1 Kings – Chapter 5

1-Kings-Chapter-5-Cedars-Are-Cut-Down-for-the-Jerusalem-Temple

Verse 1 – David had traded with Tyre when collecting materials for the temple. Solomon also benefited from good relations with Hiram King of Tyre. When David had offered to build a temple, God said no through the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 7:1-17).
Verse 6 – The Israelites, as well as the Egyptians and Assyrians, used both the cedar and cypress lumber of Lebanon for their buildings.
Verses 8-11 – Solomon bartered food for lumber and other products. Hiram’s men would cut the lumber, bring it to the sea, and lash it into rafts. Then the rafts were floated south and beached, probably at Joppa. From there they were taken to Jerusalem by the road that passed near Gezer. (The book of 2 Chronicles adds an equal supply of barley to this amount-2 Chronicles 2:10.
Verses 13, 14 – Solomon wisely recognized that family should always take top priority. By Solomon drafting three times the number of workers needed for the temple project and then arranging their schedules, they didn’t have to be away from home for long periods of time.
Verse 18 – Gebal, also called Byblos, was located north of what is now Beirut, near the cedar forest. These men were Phoenicians, probably skilled as shipbuilders, but employed for this project.

1 Kings – Chapter 4

1 Kings chapter 4

Throughout most of Solomon’s reign, he applied his wisdom well because he sought God. The fruits of his wisdom were peace, security, and prosperity for the nation. Solomon’s Kingdom spread from the Euphrates River in the north to the borders of Egypt. The entire land was at peace under his rule.
Wisdom—Wisdom is only effective when it is put into action. Early in his life, Solomon had the good sense to recognize his need for God’s wisdom. However, by the time Solomon began to rule, he started a habit that would make his wisdom ineffective—by marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. She was the first of hundreds of wives. Solomon went against not only his father’s last words, but also God’s direct commands.
While becoming famous as the builder of the temple and the palace, he became famous as a leader who excessively taxed and worked his people. Visitors from distant lands came to admire this wise king, while his own people were gradually alienated from him.
 Effective leadership can be nullified by an ineffective personal life.
 Solomon failed to obey God, but did not learn the lesson of repentance until later in life.
 Knowing what actions are required of us means little without actually doing them.

1 Kings – Chapter 3

1 kings chapter 3

Verse 1 – It’s easy to minimize religious differences in marrying or in friendships. God gives standards to follow for all our relationships. Although Solomon’s marital alliance built friendships with surrounding nations, they were also the beginning of his downfall. Solomon’s foreign wives brought their gods to Jerusalem and eventually lured him into idolatry.
Verses 2, 3 – These sacrifices that took place in the high places, were taken out from the watchful care of the priest. God’s laws said that the Israelites could only make sacrifices in specific places (Deuteronomy 12:13, 14). God appeared and spoke to Solomon during prayer, at night, not during his sacrifice.
Verses 6-9 – When asked what Solomon wanted, he asked for, “a discerning heart,” – wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Verse 12 – Solomon received “a wise and discerning heart” from God, but it was up to Solomon to apply that wisdom to all areas of his life. While Solomon remained wise all his life, he did not always act upon his wisdom (11:6)).
Verses 13-18 – This wise ruling was verification that God had answered Solomon’s prayer and given him a discerning heart. All we have to do is ask.