SOLOMON’S REQUEST OF THE LORD

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[1 Kings:3:5-15]; [1 Kings:4:21-34].

Lesson No.: 
255
Class: 
Senior
Memory Verse: 

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (Psalm 37:3).

Cross References: 

I The Lord’s Promise and Solomon’s Prayer
1. God makes an unlimited promise to Solomon, I Kings 3;5; [2 Chronicles:1:7].
2. God’s promises to the believers today are unlimited, [John:15:7]; [Matthew:7:7-8]; [Mark:11:24].
3. Solomon manifests humility, as do other great men of God, [1 Kings:3:6-8]; [Jeremiah:1:6]; [Exodus:4:10]; [Genesis:18:27]; [Genesis:32:10]; [Judges:6:15]; [2 Samuel:7:18].
4. Solomon requests wisdom to govern Israel, [1 Kings:3:9-10]; [Job:28:28]; [James:1:5-7]; [1 Corinthians:1:23-24]; [Colossians:2:2-3].
5. The Lord replies to Solomon, [1 Kings:3:11-15]; [Matthew:6:33].

II The Prosperity and Glory of Solomon’s Kingdom
1. The earthly promises to Abraham are fulfilled, [1 Kings:4:21], [1 Kings:4:24-25]; [Genesis:22:17]; [Genesis:15:18].
2. God bountifully provides for Solomon, [1 Kings:4:22-23], [1 Kings:4:26-28]; [Luke:6:38].
3. God gave Solomon wisdom, [1 Kings:4:29-34]; [Matthew:12:42].

Notes: 

A Saved Young Man
“And Solomon loved the LORD.” Jesus gave us the first and greatest commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” [Matthew:22:37]). This deep love within the heart comes only through the new birth. We do not know when Solomon experienced the new birth, but it is quite possible that he wrote from his own experience when he said, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” [Ecclesiastes:12:1]). It is evident that Solomon was saved during part of his life, for his writings are incorporated in the inspired Word of God. “The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” [2 Peter:1:21]).

Solomon was very young when he began to reign; his own words were, “I am but a little child” [1 Kings:3:7]). David called him “young and tender.” Some think that he was about twenty years old. Whatever his age, Solomon’s love for the Lord led him to call all the captains, judges, and nobles to go with him to Gibeon. There, upon the brazen altar that stood before the Tabernacle of the Congregation which Moses had made, Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings unto the Lord. (See [2 Chronicles:1:3], [2 Chronicles:1:6].) Think of it -– a thousand burnt offerings! It shows the magnanimity of Solomon. This freewill offering pleased the Lord. That night the Lord appeared unto Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask what I shall give thee” [1 Kings:3:5]).

The Promises of God
Who of us have not at some time in our life been thrilled with the possibilities of such an unlimited offer. Here was Solomon, but a young man and already a king on the throne, and then God makes him such an infinite promise, “Ask what I shall give thee.” Consider the immense resources at the disposal of the Almighty Creator. Nothing is impossible with God. What would your request be?

Perhaps you have considered Solomon especially favoured of the Lord to receive such a great promise from Him. But let us consider the promises of God to all believers today. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” [Matthew:7:7-8]). Are there any limits placed on these promises? Do you not serve the same God? If our request should be for wisdom, as was Solomon’s, we can receive assurance in the fact that “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” [James:1:5]). James then adds the injunction: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” [James:1:6-7]).

Sacrifices Under the Law
This trip that Solomon made to Gibeon in the beginning of his reign was to dedicate and consecrate himself to the service of God. The offerings he made were of highly spiritual significance. They represented deep consecration and praise unto the Lord. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” [Hebrews:13:15]). The meaning of these sacrifices can be further understood by the prayer of David, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” [Psalms:141:2]). God requires consecrations of men under this dispensation as well as He did under the Law.

Sacrifices Under Grace
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” [Romans:12:1]). There is nothing unreasonable about anything that God demands of us. It is all within the bounds of our power to do; and when we realise that, it helps us in our consecrations. Sometimes parents demand unreasonable thing of their children, but God never demands an unreasonable thing of His children. His demands are reasonable, and within our power to give because He has made the provision for us. Many people never think of denying themselves anything. And yet many times those seemingly little things that we could deny ourselves could be a great means to a deeper walk with God. Often people want someone else to bear their cross, but Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” [Matthew:16:24]).

Thanksgiving and Humility
“By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” [Philippians:4:6]). It was after Solomon had offered a thousand burnt offerings that the Lord appeared unto him and told him to let his request be made known. “I am but a little child,” answered Solomon, “I know not how to go out or come in” [1 Kings:3:7]). Such humility is the mark of a truly great man. His own words were, “Before honour is humility” [Proverbs:15:33]). “The way up is down,” is but another way of saying, “He that shall humble himself shall be exalted” [Matthew:23:12]). Solomon’s humble request for an understanding heart pleased the Lord, and He granted him an understanding heart.

Hid Treasures
Some may think that Solomon awoke from his dream the wisest man who ever lived. Undoubtedly this is no more the case than that he went to bed with his treasury empty and awoke with it full. God tells us, through the pen of Solomon, that it is necessary to work and apply ourselves to find wisdom. “If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God” [Proverbs:2:3-5]). God gives natural ability, but the expansion of our wisdom and the improvement of our talent come through hard work. The Lord gives as we exert ourselves along the lines of His promises. As we use the powers that He has given us, then He develops those powers; but He expects us to put them to use. For example, when the Children of Israel came into the Land of Canaan, God did not send scourges before Israel and kill off all the heathen people before the Israelites arrived on the ground. He made Israel go out and fight their battles. He gave them victory as they fought. If they did not fight they did not get the victory.

First Things
Solomon’s prayer was exactly in line with the words of Jesus: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” [Matthew:6:33]). He did not seek for riches; he did not seek for honour; he did not seek for victory in battle; he did not seek for power. This gets down to the heart of the prayer-life, of what is pleasing to the Lord and what is not, when it comes to making petitions. The Lord wants us, in praying, to keep first things first. The Lord gave Solomon things for which he did not ask, and He will do the same for us if we seek first the Kingdom of God.

Israel’s Borders
“And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river [the Euphrates] unto the border of Egypt” [1 Kings:4:21]). Thus in Solomon’s day was fulfilled the promise God gave to Abraham: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” [Genesis:15:18]).

A Greater than Solomon
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore” [1 Kings:4:29]). “And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth” [1 Kings:4:34]). They heard the words of Solomon, but we have the Word of a greater than Solomon -– the Lord Jesus Christ.

Questions: 

1. Where were the Tabernacle of the Congregation and the brazen altar when Solomon began to reign?
2. Where was the Ark of the Covenant at this time?
3. Give what evidence you can of Solomon’s salvation.
4. What happened the day before the Lord appeared unto Solomon?
5. List some of the great promises of God that are for His people today.
6. What are some of Solomon’s instructions on how to obtain wisdom?
7. In what way was Solomon’s request like seeking first the Kingdom of God?
8. Can you find a conditional promise given to Solomon (I Kings 3) which was not fulfilled?
9. What promise to Abraham was fulfilled during Solomon’s reign?
10. Name some channels in which Solomon’s wisdom was revealed.