Reading

  • 1 Kings 7:1-12
  • 2 Chron. 7:11-22
  • 1 Kings 9:10-14
  • 2 Chron. 8:1-6
  • 1 Kings 9:20-23, 15
  • 2 Chron. 8:11
  • 1 Kings 9:26-28; 10:22; 4:29-34; 10:14-21, 27, 23-25; 4:26; 10:26, 28-29; 4:21, 24, 20, 25, 1-19, 22-28; 10:1-13
  • Psalm 72

Devotional

Solomon's Prosperity

When GOD gave Solomon the opportunity to ask for one thing from Him, Solomon chose wisdom. GOD said that because Solomon didn't ask for long life or wealth, He would give those to him in addition to wisdom. In today's reading we see how wealthy Solomon was, as all that GOD had promised him came to be.

Solomon built a royal palace which took 13 years to complete. It was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. It was built with cedar beams. There was a Hall of Justice, a throne hall, a palace for him and a separate palace for his wife—Pharaoh's daughter. Solomon's throne was inlaid with ivory and overlaid with gold. His throne had six steps. There were lions standing beside each armrest and a lion on either side of each of the six steps. Nothing like it had been made for any other kingdom.

After the palace was completed, GOD appeared to Solomon by night and said:

“I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, 18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’

19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, 20 then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 “And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?’ 22 Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.’”
(2 Chron. 7:12-22 NKJV)

Solomon rebuilt cities throughout his kingdom using slave labor from the Amorites, Hittites, Perezzites, Hivites, and Jebusites dwelling in the land. He fortified cities with walls and gates for protection.

29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else...And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
(1 Kings 4:29-34 NIV)

Solomon gathered huge amounts of gold, horses, chariots, shields, silver as common as stones, ivory, and even apes and baboons. The whole world wanted to meet with Solomon to hear the wisdom that GOD had put in his heart. People came year after year to see him. The people of Israel were as numerous as the sand of the seashore and they ate and drank in peace and were happy during these days. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, and as far south as Egypt. All of these countries paid Solomon tribute annually.

One of the more famous stories of Solomon's reign is a visit by the queen of Sheba. The queen had heard of Solomon's fame and his relation to the name of the LORD, and she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a humongous caravan of gifts—spices, gold, precious stones. Solomon answered all of her questions and nothing she asked was too hard for him. She was blown away by Solomon's wisdom, such that she said the reports she'd heard didn't even tell close to the whole story of Solomon's glory. The queen praised GOD for what He had done for Solomon.

Ask for Wisdom

As we read of Solomon's great blessings, we should reflect upon what this story means for us. Our GOD is a giving God. He longs to bless each of us with that which is best for us. Sometimes that means prosperity as it did with Solomon. Other times that means giving us trials and hardship, suffering even, for the purpose of discipline or drawing us closer to Himself. Regardless of our situation, however, we can always pray for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
(Jam. 1:5-6 NKJV)

And remember, when GOD answers our prayer, give Him thanks!

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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