When King Solomon asked God for wisdom (1 Kings 3:7-9), God also gave Solomon great wealth and honor as well (1 King 3:13; 1 Kings 4:29-34). Wisdom means to walk with honesty, to love and obey God, and shun evil and wickedness (see Deuteronomy 4:5-8; 1 Kings 3:14; Job 28:28; Proverbs 1:7; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). King Solomon’s immediate behavior revealed evidence of his wisdom. He resolved an argument over a child between two women (1 Kings 3:16-27) with such insight that the people were “in awe of the king” (1 Kings 3:28). 1 Kings chapters 4 through 10 also reveal King Solomon’s wisdom, wealth, and world honor. The queen of Sheba came to test King Solomon with difficult questions and found his wisdom exceeding all others (1 Kings 10:1-9). Even more, King Solomon’s administration (1 Kings 4:1-28), his international relations (1 Kings 3:12; 5:1-9), his building projects (1 Kings 5:10–7:51), and his business dealings (1 Kings 9:18, 26-28; 1 Kings 10:15-29) all confirmed his godly wisdom. God prospered the nation of Israel under King Solomon’s wisdom and leadership. During King Solomon’s reign, Israel was at the zenith of world power.
Early in King Solomon’s reign, he faithfully imitated King David’s love and faithfulness to God (1 Kings 3:3). In his address dedicating the Temple, King Solomon acknowledged the living God as the true King and Lord of the universe (1 Kings 8:23). Nonetheless, God also repeatedly warned King Solomon to remain wholeheartedly faithful to Him as the true and living God, to worship Him only, and to walk in obedience to God’s ways (e.g., see 1 Kings 2:2-4; 1 Kings 3:14; 1 Kings 6:12-13; 1 Kings 8:25; 1 Kings 9:4-9). God wanted the hearts of King Solomon and the people to be fully committed to Him as their Lord and true King and to live in complete obedience to His Holy Word (1 Kings 8:60; see also Psalm 46:10; Luke 12:31). God’s lordship and commands are good and for our protection. King David, Solomon’s father, had been completely faithful to God with a righteous and upright heart (1 Kings 3:6). Although David committed grievous sins, he was repentant and NEVER involved in an idolatrous worship of another god (see Psalm 51). David always honored the true and living God as the Lord and King of his life (see also Matthew 6:33).
Unfortunately, King Solomon’s wisdom did not last throughout his career. As King Solomon aged and his honor around the world grew, he began accumulating chariots and horses, a huge harem of women, and extravagant displays of wealth (see 1 Kings 10:1 - 11:3, particularly 10:26 — 11:3; see also Deuteronomy 17:14-20; 1 Samuel 8:11-18). Sadly, the more lavish King Solomon became, the more the people were taxed. He even gave away part of God’s promised land to a foreigner to support his luxury lifestyle (1 Kings 9:13). This extravagance violated God’s law (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). Even more, King Solomon had over 700 wives and 300 concubines who worshipped other gods and had different standards of right and wrong (1 Kings 11:3). Because of these women, King Solomon turned his back on God and worshipped other pagan gods! King Solomon allowed idol and pagan worship to enter his life. These women turned King Solomon’s heart away from passionate faithfulness to the true and living God (1 Kings 11:4-13). King Solomon built shrines and encouraged pagan worship of other gods in Jerusalem. God repeatedly warned the people against worshipping other gods (see Exodus 20:1-6; Deuteronomy 5:6-15). Eventually, this idolatrous worship brought spiritual corruption into the nation of Israel and lead King Solomon and the people away for the absolute Kingship of the Lord God.
King Solomon was one of the wisest people who ever lived. But once he turned away from wholeheartedly loving and obeying the true and living God, King Solomon lost his wealth, honor, and his kingdom – he lost everything (1 Kings 11:9-13, 33). Eventually, God called up enemies like Hadad from Edom, Rezon from Zobah (modern-day Syria), and Jeroboam from Zeredah. These men would eventually divide King Solomon’s mighty kingdom because of his disobedience and unfaithfulness to God (1 Kings 11:14-40). As Solomon soon learned, we are nothing without God’s divine help, strength and guidance! God wants everyone – Jew and non-Jew (Gentiles) to love Him wholeheartedly, trust Him as the true and living God, obey His commands, to live a life pleasing to Him, and stay away from evil (1 Kings 11:38; see also Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Deuteronomy 10:12-11:1; Matthew 22:34-40).
We must all remain wholeheartedly faithful to God from beginning to the end – start to finish (Mark 13:13). God must be in control of our lives each and every day as our Lord and King (see also Matthew 6:33-34; Luke 12:31). God’s requirements of faithfulness and obedience given to King David and King Solomon are still required for Jesus Christ’s followers today (e.g., see Matthew 25:14-21; Luke 16:10-12; John 14:21; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 2:10). We are to love the Lord God with all our heart and obey His commandments (John 14:21) and be faithful to Him in all things. Those who follow King David’s good example of faithfulness and devotion to God (see Acts 13:22) will similarly be received as God’s people (Acts 13:32-39; Romans 8:12-21).
Jesus also noted King Solomon’s great wisdom. Yet, Jesus reminded the people that He was even greater than Solomon (Matthew 12:42). Jesus is the true wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30) in whom one can find ultimate wisdom (Colossians 2:3, 7). Following and intimating Jesus Christ makes one wise as He changes our hearts and makes us new from the inside out (John 15:1-10; see also 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21). Fundamentally, all the beautiful qualities of wisdom are revealed in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ’s life is a pattern for everyone to follow who wants and seeks God’s wisdom (1 John 2:6; James 3:13-18).
There is but one God that must be loved, obeyed, and worshipped (1 Kings 8:23; see also Deuteronomy 4:39; Deuteronomy 5:7, 9; Deuteronomy 6:4-6, 13-14; John 14:6; Acts 4:12). God loves and cares for us without measure (Deuteronomy 4:37; John 3:16), but He also wants everyone to love and obey Him (Deuteronomy 5:9-10). We must all worship God from our whole hearts as we obey and remain completely faithful to Him (Deuteronomy 10:12, 20; Psalm 24:1-4; Matthew 4:10; John 4:24). We must not let any idol take God’s first place in our hearts (1 John 5:21), because all other "gods" or “idols” are only creations of sinful imaginations and are not gods at all (Romans 1:18). To worship other gods is to worship nothing and become nothing (Psalm 115:8).
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