The Wise Prophet & King

David’s Last Instruction to his Son Solomon

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. He said, "Observe what God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.” (1 Kings 2:1-3)

Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem to worship God Almighty and God gave him great riches. Solomon wrote many proverbs and words of wisdom which are written in the Bible, but his many wives were a stumbling block to him.

Solomon Asks for Wisdom

At Gibeon God appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered, “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. (1 Kings 3:5-10; 4:29-34)

Q : What would you ask from God if you had to make a choice?

(To be answered by the reader)

Wisdom & Kindness

Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, “My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone. During the night this woman’s son died. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son, and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.” The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.” The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to her. Do not kill him; she is his mother.” When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice. (1 Kings 3:16-28)

Solomon Builds a Temple (House) to God

Solomon said, ”Now God my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of God, as He told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’" So Solomon built the temple and completed it. He had spent seven years building it. (1 Kings 5:2-5, 6:14,38)

The Honour of the Wise

When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of God, she came to test him with hard questions. And nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, she said to the king, "Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel.” And she gave the king gold and precious stones. King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for out of his royal bounty. (1Kings 10:1-13)

Solomon's Words of Wisdom

Wisdom is from God:

The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. For God gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 1:7; 2:6; 9:10)

And about its great value Solomon said:

Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 4:4,5; 8:10,11)

And about adultery Solomon said:

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife? For a man’s ways are in full view of God, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly. (Proverbs 5:1-5; 20-23)

And about wine he said:

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. (Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-32)

And about riches he said:

Better a little with the fear of God than great wealth with turmoil. A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. (Proverbs 15:16; 22:1; 23:4)

And about children’s education he said:

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Proverbs 13:24; 22:6)

And about justice he said:

Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— God detests them both. (Proverbs 11:21; 17:15)

And about truth he said:

God detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. God detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him. (Proverbs 12:22; 13:11; 20:23)

And about pride he said:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor. (Proverbs 16:18,19; 29:23)

Solomon’s Wives

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women. They were from nations about which God had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them." He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. They turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to God his God. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. So God said to Solomon, "I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.” (1 Kings 11:1-12)

Solomon’s Death

Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king. He was one of Solomon’s officials, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, and his mother was a widow named Zeruah. For this is what God says: "See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes. But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe." Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death. Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. Then he rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king. (1 Kings 11:26-43)

Q : What do you think is the reason for the continuing conflicts and wars, even in the times of the prophets?

Satan's tool is the difference between individuals, the gaps between generations, and the differences between the habits and traditions of different people groups. Satan uses all of these to light the flame of evil attitudes in mankind everywhere.
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