Monday, June 20, 2016

Self-Serving or Serving Self

O. T. #777 "Self-Serving or Serving Self"
June 20, 2016
1 Kings 10-Part 2
So Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth. 1 Kings 10:23


I think there is a difference between self-serving and serving self. We pull up to the gas stations now days and have to pump gas on our own-that is self-service. Used to, the owners or workers would pump the gas for the customer. Not so today. Serving yourself, like at a buffet where you put the food on your plate, instead of  ordering off the menu and having it delivered to your seat. Are we always serving our self as we and buy things for us instead of sharing with others? Which do we do? Which did Solomon do?

People from every nation came to consult Solomon and hear the wisdom God had given him. Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver, gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and  mules.

Visitors from distant lands came to admire this wise king, while his own people were gradually alienated from him. Little is mentioned in the Bible about the last decade of Solomon's reign. (Life Application Study Bible)

God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He spoke about plants, animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. Kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible, other than Jesus Christ. (chapter 4, New Living Translation)

What does a man with such wisdom do with his time and life? He authored the books of Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs,  many proverbs and a couple of Psalms. He was a diplomat, trader, collector, and patron of the arts. (LASB)

Are we sharing the knowledge and life lessons we have learned during our walk of our Christian life with others?


We learn of the wealth of gold that came to Solomon through tolls and tariffs from traders, revenues from loyal administrators, and taxes from Arabian kings who used caravan routes under Solomon's control. (MacArthur)

Solomon received approximately 50,000 pounds of gold yearly with an estimated value anywhere from $750 million to over $1 billion in modern U.S. dollars. (The Jeremiah Study Bible, published in 2013)

What does a man do with such an astronomical wealth?
  • He had shields of gold made and places them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
  • He made a huge throne of ivory and overlaid with fine gold, decorated with lions. No other throne in all the world could be compared with it. (verse20)
  • All of his drinking cups and utensils were solid gold instead of silver, which was considered worthless in that day. (verse 21)
  • He had a fleet of trading ships that sailed with Hiram's fleet, which once every 3 years brought gold, silver,ivory, apes, and peacocks.
  • Solomon had a huge force of chariots and horses, imported from Egypt and Cilicia.
God had allowed for normal blessings of riches to occur in Solomon's kingdom, but He warned accumulating riches for personal gain because it would prevent wholehearted devotion to God.

If only Solomon had read Deuteronomy 17, which instructs the kings of Israel to:
  •  not acquire horses for himself or send people back to Egypt to acquire them. You are never to go back that way again. 
  • not acquire many wives for himself so his heart won't go astray.
  • not to acquire large amounts of gold and silver for himself.
  • copy this instruction for himself on a scroll in the presence of Levitical priests when he was seated on his royal throne. It is to remain with him and he is to read it all the days of his life, so he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to observe all the words of this instruction, and to do these statues.
What would result if the king did all of these things?
  • His heart would not be exalted above his countrymen.
  • He would not turn from this command to the right or to the left.
  • Solomon and his sons would continue ruling many years over Israel. (LASB)

Solomon seemed to have gotten distracted with serving himself with all the things his money provided. He realized toward the end of his life that there is no satisfaction apart from serving God and others.

Is there anything that prevents our wholehearted devotion to God? If there is, friends, we must remove it. God demands first place in our life and heart and soul.


Keep  God on the throne of my heart, surrendering daily my life to Him.

Do not allow material things or riches to be more important than my God and Savior.

Never go back to my Egypt of serving self.

Serve Jesus and others with love today.

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