1 Kings 4:1-7 (KJV) So king Solomon was king over all Israel. And these were the princes which he had…And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel…
Wisdom is an essential part of everyday life. Wisdom helps us make the daily decisions that are often difficult to make. Wisdom also helps us to understand things that may have previously been above our level of comprehension. In yesterday’s study, we observed how integral wisdom is to accomplishing God’s agenda for the world around us. But how does that translate into our everyday lives at home?
Understanding The Text
In today’s text, we observe Solomon’s transition into his role as king is completely established. He has demonstrated to the people that he is a leader worth following because he is completely dependent upon God’s wisdom to govern the kingdom. What Solomon understands is that to completely secure his rule, he must have an effective and efficient administration. Although Solomon possessed the wisdom of God, he was not foolish enough to believe that he was capable of executing the daily duties and responsibilities of governing the kingdom alone.
In studying the text, we observe that Solomon creates two governing bodies: 1) the first group to assist with the administration within the royal court (1 Kgs. 4:1-6), and 2) the second group to assist with the administration and implementation of the kingdom agenda throughout the rest of the kingdom (1 Kgs. 4:7-28). The first group formed an inner circle that paralleled and was connected with David’s rule. Its purpose was to continue to emphasize continuity with the Davidic rule as a kingdom under God (2 Sam. 8:15-18; 20:23-25).
The second group, however, was more geopolitical in nature. It consisted of twelve officers (or district governors) that were overseers of twelve provinces within the kingdom (1 Kgs. 4:7-19). On a geopolitical map, the first seven districts formed a clockwise inner circle and the remaining five districts formed an outer counterclockwise circle to encompass the entire geography of the kingdom. With this sophisticated arrangement (although modeled after the Canaanite tradition), Solomon was able to secure the whole geography of the kingdom and usher in an era of peace and prosperity (1 Kgs. 4:20-28).
Administering Kingdom principles within the home is of paramount importance to advancing God’s Kingdom agenda throughout the world.
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because we must begin to view our homes as our little ‘provinces’. We must understand that God does indeed give us Godly wisdom and counsel to navigate through the daily occurrences in life on the outside. But He also intends for us to exercise that same level of Godly wisdom when we are at home as well. As an example, Solomon demonstrates how to formulate administrative effectiveness and efficiency by putting the right people into the right positions to carry out the responsibilities of the kingdom. Likewise, we must be able to discern who within our marital relationships are best suited to function in which capacity. We must be able to determine which child is better at one household chore than the other.
Godly wisdom and discernment can help us to provide Godly leadership within our homes and create an environment wherein the peace and love of God abounds. The Apostle Peter teaches, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them (the wife) according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life…” (1 Pet. 3:7). The Apostle Paul says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…” (Eph. 6:4).
Why is this addressed to “husbands” and “fathers”? In the economy of God’s Kingdom, the man was designed to be “the head of the household”. Unfortunately, within our contemporary context, this is not always the case. However, this applies to whoever functions in this role. If we remember, we may carry the position of being the “heads of household”, but we are, in fact, the servants of the household (Mt. 20:25-28). Like Solomon, we should ask for an understanding (or hearing) heart and discernment so we can make the best decisions for the welfare of those for whom we are responsible and to whom we are in service. As we yield to God’s way of doing things, God will establish our homes and help us to usher in His love and peace.
God’s Kingdom is a dominion that built on a well-ordered foundation. This foundation extends into every sector of our lives, beginning at home. The Apostle Paul asks the question, “…if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God” (1 Tim. 3:5)? Although we commonly attribute this saying to the church community as a whole, it also speaks to the individual family unit and the head of the household, in particular. Why?
Because it is the head of the household that governs the family unit at home. Then, the family unit enters into the larger community and exhibits what is being taught at home. We must be cognizant of what takes place within our homes. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we must constantly remain focused on how we administer Kingdom principles at home to consistently demonstrate Kingdom behavior in the community.