Builder of the temple - 17 June 2021
By Ben Fourie
It always surprises me to see how dissimilar God’s chosen ones can sometimes be. If you compare Solomon with his father, King David, you will realise that they were worlds apart. David was the military king who had to consolidate and defend the kingdom of Israel, but was also a poet who wrote the most beautiful psalms.
Solomon was not noted for his military prowess but had such a large army that nobody probably wanted to challenge him. His reign was, therefore, characterised by peace in the country. He was known as a very wise person as can be seen by the many proverbs he penned as well as the book, Ecclesiastes. He would probably have ranked among the top ten on a list of the richest people of his time. To get an idea of how rich he really was, read 1 Kings 4:22-28 and chapter 10 verses 14 to 29.
He was so famous and rich that even the Queen of Sheba was curious to come and see for herself. During this time of peace and prosperity, he built a beautiful temple to the glory of God. It stood for about 400 years before the Babylonians destroyed it.
Solomon was also famous for marrying 700 princesses and also having 300 concubines from almost every nation under the sun. They were to be the reason he turned away from God. In 1 Kings 11:4, we read the sad news, “They made him turn away from God, and by the time he was old they had led him into the worship of foreign gods.” The result of this “turning away from God” was that after he died, his kingdom was split into two parts. Ten tribes formed the northern kingdom of Israel, while the other two comprised the southern kingdom of Judah. This was the end of the unity that was so necessary for survival as God’s chosen people.
We all might wish for some of the wisdom of Solomon and also dream about a fairly big chunk of his wealth, but in the end, it is much more important to be faithful to God.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that I do not need great wisdom or wealth to be able to serve you. Please use me just as I am, and with what I own, to spread your message in this world. Amen