Winners and Losers: Part 12 -
Solomon: The Wise-man Who Neglected to Use His Wisdom
Kathy's Sunday School Lessons Written for Young Boys and Girls by Kathryn Capoccia
© Copyright Kathryn Capoccia 2001. This file may be freely copied, printed out, and distributed as long as copyright and source statements remain intact, and that it is not sold.
Solomon holds a fascinating place in Israel’s history. He inherited a united kingdom from his father, David, ascending the throne over his elder brothers, Chileab, Adonijah, Shephatiah and Ithream at a time when Israel was the great world power with no real rivals. He became king at a time in history when peace prevailed: Egypt was in a decline, the Hittite Empire had been destroyed, the Assyrian Empire was still in its formative stages as was Babylon. He possessed qualities and abilities that uniquely fitted him to rule Israel at that time: he was born into the royal family and exhibited a like faith, he was handsome and well educated, he had grown-up in the king’s palace and knew court life intimately, he was well acquainted with the wealthy and powerful, he had observed the heights of success and the depths of failure of his father’s reign, and he had witnessed firsthand the consequences of unbridled envy, intrigue, lust, murder and rebellion. His country was nearing the pinnacle of its power and influence and he had been appointed and equipped to rule it by God Himself: the stage seemed set for a triumphant reign. His rule would become the standard for wisdom, wealth and prestige, yet it would also be a time of hedonism and spiritual compromise which would cause God to bring judgment against Solomon and his country (1KI 11:9-13). What happened? Nehemiah chapter 13 verse 26 puts it this way, “He [Solomon] was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women”.
I. Who Was He?
A. What was his name? His name was Solomon which means “peace” or “peaceable”; he was given the name of “Jedidiah, “beloved of the LORD”, from Nathan the prophet as a sign that he would succeed David on the throne (2SA 12:25).
B. Who were his people?
1. His father was David, king of Israel (2SA 12:24).
2. His mother was Bathsheba, daughter of Ammiel (1CH 3:5). She was the wife of David and widow of Uriah the Hittite (2SA 11:26). Solomon was her 2nd son, the 1st having died in infancy as a consequence of David’s adultery with her (2SA 12:15-19); she bore four sons: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon (1CCH 3:5)..
3. He had six older half brothers (1CH 3:1-3)..
C. When did he live? He lived in the 11th and 10th centuries B.C.: his reign was from 1015-975 B.C.(40 years).
II. What Did He Do?
A. He was endowed
1. He was given the right to rule
a. God promised David a son of succession to be named Solomon (2SA 7:12; 1CH 22:9, 28:5).
b. Solomon was also named “Jedidiah” by Nathan (prompted by God) at his birth (2SA 12:25).
c. David promised the throne to Solomon (1KI 1:13, 17, 30).
*There was no law of succession in Israel at this time; an older son did not have any rights over a younger.
d. David had Solomon anointed as king (1CH 23:1, 29:22; 1KI 1:38,39).
2. He was given the equipment with which to rule
a. He loved the Lord (1KI 3:3).
WHERE DID HIS FAITH COME FROM?
1) David, his father, was “a man after God’s heart” (1SA 13:14).
2) Bathsheba, his mother, had acted righteously after her seduction by David (2SA 11:4).
b. the LORD appeared to him.
1) at Gibeon (1KI 3:5).
2) at Jerusalem (1KI 9:2).
c. He was given a wise and discerning heart (1KI 3:9; 4:29,30).
HOW WISE WAS HE?
1) he was wiser than the wisest person in the world (1KI 4:29-31).
2) he was able to determine the rightful mother of a child claimed by two women (1KI 3:16-28).
3) he spoke 3,000 proverbs, composed 1,005 songs and instructed men from all over the earth (1KI 3:32-34).
4) he answered all the questions of the Queen of Sheba (1KI 10:1-13; 2CH 9:2,3).
5) the world sought his wisdom (1KI 10:24).
d. He was given riches (1KI 3:9, 4:29, 10:14-29).
HOW RICH WAS HE?
1) He was richer than all the kings of the earth (2CH 9:22).
2) He received 666 talents of gold a year (1KI 10:14; 2CH 9:13: that’s 799,200 ounces; gold is $347.4 dollars an ounce today, so that would be $277,642,080 in American dollars a year at a time when the average man earned about $16,000 a year American).
a) He drank from gold vessels (silver was not considered a valuable metal because gold was so plentiful in his time; 1KI 10:21,28; 2CH 9:13-22).
b) He made large and small shields for the armory (15 lb. and 5 lb.) of pure gold (1KI 10:16,17).
c) He overlaid his ivory throne with refined gold (1KI 10:18-20).
2) He received tribute from the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and the border of Egypt (1KI 4:21; 2CH 9:14).
3) He received gold and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks every three years from his fleet partnership with Huram (2CH 9:21).
4) All the kings of the earth brought silver and gold articles, garments, weapons, spices, horses and mules as gifts for solomon in exchange for his counsel (2CH 9:23,24).
5) The provision for one day’s meal for Solomon was 30 kors of fine flour, 60 kors of meal, 10 fat oxen, 20 pasture-fed oxen, 100 sheep, deer, gazelles, roebucks and fattened fowl (1KI 4:22,23). *Keil-Delitzsch break this figure down to be 28,000 lbs. of bread, 6,000 lbs. of meat from fat oxen, 400 lbs. of meat from pasture fed oxen, 70 lbs. of meat from sheep, along with various other meats, which would be enough to feed a court of 14,000 people, “Commentary on the Old Testament”, vol. 3, Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Co., © 1978, pg. 52.
e. He was given honor (1KI 3:9).
HOW HONORED WAS HE?
1) He was highly exalted in the sight of Israel (1KI 29:25).
2) All the kings of the earth sought his presence (1KI 10:24; 2CH 9:23).
3) The queen of Sheba extolled him (1KI 10:6-10).
3. He was given instructions on securing his throne
a. David charged him to obey God (1KI 2:3,4).
b. David charged him to clear his nation of enemies (1KI 2:5-9).
1) David instructed him to execute Joab the son of Zeruiah for murdering Abner son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether (1KI 2:5); he was executed at the altar of the Tabernacle (1KI 2:28-34).
2) David instructed him to execute Shimei the son of Gera for cursing David (1KI 2:8,9; see EXO 22:28); he was executed after a grace period of three years (1KI 36-46).
3) Solomon executed Adonijah, the son of David who had tried a coup d ‘e tat’, because he showed his continued ambition to usurp the throne (1KI 2:13-25).
4) Solomon dismissed and banished Abiathar, the high priest who had supported Adonijah, to his home town (1KI 2:26,27).
4. He was given the opportunity to construct the Temple
a. God choose Solomon (1CH 28:2-10)
*David had wanted to build the Temple (1CH 17:1-4) but was not allowed to (1CH 22:8, 28:3).
b. David made provision for Solomon:
1) David stockpiled supplies for the Temple (1CH 18:8; 1CH 29:2-5).
2) David gave Solomon the plans of the Temple given him by God (1CH 28:11-19).
3) David encouraged Solomon (2CH 28:20).
4) David ordered the people to co-operate with Solomon (1CH 22:9, 29:1, 19).
c. the people contributed to the supplies for the Temple (2CH 29:6-9).
d. the Temple was constructed (in 11 years: 1KI 5:18, 6:2, 21, 7:14-51; 2CH 3:1-3, 4:11-22) and dedicated (2CH 5-7).
B. He was indulgent
*This section is based on Ecclesiastes with the assumption that Solomon was the writer.
1. He experimented (tested himself)
a. with wisdom (ECC 1:13-18).
b. with pleasure (ECC 2:1,2).
c. with wine (ECC 2:3).
d. with materialism (ECC 2:4-8).
e. with women (ECC 2:8; 1KI 11:3).
1) he had 700 wives.
2) he had 300 concubines.
2. He constructed (magnified his works)
a. He constructed the Temple
b. He constructed his palace complex (1KI 7).
1) the armory at the forest of Lebanon (1KI 7:2).
2) his throne room
3) his personal home and the home for Pharoah’s daughter
c. He constructed terraces (1KI 9:24).
d. He constructed a fleet of ships (1KI 9:26)
e. He constructed improvements on the cities he received from Huram (2CH 8:2).
C. He was idolatrous
1. He was disobedient
a. He married pagan women (1KI 9:24, 11:1-3).
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THAT?
EXO 23:31-33, 34:12-16; DEU 7:3 forbade Israel to intermarry with pagans because they would corrupt them.
b. He entered into a partnership with a pagan king (1KI 10:22).
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THAT?
EXO 34:12 forbade Israel to make covenants with unbelievers.
c. He multiplied horses for himself (1KI 10:26, 28,29).
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THAT?
DEU 17:16 forbade an Israelite king to multiply horses for himself. Possibly this was to forestall a dependence upon man’s abilities rather than upon God’s power (see PSA 20:7).
2. He did evil
a. He permitted his foreign wives to bring their idolatry into Israel
b. He constructed worship centers for his wives which would remain as a snare to Israel until the time of Josiah (1KI 11:5-8; 2KI 23:13,14).
c. He allowed his wives to turn his heart from God (1KI 11:4-8).
3. He was punished
a. God sentenced him (1KI 11:9-13).
b. God raised up adversaries
1) Hadad (1KI 11:14-25).
2) Rezon (1KI 11:23, 25).
3) Jeroboam (1KI 11:26-40).
c. God brought Solomon’s judgment upon Rehoboam (1KI 12:16).
WAS HE A WINNER OR A LOSER?
CONSIDER THIS: THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES, A BOOK WRITTEN AFTER THE WRITER’S (SOLOMON’S) LONG LIFE EXPERIENCES, CONCLUDES WITH THIS; “FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, BECAUSE THIS APPLIES TO EVERY PERSON. FOR GOD WILL BRING EVERY ACT TO JUDGMENT, EVERYTHING WHICH IS HIDDEN, WHETHER IT IS GOOD OR EVIL” (ECC 12:13,14).
III. What Can We Learn From Him?
A. Solomon’s life serves as a spiritual warning to us all that anyone, even a wise person, can fall into gross sin if he/she arrogantly think that he/she is above it and so does not protect himself/herself from it (1 CO 10:12).
B. Solomon was the wisest human being on earth yet he did not apply his wisdom to his life- he did not live what he knew to true about God’s will. We can see from his life that no matter how intelligent one is unless he/she obeys what he/she knows about the Word of God he/she will inevitably fall into sin (JAM 1:22-24).
C. Bad company corrupts good morals; Solomon was dragged into the depths of idolatry by the pagan wives he chose and we also can learn sinful ways and behave sinfully if we regularly associate with the ungodly.
D. Solomon spent a great deal of wasted time indulging himself but Christ said the godly walk was to deny oneself daily, pick up one’s cross and follow Jesus: if we want to serve God He must come first.
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Kathy Capoccia's Sunday School Lessons for Young Adults" by:
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