Solomon King of Israel

Success Founded on Humility and Parent Respect

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Solomon respected and admired his father David and was humble toward the task of being king of Israel. Therefore, when he was presented an opportunity to ask anything from God, all he wanted was a wise and discerning heart to recognize right from wrong and govern effectively. God granted his request and, in addition, gave him extraordinary wealth and honor, so that “in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings” [1 Kings 3:13]. His determination to work close to God in order to govern Israel effectively was motivated by his respect and admiration for his father.

Asked for Sound Judgment

This bible study examines Solomon’s early years as king of Israel after his father David passed on. His interaction with God in a vision at Gibeon [1 Kings 3:4–15] reveals his feelings about his father and how the feelings affected his aspirations as king. In the dream, God told Solomon to ask for “whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon first acknowledged that God was kind to his father because of his (father’s) faithfulness and righteousness and that he was king because of God’s kindness to his father. So he admired his father’s relationship with God and believed he was king because of the relationship. He wanted to be an effective king like his father and realized he needed to be close to God, also like his father, in order to accomplish this. So, having acknowledged he benefited from his father’s relationship with God and expressed his desire to be an effective king, he asked God for “a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” That is, he asked God for sound judgment. The selflessness of his request pleased God. He promised to give Solomon “a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” Moreover, God added to him great wealth and honor.

Solomon went on to be an effective king of Israel, famous everywhere, and extraordinarily wealthy. His respect and admiration for, and desire to emulate his father led him to a prayer that endeared him to God. Therefore, Solomon’s greatness and effectiveness as king of Israel grew from a foundation of respect and honor for his father.

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