What does it say?
Solomon’s reign gets off to a good start. He marries a daughter of Pharaoh (not forbidden if she converts to Judaism) and sets his heart to serve the God of David (1Ki 3). Solomon asks God to give him wisdom above all else and God grants him his prayer. This is soon evidenced by the wisdom he displays in settling a conflict between two women who claim the same child.
In addition to listing Solomon’s officials over the tribes of Israel, 1Kings 4 describes the prosperity under Solomon’s rule and the multi-faceted aspects of Solomon’s interests, skills and wisdom.
What does it mean?
In many ways this era of Solomon’s life and kingdom looks forward to that time when Jesus Christ returns in all his glory to rule. Most important of all is to see that the kings of the earth are coming to him for his God-given wisdom. This is as close to fulfilling the mission of Genesis 12 as Israel comes. Genesis 12 is where God told Abraham that he was blessed to be a blessing to the families of the earth. Through all the detours, sins, battles and failures, Solomon comes to picture what God had in mind as his plan and mission from the beginning.
Eventually Solomon will make his own mistakes and commit his own sins, but God is still at work just the same. We are all flawed beings, yet God is sovereign over all and constantly moving forward in his mission. It’s essential that we understand that what we are reading in the Old Testament is not just an assortment of unrelated stories and anecdotes, but that all of these personalities, places, events and circumstances are contemplated in God’s great plan as his story strategically and intentionally unfolds
How will I respond?
Like Solomon, I am a flawed individual, saved by God’s grace. Like Solomon, God’s plan is for others to see Christ in me. Like Solomon, God uses me in his mission, with or without my cooperation.
I will pray today that God would grant me grace to grow more into Christ’s likeness and that, like Solomon, he would grant me wisdom. I will ask God to demonstrate his answer to me by having someone come to me for the wisdom they see in me in the same way the kings of the earth sought out Solomon.