“The king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the lowland. ” Vs 27
Solomon became the richest king in all of the land and likely one of the richest in the world at the time. If David put Israel on the map militaristically, then Solomon solidified it as a power financially. Israel reached the peak of its power within three generations of kings. What went wrong? How did things get so bad so fast? The writer of Ecclesiastes (presumed to be Solomon) gives us a glimpse of this in 2:9-11,
“Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem […] behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.”
Solomon at the end of his life looked back at what could have been. He realized that wealth was not what made Israel great. Women and power could not bring him happiness. All was vanity. The only thing that holds worth is God.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.”
11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people—12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!” 2 Chronicles 1:11-12
While we can lament Solomon’s waywardness, that is not the purpose of this closing chapter on Solomon’s reign. With the chronicler’s emphasis on his political and economic wisdom, along with his astronomical wealth, it serves one purpose-a declaration that God keeps his word.
At the very beginning of his reign, God promised Solomon wisdom, wealth, and influence, and he kept his word. The people reading this history (a few hundred years later) had returned to a dilapidated city and a leveled Temple, they needed reminding that God is a promise keeper; that they weren’t forgotten.
So, don’t let your circumstances rob you of hope. Our God keeps his word; he is making good on his promises. Already we are a redeemed people through Jesus, and one day he will finish what he started. That’s a promise.
“And all the kings of the earth were seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.”It was Solomon’s wisdom that pointed people to God- brilliant, remarkable, clear, approachable. How about us?When we brush up against others, do we point them to God?Do our actions, attitudes, and words cause others to see a supernatural influence in our hearts and minds?When they see and hear us, do we look and sound like the Lord? (Loving, gracious, merciful, patient) It is a tremendous opportunity for God to use the gifts, personalities, talents, resources, and intellect He’s given us for His glory and the good of others!
Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
This is our last passage in our study of the life of Solomon. We’ve seen him from crowning as king to death…the whole of his rule. Solomon was blessed by God for his desire to rule the Israelites with wisdom. God blessed him far beyond his request. To look at Solomon’s life from start to finish, it would appear that he was very successful. Unimaginable wealth, palaces, kingdoms…materially, he had it all. To read other biblical writings though, gives a troubled picture of the struggles Solomon faced. All of his wisdom, all of his empire, all of his wealth, could not buy his happiness and peace of mind. His earthly success could not provide the joy of a vibrant relationship with God.
Where are you looking for your peace of mind…for your joy…for your fulfillment in life? Material possessions, fame, power and influence…none of these can provide these things. Solomon was distracted from obedience to God…but if he could tell you today…he would say, “keep your heart and eyes on the Lord.” This admonition comes from the wisest man in history!
“So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.”
It might be easy to dismiss Solomon’s wealth and understanding, to waive it away with the pronouncement that none of it mattered if his heart wasn’t right (which it eventually wasn’t). But Solomon was the king. One word from him could save a life or condemn it. It’s precisely because of his power that his riches and his insight were so critically important. Wealth and wisdom well-stewarded afford the kinds of initiatives that form character and build infrastructure and institutions for the common good. Wealth and wisdom ill-stewarded do not, and the greater the wealth and wisdom, the greater the agonizing sense of tragedy when what could have been never happens. Solomon could have built a kingdom that represented heaven’s kind of life. What a waste.
And all the kings of the earth were seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart. vs. 23
Are you that person that people seek out for counsel? Perhaps you’re a good listener, or maybe people trust your discernment when tackling tough issues or decision. Regardless of why they seek you out, it is quite a responsibility to help others navigate their lives and choices. You must always take those opportunities with care and recognize the burden of wise counsel requires humility on your part. There can be a tendency to think you are the dispensary of knowledge and wisdom. The truth is that we are simply the vessel the Lord has chosen to use at a particular time. Take great care to always keep that focus, and he may, perhaps, continue to use you!
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through 2 Chronicles 9:13-31 in our Spring Sermon Series: “SOLOMON – Building A Place of Worship.”
“Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!” Vs 7 ESV
The Queen of Sheba came because she had heard how wise this King of Israel was, but what she saw was beyond belief. Not only was the Kingdom impressive and his wisdom insightful, but even his slaves, servants, and concubines (that’s another blog for another day) were happy. In a time where rulers led with an iron thumb and flaunted their sovereignty on those lesser than them, it had to be intriguing to see a king whom everyone loved and respected. It had to be refreshing to walk into an organization where everyone from the top down was genuinely happy. The tone of the entire kingdom was different because the leader walked with God.
Whether it’s a job, school, family, or friends, we all have a place where God has entrusted us to be the leader. Is your area of influence different from those on the outside? Can people feel the difference when they walk in? Have you set a tone of happiness?
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 9:1-12 (day five) “Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the LORD your God;” I wonder if Solomon heard the “wisdom” of the queen’s words. She is declaring that Solomon’s position and possessions all belong to God. To use a good bible word, Solomon is a “steward” of the Throne and Kingdom of God. I wonder if we understand that we are also called to be (just like Solomon) stewards of our positions and possessions. It all belongs to or comes from God. He has blessed and given us them- jobs, resources, children, friendships, etc. “The earth is the LORD ’ S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.” Ps 24:1.
The Queen of Sheba came from the ends of the earth to see if all she had heard was true. She had heard of the vast wisdom of Solomon and how God had poured out His blessing on Israel. The report was so astounding she had to see for herself. She was seeking answers. What she found was that the report she had heard did not tell the half of it. God had blessed Solomon and Israel beyond measure.
In the gospel accounts, the Queen of the South was referenced as a witness of the truth (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31). Jesus cited her as an example or judge against the Pharisees who would not acknowledge Christ. She recognized the glory of God without knowing Christ. She traveled far and was richly rewarded for her diligent searching.
Does your life and witness point people to Jesus? When people meet you, do they see God at work far beyond your abilities? The Pharisees recognized that Peter and John had understanding and wisdom and noted that they “had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)…they just did not turn that recognition into relationship. Pray that your life will attract people from the ends of the earth and lead them to Christ!