<<wise and wealthy king>>
The second son of King David and Bathsheba who succeeded his father to the throne as Israel’s third king and ruled for 40 years. He built the temple in Jerusalem (sometimes referred to as Solomon’s temple) which David his father had desired to do but was prevented from. He wrote Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, many of the Proverbs and some of the Psalms. He had a wide general knowledge and was the wisest man who ever lived, with his advice eagerly sought after (1 Kgs 3:12, 4:29-34; 2 Chr 9:22). Solomon became a very prosperous ruler and trader during the period when Israel was at the height of it’s power and wealth (1 Kgs 10:14-29; 2 Chr 1:12). His story is told in 2 Samuel 12:24-1 Kings 11:43, 2 Chronicles 1-9. He was born in 991 BC and died in 930 BC.
Lessons from his life: * When God gave Solomon the choice to ask for anything he wanted, he requested, “Wisdom to govern your people and to know the difference between right and wrong” (1 Kgs 3:6-14). God granted his request and gave him riches and honour as a bonus because he had not asked for personal wealth or long life but what would benefit others. What would I have asked for if I had been given a similar opportunity? We too can ask for wisdom, but it is our responsibility to walk with integrity by applying it (Jas 1:5). Wisdom is not just knowing what to do but also having the strength of character to live out that knowledge in practice. Although he remained ‘head’ wise throughout his life, this did not always outwork itself in his personal decisions. In what areas do I know what I should do, yet fail to act accordingly?
* He didn’t just intend to build the temple, but got started and saw it through to completion, with construction taking seven years (1 Kgs 5:5, 6:1,14,37,38). He enlisted the services of many people to ensure a quality structure, worthy of the presence of Jehovah God. When the temple was dedicated to God, he blessed the people encouraging them to do God’s will in everything by obeying His laws and commands (1 Kgs 8:55-61). After this he built his own palace as, up until then, the priority had been to build a house for God. We need to maintain correct priorities in our lives, not becoming complacent and settling down, thinking we’ve arrived otherwise we become vulnerable. Many people are overtaken by sin during such a time when their love for God is not as fervent as at the first.
* Over time sin crept into his life for, as he prospered and increased in riches, he forgot about his need for God. He tolerated, then encouraged, ungodly practices including idol worship and he married many foreign woman who worshipped their own gods (1 Kgs 11:1-13; Neh 13:26). Not only should we keep a close watch on our lives and our relationships with others who have different goals and motives, but also give permission for mature godly people to speak into our lives if they consider we are doing something unbiblical. In close friendships, it is difficult to resist the pressure to compromise so don’t form intimate or binding relationships with those who are not committed to Christ. Effective leadership can be nullified by a defective private life.