Solomon: the Wisest Man Ever
I Kings 3-4, 8-11
Before King David died, he chose his son Solomon to be the new king of Israel. He reminded Solomon to obey God’s commands so that God would make him a successful king.
Solomon became king while he was still a teenager. He loved God and tried to do what was right. One night God talked to Solomon in a dream. God said to Solomon, “What would you like Me to give you?”
Solomon said, “You have been kind to me by making me king over Israel. But I do not know how to rule all of these people. So please give me wisdom to know what is right and wrong. I want to rule the people wisely.”
God was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom. God said, “You have not asked for long life, wealth, or death for your enemies. Since you have asked for wisdom instead, I will make you the wisest man who will ever live. I will also give you more riches and honor than any other king. And if you love and obey me, I will give you a long life.”
Soon after Solomon’s dream, two women came to him for help. They had a big problem and they didn’t know what to do about it. Both women lived in the same house and each of them had a baby.
One woman told Solomon, “The other woman’s baby died in the night. While I was sleeping that woman took my baby from beside me and laid it in her bed. She laid her dead baby beside me in my bed. When I woke up to feed my baby, I saw the baby was dead. But when it got light I saw that the dead baby was not mine. It was hers.”
The other woman said, “No. The living child is mine. The dead baby is hers.”
“Bring me a sword,” King Solomon said. “Cut the living baby in two and give half of it to each of the women.”
“No. Give the baby to the other woman,” said one woman. “I don’t want my baby to die.”
The other woman said, “If I can’t have the baby, I don’t want her to have it either. Cut it in two.”
Solomon said, “Give the baby to the first woman. She is the real mother.”
When people heard about this story, they knew God had given Solomon great wisdom. Solomon wrote three thousand (3000) proverbs and one thousand five (1005) songs. He taught about plant life and birds, animals and fish. Soon people came from many other countries to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.
Solomon was also very rich. He brought gold and ivory to Jerusalem by the ton. The Bible says silver was as common in Jerusalem as stones.
it gets light
1. What did Solomon ask God to give him?
2. Since Solomon asked for this, what else did God say He would give Solomon?
3. Two women both claimed the living baby was their own. How did Solomon find out who the real mother was?
One of the first things Solomon did was build a temple for God. Before that time, people came to a tent to worship God. Solomon’s father David had wanted very much to build a temple. But God told David that his son Solomon would build the temple.
Solomon loved God very much. He built a very beautiful temple for God. After seven years, the temple was finally finished. All the people of Israel came to the temple for the dedication.
In front of all of the people of Israel Solomon prayed to God. Solomon said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below. You keep your promises to your servants who follow you with all their hearts. We have built this temple for You. Yet we know it cannot contain you. All of the earth and the heavens cannot contain You.”
Solomon prayed a long prayer. He asked God to hear and answer the prayers that the Jews prayed in the temple. Solomon knew that the people would sin and that God would have to punish them. But he prayed that when the people were sorry for their sins that God would help them.
After this, God talked to Solomon again in a dream. God said, “I heard the prayer you prayed in the temple and I am pleased. If you continue to love and worship Me, I will make you and your sons rule over Israel forever. But you and your sons must not turn away from me and worship other gods. If you do I will bring disaster on Israel.”
Finally the nation of Israel had peace. God had given the Jews the land He had promised them. He had helped them win their battles. Now they didn’t have to fight any more battles.
At first Solomon obeyed God and served Him. Then Solomon started to disobey God by marrying the wrong women. God had told the Jews how their kings should live. He said, “A king must not marry many wives or his heart will turn away from Me.” God had told all the Jews, “Do not marry people from other countries. They will turn your hearts to other gods.”
In Solomon’s time it was common for kings to have many wives. Solomon disobeyed God and married seven hundred wives. Solomon married women who were daughters of kings of other countries. Solomon thought kings would not want to fight Israel if he was married to their daughters.
These foreign wives did not love God. They wanted to worship their own gods. So Solomon built places for them to worship their gods. As Solomon grew old, he began to worship these gods, too.
This made God very angry. God had given Solomon so much. God just wanted Solomon to love and worship Him only. But Solomon disobeyed God. So God said he would take the kingdom away from Solomon. God said, “For the sake of your father David, I will not take the kingdom from you in your lifetime. But I will take the kingdom away from your son. I will let your son rule over one small part of Israel. But most of the kingdom will be given to another king.”
After Solomon died God’s words came true. Israel was divided into two parts. Solomon’s son only ruled over the smallest part.
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4. How did Solomon disobey God?
5. Why didn’t God want the Jews to marry people from other countries?
6. How did God punish Solomon for worshipping other gods?
To Think About
1. God asked Solomon, “What do you want me to give you?” If God offered to give you one thing, what would you ask for?
2. Does God have a right* to say that we must worship Him and no other God? Think about these things:
A. God created* us. God created the first parents, Adam and Eve. They passed that life on to all people. God decides what each person will be like while he is still in his mother’s womb*.
B. Everything we have is a gift from God. We work to earn money to buy food, clothing, and shelter*. But would we have any food if God did not let it rain? We can make clothing and houses, but where do we get the materials* to make them with? Where did the materials come from?