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32. 1 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Psalms (Solomon Rises to Power)

A Chronological Daily Bible Study of the Old Testament
7-Day Sections with a Summary-Commentary, Discussion Questions, and a Practical Daily Application

Week 32

Sunday (Psalms 119:1-88)

119:1 א (Alef)

How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the Lord.

119:2 How blessed are those who observe his rules,

and seek him with all their heart,

119:3 who, moreover, do no wrong,

but follow in his footsteps.

119:4 You demand that your precepts

be carefully kept.

119:5 If only I were predisposed

to keep your statutes!

119:6 Then I would not be ashamed,

if I were focused on all your commands.

119:7 I will give you sincere thanks,

when I learn your just regulations.

119:8 I will keep your statutes.

Do not completely abandon me!

119:9 ב (Bet)

How can a young person maintain a pure life?

By guarding it according to your instructions!

119:10 With all my heart I seek you.

Do not allow me to stray from your commands!

119:11 In my heart I store up your words,

so I might not sin against you.

119:12 You deserve praise, O Lord!

Teach me your statutes!

119:13 With my lips I proclaim

all the regulations you have revealed.

119:14 I rejoice in the lifestyle prescribed by your rules

as if they were riches of all kinds.

119:15 I will meditate on your precepts

and focus on your behavior.

119:16 I find delight in your statutes;

I do not forget your instructions.

119:17 ג (Gimel)

Be kind to your servant!

Then I will live and keep your instructions.

119:18 Open my eyes so I can truly see

the marvelous things in your law!

119:19 I am like a foreigner in this land.

Do not hide your commands from me!

119:20 I desperately long to know

your regulations at all times.

119:21 You reprimand arrogant people.

Those who stray from your commands are doomed.

119:22 Spare me shame and humiliation,

for I observe your rules.

119:23 Though rulers plot and slander me,

your servant meditates on your statutes.

119:24 Yes, I find delight in your rules;

they give me guidance.

119:25 ד (Dalet)

I collapse in the dirt.

Revive me with your word!

119:26 I told you about my ways and you answered me.

Teach me your statutes!

119:27 Help me to understand what your precepts mean!

Then I can meditate on your marvelous teachings.

119:28 I collapse from grief.

Sustain me by your word!

119:29 Remove me from the path of deceit!

Graciously give me your law!

119:30 I choose the path of faithfulness;

I am committed to your regulations.

119:31 I hold fast to your rules.

O Lord, do not let me be ashamed!

119:32 I run along the path of your commands,

for you enable me to do so.

119:33 ה (He)

Teach me, O Lord, the lifestyle prescribed by your statutes,

so that I might observe it continually.

119:34 Give me understanding so that I might observe your law,

and keep it with all my heart.

119:35 Guide me in the path of your commands,

for I delight to walk in it.

119:36 Give me a desire for your rules,

rather than for wealth gained unjustly.

119:37 Turn my eyes away from what is worthless!

Revive me with your word!

119:38 Confirm to your servant your promise,

which you made to the one who honors you.

119:39 Take away the insults that I dread!

Indeed, your regulations are good.

119:40 Look, I long for your precepts.

Revive me with your deliverance!

119:41 ו (Vav)

May I experience your loyal love, 64 O Lord,

and your deliverance, as you promised.

119:42 Then I will have a reply for the one who insults me,

for I trust in your word.

119:43 Do not completely deprive me of a truthful testimony,

for I await your justice.

119:44 Then I will keep your law continually now and for all time.

119:45 I will be secure,

for I seek your precepts.

119:46 I will speak about your regulations before kings

and not be ashamed.

119:47 I will find delight in your commands,

which I love.

119:48 I will lift my hands to your commands,

which I love,

and I will meditate on your statutes.

119:49 ז (Zayin)

Remember your word to your servant,

for you have given me hope.

119:50 This is what comforts me in my trouble,

for your promise revives me.

119:51 Arrogant people do nothing but scoff at me.

Yet I do not turn aside from your law.

119:52 I remember your ancient regulations,

O Lord, and console myself.

119:53 Rage takes hold of me because of the wicked,

those who reject your law.

119:54 Your statutes have been my songs

in the house where I live.

119:55 I remember your name during the night, O Lord,

and I will keep your law.

119:56 This has been my practice,

for I observe your precepts.

119:57 ח (Khet)

The Lord is my source of security.

I have determined to follow your instructions.

119:58 I seek your favor with all my heart.

Have mercy on me as you promised!

119:59 I consider my actions

and follow your rules.

119:60 I keep your commands

eagerly and without delay.

119:61 The ropes of the wicked tighten around me,

but I do not forget your law.

119:62 In the middle of the night I arise to thank you

for your just regulations.

119:63 I am a friend to all your loyal followers,

and to those who keep your precepts.

119:64 O Lord, your loyal love fills the earth.

Teach me your statutes!

119:65 ט (Tet)

You are good to your servant,

O Lord, just as you promised.

119:66 Teach me proper discernment and understanding!

For I consider your commands to be reliable.

119:67 Before I was afflicted I used to stray off,

but now I keep your instructions.

119:68 You are good and you do good.

Teach me your statutes!

119:69 Arrogant people smear my reputation with lies,

but I observe your precepts with all my heart.

119:70 Their hearts are calloused,

but I find delight in your law.

119:71 It was good for me to suffer,

so that I might learn your statutes.

119:72 The law you have revealed is more important to me

than thousands of pieces of gold and silver.

119:73 י (Yod)

Your hands made me and formed me.

Give me understanding so that I might learn your commands.

119:74 Your loyal followers will be glad when they see me,

for I find hope in your word.

119:75 I know, Lord, that your regulations are just.

You disciplined me because of your faithful devotion to me.

119:76 May your loyal love console me,

as you promised your servant.

119:77 May I experience your compassion, so I might live!

For I find delight in your law.

119:78 May the arrogant be humiliated, for they have slandered me!

But I meditate on your precepts.

119:79 May your loyal followers turn to me,

those who know your rules.

119:80 May I be fully committed to your statutes, so that I might not be ashamed.

119:81 כ (Kaf)

I desperately long for your deliverance.

I find hope in your word.

119:82 My eyes grow tired as I wait for your promise to be fulfilled.

I say, “When will you comfort me?”

119:83 For I am like a wineskin dried up in smoke.

I do not forget your statutes.

119:84 How long must your servant endure this?

When will you judge those who pursue me?

119:85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,

which violates your law.

119:86 All your commands are reliable.

I am pursued without reason. Help me!

119:87 They have almost destroyed me here on the earth,

but I do not reject your precepts.

119:88 Revive me with your loyal love,

that I might keep the rules you have revealed.

Prayer

Lord, no matter my circumstances may I always follow Your precepts rather than allowing the values of the fallen-world to displace Your perfect values.

Scripture In Perspective

Psalm 119 begins with wisdom “How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the Lord.

How blessed are those who observe his rules,

and seek him with all their heart,

who, moreover, do no wrong,

but follow in his footsteps.

You demand that your precepts

be carefully kept.

If only I were predisposed

to keep your statutes!”

From the NET Translator's Notes: “This lengthy psalm exhibits an elaborate acrostic pattern. The psalm is divided into twenty-two sections (corresponding to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet), each of which is comprised of eight verses. Each of the verses in the first section (vv. 1-8) begins with the letter alef (א), the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This pattern continues throughout the psalm as each new section highlights a successive letter of the alphabet. Each verse in section two (vv. 9-16) begins with the second letter of the alphabet, each verse in section three (vv. 17-24) with the third letter, etc. This rigid pattern creates a sense of order and completeness and may have facilitated memorization.”

The author observes that obedience is a choice and reinforcement requires an intentional immersion in the Word “Your statutes have been my songs in the house where I live …”

The author taught felicity to faithful fellow believers “I am a friend to all your loyal followers, and to those who keep your precepts.”

Discipline is chastisement which purpose is to mature, therefore it is an act of love from our perfect Father in Heaven “I know, Lord, that your regulations are just.

The author includes a petition for rescue “I desperately long for your deliverance. I find hope in your word.” and a piece of wisdom “The arrogant dig pits to trap me, which violates your law.”

Strength from hope based on an eternal perspective is reasonable “All your commands are reliable ... They have almost destroyed me here on the earth, but I do not reject your precepts.”

Interact with the text

Consider

As was present throughout the prior Psalms, here once again, is the theme of confidence in the Lord - despite ones circumstances.

Discuss

Why would the author ask the Lord God to turn his eyes away from what is worthless? Couldn't he do that himself?

Reflect

Is it not still the case that some in fellowships “... dig pits to trap” others in order to make themselves look better to other people, which violates the teaching of the Bible – to help those who stumble and to ourselves be humble?

Share

When has it taken some sort of 'affliction' to stop you from 'wandering off'? (“Before I was afflicted I used to stray off, but now I keep your instructions.” 119:67)

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place when you wander off from the Lord..

Act

Today I will confess and repent of my wandering off, seek and accept Your forgiveness, then endeavor to avoid that rebellious conduct (and the thought-life which leads to it).

Be Specific ________________________________________________

Monday (Psalms 71, 94)

71:1 In you, O Lord, I have taken shelter!

Never let me be humiliated!

71:2 Vindicate me by rescuing me!

Listen to me! Deliver me!

71:3 Be my protector and refuge, a stronghold where I can be safe!

For you are my high ridge and my stronghold.

71:4 My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the hand of the cruel oppressor!

71:5 For you give me confidence, O Lord; O Lord, I have trusted in you since I was young.

71:6 I have leaned on you since birth; you pulled me from my mother’s womb. I praise you continually.

71:7 Many are appalled when they see me, but you are my secure shelter.

71:8 I praise you constantly and speak of your splendor all day long.

71:9 Do not reject me in my old age!

When my strength fails, do not abandon me!

71:10 For my enemies talk about me; those waiting for a chance to kill me plot my demise.

71:11 They say, “God has abandoned him. Run and seize him, for there is no one who will rescue him!”

71:12 O God, do not remain far away from me!

My God, hurry and help me!

71:13 May my accusers be humiliated and defeated!

May those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace!

71:14 As for me, I will wait continually, and will continue to praise you.

71:15 I will tell about your justice, and all day long proclaim your salvation, though I cannot fathom its full extent.

71:16 I will come and tell about the mighty acts of the sovereign Lord. I will proclaim your justice – yours alone.

71:17 O God, you have taught me since I was young, and I am still declaring your amazing deeds.

71:18 Even when I am old and gray, O God, do not abandon me, until I tell the next generation about your strength, and those coming after me about your power.

71:19 Your justice, O God, extends to the skies above; you have done great things.

O God, who can compare to you?

71:20 Though you have allowed me to experience much trouble and distress, revive me once again!

Bring me up once again from the depths of the earth!

71:21 Raise me to a position of great honor!

Turn and comfort me!

71:22 I will express my thanks to you with a stringed instrument, praising your faithfulness, O my God!

I will sing praises to you accompanied by a harp, O Holy One of Israel!

71:23 My lips will shout for joy! Yes, I will sing your praises!

I will praise you when you rescue me!

71:24 All day long my tongue will also tell about your justice, for those who want to harm me will be embarrassed and ashamed.

94:1 O Lord, the God who avenges!

O God who avenges, reveal your splendor!

94:2 Rise up, O judge of the earth!

Pay back the proud!

94:3 O Lord, how long will the wicked, how long will the wicked celebrate?

94:4 They spew out threats and speak defiantly; all the evildoers boast.

94:5 O Lord, they crush your people; they oppress the nation that belongs to you.

94:6 They kill the widow and the one residing outside his native land, and they murder the fatherless.

94:7 Then they say, “The Lord does not see this; the God of Jacob does not take notice of it.”

94:8 Take notice of this, you ignorant people!

You fools, when will you ever understand?

94:9 Does the one who makes the human ear not hear?

Does the one who forms the human eye not see?

94:10 Does the one who disciplines the nations not punish?

He is the one who imparts knowledge to human beings!

94:11 The Lord knows that peoples’ thoughts are morally bankrupt.

94:12 How blessed is the one whom you instruct, O Lord, the one whom you teach from your law,

94:13 in order to protect him from times of trouble, until the wicked are destroyed.

94:14 Certainly the Lord does not forsake his people; he does not abandon the nation that belongs to him.

94:15 For justice will prevail, and all the morally upright will be vindicated.

94:16 Who will rise up to defend me against the wicked?

Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?

94:17 If the Lord had not helped me, I would have laid down in the silence of death.

94:18 If I say, “My foot is slipping,” your loyal love, O Lord, supports me.

94:19 When worries threaten to overwhelm me, your soothing touch makes me happy.

94:20 Cruel rulers are not your allies, those who make oppressive laws.

94:21 They conspire against the blameless, and condemn to death the innocent.

94:22 But the Lord will protect me, and my God will shelter me.

94:23 He will pay them back for their sin. He will destroy them because of their evil; the Lord our God will destroy them.

Prayer

Lord, Your justice is perfectly balanced with Your mercy. May I not be as impatient with You as was David, but learn from the sharing of his many Psalms of anxious petition, and rest assured that nothing can touch me if You choose to protect me – and whatever my circumstances You will strengthen and teach me – if I choose to be teachable. You are so far above man in glory and honor that to give You praise is a natural response to our recognition of Who You are. May I read again the words of Your Bible whenever I need to be encouraged to praise and trust You.

Scripture In Perspective

David's seventy-first Psalm contained both petition and praise. He again asked the Lord God to rescue him (and not “forget” him in his “old age”) but he also reflected on a lifetime of relationship with the Lord, declared his intention to continue to give praise, and promised to proclaim the glory and justice and mercy of the Lord if he was restored to health and power.

Psalm Ninety-Four is similar in style to others of David. It combined elements of petition, praise, and wisdom. A unique phrase was “The Lord knows that peoples’ thoughts are morally bankrupt. How blessed is the one whom you instruct, O Lord, the one whom you teach from your law,”

Interact with the text

Consider

David was always an emotional and impatient personality – and it shows in his wild swings of emotion.

Discuss

Why would David fear for his life if he truly believed that he was the Lord God's anointed and that the Lord was sovereign? It is challenging and encouraging to know that the Lord God knows our thoughts and that they are damaged due to our fallen condition, but that He stands ready to “instruct” so that we might get it right?

Reflect

David worried that his errors were having a negative impact on the perceptions of others about the Lord God – and rightly so. It is a great encouragement to know that we are “... under His wings” and that we may “... stand” in times of trouble because He is our strength.

Share

When have you struggled and felt impatient with the Lord God to set you free? Did you later, upon reflection, observe that He delayed because He was teaching you? When have you been in a difficult place and could not have been able to “... stand” in your own strength but recalled these words and were therefore able to stand in His strength?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you something about your walk that the enemy could use to discourage believers and/or those who are considering-Christ, and encourage those who were already predisposed to oppose the Lord and to reveal to you a place where your thoughts tend to go to the wrong place, or become confused, and you need Him to teach you.

Act

Today I will confess and repent my poor witness for Christ, I will accept the Lord's forgiveness, and I will act intentionally to avoid the repetition of that sin. As appropriate I will ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement and to be my accountability-partner to assist me in remaining free of presenting that poor witness. I will humbly accept the teaching of the Lord God through His Word, I will make time to be in His Word, and I will give Him thanks and praise for every time He – the sovereign Lord God of eternity - teaches me.

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Tuesday (1 Kings 1)

Adonijah Tries to Seize the Throne

1:1 King David was very old; even when they covered him with blankets, he could not get warm. 1:2 His servants advised him, “A young virgin must be found for our master, the king, to take care of the king’s needs and serve as his nurse. She can also sleep with you and keep our master, the king, warm.” 1:3 So they looked through all Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 1:4 The young woman was very beautiful; she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not have sexual relations with her.

1:5 Now Adonijah, son of David and Haggith, was promoting himself, boasting, “I will be king!” He managed to acquire chariots and horsemen, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard. 1:6 (Now his father had never corrected him by saying, “Why do you do such things?” He was also very handsome and had been born right after Absalom.) 1:7 He collaborated with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported him. 1:8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s elite warriors did not ally themselves with Adonijah. 1:9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened steers at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, as well as all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 1:10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the elite warriors, or his brother Solomon.

1:11 Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Has it been reported to you that Haggith’s son Adonijah has become king behind our master David’s back? 1:12 Now let me give you some advice as to how you can save your life and your son Solomon’s life. 1:13 Visit King David and say to him, ‘My master, O king, did you not solemnly promise your servant, “Surely your son Solomon will be king after me; he will sit on my throne”? So why has Adonijah become king?’ 1:14 While you are still there speaking to the king, I will arrive and verify your report.”

1:15 So Bathsheba visited the king in his private quarters. (The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) 1:16 Bathsheba bowed down on the floor before the king. The king said, “What do you want?” 1:17 She replied to him, “My master, you swore an oath to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Solomon your son will be king after me and he will sit on my throne.’ 1:18 But now, look, Adonijah has become king! But you, my master the king, are not even aware of it! 1:19 He has sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the commander of the army, but he has not invited your servant Solomon. 1:20 Now, my master, O king, all Israel is watching anxiously to see who is named to succeed my master the king on the throne. 1:21 If a decision is not made, when my master the king is buried with his ancestors, my son Solomon and I will be considered state criminals.”

1:22 Just then, while she was still speaking to the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 1:23 The king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” Nathan entered and bowed before the king with his face to the floor. 1:24 Nathan said, “My master, O king, did you announce, ‘Adonijah will be king after me; he will sit on my throne’? 1:25 For today he has gone down and sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, the army commanders, and Abiathar the priest. At this moment they are having a feast in his presence, and they have declared, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 1:26 But he did not invite me – your servant – or Zadok the priest, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your servant Solomon. 1:27 Has my master the king authorized this without informing your servants who should succeed my master the king on his throne?”

David Picks Solomon as His Successor

1:28 King David responded, “Summon Bathsheba!” She came and stood before the king. 1:29 The king swore an oath: “As certainly as the Lord lives (he who has rescued me from every danger), 1:30 I will keep today the oath I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: ‘Surely Solomon your son will be king after me; he will sit in my place on my throne.’” 1:31 Bathsheba bowed down to the king with her face to the floor and said, “May my master, King David, live forever!”

1:32 King David said, “Summon Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king, 1:33 and he told them, “Take your master’s servants with you, put my son Solomon on my mule, and lead him down to Gihon. 1:34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet will anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet and declare, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 1:35 Then follow him up as he comes and sits on my throne. He will be king in my place; I have decreed that he will be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 1:36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada responded to the king: “So be it! May the Lord God of my master the king confirm it! 1:37 As the Lord is with my master the king, so may he be with Solomon, and may he make him an even greater king than my master King David!”

1:38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites went down, put Solomon on King David’s mule, and led him to Gihon. 1:39 Zadok the priest took a horn filled with olive oil from the tent and poured it on Solomon; the trumpet was blown and all the people declared, “Long live King Solomon!” 1:40 All the people followed him up, playing flutes and celebrating so loudly they made the ground shake.

1:41 Now Adonijah and all his guests heard the commotion just as they had finished eating. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he asked, “Why is there such a noisy commotion in the city?” 1:42 As he was still speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in, for an important man like you must be bringing good news.” 1:43 Jonathan replied to Adonijah: “No! Our master King David has made Solomon king. 1:44 The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites and they put him on the king’s mule. 1:45 Then Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed him king in Gihon. They went up from there rejoicing, and the city is in an uproar. That is the sound you hear. 1:46 Furthermore, Solomon has assumed the royal throne. 1:47 The king’s servants have even come to congratulate our master King David, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon more famous than you and make him an even greater king than you!’ Then the king leaned on the bed 1:48 and said this: ‘The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because today he has placed a successor on my throne and allowed me to see it.’”

1:49 All of Adonijah’s guests panicked; they jumped up and rushed off their separate ways. 1:50 Adonijah feared Solomon, so he got up and went and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 1:51 Solomon was told, “Look, Adonijah fears you; see, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘May King Solomon solemnly promise me today that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’” 1:52 Solomon said, “If he is a loyal subject, not a hair of his head will be harmed, but if he is found to be a traitor, he will die.” 1:53 King Solomon sent men to bring him down from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon told him, “Go home.”

Prayer

Lord, You are sovereign in the affairs of Your people and rebellion always results in harm to the rebellious. May I be careful and prayerful when making decisions so that I do not get out ahead of Your timing and/or apart from Your will.

Scripture In Perspective

When David was old and near death Adonijah decided to follow the model of Absalom and tried to steal the throne from Solomon, the promised successor to David.

Joab, Abiathar the priest, and others followed him, including many of David's other sons, but Nathan and several of the priests, and David's elite warriors did not – they were neither informed nor invited to Adonijah's illegitimate crowning at the temple.

Nathan heard and coordinated with Bathsheba to lead David to intervene, which he did, giving authority and instructions for the immediate crowning of Solomon.

Adonijah, Joab, and those with them were surprised and frightened that they had failed – most fled Adonijah who clung to the horns of the Ark of God and begged for Solomon's mercy, which he granted.

Interact With The Text

Consider

Nathan, the prophet, was God's agent in the mess that Adonijah had created. He knew David could be temperamental and as he had in the original tragedy with Bathsheba he led David, now in partnership with Bathsheba, to make a decisive and right decision.

Discuss

There were multiple occasions when Joab had greater respect for the Lord God's Law than did David, such as the census, and others where he offered wisdom David. Why then did he assist Adonijah in his attempted coup?

Reflect

David created an unstable environment through both his poor decisions and his inexplicable indecision.

Share

When have you had to deal carefully with someone in authority because they were temperamental?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what are currently minor things that require your attention and action so that they do not lead to major trouble.

Act

Today I will prayerfully reflect upon those troubling things that have been brought to my attention, as I have the authority and opportunity I will act decisively, and I will be careful to be gracious as I do so.

Be Specific _________________________________________________

Wednesday (Psalms 119:89-176)

119:89 ל (Lamed)

O Lord, your instructions endure;

they stand secure in heaven.

119:90 You demonstrate your faithfulness to all generations.

You established the earth and it stood firm.

119:91 Today they stand firm by your decrees,

for all things are your servants.

119:92 If I had not found encouragement in your law, I would have died in my sorrow.

119:93 I will never forget your precepts,

for by them you have revived me.

119:94 I belong to you. Deliver me!

For I seek your precepts.

119:95 The wicked prepare to kill me, yet I concentrate on your rules.

119:96 I realize that everything has its limits,

but your commands are beyond full comprehension.

119:97 מ (Mem)

O how I love your law!

All day long I meditate on it.

119:98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,

for I am always aware of them.

119:99 I have more insight than all my teachers,

for I meditate on your rules.

119:100 I am more discerning than those older than I,

for I observe your precepts.

119:101 I stay away from the evil path,

so that I might keep your instructions.

119:102 I do not turn aside from your regulations,

for you teach me.

119:103 Your words are sweeter

in my mouth than honey!

119:104 Your precepts give me discernment.

Therefore I hate all deceitful actions.

119:105 נ (Nun)

Your word is a lamp to walk by,

and a light to illumine my path.

119:106 I have vowed and solemnly sworn

to keep your just regulations.

119:107 I am suffering terribly.

O Lord, revive me with your word!

119:108 O Lord, please accept the freewill offerings of my praise!

Teach me your regulations!

119:109 My life is in continual danger,

but I do not forget your law.

119:110 The wicked lay a trap for me,

but I do not wander from your precepts.

119:111 I claim your rules as my permanent possession,

for they give me joy.

119:112 I am determined to obey your statutes

at all times, to the very end.

119:113 ס (Samek)

I hate people with divided loyalties,

but I love your law.

119:114 You are my hiding place and my shield.

I find hope in your word.

119:115 Turn away from me, you evil men,

so that I can observe the commands of my God.

119:116 Sustain me as you promised, so that I will live.

Do not disappoint me!

119:117 Support me, so that I will be delivered.

Then I will focus on your statutes continually.

119:118 You despise all who stray from your statutes,

for they are deceptive and unreliable.

119:119 You remove all the wicked of the earth like slag.

Therefore I love your rules.

119:120 My body trembles because I fear you;

I am afraid of your judgments.

119:121 ע (Ayin)

I do what is fair and right.

Do not abandon me to my oppressors!

119:122 Guarantee the welfare of your servant!

Do not let the arrogant oppress me!

119:123 My eyes grow tired as I wait for your deliverance,

for your reliable promise to be fulfilled.

119:124 Show your servant your loyal love!

Teach me your statutes!

119:125 I am your servant. Give me insight,

so that I can understand 163 your rules.

119:126 It is time for the Lord to act –

they break your law!

119:127 For this reason I love your commands

more than gold, even purest gold.

119:128 For this reason I carefully follow all your precepts.

I hate all deceitful actions.

119:129 פ (Pe)

Your rules are marvelous.

Therefore I observe them.

119:130 Your instructions are a doorway through which light shines.

They give insight to the untrained.

119:131 I open my mouth and pant,

because I long for your commands.

119:132 Turn toward me and extend mercy to me,

as you typically do to your loyal followers.

119:133 Direct my steps by your word!

Do not let any sin dominate me!

119:134 Deliver me from oppressive men,

so that I can keep your precepts.

119:135 Smile on your servant!

Teach me your statutes!

119:136 Tears stream down from my eyes,

because people do not keep your law.

119:137 צ (Tsade)

You are just, O Lord,

and your judgments are fair.

119:138 The rules you impose are just, and absolutely reliable.

119:139 My zeal consumes me,

for my enemies forget your instructions.

119:140 Your word is absolutely pure,

and your servant loves it!

119:141 I am insignificant and despised,

yet I do not forget your precepts.

119:142 Your justice endures,

and your law is reliable.

119:143 Distress and hardship confront me,

yet I find delight in your commands.

119:144 Your rules remain just.

Give me insight so that I can live.

119:145 ק (Qof)

I cried out with all my heart, “Answer me, O Lord!

I will observe your statutes.”

119:146 I cried out to you, “Deliver me,

so that I can keep your rules.”

119:147 I am up before dawn crying for help.

I find hope in your word.

119:148 My eyes anticipate the nighttime hours,

so that I can meditate on your word.

119:149 Listen to me because of your loyal love!

O Lord, revive me, as you typically do!

119:150 Those who are eager to do wrong draw near;

they are far from your law.

119:151 You are near, O Lord,

and all your commands are reliable.

119:152 I learned long ago that

you ordained your rules to last.

119:153 ר (Resh)

See my pain and rescue me!

For I do not forget your law.

119:154 Fight for me and defend me!

Revive me with your word!

119:155 The wicked have no chance for deliverance,

for they do not seek your statutes.

119:156 Your compassion is great, O Lord.

Revive me, as you typically do!

119:157 The enemies who chase me are numerous.

Yet I do not turn aside from your rules.

119:158 I take note of the treacherous and despise them,

because they do not keep your instructions.

119:159 See how I love your precepts!

O Lord, revive me with your loyal love!

119:160 Your instructions are totally reliable;

all your just regulations endure.

119:161 שׂ/שׁ (Sin/Shin)

Rulers pursue me for no reason,

yet I am more afraid of disobeying your instructions.

119:162 I rejoice in your instructions,

like one who finds much plunder.

119:163 I hate and despise deceit;

I love your law.

119:164 Seven times a day I praise you

because of your just regulations.

119:165 Those who love your law are completely secure;

nothing causes them to stumble.

119:166 I hope for your deliverance, O Lord,

and I obey your commands.

119:167 I keep your rules;

I love them greatly.

119:168 I keep your precepts and rules,

for you are aware of everything I do.

119:169 ת (Tav)

Listen to my cry for help, O Lord!

Give me insight by your word!

119:170 Listen to my appeal for mercy!

Deliver me, as you promised.

119:171 May praise flow freely from my lips,

for you teach me your statutes.

119:172 May my tongue sing about your instructions,

for all your commands are just.

119:173 May your hand help me,

for I choose to obey your precepts.

119:174 I long for your deliverance, O Lord;

I find delight in your law.

119:175 May I live and praise you!

May your regulations help me!

119:176 I have wandered off like a lost sheep.

Come looking for your servant,

for I do not forget your commands.

Prayer

Lord, “Your word is a lamp to walk by, and a light to illumine my path.” No matter my circumstances may I always follow Your light rather than looking to the world for direction.

Scripture In Perspective

The creation is not the equal of the Creator “I realize that everything has its limits,  but your commands are beyond full comprehension.” God's truth is valuable “Your word is a lamp to walk by,  and a light to illumine my path.”

A right response “O Lord, please accept the freewill offerings of my praise!” And the author concluded with a final petition “I have wandered off like a lost sheep. Come looking for your servant, for I do not forget your commands.”

Interact With The Text

Consider

As is present throughout the Psalms is again the theme of confidence in the Lord, despite ones circumstances.

Discuss

What is the difference between a “lamp” and a “light”? (Consider that a “lamp” provides somewhat specific direction whereas “light”, as in 'the light of day' may refer to a more general presence.)

Reflect

Parallel with his often immature poor decision making David's heart constantly returned to give praise to the Lord God for His loving care.

Share

When have you, or someone you know, wandered off like a lost sheep and the Lord came looking for you?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to the value-added in your life from the discipline of “Seven times a day I praise you because of your just regulations.”?

Act

Today, and all this week, I will practice the discipline of giving praise to the Lord, seven times daily. Not as a religious ritual or a pagan chant but rather pausing and praising, after reflecting upon the time passed since the prior praise-pause, contemplating what may need to be confessed and repented of.

Be Specific ________________________________________________

Thursday (Psalms 72, 1 Kings 2)

Psalm 72

72:1 For Solomon.

O God, grant the king the ability to make just decisions!

Grant the king’s son the ability to make fair decisions!

72:2 Then he will judge your people fairly, and your oppressed ones equitably.

72:3 The mountains will bring news of peace to the people, and the hills will announce justice.

72:4 He will defend the oppressed among the people; he will deliver the children of the poor and crush the oppressor.

72:5 People will fear you as long as the sun and moon remain in the sky, for generation after generation.

72:6 He will descend like rain on the mown grass, like showers that drench the earth.

72:7 During his days the godly will flourish; peace will prevail as long as the moon remains in the sky.

72:8 May he rule from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth!

72:9 Before him the coastlands will bow down, and his enemies will lick the dust.

72:10 The kings of Tarshish and the coastlands will offer gifts; the kings of Sheba and Seba will bring tribute.

72:11 All kings will bow down to him; all nations will serve him.

72:12 For he will rescue the needy when they cry out for help, and the oppressed who have no defender.

72:13 He will take pity on the poor and needy; the lives of the needy he will save.

72:14 From harm and violence he will defend them; he will value their lives.

72:15 May he live! May they offer him gold from Sheba!

May they continually pray for him!

May they pronounce blessings on him all day long!

72:16 May there be an abundance of grain in the earth; on the tops of the mountains may it sway!

May its fruit trees flourish like the forests of Lebanon!

May its crops be as abundant as the grass of the earth!

72:17 May his fame endure!

May his dynasty last as long as the sun remains in the sky!

May they use his name when they formulate their blessings!

May all nations consider him to be favored by God!

72:18 The Lord God, the God of Israel, deserves praise!

He alone accomplishes amazing things!

72:19 His glorious name deserves praise forevermore!

May his majestic splendor fill the whole earth!

We agree! We agree!

72:20 This collection of the prayers of David son of Jesse ends here.

David’s Final Words to Solomon

2:1 When David was close to death, he told Solomon his son: 2:2 “I am about to die. Be strong and become a man! 2:3 Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you by following his instructions and obeying his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish, 2:4 and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me, ‘If your descendants watch their step and live faithfully in my presence with all their heart and being, then,’ he promised, ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

2:5 “You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me – how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet. 2:6 Do to him what you think is appropriate, but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death.

2:7 “Treat fairly the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, because they helped me when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.

2:8 “Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down with the sword.’ 2:9 But now don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him; make sure he has a bloody death.”

2:10 Then David passed away and was buried in the city of David. 2:11 David reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years, and in Jerusalem thirty-three years.

Solomon Secures the Throne

2:12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his royal authority was firmly solidified.

2:13 Haggith’s son Adonijah visited Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He answered, “Yes.” 2:14 He added, “I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 2:15 He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine and all Israel considered me king. But then the kingdom was given to my brother, for the Lord decided it should be his. 2:16 Now I’d like to ask you for just one thing. Please don’t refuse me.” She said, “Go ahead and ask.” 2:17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon if he would give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife, for he won’t refuse you.” 2:18 Bathsheba replied, “That’s fine, I’ll speak to the king on your behalf.”

2:19 So Bathsheba visited King Solomon to speak to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to greet her, bowed to her, and then sat on his throne. He ordered a throne to be brought for the king’s mother, and she sat at his right hand. 2:20 She said, “I would like to ask you for just one small favor. Please don’t refuse me.” He said, “Go ahead and ask, my mother, for I would not refuse you.” 2:21 She said, “Allow Abishag the Shunammite to be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 2:22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him? Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!”

2:23 King Solomon then swore an oath by the Lord, “May God judge me severely, if Adonijah does not pay for this request with his life! 2:24 Now, as certainly as the Lord lives (he who made me secure, allowed me to sit on my father David’s throne, and established a dynasty for me as he promised), Adonijah will be executed today!” 2:25 King Solomon then sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed Adonijah.

2:26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your property in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but today I will not kill you because you did carry the ark of the sovereign Lord before my father David and you suffered with my father through all his difficult times.” 2:27 Solomon dismissed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, fulfilling the decree of judgment the Lord made in Shiloh against the family of Eli.

2:28 When the news reached Joab (for Joab had supported Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom), he ran to the tent of the Lord and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 2:29 When King Solomon heard that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord and was right there beside the altar, he ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, “Go, strike him down.” 2:30 When Benaiah arrived at the tent of the Lord, he said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’” But he replied, “No, I will die here!” So Benaiah sent word to the king and reported Joab’s reply. 2:31 The king told him, “Do as he said! Strike him down and bury him. Take away from me and from my father’s family the guilt of Joab’s murderous, bloody deeds. 2:32 May the Lord punish him for the blood he shed; behind my father David’s back he struck down and murdered with the sword two men who were more innocent and morally upright than he – Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 2:33 May Joab and his descendants be perpetually guilty of their shed blood, but may the Lord give perpetual peace to David, his descendants, his family, and his dynasty.” 2:34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and executed Joab; he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 2:35 The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada to take his place at the head of the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest to take Abiathar’s place.

2:36 Next the king summoned Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there – but you may not leave there to go anywhere! 2:37 If you ever do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die! You will be responsible for your own death.” 2:38 Shimei said to the king, “My master the king’s proposal is acceptable. Your servant will do as you say.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.

2:39 Three years later two of Shimei’s servants ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Look, your servants are in Gath.” 2:40 So Shimei got up, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to find his servants; Shimei went and brought back his servants from Gath. 2:41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had then returned, 2:42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “You will recall that I made you take an oath by the Lord, and I solemnly warned you, ‘If you ever leave and go anywhere, know for sure that you will certainly die.’ You said to me, ‘The proposal is acceptable; I agree to it.’ 2:43 Why then have you broken the oath you made before the Lord and disobeyed the order I gave you?” 2:44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You are well aware of the way you mistreated my father David. The Lord will punish you for what you did. 2:45 But King Solomon will be empowered and David’s dynasty will endure permanently before the Lord.” 2:46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada who went and executed Shimei.

So Solomon took firm control of the kingdom.

Prayer

Lord, You are sovereign in the affairs of Your people and rebellion always results in harm to the rebellious. May I be careful and prayerful when making decisions so that I do not get out ahead of Your timing and/or apart from Your will. Knew perfectly who Solomon could trust, and who had committed past crimes and were due justice. May I listen closely when You tell me who I may need to remove from a closest circle of associates if there be some who will be distractions from Your plan for my life.

Scripture In Perspective

David's seventy-second Psalm was the wishful and prophetic prayer of David for his heir and son Solomon.

David counseled Solomon that Joab had been too free to act without consulting in killing other leaders under David's authority and should be punished with death soon, and that Shimei also deserved an early death, only not by the sword.

David further counseled Solomon to follow the Law of Moses closely so that he would be blessed, he would be a blessing to the people, and he would have a kingdom to pass on to his descendants. Then David died.

Adonijah presented himself to Bathsheba, arrogantly declaring that he had been king of Israel (as if that had been legitimate), but then was displaced by God in favor of Solomon. He asked Bathsheba to request that Solomon give David's last concubine, the one who warmed him in his last days but with whom he had no sexual relationship, to him as his wife.

When Bathsheba presented this request to Solomon declared his request to be the same as if he were requesting the throne, and for this additional act of rebellion he sent Benaiah to execute him. Solomon also had Joab executed by Benaiah as David had advised.

Shimei was given the opportunity to live in Jerusalem but was not allowed to travel, he violated his commitment not to travel, and received the punishment of death – which he knew was the consequence and which David had recommended to Solomon.

Abithar the priest, a descendant of Eli, was dismissed by Solomon, ending the role of Eli's family in the priesthood as was prophesied. Zadok the priest took Abiathar’s place.

Interact With The Text

Consider

Nathan, the prophet, was God's agent in the mess that Adonijah had created. He knew David could be temperamental. As he had in the original tragedy with Bathsheba he led David, now in partnership with Bathsheba, to make a decisive and right decision. Abithar, Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei had to know that their days were numbered.

Discuss

There were multiple occasions when Joab had greater respect for the Lord God's Law than did David, such as the census and others moments where he offered wisdom to David. Why then did he assist Adonijah in his attempted coup, was he presuming that the oldest should automatically be king, as in other nations? Why would Adonijah think that Solomon would give his father's concubine to him, very young and still a virgin (perhaps the only undefiled concubine or wife of David), after he had tried to steal the throne?

Reflect

David counseled Solomon to act decisively in two areas; execute two men whom David believed represented unresolved sins against God, and to keep himself close to God's law. Solomon appears to have begun his reign as a clear-headed and decisive young man.

Share

When have you had to deal carefully with someone in authority because they were temperamental? When have you experienced or observed a new leader consolidating authority by changing those in high positions of responsibility?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you influences that are a threat to your righteous living before the Lord God, to show you what actions you need to take to hold yourself close to Him, and a significant influence in your life with whom you may need to set new boundaries.

Act

Today I will prayerfully inventory the activities in my life as the Holy Spirit points out that which may distract me from His priorities. As quickly as is possible I will alter my activities to intentionally diminish distractions. I also will prayerfully assess those with a significant influence on my life. I will set limiting-boundaries on those who do not reinforce God's priorities and make an effort to spend more time with those who do.

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Friday (1 Kings 3, 2 Chronicles 1)

The Lord Gives Solomon Wisdom

3:1 Solomon made an alliance by marriage with Pharaoh, king of Egypt; he married Pharaoh’s daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he could finish building his residence and the temple of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 3:2 Now the people were offering sacrifices at the high places, because in those days a temple had not yet been built to honor the Lord. 3:3 Solomon demonstrated his loyalty to the Lord by following the practices of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

3:4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for it had the most prominent of the high places. Solomon would offer up a thousand burnt sacrifices on the altar there. 3:5 One night in Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream. God said, “Tell me what I should give you.” 3:6 Solomon replied, “You demonstrated great loyalty to your servant, my father David, as he served you faithfully, properly, and sincerely. You have maintained this great loyalty to this day by allowing his son to sit on his throne. 3:7 Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in my father David’s place, even though I am only a young man and am inexperienced. 3:8 Your servant stands among your chosen people; they are a great nation that is too numerous to count or number. 3:9 So give your servant a discerning mind so he can make judicial decisions for your people and distinguish right from wrong. Otherwise no one is able to make judicial decisions for this great nation of yours.” 3:10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon made this request. 3:11 God said to him, “Because you asked for the ability to make wise judicial decisions, and not for long life, or riches, or vengeance on your enemies, 3:12 I grant your request, and give you a wise and discerning mind superior to that of anyone who has preceded or will succeed you. 3:13 Furthermore, I am giving you what you did not request – riches and honor so that you will be the greatest king of your generation. 3:14 If you follow my instructions by obeying my rules and regulations, just as your father David did, then I will grant you long life.” 3:15 Solomon then woke up and realized it was a dream. He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant, offered up burnt sacrifices, presented peace offerings, and held a feast for all his servants.

Solomon Demonstrates His Wisdom

3:16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 3:17 One of the women said, “My master, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was with me in the house. 3:18 Then three days after I had my baby, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one else in the house except the two of us. 3:19 This woman’s child suffocated during the night when she rolled on top of him. 3:20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your servant was sleeping. She put him in her arms, and put her dead son in my arms. 3:21 I got up in the morning to nurse my son, and there he was, dead! But when I examined him carefully in the morning, I realized it was not my baby.” 3:22 The other woman said, “No! My son is alive; your son is dead!” But the first woman replied, “No, your son is dead; my son is alive.” Each presented her case before the king.

3:23 The king said, “One says, ‘My son is alive; your son is dead,’ while the other says, ‘No, your son is dead; my son is alive.’” 3:24 The king ordered, “Get me a sword!” So they placed a sword before the king. 3:25 The king then said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other!” 3:26 The real mother spoke up to the king, for her motherly instincts were aroused. She said, “My master, give her the living child! Whatever you do, don’t kill him!” But the other woman said, “Neither one of us will have him! Let them cut him in two!” 3:27 The king responded, “Give the first woman the living child; don’t kill him. She is the mother.” 3:28 When all Israel heard about the judicial decision which the king had rendered, they respected the king, for they realized that he possessed supernatural wisdom to make judicial decisions.

The Lord Gives Solomon Wisdom

1:1 Solomon son of David solidified his royal authority, for the Lord his God was with him and magnified him greatly.

1:2 Solomon addressed all Israel, including those who commanded units of a thousand and a hundred, the judges, and all the leaders of all Israel who were heads of families. 1:3 Solomon and the entire assembly went to the worship center in Gibeon, for the tent where they met God was located there, which Moses the Lord’s servant had made in the wilderness. 1:4 (Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. 1:5 But the bronze altar made by Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, was in front of the Lord’s tabernacle. Solomon and the entire assembly prayed to him there.) 1:6 Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the Lord which was at the meeting tent, and he offered up a thousand burnt sacrifices.

1:7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Tell me what I should give you.” 1:8 Solomon replied to God, “You demonstrated great loyalty to my father David and have made me king in his place. 1:9 Now, Lord God, may your promise to my father David be realized, for you have made me king over a great nation as numerous as the dust of the earth. 1:10 Now give me wisdom and discernment so I can effectively lead this nation. Otherwise no one is able to make judicial decisions for this great nation of yours.”

1:11 God said to Solomon, “Because you desire this, and did not ask for riches, wealth, and honor, or for vengeance on your enemies, and because you did not ask for long life, but requested wisdom and discernment so you can make judicial decisions for my people over whom I have made you king, 1:12 you are granted wisdom and discernment. Furthermore I am giving you riches, wealth, and honor surpassing that of any king before or after you.”

1:13 Solomon left the meeting tent at the worship center in Gibeon and went to Jerusalem, where he reigned over Israel.

Solomon’s Wealth

1:14 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept them in assigned cities and in Jerusalem. 1:15 The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones; cedar was as plentiful as sycamore fig trees are in the lowlands. 1:16 Solomon acquired his horses from Egypt and from Que; the king’s traders purchased them from Que. 1:17 They paid 600 silver pieces for each chariot from Egypt, and 150 silver pieces for each horse. They also sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria.

Prayer

Lord, You give good gifts, but Your children do not always use them to Your glory. May I take regular inventory of the gifts You have given to be sure I have not drifted from Your intended purpose.

Scripture In Perspective

Solomon was well-intentioned, though immature, so he married Pharaoh's daughter as part of a peace treaty. He then copied the people who offered sacrifices to God in “the high places”, which had historically been for pagan false gods, rather than at the Ark of God.

God spoke to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he desired. Solomon replied that he desired wisdom to lead with justice. For his self-less request God granted exceptional wisdom as well as exceptional power and wealth.

Solomon inherited his father, David's, predisposition to speak and write in extremes, so his representation of his father as a flawless leader was clearly not historical but rather rhetorical.

Solomon's first public demonstration of God's gift of wisdom was discerning the true mother between two prostitutes with competing claims to a baby.

The Lord God asked Solomon what he desired as the new king of Israel, and as David had encouraged, he asked for wisdom to lead – which the Lord God granted, along with fame, power, and wealth – because Solomon had not asked for those.

Interact With The Text

Consider

What Solomon lacked in life experience he made up for in wisdom from the Lord God.

Discuss

Why was Solomon so obsessed with the acquisition of worldly things?

Reflect

Solomon married the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh before he received the gift of exceptional wisdom from the Lord.

Share

When have you observed someone exercising great wisdom because they first consult the Lord in prayer and His guidance in the Word?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place where you may be seeking peace in a way that sows the seeds of future confusion.

Act

I agree to prayerfully assess associations which may include value systems in opposition to those of the Lord God and which will, in the future, create conflict. I will take the necessary steps to remove myself from agreements and contracts that make me 'unequally-yoked' to contradictory values.

Be Specific _____________________________________________

Saturday (1 Kings 4, Psalms 37)

Solomon’s Royal Court and Administrators

4:1 King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 4:2 These were his officials:

Azariah son of Zadok was the priest.

4:3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, wrote down what happened.

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records.

4:4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of the army.

Zadok and Abiathar were priests.

4:5 Azariah son of Nathan was supervisor of the district governors.

Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and adviser to the king.

4:6 Ahishar was supervisor of the palace.

Adoniram son of Abda was supervisor of the work crews.

4:7 Solomon had twelve district governors appointed throughout Israel who acquired supplies for the king and his palace. Each was responsible for one month in the year. 4:8 These were their names:

Ben-Hur was in charge of the hill country of Ephraim.

4:9 Ben-Deker was in charge of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan.

4:10 Ben-Hesed was in charge of Arubboth; he controlled Socoh and all the territory of Hepher.

4:11 Ben-Abinadab was in charge of Naphath Dor. (He was married to Solomon’s daughter Taphath.)

4:12 Baana son of Ahilud was in charge of Taanach and Megiddo, as well as all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah and on past Jokmeam.

4:13 Ben-Geber was in charge of Ramoth Gilead; he controlled the tent villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan, including sixty large walled cities with bronze bars locking their gates.

4:14 Ahinadab son of Iddo was in charge of Mahanaim.

4:15 Ahimaaz was in charge of Naphtali. (He married Solomon’s daughter Basemath.)

4:16 Baana son of Hushai was in charge of Asher and Aloth.

4:17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was in charge of Issachar.

4:18 Shimei son of Ela was in charge of Benjamin.

4:19 Geber son of Uri was in charge of the land of Gilead (the territory which had once belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites and to King Og of Bashan). He was sole governor of the area.

Solomon’s Wealth and Fame

4:20 The people of Judah and Israel were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore; they had plenty to eat and drink and were happy. 4:21 (5:1) Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms paid tribute as Solomon’s subjects throughout his lifetime. 4:22 Each day Solomon’s royal court consumed thirty cors of finely milled flour, sixty cors of cereal, 4:23 ten calves fattened in the stall, twenty calves from the pasture, and a hundred sheep, not to mention rams, gazelles, deer, and well-fed birds. 4:24 His royal court was so large because he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah to Gaza; he was at peace with all his neighbors. 4:25 All the people of Judah and Israel had security; everyone from Dan to Beer Sheba enjoyed the produce of their vines and fig trees throughout Solomon’s lifetime. 4:26 Solomon had 4,000 stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. 4:27 The district governors acquired supplies for King Solomon and all who ate in his royal palace. Each was responsible for one month in the year; they made sure nothing was lacking. 4:28 Each one also brought to the assigned location his quota of barley and straw for the various horses.

4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment; the breadth of his understanding was as infinite as the sand on the seashore. 4:30 Solomon was wiser than all the men of the east and all the sages of Egypt. 4:31 He was wiser than any man, including Ethan the Ezrahite or Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He was famous in all the neighboring nations. 4:32 He composed 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 4:33 He produced manuals on botany, describing every kind of plant, from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on walls. He also produced manuals on biology, describing animals, birds, insects, and fish. 4:34 People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s display of wisdom; they came from all the kings of the earth who heard about his wisdom.

Psalm 37

37:1 By David. Do not fret when wicked men seem to succeed!

Do not envy evildoers!

37:2 For they will quickly dry up like grass, and wither away like plants.

37:3 Trust in the Lord and do what is right!

Settle in the land and maintain your integrity!

37:4 Then you will take delight in the Lord, and he will answer your prayers.

37:5 Commit your future to the Lord!

Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf.

37:6 He will vindicate you in broad daylight, and publicly defend your just cause.

37:7 Wait patiently for the Lord!

Wait confidently for him!

Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner, a man who carries out wicked schemes!

37:8 Do not be angry and frustrated!

Do not fret! That only leads to trouble!

37:9 Wicked men will be wiped out, but those who rely on the Lord are the ones who will possess the land.

37:10 Evil men will soon disappear; you will stare at the spot where they once were, but they will be gone.

37:11 But the oppressed will possess the land and enjoy great prosperity.

37:12 Evil men plot against the godly and viciously attack them.

37:13 The Lord laughs in disgust at them, for he knows that their day is coming.

37:14 Evil men draw their swords and prepare their bows, to bring down the oppressed and needy, and to slaughter those who are godly.

37:15 Their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

37:16 The little bit that a godly man owns is better than the wealth of many evil men,

37:17 for evil men will lose their power, but the Lord sustains the godly.

37:18 The Lord watches over the innocent day by day and they possess a permanent inheritance.

37:19 They will not be ashamed when hard times come; when famine comes they will have enough to eat.

37:20 But evil men will die; the Lord’s enemies will be incinerated – they will go up in smoke.

37:21 Evil men borrow, but do not repay their debt, but the godly show compassion and are generous.

37:22 Surely those favored by the Lord will possess the land, but those rejected by him will be wiped out.

37:23 The Lord grants success to the one whose behavior he finds commendable.

37:24 Even if he trips, he will not fall headlong, for the Lord holds his hand.

37:25 I was once young, now I am old. I have never seen a godly man abandoned, or his children forced to search for food.

37:26 All day long he shows compassion and lends to others, and his children are blessed.

37:27 Turn away from evil! Do what is right!

Then you will enjoy lasting security.

37:28 For the Lord promotes justice, and never abandons his faithful followers. They are permanently secure, but the children of evil men are wiped out.

37:29 The godly will possess the land and will dwell in it permanently.

37:30 The godly speak wise words and promote justice.

37:31 The law of their God controls their thinking; their feet do not slip.

37:32 Evil men set an ambush for the godly and try to kill them.

37:33 But the Lord does not surrender the godly, or allow them to be condemned in a court of law.

37:34 Rely on the Lord! Obey his commands!

Then he will permit you to possess the land; you will see the demise of evil men.

37:35 I have seen ruthless evil men growing in influence, like a green tree grows in its native soil.

37:36 But then one passes by, and suddenly they have disappeared!

I looked for them, but they could not be found.

37:37 Take note of the one who has integrity! Observe the godly!

For the one who promotes peace has a future.

37:38 Sinful rebels are totally destroyed; evil men have no future.

37:39 But the Lord delivers the godly; he protects them in times of trouble.

37:40 The Lord helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from evil men and delivers them, for they seek his protection.

Prayer

Lord, You bless us ever though we are imperfect in actions and in faith, because of the sacrifice of Jesus. May I trust You to provide perfectly, whether I understand in the moment or not.

Scripture In Perspective

Solomon's royal court divided responsibilities for the administration of the royal activities as well as oversight of the regions of the nation among a list of trusted men.

Solomon ruled most of the civilized world and they all paid tribute, so his court (including representatives from all of them) was massive, and his wealth equally great. There was peace and prosperity for most, though there were many who labored hard to serve the king and to earn the tribute paid from other subject-nations.

David's thirty-seventh Psalm was a wisdom-song wherein David encouraged the faithful to not allow the apparent well-being of evil men to make them feel hopeless. He compared and contrasted the future of evil men with that of righteous men.

Interact With The Text

Consider

With so many people around him to handle the details, and peace and prosperity in the land, Solomon had lots of time, and essentially-unlimited resources, to be creative.

Discuss

Why is it so important to not obsess about the circumstances of others, especially those who appear evil yet who profit?

Reflect

When David was in the grip of evil men he chose not to respond to their insults and taunts but instead chose to communicate with the Lord God.

Share

When have you been under attack from 'evil men' and either responded to them or chose to be silent and to only communicate with the Lord God? How have the different paths turned out?

Faith In Action

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a circumstance where you are under attack by 'man'.

Act

Today I will choose not to respond in-kind to an 'evil man' who has or is attacking me, serving the enemy as his delegated-accuser, and will instead pray, read the Bible, and perhaps journal the experience and how the Lord God brings me through.

Be Specific _________________________________________________

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated - http://bible.org

Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.

Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.

Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study. Prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.org in August of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.