November 10, 2017
Daybreak: 1 Kings 4:1-34
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.” (1 Kings 4:29)
The heart is a tireless, never-ceasing pump. It begins beating way before an infant takes its first breath, and it continues to beat until the moment of death. Though surprisingly small, this cardiac muscle with life-sustaining power contracts and relaxes about 70 to 80 times per minute, and pumps about 4300 gallons of blood per day. Its average size is that of a clenched fist and its weight is approximately 11 ounces. Every cell in the body needs oxygen-rich blood in order to survive, and the heart’s main function is to deliver it.
Though modern technology has revealed some of its mystery, there is still much fascination and curiosity surrounding the exploration of the nature and function of the human heart. Solomon must have been intrigued by its complexities as well. In the Book of Proverbs alone, he mentioned the word “heart” 81 times in 78 verses. Solomon understood that the “heart” refers to more than an important physical function — he also understood its spiritual reference.
Physically, God placed the heart in the middle of the chest behind the breastbone, between the lungs, resting in a chamber surrounded by the ribcage, with the diaphragm — a tough layer of muscle — lying below. As a result, the heart is well protected.
The spiritual heart is at the center of our being. In the regenerated heart are trust, faith, forgiveness, and love. In the unregenerated heart are wicked imaginations, lust, envy, and deceit. Our heart is where God’s Word will be written or rejected. Solomon spoke often of how to guard it with diligence.
One way to safeguard our spiritual heart is to ask God to take ownership of it. The very essence of who we are as individuals needs to be surrendered to Him. Once we have relinquished control of our lives to Him, He regenerates our hearts. This restoration brings us into unity and harmony with our Creator. He erases any sins that we have committed in the past and does not remember them against us any more. This results in us feeling happy, transformed, and new.
As we continue in our walk with God, Satan will try to diminish our joy and cause our hearts to doubt God. However, as we learn to trust God, He will not only keep our hearts “healthy,” but He will expand our capacity to experience new heights and depths and breadths in Him.
The “largeness of heart” that God gave Solomon was an extraordinary ability to grasp things beyond the natural understanding of man. These attributes made him the most widely-known king in that era. However, he foreshadowed a greater King who came to this world in a manger. Jesus, though not clothed with the finest physical apparel as King Solomon, held a far more lasting and significant throne. His Kingdom, one not of this world, thrives in the lives of individuals today.
God gave Solomon the wisdom and understanding to surround himself with great men. He had princes, scribes, priests, historians, and officers as chief officials. He had twelve officers who took turns providing for his household every month. Solomon reigned over all of Israel and over all the neighboring kingdoms from the River Euphrates on the east, to the Mediterranean Sea on the west, to Egypt in the south. Never in the history of Israel did a king have dominion over such a vast territory.
It took thirty measures of flour, sixty measures of meal, ten fat oxen, twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, besides harts, roebucks, fallow deer, and fatted fowl to feed Solomon’s household for one day. He had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. He wrote over one thousand songs and more than three thousand proverbs. His knowledge was extensive and encompassed all that was known at that time on topics such as trees, animals, insects, birds, and sea life.
Solomon was wiser than “all men” and, therefore, his fame spread to all the nations in the surrounding area. Many came to see and listen to him because they had heard of his wisdom, power, and wealth.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The reign of Solomon
D. The administration of Solomon (4:1-34)
1. The officials of Solomon (4:1-6)
2. The deputies of Solomon (4:7-19)
3. The reign of Solomon (4:20-34)
a. His wealth and power (4:20-28)
b. His wisdom (4:29-34)
A Closer Look
- How many officers did Solomon have?
- In what ways did Solomon use the gifts God gave him to better Israel?
- Many sought to hear the wisdom of Solomon. How should we seek the wisdom God offers?
Out of His abundance, God gave Solomon what he needed to rule a nation well. He will provide for our daily needs as well, as we endeavor to keep our hearts in harmony with Him.