Here are seven important Bible verses from the Book of First Kings.
First Kings 3:11-12 “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.”
This happened not long after King David “swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ even so will I do this day” (First Kings 1:29-30). It wasn’t long before Solomon’s wisdom was known throughout the land. When two women came into his court arguing over who’s baby it was, Solomon simply said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other” (1st Kings 3:25) but when one woman was willing to give up the child, Solomon knew who the child’s real mother was (1st Kings 3:26-28).
First Kings 4:29-30 “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.”
If you read the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon, you can read just how much wisdom God gave Solomon. He authored most of the wisdom literature of the Bible, but some have said that Ecclesiastes is somewhat cynical in its view of life, but Solomon writes honestly about human nature and the depravity of mankind as he describes the world that hasn’t bowed the knee to God. We can read the summation of the entire Book of Ecclesiastes in the last two verses in the book: “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecll 12:13-14).
First Kings 8:4 “And they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up.”
When the Temple was nearly completed, the priests brought up the ark of the Lord, but by this time, “There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone that Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt” (1st Kings 8:9) but it represented the mercy seat and the presence of the Lord. Finally, “Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness” (1st Kings 8:12).
First Kings 8:10-11 “And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”
This was obviously the Shekinah glory of God which surrounded God Himself and now, after the Temple was completed, He came to dwell in it, although, as Solomon said “Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built” (1st Kings 8:27). God saying, “I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God” (Ex 29:45), and here He was…dwelling with them…in the Temple.
First Kings 8:23 “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart.”
When God disciplined Israel from time to time, He did it out of love because He wanted them to return to Him. It was in their best interests anyway. They who walk before God “will all their heart” receive God’s steadfast love and He will keep His covenant with those have repented (turned) and trusted in Christ. His steadfast love is most vividly displayed on the cross (John 3:16).
First Kings 10:4-5 “And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.”
When the Queen of Sheba beheld the wisdom of Solomon and his material blessings, she prioritized what was most important and that was wisdom. Possessions can become a huge stumbling block for the believer since money can be like a god to them; it provides for all their needs, it gives them creature comforts when they desire them; and it lets them rest in the fact that they’re set for a life of ease…however, someone else once thought that way. Jesus told His audience about a man who had great wealth and said, “I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry” (Luke 12:18-19) but “God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21).
First Kings 11:4-5 “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.”
It is hard to see how far Solomon fell but it got so bad that, “Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done” (1st Kings 11:6) and even joined “all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods” (1st Kings 11:8). The judgment of the Lord came from God Who said, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant” (1st Kings 11:11). The same thing can happen to any of us when we begin to drift into idols of the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, and the lust of the flesh.
The account of Solomon should tell us that great wealth and wisdom is no guarantee of a successful life or of a good life when we get older. Solomon chose to sin so he chose to suffer and so does everyone who follows the patter of Solomon. We are no better than Solomon but one thing we know is that for all who believe in Christ and have put our trust in Him, even death can’t keep us from the kingdom (Rom 8:37-39). Jesus has resurrection power in His Word. Just ask Lazarus. He declares, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.