Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reading 16: Wise King Solomon

1 Kings 3:1-28

The kingdom is now handed to Solomon son of David and Bathsheba. God showed favour to Solomon because, like his father, Solomon pursued God. He goes early in his kingship and sacrifices at a temple to God. Solomon is only 12 years old at this time and God comes to him in a dream and asks him what he would like. When you were 12 what would you want more than anything in the world? Solomon is daunted by the Kingdom he has to take care of, especially following the job his father did. Solomon asks for wisdom so that he can do a proper job of taking care of God's people.

God is very pleased with this answer. Solomon has depended upon Him to be a faithful ruler to the people of Israel. Because he has asked for this God decides to give him everything else also. As long as we follow and pursue God He will provide. God blessed Solomon with great wealth and riches and all Israel enjoyed a long time of peace and prosperity under Solomon. All 40 years that he reigned.

Shortly after asking for wisdom we see Solomon display the wisdom God has given him. Two women were fighting over a baby, each claiming it was theirs. Solomon's solution was to cut the baby in half and give each one half a baby. That doesn't seem wise but when one says "give it to her" to save the babies life and the other says "fine kill it, if I can't have it then you can't have one either" Solomon reveals which one is the mother.

Solomon was also commissioned by God to build the Temple. God's dwelling place had been mobile from the time Israel left Egypt in the Exodus. The peace and stability that Israel experienced due to the reigns of David and Solomon allowed them to finally build a Temple to God. Solomon's endless wealth went toward constructing the elaborate Temple in which God would dwell.

Inside of the Temple
Solomon decided to take many wives. In fact he had 400 wives from all different nations around. These wives all worshipped the gods of their people and this eventually led Solomon to start worshipping these gods as well. He turned his back on the God who gave him wisdom and great wealth to worship idols made by human hands. Because of this, at the end of Solomon's reign, Israel would become a split nation.

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