knowledge. I mentioned, I had a mentor many years ago, and one of his favorite sayings to me, I don't know, maybe he got it somewhere, I don't know, but he said, the love of learning opens the gateway to knowledge.
And that has just been so true. If you love to learn, there's a difference between being curious and nosy, and we try to teach our children that. So to be curious about something. Well, Solomon had a broad range, not all of us have that. Sometimes, you know, maybe you say, well, chess bores me.
But you like, you know, something else, and hopefully apply it. And you younger Christians, I am talking to you, and I hope you're getting that, that the love of learning, you have to love to learn. And if you're going to learn and gain knowledge, hopefully it will deepen your walk with God. We had hope for more from Solomon.
We had hope that this wisdom, coupled with the knowledge and these other virtues, that he would have this profound walk with God, and we got the opposite. And that tells us sin is real. That's the whole purpose of the blood sacrifices. God is saying by the sacrifice of these animals, this is real. This is a real thing. It's no joke.
The feelings are in it, you know, skin in the game, we might say. But, on the other side, imagine what the kingdom would have looked like if God did not impart wisdom to Solomon. We may have had what we got in the northern kingdoms not long after, a lot faster. Ecclesiastes 2.5, I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. Well, he probably did plant a few flowers here and there, but he had mostly slaves set it up, I'm sure. Anyway, this is a poem I really like by John Greenleaf Whittier, Maud Muller, and it's a story of a judge riding on a horse, and he comes across this young girl, she's out raking leaves, and they get this dialogue, and they're from two different social standings, but there's that moment where they admire each other, but it ends there. But anyway, in the poetry, he says, he spoke of grass and flowers and trees, of singing birds and humming bees, and when I read that, I always think of Solomon, because of this verse, that he spoke of trees from the cedars tree of Lebanon, etc., etc.
It's okay to read wholesome things if you're going to learn how to, if you're going to learn, you have to read, and if you're going to read, you should end up writing, and that will really help. Anyway, but it won't shorten your sermons. Verse 34, and men from all nations, from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Well, a little hyperbole there, an overstatement to make the point that Solomon was just famous, and people would go out of their way, just ecclesiastes or lectures, you know, probably taken from his lectures to people who would come and hear him speak, and thus he opens with the words of the preacher. He's not preaching in the sense that, you know, from the gospel from a pulpit or verse by verse, he's expounding on life, and hopefully under the eye of the Almighty. So, from the time he goes to the throne to the time he builds the temple, he is spiritual, as far as we can see, but then he appears to drift away from God, and a drift is a slow thing. You're not even conscious of it.
You know, if you're not paying attention, you won't get it. A pastor from, oh, I don't know, he was born in the 1800s, died in the early 1900s, Alexander White, true Scottish preacher, and his sermons are worth reading. He writes about Solomon. There is no thirty-second or fifty-first or one hundred and thirtieth psalm of David in all the volume of psalms of Solomon. And he's saying, what is missing from Solomon is the spirit of repentance. In those psalms, David is conscious of his sin, he's confessing his sin, he's talking about it, you know, Lord, if you were to count sin, who would, and he just goes into these things.
Created me a clean heart, oh God. Well, Alexander White continues, no, there is no real repentance, real or assumed, anywhere in Solomon. And then he concludes the sermon on Solomon. The secret worm that was gnawing all the time in the royal staff upon which Solomon leaned. The lack of repentance would cause him to topple over.
He wouldn't be supported, and that's his life. There's a very accurate and poetic way of saying that Solomon, he just did not have, did he feel he was too busy or too big to address his sin? And this is a dividing factor between he and David. Well, we now look at the fifth chapter of 1 Kings. Here, Solomon is obtaining the materials for the construction of the temple, because when David lays out the temple, he lays it on heavy. We talked about, he had this, no pun intended, this sunshine moment in his life, where he was, you know, couldn't keep warm and it was probably in the colder months, Jerusalem can get a little chilly, but then when the summer comes, he looks like he just was able to muster the energy to lay out the speech to the nation, a series of speeches, and they're quite powerful.
They're in First and Second Chronicles. We pick up some of what David said, and we'll be referencing that, but this section details acquiring the materials and his relationship and trade agreements with King Hyrum of Tyre, who is an exciting character himself, at least a little bit we know of him, is very positive. So we look at verse 1 of 1 Kings 5. Now, Hyrum, king of Tyre, sent his servants to Solomon because he heard they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hyrum always loved David. And that's the first thing about Hyrum that we're introduced is that he loved David. And how can you not love, well, I mean, David gave a few people reasons not to love him, but overall, he was a charismatic character.
I'm sure David was the type, when he walked in the room, you just knew he was in the room without even looking almost, and he, in the latter part of David's reign, Hyrum becomes king, and they hit it off. He supplied David with materials to build David's palace, the one that Solomon would not allow his Egyptian wife to come to. Verse 2 of chapter 5, then Solomon sent to Hyrum saying, you know how my father David could not build a house for the name of Yahweh, his god, because of the wars which he fought against him on every side until Yahweh put his foes under the soles of his feet. Solomon maintains that David was a man of God. His father was a man of God, and he was a man of war, and that gave Solomon the territory he now enjoys, but it also barred David from being directly associated. So God sort of puts up a buffer between David and the temple. I love David, but I don't want you to associate the place of sacrifice with human bloodshed. Sin is awful to God.
That's my take on it. God is saying, I hate the sin, I hate the problems that it causes, and I want you to know, I am no fan of war, though I must use war because of the resources that I have from sinners, and I am a strong believer that God works with the resources he has, not exclusively, because he can of course create resources, but as a rule. Job, that's the story of Job. God is boasting on the resources. Hey, if you consider Job, so Job, if you consider Job, that was God's resource. None like him, a man that hates evil and does good.
We ought to try to give God the resources to use us, and the proof of that is, God sends people who can sing to a church, because if he didn't, you either would have no music or you would wish you had no music. So here, David, King David, the memory in Hiram is sweet. Solomon maintains that his dad was a man of God, verse 4, but now Yahweh my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. Yeah, the name Solomon means peace, and his kingdom is characterized by no war, peace. Here in verse 4, where he says, but now Yahweh my God, he acknowledges that his dad's God is his God.
He's not ashamed of that. The God of his father is his God. This is why it's so pronounced when Isaac says, the God of my father, or Jacob, the God of my father, and later the God of my father is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They're saying, we have this unbroken witness.
We've not departed. We didn't become grown and figure we're too big for the God of our parents. Satan delights in turning children from the true God of their parents to anything else, and we should be ready for this.
I don't know how much we can do outside of prayer at some point, but this is not something that is, if it happens, it's not, ooh, this is so unheard of. It's throughout the scripture, and it's a delight to see Solomon not departing from the God of his father, which is, in this case, of course, David, verse 5. And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of Yahweh my God, as Yahweh spoke to my father David, saying, your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for my name. Well, Israel's forest did not have the cedar trees that Solomon wants to use.
Tyre does, the land of Tyre in Lebanon. Solomon's kingdom, again, the piece it has is because of David, and the treasures. David amassed treasures, and so here's where it gets exciting.
Towards the end, David says in 1 Chronicles 22, indeed, I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of Yahweh. 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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