1 Kings 3:13

Solomon was never more kingly than when he made this choice. Subsequently he became enervated by prosperity, corrupted by heathen associations, etc., but now he ruled as a king over himself. The bright promise of life is often gradually overcast, till it ends in the gloom of a hopeless night. Examples from Scripture, e.g., Saul the King, Esau. It is well to know the kind of choice that "pleased the Lord." In Solomon's there was true wisdom, for it had these elements -

I. THE CHOICE WAS FOR THE GOOD OF OTHERS RATHER THAN FOR THE ADVANTAGE OF HIMSELF. It was not like asking for knowledge and wisdom that he might himself be admired as a sage. This followed, but this he did not seek. He wished to rule God's people well for their good, and asked that he might do what was just in judgment, what was equitable in law. Such equity establishes any rule on a sure foundation. Our hold on India is chiefly due to the righteousness of our magistrates, and the trustworthiness of men like the Lawrences, Lord Mayo, etc. Natives would not hesitate to bring an action in one of our English law courts against an Englishman, so certain are they of even-handed justice. This Solomon sought, and the peace and prosperity of his kingdom (1 Kings 4:25) arose from the fact that God gave it him. To ask God to make us wise and capable for the sake of others, is a prayer consonant with His will. Unselfishness is commended and exalted under the new dispensation as it never was under the old. Christ Himself came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life "a ransom for many." The prayer of selfishness, greed, avarice, can never be put up in Christ's name.

II. THE CHOICE WAS MADE OF INWARD WORTH AND NOT OF OUTWARD SHOW. He did not ask for himself riches and honour. What will make us noble is always more readily given by God than what will make us wealthy. A wise father would rather that his son should be truthful than that he should win popularity among his schoolfellows by anything surreptitious and deceitful. So our heavenly Father cares little that we should make money, or win applause; but He cares much that we should be wise, and true, and loving; and these graces He will in no wise withhold from those who seek. Sometimes He answers our prayers for these inward blessings in modes we resent. The illness that throws us back upon Him, the failure that proves a man's life does not consist in the abundance of things that he possesseth, etc., may work in us the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The Lord Jesus, who was at once the King of Glory and the village carpenter, showed us this; and in the inward gladness His disciples experienced amid their outward woes, we have confirmation of it. Show how, in New Testament history, and in the lives of the saints, the words which begin the Sermon on the Mount have been fulfilled. Blessedness of the highest kind comes to the poor in spirit, to them that mourn, to the meek, to them which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, to the merciful, to the pure in heart, to the peacemakers, and even to those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.

III. THE CHOICE MADE OF THE HIGHER BROUGHT WITH IT THE LOWER BLESSINGS, (Vers. 11-13) Because Solomon asked wisdom God gave him that, but added to it wealth and honour. If we ask grace to fulfil our mission, and rightly do our life work, our heavenly Father will see that we do not want for life's necessities. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." The teaching of Christ (Matthew 6:24-34) goes to show that a man who is chiefly concerned to please God need have no anxiety or care about lower things. If God feeds the birds, He will feed you; if He clothes the lilies, He will clothe you; if He gives the life, He will give the "meat" that is less than life. Ask God for the higher blessings: pardon, righteousness, reverence, wisdom, etc., and He will give you not only these, but all things necessary for us, and all the riches and honours that are good for us. Solomon's wisdom was great, but there has come into the world one greater than Solomon, more worthy far of our adoration and love. As the child in Nazareth, Jesus grew in wisdom, and in stature, and in favour with God and man. His wisdom was purer, deeper, truer than Solomon's, because it was united with purity of life, with victory over sin, and with sacrifice of self. He is the true Shelomoh, "the Prince of Peace;" the true Jedidiah, "the well beloved of the Father;" and to Him now let us humbly bow the knee, as to One worthy to be exalted both as Prince and Saviour. - A.R.

There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah.
In all the course of my acquaintance with Sir Robert Peel, I never knew a man in whose truth and justice I had a more lively confidence. In the whole course of my communication with him, I never knew an instance in which he did not show the strongest attachment to truth, and I never saw, in the whole course of my life, the smallest reason for suspecting that he stated anything which he did not firmly believe to be the fact.

(The Duke of Wellington.)

I. YOU ARE IN DANGER OF COMMITTING AHAB'S FOLLY, IN THE CHOICE OF YOUR ACQUAINTANCES AND FRIENDS. You find some ready to give you countenance, by their example and conversation, in all the evil which your heart desires; willing, whatever be your besetting sin, to help you in excusing it to your conscience; forward, however unholy be your enterprise, to say with the false prophets of Samaria, "Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king" (Ver. 6) There are others who warn you of evil, who recommend you to desist from sinful courses, whose very example is a reproof to you, though their tongue be silent; Now which sort of friends do you most highly esteem?

II. A LIVELY WARNING AGAINST THE UNWISE CONDUCT OF MANY PERSONS IN THE CHOICE OF THEIR RELIGION. But be ye well assured, that one kind of religion only can be right; and that this must be one which prophesieth evil concerning you, which tells you that you are lost if you sin, and which bids you seek for heaven, not by show of piety, not by dissension one with another, not by resorting to images, and saints, and masses; but by secret wrestling with your own desires, by fervent spiritual prayer, and by painful denial of yourselves, in the faith and by the strength of Jesus Christ your Saviour.

III. TO PROFESS THE RIGHT FAITH IS ONE THING; TO APPLY IT RIGHTLY IN OUR PRACTICE IS ANOTHER. It may be you fall not into the error of running after false systems of faith, and yet regard not as you ought to do the prophets of the truth. And into this error you may fall, either in regard to the public preaching, or to the private exhortations, of the ministers of religion. "He doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil," is a reflection with which you often probably return home from church.

(C. Girdlestone, M. A.)

When Archbishop Abbot was visited by one of James I.'s emissaries, who came to persuade him to do evil to please the court, he stood boldly in defiance of the royal request, and asked: "Shall I, to please King James, and to shelter and satisfy his vile favourites, shall I send my soul to hell? No, I will not do it!" So he stood alone in that unholy court, and sought to be true to the King of kings. The price for becoming traitor to God is too great for us to afford

(H. O. Mackey.).

I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil
I. A GUILTY CONSCIENCE MAKES MEN FEAR THE TRUTH. And yet, how senseless and impolitic is this! Whatever the reality of things may be, is it not better that we should know it, rather than live in a fool's paradise of flattering self-delusions, crying, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace? It was a wise and noble spirit that said, "I will seek after the truth, by which no man was ever injured." We have mastered one of the grandest lessons of life when we have learnt to welcome the truth from whatever quarter it may come.

II. FEAR OF TRUTH MAY OFTEN DEVELOP INTO PERSONAL HATE OF HIM WHO IS THE MESSENGER AND MINISTER OF IT. "I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." There is nothing strange in this. A very subtle connection exists between the conditions of mind here indicated. Fear leads to hate, and is itself a form of hate. The feeling of aversion is readily transferred from the thing dreaded to him who is the means of bringing it upon us; .and when a man hates the light, he is not likely to have much love for the human medium through whom it shines.

III. Divine laws and purposes are surely accomplished, in spite of human fear and hate. The "lying spirit" in the pretended prophets may utter its persuasive flatteries (ver. 22); Zedekiah may add violence to falsity (ver. 24); Micaiah may be imprisoned and fed with "the bread and water of affliction" (ver. 27), — but the fatal decree has gone forth, and must be fulfilled. The king shall return no more from Ramoth-Gilead.

(J. Waite, B. A.)

Many an objector to Christianity in our day, if he said out what he really thinks, would say, "I disbelieve Christianity, because it does not prophecy good concerning me, but evil; it makes such serious demands, it sets up so high a standard, it implies that so much I say and do is a great mistake that I must away with it. I cannot do and be what it enjoins without doing violence to my inclinations, to my fixed habits of life and thought." This, before his conversion, was the case with the great . Augustine tells us in his Confessions how completely he was enchained by his passions, and how, after lie had become intellectually satisfied of the truth of the creed of the Christian Church, he was held back from conversion by the fear that he would have to give up so much to which he was attached. In the end, we know, through God's grace he broke his chains — those chains which held poor Ahab captive. In such cases lasting self-deceit is only too easy. Men treat what is only a warp of the will as if it were a difficulty of the understanding, while the real agent — ought I not to say the real culprit? — is almost always the will. The will sees religion advancing to claim the allegiance of the will, it sees that to admit this claim will oblige it to forego much, and to do much that is unwelcome to flesh and blood, and so it makes an effort to clog or to hinder the direct action of the understanding. Its public language is, "I cannot accept religion because it makes this or that assertion, which to my mind is open to historical or philosophical or moral objections of a decisive character"; but, if it saw deeper into itself, it would say, "I dislike this creed, for it doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil, while I continue to live as I do."

(Canon Liddon.)

"It was an old joke against Lord Islay, who formerly lived at Hounslow, that ordering his gardener to cut an avenue to open a view, the landscape disclosed a gibbet with a thief on it; and several members of the Campbell family having died with their shoes on, the prospect awoke such ominous and unpleasant reminiscences that Lord Islay instantly ordered the avenue to be closed up again with a clump of thick Scotch firs." The amusing incident has a moral side of it. Certain doctrines of the Gospel bear very heavily upon proud human nature, and therefore many are determined to block up the view which they open up. Curiosity impelled them to hear, but perceiving that the truth condemns them they wish to hear no more. The preacher's teaching would be all very well, but it brings sin to remembrance and reveals the hell which will follow it, and therefore the self-convicted hearer cannot abide it. It is, however, no joke to block up our view of eternity. The gibbet is there even if the sinner refuses to see it.

(Sword and Trowel.)

The class of sermons which, according to Mr. Gladstone, is most needed, is the class one of which so offended Lord Melbourne tong ago. He was one day seen coming from a church in the country in a great fume. Meeting a friend, he exclaimed, "It is too bad! I have always been a supporter of the Church, and I have always upheld the clergy. But it is really too bad to have to listen to a sermon like that we have had this morning. Why, the preacher actually insisted upon applying religion to a man's private life!"


The truth which a man or a generation requires most is the truth which he or they like least; and the true Christian teacher's adaptation of his message will consist quite as much in opposing the desires and contradicting the lies, as in seeking to meet the felt wants of the world. Nauseous medicines or sharp lancets are adapted to the sick man quite as truly as pleasant food and soothing ointment.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

A sailor just off to a whaling expedition asked where he could hear a good sermon. On his return from the church his friend asked him, "How did you like the sermon?" "Not much, it was like a ship leaving for the whale fishing; everything shipshape; anchors, cordage, sails, and provisions all right, but there were no harpoons on board."

One excuse a man makes for not heeding the message is, "I did not like the man himself; I did not like the minister; I did not like the man who blew the trumpet, I had a personal dislike to him, and so I did not take any notice of what the trumpet said." Verily, God will say to thee at the last, "Thou fool, what hadst thou to do with that man; to his own master he stands or falls; thy business was with thyself." What would you think of a man? A man has fallen overboard from a ship, and when he is drowning some sailor throws him a rope, and there it is. "Well," he says, "in the first place. I do not like that rope; I do not think the rope was made at the best manufactory; there is some tar on it, too; I do not like it; and in the next place, I do not like that sailor that threw the rope over; I do not like the look of him at all," and then comes a gurgle and a groan, and down he is at the bottom of the sea; and when he was drowned, they said that it served him right. On his own head be his blood. And so shall it be with you at the last. You are so busy with criticising the minister and his style, and his doctrine, that your own soul perishes. Remember you may get into hell by criticism, but you will never criticise your soul out of it.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

David, Gibeon, Pharaoh, Solomon
Egypt, Gibeon, Jerusalem
Compare, Equal, Glory, Hast, Honor, Honour, Kings, Lifetime, Request, Riches, Wealth
1. Solomon marries Pharaoh's daughter
2. High places being in use, Solomon sacrifices at Gibeon
5. Solomon at Gibeon, in the choice which God gave him,
10. preferring wisdom, obtains wisdom, riches, and honor
16. Solomon's judgment makes him renowned

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 3:13

     1194   glory, divine and human
     4966   present, the
     5413   money, attitudes
     8701   affluence

1 Kings 3:5-13

     8130   guidance, from godly people

1 Kings 3:5-14

     5548   speech, divine
     6622   choice

1 Kings 3:5-15

     5849   exaltation

1 Kings 3:6-15

     5120   Solomon, character

1 Kings 3:10-14

     5787   ambition, positive

1 Kings 3:11-14

     5871   greed, response to

A Young Man's Wise Choice Op Wisdom
'In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 6. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto Thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before Thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with Thee; and Thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7. And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king instead of David my father: and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness," &C.
Matt. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," &c. This is a part of Christ's long sermon. He is dissuading his disciples and the people from carnal carefulness and worldly mindedness. The sermon holds out the Christian's diverse aspects towards spiritual and external things. What is the Christian's disposition in regard to the world, how should he look upon food, raiment, and all things necessary in this life? "Be careful for nothing." "Take no thought for your life,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Whether the Degrees of Prophecy Change as Time Goes On?
Objection 1: It would seem that the degrees of prophecy change as time goes on. For prophecy is directed to the knowledge of Divine things, as stated above [3690](A[2]). Now according to Gregory (Hom. in Ezech.), "knowledge of God went on increasing as time went on." Therefore degrees of prophecy should be distinguished according to the process of time. Objection 2: Further, prophetic revelation is conveyed by God speaking to man; while the prophets declared both in words and in writing the things
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Letter Lxxiv. To Rufinus of Rome.
Rufinus, a Roman Presbyter (to be carefully distinguished from Rufinus of Aquileia and Rufinus the Syrian), had written to Jerome for an explanation of the judgment of Solomon (1 Kings iii. 16-28). This Jerome gives at length, treating the narrative as a parable and making the false and true mothers types of the Synagogue and the Church. The date of the letter is 398 a.d.
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

Love is the Touchstone by which the Reality of Truth is Perceived...
1. Love is the touchstone by which the reality of truth is perceived, and by it shall all men know that ye are My disciples (John xiii.35). I also make use of the sword of justice, so that at first sight some are inclined to think that, like Solomon, I intend to finish My work without mercy (1 Kings iii.16-28), but My object, like his, is to apply the touchstone of love which will bring out the truth, and show that you are the children of that God of Love who gave His life to save yours. You ought
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet

The Song of Solomon.
An important link in the chain of the Messianic hopes is formed by the Song of Solomon. It is intimately associated with Ps. lxxii., which was written by Solomon, and represents the Messiah as the Prince of Peace, imperfectly prefigured by Solomon as His type. As in this Psalm, so also in the Song of Solomon, the coming of the Messiah forms the subject throughout, and He is introduced there under the name of Solomon, the Peaceful One. His coming shall be preceded by severe afflictions, represented
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Sargon of Assyria (722-705 B. C. )
SARGON AS A WARRIOR AND AS A BUILDER. The origin of Sargon II.: the revolt of Babylon, Merodach-baladan and Elam--The kingdom of Elam from the time of the first Babylonian empire; the conquest's of Shutruh-nalkunta I.; the princes of Malamir--The first encounter of Assyria and Elam, the battle of Durilu (721 B.C.)--Revolt of Syria, Iaubidi of Hamath and Hannon of Gaza--Bocchoris and the XXIVth Egyptian dynasty; the first encounter of Assyria with Egypt, the battle of Raphia (720 B.C.). Urartu
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7

Tit. 2:06 Thoughts for Young Men
WHEN St. Paul wrote his Epistle to Titus about his duty as a minister, he mentioned young men as a class requiring peculiar attention. After speaking of aged men and aged women, and young women, he adds this pithy advice, "Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded" (Tit. 2:6). I am going to follow the Apostle's advice. I propose to offer a few words of friendly exhortation to young men. I am growing old myself, but there are few things I remember so well as the days of my youth. I have a most
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

Formation and History of the Hebrew Canon.
1. The Greek word canon (originally a straight rod or pole, measuring-rod, then rule) denotes that collection of books which the churches receive as given by inspiration of God, and therefore as constituting for them a divine rule of faith and practice. To the books included in it the term canonical is applied. The Canon of the Old Testament, considered in reference to its constituent parts, was formed gradually; formed under divine superintendence by a process of growth extending through
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

Differences in Judgment About Water Baptism, no Bar to Communion: Or, to Communicate with Saints, as Saints, Proved Lawful.
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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