The Wisdom of Solomon

Scripture Passage: 
1 Kings 3:1-28; 1 Kings 4:20-34

INTRODUCTION: Ever wonder what you would do if you were granted any request you might make? This lesson shows what Solomon did with just such a request. But also observe how God responded to Solomon’s request and see what we can learn from this.

  1. SOLOMON’S AFFINITY WITH EGYPT (1 Kings 3:1-3)
    1. His Affinity with Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1; cp. Isaiah 31:1)
      1. By marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter
      2. By bringing her to the city of David
    2. The Worship of the People (1 Kings 3:2)
      1. They sacrificed in high places.
      2. They had no house of God until those days.
      3. The sin of the people
        1. They were to sacrifice at the tabernacle only (Leviticus 17:3-6).
        2. They continued to sacrifice in high places even after the building of the temple (1 Kings 22:43; 2 Chronicles 33:17).
    3. The Worship of Solomon (1 Kings 3:3)
      1. He loved the Lord.
      2. He walked in the statutes of David, but he sacrificed in high places.
  2. SOLOMON’S SACRIFICE IN GIBEON (1 Kings 3:4-15)
    1. Solomon Went to Gibeon to Sacrifice (1 Kings 3:4).
      1. Gibeon was the home of the Gibeonites who had deceived Joshua and convinced Israel to make a covenant with them (Joshua 9:3-15).
      2. Solomon offered 1,000 burnt offerings there.
    2. The Lord Asked to Know Solomon’s Request (1 Kings 3:5-9).
      1. The Lord appeared to Solomon (1 Kings 3:5).
        1. He appeared in a dream by night; compare the dream of Jacob (Genesis 28:10-16).
        2. He offered to grant Solomon’s request – “Ask what I shall give thee” (Psalm 37:4; Matthew 7:7-8; John 14:13-14).
      2. Solomon presented his need (1 Kings 3:6-8).
        1. The Lord showed great mercy to David (1 Kings 3:6).
        2. The Lord put Solomon in David’s place (1 Kings 3:6-7).
          1. As a kindness to David (1 Kings 3:6)
          2. To sit on his throne (1 Kings 3:6-7)
        3. But Solomon had a great need (1 Kings 3:7-8).
          1. He was but a little child (1 Kings 3:7; Jeremiah 1:6).
          2. He knew not how to go out or come in (1 Kings 3:7).
          3. He stood in the midst of this people (1 Kings 3:8).
      3. Solomon made his request (1 Kings 3:9).
        1. For an understanding heart
        2. For discernment to judge this people
    3. The Lord Responded to Solomon’s Request (1 Kings 3:10-14).
      1. The Lord was pleased with the request (1 Kings 3:10-11).
        1. In the thing that Solomon asked (1 Kings 3:10)
        2. Because of what he did not request (1 Kings 3:11) – long life, riches and the life of his enemies
        3. Because of what he did ask – understanding and discernment
      2. The Lord granted his request (1 Kings 3:12).
        1. He gave him a wise and discerning heart.
        2. He made him the wisest man who ever lived.
      3. The Lord gave him more than he requested (1 Kings 3:13-14; Jeremiah 33:3; Ephesians 3:20).
        1. He gave him riches (1 Kings 3:13).
        2. He gave him honour (1 Kings 3:13).
        3. He exalted him above the kings of his day (1 Kings 3:13).
        4. He gave him length of days if he would be obedient (1 Kings 3:14).
    4. Solomon Woke Up from his Dream (1 Kings 3:15).
      1. He returned to Jerusalem.
      2. He stood before the ark of the covenant.
      3. He made sacrifices there.
      4. He made a feast for his servants.
  3. SOLOMON’S JUDGMENT OF THE WOMEN (1 Kings 3:16-28)
    1. The Case Was Presented to Solomon (1 Kings 3:16-22).
      1. The nature of the women – they were both harlots (1 Kings 3:16)
      2. The first woman spoke (1 Kings 3:17-21).
        1. She explained that both lived together in one house (1 Kings 3:17).
        2. She stated that they were both delivered of a child (1 Kings 3:17-18).
        3. She stated that one of the children died overnight (1 Kings 3:19).
        4. She claimed that the children were switched (1 Kings 3:20-21).
      3. The second woman spoke (1 Kings 3:22).
        1. She stated that the living child was hers.
        2. She claimed that the dead child was the other woman’s.
    2. Solomon Made His Judgment on the Case (1 Kings 3:23-25).
      1. He summed up the case (1 Kings 3:23).
      2. He had a sword brought (1 Kings 3:24).
      3. He commanded to divide the living child (1 Kings 3:25).
    3. Solomon Determined the True Mother (1 Kings 3:26-28).
      1. The women responded (1 Kings 3:26).
        1. The true mother yearned for her son.
        2. She offered to give him away to save him.
        3. The false mother encouraged the child’s death.
      2. Solomon spared the child and gave it to the true mother (1 Kings 3:27).
      3. All Israel heard of the judgment of Solomon (1 Kings 3:28).
        1. They feared the king.
        2. They saw God’s wisdom in him.
  4. SOLOMON’S REIGN IN PEACE AND PROSPERITY (1 Kings 4:20-28)
    1. The Prosperity of the Kingdom (1 Kings 4:20-21)
      1. Judah and Israel were great in number (1 Kings 4:20).
      2. The nation ate, drank, and made merry (1 Kings 4:20).
      3. The surrounding kingdoms served Solomon (1 Kings 4:21).
    2. The Provision for Solomon’s Court (1 Kings 4:22-23)
    3. The Peace of the Kingdom (1 Kings 4:24-25)
      1. Dominion over this side of the river (1 Kings 4:24); refers to the west side of the Jordan
      2. Peace on all sides round about (1 Kings 4:24)
      3. Judah and Israel dwelled safely (1 Kings 4:25).
        1. Every man under his vine and under his fig tree (cp. Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10).
        2. From Dan unto Beersheba (cp. Judges 20:1; 2 Chronicles 30:5; the phrase is used nine times in the Bible)
        3. All the days of Solomon
    4. The Provision for Solomon’s Officers (1 Kings 4:26-28)
      1. For his chariots (1 Kings 4:26); NOTE: though he was not to trust in horses and chariots (Psalm 20:7; Isaiah 36:9)
        1. Forty thousand stalls of horses; NOTE: though he was not to multiply horses (Deuteronomy 17:16)
        2. Twelve thousand horsemen
      2. From his officers (1 Kings 4:27-28)
        1. All that came to Solomon’s table (1 Kings 4:27)
        2. Provision for the animals (1 Kings 4:28)
        3. Every man according to his charge (1 Kings 4:28); this high rate of taxes led to later complaints and finally to the division of the kingdom under Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:4).
  5. SOLOMON’S EXCELLENCE IN WISDOM (1 Kings 4:29-34)
    1. The Wisdom of Solomon (1 Kings 4:29-31)
      1. Given from the Lord (1 Kings 4:29)
        1. Wisdom
        2. Understanding
        3. Largeness of heart (Psalm 119:32; 2 Corinthians 6:11)
      2. Greater than that of others (1 Kings 4:30-31)
        1. Than the children of the east country (1 Kings 4:30)
        2. Than all the wisdom of Egypt (1 Kings 4:30)
        3. Than the wise men of the day (1 Kings 4:31)
        4. A fame that spread to all nations (1 Kings 4:31)
    2. The Works of Solomon (1 Kings 4:32-34)
      1. He spoke 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32); NOTE: Solomon wrote the first twenty-nine chapters of Proverbs. If we consider each verse as a separate proverb (though much of the first nine chapters are not individual proverbs), this would add up to 851, which is only about a fourth of the total number.
      2. He wrote 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32).
      3. He spoke of the wonders of nature (1 Kings 4:33).
        1. Of trees and plants
        2. Of animals
      4. He spoke to all who came to hear him (1 Kings 4:34).

CONCLUSION: Solomon sought wisdom for the right reasons and God granted his request. He delighted himself in the Lord and God gave him the desires of his heart (see Psalm 37:4). But the Lord also gave him much more than he asked (Jeremiah 33:3; Ephesians 3:20). What a wonderful Lord!

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:22

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.