The Wise Son
We have covered sibling rivalry resulting in so many things these past for lessons but what about the Second Son who never knew his brother.
Solomon, Son of David and Bathsheba was actually the second son. The first born was born of lust when David seduced her and the child was taken by God for David’s sin. David had comforted Bathsheba after their firstborn’s death and Solomon was conceived. God had plans for Solomon and David hoped that He would be the one to keep the kingdom together.
Solomon was feared and revered by his older brothers as Solomon was actually the last son born of David. This seems kind of odd but understanding that David’s other wives were not truly of love but of political purpose, it is right that Solomon would be chosen as king. In fact, God told David as such. Through Solomon’s early reign we see how all those who were harmful to his father were exiled or executed. There was little mercy from Solomon when it came to his inner circle. He found the right people and removed those who sought to harm his father and himself.
Solomon understood the need for keeping the peace and took a daughter of Pharaoh as wife (This will be important later for his downfall). When he returned, Solomon went to Gibeon to make his sacrifices as the Temple was not yet built. While there, he fell asleep and God came to him to grant him his desire as king. Solomon’s eloquence in speech and right thinking pleased God for he asked:
”Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” 1Kings 3:9
God granted him a wise and understanding heart but also granted him riches and an honor above all earthly kings. He used these gifts wisely. Initially he made wise decisions and the kingdom prospered enough to build the Temple of Jerusalem where all would come to worship.
So what Happened??
Solomon had made wise and foolish decisions. Most led to his eventual downfall. He had many wives and concubines not of Hebrew descent which led to many children. This would lead to many divisions and a great number of catastrophes later in Israel’s history. So what can we learn from Solomon:
1. Follow your own wise advise and keep a close walk with God.
Solomon had a knack for good fatherly advice but had many issues following it himself. The Books of Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes showed his thoughts and desires. Though Ecclesiastes is said to be written by someone else, it is obvious that Solomon’s heart is in it. If Solomon had just stayed with one or two Hebrew wives and no concubines, he might not have been so confused later in life. He did not walk with God as his wives lured him away with their beliefs and their gods. This led to his corruption and downfall.
2. Too much power makes one weak.
Keeping a close walk with God reminds us that all Glory belongs to God. He is the one that provides the power and authority we have over others if He so chooses us for that type of mission. Solomon’s power weakened as the kingdom grew.
3. Worldly distractions keep us from completing our part in God’s Plan.
It was more than just too much power that weakened Solomon’s grip, it was the distractions of the world. He became enticed by many temptations and was no longer wanking with God. Solomon became more obsessed with himself and the power he held over many. He reintroduced the many gods to the people and they did what was right in their own eyes but still under Solomon’s rule. Instead of moving forward they went back because the world got in the way.
For all the wisdom of Solomon who taught his sons and daughters what to be aware of in order to live a right and moral life, he did not heed his own advice. In the end, he was an empty man because he pursued much and gained nothing. He was given so much by God but squandered it like a child who receives an allowance and blows it before it even arrives in his hands.
Our God is a great and wonderful God who gives us the opportunity and skills to do great things. Success is derived by how we use the tools given and who receives the Glory. Once we begin to become obsessed with power and keep the glory for ourselves, we are doomed. God told Joshua to Keep His Word on his heart and meditate on it daily. Without the Word within us because of worldly concerns, we have nothing to meditate on because the world can overtake the heart.
Hear the wisdom in Proverbs:
He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage. Proverbs 11:28