Old Testament: 1 Kings 9:1-10:29
1 Kings 9:1-9 Why Don’t You Do Right?
Yahweh appeared to Solomon a second time and promised to keep a descendant of his on the throne forever if he’d walk in His statutes as his father had. If Solomon broke the covenant by following other gods, Yahweh will dishonor him by making Israel a mockery in the eyes of other nations.
1 Kings 9:10-27 What A Waste!
After twenty years when the Temple and his palace had been built, Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the region of Galilee. Hiram came to view the cities. His response: “What the heck?” He didn’t like them. He said they looked like a “wasteland.” He had given Solomon $95,578,560 in gold! Apparently, Solomon perhaps paid Hiram back with gold received by the Queen of Sheba (1Ki. 10: 10). But Solomon had no right to pay the king back with cities that belonged to Yahweh not to him. According to Wiersbe, Solomon used Hiram’s gold for his palace which was bad stewardship. It was much like what his father-in-law did, burning down a city to give it to his daughter as a wedding gift (cf. 10: 16).
Solomon also assembled a navy (1Ki. 10: 26-27).
1 Kings 10:1-13 Little Queen
Solomon’s fame had spread all the way to Arabia which gives rise to a visit from the Queen of Sheba. She must have heard of his wisdom and came with “difficult questions” (v. 1). She brought various types of wealth with her.
The queen brought her toughest questions and he was able to answer them. When she spent time with him and witnessed his great buildings and servants, she lost her breath (v. 5). She said that what she had heard about him didn’t do justice to just how wealthy and wise he was! She gave him the exact amount of gold he needed to repay Hiram. Coincidence?
1 Kings 10:14-29 Many Horse Power
Solomon was paid 375 million dollars a year! He had quite a bit of silver and gold to say the least. His furnishings and trappings could not have been more lavish. He sent ships out every three years and brought back silver, gold, ivory, peacocks and even apes!
Solomon became greater than all the other kings and certainly the richest and wisest (v. 23). Everyone was bringing him wealth in exchange for his wisdom 9v. 24-25).
He accumulated horses just as Moses had warned the people (Dt. 17: 16-17). He had so many that he made money off them becoming a horse-trader to other nations (v. 29). Why did Solomon need so much wealth? Someone once asked multimillionaire John D. Rockefeller how much money was enough. He answered, “Just a little bit more.” Perhaps, Solomon knew personally that “pride precedes a fall” (Prov. 16: 18).
New Testament: Acts 8:14-40
Acts 814-24 Pray For Pay
The Gospel has now spread to Samaria. Remember that Jesus told the disciples to go from Jerusalem to Samaria and then to Judea and then to the world? They are now in Samaria. Samaria was an area of half-breeds, half Jewish and half Gentile. Remember the Samaritan woman in John 2? The parable of the Good Samaritan? Jews did not usually have dealings with Samaritans. But now the gospel had entered Samaria.
The pattern of salvation usually is a sinner hears the gospel, makes a decision for Christ, and at the moment the decision is made, the Holy Spirit enters into him or her. Don’t forget that the book of Acts is a book of history. It relates what happened and does not tell us what should happen. It is descriptive, not prescriptive. We are about to witness a series of special circumstances as the gospel moves out from Jerusalem. The pattern of salvation is not the same as described in the epistles. The reason is that God is doing a new work and He wants people to understand the new thing that is being done. The world is transitioning from the era of the law to the era of grace. It is moving from Moses to Christ and the church.
Peter and John, as the prominent and representative apostles, are sent from Jerusalem to Samaria when the church hears that the gospel had been accepted there. No one had received the Holy Spirit there though they had trusted Christ and been baptized. To remedy the situation, John and Peter put their hands on them and then it could be seen that the Spirit had been received by them (v. 17). How could it be seen? We can guess that they spoke in tongues or there were other manifestations and miracles. Whatever it was, Simon, the Magician, could perceive the difference.
Simon, who loved to be the center of attention, asked to buy the ability to transfer the Spirit to people. Peter rebuked Simon and told him he needed to change his perspective. To think that the ability to give the Spirit could be transmitted from person to person was an evil sin said Peter (v. 22). Simon asked Peter to ask the Lord to protect him from going astray (v. 24).
Acts 8:25-39 A Great Disappearing Act
An angel appeared to Philip and told him to proceed south and that they’d find an Ethiopian eunuch who had come to Jerusalem to worship. When they found him he was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The eunuch said, “What? Do I have a study Bible or commentary or anything?”
Turns out the eunuch was reading the main chapter on Christ in Isaiah, chapter 53: 7-8. He asked Philip who the prophet was talking about. Philip was glad to explicate the Scriptures to him about Jesus. When they were passing some water, the eunuch asked Philip if he could be baptized. Philip told him that if he believed with all his heart, that he could be baptized. The eunuch confessed Christ. So they stopped the chariot and Philip and the eunuch both went into the water, showing that immersion was in vogue, and Philip dunked the eunuch.
After they came up out of the water, Philip was snatched away by the Spirit and the eunuch didn’t see him again. (Will the Rapture be like this?) The eunuch left rejoicing and Philip found himself in Azotus where he continued to preach the gospel off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.