1 Kings 3-4

Defining Moments


Intro: “ We make our choices, then they make us!

A) Those times are often what we could call DEFINING MOMENTS!


B) Those times in life when we are faced w/ Choices that are truly crucial.

1) Sometimes we realize it at the time – but more often than not we realize their significance only when we look back!


C) Meeting Jon Courson – Salem is your training ground for what God has for you in the future.


D) Defining moments don’t come often but when they do they leave a DEFINITE MARK!


They come in various FORMS:

A) Great opportunity /  Victory{ Goliath

    Powerful temptation / Personal tragedy


B) More often than not they come in quiet moments of reflection w/ the Lord!

1) Speaks to your heart – Still small voice


C) Tonight in our text we see such a time in the life of Solomon – His Defining moment!


                  RD V.1-3


Now here we are given a quick synopsis of several key events that took place in Solomon’s life:

1) Marriage to Pharaoh’s Daughter:


Marriages were for Political alliance rather than Romantic arrangement

A) Significance to the author – Mentions it 5 times in Solomon’s life


B) Significant because Pharaohs didn’t give their daughters to be wives of Foreign Kings

1) Took Daughters – but didn’t give


C) So this arrangement spoke of the Prominence and respect that Solomon carried amongst other kings

1) The King of Egypt broke a long established rule to link himself to Solomon.


D) Problem: Little indication of Solomon’s DIVIDED HEART –

1) Opposite of David ………..after God’s heart


E) God instructed the kings in Duet 7:1- Don’t do this for they will turn your sons away from me- idols!

1) This would later prove to be true in Solomon’s life

 Many foreign wives


Two other events that marked Solomon’s life

1) Building Projects – Palace / Temple / wall around Jerusalem

2) Centralization of the Worship

Tabernacle had been neglected – People were worshipping at the High Places –

A) High Places were the top of MTS – later would be the place where Israel got into Idolatry


B) Secret places of worship – easy to compromise


C) Throughout the book of Kings – the kings are judged by their attitudes toward the high places

1) Good Kings abolish them/ Mediocre Kings tolerate them / Evil Kings patronized them


Now prior to the temple being Built Solomon’s Defining Moment took place at Gibeon

A) Gibeon was an important city located about 7 miles north of Jerusalem –


B) According to 2 Chron 1:3 – The Ancient Tabernacle was there-

1) According to 2 Chron.1:3 Solomon brought the people together there at Gibeon to Worship


C) Solomon offered 1,000 Sacrifices – Expression of his love for the Lord


D) God responded to Solomon in a dream –

                            RD V4-5


Now this was not a normal dream – for God and Solomon carried on a conversation: God said

Ask whatever you want me to give you!

1)  STUNNING OFFER – How would you respond?


Million dollar Home –over looking the Ocean?

Billion dollars /

A) What would you say if God offered you a blank Check?


B) The thing that made this a defining moment for Solomon is it was a Challenge for Solomon

1) A time to Decide his deepest Values – What did he want his life and reign to be about!


C) Solomon’s response was a remarkable mixture of gratitude Humility and Boldness!            RD V.6-9


Solomon didn’t ask for personal gain – but for that which would help him SERVE the people.

A) Give me an Understanding Heart to Judge the People


B) Solomon saw himself as young and inexperienced but he wanted to do a good Job –

1) So He asked God to meet him in the mist of his weakness – Help him lead – help him rule


C) God was radically blessed by Solomon’s request

                       RD V.10-15


So God responds to Solomon by saying I am going to give you what you asked for and More

A) Give you what you didn’t ask for – Riches and Honor

B) Attached to this blessing was a conditional promise –

1) If Solomon walked in the ways of the Lord – the promised to give him a long life!


C) The outcome of this is seen in the fact that Solomon only lived to be about 60

1) Considered relatively young age to die in that time


What can we learn from Solomon’s Prayer?

A) We are instructed to pray in accordance with God’s will – He honors such request


B) Shows us the importance in the eyes of the Lord of being others centered!


C) The section that follows reveals how the Lord fulfilled his promise to Solomon.


D) This is a central message of 1st Kings: God is faithful to his covenants and Promises


E) So in these Chapters we see Solomon experiencing in Fulfillment: The gift of wisdom V.16-28

1) Gift of Wealth {Ch.4:1-28

2) God’s gift of honor and fame v.29-34


RD V.16-28




I am sure that the people of Israel loved to retell this Story – Example of Solomon’s great wisdom.

A) Known for His Wisdom


Prov 3:13

Happy is the man who finds wisdom,

And the man who gains understanding;


Prov 24:3-4

3 Through wisdom a house is built,

And by understanding it is established;

4 By knowledge the rooms are filled

With all precious and pleasant riches.


Prov 8:11

For wisdom is better than rubies,

And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.


Prov 16:16

 How much better to get wisdom than gold!

And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.


Prov 3:21-23

Keep sound wisdom and discretion;

22 So they will be life to your soul

And grace to your neck.

23 Then you will walk safely in your way,

And your foot will not stumble.


Where wisdom originates:  Fish heads Prov 9:10

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,

And the knowledge of the Holy one  is understanding.


Fear of the Lord – Reverence respect and Dread of doing anything cause him Displeasure!


Unfortunately Solomon forgot this!


A 2nd Sign of Solomon’s wisdom was that in Ch.4 v.1-19 he appointed a group of men to help him Lead

A) Jethro’s words to Moses – tried to carry the whole weight of responsibility – NOT WISE


B) Solomon in his wisdom – divided up the responsibilities into 12 regions -


Next we see God’s gift of wealth. RD V. 20-28

A) This was the only time in Israel’s history that they actually came close to possessing the Land promised to Abe in Genesis


B) Happened as God’s blessing to Solomon


C) You could say of Solomon’s administrative skills – Peaceful Productive and Prosperous


Verses 29-34 Describe the Third aspect of God’s blessing on Solomon – Honor and Fame!

                        RD V.29-34

Story teaches us several key Principles:

#1 Without a hearing heart toward God there can be no true wisdom!


#2 Wisdom is not primarily a matter of the head but of the heart.


#3 God delights to answer the prayers of those whose supreme concern is for the promotion of God’s Kingdom and purposes.


#4 A great beginning does not guarantee a good ending.


Solomon had a heart defect- While his heart heard God it also heard other voices


In the long run his wisdom would be rendered useless because he allowed his heart to drift from God.


Solomon didn’t follow his own wisdom!

Prov 4:23

Keep your heart with all diligence,

For out of it spring the issues of life.


Guard {Boundaries and barriers from world

Protect {Armor of God – attacks of the enemy


Lord Keep us strong/ Hearts fixed /




I heard the story, that during the time of the British occupation of Israel, The British soldiers often marveled at the wisdom of these people, their intelligence.

They would talk among themselves, of the secret of these people’s intelligence.


They were just such brilliant people. So they were standing in the railway station, there in Jerusalem, and they saw this old Jewish man eating fish heads.


Having heard somewhere that fish was brain food. The one British soldier, thought to himself, “I’ll bet that’s the secret.


You know, we don’t eat the heads of the fish, but look at that guy eating the fish heads. That’s probably the thing that makes them so smart!”


So he came to the Jewish man, and he said, “I’ll tell you, I’ll give you a schilling, for one of your fish heads”. He says, “Oh, no, no, no”.

He said, “I’ll give you five schillings for one of the fish heads”. He says, “No”. He said, “I’ll give you a pound for the fishes head”.


So the old man gave him a fish head, took the pound. The British soldier began to eat it, and it was horrible. He began to spit it out.


He said, “You cheated me! That fish head isn’t worth a pound!” He says, “Ei, yi, yi! Already it’s working!”