GOOD GOVERNANCE FOR ALL

Opening Prayer

Holy Spirit, fill me to overflowing with your fruit and use me to bless others I meet today.

Read 1 KINGS 4:20–34

Solomon’s Daily Provisions

20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. 21 And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon’s subjects all his life.

22 Solomon’s daily provisions were thirty cors[a] of the finest flour and sixty cors[b] of meal, 23 ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. 24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. 25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.

26 Solomon had four[c] thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.[d]

27 The district governors, each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king’s table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. 28 They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.

Solomon’s Wisdom

29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.[e]

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 4:22 That is, probably about 5 1/2 tons or about 5 metric tons
  2. 1 Kings 4:22 That is, probably about 11 tons or about 10 metric tons
  3. 1 Kings 4:26 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Chron. 9:25); Hebrew forty
  4. 1 Kings 4:26 Or charioteers
  5. 1 Kings 4:34 In Hebrew texts 4:21-34 is numbered 5:1-14.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

In the complexities of life, ask God to meet you today.

Think Further

In this chapter we see the scope of the challenge before Solomon. No wonder he was in need of wisdom! In the list of names covered in verses 1–19 we find secretaries and civil servants of all types of departments. This is a massive governmental machine that is established to rule and manage the kingdom.

Among these (verses 7–19) are regional governors whose function is to collect taxes so the king has what is required. As Solomon flourishes, so the kingdom flourishes too. This growth of the kingdom in population and land is again seen as fulfillment of prophecy:1 so all is well.

Israel and Solomon now control the politics of the area and with that comes great wealth (vv. 22–26), which in Deuteronomic terms is seen as a sign of divine blessing on Solomon, a reward for his asking for wisdom. There is a good lesson here for us in the modern political sphere. Wise governance of the land leads to peace and prosperity for all, so perhaps this gives fuel to our prayers for wisdom for those who lead and govern us.

The writer is making a key point – along with his poetry and proverbs and his knowledge of botany and horticulture, God has given Solomon wisdom to match the expanse of his kingdom. For us, then, who are frequently called to tasks for which we may feel unqualified and inadequate, we take encouragement that God equips those he calls and supplies them with what is needful for the task. We pray that, with Solomon, God’s blessing on our ministries may be for the benefit and flourishing of those we serve.

Apply

Why not write to your local elected official assuring them of your prayers today?

Closing prayer

Lord God, help me to trust that whatever you call me to do, you will give me everything needed and that in my weaknesses, your strength is made known!

Last Updated on May 11, 2024 by kingstar

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