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May 19 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 1Kings 2:13- 3:15; 2Chronicles 1:1-13; 1Kings 3:16-28; Psalm 50

New Leadership

It is advantageous for new leaders to begin well. If early on they show themselves wise in their decisions and strong and resolute in their actions, it inspires confidence in their followers. If the previous administration led with clear purpose, then the new administration will be more inclined to wisely follow in the same linear direction.

Before King David died he took action against his son Adonijah, who was conspiring to take his throne. As David promised, he placed his son Solomon on the throne immediately and had the people proclaim him as king, though Solomon was just a young man. Those who were following Adonijah disbanded and fled, fearing retribution for their treachery. Immediately after David's death, Solomon still had to deal with competitions and threats to his throne. Solomon removed old enemies of his father by having them killed. We are not to harm anyone (we are not kings), but competition and threats to our leadership need to be dealt with fairly and justly.

Not only did young Solomon have a new job, but he also got married. Solomon married a princess from Egypt. 1Kings 3:1 definitely indicates this was a political alliance. This was an early mistake that would plague him in later years because the alliance with Egypt was an unholy alliance (unacceptable by God). The princess was raised to worship pagan gods and may have influenced him (along with his future wives) to also worship them. We know this was a problem in his old age (1Kings 11:1-9). We must not make unholy alliances if we want our marriage, business, other organizations or institutions to be successful. 2Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (NIV)

Nevertheless, at this stage of his life Solomon showed his love for God by following the statutes of his father David, except for worshipping in the high places like their pagan neighbors (1Kings 3:3). Why didn't David bring the brazen altar, all the other articles of worship and sacrifice, and the tent of meeting to Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant? We don't know; perhaps he just had not gotten around to it. Had he done so, it might have prevented Solomon and others from going to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, instead of Jerusalem. Nevertheless, Solomon sought the LORD and was wise from the beginning. Psalm 111:10 says, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him [God] belongs eternal praise,” (NIV) .

Solomon was king over all Israel. This was quite a big responsibility. One night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him to ask for whatever he wished. Realizing that he was young and inexperienced, Solomon asked for wisdom and discernment for governing Israel (1Kings 3:4-15; 2Chronicles 1:7-10). God was pleased with his request. God gave him wisdom and understanding plus what he had not asked for - riches and honor and long life if he would obey the LORD. If God has given you responsibilities, ask God for wisdom and understanding to help you carry them out in such a way that will please him. He will be pleased with your unselfishness and may also bless you.

One example of Solomon's great wisdom is recorded in 1Kings 3:16-28. Two prostitutes came before him arguing about the identity of an infant. Each woman gave birth to a child just three days apart. One of the infants had been suffocated when his mother lay on him during the night, while the other one lived. The living child, who was asleep at her mother's breast, was replaced with the dead child. In the morning there was a debate about the identity of whose child had died and whose had lived. Solomon had to decide who the true mother of the infant was. After he listened to their stories and their quarrel, he proposed that a sword be brought to cut the live child in two. Horrified, the true mother pleaded for mercy to save the child's life and asked Solomon to give the living child to the other woman. Solomon saw the unmistakable love of a mother for her child and rightly perceived her to be the true mother. He gave the infant to her. Are you facing any difficult decisions? “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him,” (James 1:5, NIV).

Lessons to live by:

  • As a new leader, show yourself to be competent by making wise decisions. It will inspire confidence in your followers. If you are following a wise leader, unless otherwise directed, you would be wise to follow in the same linear direction.
  • We are not to harm anyone (we are not kings), but competition and threats to our leadership need to be dealt with fairly and justly.
  • We must not make unholy alliances if we want our marriage, business, other organizations or institutions to be successful. (2Corinthians 6:14)
  • Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him [God] belongs eternal praise.” (NIV)
  • If God has given you responsibilities, ask God for wisdom and understanding to help you carry them out in such a way that will please him. He will be pleased with your unselfishness and may also bless you.
  • Are you facing any difficult decisions? Do you know God (more...) “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5, NIV)

Today’s Bible memory verse: Proverbs “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (NIV)

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