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What Money Can’t Buy      1 Kings 3:3-15      Dec. 05, 2010


       Have you heard the words, “there is nothing wrong with having money, but it is wrong when money has you?” Did you ever see examples of how money can affect a person? It is sad when someone of wealth never really knows their true friends because they think their money will buy anything. But one day they will realize

What Money Can’t Buy.


1.   Money Can’t Buy . . Foundations of Proper Worship. 1 Kings 3:3-5 

       A.   The Foundation of A . . Godly Father. 3:3

3 Solomon loved the LORD by walking in the statutes of his father David, but he also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.


       B.   The Foundation of . . Gifts from God. 3:4-5

4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered 1,000 burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask. What should I give you?”

       Do you think a godly foundation of good parents helps children to become well rounded citizens? Some times children rebel, but many times the godly foundation produces solid individuals that will bless the next generation. Solomon received his godly foundation from his father King David. At this point Solomon had some inherited wealth but the decision from God to give him additional gifts did not come from his wealth.

The gifts of God are not for sale nor can God be bribed into offering more of them to His children. God’s gifts are a matter of His grace.


2.   Money Can’t Buy . . Favors From The Lord. 1 Kings 3:6-8

       A.   The Favor of . . Love from God. 3:7

6 And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today.


       B.   The Favor of . . Leadership from God. 3:7-9

7 “LORD my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a

       youth with no experience in leadership. 8 Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people

       too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people

       and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

       How do you make God love you? Just be alive as He loves everyone. You cannot make God love you more or less by the money you’re willing to give to Him. God loves us just because we are His creations. He will love us more because we accept His grace but not because we give money. In our text Solomon boasted about God’s love for him and his father David. Solomon knew God’s love would be needed if he ever became the kind of leader He wanted him to become. Have you ever thought of leadership abilities being a gift from God? I am sure some have thought they could be purchased somehow but that is only possible from the grace of God.


3.   Money Can’t Buy . . Foresight From The Lord. 1 Kings 3:10-13

       A.   The Foresight of . . Wisdom. 3:10-12

10 Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this. 11 So God said to him, “Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to understand justice, 12 I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again.


       B.   The Foresight of . . Worthiness. 3:13

13 In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no man in any

       kingdom will be your equal during your entire life.

       The king wanted to have the heart to be a good leader and judge. He knew these gifts would take wisdom produced from the foresight God gave. Wisdom is always a gift from God and not something learned by education or natural ability. Wisdom is the gift of God and He willingly gives it to those who ask. God also gave him the ability to function in such a manner it brought respect, honor, and love from the people and that produced a worthiness from the people. We need more leaders today who are worthy of honor and respect because they serve honestly, with wisdom and God given leadership ability.


4.   Money Can’t Buy . . Faithfulness From The Lord. 1 Kings 3:14-15

       A.   The Faithfulness To The . . Ways Of God. 3:14

14 If you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commands just as your father David did, I will give you a long life.”


       B.   The Faithfulness To The . . Worship Of God. 3:15

15 Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he held a feast for all his servants.


       In this text and the early life of the king he faithfully walk in the ways of the Lord. He worshiped

in a sacrificial manner that pleased God and allowed God to bless him even more. Solomon proved in his actions that he knew What Money Can’t Buy. Amen? Amen!

b. Solomon’s prayer for wisdom (3:4-15)

3:4-5. The most important (popular or largest) high place was at Gibeon about five miles north of Jerusalem in the territory of Benjamin. There Solomon made a great sacrifice to the Lord. Evidently that very night the Lord revealed Himself to the king.... in a dream. Such revelations were not uncommon in ancient Israel (cf. Gen. 28:10-15; 37:5-7; etc.). God invited Solomon to ask for whatever he wanted. There seems to be a cause-and-effect relationship between Solomon’s loving generosity in making his offering to the Lord and God’s loving generosity in making him this offer.

3:6-9. Solomon recognized that God’s kindness to David was due to his father’s faithfulness to God which manifested itself in righteous actions and upright attitudes of heart. The king also acknowledged his own immaturity and need for God’s wisdom. Solomon was about 20 years old when he took the throne.

In calling himself a child, he was admitting his inexperience (cf. 1 Chron. 22:5; 29:1). Solomon was concerned that he would be able to function effectively as the vice-regent of Yahweh. His responsibility as the leader and judge of God’s people weighed heavily on him. So he requested a discerning heart (lit., “a hearing heart”) tuned to the voice of God so he could lead Israel as God would want the nation to be led. He acknowledged his dependence on God by referring to himself as God’s servant (1 Kings 3:7-8).

3:10-14. Solomon placed the good of God’s people above his personal peace or prosperity and above any desire to become a powerful and popular king. His values were in the right place from God’s perspective. Therefore God promised to give him what he requested. He would possess a wise... heart (v. 12) and be able to discern and render fair judgments (v. 11). Since Solomon sought what was most important God also promised to give him what was of secondary importance, riches and honor, to further enable him to govern God’s people effectively. Solomon was to be the richest and most honored king of his day. If Solomon remained faithful to pursue the will of God, obeying the Law of Moses, God promised he would also live a long life.

3:15. As is often the case, a blessing from God drew the person blessed into a closer relationship with Himself. Inspired by this revelation Solomon turned from the high place and proceeded to the divinely appointed place of worship, the tabernacle. He did not enter the most holy place; only the high priest could enter there once a year (Lev. 16). But the king stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant, outside the tabernacle facing toward the ark. Burnt offerings expressed the complete dedication of oneself to God and fellowship offerings symbolized the fellowship people can enjoy with God and with others through God’s grace. Solomon’s feast expressed his joy and gratitude to the members of his court. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.

Consecration (vv. 2-4). God purposed that the people of Israel have a central place of worship and not imitate the nations in Canaan by building "high places" wherever they chose. When Israel entered the land, they were instructed to destroy these "high places" and the idols that were worshiped there (Num. 33:52; Deut. 7:5; 12:1ff; 33:29). However, until the temple was built and centralized worship was established in the land, the people of Israel worshiped the Lord in the "high places." In time, the phrase "high place" began to be used to mean "a place of worship" and the Jews worshiped Jehovah at these temporary shrines.

Gibeon was such a sacred place, for the tabernacle was located there. As a first step toward the construction of the tabernacle, David had moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, but the rest of the tabernacle, including the altar of sacrifice, was still at Gibeon, located five miles north of Jerusalem. Solomon assembled the leaders of Israel and arranged for them to go to Gibeon with him and worship the Lord (2 Chron. 1:1-6). This event would not only be an act of consecration but it would manifest to the people the unity of the nation's leaders. Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings to the Lord as he and his officers together praised the Lord and sought His face. The burnt offering pictured total dedication to the Lord.

Revelation (v. 5). The assembly lasted all day and the people remained at Gibeon for the night, including King Solomon who was given a remarkable dream from the Lord. David had both Nathan and Gad as his counselors, but there seems to have been no prophet in Solomon's circle of advisers. Twice the Lord spoke to the king through dreams (see 9:1-9).

The Lord sometimes communicated His messages through dreams not only to His own servants but also to those of other nations, such as Abimelech (Gen. 20), the Egyptian servants of Pharaoh (Gen. 40), and Pharaoh himself (Gen. 41).

Solomon heard the Lord say, "Ask! What shall I give you?" (v. 5, nkjv). The Lord's command and question were a revelation of God's grace as well as a test of Solomon's heart. (The word "ask" is found eight times in this passage.) What people ask for usually reveals what they really desire, and what they desire depends on how they envision their life's calling. Had Solomon been a warrior, he might have asked for victory over his enemies; but he saw himself as a youthful leader who desperately needed wisdom so he could adequately serve God's chosen people. He had succeeded David, Israel's greatest king, and Solomon knew that the people couldn't help but compare and contrast father and son. But even more, he had been called to build the temple of the Lord, an awesome task for such an inexperienced leader. Solomon knew he couldn't accomplish that great venture without wisdom from heaven.

Petition (vv. 6-9). Solomon's prayer was brief and to the point, and it was spoken with true humility, for three times he called himself "your servant." First, Solomon reviewed the past and thanked God for the faithfulness and steadfast love shown to his father (v. 6). Solomon acknowledged God's goodness in keeping his father through many trials and then giving him a son to inherit his throne. Solomon is referring here to the covenant God gave to David when he expressed his heart's desire to build a temple for God (2 Sam. 7). In that covenant, God promised David a son who would build the temple, and Solomon was that son. Solomon admitted that he wasn't the king because God recognized his abilities but because He kept His promises to his father David.

Then, Solomon moved into the present and acknowledged God's grace in making him king (v. 7). But he also confessed his youthfulness and inexperience and therefore his desperate need for God's help if he was to succeed as Israel's king. Solomon was probably twenty years old at this time and certainly much younger than his advisers and officers, some of whom had served his father. He called himself a "little child" (1 Chron. 22:5; 29:1ff), a mark of both honesty and humility. The phrase "to go out or come in" refers to giving leadership to the nation (Num. 27:15-17; Deut. 31:2-3; 1 Sam. 18:13, 16; 2 Kings 11:8).

In his prayer, the king not only confessed his own smallness but also the nation's greatness (v. 8). The people of Israel were the people of God! This meant that God had a great purpose for them to fulfill on earth and that their king carried a great responsibility in ruling them. God had multiplied the nation and fulfilled His promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:2; 13:16; 15:5), Isaac (Gen. 26:1-5), and Jacob (Gen. 28:10-14), and Solomon wanted the blessing to continue.

The king concluded his prayer by anticipating the future and asking the Lord for the wisdom needed to rule the nation (v. 9). Wisdom was an important element in Near Eastern life and every king had his circle of "wise men" who advised him. But Solomon didn't ask for a committee of wise counselors; he asked for wisdom for himself. In that day, the wise person was one who was skillful in the management of life. It meant much more than the ability to make a living; it meant the ability to make a life and make the most out of what life might bring. True wisdom involves skill in human relationships as well as the ability to understand and cooperate with the basic laws God has built into creation. Wise people not only have knowledge of human nature and of the created world, but they know how to use that knowledge in the right way at the right time. Wisdom isn't a theoretical idea or an abstract commodity; it's very practical and personal. There are many people who are smart enough to make a good living but they aren't wise enough to make a good life, a life of fulfillment that honors the Lord.

Solomon asked God to give him "an understanding heart," because no matter how smart the mind may be, if the heart is wrong, all of life will be wrong. "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23, nkjv). The word translated "understanding" means "hearing"; Solomon wanted a "hearing heart." True understanding comes from hearing what God has to say, and to the Old Testament Jew, "hearing" meant "obeying." When the Lord speaks to us, it's not that we might study and pass judgment on what He said, but that we might obey it. An understanding heart has insight and exercises discernment. It is able to distinguish the things that differ (Phil. 1:9-11). It knows what is real and what is artificial, what is temporal and what is eternal. This kind of understanding is described in Isaiah 11:1-5, a prophecy concerning the Messiah. Believers today can claim the promise of James 1:5.

Approbation (vv. 10-13). God was pleased with Solomon's request for wisdom, for it showed that the king was concerned with serving God and His people by knowing and doing God's will. Solomon never read Matthew 6:33, but he practiced it—and the Lord gave to him the additional blessings that he didn't ask for! God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him. When you read the Book of Proverbs, you find that the love of wisdom and the practice of discernment can lead to these extra blessings (see Prov. 3:1-2, 10, 13-18). In the subsequent chapters, we will learn about Solomon's wealth and honor and how he attracted visitors from other nations who wanted to hear his wisdom.

Obligation (v. 14). The Lord was careful to remind Solomon that his obedience to God's covenant and his devotion to the Lord were the keys to his future blessings. Solomon was required to write out his own personal copy of Deuteronomy (Deut. 17:18-20), and this would include the covenant spelled out in Deuteronomy 28-30. Solomon also knew the terms of the covenant God made with his father David (2 Sam. 7:1-17) and that it required obedience on the part of David's son and successor (vv. 12-16). God promised to lengthen Solomon's life if he obeyed the Word (Prov. 3:2, 16), for he would be honoring God and his father David and could claim the promise of Exodus 20:12 (see Eph. 6:1-3). It's unfortunate that Solomon with all his wisdom forgot this part of the agreement and gradually drifted into sin and disobedience, and God had to chasten him.

When Solomon returned to Jerusalem, he went to the tent that housed the Ark and there offered more sacrifices (v. 15). The Ark represented the presence of God among His people and the rule of God over His people (Pss. 80:1; 99:1). Solomon acknowledged the sovereign rule of God over his own life and the life of the nation. In other words, Solomon knew that he was second in command. It was when he started to forget that basic truth that he got himself into trouble.Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament - The Bible Exposition Commentary – History.

Notes for Verse 3

Verse 3. Yet - Although he miscarried in the matter of high places, yet in the general, his heart was right with God.


Statutes - According to the statutes or commands of God, which are here called the statutes of David; not only because they were diligently practiced by David, but also because the observation of them was so earnestly pressed upon Solomon, and fortified with David's authority and command.

Notes for Verse 6

Verse 6. Truth - In the true worship of God, in the profession, belief, practice and defense of the true religion. So truth here contains all duties to God, as righteousness doth his duties to men, and uprightness the right manner of performing both sorts of duties.


With thee - That is, in thy judgment, to whom he often appealed as the witness of his integrity.

Notes for Verse 7

Verse 7. Child - So he was in years: not above twenty years old; and withal (which he principally intends) he was raw and unexperienced, as a child, in state affairs.


Go out, etc. - To govern my people, and manage affairs.

Notes for Verse 8

Verse 8. In the midst - Is set over them to rule and guide them. A metaphor from the overseer of divers workmen, who usually is in the midst of them, that he may the better observe how each of them discharges his office.


Chosen - Thy peculiar people, whom thou takest special care of, and therefore wilt expect a more punctual account of my government of them.

Notes for Verse 9

Verse 9. An understanding heart - Whereby I may both clearly discern, and faithfully perform all the parts of my duty: for both these are spoken of in scripture, as the effects of a good understanding; and he that lives in the neglect of his duties, or the practice of wickedness, is called a fool, and one void of understanding.


Discern - Namely in causes and controversies among my people; that I may not through mistake, or prejudice, or passion, give wrong sentences, and call evil good, or good evil. Absalom, that was a fool, wished himself a judge: Solomon, that was a wise man, trembles at the undertaking. The more knowing and considerate men are, the more jealous they are of themselves.

Notes for Verse 13

Verse 13. All thy days - Whereby he signifies that these gifts of God were not transient, as they were in Saul, but such as should abide with him whilst he lived.

Notes for Verse 14

Verse 14. And if - This caution God gives him, lest his wisdom should make him proud, careless, or presumptuous.

Notes for Verse 15

Verse 15. A dream - Not a vain dream, wherewith men are commonly deluded; but a divine dream, assuring him of the thing: which he knew, by a divine impression after he was awakened: and by the vast alteration which he presently found within himself in point of wisdom and knowledge.


The ark - Which was there in the city of David, 2Samuel 6:17, before which he presented himself in a way of holy adoration.


Burnt offerings - Chiefly for the expiation of his and his peoples sin, through the blood of Christ, manifestly signified in these sacrifices.


Peace offerings - Solemnly to praise God for all his mercies, and especially for giving him quiet possession of the kingdom, and for his glorious appearance to him in the dream, and for the promise therein made to him, and the actual accomplishment of it. Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament.