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052 Solomon the king

Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David, his father, and his kingdom was established greatly’ 1 Kings 2:12

Key Verse:

The queen of the south … came from the farthest parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:42)

(1 Kings 2-10; Psalm 72)

If God appeared to you and said to you, “Ask for whatever you want, and I will give it to you,” what would you choose? A long life? Great riches? Fame? Or something else? One day God appeared to Solomon, the son of David, in a dream and said to him, “Ask what I shall give thee.”

Do you know what Solomon chose?

In the past six lessons we have been looking into the story of the prophet of God, David. We have read some of the hymns he wrote in the book of Psalms. In our last lesson we saw how David prophesied that the sons of Adam would kill the Messiah

by piercing His hands and His feet.

David also foretold that God would raise the Messiah from the dead. In this lesson we plan to leave the story of David and move on to the story of his son,

Solomon.

In the first book of Kings, the Holy Scripture says: (1 Kings 2:1-3,10-12) “Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he charged Solomon, his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth; be thou strong, therefore, and show thyself a man. And

keep the charge of the Lord thy God,

to walk in his ways … as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and wherever thou turnest thyself … so David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years … then Solomon sat upon the throne of David, his father, and

his kingdom was established greatly”

(1 Kings 3:3,5-7,9-28; 4:29-34) “And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David, his father … the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said … thou hast made thy servant king instead of David, my father; and

I am but a little child:

I know not how to go out or come in … Give, therefore, thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern good and bad. For who is able to judge this thy people? And

the speech pleased the Lord,

that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hath asked for thyself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to thy words:

lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart,

so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour, so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father, David, did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke, and, behold,

it was a dream.

And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants. Then came there two women,

who were harlots,

unto the king, and stood before him. And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house, and I was delivered of a child with her in the night. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, except we two were in the house. And this woman’s child died in the night,

because she lay on it.

And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold,

it was dead;

but when I had looked at it in the morning, behold, it was not my son whom I did bear. And the other woman said, Nay; but the living child is my son, and the dead son is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead child is thy son, and the living is my son.

Thus they spoke before the king.

Then said the king, The one saith, this is my son who liveth, and thy son is dead; and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead child, and my son is the living. And the king said,

Divide the living child in two,

and give half to the one, and half to the other. Then spoke the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her heart yearned over her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the child, and by no means slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. Then the king answered and said,

Give her the living child,

and by no means slay it; she is the mother of it. and all Israel heard of the judgement which the king had judged, and they feared the king; for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do justice … and God gave Solomon

wisdom and very much understanding,

and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For

he was wiser than all men

… and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were a thousand and five … and there came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom”.

Next, the Scriptures record that at that time there was a queen,

the queen of Sheba,

who had heard of the profound wisdom and great majesty of Solomon. The queen made plans to go to Jerusalem to visit Solomon, to know whether what she had heard about him was the truth or not. This queen lived in a land

very far from Jerusalem,

in the land of Sheba, which lies south of Saudi Arabia. The country of Sheba is known today as

Yemen.

Between that country and Jerusalem is a distance of about two thousand kilometres. However, that great distance did not discourage the queen of Sheba from travelling to visit Solomon.

The Scripture says: (1 Kings 10:1-9) “and when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord,

she came to test him with hard questions.

And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bore spices, and very much gold, and precious stones; and when she was come to Solomon, she talked with him of all that was in her heart. And

Solomon answered all her questions;

there was not any thing hidden from the king, which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the good food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cup-bearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord,

there was no more spirit in her.

And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit, I believed not the words until I came, and mine eyes had seen it; and, behold,

the half was not told me:

thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, who stand continually before thee, and who hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the Lord thy God,

who delighteth in thee,

to set thee on the throne of Israel. Because the Lord loved Israel forever,

therefore made he the king,

to execute justice and righteousness”.

This is where we must stop in our reading. However, what the Word of God says about the queen of Sheba does not end here. Less than one thousand years after that time,

the Messiah had something to say

about the queen of Sheba and King Solomon. He said, 

“The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it; for she came from the farthest parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42)

Did you hear what the Messiah said?

He said that the queen of Sheba’s investigation of the glory of Solomon will condemn all those who refuse to investigate the glory of the Messiah. The queen of Sheba did everything in her power

to discover the glory of Solomon and listen to his wisdom.

She even travelled four thousand kilometres, round trip, to know whether what she had heard was the truth! There is an important lesson for us here. The Messiah, who came from heaven,

far exceeds Solomon

in glory, in wisdom, in knowledge and in power, yet most of the children of Adam do not recognize His glory, nor are they willing to investigate the matter to know the truth! That was why the Messiah said: “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it; for

she came from the farthest parts of the earth

to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here!” (Matthew 12:42)

You who are doing this lesson, do you recognize the glory of the Messiah whom God sent? Or do you put Him on the same level as the prophets? Do you remember what the title Messiah means? Yes, it means

the One whom God has selected.

The Messiah is the One whom God has selected as the Savior and Judge of the world. Yet, to this very day, most people ignore the Messiah. They do not know who He is, because they have never searched for Him in the Holy Scriptures.

Before we finish this lesson, you should know that

King Solomon wrote three wonderful books

which are a part of the Holy Scriptures. Those books are: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. Like his father David,

Solomon wrote some hymns which are part of the book of Psalms.

To conclude this lesson, we would like to read Psalm seventy-two which the prophet Solomon wrote. In this hymn, Solomon predicts that the Messiah will return to earth one day to judge mankind in righteousness. Let us read what King Solomon wrote concerning the perfect King, who surpassed him in

everything.

Concerning the Messiah, Solomon wrote: (Psa. 72:2,8-11,17-19) “He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with justice …

he shall have dominion

also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust … the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

Yea, all kings shall fall down before him;

all nations shall serve him … his name shall endure forever; his name shall be continued as long as the sun, and men shall be blessed in him. All nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,

who only doeth wondrous things.

And blessed be his glorious name forever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.”

Thus King Solomon predicted that one day

all the people of the world will submit to the Messiah,

the King of kings and the Judge of the world! Of course, what God wants is for each of us to submit to Him today!

How about you?

Are you truly submitted to God? Do you recognize the glory and authority of the Messiah whom God has sent and will send again? Or do you merely place Him on the same level as the prophets? If you will take the time to investigate the Holy Scriptures, you will discover that

the Messiah is the Savior and Judge of the world;

the One to whom all the prophets bear witness. That is what the Holy Scriptures declare when they say: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive forgiveness of sins … Do you believe the prophets?” (Acts 10:43; 26:27)

God willing, in the next lesson, we will study about the prophet of God, Elijah, who called down fire from heaven.

God bless you as you carefully consider what the Messiah declared, saying, 

The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it; for she came from the farthest parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (Matt. 12:42)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have