The story and life of Solomon is both inspiring and tragic. It is inspiring in that we see how God uses him for His glory regardless of his sinful disdain for God. In Solomon we see that God uses him mightily for his plan, purpose, and Kingdom. But his life story is rollercoaster of sin and righteousness and despite his success and failures God gracefully accomplishes amazing things in and through his life. Yes, Solomon was born in effect, with a silver spoon in his mouth yet his life was far from easy, carefree, and perfect. Solomon has gone down in history as the wisest and wealthiest King in the history of Israel. Solomon was unique because when he first became king God told him to ask him for anything he wanted, and Solomon responded with the desire to have and rule with wisdom over the nation of Israel. This was a noble and humble request of a King who was granted a wish to ask for anything he wanted. He knew the importance of having godly wisdom in ruling over God’s people. I will talk more about this in a little bit.
Unfortunately, Solomon didn’t always rule with wisdom. The more fame, fortune, and power he acquired he began to make unwise and sometimes sinful decisions like taxing his people unfairly, marrying multiple wives, and being ok with them continuing to worship their pagan gods. Despite his flaws and folly Solomon’s reign resulted in a period of peace for the nation of Israel, but after his passing the nation experienced the fallout of his sin which resulted in a nation divided (northern - Israel and southern – Judah).
God blessed Solomon with 40 years of leadership over the nation of Israel. For the most part He ruled in godly wisdom and yet, he was an imperfect ruler as well. There is a little debate over whether Solomon ever truly turned his life around and came back to the Lord before his death. The book of Ecclesiastes gives evidence that he did as he realized all the material wealth, power, and influence he had was all empty, void, and meaningless if the Lord was not present in his life.
Before we move forward let’s pause and look back at Solomon’s legacy. King David was Solomon’s father and many of you know that David had a turbulent and dysfunctional kingdom and family life. He was blessed as he was considered a man after God’s own heart, and historically it is believed that David was the greatest king of the nation of Israel. God promised David that the Messiah would come through his lineage (the Davidic Covenant). It was also King David who had the vision and plan to erect a temple or house for the LORD. He was also a man ridden with sin, dysfunction, and pain that ultimately affected his family.
1 Kings 1:1 – 10
Shortly after David and Bathsheba lost their first son due to his sin, Solomon was born to the couple. Solomon was the second heir to the throne of David, right behind Adonijah (his fourth son with his wife Haggith). When David was on his deathbed Adonijah prematurely proclaimed himself heir to the throne. However, Bathsheba and Nathan informed him that he was not going to be king.
I Kings 1:17
Unbeknownst to Adonijah, David promised his wife, Bathsheba, that Solomon would be heir to the throne. Adonijah went away without an issue and thus Solomon became king. Unfortunately, the story is not as simple as it seems. There is much involved in this story that I will not go into today, but it does conclude with the bloody death of Adonijah and others. This account can be read in 1 Kings 2:13 – 25.
Solomon became king of Israel after the death of his father. He was a good king for most of his life. He accomplished, as we will see soon, what no other king before or after him. He was as a fair and just ruler, he built the Temple of God in Jerusalem, he established trade with other nations, and he possessed wisdom and wealth that surpassed his contemporaries worldwide. Solomon wrote over 3,000 proverbs and 1,500 songs. Most of the Old Testament book of Proverbs, all of Ecclesiastes and The Song of Songs (Solomon) were written by King Solomon.
Unfortunately, unlike his father, he did not walk with God through the course of his life. For better and worse Solomon is renowned for was his abundance of wealth, wisdom, and women.
Today we will look at three key characteristics of Solomon’s life (good and bad) that may help us understand God’s purpose in using people for his glory despite their fame, flaws, and failures.
The reality is that whether Solomon came to realize his folly before it was too late or not shouldn’t really matter for us today. Why? Because we can learn from his successes and mistakes and finish our lives in victory. In conclusion I want to highlight some points that can be applied from the life of Solomon for us today
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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