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Feb 26, 2015

90 Day Challenge – Day 57

Sarah Christmyer

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Bible Time Period: Royal Kingdom

You established a kingdom on your servant David and promised him an eternal throne: Establish your kingdom in our midst.

Reflection

The third king of Israel is David’s son by Bathsheba, Solomon.  Solomon will build a permanent Temple in Jerusalem (the “house” that David wanted to build for God back in 2 Samuel 7) as well as a palace for the king.  He is known even today for his great wisdom – but even that won’t protect him at the end from sin or its consequences.

Bathsheba is now Queen Mother, and she sits on a throne at the king’s right hand where she can intercede for the people.  Her position foreshadows the position of Mary, Mother of Jesus and Queen of heaven, who intercedes on our behalf with her son.

Today’s Reading

1 Kings 1-4

Today’s Question

What kind of a man is Solomon?  How do you know?

Join the discussion below!

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  • King Solomon was one of the wisest men that ever lived. God blessed him with wisdom
    like no other because God said to him in a dream ask what you would like and Solomon answered ..”give your servant a heart to understand how to govern your people” 1Kings 3:8.
    So God gave him “a heart wise and shrewd as no one has had before and no one will ever have”1Kings 3:12. It pleased the Lord that he did not ask for long life and riches for himself but for discerning judgement to govern his people.

    • This hints at the types of things we should ask of the Lord…for God is not interested in material items, though he can give those…he is interested in things of greater value…love, wisdom, right understanding, faith …intangible things, things which can lead to everlasting happiness with God…for those are the things that we can use through this life on our journey home to Him.

      • Once again you are the wise woman of where-ever you live! I always get so much out of your posts! Thank you! You may be Solomon in female form. 🙂

        • I am glad that my posts have given you new insights into Scripture. Scripture has been a part of my life for a very long time now…and God has led me in many a dance with them!!

  • David gives a final charge to Solomon. Be strong and and prove yourself a man. For David sense Solomon will face a great challenge.

  • Soloman clearly is a man that is wise and wants to do right in the eyes of the Lord. I love the content of the “dream” in which he gets discernment. It is so very true that we are not rich with material things. And moreover it is not a blessing to live a long life without the riches that the power of discernment brings. May we all grow in the love and faith of God our Father and strengthen our listening hearts and abilities to distinguish between good and evil. Doing these two things will give us riches beyond anything we could ever imagine.

  • I found it very touching in Chapter 1, Solomon greets his Mother Bathsheba by stepping off his throne and paying her homage. A more egotistical leader would not have shown this respect and, in my opinion, shows Solomon’s good heart. We do, however, get a glimpse of his youthful impetuousness when he had Adonijah and Shimei killed because he thought them a threat to him and his kingdom. Finally, during his “dialogue” with the Lord he seeks a listening heart and proclaims “he is a mere youth, not knowing how to act.” The Lord being pleased with this answer replies he will provide Solomon “with a heart so wise and discerning there has never been one like you.” Solomon is growing in his faith but is learning his limitations and where he needs help from the Lord. Aren’t we called to grow in our faith just the same? In my opinion, God hopes we continue this path of continual growth without stagnation, just as Solomon is growing in his faith. Of course, we all have our moments or even periods where we falter but we are blessed with reconciliation to God. We need only ask God for his guidance to give us discerning hearts, as his son Solomon did, so that every word, action and deed we do follow a path to God’s goodness.

  • Solomon asks the LORD to grant him wisdom to rule LORD’s people. The LORD was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom and for the worldly things. With the LORD’s gift of wisdom Solomon goes on to become the wisest person in Israel and Judah. I feel Solomon was very simple and had a good enthusiasm to rule Israel and Judah. But it is very painful to see him going away from the LORD due to his marriage with foreign women.

  • I believe that Solomon began as a man who with all his heart wanted to follow the Lord’s commandments. This is shown when he asks God for a “decerning heart” what this means is he wants to know right from wrong. God also grant’s him a long life. Definately a blessing if one makes mistakes then one has a long time to repent. But then God grants him “riches and glory” these are as much a curse as a blessing. I personally seen people destroyed by riches. Will Solomon have enough of a “decerning heart to handle riches and glory”

    • Jesus said in Matt, 29:24 it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. Though riches per se, is not sin, but if that riches gets you in between God to come to Him, then getting become a sin. We also recall teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 25 that any doctrine or teaching should always be for love and its end purpose, nothing but for love alone. So also our clergies in the pulpit don’t get tired in their job, day in day out, that every time they stand to preach its all the same thing, about love, love and love!!!

  • Even before God answered Solomon’s prayer, the young man showed wisdom in realising his lack of experience and the difficult path that lay ahead of him. Like many a great and blessed person he started to show his promise by using God’s gift to finish the tasks that David was unable to by removing threats to the stability of the nation. As Mark said, in securing an alliance with Egypt, which seems sensible, Solomon forgot, or was not taught the dangers of marrying a foreign woman, especially if she worshiped idols. He also broke his word to Shimei as he was told not to cross the Wadi Kidron or he would be killed. Shimei went in a different direction to fetch his servant’s but Solomon used that as an excuse to kill him. This shows that although no one was, or ever would be as wise as Solomon, he was far from perfect. In administering the punishments, David requested, it seems to me that Solomon relied on the gift from God instead of having the patience or insight to ask God.

    It always seems to be the little weaknesses and failings that unravel God’s wonderful plans for us.

  • It must have been such an honor for Solomon to chosen as the king replacement for David. His father David gave him clear instruction of taking care of those who did wrong dreads such as: Joab, Absolum and and Shimei. It was then that Solomon took the reigns and started by building a home for The Lord as well as his home. This was the first time ever in building The Lord a home, what a way to shoe true love for the most important one, God. He also offers many burnt offerings,

    In Gibeon The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and promised to take care of him as long as he stays true to his commitment to The Lord. The Lord was very pleased with Solomon’s response.

    Solomon was fortunate to learn from his father the importance of living ones journey through the. Lord. The first four chapters are similar to the way laid his life out for God.

    Through the grace of God I want to continue working more and more true to letting go and letting God guide me in my journey of life so that I earn eternal life with him and our Father some day. I have been reflecting back at the highlights of my life and realia that those that matter the most are the ones brought to me from God. Amazing!

  • The scholars say that Solomon was the wisest man in the world. This is probably true but he seem to allow his selfish desires overcome any desire to please God. Perhaps he wanted his kingdom to be the best around so he surrounded himself with wives and concubines of different cultures and made a name for himself with other rulers during that era.
    So, to answer the question posed today, I would say that Solomon seemed to take advantage of his position as king and allowed his human foibles to rule his life. God became a secondary treasure to him because Solomon couldn’t “see” or “touch” this precious gift. He became the “tactile” king of his time. His faith in God was not very strong. He rationalized that materialistic treasures should be our first love instead of God being our first love.This is a great lesson about worldly goods versus our intimate love affair with God.

    • I wonder if God’s “blessing” Solomon with riches was more a test than a blessing. It’s true that riches can bring down the best of us, if God is not our total center and focus. And even men and women who have been focused on and live their lives for God can lose their way and be dazzled by wealth, adulation and power. Riches of this world can be a slippery slope for us to navigate. It makes me think of Saint Mother Teresa (someone please correct me if I’ve gotten her new title wrong) and how she would turn away material possessions for herself and her order so they could remain focused solely on Jesus and their mission at hand.

      • Janet, what you say is so true.
        While I was writing my thoughts I think I placed myself in Solomon’s shoes and could see that one needs such a strong faith in God to stay focused when all the pleasures and desires a person can have at a moments notice can happen. Even with his sagacious ways, Solomon’s life was a lesson about such temptations.

  • Even before asking God for wisdom instead of riches and a long life, I believe Solomon was a wise man. He was consciencious in that he recognized his youth and inexperience as a ruler, but wanted to do right by the people of Israel. In Solomon’s mind, to follow God was the only way to achieve that. Asking God for wisdom to lead his people would ensure Solomon could rule righteously, following God as was prescribed.
    How do I know this? Because God’s Word tells us that God was pleased with Solomon’s request for wisdom instead of earthly pleasures and God blessed him greatly.

  • I love the respect that King Solomon showed Bathsheba when she came to him while he was seated on the throne. The fact that he stood up to meet her and paid her homage, and then provided her with a throne at his right side, says a lot about what kind of a person and son he was. Being placed at ones ‘right side’ is a place of honor and authority. This, he obviously showed her. It also says a lot about the kind of person and mother Bathsheba was. She raised him to show love and a humble concern for others and a desire to do what is right and just.
    This was showed by his desire that God give him wisdom and understanding while ruling God’s people. No wonder God blessed him so abundantly!

  • He had judicial wisdom, and he showed to be unselfish due to his prayer that was unique among those of ancient kings. Solomon shows how he used the three gifts that the Lord gave him in 3:12–13: a listening heart (3:16–28), riches (4:1–5:8), and universal renown (5:9–14). In each case his gifts benefited the population, from the lowest classes (3:16–28) to his whole people (4:20; 5:5).

  • As a child I grew up with knowledge of the story of a wise King settling the dispute between two women fighting for possession of a baby, by suggesting to divide the baby in half for each woman. I always wondered how he knew the real mother would rather give up her baby than have it slain. He made wise decisions of doing away with the evil in his kingdom and rewarded those that would be good for the new kingdom. God was pleased and gave Solomon the gift of wisdom because he didn’t ask for riches, or long life or a conquest of his enemies. He knew what was required to rule his people fairly and show love and respect for everyone around him, especially his mother.

  • What is still unsettling with me regarding Solomon as King is the way he went about becoming King. This did not happen by God calling upon him for the honors, but by Nathan and Basheba asking for such honors. Once, he becomes King, before God speaking to him through a dream, he killed others so quickly as to show his power and that he is the person in control of all lives.

    After being granted,may God, the gift an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong he embraces the honors of such gift. Others see this in him as he does the wise of honoring the new born to his mother and not to the one who was dishonest. Amazing how the right decision is made all through the powers of God.

    If Solomon keeps with God he will do the right things as King. As long as he follows God by keeping his statues and commandments just as David did, God has promised to grant him a long life.

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