When David died Solomon was anointed king. One night as Solomon was sleeping God appeared to him in a dream and told him to ask for whatever he wanted. What would you ask for, if you were Solomon?
Solomon asked God to give him discernment so that he would rule the people well and God was pleased to answer this request.
God told Solomon that not only would He answer that request and make him wise, but He would make Solomon the wisest man that there ever was or that there ever would be! God also told Solomon that He would give him wealth and honor.
Solomon became well known for his wisdom and people would travel great distances just to hear him speak on various subjects.
Solomon never forgot his father’s desire for the temple and he worked hard for it to be completed so that there could be a permanent place of worship to God. When the work was finally completed Solomon turned to the people and with a loud voice declared;
“May God turn our hearts to Him so that we will walk in obedience to Him and keep all of the laws He has given us. And may our hearts be fully committed to the Lord, to live by and obey His commands.”
But Solomon’s own heart wasn’t fully committed to God. He married many women and he allowed their false gods to enter his home. This eventually drew his heart away from the One true God. It took time for Solomon’s allegiance to shift, but by befriending and being closely connected with those who worshiped false gods Solomon too began to worship them, isn’t that sad?
Up until this time there had been peace in Solomon’s kingdom, but once he turned his devotion to false gods the time of peace ends.
Solomon had a son named Rehoboam who would become the next crowned king of Israel when his father died. But there was another man, whose name rhymes with Rehoboam, and his story is an important one. His story starts during the reign of Solomon and continues into the reign of Rehoboam.
His name was Jeroboam. This kingdom of Israel that Solomon was king over was going to split in two – with Rehoboam being king over some and Jeroboam being king over the rest. The story of those two kings we will talk about tomorrow.
Right now Jeroboam was still a young man and a hard worker – and King Solomon noticed him. “I want that hard worker to work for me!” he said. And so King Solomon made Jeroboam in charge of all the labor force from the tribe of Joseph.
Remember what happened to Solomon as he grew older? He started to worship idols. It was because of that disobedience God that was going to split Israel into two kingdoms. Israel was made up of twelve tribes, and most of those tribes were to be taken away from Solomon’s family’s rule.
When Solomon understood that Jeroboam was going to eventually become king Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. Jeroboam ran for his life, he ran to Egypt and stayed there until he received news that King Solomon had died.
Solomon becomes well known for his wisdom and people travel from all over to hear him speak on various subjects.
Solomon also completes the temple, which was to be the earthly dwelling place of God and a place for their sacrifices to be offered – a significant building in the lives of those in Israel wanting to worship God. Solomon dedicates the temple to God and turns to bless the people;
“May He turn our hearts to Him, to walk in obedience to Him and keep the commands, decrees and laws He gave our ancestors… And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by His decrees and obey His commands, as at this time.” (1 Kings 8:58&61)
But Solomon’s heart is not fully committed to God, he marries many women and he allows their traditions and their gods to enter his home and this eventually draws his heart away from the one true God.
When he grew old his heart was turned away – it took time for his allegiance to shift, but by associating with and being closely connected with those who worshiped false gods Solomon too began to worship false gods.
Up until this time there had been peace in Solomon’s kingdom, but once he turns away from God men arise and cause problems for him. One of these men is Jeroboam. We will be talking about Jeroboam and his rebellion against Solomon tomorrow when we read about Solomon’s son Reheboam.