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The text for this lesson is 1 Kings 3

Key Point

  • Solomon, though wise, needed what we and all sinners need: Christ, Wisdom Himself, and the forgiveness He brings.
  • Law: The fear of the Lord—reverence for God and trust in Him—is the beginning of wisdom, yet, in my sin, I am unwise, failing to trust in the Lord above all things.
  • Gospel: Jesus, Wisdom personified, gives to me and all who believe in Him a share of His wisdom, that is, Himself.

Discussion Points

  1. “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). In contrast with God’s definition, discuss what is considered wisdom in our modern Western culture. Also read Genesis 3:4–6 and discuss how the human quest for wisdom has gone wrong.
  2. Describe the structure and tone of Solomon’s prayer recorded in 1 Kings 3:6–9.
  3. “Why?” is our favorite question because we want to know the cause behind things. What caused God’s “great and steadfast love” to David (1 Kings 3:6)? See Exodus 34:6–7; 20:5–6; and 1 John 4:19.
  4. The Holy Spirit worked in Solomon’s heart to produce a faithful response to God’s invitation, “Ask what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:5). According to 1 Kings 3:10–14, what about Solomon’s prayer pleased God? What do we learn from Solomon about prayer? What do 1 Corinthians 10:24 and Matthew 6:33 have in common with Solomon’s prayer?
  5. In 1 Kings 3:15, Solomon awakes from his dream and then presents offerings to the Lord. Why had the location of his sacrifices changed? What were his offerings for? See Psalm 116:12–19.
  6. Solomon’s greatness is described in 1 Kings 4:20–34: Judah and Israel’s blessedness and safety under him, his rule over foreign lands, his enormous provisions, incredible wisdom, the production of three thousand proverbs, and among other things, his great fame in other lands. However, Solomon was his own worst enemy and became the Lord’s enemy. What did he do, and how did the Lord respond? See 1 Kings 11:1–4, 9–13. What glimmer of hope does God offer to Israel in 11:13? See Revelation 5:5.
  7. God’s invitation to Solomon was “ask what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:5). However, what words from the Lord show that His invitation was not unconditional? See 3:10–12. What makes Christian prayer different than simply making wishes? See Luke 11:9–13 and 1 John 5:13–15.
  8. Solomon’s handling of the case of the two prostitutes in 1 Kings 3:16–28 demonstrates the application of his divinely endowed wisdom to a practical situation. However, the Christian Gospel is not a matter of practical wisdom. What is that Gospel, and what does the unbelieving world think of the wisdom of the Gospel? See 1 Corinthians 1:17–25. According to 1 Corinthians 1:27–31, why did God save the world this way?

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