It is hard to overstate the importance of trust. If you stop and think for a moment, there is hardly an area of our life that is not built on some aspect of trust. We walk into our home, trusting that no one has invaded that home and, more importantly, that the structure of the home is sound and will not fall in on us. We jump in the shower, trusting that the water will come through the pipes and that it will be warm. We get into our vehicles, trusting that they will crank and then get us safely to our desired destination.
On a more intimate level, we pledge our life to a spouse, trusting that he or she will do the same, for a lifetime. Our children trust that we will provide for them and protect them. Everywhere we turn, trust is present in both principle and practice, and let’s face it, we must have trust in order to live a peaceful, productive life.
But for all the impact that trust makes in our day-to-day life, it pales in comparison to how valuable trust is in our spiritual life, and of course I am speaking of the faithfulness of God. As you read 1 Kings 3, specifically verses 3-9, take note of how Solomon attributes everything that is taking place in his life and in the life of the nation of Israel, to the faithfulness of God in keeping His covenant promises. And for Solomon, this basically means that God can be trusted to act according to what He has said in His word, and to keep the promises He has made and will make. That inspiring reality must have brought comfort to this twenty-year-old that is now responsible for ruling over a nation of 4 plus million people. And even though our responsibilities might not come close to matching Solomon’s, it is still comforting to know that the One we call Lord can be trusted to keep his promises: most especially the promise that where He is, there we will be also.
1 Kings 3–5 (CSB)
1 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. Solomon brought her to the city of David until he finished building his palace, the Lord’s temple, and the wall surrounding Jerusalem. 2 However, the people were sacrificing on the high places, because until that time a temple for the Lord’s name had not been built. 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. 4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered a thousand 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?” 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. 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 many to be numbered or counted. 9 So give your servant a receptive heart to judge your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of yours?” 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 administer 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. 13 In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no king will be your equal during your entire life. 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.” 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. 16 Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was in the house. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, she also had a baby and we were alone. No one else was with us in the house; just the two of us were there. 19 During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was asleep. She laid him in her arms, and she put her dead son in my arms. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. That morning, when I looked closely at him I realized that he was not the son I gave birth to.” 22 “No,” the other woman said. “My son is the living one; your son is the dead one.” The first woman said, “No, your son is the dead one; my son is the living one.” So they argued before the king. 23 The king replied, “This woman says, ‘This is my son who is alive, and your son is dead,’ but that woman says, ‘No, your son is dead, and my son is alive.’ ” 24 The king continued, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought the sword to the king. 25 And the king said, “Cut the living boy in two and give half to one and half to the other.” 26 The woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she felt great compassion for her son. “My lord, give her the living baby,” she said, “but please don’t have him killed!” But the other one said, “He will not be mine or yours. Cut him in two!” 27 The king responded, “Give the living baby to the first woman, and don’t kill him. She is his mother.” 28 All Israel heard about the judgment the king had given, and they stood in awe of the king because they saw that God’s wisdom was in him to carry out justice. 1 King Solomon reigned over all Israel, 2 and these were his officials: Azariah son of Zadok, priest; 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha, secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, court historian; 4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army; Zadok and Abiathar, priests; 5 Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the deputies; Zabud son of Nathan, a priest and adviser to the king; 6 Ahishar, in charge of the palace; and Adoniram son of Abda, in charge of forced labor. 7 Solomon had twelve deputies for all Israel. They provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month out of the year. 8 These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; 9 Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (he had Socoh and the whole land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (Taphath daughter of Solomon was his wife); 12 Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14 Ahinadab son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also had married a daughter of Solomon—Basemath); 16 Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19 Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of King Sihon of the Amorites and of King Og of Bashan. There was one deputy in the land of Judah. 20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea; they were eating, drinking, and rejoicing. 21 Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far as the border of Egypt. They offered tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. 22 Solomon’s provisions for one day were 150 bushels of fine flour and 300 bushels of meal, 23 ten fattened cattle, twenty range cattle, and a hundred sheep and goats, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and pen-fed poultry, 24 for he had dominion over everything west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza and over all the kings west of the Euphrates. He had peace on all his surrounding borders. 25 Throughout Solomon’s reign, Judah and Israel lived in safety from Dan to Beer-sheba, each person under his own vine and his own fig tree. 26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 Each of those deputies for a month in turn provided food for King Solomon and for everyone who came to King Solomon’s table. They neglected nothing. 28 Each man brought the barley and the straw for the chariot teams and the other horses to the required place according to his assignment. 29 God gave Solomon wisdom, very great insight, and understanding as vast as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone—wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, sons of Mahol. His reputation extended to all the surrounding nations. 32 Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs numbered 1,005. 33 He spoke about trees, from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall. He also spoke about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish. 34 Emissaries of all peoples, sent by every king on earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom. 1 King Hiram of Tyre sent his emissaries to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father’s place, for Hiram had always been friends with David. 2 Solomon sent this message to Hiram: 3 “You know my father David was not able to build a temple for the name of the Lord his God. This was because of the warfare all around him until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. 4 The Lord my God has now given me rest on every side; there is no enemy or crisis. 5 So I plan to build a temple for the name of the Lord my God, according to what the Lord promised my father David: ‘I will put your son on your throne in your place, and he will build the temple for my name.’ 6 “Therefore, command that cedars from Lebanon be cut down for me. My servants will be with your servants, and I will pay your servants’ wages according to whatever you say, for you know that not a man among us knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.” 7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s words, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord today! He has given David a wise son to be over this great people!” 8 Then Hiram sent a reply to Solomon, saying, “I have heard your message; I will do everything you want regarding the cedar and cypress timber. 9 My servants will bring the logs down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will break them apart there, and you can take them away. You then can meet my needs by providing my household with food.” 10 So Hiram provided Solomon with all the cedar and cypress timber he wanted, 11 and Solomon provided Hiram with one hundred thousand bushels of wheat as food for his household and one hundred ten thousand gallons of oil from crushed olives. Solomon did this for Hiram year after year. 12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he had promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty. 13 Then King Solomon drafted forced laborers from all Israel; the labor force numbered thirty thousand men. 14 He sent ten thousand to Lebanon each month in shifts; one month they were in Lebanon, two months they were at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand porters and eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountains, 16 not including his thirty-three hundred deputies in charge of the work. They supervised the people doing the work. 17 The king commanded them to quarry large, costly stones to lay the foundation of the temple with dressed stones. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders, along with the Gebalites, quarried the stone and prepared the timber and stone for the temple’s construction.