Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Wise Ruler Serves His Family, People, and Lord

When we think of wisdom, King Solomon first comes to mind, for Scripture says he was the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:7-14; 4.29-32). His heritage was marked by peace after strife in his birth, his kingdom, and his building of the Lord’s house, for he was the son of King David, a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) who nonetheless suffered the consequences of sin.

David’s lust for Bathsheba led to the sins of adultery, deception as he tried to arrange circumstances so that Bathsheba’s husband Uriah would think he was the father of David and Bathsheba’s unborn child, and ultimately murder, as he conspired to have Uriah killed in battle (2 Samuel 11).

God’s judgment for these sins included the death of the child who was conceived in adultery (2 Samuel 12:14-23), ongoing family feuds in the house of David, and continued wars. Because of this blood on David’s hands, God did not allow him to build His temple, although He commanded Him to provide all the needed materials (1 Chronicles 28).

In His mercy, love and grace, God had given David and Bathsheba another child, Solomon, after the child conceived in adultery had died (2 Samuel 12:24). Many years later, when David was about to die, Solomon’s half-brother Adonijah plotted to usurp Solomon’s right to David’s throne. Nathan the prophet warned David of Adonijah’s plan, David promised Bathsheba that Solomon would reign, and Bathsheba bowed before David in deepest gratitude (1 Kings 1:5-31).

David ordered three of his most faithful men: Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada to accompany Solomon to Gihon, anoint him with oil, and proclaim him to be king. In response, the people prayed to God to save King Solomon, they piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy (1 Kings 1:32-40).

When Adonijah realized that Solomon was king, he feared for his life, but Solomon responded with wisdom. He showed fairness by promising Adonijah’s safety if he proved himself worthy; justice by pledging that Adonijah would die if he acted with wickedness; and mercy by allowing him to return home when he bowed before Solomon (1 Kings 1:50-53).

On his death bed, David imparted words of wisdom to Solomon, asking him to be strong, to prove himself to be a man, and to keep the charge of the Lord. This involved walking in His ways; keeping His statutes (commandments, judgments, and testimonies); and following Him in truth, with all his heart and soul. In return, as God had promised in the law of Moses, Solomon would prosper in all that he did, and wherever he went, and his seed line would continue on the throne of Israel (1 Kings 2::1-4).

David also called upon Solomon to settle the score of the ongoing battle with his enemies, to reward those who had been faithful, and to secure his own position on the throne of Israel. All of these Solomon did with power and justice and without hesitation (1 Kings 2:5-46). His building campaign was threefold: his own house, the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem (1 Kings 3:1). In so doing, he was a wise ruler, showing balance in his priorities, initiatives, and resources. While providing for himself and his family, he did not neglect the safety of his people or service to His God.

Solomon loved the Lord, walked in God’s statutes that David had honored, and sacrificed a thousand burnt offerings to God on the altar at Gibeon. There God appeared to him in a dream and invited him to ask for what he wanted God to give him. Solomon began by remembering God’s mercy to David, as well as His kindness and faithfulness to allow his son to rule over Israel, for David had walked before God in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart (1 Kings 3:3-6).

Next Solomon responded to God in humility, acknowledging that God had made him king, and referring to himself as God’s servant, as a little child, and as not knowing how to go out or come in. His desire was to serve his subjects, not lord it over them, for they were God’s people which He had chosen, a great nation, and a vast multitude that could not be numbered. He therefore asked God for an understanding heart to judge His people, with wisdom to discern between good and evil (1 Kings 3:7-9).

God was pleased by Solomon’s request, for many would have instead asked God for long life, riches, or destruction of their enemies. Instead, Solomon prayed to God for wisdom, and God answered that prayer beyond his wildest dreams by making him the wisest man who ever lived! God gave him a wise and understanding heart; so that he was wiser than anyone who lived before him, and so that none who lived after him could rival his wisdom (1 Kings 3:10-12).

As Jesus Himself said, if we first seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, then He will give  us all other blessings (Matthew 6:33). Until we are saved by faith in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), we cannot experience the wealth of blessing we have as God’s children (1 John 3:1), joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are then seated in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 1:3), and promised abundant life here and now (John 10:10) and eternal life with Him and our loved ones in Him (John 3:16).

Solomon is a great example of seeking God and His will for our life first, and then receiving a multitude of other blessings. God not only answered his prayer for wisdom to serve God and His people, but He also gave him riches, honor and excellence above all kings (1 Kings 3:13).

Then God added a conditional promise: if Solomon would walk in His ways, and keep His statutes and commandments, as his father had done, He would lengthen his life. Upon awakening, Solomon went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered sacrifices to God. These included burnt offerings, peace offerings, and a feast for all his servants, showing his desire to honor and serve God and his people, as well as his household (1 Kings 3:14-15).

If we study history, we will learn that like King Solomon, the wise ruler of any nation, past, present or future, serves his people and their God, and not only his interests. Whether or not we are in positions of leadership, if we seek God first, He will be found by us (1 Chronicles 28:9; Acts 17:27), He will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19), and He will use us to fulfill the amazing plan He has for our life (Jeremiah 29:11).

But there is a warning in King Solomon’s story. To finish strong in the faith, we need to grow continually in Godly wisdom, as we shall see in subsequent posts!

© 2016 Laurie Collett
Womanhood With Purpose
Adorned From Above
No Ordinary Blog Hop


Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
One of the amazing things about those chroniclers who narrated history is that they must have rejoiced in witnessing the whole nation of Israel as it reaches its pinnacle of glory, never to be repeated until into the future, after the Second Coming of Christ.
When given the opportunity for Solomon to ask God for anything he wanted, he made the right choice for putting the welfare of the nation before his own needs. Such a reminder through your blog has set me thinking on what would I have wanted if God had offered the same opportunity to me. Would I had asked for a life of international travel, longevity and good health?
Or would I have asked for wisdom on how to nourish our marriage, improve my relationship with my church, and to be at peace with all men everywhere?
An excellent blog, which I eagerly await the next instalment. God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Praise God for His recorded Word, and the insights it gives into history, as well as His story. It is difficult to know what we would ask for if given the opportunity face to face, although John tells us that if we abide in Him, and His Word in us, we can ask anything and it will be granted. Claiming that promise, I ask to be in the center of His perfect plan for my life. Thanks as always for your encouragement and insights.
God bless,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
I remember when I first was born again, one of the first scriptures highlighted to me by the Holy Spirit was the question that God asked Solomon in 2 Chronicles ch. 1. Another was Matthew ch. 6 about first seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things needed will be added. I have to say that I could not have chosen better than to ask for wisdom and knowledge, as His ways and thoughts are not like ours. I have to say that God has kept His promise regarding supplying all that I have needed. Praise His lovely name. How could we want for more.

God bless you Laurie, enjoyed your post bringing back those memories to me, and reminding me that all things are possible when we trust God in Jesus.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
I am blessed to hear that this post reminded you of your second birth! Wisdom is far better than precious rubies, and His wisdom surpasses all, for He knows everything, past, present and future. Not only that, but He loves us infinitely and has all power to accomplish what He knows is best for us. Praise Him indeed!
Thank you for your lovely words of encouragement and shared experience, and may God bless you richly!

Cheryl said...

Wonderful words, sweet friend. Thank you for always encouraging me. :)

Donald Fishgrab said...

God's promise to David was unconditional, but his promise to Solomon was not. I believe it was because God knew what each would do and there was no need to warn David of the consequences. God knew what each of us would do before we were ever conceived, and is able to plan accordingly, but still leaves it up to us what we will do. What a wonderful God we have.

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Cheryl, for being such a blessing! I always appreciate your words of encouragement.
Love in Christ,

Laurie Collett said...

Geat point, Donald! Nothing takes God by surprise. Praise God that He gives us free will, and rewards us richly when we make the right choices. Thanks for the great post & God bless,

S. Knowles said...

I enjoyed reading this Laurie. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us. God bless you.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Sateigdra! I'm blessed to hear you enjoyed the post. May God bless you too!