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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

1 Kings 3

Verses 1-28

Our Weakness Our Strength

1 Kings 3:7

These were the words of a very wise and great man, when he was just succeeding to his high dignities and was on the eve of one of the greatest works which was ever given to a man to do. It is the Moseses, the Solomons, the Jeremiahs, who always feel their nothingness. The higher you ascend in the true scale of manhood, the more unaffected and entire is the acknowledgment 'I am but a little child'. One only who ever lived and achieved the greatnesses of life never used those words, but even He went as near to it as the omnipotence of the immeasurable spirit which dwelt in Him would allow, when He said, 'I can of mine own self do nothing'. The way to 'go out' and to 'come in' well is to have always in the mind the sense of utter incompetence. What is it to be 'a little child'?

I. You must every day be born again, that so you may have the freshness of a constant regeneration.

II. Simplicity is closely connected with the freshness. The child is ruled by his heart. He loves more than he knows. Take simple thoughts of everything. What is beyond you, leave it. A mystery is the simplest of all simple things so long as you are content to leave it a mystery. This is what the child does.

III. A third characteristic of childhood is purity. It is a beatitude upon childhood: 'Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God'. And therefore a little child sees more of God than a man does, because of this purity of heart.

IV. Consent in all things to be undertaken for, as the little child does. Go leaningly, trustingly, and lovingly. 'Go in this thy might,' your weakness is your strength. The ivy that twines round the rock is surer than the cedar which stands alone upon the mountain. At every door, confess to helplessness, and through many doors you will go in and out quite safely.

J. Vaughan, Clerical Library, vol. II. p. 66.

References. III. 15. T. Sadler, Sunday Thoughts, p. 238. III. 24-27. A. Mursell, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxii. p. 172.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/1-kings-3.html. 1910.