ABC Bible Character Faith Series

The Wisest Man: King Solomon

Lessons from King Solomon, written by Mac Debbie

Solomon, son of David was anointed and proclaimed king in the closing years of his father. A son of Bathsheba, he was famous for his prosperous reign characterised by justice and the temple he constructed commonly known as Solomon’s temple. Above every earthly good, the king desired wisdom. What would be your immediate request if God granted you to make a wish?

At Gibeon, God appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and said, “Ask what I shall give you?” Solomon said, “Give therefore your servant an understanding heart to judge your people that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this your so great a people?And the speech pleased God, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said to him, Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life; neither have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies; but have asked for yourself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to your words: see, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like to you. And I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like to you all your days” (1 Kings 3:5, 9–13).

We see from God’s promise to Solomon, that He particularly graces and blesses those who take His will to heart. Solomon did not ask that God bestow material wealth or a long life upon him but instead asked that God grant him wisdom so that he could better rule over the people and lead them to worship God. There was no selfishness in Solomon’s request or any element of his personal interests. It was just to be considerate of God, to meet His will, and to rule the Israelites well—this brought joy to God. Solomon’s actions were in line with God’s will, thus God greatly blessed him. He bestowed on him the greatest wisdom a king had ever possessed and innumerable riches, unmatched by any other king on earth during his lifetime.

God forbade the Israelites from marrying Gentiles and even more strictly forbade them from serving or bowing down before other Gods.  However, Solomon turned a deaf ear to God’s commandments and laws; he had a lavish palace built for himself that was under construction for 13 years and he had over a thousand wives and concubines. He dwelt nonstop in the pleasures of the flesh and even worshipped idols along with Gentile women; these things that Solomon did seriously violated God’s commandments.

Even when God’s warning befell Solomon he still failed to take it seriously, continuing his luxurious life of food and drink, sinking deeper and deeper into sin. This incurred God’s loathing, leading Him to express His wrath: “For as much as this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely rend the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant” (1 Kings 11:11).

God treasured Solomon’s seeking and consideration of God and greatly blessed him. When Solomon violated God’s commandments, lusting after beauty, living within the pleasures of the flesh, and even rejecting God, worshipping the idols of the Gentiles and doing things to infuriate God, God expressed His wrath on Solomon. God rended his kingdom away from him and after his death, Israel was split apart.

The story of Solomon is not only a wake-up call for us, but it also shifts our definitions of God’s character. The God we believe in is righteous and He is not as we imagine our definition of all love, mercy and justice that no matter how we oppose Him, He will still be mild and soothing. Love doesn’t call for negligence. On the contrary, God is stern and with love and mercy, exists justice. God examines our words and deeds in our movements. If we have hearts of reverence for God, if our thoughts and actions align with the truth, then God will grace and bless us. If we are aware of the truth but do not put it into practice, still violating His commandments and doing evil things that oppose God,  then God’s punishment will befall us.

In this evil age, there are too many temptations and too many tests. There are countless snares that can pull our hearts away from God, leading us down into Satan’s temptations. We know God’s character tolerates no offence, and if we won’t have a heart of reverence for God, it will be very difficult to resist the many temptations from Satan. This is why each and every one of us should maintain a heart of reverence for God, frequently observe His words, and be cautious in our words and deeds. We should take Solomon’s failure as a warning to ourselves not to do things that offend God’s disposition, and to take God’s will to heart, often putting His requirements into practice so that when trials befall us we may receive God’s protection.

Passage: 1 Kings 1-11. Be blessed!

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