Lesson 02 — September 17, 2000
SOLOMON ~ THE LATER YEARS
When Solomon requested an understanding heart to discern between good and evil the LORD was very pleased (cf. 1 Kings 3:9). He responded by not only giving Solomon wisdom, but promising him other things for which he had not asked—"riches and honor" (cf. 1 Kings 3:13). Unfortunately Solomon failed to remain faithful to the LORD with the result that he fell under God’s judgment, although it was delayed in view of David’s former faithfulness. As we shall later see from his writings, it would appear that he did repent and return to the LORD prior to his death.
Consider the following passages, which reveal the LORD’s blessings:
- With regard to his alliance with King Hiram of Tyre and Pharaoh, king of Egypt (cf. 1 Kings 9:10-28; 2 Chronicles 8:1-18):
- Hiram provided Solomon with raw materials for building—cedar, cypress, and gold.
- Pharaoh provided Solomon with southern cities and a secure southern border.
- Solomon utilized the remaining Canaanite population as forced labor.
- Solomon joined Hiram in building both a Mediterranean and Red Sea trading fleet.
- Solomon initially remained faithful to the LORD (cf. 1 Kings 9:25; 2 Chronicles 8:12-14).
- With regard to the Queen of Sheba’s visit (cf. 1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12):
- With regard to his immense riches (cf. 1 Kings 10:14-29; 2 Chronicles 9:13-28):
- Solomon’s wealth was based in large part upon the taxation of trade.
- Solomon’s life style revealed his great wealth—golden shields, thrones, drinking vessels.
- Solomon’s fleets brought him rare luxuries—gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.
- Solomon developed a strong military force—horses and chariots (cf. Psalm 33:16-17).
Consider the following passages, which reveal Solomon’s Failures and Trials:
- With regard to his many wives (cf. 1 Kings 11:1-13):
- 700 wives and 300 concubines, many of whom were from the nations God had warned Israel about concerning intermarriage.
- His wives "turned his heart after other gods" (cf. 1 Kings 11:4-8).
- God determined to take the kingdom away from Solomon’s descendants, granting them only a portion of land out of love for David.
- With regard to his external adversaries (cf. 1 Kings 11:14-25):
- Hadad the Edomite fled to Egypt.
- Rezon ruled over Syria.
- With regard to his internal adversaries (cf. 1 Kings 11:26-40):
- Jeroboam of the tribe of Ephraim was a "mighty man of valor" to whom God promised ten tribes through the prophet Ahijah.
- Solomon initially gave Jeroboam a position of leadership, but then attempted to have him removed forcing Jeroboam to flee to Egypt.
Read the following passages regarding Solomon’s death and discuss his spirituality at the time of his death:
- 1 Kings 11:41-43; 2 Chronicles 9:29-31
- These references give no indication of Solomon’s spiritual state at the time of his death.
- They record no pious words of admonition as when David’s died (cf. 1 Kings 2:1-4).
Read the following passages and identify Solomon’s key thoughts:
- With regard to the source of knowledge (cf. Proverbs 1:1-7)
- With regard to dealing with evil (cf. Proverbs 1:8-19)
- With regard to our relationship with wisdom (cf. Proverbs 1:20-33)
- With regard to the nature and excellence of wisdom (cf. Proverbs 8:1-36)
- With regard to the nature of life in this world (cf. Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)
- With regard to gaining earthly wisdom (cf. Ecclesiates 1:12-18)
- With regard to earthly pleasure (cf. Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)
- With regard to the apparent earthly end of both wise men and fools (cf. Ecclesiastes 2:12-26)
- With regard to the activities of earthly life (cf. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
- With regard to our earthly callings (cf. Ecclesiastes 3:9-15)
- With regard to the seeming injustice of this earthly life (cf. Ecclesiastes 3:16-22)
- With regard to your present relationship with God (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:1-8)
- With regard to the duty of the believing child of God (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:9-14)