I Kings: 1-12 chapters
Objective: Man may often think that all his ways are straight. However, the way shown by the Lord, who weighs the hearts of all men, will only be right.
David the king became old. He had been praying to God to show him a successor. Adonijah, one of the sons of David tried to make himself king with the help of Joab, the army chief, and Abiathar, the priest. On hearing this, Nathan the prophet told Bathsheba, mother of Solomon, to inform the king what was happening. On command from David, Nathan and Zadok, the priest, took Solomon on the mule used only by David, to Gihon, followed by a great multitude of people and anointed him as king. They blew the trumpet and declared that Solomon was the king of Israel. Adonijah became scared and withdrew from the scene.
David knew that his end was near. He advised Solomon everything concerning governance of the people. In the Levite tribe (selected tribe of priests), there were more than 38,000 people. They were divided into different groups as singers in the house of the Lord, helpers, judges, and rulers, as required. Priests were appointed to serve in weekly turns. Necessary rules concerning all these were written.
Solomon raised a huge army, and conquered all the enemies that remained. Israel had peace all over. He married the daughter of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and earned his goodwill.
Once Solomon made an offering of 1,000 burnt offerings to the Lord at the altar in Gibeon. The Lord was pleased with Solomon. He appeared to Solomon and asked him to pray for any boon. However, Solomon very humbly requested the Lord to give him the wisdom to distinguish between good and bad, so that he might rule Israel properly. God was very pleased at this and gave him a wise and noble heart that no man had before him. In addition to that, riches and honor in abundance were given. (1King 3:5-15) The blessed Solomon offered more sacrifices at the tabernacle, and gave big feasts to everyone around him.
These were the important people with Solomon in his reign: Jehosaphath was the Minister, Benaiah was Chief of Army, Zadok and Abiathar, were the priests, Azariah, son of Nathan, was chief of officers, Zabud son of Nathan, was the principal officer and the king’s friend, Ahishas was the chief housekeeper, and Adoniram was chief of laborers. Solomon had a mighty army with powerful weapons.
Solomon the wise ruled for forty years, and Israel prospered under him. He lived for sixty years. Solomon lived in great grandeur. He had to raise taxes on his people for the expenses. As he had many wives from gentiles, he was compelled to worship their gods. This resulted in the anger of the Lord. Even though he was a very wise man, because of his negligence, he lived against the will of God. He did not serve the Lord with the same devotion as his father. Consequently, the anger of the Lord came upon him and upon Israel. The Lord informed him that his country will be divided and a portion would be given to his servant and later, it happened.
Memory Verse: The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22