1 Kings 4-5: True Wisdom
June 3, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The story of Solomon’s excellence continues. He is now king over all Israel, and the author tells how he administered his domain through wise delegation to various high officials and with their responsibilities appropriately defined (4:1-19). The people of God are now as many as the sand by the sea (4:20); the promises of the expansive number of the people of God given so long ago to Abraham are now beginning to be fulfilled. What is more, they are prospering financially as well—we are told of the government not just running a surplus but having bountiful wealth poured into it (4:21-28). Plus, Solomon himself has wisdom like the sand on the seashore too: the people are numerous, according to God’s promise, and Solomon’s wisdom is expansive also according to God’s promise (4:29-34).
There is not, apparently, a cloud on the horizon. Solomon now intends to build a temple (5:5). He understands that this is his God-given task—David was too embroiled in incessant warfare to have the time, or political capital, to undertake such a task (5:3). But Solomon can do it, and so he begins by forming a strategic alliance with Tyre in Lebanon to provide special “cedars of Lebanon” for the temple (5:6). Once again, another person—another king—recognizes Solomon’s wisdom in this regard (5:7-12).
Blessing upon blessing. We are told, though, of “forced labor” (5:13-18). This semi-slavery enforced from on high would suffice for a season, when the reason for it was so evident. But it bred discontent in time to come.
Again, we are learning of Solomon’s wisdom. And we are also learning that the fear of the Lord is the true foundation for wisdom (Prov. 1:7), and to be wise by first of all seeking God and his ways, not ours.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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