My friend used to joke with me that I was one of God’s spoiled children. I agree with him that much has gone my way. But if anyone was ever born with a silver spoon in their mouth it was Solomon.
Solomon had all the advantages life could offer. He had a God-fearing home with his father being a man after God’s own heart. He inherited wealth and was given the best education. He had the equivalent of a PhD in many sciences, botany (study of plants), dendrology (study of trees), and zoology (study of animals). In addition he was lettered in literature.
Then there were the political advantages that Solomon inherited. He received the throne of Israel when the kingdom was at its zenith. The death of King David meant the assent of Solomon to the throne of Israel. Solomon took the throne during what could be called the “golden age of Israel”. The entire world looked to Israel.
Solomon was David’s tenth son. He was the second son of Bathsheba. The first son died after King David’s sin, adultery and murder. But in God’s grace He gave David another son through Bathsheba.
In 2 Samuel 12:24-25 The Lord gave King David another son through Bathsheba. Nathan the prophet who seems to have had a special burden for Solomon brought word that the Lord had a special love for Solomon. He had two names.
Solomon: Which means Peace.
Jedidiah: Which means loved of the Lord.
1 Chronicles 29 We read how David orchestrated so much for Solomon to follow as king and gave Solomon a great blessing prayer for him to prosper and to build the great temple of God in Israel sometimes called “Solomon’s Temple.” Not because this temple was for Solomon but built during Solomon’s reign for the glory of Almighty God.
In verse 29:25 It says the Lord exalted Solomon at this time while King David was about to die. Royal majesty was bestowed on Solomon like had never been seen in Israel.
There was a challenge to Solomon taking the throne, but it was more of a final challenge to King David who was still living and declared Solomon the air to the throne. David’s oldest son Adonija made a self-proclaimed claim on the throne without David’s knowledge (1 Kings 1).
To get the wheels of justice turning Nathan the prophet begins to act. He tells Bathsheba that Adonijah is undermining her son Solomon’s claim to the throne (1 Kings 1:11). This caused Bathsheba to swing into action (1 Kings 1:17) and Solomon is anointed as King (1 Kings 1:39). The priest anointed Solomon with oil, blew the trumpet and all the people shouted “Long Live King Solomon!”
David gives a death-bed challenge to King Solomon.
1 Kings 2:1-4
When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go 4 and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’
In 1 Kings 2:10-11 King David dies. The greatest King ever in the history of Israel except for the Messiah who came as the second King David. To whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:48). Succeeding David as King will be a challenge.
Solomon faced his first test as king from his oldest brother Adonijah. This challenge came when their father David died and it came to Solomon at the risk of his life. Adonija’s foolish action results in his own death and now the kingdom is firmly in Solomon’s hands (1 Kings 2:46)
Solomon started with so much. He did not squander his opportunity. The Queen of Sheba later said the half had not been told regarding the greatness of Solomon.
You may not have been given as much as Solomon; inheritance of billions, the most influential kingdom of any era. All at a time of religious fervor of the people. But I would suppose if you are reading this you have been given much.
In 1 Chronicles 1:29 David Prayed,
And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion
to keep your commands, statutes and decrees
He was given wisdom. But tragically at the end of his life he became a foolish wise man and strayed from the ways of the Lord that David prayed he would follow.
You have been given much. You have the riches of the gospel of Jesus Christ placed in your hand. To whom much is given much is required. You have been given a heart to keep faithful to God.